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Web Toon Undercover Brother Turned Into Feature

Author and writer John Ridley (THREE KINGS) has signed a deal with Universal and Imagine to scribe a live-action version of his Web toon UNDERCOVER BROTHER. The blaxploitation-spoof currently airs on Urban Entertainment and is the first Web created project to make the jump to the big screen. Ridley is getting a US$1 million dollar advance on the script and could wind up with $2 million if the script is green-lighted. BROTHER follows the adventures of a "dude cooler than Shaft" that goes undercover as a none-threatening black man to uncover the secrets of "the man." Serving the secret agency Brotherhood, the afro-topped, bell-bottom sportin Undercover Brothers main goal is to level the playing field for African Americans. The deal came through a close relationship between Imagine principal Brian Grazer and Urban Entertainments founder and former Fox exec Michael Jenkinson, who will both serve as producer on the flick. "This is a major step for the Internet, and the first step in our plan to take our product into the offline world," said Jenkinson. Ridley commented, "This is a huge deal and I didnt expect anything like this when Mike got me to do this project. This was something I wrote six years ago that I found on some discs I was about to throw away." Currently, Ridley is the supervising producer of NBCs THIRD WATCH and his book STRAY DOGS was the basis for Oliver Stone-directed U-TURN. The two-year-old Urban Entertainment also features Web toons like POOKIE POO, created by comedian A.J. Jamal; CISCO AND RIPPLE, a smart and funny movie review show voiced by comedians Spencer and A.J. Jamal; and forthcoming THE CONTRACT, created by BIG HIT scribe Ben Ramsey.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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