Rapper joins Dillon, Elba in crime drama

Screen Gems has made a three-picture deal with T.I. that will launch with the crime drama “Bone Deep,” in which the hip-hop star will join Matt Dillon and Idris Elba.

The move amounts to a long-term investment in the rapper, who faces a yearlong prison stretch for weapons possession that begins next spring. The second Screen Gems film will be “Boulevard,” a drama in development in which T.I. will star; the third picture will be determined later.

Past acting credits for T.I., whose real name is Tip Harris, include “American Gangster” and “ATL.”

The movie work will be scheduled around the legal complications faced by Harris, who has also cut a deal to topline a six-episode MTV reality show that will chronicle the 1,000 hours of community service he’ll perform before heading off to serve his sentence (Daily Variety, May 28).

“Bone Deep” concerns a group of bank robbers who pull off a daring highrise heist and are dragged into one last job by a freshly paroled cohort. Pic will be helmed by John Luessenhop (“Lock Down”), who co-wrote the script with Gabriel Casseus, Avery Duff and Peter Allen. T.I. and his Grand Hustle Entertainment partner Jason Geter have joined Will Packer as producers.

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