Eminem helped put Detroit’s rap scene on the map. Now, he’s putting it on the silver screen.
A drama loosely based on Marshall Mathers III’s experience as a suburban Detroit hip-hop singer who became a superstar, temporarily named “Untitled Detroit Project,” will begin shooting in and around the city in September.
Imagine Films, producing the movie for distribution through Universal Studios, will open a Detroit production office in early August, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
The newspaper quoted unnamed sources close to the production, but said a Universal Studios spokesman confirmed it.
Eminem, a Grammy-winning rapper who has been widely criticized for his violent lyrics about gays and women, will star in the movie.
Michigan Film Office Director Janet Lockwood said she has no official confirmation that the movie will be filmed in Detroit, but said her talks with producer Greg Goodman and director Curtis Hanson have been very positive.
The film could be released by next summer, accompanied by a soundtrack album with at least four new songs written by Eminem and Dr. Dre, as well as rerecorded versions of Eminem hits.
The film and soundtrack also are expected to feature an appearance by rap group D12, of which Eminem is a member.
Representatives of Eminem did not return calls to discuss the film.
“Untitled Detroit Project” would be the first major-studio film to spend substantial time filming in Detroit since “Out of Sight,” a crime drama starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, shot in the city in 1997.