|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-03-01
What happens when two successful black rappers move into a predominantly white gated suburban community in New Jersey? Fox is hoping that such a culture clash will sow the seeds of the network's next big comedy hit. The untitled Method Man/Redman project, now in production in New Jersey, is one of the heat-seekers on Fox's comedy development slate this year.
The project, described as a kind of edgier take on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme, was the brainchild of Method Man, the Wu-Tang Clan member who figured that his idea for a TV series couldn't be any worse than a lot of the stuff he has seen in primetime in recent years.
"Honestly, I'm not a TV dude," Method Man says. But his idea seemed perfect for the small screen, and it wasn't hard to recruit his rapper pal Redman to join the project. (The two have appeared together in such features as "How High" and "Scary Movie 3.")
"You got two rappers, they're just starting to blow up," Method Man explains. "They bought this big-a*s house and are having all these parties in it, and [then] what happens? One of the rapper's momma moves in."
The mom factor brings a little bit of normalcy to the home, but she also amplifies the fish-out-of-water theme. And then there's the young next-door-neighbor boy who can't believe his good fortune in getting such hip neighbors, though the presence of the mother forces the rappers to be somewhat responsible in their dealings with the boy.
Writer-producer Kell Cahoon says he clicked with the rappers from the first meeting in the fall at the bar of the St. Regis hotel in New York. "He's hilarious," Cahoon says of Method Man. "He's one of the most charismatic guys I've ever met. We hit it off, and he just started riffing, telling me about funny people and characters that he knew."
Written by Cynthia Littleton and Nellie Andreeva for The Hollywood Reporter