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June 2002
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'UNDERCOVER BROTHER' SEQUEL ALREADY IN WORKS

Even though Eddie Griffin's new movie "Undercover Brother" hits the big screens today, plans are already in the works at Universal for a sequel. Typically, studios will decide whether or not to make a follow-up based on the success of the current project. But Griffin says that "producer, Brian Grazer, has already talked to me about a sequel, and I've said 'Hell, yes!'" The sequel is expected to made next year.



FOX IN SCAM

Word has it that comedian Jamie Foxx just signed on to star in Sly Stallone's new film "Shade." Foxx joins Thandi Newton, Stuart Townsend and Gabriel Byrne in the cast for the film about a small-time LA gangster who's hustled by Stallone's gang. The film is about a group of poker sharks who join up with Stallone to scam an L.A. gangster.



B. MAC & C. ROCK TO SHARE SCREEN

Dreamworks "Head of State," written by Chris Rock and Ali Leroi, will star Rock and Bernie Mac with Rock directing. The story is about an alderman, Mays Gilliam (played by Rock) who is chosen to be a presidential nominee. Gilliam selects his unsophisticated brother, played by Mac, to be his vice-presidential running mate. Bernie Mac is in final negotiations with film makers. The film will go into production in July while Mac's on vacation from "The Bernie Mac Show."



JACKSON S.W.A.T.s AT BIG SCREEN

Samuel L. Jackson is reportedly negotiating to join the cast of the big screen adaptation of the 1970s TV hit S.W.A.T. If Jackson takes on the role, he will portray the head of an elite police unit trying to deliver a drug lord to the feds. Filming begins later this year.



BERRY GETTING FOXY

Oscar winner Halle Berry plans to star in the remake of the 1974 blaxploitation film "Foxy Brown," which starred Pam Grier in the original. Berry will also executive produce the film. In addition, Berry will also star in the indie flick "Brown-Eyed Girl," which she again will also executive produce. "Brown-Eyed Girl" is about the trials and tribulations of love and life of the modern woman. In between time, Berry is finishing up work on the new Bond film "Die Another Day," and is getting ready to begin filming the next "X-Men" installment.



MURPHY GETTING BIG BUCKS FOR SHREK 2

Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy are receiving $560,000-an-hour to lend their voices to the animated movie, "Shrek 2," for an estimated total of $9.8 million. Shrek 2 is the follow-up to the computer generated comedy, which made $266 million in America last year. Producer Jeffrey Katzenburg says, "I think they contribute an immeasurable amount to these films. Each of them will work somewhere around 15 to 18 hours in total - and they deserve every single penny they will get."



BASSET MASKED

Angela Bassett has been added to the cast of Intermedia Films' project "Masked & Anonymous," with Bob Dylan. The film follows the story of Jack Fate (Dylan), a wandering troubadour brought out of prison by his former manager for one last concert, a charity benefit. Bassett would play Mistress, who has a past with Fate. The cast also includes Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges.



UPCOMING FROM URBAN

After "Undercover Brother," Imagine Entertainment and Urban Entertainment are in negotiation to re-team for another film. The companies, are negotiating to release the comedy "Pookie Poo." This film, also based on an UrbanEntertainment.com animated series, is about a man who wakes up to find he's the only black person in the U.S.


SANAA GETS DENZEL & DEAN

Sanaa Lathan has signed on to star opposite Denzel Washington in the crime flick "Out of Time." The film is about a small town cop, played by Washington, who gets caught up in affairs with two women. One to be played by Lathan, the other played by Eva Mendes, who played opposite Washington in "Training Day." Lathan is surrounded by hunks in the film. Dean Cain is currently in talks to play her character's husband. "Out of Time" begins filming next February.


LUDACRIS TO STAR, PRODUCE

Ludacris is set to star, executive produce and contribute tracks to an upcoming comedy, tentatively titled, "Skip Day." It's about a high school student, to be played by Ludacris, and his friends who are transferred to a suburban school and help plan a senior ditch day. Luda pitched the idea to helm the Paramount/MTV Films project and apparently has the go ahead.



