Prentice Penny will make his feature film directorial debut for Netflix with “Uncorked,” which he also wrote, the streaming giant announced on Wednesday.
The film will star Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated Courtney B. Vance, Emmy-nominated Niecy Nash and “The Get Down” actor Mamoudou Athie.
The film follows a young man, fueled by his love of wine, who strives to become a master sommelier while dealing with his father’s expectations that he’ll take over the family barbecue business.
“Uncorked” is described as a father-son story about love, sacrifice and following your heart. The film is loosely based on Penny’s own family history.
“It’s rare that black people get to tell a father-son story without the father’s absence serving as the catalyst for the story,” Penny said in a statement. “That was never my experience and I think it’s more important than ever that art reflects our humanity and who we are as regular people, rather than just being defined by the color of our skin or the trauma that has happened to us.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Netflix and our entire producing team for not only understanding that vision, but for wholeheartedly supporting it too,” he continued. “To be able to tell this story, inspired by the relationship I have with my own father, is exciting for so many reasons; and to have actors like Mamoudou, Courtney and Niecy, each talented beyond measure, on board to bring this story to life with me is beyond my wildest dreams for this project.”
Along with serving as showrunner and executive producer on Issa Rae’s HBO comedy “Insecure,” Penny has been a writer and/or producer for numerous TV shows, including “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Happy Endings,” “Scrubs” and “Girlfriends.”
Principal photography on “Uncorked” will begin on Nov. 10 in Memphis, Tennessee, with filming also taking place in Paris.
Producers on the film are Datari Turner, Forge Media’s Chris Pollack, Mandalay Pictures’ Jason Michael Berman, Argent Pictures’ Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo, along with Penny.
Mandalay Pictures’ Patrick Raymond and Veronica Nickel will serve as executive producers, with Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley and Derrick Brooks serving as co-executive producers and Jamie Moore and Will Raynor serving as co-producers.
Penny is repped by WME and attorney John Meigs at Hansen Jacobson.