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Distrib goes urban

Searchlight picks up DMX actioner 'Never Die Alone'

Fox Searchlight has acquired distribbing rights to ContentFilm’s “Never Die Alone,” an urban actioner starring rapper DMX and thesp David Arquette.

Pic is based on a story by gangster-turned-novelist Donald Goines, whose novels gained cult status in the ’70s with blaxploitation titles like “Whoreson: The Story of a Ghetto Pimp” and “White Man’s Justice, Black Man’s Grief.” Though largely ignored by critics, Goines managed to write his first two books while incarcerated and ultimately published 5 million copies of 16 novels, writing up until his death in a shooting in 1974.

Currently in post-production, the urban thriller is directed by Ernest Dickerson, adapted for the screen by James Gibson based on the 1974 book of the same name by Goines. Pic also stars Michael Ealy and Reagan Preston-Gomez.

Film is produced by Earl Simmons and Alessandro Camon and exec produced by Edward R. Pressman, John Schmidt, Dion Fearon, Marc Gerald and Tashera Simmons. Elliot Rosenblatt is co-executive producer.

Pic is the first to be produced by Bloodline Films — DMX’s film production company — where Cheryl Martin serves as co-producer along with Robi Reed.

DMX plays a gangster whose murder is witnessed by an aspiring journalist, played by David Arquette. Gangster’s rise and fall is charted in flashback through the criminal’s journal, which enables the journo to understand why he was killed and tell his story.

Dickerson made his directorial debut on the 1992 drama “Juice,” starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur, and more recently, helmed Snoop Dogg starrer “Bones,” released by New Line Cinema. He also directed “Good Fences,” starring Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg, which had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment-repped Arquette recently appeared in Tim Blake Nelson’s drama “The Grey Zone” as a concentration camp inmate.

DMX recently starred opposite Jet Li in “Cradle 2 the Grave” and also appeared in “Romeo Must Die” and “Exit Wounds.” His first four albums debuted at No. 1, and he has sold more than 22 million records in four years.