×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

More Film

  • Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali, right)

    Read Variety's 1957 Review of 'Green Book' Pianist Don Shirley

    “Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take Center Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content