General News

Eminem's film debut

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Jun 03, 2001 | 12:40pm EDT

Controversial rapper Eminem will not have to do too much research when he makes his film debut. He will play a troubled young rapper in urban Detroit struggling to make it big.

Curtis Hanson, who directed films such as Wonder Boys and L.A. Confidential, will helm the still untitled film for Universal Pictures.

"I saw here an opportunity to make a serious movie about the emotional struggles of contemporary adolescents in this country," Hanson told Variety on Thursday. "This captures the angst, insecurity, frustration and anger, search for direction and identity."

The film, written by Scott Silver (The Mod Squad), focuses on a troubled kid who finds his voice in hip-hop. He, like Eminem, lives in a predominantly black neighborhood in Detroit.

Eminem's publicist could not be reached for comment.

Eminem already seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to acting. He is known for portraying himself in different roles, such as the rapper Eminem, the chainsaw-wielding alter ego Slim Shady, the rapper, or his plain self, Marshall Mathers III.

That is perhaps what makes Hanson so enthusiastic in helping the rapper to hone his acting chops.

"Working with actors is what I like best about directing and Eminem is an extraordinarily gifted artist, one who's already shown an ability to project personas and identities," Hanson told Variety.

Imagine Entertainment principal Brian Grazer and Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine will produce the film. The record label also will release the film's soundtrack.

The film is set to begin pre-production in the fall.

This is not the first project in which producers have had Eminem in mind. Warner Bros. wanted to pair Eminem with fellow rapper DMX in a crime drama called Lazarus. Eminem also is expected to make a cameo appearance in the comedy The Wash, starring Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre., MTV reports.

Eminem remains the center of attention because of his lyrics-considered by some as hateful and homophobic-his recent guilty plea to carrying a concealed weapon, and most recently his divorce proceedings.

Eminem is contesting child support payments, saying that the sum is too much, The Associated Press reports. He has a daughter, Hailie Jade, with estranged wife Kimberly. The two agreed to share custody in March.

On May 21, The Macomb (Mich.) County Friend of the Court agency suggested that Eminem pay $142,480 a year in child support, shell out $156 per week toward health insurance, and assume 90 percent of any child care costs.

But Kimberly Mathers, who is unemployed, says she wants more money. Her attorney, Robert Feldstein, said in legal documents said the sum recommended was "inadequate and inequitable."

Court records suggest Eminem may have a gross income of $2.7 million per year, AP reports.

Attorneys for both parties will hold a hearing on Thursday, June 7, before Probate Judge Antonio P. Viviano to discuss this matter.

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