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Paula Patton To Headline David Talbert’s “Baggage Claim” (Fox Searchlight Apparently Back In Black Film Biz)

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 8, 2012 6:30 PM
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This is a project that's been in the works since 2010, which was when we first announced it; at the time, Taraji P. Henson was reportedly in talks to star in the movie - playwright/director David E. Talbert's rom-com, Baggage Claim, based on his best-selling debut novel about a flight attendant with thirty days and thirty thousand miles to find a husband.

The project was (and apparently still is) housed at Fox Searchlight, with Talbert set to write, produce and direct the film. 

Fast-forward to today, with news that Paula Patton is now attached to star in Baggage Claim, as the flight attendant (Montana Moore), with the film now set to shoot this September, with Talbert still behind the camera.

Here's Amazon's description:

Pledging to keep herself from being the oldest and the only woman in her entire family never to wed, Montana embarks on a thirty-day, thirty-thousand-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiancé. Whom will she choose? Damon Diesel, a P. Diddy wannabe; Reverend Curtis P. Merewether, pastor of Greater House of Deliverance, Tabernacle of Praise, Worship, and Miracles; pompous attorney-turned-councilman Langston Jefferson Battle III; or Quinton Jamison, a multimillionaire who's twenty years her senior?

You may recall Talbert's directorial debut, First Sunday, which starred Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan, amongst others.

Anyone read Baggage Claim? And if so, thoughts on it?

It looks like the success of Think Like A Man might have had a hand in helping push this forward, after 2 years in limbo.

I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you all of a 2010 L.A. Times report (soon after the above project was first announced) that suggested that Fox Searchlight was "pulling back from its foray into black-themed films." Why? Well, the last few "black-themed" films at that time that had been distributed by the studio hadn't exactly set the box office on fire - namely, Just Wright and Our Family Wedding, each grossing only about $20 million in domestic box office, as well as Notorious ($37 million gross, on an estimated $18 million budget) and I Think I Love My Wife ($13 million domestic on an $11 million budget).

Apparently, Fox Searchlight had been hoping to recreate some of that Tyler Perry magic that's been helping to keep Lionsgate afloat for the last few years.

The article further noted that "while the urban market remains under-served by conventional Hollywood, it's not an audience that's easily captured."


Obviously something has changed in that thinking on Fox Searchlight's part - emphasis on "thinking,"as in "think," as in Think Like A Man.

Execs at the studio later said at the time that they really weren't curtailing their efforts, insisting that there had been no strategic shift, even though they did acknowledged the difficulties they're having in reaching black audiences; and, oh, by the way, at the time, they reportedly put one proposed project into "turn-around," and guess which one it was? 

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  • Tony | November 10, 2012 11:41 PMReply

    what movie is that picture from? I don't seem to recognize it...

  • JMac | May 9, 2012 9:13 PMReply

    A movie about a black woman trying to find a husband in 30 days. Yeah, I'll be lining up to see that. Keep trying Searchlight - maybe you'll get it right some day.

  • richard | May 9, 2012 1:10 PMReply

    Oh brother, I see a few of you have already drank your Hatorade this morning. David Talbert and his wife Lyn are two of the most professional, down to earth people I have met so how about this for a novel concept. Wait until you see the film and then if you want to hate, hate away. And, did I see a negative comment about a light skinned Paula Patton? What a bunch of bull, who cares if she is light, dark or green......keep racism out of this because that's what you are saying.

  • Oh Word? | May 10, 2012 12:37 AM

    One person mentioned skin tone and not even negatively. Still doesn't change the face that Paula's a wack actress. Anyone with the slightest bit of depth can see that.

  • donnadara | May 9, 2012 10:39 AMReply

    I enjoyed the novel, but why Paula Patton? No offense to my light-skinned sisters, but I would like to see more brown-skinned actresses work besides the usual suspects, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson. And Paula did not impress in Jumping the Broom, which I did not like at all anyway (waited to see it on cable). How about Regina King? She's a more believable thirty-five and a really great actress.

  • Micah | May 9, 2012 2:55 AMReply

    I don't know much about her acting talent but she looks amazingly hot in the above picture.

