Musician-actor Andre Benjamin has signed a first-look producing deal for feature and cable TV projects with MTV and Nickelodeon via his Moxie Turtle shingle.
First project under the pact will be “The Hit,” a Nick Movies feature for Benjamin to star in and co-produce. Lensing is set for 2006 on the pic, which Paramount will distribute.
Based on an original idea by Lamar Damon (“Slap Her … She’s French”), “The Hit” centers on a boy trying to find his single father a new wife when a mysterious man moves in next door and turns out to be Cupid.
Nick Movies senior VP Julia Pistor will produce “The Hit,” with veep Damon Ross shepherding the project. Benjamin told Daily Variety he’s overseeing rewrites of Damon’s script and looking for directors.
The producing deal grew out of discussions with Nick execs for Benjamin to topline “The Hit.”
Eufaula Garrett is Benjamin’s producing partner.
David Gale, exec VP of MTV Films, noted Benjamin’s producing deal is the first to include the MTV and Nick brands across four divisions.
MTV and Nick are viewed as key components in Paramount’s strategy to shed its cautious image and aim its feature slate toward younger moviegoers. MTV is in production on “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” with rap star 50 Cent toplining and Jim Sheridan directing.
Nick Movies recently signed a deal for Peter Hewitt (“Garfield: The Movie”) to direct “The Chuckle Bears” (Daily Variety, May 9).
Benjamin is better known as Andre 3000, half of the Grammy-winning duo OutKast. Their last album, “Speakerboxx/The Love Below,” sold more than 10 million copies.
Benjamin has been active as a thesp recently, appearing in MGM’s “Be Cool,” with upcoming pics including Par’s “Four Brothers,” Guy Ritchie’s “Revolver” and HBO’s “My Life in Idlewild.” He’s also voicing a cow in “Charlotte’s Web,” a co-production of Nick, Walden Media and Kerner Entertainment.