DOURDAN, BERRY ARE
Gary Dourdan and Halle Berry will play on-again, off-again lovers in Revolution Studios’ psychological thriller “Perfect Stranger.” Bruce Willis and Berry will topline the project. The cast will also include actor Giovanni Ribisi. The film is set in the world of Internet intrigue, where Berry plays a woman who goes undercover both online and off to investigate a friend’s murder. Ribisi will play Miles Haley, an IT wiz and hacker who helps Berry’s character in tracking the killer online and gets her into the secret corners of the Net.
FREEMAN IN ‘TEN ITEMS OR LESS’ LANE
Morgan Freeman is set to star opposite “Spanglish” actress Paz Vega in “Ten Items or Less,” an indie drama from writer/director Brad Silberling (“Lemony Snicket”). The story is about a celebrity „who gets lost in an L.A. minority community while researching a role, and how a chance meeting with a grocery checkout worker helps both of them turn their lives around
John Singleton is in talks to direct the action-adventure “Convoy” for Paramount Pictures, the studio that released his box office hit “Four Brothers” last summer. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the story revolves around a group of U.S. truck drivers who make a one-year commitment to drive goods for U.S. contractors through the Afghan war zone because of financial hardships back home.
Terrence Howard is set to star as NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall in a new film about the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954. “The Crusaders,” to be directed by “Lemony Snicket” helmer Brad Silberling, is based on “Crusaders in the Courts,” the memoirs of Jack Greenberg, former Assistant Counsel and then Director-Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1949 to 1984. Greenberg and Marshall successfully argued the Brown v. Board case before the Supreme Court. As a result, racial segregation was declared unconstitutional.
Jamie Foxx has signed to star in Universal Pictures’ “The Kingdom,” a political thriller being directed by Peter Berg. Scott Stuber will join Michael Mann as producers. Based on an original idea by Berg and Mann, the story centers on Foxx’s character, who is leading an elite team of counter-terrorism investigators trying to find those responsible for a deadly bombing attack on American workers the Middle East. Once inside the previously off-limits desert kingdom, the Americans engage a local police officer to help in their investigation but end up frustrated by bureaucracy and tradition, and find their lives threatened. Universal is eyeing a May production start for the film.
TUCKER FINALLY AGREES TO ‘RUSH HOUR 3’
Chris Tucker has finally agreed to a deal for “Rush Hour 3.” It took an offer of $20 million against 20% of the gross to get Tucker to sign on. Under the deal, the actor has also agreed to give up script approval, which was a major obstacle in previous negotiations. According to Daily Variety, Tucker agreed to let go of script approval on the condition that the final draft matches what was pitched by returning screenwriter Jeff Nathanson. Tucker’s co-star, Jackie Chan, will get $15 million against 15% of the gross, and will also own the film’s distribution rights in China and Hong Kong. The film will go into production next summer in the U.S. and Paris for a summer 2007 release.
ANGELA BASSETT – TWO “BEE” OR NOT TO “BEE”
Angela Bassett will co-star with Laurence Fishburne in “Akeelah and the Bee.” The plot follows a young girl from South Los Angeles who tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. The film is in post-production and is set for release in April, Angela Bassett – To Be Or Not To Bee2006.
MO’NIQUE TO STAR IN “PHAT GIRLZ”
While actress/comedienne Mo’Nique has been cast in the new film “Phat Girlz,” the real story is the struggle yo get the movie made. Producer Bobby Newmyer simply ignored the first lesson taught in film school – never put up your own money. After pouring every dime he had into the production – including his kids – college fund – his gamble paid off when Fox Searchlight handed him a “phat” check for distribution rights. “I think it represents a milestone in that someone was gutsy enough to tell the story of a fat woman and of what they go through in this country,” Steven Imes, Mo’Nique’s brother, manager and producing partner, told Daily Variety. “Phat Girlz,” which also features Jimmy Jean-Louis, Godfrey and Kendra Johnson, follows an acid-tongued, aspiring fashion designer and another woman who are frustrated and obsessed by their weight. They’re thrown a major curveball when they meet the men of their dreams in unexpected ways.
CHEADLE IN TALKS TO STAR IN 9/11 FILM
Daily Variety is reporting that Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler are currently in talks to star in a Sony Pictures film dealing with Sept. 11. In the drama “Reign O’er Me,” Sandler would play a man still grieving over the loss of his family during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He runs into his former college roommate (Cheadle), who has become a doctor and who is determined to help his old buddy come to grips with his loss.
USHER SET FOR BIG SCREEN DEBUT
R&B singer Usher makes his big-screen debut as a leading man with the romantic comedy “In the Mix.”The 27-year-old Usher plays Darrell, a playboy New York City disc jockey who falls in love.
JAMIE FOXX DRAWS BLOOD
Jamie Foxx is to star in the Paramount Pictures film “Blood on the Leaves,” which follows the mysterious murders of a series of white racists who were acquitted of murdering blacks during the civil rights era. Foxx and his partners, Jamie Rucker King and Marcus King, will produce the film