Video director Joseph Kahn has been tapped to direct rapper-actor DMX in the upcoming "The Crow: Lazarus" film, the fourth flick in the "Crow" franchise, which is expected to begin filming in spring 2001.
Aside from the presence of DMX in the starring role, the newest "Crow" flick should be distinctly more hip-hop in feel and fashion than its predecessors, as FUBU Films, an entertainment arm of the FUBU urban attire empire, will co-produce the movie along with the Edward Pressman Film Corp.
"The Crow: Lazarus" will be Kahn's debut feature film, but his name is quite familiar to music video aficionados. Over the last 10 years Kahn has directed clips for artists such as the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Korn, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Brandy & Monica, Mase, Monster Magnet, Foxy Brown, Mobb Deep, Geto Boys, Willie Nelson, and Onyx, among others.
Kahn's work on Sisqo's "Thong Song" helped earn a 2000 MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video. The director's recent projects include Moby's "South Side" clip featuring Gwen Stefani as well as Britney Spears' "Stronger" and the Wu-Tang Clan's "Gravel Pit" and "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" videos.
Producers are hoping that the result of DMX and Joseph Kahn's cinematic collaboration will be something audiences are willing to see on the big screen, unlike the third film in the series, "The Crow: Salvation," which will receive a straight-to-video release on March 20, 2001. The soundtrack to the third "Crow" flick, which included tracks from Kid Rock, Hole, Tricky and Filter, was released earlier this year.
In a recent interview with MTV News, DMX, who will play a slain rapper who rises from the dead in "Lazarus," indicated that the look of the "Crow" films was in need of reinterpretation.
"It's going to look different from the other 'Crow' [films]," he said of "Lazarus." "I've seen [the other films]; I did a little research and looked at them. The sets, I really wasn't too keen on, because [they were visually] dead and real bland, with a lot of dark colors. It looked like 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' in the ghetto.
"It didn't look real," DMX continued. "There were no extras at all. You saw no regular people [in the background], no traffic, nothing. It was like, 'What is this?'"
DMX will be seen next alongside Steven Seagal in "Exit Wounds," which is due out on March 16, 2001, right around the time the rapper-actor is expected to start production on " Lazarus."
In addition to the film projects, DMX plans to start work on his fourth studio album early next year, and Def Jam has set a tentative release date of May 22 for the project. The follow-up to 1999's multi-platinum And Then There Was X is still untitled, but in a recent interview with MTV News, DMX said he planned to call the album The Ear.
For more from the MTV News interview with DMX, check out the MTVi News feature "DMX: Blood Rights."