Rapper Mos Def (“16 Blocks”) and Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”) are in final talks to co-star in the indie drama “Stringbean and Marcus,” playing two former Black Panthers members who have fallen out of love.
The movie, set in 1978, was written and will be directed by first-time feature filmmaker Tanya Hamilton. It is told through the eyes of an adolescent girl.
“It’s not so much about the idea of race,” Hamilton said. “I just wanted to show this world of ordinary people living under extraordinary circumstances, trying to outrun this past they all have.” Shooting is scheduled to begin in July in Philadelphia.
According to producer Sean Costello, Mos Def and Okonedo have not yet signed, but “they’ve committed to the project.” Contracts are not likely to be finalized until June, he added.
Hamilton was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996 for her short film “The Killers,” for which she also received a DGA Women’s Award.
“Mos is one of my favorite actors; he’s fantastic,” Costello said. “Sophie has to play this character who’s both closed off and being open to helping people yet not being an angry woman. That’s what she did in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ as this maternal, yet emotionally conflicted woman.”
Okonedo received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for “Rwanda” last year. Mos Def received an Emmy nomination for his lead role in the cable TV movie “Something the Lord Made.”