Nelly rushes to ‘Yard’

Rapper will also provide single for soundtrack

Rap star Nelly will make his bigscreen debut in Paramount/Sony’s “The Longest Yard,” which stars Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds.

Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., will portray a running back for the prisoners’ team alongside former NFL star Michael Irvin.

Nelly also plans to record a single to go along with the May 2005 release of “The Longest Yard.” His “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” a collaboration with Puff Daddy and Murphy Lee, was the lead single in Sony’s sequel “Bad Boys II.”

Production on “Yard,” produced by Happy Madison and MTV Films, will begin later this month at the Old State Penitentiary in New Mexico, with Peter Segal directing a script by Sheldon Turner. Happy Madison partner Jack Giarraputo is producing; Par exec VP Brian Witten is overseeing.

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