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June 2001
©Blackflix.com™
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AALIYAH THE VAMPIRESS

   Aaliyah is will star in the movie "Queen of the Damned" from the book by vampire writer Anne Rice. Aaliyah will play a 6,000 year-old vampiress, queen mother of all vampires. Aaliyah told USA Today that she "had to tap into her evil side" for the film. Now, she's headed back to Australia where "Queen" was filmed in Australia and where Aaliyah is now to shoot the "The Matrix" sequels. In the "Matrix" films, she'll play Zee, and intends to do her own stunts.


"HOUZE" A HOME FOR LATIFAH

   The multi-talented Queen Latifah is negotiating a production and acting deal for the Disney/ Hyde Park Entertainment comedy "In the Houze." Latifah, may executive produce the project, and it would be her biggest film role yet. She'll play a female inmate, who creates an online relationship with an unsuspecting middleclass man. Of course, when she gets out of the pen, her computer cover is blown and the fun really begins.



A "WRINKLED" ALFRE WOODARD

   Alfre Woodard is on board to head the cast of "A WrinkleIn Time." The four-hour ABC miniseries, will also star Kate Nelligan and Kyle Secor. The film is based on the 1963 fantasy novel of the same name by Madeleine L'Engle about two kids who embark on a perilous quest through space to find their physicist father. The movie is scheduled to air next season on the "Wonderful World of Disney."



"LOCKDOWN" NOW WITH COLOMBIA

   Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has acquired worldwide rights to Palm Pictures' "Lockdown" starring Richard T. Jones (The Wood, Event Horizon), Gabriel Casseus (Get On The Bus), Melesa De Sousa (Best Man), Bill Nunn (He Got Game) and rapper Master P. The film, written by Preston Whitmore II (Fled, The Walking Dead), will be directed by John Lussenhop and produced by Jeff Clanagan.



P'DIDDY (AKA SEAN "PUFFY" COMBS) A MONSTER

   Sean "Puffy" Combs is in final negotiations to play Halle Berry's husband in Lions Gates' "Monster's Ball," an indie film also co-staring Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, and Peter Boyle. Thornton and Ledger play a father and son who work on an electric chair for a local prison. Combs will play Berry’s husband, who falls in love with Thornton’s character. Combs can also be seen in Artisan's mobster movie "Made," scheduled for release in July 2001.



SNIPES AN ABUSIVE FATHER

   Wesley Snipes recently wrapped work on the movie "ZigZag." The story is about Louis Fletcher (Sam Jones III), a 15-year-old autistic boy nick-named ZigZag, who steals $9,000 from his boss to provide rent money for his abusive father (Snipes). The father also owes money to a loan shark and while ZigZag's social worker (John Leguizamo) tries to help him out of the ugly situation, he only makes things worse.



PRAS HAS THREE GOING AT ONCE

   Rapper/Actor Pras recently completed work on the film, Higher Ed. and Urbanworld Films will distribute the college-comedy worldwide. But Pras is also in postproduction on the film, "Go For Broke," and is also preparing to produce and star in "The Last Ride" with Original King of Comedy Bernie Mac.



LL COOL J ROLLING ALONG

   L.L. Cool J and Chris Klein are set to star in this big-budget remake of the sci-fi cult classic, "Rollerball." The film profiles a rising rollerball star in a futuristic sport so deadly, it's only played in Central Asia. And though talented, the rookie player needs help to finally realize that his team's unscrupulous owner will do anything for ratings.



LASALLE GOES CRAZY

   "ER's" Eriq LaSalle will star in the independent film "Crazy as Hell," a movie he wrote and will also direct. "Crazy" is about a psychiatrist who films a documentary on the effect of psychiatry on the mentally ill. Filming began last month.


"HONEYBEE" SET TO STING

   R.A.P. FilmWorks production company will debut the female sports drama, "Honeybee" at the 25th Annual Atlanta Film & Video Festival on June 12 and June 15 at the Regal 24 Theaters. The film is about a black woman who pursues a boxing career, interrupting her college studies. The film stars Senait Ashen, James Avery, and Chrystale Wilson. The film's wider theatrical release date is still an unknown. For more info about the movie, cast, screenwriter, and director, visit: www.honeybee-themovie.com.


"SCARY" SEQUEL TAPS WOODS

   Marlon Brando, who originally agreed to do "Scary Movie 2" had to bow out of the role due to health issues, leaving the Wayans in a lurch. But now James Woods has signed on to take Brando's place as an exorcism performing priest. Brando had negotiated a $2 million deal for the cameo, but there's no word as to what Woods will receive.
The sequel reunites Keenan Ivory Wayans as director, with familial writers and stars Marlon and Shawn Wayans. The movie is scheduled to release with other summer flicks on July 4th.
The sequel should do well, considering "Scary Movie" marked the biggest opening for an R-rated film ($42.3 million) and the largest opening ever for a film by a black director.



MARIAH WISING UP

   After completing her semi-autobiographical "All That Glitters," Carey is teaming with Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino for the film "Wise Girls," about three waitresses working at a Mob-front restaurant. The duo end up as unexpected and inexperienced players in the "business."



