Contact Us

September 2003
©Blackflix.com™
Cover Page
Table Of Contents
 

WILL SMITH LANDS GARDNER STORY

Columbia Pictures has acquired the "Chris Gardner Project," based on the rags-to-riches story of a Chicago businessman, for Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. The project is being developed as a starring vehicle for Smith. Gardner's story is the real-life tale of circumstances that left Gardner jobless and homeless at age 30. He found himself and his baby son living in a bathroom at a San Francisco train station. Gardner eventually landing a job as a stock broker-trainee and rose through the ranks until he was partner and owner of the Chicago-based minority brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co. and became a self-made millionaire.



CHEADLE SET TO CRASH

Don Cheadle is set to star in Bull's Eye Entertainment’s ensemble drama "Crash." Production begins in the fall. The project reunites Cheadle with Bull's Eye after their film, "Tishomingo Blues." "Blues" is in preproduction. "Crash," is described as being in the style of "Pulp Fiction" and "Traffic." It follows a multiethnic cast through the streets of Los Angeles as they bounce in and out of one another's lives.



NIA LONG GETTING ROMANTIC

Nia Long is in negotiations to star opposite Jude Law in "Alfie," Paramount Pictures' remake of the 1966 romantic comedy. In the update of "Alfie," Law will star as a womanizer forced to rethink his superficial existence. Long will portray Lonette, a beautiful waitress who has just dumped Alfie's best friend, Marlon. The project begins shooting in September.



RAVEN DISNEY’S ALL-AMERICAN GIRL

Raven Symone, the 17-year-old actress who got her start as a three-year-old on "The Cosby Show," will star in the feature comedy "Disney's All-American Girl." Produced by Debra Martin Chase ("The Princess Diaries"), "All-American Girl" is based on the best-selling novel from "The Princess Diaries" author Meg Cabot. Raven will star as a young girl who inadvertently saves the life of the president of the United States and becomes a national hero.



SMITH MAY REPLACE PITT

Due to scheduling conflicts that led to losing leading lady Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt is set to leave Regency Enterprises' "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," project. But sources said "Smith" hasn't hit the end of the road, a name being bandied about to replace Pitt is Will Smith. The project centers on a bored married couple who discover that they are enemy assassins hired to kill each other.



EPPS’ "CURSED" ON HOLD

If you’re waiting for Wes Craven's latest effort, "Cursed," you may end up waiting longer than you thought. Dimension Films has put the modern twist on the classic werewolf tale on an extended hiatus with just four weeks left on the shooting schedule. Dimension sources indicated top executives weren't happy with the film's ending or how the special effects were progressing. "Cursed" began production in March and stars Christina Ricci, Omar Epps, Skeet Ulrich, Shannon Elizabeth, and Scott Foley.



JACKSON MAY TAKE 'DAY' JOB

Samuel L. Jackson is in early negotiations to star as controversial Richmond (Calif.) High School basketball coach Ken Carter in Paramount Pictures' "Back in the Day."



BLADE 3 SET TO SHOOT

Wesley Snipes is set to make the latest installment in New Line Cinema's "Blade" franchise. "Van Wilder" star Ryan Reynolds will give the action genre a try as he is in final negotiations to costar. In "Blade: Trinity," Reynolds would play an acerbic vampire hunter who is in league with Snipes' Blade character. A September start date is planned for the Vancouver shoot.



BERRY AND STONE IN CAT FIGHT

Warner Bros. Pictures must be hoping that Sharon Stone isn't allergic to cats because the studio has offered the actress a starring role as the female villain in "Catwoman." The part would pit her against Halle Berry, who's set for the title role. Stone is expected to sign on to the film. If Stone does accept, she would play Laurel, who is both the public face of a cosmetics company as well as the brains behind an evil operation she runs with her husband. "Catwoman" producers also have their eye on Josh Lucas for the role of Detective Lone, Catwoman's love interest.



DMX THRILLER SET

Fox Searchlight has officially landed the rights to the new DMX flick, "Never Die Alone," which is currently in post-production. The urban thriller based on the life of a gangster also stars David Arquette, Michael Ealy, and Reagan Preston-Gomez. According to Fox's Executive Vice President of Production, "'Never Die Alone' is the kind of edgy and provocative filmmaking that Fox Searchlight is constantly seeking, and DMX is a charismatic star in a surprisingly complex role."



