'ER' star takes indie helm


As "ER" winds down, Angela Bassett already is lining up her next gig, one that will see her behind the camera.

The actress will make her directorial debut with "United States," an indie feature she will also produce with her Bassett/ Vance Prods. partner and husband Courtney B. Vance.

"States," based on the novel "Erasure" by Percival Everett, is a dramatic comedy about Monk Ellison, a prominent black literary figure who writes a faux autobiography from the perspective of a barely literate hoodlum to decry what is wrong with the glorification of "ghetto" culture. But when the book is lauded as a possible contender for the National Book Award, he must choose between pride and fame.

Dwayne Johnson-Cochran wrote the adaptation, which is being eyed for a summer start.

"States" will be the first project produced by Bassett/Vance.

Featurewise, Bassett, repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment, recently appeared in Fox Searchlight's "Notorious" and "Akeelah and the Bee."

Vance, who received Tony nominations for his stage work in "Fences" and "Six Degrees of Separation," is set to star in ABC's David Goyer pilot "Flash Forward."

The actor, repped by Lighthouse Entertainment, also just joined the cast of CBS Films' Harrison Ford feature "Crowley."

The two work together on "ER." (partialdiff)