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'The Black Phantom' Still Lives. 5 Years Later, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart In Talks To Star In Will Packer Production

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 11, 2014 3:13 PM
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A project that's been in limbo since 2009 when we first reported on it, on the old S&A site, appears to have been given life again.

First, a quick recap...

In 2009, Screen Gems (Sony’s specialty film producing arm) acquired The Black Phantom, a spec comedy that was to be produced by Will Packer under his Rainforest Films banner, with Doug Aarniokoski attached to make his directing debut.

Aarniokoski was second unit director on the Screen Gems action film Takers, on which Packer was also producer. Packer sold Screen Gems on taking a shot with the first-time helmer.

In The Black Phantom, a double-crossed mob hitman turns for help to an unlikely source: the title character, an African American hitman (The Black Phantom) who was hired to kill him.

Rainforest’s Rob Hardy was to executive produce.


Skip ahead almost 5 years later to news that Jamie Foxx (who has long been rumored to be attached the project) and Kevin Hart are both in talks to star in the film Tim Story in talks to direct (Story and Hart have proven to be a hit team after working together on Think Like A Man and, most recently, Ride Along, two box office successes; both also produced by Will Packer).

Previously rumored to be attached at one time or another within the last 5 years, are Eddie Murphy and Idris Elba in the roles now occupied by Foxx and Hart I would assume. Also, even Justin Timberlake's name was once rumored.

Again, I never could confirm any of these past attachments; so they may never have been. But Jamie Foxx's name first popped up on my radar in 2012, so whomever gave me that piece of information at the time, may have known something, so I can't discount the others.

f a deal makes, the film would reteam Hart and Story with their “Ride Along” producer Will Packer, who is producing the pic along with Will Gluck. Packer has long wanted to do the film and, after the success of “Ride Along” and Foxx’s interest to work with Hart, the project seemed like the perfect match for all four men. Story follows a double-crossed mob hitman who enlists the 

By the way, Will Packer is still attached to produce, with Will Gluck, who's currently filming the reimagining of Annie which stars Quvenzhané Wallis and, what do you know, Jamie Foxx! This is after all a business of relationships.

Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper will oversee the project for the studio.

The actor/director/producer combo here is perfect, given how much success they've had collectively in recent years.

Now if only I can get my hands on the script...

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More: Kevin Hart, Will Packer, Tim Story, Jamie Foxx

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