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April 2003
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CHEADLE’S DIRECTING DEBUT

Don Cheadle is re-teaming with "Ocean’s 11" co-star George Clooney for the thriller "Tishomingo Blues." In addition to starring in the film, Cheadle will also make his directorial debut with the film. Clooney and Steven Soderbergh will produce. The film is about a circus high diver who witnesses a Mafia hit at a Mississippi casino. The film is based on the novel by "Get Shorty" author Elmore Leonard.



ICE CUBE IS A CAPTAIN AHAB

Ice Cube has a whale of work on his hands. The rapper/actor/director will star and this time also produce in the project "The Whale." The story follows a gambler and a hotel manager who team to knock over a casino. The title is a take-off of the term casinos use for their rich, high-roller visitors. No word yet on when lensing will start.



ANTHONY ANDERSON ACTING SCARED

Anthony Anderson of "Barbershop" and "Two Can Play That Game" has signed on for the latest "Scary Movie" sequel. The film will also star husband and wife team Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, as well as Regina King. Filming began last month and is expected in theaters on October 3, 2003.



BERRY IS THE CAT’S MEOW

Halle Berry has won the role of Catwoman in the planned Warner Bros. spinoff of Batman. Ashley Judd and Nicole Kidman had been offered the role, but both had to pass. But guess what? Berry's not the first black woman to play Catwoman. That honor belongs to Eartha Kitt. Kitt donned the whiskers and tail in the 1960s Batman TV series. The film is still in the planning stages.



QUEEN GETS "WRIGHT"

Even as her latest film brings in big box-office bucks, Queen Latifah has already been signed by Disney to star in the romantic comedy "Just Wright." The film studies a physical therapist (Latifah) helping a star basketball player recover from a career threatening injury, but the athlete starts to fall in love with her. No word on when production will begin.



EPPS IS CURSED

Former "Scream" actors are now "Cursed." Former cast members of Wes Craven’s teen slasher have joined him for the film "Cursed." Skeet Ulrich, Omar Epps, Christina Ricci, Scott Foley, Scott Baio, and Corey Feldman are all on board for the project."Cursed" is about three strangers whose lives are intertwined one night in Los Angeles. The film is expected to hit theaters in 2004.


DENZEL ON FIRE

Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Christopher Walken have teamed for the film "Man On Fire." The film, now in production, is about a former Marine (Washington) who's hired to protect a young girl, but when the girl is kidnapped, he then dedicates his life to finding her.



BERNIE MAC PIMPIN’

"Lil’ Pimp" will be the first feature film created entirely by Macromedia Flash animation, a format actually intended for the Internet. The Columbia Pictures project has Mark Brooks, Peter Gilstrap, Bernie Mac, and Carmen Electra doing the voice work on this animated erotic comedy that is definitely not for kids. The story follows the escapades of a pimp, the white, freckle-faced Lil’ Pimp, and his mom, dad and multi-colored friends and ladies. The film originally was, and still is, an animated made-for-Internet racy comedy series. It’s set for release on October 34, 2003, but Sony has pulled the film from their theatrical schedule entirely, suggesting that it might go direct to video, cable, or maybe even "direct to Internet" via Sony's new Video on Demand service.



EPPS AND CEDRIC HONEY-
MOONING

Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer are in negotiations to star in a remake of the classic ‘50s sitcom "The Honeymooners." Cedric would reprise the Jackie Gleason role of Ralph Kramden, while Epps would star as his neighbor and sidekick Ed Norton, the role Art Carney made famous.



WRIGHT IS AN MVP

N'Bushe Wright, who played Dr. Karen Jenson in "Blade" has just signed to co-star with Obba Babatundé in the upcoming drama "MVP." The film is in post production and is expected to be in theaters sometime this year.



LOST BOYS FOUND ON FILM

Director Brad Silberling will direct and produce Paramount Pictures' "Lost Boys," a true story inspired by the real-life story of a group of young boys from Sudan who, 15 years ago, saw their villages and families burn during Sudan's civil war. Ages 7-11, they began walking out of the region, and soon the small group became hundreds - then thousands. Many died along the way as they struggled over deserts and mountains. They ate wet mud and drank their own urine to stay alive. In 1992, the emaciated children arrived at a refugee camp in Kenya, where they survived on one meal a day of wheat flour and maize. In 2000, the U.S. government began bringing the now-grown boys to America, where they began new lives in communities that included Denver, Colorado.



MOS DEF TURNING OUT THE LIGHTS

Mos Def joins a band of thieves, led by Mark Wahlberg, to pull off the ultimate heist. In "The Italian Job" the team rigs all the stoplights in Los Angeles so they can drive right out of the city with a car full of gold. With nothing but greenlights, while everyone else gets redlights, the thieves create the largest traffic jam in L.A. history, with the police left trying to pursue them. The project is set for release on May 30, 2003.



TYRESE AN EX-CON

Ex-con Tyrese teams with former cop Paul Walker to transport a shipment of "dirty" money in the Universal Pictures project "2 Fast 2 Furious." The film also costars Ludacris and follows the adventures of the two friends as they attempt to take down a shady Miami-based import-export dealer. The film is set for release on June 5, 2003.



VING IS ENVIOUS

Ving Rhames will costar with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Rachel Weisz in the Dreamworks comedy film "Envy." When one friend (Black) becomes stinking rich by selling an invention, the other friend and neighbor and co-worker (Stiller) starts to go crazy with envy. The film is set to open June 6, 2003.



