Cheo Hodari Coker will pen 'Lowriders'

Imagine's Brian Grazer producing pic

Cheo Hodari Coker has been given the keys to write "Lowriders," a drama set in the world of low-riding cars for Universal and Imagine. Imagine's Brian Grazer is producing.

The project is based on an idea by Grazer, who is known for exploring concepts, personalities and settings, even devoting a specialist to handle these intellectual and artistic endeavors. He was intrigued by the low-riding culture, which sees mainly teens driving cars that can adjust or have adjusted their suspension system. The culture finds its home in California and the Southwest, primarily among the Latino and black cultures.

Imagine and Universal execs went on a manhunt for a scribe who could not only write authentically about the scene but also craft a solid story. Coker, who is coming off of the Notorious B.I.G. biopic "Notorious," fit the bill.

He will now tackle the project in an office at Imagine's Beverly Hills headquarters. Imagine frequently lets writers use space for scribes working on their projects.

Mister Cartoon, a Los Angeles-based tattoo and graffiti artist involved in the culture and whose real name is Mark Machado, is exec producing with Estevan Oriol.

Coker, repped by CAA and Caliber Media, was a longtime journalist who wrote for Premiere, Vibe, Rolling Stone and Spin before transitioning to screenwriting. "Notorious," which Coker shares credit with Reggie Rock Bythewood, is based on the book Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. by Vibe Magazine and Cheo Hodari Coker.