Allen & Albert Hughes have quietly moved from “Dead Presidents” to “American Pimp,” a documentary they’re directing about the men behind the world’s oldest profession. Having completed half of the film, they’re negotiating to sign with a distributor shortly, hoping to have the film in theaters by August, accompanied by an all-star soundtrack.
Though they’d never made a docu before, the brothers adopted the style because they were so fascinated with the subject matter.
“We wanted to do a movie about Iceberg Slim, the ultimate pimp, from a book called ‘Pimp,’ but decided along the way that we didn’t want to regress, but rather make bigger features,” Allen Hughes said. “But we still had this fascination with pimps, and we decided to do it as a documentary so we could be more creatively flamboyant just showing that world.
“We’ve got six to eight good pimps on film right now, and we plan on hitting just about every major city, including New Orleans, Hawaii, Alaska and Houston. The idea is to see how pimping spans the whole country, how it started, and how it infiltrated the media, movies and rap music. Everybody has a fascination with the subject.”
That includes women, Hughes feels: “I don’t care how feminist you are, I think that any decent woman would want to know what a pimp can possibly say to them or another woman to make them want to turn tricks. The answer is very simple, not as magical as one might think. But the film is not exploitative.”
One might think the flesh peddlers would like to keep their illegal enterprise discreet, but the Hughes brothers found them more than willing to cooperate: “Most, oddly enough, say they have seen our movies and are into us.”
As has become common with Hughes pics, the soundtrack plans are as ambitious as the film. They’ll team with rapper Dr. Dre to produce a double album to be released by Interscope Records that will feature an all-star roster of rap and R&B acts, as well as vintage soul acts.
“These cuts will be pimp anthems, but they will not offend women. Pimps like soul music and women do too.” The film is being produced by Steve Perry and Kevin Messick, who is president of the Hughes brothers’ Underworld Entertainment; pic’s co-produced by Larry McCoy.
As soon as they wrap the pimp docu, the brothers will jump right into one of three features they’re developing, one of which may be a J. Edgar Hoover biopic at Warner Bros. “We haven’t been on a movie set in a year and four months, which is the longest break we’ve taken since we started making movies when we were 12 years old,” Hughes said. “We want to go right into the next film.”
After word of the film began leaking to distributors, the Hughes brothers were called by several studios and indies. They were willing to finance the docu themselves so they could make the movie their way, but now might well pact with a distributor within the next two weeks.
MAZZOCONE TURNS OVER ‘STONE’: Carl Mazzocone’s Main Line Pictures has optioned “Stone 588,” the 1986 bestseller by Gerald A. Browne for a feature film to be adapted by publicist-turned-screenwriter Mira Tweti, who’ll produce it with Mazzocone.
“Stone” has been turned over once or twice before as a film property, but Browne got the rights back and made the deal after being called by Tweti. The novel’s about what happens when a stone that possesses mystical healing powers gets stolen.
It’s the second project for Mazzocone since he sued Kim Basinger for backing out of “Boxing Helena,” a film that had Tweti as its publicist. The case was settled for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, sources said. Though he was told by Hollywood heavyweights that suing would be suicide, Mazzocone just finished producing with Jackson-McHenry the Rob Spruill-directed David Caruso-starrer “Bodycount,” and is forging ahead with the Browne book and several other projects.
“It feels great having been able to go through four years of getting ‘Boxing Helena’ made and distributed, to follow through with a lawsuit and seeing it through, and now to be back doing this all over again. … I put four years into it for no personal gain, but simply to set precedent. I’m happy that chapter of my life is behind me.”
Tweti, who recently scripted Imax film “Iceman,” will write a script treatment and Mazzocone will look for financing.
KRIS CROSSES STAR TRACK AGAIN: Though he’d been absent from the bigscreen for several years, Kris Kristofferson is on the comeback trail at age 60, thanks to his turn as a crooked lawman in John Sayles’ “Lone Star.” After co-starring with Steven Seagal in the Warner Bros. actioner “Fire Down Below,” Kristofferson has just landed the third lead with Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff in New Line’s “Blade,” a Marvel Entertainment pic, which starts shooting Feb. 5. He’s repped by ICM’s Steve Chasman.