September 9, 2005

OutKast movie lands at Universal

By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Universal Pictures has
bought worldwide rights to an untitled movie musical starring
hip-hop duo OutKast.

The HBO Films production is set in a 1930s Southern
speakeasy and follows two characters, Percival (Andre
Benjamin), the club's piano player, and Rooster (Antwan
Patton), the club's lead performer and manager, through
intersecting stories of love and ambition.

Bryan Barber, OutKast's longtime music video collaborator,
is making his feature film directing debut on the film, working
from his own screenplay. The movie was formerly titled "My Life
in Idlewild."

Its cast also includes Ving Rhames, Terrence Howard, Faizon
Love, Patti LaBelle, Macy Gray, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen.

"This is not just another musical that happens to be
starring OutKast and happens to be directed by Bryan Barber,"
HBO Films president Colin Callender said in an interview.

"It's more akin to a 'Purple Rain' or 'A Hard Day's Night.'
It's very much a collaboration of Andre and Big Boi (Patton)
and Bryan Barber, and grew out of their musical and cinematic
explorations. It's not like we found a musical and said, 'Let's
go cast OutKast, and maybe Bryan Barber might be interested in
directing it.' What we were really doing was giving OutKast and
Bryan a platform to creatively invent their own musical."

The movie will feature new songs from the duo's next album,
a soundtrack disc that will be released through LaFace/Zomba
Label Group in the fourth quarter. Universal Pictures will
distribute the film wide in 2006, having successfully released
such music-themed works as 2002's "8 Mile" and 2004's "Ray."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter