This is actually a little old, but I was only just alerted to it, so I’m publishing it now. I assume many of you likely haven’t seen it, so here it is.
Starring Michael Jai White, Tyson Beckford, Romeo Miller and Eurika Pratts amongst others, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Jean-Claude LaMarre’s “Chocolate City,” which will take viewers into the world of male strippers, who also happen to be black.
Call it the black “Magic Mike” (see Daniel Simolke’s piece on this blog on “Magic Mike’s” diversity problem, here).
“Chocolate City” will follow, Devin… a young college student struggling to make ends meet who meets the owner of a male strip club who convinces him to give amateur night a whirl.
Gotta pay the bills somehow, right? It certainly won’t be the first time we’ve heard a story about a college kid having to strip, or even “hook,” as they work their way through higher education. The difference this time is that the protag is black and male, which isn’t the typical college hard-luck story you’d find told on film.
Jai White will play the owner of the strip club, while Beckford will play the club’s former star attraction, whose star is now fading, thanks to the upstart kid who’s moving in.
Miller will play Devin, the young college student, while Pratts will play his girlfriend who isn’t too pleased with her boyfriend’s choice of employment.
And in a bid to draw the pious crowd, there’s also a subplot involving Devin’s struggles with reconciling his strict religious upbringing with his career as a stripper.
Director LaMarre (who most recently helmed the “Gang of Roses” movies) says that the project is one he’s been developing for a couple of years, as he researched the male strip club scene, eventually realizing how immensely popular it is.
LaMarre, who penned the script, is also producing via his Nulite production company, along with Gabriel Casseus, Robert Aaronson and Rozina Negusei of Zanar Entertainment.
Look for a 2015 premiere.
This might actually be coming along at the right time, given the success of “Magic Mike” (there’s a sequel coming this summer) as well as what I’ve previously identified as a recent renewed interest by Hollywood studios in targeting black audiences, both on the big and small screens. If appetizingly packaged, a Hollywood studio just might see the potential here to make what might be some easy money, and bite, with a distribution pickup and sufficient marketing. Hello… calling Lionsgate/Codeblack…
The behind the scenes clip below, from “The Insider With Yahoo” and correspondent Nina Parker, who visited the set of “Chocolate City” last year, and learned about how different the film will be to “Magic Mike” and more: