In a preemptive spec deal, Dimension Films has acquired “Janky Promoters,” the first script that Ice Cube has written since the final installment of his “Friday” series.
Cube will star in the film and produce with Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez.
Cube took less money upfront but will partner with Dimension on the proceeds after recoupment on a budget likely to be about $10 million.
“Janky Promoters” sets Cube and another actor as music promoters who get the chance to book a top-tier hip-hop artist into a midsized California venue. The pair are ill equipped for such a task and everything goes wrong.
Film fits the urban niche that Cube has hit in the “Friday” and “Barbershop” series and films like “First Sunday.”
A director is expected to be named soon, with casting to begin immediately. Dimension topper Bob Weinstein said he is determined to land a big-name rapper to star as himself.
“This feels a lot like ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ to me, a caper film where you have these music promoters who are slightly shady but are good enough guys that you root for them,” Weinstein told Daily Variety. “This is going to be R-rated, and it appeals right to the core of Cube’s audience.”
On the deal specifics, Weinstein said: “He’s producing the movie, sharing in the funding, so it’s more complicated than previous deals we’ve made with Cube. He’s a brand, like Tyler Perry, and that’s the direction he’s headed in. We’re happy to assist him in that because we believe in him.”
Weinstein is already working out the details for an early summer start date that will factor in Cube’s promotion schedule for “The Long Shots,” the Fred Durst-directed Dimension film that Cube just wrapped as star and producer. The Weinstein Co. can set a June start date because it is non-signatory and eligible for the guaranteed completion contracts that SAG has pledged for indies if an actors strike takes place.
Cube has a first-look Dimension deal and is also developing “Welcome Back, Kotter” as a starring vehicle.
Ice Cube is repped by WMA, The Firm and attorney Matt Johnson.