JAMES EARL JONES TO LEND VOICE AGAIN

James Earl Jones is set to partner with other actors and digital company Virtual Light to work on "Noz & Grakk: Alien Abductors," a live-action/CGI comedy. He’ll be joined by Dwight Schultz (The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Curtis Armstrong (Moonlighting, Revenge Of The Nerds) and Mark Hamill. The entire cast recorded dialogue for the pilot episode along with two promotional shorts. And they all did their work for scale. "It's the writing. This is one of the best pilots I've ever read," said Dwight Schultz. James Earl Jones committed to the pilot the day after reading the script.



"FAT ALBERT" FILM RESUCITATED

Hey, hey, hey! "Fat Albert" is back on track. Joel Zwick, the director of the hit comedy "Big Fat Greek Wedding," has signed a deal to direct the movie adaptation of the hit cartoon. The project was born from "Fat Albert" creator Bill Cosby, who teamed up with Forest Whittaker to turn the animated series into a film but the project had been temporarily abandoned.



SMITH IN PURSUIT

MGM has recruited Will Smith to produce and possibly star in the new film "Pursuit. The film is a thriller about a professional killer and a criminologist in pursuit of one another.



RAVEN TO SPARKLE

Disney's "That's So Raven" star, Raven Symone, has beat out Ashanti for the lead role in the Warner Brothers remake of "Sparkle." The 17-year-old actress/singer will play the youngest sister in the new version of the 1976 drama about a Supremes-like group of singing sisters. The role was originally played by Irene Cara. The new version will keep the Curtis Mayfield songs from the original and Raven will do her own singing in the film.



JADA A BUDDY COP

Jada Pinkett Smith is set to co-star in a buddy cop film. The comedy is untitled, but expected to begin lensing this winter. We’ll get more info on this one as soon as we can.



KELLY ROWLAND A SEAT FILLER

Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland is reportedly on tap to star in the romantic indie comedy "The Seat Filler." (When a celeb goes on stage at an awards ceremony to perform or accept an award, a "seat filler" sits in the vacated seat[s] so when the camera pans the audience, there are no empty seats.) The film’s cast already has Duane Martin, and is being executive produced by Will and Jada Smith. The film is about a law student who hooks up with a superstar while working as a seat filler at an awards ceremony.



GABRIELLE JOINS INDEPENDENT FILM

Gabrielle Union is set to star in her first independent film, "Neo Ned." Union will costar with Jeffrey Renner as a young black mother who is a patient in a psychiatric hospital who believes that the spirit of Adolph Hitler possesses her. "We've pretty much finished principal photography. This movie was a big risk for me. I read it and literally felt sick to my stomach. And I was like, 'Is this what it's supposed to be about?' I called Sanaa Lathan and she said, 'Do it, if it scares you, do it. Never turn down a role based on fear.' That's probably some of the best advice I've been given."



CUBAN COMMUNITY UPSET: WHOOPI NOT

Whoopi Goldberg is set to star as the late Cuban salsa queen, Celia Cruz, who passed away on July 16, but many of the singer’s fans aren’t happy. Latinomix radio station host Celines Toribio says "Whoopi doesn't sing and she's not Latina." Apparently, Goldberg negotiated an agreement with Ms. Cruz for the rights to her story and now plans to use those rights to star alongside Samuel L. Jackson, who will play Cruz's husband, Pedro Knight. According to Goldberg, "To see a rich, dark, chocolate woman in command of thousands of people with her voice and her energy helped me believe that anything is possible."



JILL SCOTT A CAVE DWELLER

Jill Scott is set to co-star in the 2004 Showtime film "Cave Dwellers." The film is about an abused wife who leaves her family to pursue her dreams of being a musician. Scott will play a supportive friend.



PHIFER AMONG WALKING DEAD

Mekhi Phifer is is currently in Toronto working on the remake of the 1978 horror flick "Dawn of the Dead," with Ving Rhames. The film will also costar actor Ray Liotta.



CHRIS ROCK GETS SICK DAY

Chris Rock's been signed to star in the comedy "Sick Day." The project is about a man who phones in sick to skip work only to see his plans for the day go downhill in numerous misunderstandings with his neighbors, and almost ruining his wife's chances at a job promotion. A start date hasn't been announced.