Preview by: Jack Foley
CURTIS Jackson, the artist more commonly known as 50 Cent, will
be following in the footsteps of Eminem next January (2006) when
his new film, Get Rich Or Die Tryin', opens in UK cinemas.
And just as Eminem did with 8 Mile
(directed by Curtis Hanson), Curtis has chosen well in terms of
directors, teaming up with Jim Sheridan (In The Name Of The Father,
In America) to bring his hard-hitting
tale to big screen life.
Get Rich or Die Tryin' tells the story of an orphaned street
kid who makes his mark in the drug trade but finally dares to
leave the violence behind and become the rap artist he was meant
Marcus (Jackson) has always known he was going to be a rapper,
but when his mother is murdered, he turns to dealing, as hustling
drugs pays the rent.
As his world spirals out of control, however, he begins to apply
the same manic intensity to his writing as he does to dealing;
believing that the only way to stay sane is to put his feelings
For years, he endures this living hell until a tragedy that
nearly kills him gets Marcus to change his life.
From its synopsis alone, the film bears uncanny similarities
to Curtis' real life, so it should be interesting to see how the
artist treats the subject matter for a film.
He has certainly surrounded himself with some heavyweight talent.
Sheridan is a six-time Oscar® nominee, while co-star, Terrence
Howard, has already won considerable acclaim this year for his
performances in Crash and, most notably,
Hustle & Flow (another
hip-hop movie inspired by real life hardship).
Certainly, Curtis Jackson's work
ethic has inspired Howard, who was full of praise for the star
while promoting Hustle & Flow in London recently.
Commenting on what it was like to work with both Jackson and
Sheridan on the film, Howard said: "What struck me is that
both of those people are so humble.
"Jim Sheridan is, I think, probably the most gifted director
I have ever worked with and 50 Cent has the most incredible work
ethic I've ever seen of any individual in the world.
"Seeing both of them surrender to their environment and
asking extras 'what do you think about this? How's this sound?'
"50 would always bring somebody into his trailer and have
them listen to the music that he was trying to create for the
movie. Same thing with Jim. They were beautiful. They allowed
everyone to see them as who they truly are."
However, the film has already provoked controversy in America
ahead of its release later this month.
Activists in LA want distributor Paramount Pictures to take down
billboards promoting the film, claiming they promote gun violence.
The advertisement in question shows Jackson holding a gun in
his left hand and a microphone in his right - but given that one
has been posted next to a pre-school, it has caused upset.
A rally has already been organised in protest against the ad
campaign, with parents accusing Paramount of irresponsibility
for marketing the film in high-crime areas.
The film is due to open in UK cinemas on January 20, 2006.
Related stories: Read
our review of the soundtrack
Terrence Howard talks
hip-hop politics/Hustle & Flow