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50 Cent ‘Locks’ down film debut

Rapper will play a former drug deal who's pursuing a music career.
/ Source: Billboard

Rapper 50 Cent will make his film debut in the semi-autobiographical “Locked and Loaded.”

50 Cent will play a former drug dealer who gives up a life of crime to pursue a music career. “The Sopranos” writer/executive producer Terence Winter is writing the screenplay for the project, which is expected in theaters in 2005 or 2006.

The project will be shepherded by Interscope Geffen A&M chairman/CEO Jimmy Iovine and Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg, who have inked a first-look feature film deal with Paramount Pictures and MTV Films.

Iovine and Rosenberg were, respectively, a producer and executive producer of Universal Pictures’ “8 Mile,” a 2002 feature film loosely based on the life of its star, Eminem. The film grossed nearly $117 million at the U.S. box office, according to Nielsen EDI.

The “8 Mile” soundtrack (Shady/Interscope Records) spawned Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in addition to winning an Oscar for best original song and a Grammy Award for best rap song.

Rosenberg is a VP at Eminem’s Shady Records, to which 50 Cent is signed. Sources say the label is expected to release the “Locked and Loaded” soundtrack.