Comedian first to ink for sequel, others eye pay hikes

Cedric the Entertainer is ready for another trim: The comedian has reupped to star in the sequel to MGM’s hit laffer “Barbershop.”

Cedric, who is scheduling the shoot around the production of his hit comedy sketch show “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” on Fox, as well as Fox Searchlight’s comedy “Johnson Family Vacation,” becomes one of the first actors to join the sequel, which the Lion is putting on the fast track to bow later this year.

Pic’s original helmer Tim Story is already on board to direct from a script still being penned by Don. D. Scott. First installment revolved around the day in the life of a barbershop on Chicago’s South Side.

Character played by Cedric garnered media attention when, after the pic bowed, the Rev. Jesse Jackson demanded that filmmakers trim dialogue he found offensive from the release. In the film, Cedric’s character pokes fun at late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., bus-riding activist icon Rosa Parks, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson and Jackson.

The studio is still negotiating with the original’s star Ice Cube to join the follow-up. State Street Pictures producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr. return as producers.

Original also starred Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, rapper-turned-actress Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze and Keith David.

Negotiations have taken longer than expected as the pic’s stars are demanding salary hikes to make the sequel. The $12 million-budgeted “Barbershop” became a surprise smash. last October for MGM, generating nearly $76 million and giving the Lion a much-needed hit to roar about.

Cedric the Entertainer is repped by CAA.

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