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Russell Simmons Biopic ‘Life and Def: Sex Drugs Money + God’ in the Works

Variety logo Variety 6/28/2017 Dave McNary
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Fox has launched development of a Russell Simmons biopic “Life and Def: Sex Drugs Money + God” with Simmons on board to produce.

The project will cover Simmons’ rise the inner city area of Queens to become a major impresario in the worlds of music, fashion, and TV. Fox has tapped Kenya Barris, the creator of ABC’s series “Black-ish” and co-writer of “Barbershop: The Next Cut” and “Girls Trip,” to write the script.

“Life and Def” will be a co-production between Simmons’ Def Pictures and Misher Films, with Simmons and Kevin Misher producing. Jake Stein, Bobby Shriver, Josh Bratman and Andy Berman are the exec producers.

Barris signed an overall deal with Fox in September for the development of feature projects through his production company, Khalabo Ink Society, aimed at telling compelling stories that pull back the curtain on the parts of our society that typically go unnoticed.

“Life and Def” will cover the rise of rap and hip hop in America through Simmons forming Def Jam Records, which has included L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Jay-Z and DMX. Simmons joined Rick Rubin on the label soon after its founding in 1983.

Barris is represented by CAA, Principato Young, and Morris Yorn. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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