Nine years after surprising both fans and detractors alike with a stirring performance in his film debut in 8 Mile, Eminem is said to be returning to the big screen with two separate projects.
The rapper, whose most recent album Recovery was the top-selling album of 2010, plans to star in a crime thriller called Random Acts of Violence for 20th Century Fox, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The project has been in development at Fox for nearly five years, and the script reportedly has gone through multiple drafts (not uncommon in Hollywood), with the most recent version said to center on an ex-con just released from prison who is trying to stay on the right side of the law despite pressure from his thuggish former buddies. At the same time, the FBI is trying to recruit him to bring down a major crime syndicate, leading to conflicted emotions and life circumstances for the rehabbed criminal.
Writer-director David Von Ancken (Showtime’s "Californication"), who previously took a pass at the script, is in line to direct.
Additionally, DreamWorks has acquired the rights to Southpaw, a boxing movie starring Slim Shady as a welterweight fighter facing tragedy while fighting for the title. Eminem is expected to star.
Kurt Sutter, the creator/executive producer of FX drama "Sons of Anarchy," will write the screenplay, pulling largely from Em’s more recent background that’s featured on Recovery.
"He shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest album, one that I connected with on a lot of levels," says Sutter. "He is very interested in the boxing genre, and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl. In a way, this is a continuation of the ‘8 Mile’ story, but rather than a literal biography, we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life."
No production schedule or release date has been set.