Universal Pictures has bought worldwide rights to an untitled movie musical starring hip-hop duo OutKast. The HBO Films production is set in a 1930s Southern speakeasy and follows two characters, Perc

Universal Pictures has bought worldwide rights to an untitled movie musical starring hip-hop duo OutKast. As previously reported, the HBO Films production is set in a 1930s Southern speakeasy and follows two characters, Percival (Andre Benjamin, aka Andre 3000), the club's piano player, and Rooster (Antwan Patton, aka Big Boi), the club's lead performer and manager, through intersecting stories of love and ambition.

Bryan Barber, OutKast's longtime music video collaborator, is making his feature film-directing debut here, working from his own screenplay. The movie was formerly titled "My Life in Idlewild." Its cast also includes Ving Rhames, Terrence Howard, Faizon Love, Patti LaBelle, Macy Gray, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen.

Universal Pictures will distribute the film wide in 2006, having successfully released such music-themed works as 2002's "8 Mile" and 2004's "Ray."

"This is not just another musical that happens to be starring OutKast and happens to be directed by Bryan Barber," HBO Films president Colin Callender says.

"It's more akin to a 'Purple Rain' or 'A Hard Day's Night,'" he continues. "It's very much a collaboration of Andre and Big Boi and Bryan Barber, and grew out of their musical and cinematic explorations. It's not like we found a musical and said, 'Let's go cast OutKast, and maybe Bryan Barber might be interested in directing it.' What we were really doing was giving OutKast and Bryan a platform to creatively invent their own musical."

The movie will feature new songs from the duo's next album, a soundtrack disc that will be released through LaFace/Zomba Label Group before the end of the year. "It's not like every song is about the movie," Big Boi told Billboard.com last month. "The movie is based on relationships: with your family, the most high, your business relationships. The album is about everything, not just relationships."

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