Relativity picks up Kevin Costner-led race drama ‘Black or White’

After a quiet bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, a distributor is finally coming to the rescue of writer-director Mike Binder's racially charged drama “Black and White.” Excuse me, “Black or White,” because someone owned the rights to the former and producers couldn't get it cleared. Sharing a title with a Michael Jackson track is easier, apparently.

According to Deadline, Relativity is wrapping a deal to acquire domestic rights for the film, which stars Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Gillian Jacobs, Anthony Mackie, and Jennifer Ehle. The story of a widower engaging in a custody battle over the mixed race granddaughter he helped raise, “Black or White” earned mixed reviews out of TIFF. Our own Gregory Ellwood wasn't a fan, noting that Binder's film “simply wants too much” and that Costner's alcoholic character doesn't play. “It wants to make a statement on modern day race relations but even its progressive characters come across as cliches, which makes it feels more dated than it should.”

Deadline reports that “Black or White” will be released in time to qualify for the Oscar race, though details on dates and theater count have yet to be formalized. Relativity will release the film through its newly formed multcultural division.

Get a taste for “Black or White” in this recently release clip.