Andre 3000 has been dipping his toes into the Hollywood movie pool with a series of bit parts, but he's about to dive in headfirst. The eccentric Outkast rapper has just signed on for a starring role in a film that will begin production in September.
Currently dubbed the "Untitled Andre Benjamin Project," the flick is a love story pitched against race and class struggles in the mid-1970s. According to Element Films, one of the film's producers, Andre plays an affluent musical prodigy named Valentine who is in love with a white, free-spirited, lower-class woman named Chevon. The lovers' families are both opposed to the couple's relationship, and matters are complicated when a shooting by Chevon's brother, a police officer, is blamed on Valentine. The two lovers then go on the run.
While Andre's participation in the movie was confirmed Monday, he's been attached to the script since last summer, when the flick was known as "Love Hater." That script inspired him to write a song of the same name on his half of the Outkast double album, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below.
Emmy-winning TV director Paris Barclay has been tapped to direct. In addition to Element Films, the movie is also being produced by Teek Films, with a host of executive producers including Baron Davis, all-star point guard with basketball's New Orleans Hornets.
There is talk that Andre will produce new, solo music for the movie's soundtrack, but his representative could not confirm the information. The film's producers said Andre would undoubtedly be involved in the soundtrack in some capacity.
This would be the first major movie role for Andre, who has played smaller parts in "Hollywood Homicide" and the upcoming "Get Shorty" sequel, "Be Cool." He's previously expressed his desire to play legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in a biopic being developed by the Hughes Brothers directorial team. That project, though, is still awaiting the approval of the Hendrix family and estate (see "Outkast's Andre 3000 Has Been Doing His Hendrix Homework").
Outkast have yet to begin filming their much-publicized original HBO movie, for which both Andre and Big Boi said they'd create a new album together to serve as its soundtrack (see "Outkast's Film Career Coming Into Focus").