Drama an R&B version of '8 Mile'

Dimension Films has set Usher Raymond (known by his first name only) to make his feature starring debut in an untitled drama being scripted by “American Dreams” showrunner Jonathan Prince. Usher, coming off the top-selling album “Confessions,” also will be the film’s exec producer.

Though it doesn’t yet have a title, the film sounds like an R&B version of “8 Mile.” Usher will play a kid from the streets who finds himself through his music.

The 25-year-old isn’t the acting neophyte that Eminem was. He has played small roles in Dimension’s “The Faculty” and Miramax’s “She’s All That” as well as “Soul Food.” Usher and Prince got together when the singer guest-starred as Marvin Gaye on “American Dreams.”

Prince will produce the film with his partner Richard Cummings, and Jonnetta Patton and Holly Davis Carter of Releve Entertainment. Cecil Chambers also will produce.

Miramax co-chairman and Dimension head Bob Weinstein confirmed the Usher deal and that the pic is on the fast track at the studio. Dimension co-presidents Andrew Rona and Brad Weston will oversee the pic with exec Michael Curry.

“Usher has clearly proven himself as a musical superstar,” Weinstein said in a statement. “We have a longstanding relationship and know this film will showcase all of his talents in his first starring role.”

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