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Basinger Circles Eminem Project

Academy Award winner Kim Basinger is in negotiations to star in Universal Pictures’ “The Untitled Detroit Project” for director Curtis Hanson and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer. Shooting begins Oct. 18 in Detroit and stars multiplatinum recording artist Eminem in his first feature acting debut.

The project reteams Basinger with Hanson, both of whom worked on 1998’s “L.A. Confidential,” for which Basinger won a supporting actress Oscar and Hanson earned an Oscar for adapted screenplay. Hanson also directed and produced the film.

“Detroit” is described as an honest but provocative fictional examination of a critical month in the life of a young man named Jimmy (Eminem) as he searches for identity and a sense of purpose. Against the familiar backdrop of indifference and community decay, he learns to express his anger, fears and frustration as he struggles to transcend his bleak circumstances. Basinger will play Jimmy’s mother.

Eugene Byrd (“Dead Man”) has also been cast in the project to play a black rapper named Wink, who on the surface seems to be Jimmy’s friend. Giovanni Ribisi was previously being eyed to play the role, originally written as a Caucasian character, but the role has since been reconfigured, and Byrd is firmly on board to play him.

Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy round out the cast as Jimmy’s best friend and girlfriend, respectively.

Scott Silver wrote the screenplay for “Detroit,” which is being produced by Grazer, Hanson and Interscope Records’ Jimmy Iovine. Eminem will collaborate with Dr. Dre on music for the film, which will feature a soundtrack from Interscope.

Basinger, repped by CAA, next stars opposite Al Pacino in the indie feature “People I Know.” Her recent credits include “Bless the Child” and “I Dreamed of Africa.”

Byrd is repped by the Gersh Agency and Creative Management Group’s Edie Robb. He next stars in the WB Network series “For Your Love,” slated for midseason, and the indie feature “Lift,” which Showtime recently picked up for distribution.

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