EXCLUSIVE: We are getting word from sources that Warner Bros is rebooting its 1991 neo-noir gangster film New Jack City, and that multi-hyphenate Snowfall actor and filmmaker Malcolm M. Mays is writing.
The original movie, directed by Mario Van Peebles and written by Thomas Lee Wright, boasted a star cast that included Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Chris Rock, Flavor Flav, Allen Payne, Judd Nelson and Peebles. Snipes played arrogant New York City drug lord Nino Brown during the 1980s crack epidemic. Ice-T portrayed Scotty Appleton, a detective who goes undercover in Nino’s gang, the Cash Money Brothers, to bring down the drug lord for taking the life of his mother. Rock was “Pookie” Benny Robinson, a former stick-up kid who becomes homeless and poor after Appleton shoots him in the ankle. Pookie becomes a crack addict and eventually a police informant and infiltrates the Cash Money Brothers.
New Jack City, made for an estimated $8 million back in the day, grossed close to $48M at the domestic box office.
No director is attached yet to the new New Jack City, which Bill Gerber (A Star Is Born) is producing along with the pic’s original producer Doug McHenry.
Mays recently wrote for Warner Bros Ferguson, an adaptation of the book Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy and Love of My Son Michael Brown, by Lezley McSpadden with Lyah Beth LeFlore.
Mays is also set to direct and produce the feature Flint for Overbrook Entertainment. The pic stars John Ortiz and T.I. and is described as a modern-day Chinatown set against the Flint, MI water crisis in which a converted ex-con who’s found peace in the Tao finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery set upon by his ex-lover and young mentee that unravels the fabric of the water crisis afflicting the community in which he grew up.
Mays played Kevin Hamilton for two seasons on FX’s Snowfall. He also starred in Antoine Fuqua’s boxing movie Southpaw and the Cuba Gooding Jr.-Dennis Haysbert film Life of a King. On Friday, Mays can be seen starring opposite Anna Kendrick in IFC’s The Day Shall Come from See-Saw Films.
Mays is repped by ICM Partners, GSA Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.