Oscar winner Halle Berry has signed to star in and produce two more pics for MGM — a remake of the 1974 “Foxy Brown,” and character study “Brown-Eyed Girl” — extending her stay in the Lion’s pride beyond her role as the next Bond girl in this winter’s “Die Another Day.”
“The intent is for her to star in both of them,” said MGM vice-chairman and chief operating officer Chris McGurk, who described the deal as further evidence the studio has put sale rumors and a bumpy first quarter behind it.
The original “Foxy Brown” was a classic early 1970s blaxploitation movie featuring Pam Grier as a woman bent on avenging the murder of her boyfriend at the hands of gangsters. Berry and her producing partner, Vincent Cirrincione, will be executive producers on the project, which will be produced by Marcus Morton and Julio Caro of Absolute Entertainment. Tyger Williams is the screenwriter.
MGM production prexy Alex Gartner said the intent is to turn the remake into a franchise vehicle, updating the character with the hope that it can become a ongoing series of action films.
“We’re going to take some license in updating the character,” Gartner said. “We’re going to take all the positive aspects of Foxy as a powerful, empowered woman, and we’re going to create a larger-than-life vehicle for Halle.”
“Brown-Eyed Girl” has been around for several years, under development by Trilogy Entertainment Group. Pic follows the ups and downs in love and life of a contemporary woman, and is designed to be a smaller film. In this case, Berry and Cirrincione will be the hands-on producers, shaping the film as a vehicle for Berry’s acting. Gary Williams is the writer.
Cirrincione said Berry had been interested in both projects for a long time, then discovered in recent months after joining the Bond cast that both projects were owned by MGM and available.
” ‘Foxy Brown’ was one of those things she’d always talked about doing,” Cirrincione said. “And a few years ago, she saw (‘Brown-Eyed Girl’), liked it, but it didn’t work out. It was just total coincidence that they all ended up at MGM. Some things are meant to be.”
After Berry’s Oscar win, and the good working relationship both sides developed during the Bond production, the new deal came together quickly.
Berry begins work on the next “X-Men” film after Bond wraps, and the intention is for one of these two pics to be her next project, Gartner said.
Berry is repped by CAA for film work.