Octavia Spencer has been cast in the upcoming drama A Kid Like Jake, directed by Silas Howard. She joins the cast including Jim Parsons and Claire Danes. Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd and Michaela Watkins are in negotiations to join the film as well.
The project is based on Daniel Pearle’s celebrated Lincoln Center play A Kid Like Jake. He adapts the script for while Howard directs. Story follows Alex (Danes) and Greg Wheeler (Parsons) who have high hopes for their son Jake, a bright and precocious four-year-old who happens to prefer Cinderella to GI Joe. On the eve of the admissions cycle for New York City kindergartens and aware they can’t afford private school tuition, Judy (Spencer), the director of Jake’s preschool, encourages them to accentuate Jake’s “gender variant” expression to help him stand out and try and get a scholarship.
As they navigate their roles as parents, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what’s best for Jake, and each other. Chopra will portray Amal, their friend and a newly single mom who is also trying to navigate the school system, as well as her own dating world; Dowd will play Catherine, Alex’s mother; while Watkins will portray Sandra, Greg’s patient.
Parsons, Todd Spiewak and Eric Norsoph will produce via their That’s Wonderful Productions banner alongside Paul Bernon for Burn Later and Rachel Song for XS Media. Sam Slater, David Bernon and Jackie Bernon will executive produce for Burn Later alongside Jenette Kahn and Adam Richman for Double Nickel Entertainment, Hilary Davis, Stephen Kelliher and Patrick Howson for Bankside Films, and Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films. Co-producers are Rowan Riley of Burn Later and Veronica Nickel.
Octavia Spencer made her film debut in A Time To Kill and made her Hollywood breakthrough portraying Minny Jackson in The Help, which earned her an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has maintained critically-acclaimed roles in films such as Fruitvale Station, Get on Up, Black or White, Smashed, Snowpiercer, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and Zootopia. She was most recently seen in Hidden Figures, where she portrayed Dorothy Vaughan, earning Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She can currently be seen on the big screen in Gifted.