Lofty Nathan and Eric Blair's 12 O'Clock Boys was one of the last decade's neat little documentary curios: an hour-long exploration of Baltimore's illegal dirtbike riding culture through the lens of a 13-year-old Black boy who's had to grow up too fast. It's also full of mesmerizing, dynamic shots of real bike stunts, so it's a joy to watch.
When it was announced that 12 O'Clock Boys was getting a feature adaption, penned by Barry Jenkins and starring rapper Meek Mill (whose native Philadelphia is no stranger to street dirtbike culture) no less, my interest was piqued. And today there's a trailer, so all of your guys' interests can be piqued too.
Have a look:
The teaser establishes a look and tone that I feel is appropriate considering the source material. I especially love Angel Manuel Soto's direction of the bike riding, with shots that feel as real as the doc's even while being more stylized. Jahi Di'Allo Winston (Queen & Slim, The Dead Don't Die) looks to be our main character, taking the role the Pug played in the documentary.
This trailer puts a lot of emphasis on a crime subplot, which definitely wasn't a main focus of the doc, but I guess they had to add something to fill this out into a feature. Barry Jenkins penned an early version of the script, and has still been attributed a story credit, so I'll take that as a good sign.
Charm City Kings comes out in theaters April 10, 2020, from Sony Pictures Classics. Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, the film will star Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Meek Mill, and Teyonah Parris. It's set to premiere at Sundance later this month, so look out for reviews soon.