Lee Daniels Boards Lesbian Love Story 'Pimp' as Producer (Exclusive)

Debbie Lefever
Lee Daniels

The indie pic marks the first movie that Daniels — the director-producer behind such TV and film hits as 'Empire,' 'Star,' 'Precious' and 'The Butler' — has executive produced.

Lee Daniels has signed on to executive produce the indie urban drama Pimp.

Written and directed by Christine Crokos, the love story stars Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee), Haley Ramm (The Originals), Aunjanue Ellis (The Help), Vanessa Morgan (Finding Carter), Mike E. Winfield (Conversations in L.A.), Edi Cathegi (Twilight) and DMX.

Pimp marks the first movie that Daniels — the writer-director-producer behind such TV and film hits as Empire, Star, Precious and The Butler — has executive produced. The impetus for his involvement stemmed from wanting to support a new generation of filmmakers with authentic voices and a unique approach to storytelling.

Pimp is set on the rough streets of the Bronx and centers on Wednesday (Palmer), who is born into the gritty world of hustling, where she learns the game from her dad. Once he’s gone, she is left to look out for her mother (Ellis) and her girlfriend Nikki (Ramm). In need of more money, Nikki decides to hit the streets for Wednesday for a dream at a better life. In a ferocious battle of survival, Wednesday comes face to face with a pimp (Gathegi) who runs a more dangerous game, leaving Wednesday to fight for love and risk all to save Nikki.

Alexis Varouxakis of 1821 Pictures and Adrenaline Entertainment is producing the pic alongside Victoria Bousis and Christine Crokos. Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, Roys Poyiadjis, Nick Garyfallos, Michael J. Mailis, Corey Large, Gary Ousdahl, Michael Cline, Bader Alghanim, Gina Dwyer, Ali Jazayeri, Viviana Zarragoitia and John Krokidas also are executive producing.

Daniels' Precious (2009) received six Academy Award nominations, including for best director, and took home two Oscars. In 2012, Daniels directed the historical fiction drama The Butler, which became a box-office hit, holding the No. 1 spot for three weeks. He is also the co-creator and executive producer of the TV series Empire and Star.

Gersh is repping U.S. sales of Pimp.