GRIFFIN AN "UNDERCOVER BROTHER"

   "Undercover Brother," a comedy based on UrbanEntertainment.com's popular webseries of the same name, is currently filming in Toronto. Eddie Griffin will play an Austin Powers/James Bond/Shaft amalgum who disguises himself as yuppie black man sent to infiltrate the privileged world of whites to ensure equality for all people, regardless of race. He goes deep undercover for the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. to ensure fairplay for the minority.
   The movie was developed for Universal Pictures from a series of ten 3-5 minute webisodes that John Ridley developed for Urban Entertainment/Urban Media. The series debuted on urbanentertainment.com on March 31, 2000. Ridley previously provided the film world with "Three Kings," as well as Oliver Stone's "U-Turn."



SPIKE LIKES THE BROWN BOMBER

   The previously untitled Spike Lee project about Joe Lewis, the "Brown Bomber" has now been titled, "Save Us Joe Louis," and both Danny Glover and Samuel L. Jackson are currently negotiating to play Louis. We'll have to wait and see who wins out.
   The film explores the relationship between Louis and Germany's Max Schmeling. Louis lost the first match between the two men, but absolutely demolished Schmelling in their rematch in 1938. Adolph Hitler's personal desire was to see Louis defeated in the rematch to demonstrate German superiority over African- Americans, especially after the Jesse Owens triumph at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. \
   The movie will also explore the aftermath of the 1938 bout, revealing how one man would become dogged by tax problems, drug abuse, and poverty, ending up as a Los Vegas doorman, while the other would become a pariah, shunned by the nation that once loved him.



CHRIS TUCKER IN A RUSH

   Chris Tucker will rejoin Jackie Chan in the hard-hitting, action/comedy "Rush Hour 2" as the streetwise L.A. cop (Tucker) travels to Hong Kong to help his Chinese police inspector friend (Chan) fight a ruthless triad gang. Fist-in-the-face action and humor naturally ensue.



ARE THERE GHOSTS ON MARS?

   Ice Cube and Natasha Henstridge have wrapped production on "Ghosts of Mars," a sci-fi horror thriller set in 2176 that follows a group of future-cops escorting a deadly criminal (Cube) to a remote prison on the red planet. After their arrival, they find the facility has been overrun with evil, extraterrestrial spirits.



HAMMER TIME A REALITY

   One of our previously reported rumors is coming true: Hammer, the movie, will soon be a reality. Music video channel VH1, will begin work on "MC Hammer," a telepic about the famed rapper's rise and fall, from childhood, to superstardom, to financial collapse, to focusing on God. VH1 has found its star in actor Romany Malco, who co-stars in the Steven Seagal film "Ticker," for the title role. Production on the film began last month in Houston.



CRAZY LIKE A FOXX

   Jamie Foxx has a development deal with Paramount Picture's Nickelodeon Movies to write, executive produce and star in a family comedy tentatively titled "We Do," about a bachelor, played by Foxx, who marries into a huge family, as seen through the eyes of his 12 year-old nephew-in-law.



SNOOP AND TYRESE HAVING A "BABY" EXPERIENCE

   "Baby Boy," John Singleton's new coming-of-age in the hood flick stars Tyrese, Snoop Dogg, Ving Rhames, and Omar Gooding. It's about a young man (Tyrese), living in South Central LA, who ends up having to face off with his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend (Snoop). But co-starring wasn't enough for the music duo. The two have also collaborated on the movie's album. The soundtrack hits stores on June 29, and the lead track, "Just A Baby Boy," features both Tyrese and Snoop. A video has already been shot for the song.



BUSTA AND BANKS IN HALLOWEEN 8

   After seven, yes count them, seven sequels, Busta Rhymes is set to star alongside Tyra Banks in the upcoming flick "Halloween 8." To be directed by TV vet Rick Rosenthal, the film is in pre-production. Rosenthal's TV work includes "Providence," "Early Edition," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He also directed the first "Halloween" sequel, 1981's "Halloween II."



MATRIX RELOADED

   We reported in an earlier issue that Laurence Fishburne will reprise his role from "The Matrix." We now know for sure that Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving will rejoin him. After completing preliminary photography in Oakland in June, the production will take a hiatus until September and then relocate to Sydney, Australia, where filming will continue at the Australian branch of Fox Studios. "The Matrix Reloaded" will hit theaters in 2002 and be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. In selected territorries, distribution will be handled by Village Roadshow Pictures.



DAMON WAYONS IN MUSICAL

   Damon Wayans is currently shooting "Marci X" for Paramount Pictures. According to Variety, the film co-stars Lisa Kudrow and has eight songs sung by the pair. Also look for a cameo from Rev. Ike, who holds court during a huge rap scene in the film.


MALCOM LEE DIRECTING IN THE BUFF

   Director Malcolm Lee (The Best Man, Undercover Brother) will adapt an article titled "Chaps in the Hood" that appeared in Nerve, the print companion to Nerve.com, and then direct the film project which is currently titled "Buck Wild." The movie will portray the double lives of male strippers who work in low-key jobs by day and perform in a Harlem nightclub at night, before hundreds of over-stimulated ladies.



CHRIS ROCK HUNTS MICROBES

   Chris Rock will co-star with David Hyde Pierce in a live-action/animation blended comedy that examines an everyday construction worker who falls sick, and the street-wise cop (Rock) who tracks down the offending microbe with the help of a straightlaced and cold-hearted researcher (Pierce).



GLITTER UPDATE

   We now know that Mariah Carey's semi-autobiographical release "All thet Glitters" is set for theatrical release on Friday, August 31, 2001. The film also stars Max Beesley and is being directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. The musical plot follows a young singer (Carey), who rises from the poverty of the Reagan-era projects to become the toast of the early 1980s New York club scene.