Walt Disney Co.-based production company Beacon Pictures is banking on the appeal of father-son rappers Master P and Lil’ Romeo to pack a punch at the box office, having picked up a pair of projects involving the duo.
They include “Uncle P,” an urban family comedy that Master P had bankrolled himself and recently wrapped production on with Bernard Gourly directing, and the comedy “Shorty,” which Beacon is in early negotiations to pick up out of turnaround at Universal Pictures. Both films were written by Dallas Jackson.
“Uncle P” is described as an urban “Uncle Buck” meets “Mr. Mom.” The project sees Master P essentially starring as himself, a multimillion-dollar businessman in New York known as P Miller (short for his real name, Percy Miller), who is also a world-famous rapper. When Miller’s sister, a single mother living in suburban California, becomes ill, she asks her brother to come and take care of her three children. Romeo plays the middle child, a mischievous 12-year-old who desperately needs a father figure in his life.
“I’m very excited about ‘Uncle P’ finding a home with the Beacon family,” Master P said. “They share the same vision that Dallas, Romeo and I have of taking urban family entertainment to the next big box office level.”
Jackson was equally enthused about the deal. “I’m very proud to have written the first independently produced African-American family movie to be picked up by a studio,” he said. “Master P is a brilliant businessman, a smart filmmaker and a great mentor to talent, and Beacon understands this.”
“Shorty” centers on a midget alien stranded in a Los Angeles neighborhood who becomes a rapping, hip-hopping partner with a 12-year-old (played by Lil’ Romeo) who wants to win an MTV talent contest. While at Universal, Jesse Dylan had been attached to direct, which is being produced by Master P and Marc Platt.