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Hip-hop friends pitch ‘Cousins’ to Absolute

Gordon, Jones sell haunting Deep South story

HOLLYWOOD — Who says you can’t go home again?

MGM-based Absolute Entertainment has acquired the pitch “Cousins” from scribe Luce Gordon and hip-hop emcee ‘Nas Escobar (nee Nasir Jones) for low- against mid-six figures.

Storyline follows a young inner-city man who inherits a sprawling ancestral home down in the Deep South — only to discover it is haunted and its spectral inhabitants have decidedly comedic plans to bring warring factions of his family together.

Gordon and Escobar will co-write the pitch, and both will executive produce the pic via their Saratoga Films and Ill Will banners, respectively. Absolute principals Marcus Morton and Julio Caro will produce the pic.

“The idea came from real stories, kids who would be growing up spending summers down south,” said Gordon, adding, “as well as my relatives, who are constantly botching things up.”

Gordon, a former manager of musicvid helmers met Escobar several years back, when he was representing a variety of hip-hop video directors. The two formed a friendship, and as a result of “being around a prolific musical writer like ‘Nas, I started to want to write more, too,” Gordon said.

Escobar is best known for his multi-platinum album “I Am”; his forthcoming “Stillmatic” will be released by Columbia this fall.

In tune with market

Using Gordon’s hip-hop credentials, Saratoga is aiming to become a one-stop packaging shop for smart, commercial entertainment geared toward urban audiences.

The duo produced the indie pic “Sacred,” about a young couple’s journey from small-town America and the corrosive effect success and fame have on their lives. Film is seeking domestic distribution.

“Writing (autobiographic) ‘Sacred’ was … very therapeutic,” said Escobar, adding, “With ‘Cousins,’ we have a nice, juicy situation. Me and Luce have seen a lot; a lot of those stories and characters are gonna come out (in ‘Cousins’).”

Gordon is managed by Energy Entertainment; Escobar by Violator/AMG.

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