“Men of Granite” Production

Paige Harris, Staff Writer

Men of Granite, Dan Manoyan’s biographical account of the 1940 Granite City basketball team that won the Illinois state title, is now being made into a movie. The movie is set in Granite City, a small town in Southern Illinois known for its steel mill. In the movie a group of poor, immigrant high school boys from the wrong side of the tracks rise above discrimination in the 1940’s by proving themselves on the basketball court.

The director of this heartwarming story is Dwayne Johnson-Cochran. Johnson-Cochran is a screenwriter, producer, director, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. He began the production of Men of Granite, previously known as The Boys of Lincoln Place, in Cleveland, Ohio in August. Johnson-Cochran and producer Valerie McCaffery said that shooting in Cleveland is not only ideal because of film tax credit, but the architecture of the homes in the area is similar to Granite City at that time.

“We’re here because of the great look of this place,” Johnson-Cochran said.

McCaffery and Johnson-Cochran have cast Oscar winners Shirley MacLaine and William Hurt to star in the film. Vic Bagratuni is another lead role in Men of Granite. He played in the well-known movies Wolf of Wall Street and The Amazing Spider-Man. Johnson-Cochran and McCaffery also cast other not very well known celebrities who are now given a chance to shine. This film has been in the works for all of two and a half years and is expected to debut in time for March Madness in 2016.