MGM has bought the spec script “Step in the Name of Love” as a vehicle for R&B singer Usher to star in and exec produce. Carl Seaton and Kenny Young wrote the script.
Pic is described as an urban “Saturday Night Fever,” set in the world of steppin’, a Chicago-bred derivative of swing dancing. Stephanie Allain and Michael Jenkins are producing, with Urban Entertainment’s Nichelle Proto co-producing. It’s the first screen sale for the scribes, though Seaton is about to direct his script “One Week” as an indie film.
Usher, who has the top album in the country in “Confessions,” is stepping up to carry a movie after cutting his teeth on such films as “Light It Up” and “She’s All That.” He played singer Jackie Wilson in the upcoming “Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story,” starring Jamie Foxx and directed by Taylor Hackford. MGM execs DeVon Franklin and Eric Paquette will shepherd the pic, which continues the Lion’s emergence as a player in urban films. Since the studio produced the profitable “Barbershop,” it has followed with a sequel; is making the spinoff “Beauty Shop” with Queen Latifah; and will release this summer the comedy “Soul Plane,” starring Snoop Dogg and Method Man.