Garrett Morris Hits "Jackpot"

   Sony Pictures Classics is gambling its summer box office on the road drama "Jackpot,"about an aspiring country singer (Jon Gries) and his road manager (Garrett Morris), who hit the road in a desperate search for a fan base only to find themselves on the karaoke circuit.


British-African Author, Ike Eze-Anyika, To See Novel On Big Screen

   UK's Loud Mouse Productions are developing an adaptation of Brit-African novelist Eze-Anyika cult book 'Canteen Culture'. It revolves around 5 Metropolitan beat cops who are tired of being treated like doorsteps by the public, and after they find a million quid of drug money in the back of a car they pulled over, they decide to keep it. But everything falls apart as the men become paranoid over who to and who not to trust.


"Death Row" Documentary

   Xenon Pictures is debuting "Welcome To Death Row" about the rise and fall of Death Row Records and CEO Suge Knight. Billed as "the American dream gone insane," the film chronicles the beginnings of the infamous label. The label's silent partner Michael Harris, who alleges betrayal put him in jail early in the label's history, helped with the documentary that promises to reveal label and record industry secrets.



"Double Take" May Have Sequel

   Disney has already given a green light on the idea of a sequel for comedians Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones to make another comedy action flick based on "Double Take."



Jada Pinkett Joins Hubby Will In "Ali"

   Jada Pinkett Smith and her real-life hubby Will Smith will play the roles of husband and wife in Columbia Pictures' "Ali". Pinkett Smith has joined the cast as Sonji Roi, Ali's first wife. Roi, was a cocktail waitress and model who married Ali in 1964. But her conflict with his extreme loyalty to the Nation Of Islam was blamed for the end of their marriage less than two years later. Pinkett Smith will shoot her role in "Ali" and then jet to Australia in March to join the second and third installments of "The Matrix." After "The Matrix" this busy actor is scheduled to star in Fox Searchlight's "Kingdom Come."


More News On "Black Sheep"

   Chris Rock will, in fact, star with Anthony Hopkins in Disney's "Black Sheep" which begins shooting in March. Rock will be a street hustler whose identical twin is a Harvard-educated secret agent. When his twin is killed by the enemy, Rock is called in by the CIA to finish his brother's job. Hopkins will play the veteran CIA agent who must now coach Rock's through the mission.
   Rumor has it that Rock's next film will be a romantic comedy in which he plays an infertile husband.


Sisqo To Show Acting Skills

R&B singer Sisqo is in talks to co-star in the Disney film "Winterdance"with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and James Coburn. It's a true story that follows one man's 17-day dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome. Sisqo will play Gooding's cousin.



MTV's New Original Movies For Television Division

   Brian Graden, president of programming for Viacom-owned MTV, announced that the channel has the green light and is going into production on "Carmen: A Hip Hopera" and "Spring Break Lawyer," the next two films out of MTV's new original movies for television division. Both films will begin production immediately in Los Angeles. "Carmen: A Hip Hopera," will premier in the 2nd Quarter of 2001, and will star Beyonce Knowles (from R&B group "Destiny's Child") and Mekhi Phifer (Spike Lee's "Clockers" and HBO Original Movie "A Lesson Before Dying"). "Spring Break Lawyer," will air on March 23, 2000.
   In a statement, Maggie Malina, who heads up the original movies for television division of MTV, described "Carmen: A Hip Hopera" as "the first hip-hop musical --a contemporary, urban retelling of the classic opera Carmen, where drama is found in verse, and emotions spill out in song."



Ice Cube Is Bounty Hunting

   Ice Cube and Mike Epps will star in the action-comedy "All About the Benjamins" about a bounty hunter, Cube, and a bail jumper, Epps, who find themselves in the wrong place at the
wrong time. The project begins shooting in March, but is still needs a distributor. Cube was in a first-look deal with New Line Cinema but he terminated the deal after New Line rejected virtually all of his project ideas.



Raven Symone Is All Grown Up And Busy

   Raven Symone was the littlest thing on "The Cosby Show," but now she's a big girl. She will soon star in a film alongside rapper Lil' Zane and will also play Eddie Murphy's daughter in "Dr. Dolittle 2." She is also getting ready to record a new album due out this year.