KIETH DAVID INVOLVED IN HOMICIDE

"Pitch Black" costar Kieth David will next be seen in Columbia Pictures’ "Hollywood Homicide," about two LAPD homicide detectives who moonlight in other fields while trying to take down a notorious rap label boss who arranges the death of rap artists who want to get out of their contracts. The film also stars Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnet as the dynamic duo. The film hits theaters June 13, 2003.



S.W.A.T. BOSS JOB FOR JACKSON

Samuel L. Jackson will play a grizzled veteran Los Angeles S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics) officer who is given a second chance when the unit is charged with the protection of a dangerous criminal. With no protection team as a standard part of the unit, Jackson is forced to rabble together a unique new team to protect the high-profile mobster. Columbia Pictures is behind S.W.A.T. and plans to release the film August 8, 2003.



BUSTA RHYMES GETS BLOOD MONEY

Contemporary action film "Blood Money" began production last month. It’s being directed by video helmer Mink and will combine elements of both the urban action and Western genres. It stars Busta Rhymes and Xzibit in the story of Pope (Rhymes), a loner who drifts into a small town to bury his father and finds himself battling local thugs, corrupt cops and even the friends he brought in to help him clean up the town. No word yet on when lensing will be completed. Others cast for the film are rappers Prodigy and Spliff Star, model Shakara, comedienne Ellen Cleghorn, 7-year-old rapper-actor Bobb'e J and sports personalities/actors Tiny Lister and Bubba Smith.



MORGAN FREEMAN GOES MUSICAL

Actor Morgan Freeman is getting ready to do a hip-hop musical called "Colors Straight Up." The film is reportedly based on the Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name about two teachers who use music and the stage to unite students. Filming on the project begins in June.



DJIMON HOUNSOU ROCKING THE CRADLE

"Lara Croft and the Cradle of Life: Tomb Raider 2" is on its way with Djimon Hounsou on board. This time around, archaeologist and explorer Lara Croft treks to a sunken temple that hides a sphere that holds the mythical Pandora's Box, only to have it stolen by a Chinese crime syndicate that wants to use the Box as a doomsday weapon. Paramount Pictures says to look for the adventure on the big screen July 25, 2003.



GOODING A CHOIR DIRECTOR

Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Mike Epps wrapped their work on Paramount’s "The Fighting Temptations" in late October, 2002. Gooding plays an LA hip-hop producer who is called back to his Alabama hometown when his wealthy aunt dies. But to collect a sizeable inheritance he has to form a gospel choir, and lead them to success. Epps plays the "country boy" cousin who knows his way around town and takes Gooding in hand. The big screen debut is scheduled for August 8, 2003.



NICK CANNON HIRES GIRLFRIEND

Warner Bros. is ready to release "If You Were My Girl" staring Nick Cannon, Christina Milian and Steve Harvey. In the project, an unpopular teenage boy (Cannon) hires a cheerleader (Milian) to pose as his girlfriend to improve his reputation in school. But the plan blows up in a series of romantic-comedy misadventures. Look for the film to be in movie houses on December 12, 2003.



KELLY ROWLAND FIGHTING EVIL

Kelly Rowland, Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger and Jason Ritter are done lensing New Line Cinema’s "Freddy Vs. Jason." The plot follows a group of teenagers stuck in the middle of a battle between two forces of evil: silent stalker Jason Voorhees (Hodder) and dream master Freddy Krueger (Englund). The battle rages from Elm Street to the finale fought at Camp Crystal Lake. The film is set for release on August 15, 2003.



HARPER A BONE EATER

Hill Harper, Marlyne Afflack and Mark Taylor co-star in "Eating the Bones," Hungry Eyes/Film Food, Inc’s sexy urban comedy about a guy, addicted to watching pornography, who discovers love is stronger than fantasy when he meets and falls in love with the girl of his dreams.



VIVICA A. FOX AN ASSASSIN

Vivica A. Fox, Uma Thurman, David Carradine, and Samuel L. Jackson will co-star in Quentin Tarantino’s "Kill Bill." This film noir adventure is about an assassin (Thurman) who is double-crossed and shot down at her wedding along with all the guests by her employer, Bill (Carradine) and others in their assassins circle. She, survives, but lies in a coma for five years. When she finally wakes up she has only one thought in mind ... revenge. She goes globetrotting, to kill each of them, saving Bill for last. The movie is set for theatrical release on October 10th, 2003.



DUNCAN A DRAGON KILLER

Michael Clarke Duncan will co-star with James Purefoy, Piper Perabo, and Patrick Swayze in director Tom Reeve’s "George and the Dragon." Set in 12th century England, it’s a retelling of the legend of St. George (Purefoy), patron saint of England, and his battle with a dragon to rescue a princess (Perabo). Duncan plays the Moorish fighting friend of Sir George. The film has a planned release date of October 23, 2003, but without a U.S. distributor on board yet, that date might be wishful thinking.



DOURDAN SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS

Television’s "CSI" crime buster Gary Dourdan and actor Joshua Feinman have been cast to star in Allen L. Sowelle’s "Slipping Into Darkness." Sowelle is both writer and director for the film. No word yet on the movie’s premise, but Sowelle has already and perhaps optimistically set an opening date of November 13, 2003, but at this point that date is definitely subject to change.