TYRESE FURIOUS AND EXTORTED

R&B singer Tyrese is in talks to replace Vin Diesel in the sequel to "The Fast and the Furious," with Paul Walker for Universal Pictures. The singer has also reportedly made a deal with the studio to star in the thriller "Extortion." Tyrese will also handle executive producing duties. John Singleton is expected to direct.



VIN DIESEL ACTION SEQUEL

"XXX," starring Vin Diesel, is set to hit screens Aug. 2nd. But already there are plans for "XXX2." According to the Hollywood Reporter, "XXX" is about an extreme sports athlete and adrenaline addict (played by Diesel) who is hired by the U.S. government to help bring down Russian Mafia men who are planning to "wreak havoc on the world." Revolution Studios expects the movie to be a hit, so it is planning to begin production on the sequel soon. Diesel was reportedly paid $10 million for the original project.



MICHELLE TO LOSE GUY

Former "ER" cast member Michael Michelle, who also starred in "Ali," has will join the cast of the upcoming romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." The film is about a womanizer who makes a bet to stay committed to one woman for 10 days.



JAMIE FOXX AS RAY CHARLES

Jamie Foxx will star as legendary musician Ray Charles in Crusader Entertainment's "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story." "Unchain" follows Charles' rags-to-riches story. A shooting schedule is still being worked out.



TUCKER IN THE PINK

Chris Tucker is reportedly in talks to portray Inspector Clouseau in an upcoming remake of "The Pink Panther." No more info right now, but we'll keep digging.



ICE CUBE TO PRODUCE

Rapper/actor Ice Cube has just finished working on the upcoming film "Barbershop" and is negotiating a deal to executive produce the comedy "Race," for his company CubeVision. The film is about a cab driver who becomes a NASCAR racer. Don't look to find Cube on the screen though, he will reportedly remain behind the scenes.



LEE MAKES GOAL

Spike Lee and director John Kilik of Forty Acres and A Mule Filmworks, are set to produce the film "The Goal." The film is about a young man who rises from a Rio de Janeiro ghetto to become a world-class soccer player, but is later faced with a career-ending tragedy. 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, TMG Productions and 11:24 Design Films will host a benefit screening of "The Goal" for potential financial, distributing partners and the media, during the Cannes film festival.



WILL TO SHARE KISS WITH J.LO

After "Men In Black: II" hits theaters, Will Smith is ready for another big project. He is set to team with Jennifer Lopez for the film, "Last First Kiss." The romantic comedy reportedly casts Smith as a matchmaker who says his company can find everyone's perfect match. Skeptical reporter Lopez attempts to discredit him.



GOODING IN RADIO

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris have signed on to play in the film "Radio" about a football coach and a mentally challenged man.



WHO WILL BE THE NEXT "PRESIDENT?"

Chris Rock and Chris Tucker are locked in a battle which ha become very bitter - to become America's first black president. The comedians are feuding over which one stole the other's idea to make a movie about a fictional African-American president. Both Tucker, 29, and Rock, 36, are writing and preparing separate comedies. Both are listed as directors and will play the lead role. Tucker's is entitled "Mr. President," while Rock's is called "Head Of State." But while Tucker clearly came up with the concept as early as 1999, Rock will start shooting in July with co-star Bernie Mac as we mentioned in a notice earlier on this page. Tucker's project is listed as "inactive".



DIESEL BACK TO PITCH BLACK

Universal Pictures has closed a deal with "Pitch Black" writer-director David Twohy to helm the film's sequel, "Riddick," with Vin Diesel back on board to reprise the title role. The project will begin shooting by the end of the year. The project continues the adventures of Riddick, the brooding convict who in the first feature was being transported as part of a space mission that was shipwrecked on a mysterious planet. The sequel is expected to flesh out the dark and corrupted universe that was only partially glimpsed in the first installment.