Posted Feb. 5, 2008 -- Will Smith has hand-picked "Sleeper Cell" star Michael Ealy to play his younger brother in the upcoming drama "Seven Pounds."
Smith stars as a suicidal, guilt-ridden IRS agent who attempts to make amends for his past. Things were going along fine until Smith's character falls in love with a woman who pulls him away from his agony. Rosario Dawson has been signed on to play the woman.
Gabriele Muccino, who directed Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness," is helming the feature for Columbia Pictures. Woody Harrelson is also among the cast.
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Ealy was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance on Showtime's "Sleeper Cell." Check for him in Spike Lee's upcoming film "Miracle at St. Anna," based on the true story of four Black WWII soldiers who risk their lives to save an Italian boy while in enemy territory.
Pinkett's "Contract" Picked Up
Jada Pinkett Smith, who just wrapped production on her directorial debut, "The Human Contract," has had the project picked up by Santa Monica-based sales and distribution company Lightning Entertainment. The film is Lightning Entertainment's first investment using the company's $20 million acquisitions and production fund announced in November, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"The Human Contract," written by the actress, follows a successful corporate man harboring a secret. He befriends a free-spirited stranger who encourages him to ditch his stuffy lifestyle and live life freely. Pinkett Smith also stars in the film, alongside Idris Elba, Jason Clarke, Paz Vega, Ted Danson and Joanna Cassidy.
Kane to Exec Produce "Vapors"
Hip hop legend Big Daddy Kane has signed on as an executive producer for "The Vapors," the upcoming film about the The Juice Crew.
"I got a call from Marley Marl one day and he and some people was trying to get this film together," Big Daddy Kane told AllHipHop.com. "Now we finally got it happening and I got involved. Now it seems like it’s very realistic and it’s actually gonna happen in the next two months."
Kane was a member of the Queens-based Juice Crew, along with producer Marl, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan and Biz Markie.
The film's casting director, Red Sable, said roles are still being filled, however four principals are confirmed: Clifton Powell as Juice Crew co-founder Mr. Magic, Keke Palmer as Roxanne Shante, Evan Ross as MC Shan, Jackie Long as Big Daddy kane and Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Marley Marl.
Rapper David Banner had been cast as Biz Markie at one point, but Sable told Allhiphop.com that a scheduling conflict forced him to drop out of the project.
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