Mekhi Phifer
An "Uninvited Guest."

   Those watching the promising young career of Mekhi (Mu-khy) Phifer will be glad to hear that the star will be in the upcoming suspense thriller "Uninvited Guest" with singer Wanya Morris. The film (which opened in limited realase at the end of September in selected cities) also stars Mel Jackson, Mari Marrow and Melinda Williams.


Jay-Z To Be Real Gangsta'

   Jay-Z's big screen rapumentary "Backstage" opened in theaters on Sept. 6, and while the short documentary examined the 1999 hip-hop tour "Hard Knock Life," which featured Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, Redman, and Ja Rule, Jay-Z's next stint behind the camera is on a film depicting the lives of notorious New York gangsters. Quite a switch. Well, sort of.
   The title and release date are still in the conference room as of this writing.



Snoop Just A Ghost Of Former Self

   Snoop Doggy Dogg is a 20 year-old ghost in New Line Cinema's "Bones" set to hit theaters in October. The movie also features blaxploitation star Pam Grier as the dead Snoop's girlfriend. The film is about a ghost who returns to haunt his killers. (Yeah, okay, we've seen this plot before, but we can hope!) The film was directed by Ernest Dickerson.



Larenz Tate Featured In New Indie Film

Larenz Tate ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love") and Deborah Cox (her film debut) are the co-stars in the independently produced upcoming Clement Virgo film "Love Come Down" along with fellow actor Martin Cummins from TV's "Poltergiest." The film (the followup Clement Virgo film after his award winning "Rude") premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
This marks Virgo's second direction of one of his own screenplays.
"It's nice to be working with my own material again, to be in my own head and making this as personal as possible."


Samuel L. Jackson: From Rave Scene To Road Rage

Samuel L. Jackson is scheduled to wrap filming in November on the underworld/rave themed action-comedy, "51st State" in Liverpool, England. The story follows an American chemist who tries to bring a new designer drug into Europe but ends up trapped in Liverpool's underworld and rave scene instead.
Not skipping a beat, Jackson will next re-team with "Shaft" producer Scott Rudin and begin filming "Changing Lanes" with veteran actor Morgan Freeman, about a lawyer and a businessman who get into a road-rage war over a minor fender bender. The film will co-star Ben Affleck.


Halle Set To Double-Cross John Travolta For Big Bucks

Halle Berry will receive her highest payday yet, an estimated $2.5 million, for her role as a Travolta employee/ undercover agent in Warner Brothers' "Swordfish."
The film stars John Travolta as a spy recruited by the CIA who, in turn, recruits actor Hugh Jackman, a hi-tech computer hacker newly released from prison. The goal is to steal $6 billion in "they'll never miss it" government funds. Don Cheadle has also joined the cast.



Hip-hopper Nelly To "Snipe" Big Screen

Hip-hopster, Nelly, (born Cornell Haynes, Jr. and not to be left out of Hollywood's recent musician to actor craze) is ready to start filming in October for his big screen debut in the movie "Snipes." He'll play, what else, a hip-hop artist kidnapped just before the release of his much touted debut album.



"Big Trouble" for Omar Epps

   Disney's Touchstone studio is hoping for a family hit in 2001 with "Big Trouble," a comedy of ensemble characters such as a divorced dad, an unhappy houswife, cops, kids, FBI agent Omar Epps, a homeless man, a 300-pound toad, and a 13-foot-long python named Daphne. Their lives become intertwined when a nuclear device inside a suitcase is is discovered in a Miami airport.
   The Screenplay was written by Matthew Stone based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning (Miami Herald) humor columnist Dave Barry.



"Atikka!" Cable Goes Where Studios Fear To Tread – Yet Again!

   Morris Chestnut (The Best Man, Boyz 'N The Hood) Alan Alda ("Mash"), and Rose McGowan (Kiss & Tell) are set to finish principal photography on the Showtime Original Picture "Atikka," a courtroom drama about Bernard Stroble (Chestnut), a black inmate accused of murdering two cons during the "Atikka" prison riots. Look for this one in 2001.