Hip-hop star DMX will team, through his fledgling Bloodline Films banner, with N.Y.-based indie outfit ContentFilm to produce and star for director Ernest Dickerson in “Never Die Alone,” which will start shooting today in Los Angeles.
“Scream” regular David Arquette and Michael Ealy (“Barbershop”) will co-star in the thriller about the rise and fall of a gangster (DMX), whose life unfolds in flashback as a reporter probes events that led to his killing.
James Gibson adapted the screenplay from the 1974 book by cult writer Donald Goines, who penned 16 pulp novels between his release from prison in 1970 and his fatal shooting four years later. “Never Die Alone” is his first book to reach the screen.
DMX (Earl Simmons) will produce with Content’s Alessandro Camon. Edward R. Pressman, John Schmidt, Dion Fearon, Marc Gerald and Angelo Ellerbee are exec producers, with Cheryl Martin serving as co-producer.
Bankrolled by Content, pic is the first feature to come from the shingle of DMX, who stars opposite Jet Li in Warner’s upcoming actioner “Cradle 2 the Grave.’ In addition to selling more than 12 million albums in the U.S., DMX has appeared in the films “Belly,” “Romeo Must Die” and “Exit Wounds.”
Former cinematographer Dickerson made his directing debut in 1992 with “Juice.” His most recent feature was “Good Fences” for Showtime, bowing last month at Sundance.
New pic will be repped for overseas sales at the American Film Market this month by Content Intl.’s Jamie Carmichael.
Law firm Miller and Pliakas, and Content’s Michael Roban negotiated with DMX on the deal, while the Gersh Agency and Lighthouse Entertainment negotiated with Roban for Arquette. Roban and Fearon for Fearon Entertainment secured book rights from Bentley Morris at Holloway House.