Duke makes 'Push' for street lit


Actor-director-producer Bill Duke has optioned the book "Push" and entered into a development deal with its writer, urban author and street lit publisher Relentless Aaron.

Duke plans to produce and possibly direct a feature film based on the author's signature character Push, an inner-city vigilante, with the hopes of creating a franchise around the character.

Aaron, whose real name is DeWitt Gilmore, began writing while incarcerated in a New Jersey federal prison. By his release in 2003, Gilmore had amassed 30 manuscripts, and he quickly began to self-publish and distribute his first set of books to prison buses, small bookstores and sidewalk stands. Gilmore is on the forefront of a movement called "street lit."

The author has created a street cult following with such gritty titles as "Push," "The Last Kingpin" and "To Live and Die in Harlem." Gilmore recently signed a lucrative multibook deal with St. Martin's Press.

Duke and Gilmore also are exploring opportunities to take Push into other mediums beyond film, including TV, the Internet, graphic novels and video games.

Duke, whose credits include "X-Men: The Last Stand" and is recurring on this season's "Lost" on ABC, directed the films "A Rage in Harlem," "Deep Cover" and "Hoodlum."

Aaron is repped by literary agent Ian Kleinert, while Duke is repped by APA and Rigberg Entertainment Group.