EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of Hustlers, STXfilms looks to have found a project in the vein of that box-office smash and has teamed with two of Hollywood’s biggest rising stars on it. Saturday Night Live‘s Pete Davidson and Straight Outta Compton‘s O’Shea Jackson Jr. are set to co-star in American Sole, a high-stakes, high-top dramatic comedy set in the world of after-market sneakers, one of the fastest-growing areas of in-demand streetwear. The film will be written and directed by How To Make It In America creator Ian Edelman and produced by Kevin Hart and NBA All-Star Chris Paul.
Hart will produce through his Hartbeat banner with Paul producing through his Oh Dipp!!! Productions banner along with Jake Stein, who will produce through his Scondo Productions label. The film marks Paul’s first feature film as producer.
“American Sole is a story about the highly exciting, very profitable sneaker industry and the secondary sneaker market. With my own personal passion for sneakers and the culture that drives it, I’m excited to be a part of telling this entertaining story,” said Paul.
The pic follows two twentysomethings (Davidson and Jackson) with mountains of college debt who use the fast cash of after-market sneaker reselling to achieve their American dream. But when their startup runs out of cash and a shady investor is their only way out, the dream quickly becomes a nightmare.
Similar to the tones seen in STX’s Hustlers, which also touched one reaching for the American dream even when the system is against you, insiders believe this along with the talent involved could see similar success both critically and at the box office.
Stadium Goods, the world’s premier sneaker and streetwear marketplace, serves as a consulting producer on the project. John McPheters, on behalf of Stadium Goods, serves as an executive producer along with HartBeat’s Bryan Smiley. Drew Simon and Patricia Braga will oversee the project for STXfilms.
“We’re always looking for ways to tap into the zeitgeist, and anyone who’s paying attention to popular culture around the world knows that this particular trend authentically marries the worlds of fashion, music, sports and business and this project has garnered genuine interest in all of those key verticals. We believe we have assembled a dream team of filmmakers, and with the cast led by Pete, we couldn’t ask for a more exciting fit for STXfilms,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of the STXfilms Motion Picture Group.
The sneaker resale market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the fashion industry, having reached $2 billion, a figure that is expected to triple by 2025. With brands manufacturing rare models in extremely limited runs, some of the most highly sought-after kicks have fans shelling out as much as $50,000 for a prized collectible pair. In August 2019, Stadium Goods partnered with Christie’s to auction the Air Jordan 1 High “‘Shattered Backboard’ Origin Story” for $615,000, the record for the most expensive shoe ever sold.
Besides being one of Saturday Night Live‘s youngest cast members, Davidson has been one of the big winners of the summer on the feature side with his star-making turn in Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island. The film marked one of his first leading roles at a major studio and the performance not only earned him high marks for his comedic chops but his dramatic turns that were needed for the material. He also recently starred in Hulu’s Big Time Adolescence, which also earned him strong reviews for his performance.
Ever since his breakout role in the smash hit Straight Outta Compton where he portrayed his father O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube, Jackson has risen the ranks of leading men in the industry. Constantly staying busy, 2019 was a monumental year for Jackson showing his complete range starting with the comedy Long Shot also starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. He followed that up with the tentpole Godzilla: King of the Monsters and ended the year with drama Just Mercy.
He recently signed on to star in the Apple series Swagger, set in the world of AAU basketball.
Edelman created the seminal HBO series How to Make It in America about two downtown NYC kids starting a denim brand. As a writer-director, Edelman’s work includes Puerto Ricans in Paris, a fashion caper staring Luis Guzman and most recently the hip-hop coming-of-age story The After Party for Netflix, featuring a who’s who of rappers from DMX to Ski Mask The Slump God. In television, Edelman is currently an executive producer on Energalactic, the adult animated Netflix series from Kid Cudi and Kenya Barris.
Davidson is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Jackson is repped by WME and Cube Vision. Edelman is repped by UTA.