NEW YORK — Snoop Dogg as Robin Hood? Or, at least, Robin in the hood? Get ready for “Lady T. and Mojo Slim,” a project just set up at USA Films that the studio describes as a cross between “Robin Hood” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” Pic will be scripted by Eric Bernt, whose recent credits include “Romeo Must Die” and a rewrite of Paramount’s “The Core,” to be directed by Jon Amiel.
The platinum-selling rapper has been cutting his teeth in the film biz with small roles in “Baby Boy,” the just-opened hit “Training Day” and upcoming pic “The Wash.” He’ll make his feature starring debut in New Line’s Halloween thriller “Bones,” in which he plays a man who returns from the dead to exact vengeance upon those who double-crossed him.
“Lady T. and Mojo Slim,” which was sold at USA on a pitch, is expected to be his next starring vehicle. Snoop Dogg will play a small-time crook who falls in love with a beat cop’s daughter. The couple becomes the stuff of folk legend, stealing and giving the proceeds to the poor.
“Lady T. and Mojo Slim” will be an Anonymous Content production, with Snoop Dogg’s movie manager Larry Kennar producing and Steve Golin exec producing. The project came to USA through its first-look deal with Golin’s Anonymous Content. USA Films production prexy Glenn Williamson and senior veep Matt Wall will shepherd the project.
While Hollywood’s recent focus on USA stems from its negotiation for a film company involving directors Steven Soderbergh, Alexander Payne, David Fincher, Spike Jonze and possibly Sam Mendes, USA has also been making inroads in the lucrative urban film game. Wall recently presided over a deal to fast-track “After Party,” an urban-themed comedy scripted by “Set It Off” scribe Takashi Bufford, who’ll make his directing debut on the Anonymous-produced pic.
KAMEN MAKES CHOPS ON TV: Robert Kamen, who made his reputation on martial arts films from the “Karate Kid” franchise to the Jet Li actioner “Kiss of the Dragon, ” is going the series route at the WB. Kamen and producer Dylan Sellers received a pilot script commitment from the Frog web for “The Bounty Hunter,” a series that’ll marry “Wanted: Dead or Alive” with “Kung Fu.” They’ve set the series at Tollin-Robbins Prods., which is based at Warner Bros. Television. The hourlong drama will revolve around an ex-cop who runs a dojo in San Francisco during the day while moonlighting as a bounty hunter. Aside from the action stuff, Kamen also wrote “The Professional” with Luc Besson and scripted “A Walk in the Clouds” and “The Power of One.” After writing for Li on “Kiss of the Dragon,” Kamen’s now penning an untitled drama at Revolution Studios that’s being crafted as the first-ever pairing of Li and Jackie Chan, and he’s also writing the Miramax-based Li starring vehicle “The Monk.” Kamen and Sellers hatched the idea for the series after working together developing feature “The Jade Circle,” also set up at Miramax. “The Bounty Hunter” becomes the second high-profile series deal for feature vet Sellers, who’s also made a deal at Warner Bros. Television for “C.I.D.,” a drama about the criminal investigation division of the Army that is being developed as a starring vehicle for Patrick Swayze; “The Fugitive” scribe Jeb Stuart is penning the script. Sellers is exec producing that drama with Mace Neufeld and Erwin Moore. UTA reps Kamen.
“MASTER” CLASS: With actresses like Penelope Cruz and Monica Bellucci proving that Hollywood’s willing to look overseas for new talent, popular Russian actress Svetlana Migounova is hoping to be the next import to make a splash. And she’s bringing with her the rights to one of the most popular Russian novels of the 20th century. Migounova has acquired screen rights to Mikhail Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita,” a novel about what happens when the devil appears in Moscow for three days during the Stalin era and wreaks havoc. The actress, who got the rights from Serge Chilovski of the Bulgakov Foundation, plans to play Margarita, while she produces the film with William Paul Burns, who’ll play a lead role. The screen version of the ambitious novel, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, is being repped by John Crosby Management. They’re trying to get a mix of domestic and offshore financing for a film pegged to cost $75 million or more.