Year in Music 2017

LL Cool J To Star In 'S.W.A.T.'

James Todd Smith, aka hip-hop artist LL Cool J, has joined the cast of the Columbia Pictures feature "S.W.A.T." Production begins Oct. 19 in Los Angeles, with Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy

James Todd Smith, aka hip-hop artist LL Cool J, has joined the cast of the Columbia Pictures feature "S.W.A.T." Production begins Oct. 19 in Los Angeles, with Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, and Michelle Rodriguez also starring in the film, which will be directed by Clark Johnson.

The film's story line centers on an arrested crime lord who is transported by an LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics Team -- led by Jackson's character -- out of the city and into federal custody. Plans go awry when the kingpin offers $100 million to anyone who can free him. LL Cool J will play Deke, a leading member of the team, which also includes Farrell, Renner, and Rodriguez.

Oliver Stone, Dan Halsted, Chris Lee, and Neal Moritz are producing the project, which is rooted in the 1970s ABC television series of the same name. David Ayer ("Training Day") wrote the most recent draft of the script.

LL Cool J next stars in Dimension Films' action-thriller "Mindhunters" and Focus Features' romantic comedy "Deliver Us From Eva." He also wrote a children's book for Scholastic as part of its new "Hip Kid Hop" series titled "And the Winner Is..." which includes an accompanying rap-a-long CD.

He will release his 10th album, "10," Oct. 15 via Def Jam. First single "Luv U Better" is No. 13 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and No. 45 on the Hot 100.