Friendly, Greener producing comedy

Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac will star as estranged soul-singing legends on a reunion tour in “Soul Men,” a Dimension Films comedy that will begin production Jan. 15.

Dimension will hire a director within the next two weeks. David Friendly and Steven Greener will produce.

Comedy was scripted by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone, the writing team behind “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Life” and “Man of the House.”

Jackson and Mac will play two former backup soul singers who are part of a famed group. They haven’t spoken to each other in 20 years but reluctantly agree to travel together for a tribute performance in honor of their recently deceased band leader.

Both Jackson and Mac will dance and sing, and the film is negotiating for access to the Stax Records catalog. Jackson’s deal is closed, and Mac is in negotiations.

Greener, who is Mac’s manager, hatched the idea, enlisted Friendly to produce with him and brought in Ramsey and Stone because of the relationship they developed with Mac on “Life.” Project originated at New Line but was recently picked up and fast-tracked by Dimension.

Jackson takes on the role after he completes the Frank Miller-directed “The Spirit.” Mac is coming off the Walt Becker-directed Disney comedy “Old Dogs.”

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