Curtis Hanson On Board For Eminem Film

Academy Award-winning director Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential," "Wonder Boys") has come aboard to helm and produce Imagine Entertainment's feature "Fight Song," starring controversial rapper Eminem

Academy Award-winning director Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential," "Wonder Boys") has come aboard to helm and produce Imagine Entertainment's feature "Fight Song," starring controversial rapper Eminem (real name: Marshall Mathers III) for producer Brian Grazer and Universal Pictures. The project aims to be in production by late summer or early fall.

Loosely based on Eminem's life, the story follows a young white rapper growing up in Detroit who struggles to find a unique voice. Through his music he learns to express his anger and frustration as he strives to transcend his bleak circumstances. Director-scribe Scott Silver ("The Mod Squad") wrote the script for the project, which will mark Eminem's feature film acting debut.

The film will allow Eminem to platform his music visually in three or four musical sequences. Eminem will write the music with Dr. Dre, who signed the fledgling rapper to his Interscope imprint Aftermath and produced his Grammy-winning album "The Marshall Mathers LP." Dr. Dre also featured Eminem on his multiplatinum set "Dr. Dre -- 2001."

"I've known Curtis for 20 years, and he's not only extremely artistic but has a voice in him that can really speak to the masses," Grazer told The Hollywood Reporter. "The blend between the raw nature of Eminem, the music of Dr. Dre and Curtis' direction -- there is a perfect middle. It's funny because over the years, I've offered Curtis just about every project, and he's turned them all down. So after 20 years, this is what we're finally doing together."

"I'm pinching myself that Curtis -- a world class filmmaker -- has come aboard this project," Universal chairman Stacey Snider said. "The screenplay, it's a moving profound story about what this character overcomes to find his purpose in life. It's an engrossing story and we quickly realized that it deserved a great director. We shot high and we got Curtis. The whole company is energized by his decision to come on board because we know that it will be a project that is unique and that it will have integrity."

The soundtrack to the film will be released on Interscope Records. Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine was responsible for bringing Eminem and Dr. Dre to Grazer's attention.

"For Interscope to be involved with the creative team of Curtis Hanson, Brian Grazer, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Stacey Snider, and (Universal Studios president and chief operating officer) Ron Meyer, makes us one very lucky record company," Iovine said.