Cuba Gooding Jr. to play "Gifted" doctor on small screen

Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:16pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Cuba Gooding Jr. will portray a real-life neurologist in "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," a TNT original movie that will air under the Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation banner.

The movie, based on Carson's memoir, will trace his journey from frustrated inner-city kid to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. It will air in the first quarter of 2009.

Thomas Carter, who directed the feature film "Coach Carter," which also was based on a true story, will direct from a script by John Pielmeier.

Carson's memoir, which he wrote with Cecil Murphey, describes his childhood in a rough neighborhood of Detroit and his difficulties after his father "abandoned the family." Encouraged by his mother, Carson wrote, he pushed himself to succeed in school even when faced with prejudice and negative peer pressure. His accomplishments led him to be named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Bush bestowed on Carson at a ceremony in June.

Gooding, an Oscar winner for "Jerry Maguire," had screen roles recently in "American Gangster" and the independent film "Harold."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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