EXCLUSIVE: MGM and New Line have teamed up to acquire a comedy pitch that Black-ish creator/EP Kenya Barris and The Goldbergs exec producer Alex Barnow hatched and will write together. A big part of this deal was the participation of Ice Cube, who’ll provide a pivotal voice in the comedy and will produce through his Cube Vision banner alongside Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Principato Young. Barris will be exec producer.
A hapless white guy, perennially disrespected by everyone from his girlfriend to his co-workers, wakes up after an accident, and the voice inside his head is Ice Cube. It’s the Straight Outta Compton Cube, who’s pretty pissed about what this guy has let happen to him. Driven by that voice, he begins to develop confidence to take back his life. The device has been used in movies before — Humphrey Bogart advising Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam, and Elvis Presley mentoring Christian Bale in True Romance. What hapless white guy wouldn’t want an inner-Cube stoking his courage? The pitch made the rounds under the title White Boy Problems, but that’s likely to change.
The film will be co-financed by New Line and MGM, and the former will distribute. The two companies just got together on Barbershop 3, which stars and is produced by Cube. Barris wrote that script with Tracy Oliver.
Barris is repped by CAA and Principato Young, while Barnow is repped by UTA. Cube has been a magnet for recent deals that include Rocky Mountain High, the Barbershop sequel, the Ride Along films and 23 Jump Street, which is just getting into the formative stages. A high point for the rapper-actor should be Straight Outta Compton, an autobiographical film about Cube about the formation of N.W.A that he and his Cube Vision worked for about a decade to get made. It looks like a late summer sleeper for Universal.