African-American projects in development
Still in the project stage, this reality show featuring pro skateboarder Terry Kennedy is being developed at BET.
Fox has picked up Shawn Ryan's pilot, which focuses on Chicago police. Produced by 20th TV and Ryan's Midd Kidd Prods. Charles McDougall is reported to helm.
David Simon's post-"Wire" project goes from Baltimore to New Orleans for Blown Deadline Prods. and HBO. Reported to star are Simon regulars including Khandi Alexander and Clarke Peters; an April premiere date is slated on HBO.
"The American Can"
The story of Katrina hero John Keller is under development with Backdoor Films/Overbrook Entertainment, for Sony. John Lee Hancock will reportedly write and direct, with Will Smith starring and producing.
Based on the true story of "Chef Jeff" Anderson, who went from cooking crack to cooking cuisine. The Sony film is under the Escape Artists/Overbrook Entertainment banner. Will Smith is listed as a producer; there's a draft of the script but a writer and director haven't been chosen.
"For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf"
The 1975 play will be Tyler Perry's first adaptation under his production banner and distributed by Lionsgate. Expect an all-star cast on the project -- rumored to include Halle Berry, Angela Bassett and Oprah Winfrey -- which is in preproduction. Word also has it that Perry will bring a feature to Sony Pictures (a break from his traditional Lionsgate headquarters).
"The Last Dragon"
This remake of the 1985 Berry Gordy film is in the script stage under the Columbia Pictures/Davis Entertainment production banners for Sony with Samuel L. Jackson slated to star. A draft of the script is done, with Kerry Gordy and RZA reportedly on board as producers.
"Marvin: The Life Story of Marvin Gaye"
F. Gary Gray is attached to direct the story of the legendary soul singer, which is in development (and reportedly still in rights negotiations) under the banners of David Foster Prods., Film by Humans Prods. and Ryan E. Heppe Prods.
"Miss Saigon" and "Selma"
Two of Lee Daniels' post-"Precious" projects are in development, one based on the Broadway musical, the other, on the civil rights movement. Both are under the Lee Daniels/Chestnut Ridge Prods. banner. The "Saigon" script is by Paul Webb, with Paula Wagner and Cameron Mackintosh in producer seats. Brad Pitt has been reported as a producer on "Selma," which is also rumored to star Robert De Niro as George Wallace.
Untitled Craig Brewer/Charlie Pride Project
Stephanie Allain Bray continues to look for financing for her in-development project; Terrence Howard may be on board to produce, and may take a role in the film, which is being produced under the Southern Cross the Dog banner; Craig Brewer is slated to direct.