Simmons has inked a deal with Fox for the pic “Life and Def: Sex Drugs Money + God.” The project will chronicle the music mogul’s rise from the rough streets of Queens to a music and fashion icon.
Barris is the co-writer of films that include “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” and his script will reportedly highlight the influence that Def Jam Records had on the rise of rap and hip hop in America.
The label launched the careers of rap pioneers such as L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys and grew to include Kanye West, Jay-Z and DMX. Current artists also include Iggy Azalea, Big Sean, Leona Lewis, 2 Chainz, Afrojack, Ludacris, Pusha T, Desiigner and Jhené Aiko.
The Russell Simmons biopic is a co-production between Simmons’ Def Pictures and Misher Films.
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Lee Daniels is reportedly developing an hourlong Fox drama titled “Mason Dixon,” and Deadline reports that the project “revolves around a black politician’s wife and a blunt-talking good-ol’ boy who, in the wake of their spouses’ cheating scandal, form an unlikely alliance that blends their families and shakes up a community divided by race and class.”
Daniels has an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television — home of his two series on Fox, the music dramas “Empire” and “Star,” which was picked up for a second season.