We’re used to seeing Bryshere Y. Gray as the spoiled playboy Hakeem Lyon in Fox’s musical drama Empire, but in the upcoming drama Canal Street, he takes on an entirely different persona.
Directed by Rhyan LaMarr, the Chicago-set film follows Kholi (Gray), a young man who moves from the South Side of Chicago in with his attorney father (played by Fences actor Mykelti Williamson) to the Illinois suburb of Winnetka. Kholi seems to be adjusting to his new life and friendships well until a homecoming party turns into a crime scene. Kholi is horrified when his new friend ends up dead at the party, and after he refuses to leave the scene of the crime, he is blamed for the murder. His father acts as his defense attorney against the prosecutor played by Mekhi Phifer.
Chicago is still one of the most segregated cities in the United States, so Canal Street looks at how race and socioeconomic status play into how Black people, and specifically young Black men, are perceived in our society.
Joining Gray and Williamson in the film are his New Edition Story co-star Woody McClain, Yancey Arias, Lance Reddick, Katie Chang, Jamie Hector, Kevin Quinn, Harry Lennix, Jon Seda, Will Yun Lee, Michael Beach and Giovanni Watson. Check out the teaser trailer for Canal Street below. It looks as if it may be the film to sweep next year’s major festivals.
The film is slated for release next year. Until then, you can catch Gray when Empire returns for its fourth season on Sept. 27 on Fox.