Ice Cube’s “Barbershop” was a huge success, but hey, women need haircuts too. That’s why Queen Latifah’s opening up the “Beauty Shop” next door.
MGM wants Latifah to produce and star in a spinoff of “Barbershop” and make an appearance in “Barbershop 2,” alongside Cube, Eve and the rest of the cast. Last year’s hit flick about a struggling Chicago parlor took in $75 million. The plan is to have Latifah make a cameo in the sequel as a beauty shop owner whose business is next door, setting the stage for a separate movie that would be developed at the same time. Latifah is currently in negotiations for both films, according to an MGM representative.
Latifah, who was paid $1 million to produce and star in the current hit “Bringing Down the House,” could receive an eight-figure salary for “Beauty Shop,” according to Hollywood trade paper Variety. Though “Bringing Down the House” continues to draw in moviegoers, it was recently hit by a lawsuit alleging the story was plagiarized (see “Queen Latifah Hit With $15 Million Lawsuit” ).
In addition to “Barbershop 2″ and “Beauty Shop,” Latifah also has the romantic comedy “Just Wright” (see “Queen Latifah Signs On For NBA Cinderella Story” ) and the CBS detective drama “Mali Anderson” in the works.
A lot of the current interest in her is undoubtedly due to her critically hailed turn in “Chicago,” which earned her nominations for best supporting actress at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.
Queen Latifah first came on the scene with 1989’s All Hail the Queen, a landmark album in hip-hop that addressed women’s rights, apartheid and self-empowerment. She made her feature film debut as a lesbian bank robber in director F. Gary Gray’s “Set It Off.”
MGM is courting Elizabeth Hunter, who wrote Beyoncé Knowles’ upcoming movie “The Fighting Temptations” (see “Beyonce Transforms Into Bohemian, Motherly Nightclub Singer” ), to script “Beauty Shop,” according to a representative for the studio.