Forest Whitaker Is Getting The Work

   Forest Whitaker is in talks to star with Colin Farrell in Fox's "Phone Booth," to be directed by Joel Schumacher. The project is scheduled to start shooting early in January. Whitaker will then segue to Columbia Pictures' "The Panic Room," for director David Fincher.

Mykelti May Be "ALI" Promoter

   Mykelti Williamson is in final negotiations to star as Don King in the Columbia Pictures film, which also stars Will Smith in the title role.

Dance Film Accepted For Sundance Festival

   Reggie Rock Bythewood's film "Dancing In September," has been accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. The film is about the "the clash between love and ambition" at a television network. Bythewood has many years of experience as a writer for shows like "A Different World" and "New York Undercover." "Dancing In September" stars Nicole Ari Parker, Isaiah Washington, and Vicellous Reon Shannon, and debuts on HBO, February 3.

Hammer To Drop On

   The life and times of Oakland native "Hammer" is headed to VH-1. The tele-film will be written by Eugene Corr. All the production team have to do now is find someone with Hammer's rubber legs.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. Bites The "Bullet"

   Cuba Gooding, Jr. will lend his voice to the upcoming Disney animated western "Sweating Bullets." The film will also star the voices of Dame Judi Dench, Ja'Net DuBois, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Chris Rock To Be A Black Sheep

   With the demise of "The Chris Rock Show" the comedian is now negotiating with Walt Disney to star in "Black Sheep," for producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The project is targeted for a March start date. A director has not yet come aboard.

Eddie Griffin Gets Lead Role

   Eddie Griffin has captured the lead in "Undercover Brother," an urban film based on an animated web series. The story follows the secret exploits of a member of a brotherhood that works to overcome oppression from the establishment. To infiltrate establishment groups, Griffin's character adopts the persona of Antoine, whom producers describe as a "Mayonnaise-loving, Gap-wearing, 'Friends'-watching black man."
   Malcolm Lee will direct the film for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.

Murphy Could Do Remake – Yet Again

   With his remake success of late, why not keep it up? Having revamped the roles of the Nutty Professor and Dr.Dolittle, Eddie Murphy could be reviving the Bill Cosby role in an "I Spy" remake for Sony Pictures. The 1960s TV series, marked the first leading role for a black actor on a dramatic television show.

Venus And Serena To Be Topic of Fox Family Channel Movie

   Fox Family Channel is developing a two-hour television movie based on the authorized real-life story of coach, father and mentor Richard Williams and his relations hip with his daughters, tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams.
   "This is a movie about an extraordinary family with an unbreakable drive to realize the American dream," said Tom Halleen, SVP, Primetime Programming & Development, Fox Family Channel, in making the announcement. "Although Richard Williams is sometimes a controversial figure, he is an extremely dedicated and loyal father, who has tirelessly committed himself to his children and encouraged them to rise above their circumstances to achieve unimaginable success."
   The script is being written by Emmy Award winning writer, Paris Qualles, and will be produced by Artists Television Group (ATG) and AMG Sports. The movie will chronicle the saga of a family from Compton, California who managed, with love and sheer determination, to rise about difficult life circumstances and achieve astounding success. But there is some concern whether records of possible spousal abuse will be addressed in the film.
   According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, RichardWIlliams, father of tennis phenoms Serena and Venus Williams, was investigated for suspicion of abusing the girl's mother in 1997 and 1999, by Sheriff's deputies. Richard Williams said he was in Chicago when his wife received the injuries. Venus and Serena Williams went to the hospital with their mother. Serena told a deputy if she had seen someone injureher mother she would have said so. Venus was "adamant" it was not her mother's wish to say anything about the injuries.