  • LeonRaymond | May 8, 2012 11:25 PMReply

    God I hate that term "Urban", just flat out call it BLACK FILM. We need to come up with a term for White films that would be a thorn in the side of marketing execs. Waiting To Exhale was located in Arizona, how in hell could that be considered an Urban film or Urban Locale?

  • Nadine | May 9, 2012 11:27 AM

    Hip-Hop is pretty much underground now, so what Black people mistakenly call Hip-Hop today (to their own detriment), is really commercial rap music. "Urban" is just one of the code words like "ghetto" but not as antagonistic.

  • Micah | May 9, 2012 2:53 AM

    Leon I share your sentiments. It's part of the extreme misunderstanding certain people have of hip-hop and it's connection to black people. Not all hip-hop is urban and it doesn't define all black people. In the fact the buying power of caucasians is probably the biggest influence on hip-hop in the past few decades. They has always been a large black population outside of urban areas and they seem to be returning to the these areas if the census is correct.

  • Brandon | May 8, 2012 9:30 PMReply

    I love Paula but she cat carry a film on her own. They need great actors like think like a man

  • misha | May 8, 2012 9:11 PMReply

    Paula Patton? Zzzzzzzzzzzz If only Taraji were still attached...

  • Moionfire | May 8, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    Could we kill the term "urban market" and just say the black market. It is an ugly euphemism.

  • Tiffany Darling | May 9, 2012 11:49 AM

    Yeah...unfortunately the "white" infrastructure in marketing use "Urban" in broad terms because it translates into dollars. Urban is no longer just black. Urban or the "Urbane" Market (according to them) is now the white boys, sagging their pants with hats to the back. Urban is Justin Beiber hanging with Floyd Maywheather. Urban is the tan lady bopping to Jay-Z on TMZ yesterday...this is the only way they know how to define a market that they do not understand, but trying to make it translate in broad terms to the powers that be...Urban is any diverse city USA or a suburban town with white kids on skate boards listening to Lil Wayne.

    With regards to Paula Patton, I like her as an actress but she just did Jumping the Broom and I don't think that's a great sounds like the same frumpy role...

  • Marissa | May 8, 2012 8:54 PMReply

    Paula looks so pretty in that pic. She's gorgeous!

  • Shak | May 8, 2012 7:02 PMReply

    I read the book a few years ago and I loved it. When it was first announced that Taraji was going to star, I thought it was a good idea because she can portray strong and vulnerable.

    Now, I like Paula Patton. I thought she was great in Deja Vu and if she can bring that spirit to the role of Montana, and not her character from Jumping the Broom, then I'll be cool. I need to see a trailer first before I'm convinced. I know she has it in here, but I get concerned with actors get some notoriety from the while media and they stay playing a role all the time, instead of sticking with the skills and personality that earned them that shine in the first place. It'll be interesting to find out who the various men she checks out will be played by. They need to play this on some "Love Jones/ Love & Basketball" tip and not some cheesy, childish level. Make this film for grown folks! But, we shall see!

  • Akimbo | May 8, 2012 6:59 PMReply

    They'd better stock the cast full of hilarious and dynamic actors; relying on Paula Patton to carry a movie is just not smart.

  • Andy | May 8, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    Maybe they need to STOP trying to reach black audiences and put forth some effort reaching audiences interested in great stories. What a freaking concept, huh?

  • Nadine | May 9, 2012 12:16 PM

    Reaching audiences interested in great stories is beyond Hollywood's ability. Hollywood is unable to create anything without intentionally advancing one groups agenda over another. That does not just mean Black or White, but male and female, plain female over pretty female, etc... that's why certain filmmakers coming from overseas are so refreshing... they're not bound by the Hollywood BS.

  • Muse | May 9, 2012 12:05 PM

    "Maybe they need to STOP trying to reach black audiences and put forth some effort reaching audiences interested in great stories. What a freaking concept, huh?"

    You're telling too much truth and making too much sense!

  • Critical Acclaim | May 8, 2012 6:46 PMReply

    These studios are clueless when it comes to us. Grasping at straws in the dark.

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