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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Eminem film gets Wonder director
Director Curtis Hanson
Hanson: Will capture "angst, insecurity, frustration"
Curtis Hanson, the man behind LA Confidential and Wonder Boys, has agreed to direct controversial rapper Eminem's film debut.

Hanson will direct the fictional feature about a troubled Detroit rapper's life, and described Eminem as "an extraordinarily gifted artist".

Eminem
Eminem: Appearing in court on 5 June
He said the script was the best he had read since Wonder Boys - which he turned into an Oscar-winning film starring Michael Douglas.

Eminem, whose hits have included Stan and The Real Slim Shady, is from Detroit and has had numerous well-documented trials and tribulations.

"Helping him adapt his talents to the screen is one of the things about this project that excites me," Hanson told Variety magazine.

"Working with actors is what I like best about directing and Eminem is an extraordinarily gifted artist, one who's already shown an ability to project personas and identities."

Similarities

The film - which has not yet been named - will feature Eminem in the role of a troubled youngster who finds his voice through hip-hop.

But despite the similarities, the plot will not be based on Eminem's life.

"This story will only be as good as Eminem's performance, not how good he is as a musical performer but how he good he is dramatically," Hanson said.

It is an opportunity to make a serious movie about the emotional struggles of American youth, he added.

Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys
Hanson directed Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys
"This captures the angst, insecurity, frustration and anger, search for direction and identity. That to me is what the best version of this movie is all about.

"Detroit has historically been the industrial centre of the country, and it's perfect for a look at kids flailing about, with an apparent lack of opportunity, no place to go and no support, with a lack of structure and family support and apparent hopelessness.

"It's somehow universal, with people finding a way to express themselves.''

Jimmy Iovine, president of Interscope Records, Eminem's record label, will co-produce the film.

"If you get beyond the vulgarity and to the heartbeat of [Eminem's] lyrics, they are about really powerful subjects," Iovine said.

Life story

"Curtis thrives on challenging different genres."

The film's scriptwriter, Scott Silver, will have had to work hard to make his plot match Eminem's real life story.

Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, he settled in Detroit at the age of 12 and took up rap at 14.

He found international success with the single My Name Is in 1999 - a song whose lyrics "my mom smokes more dope than I do" prompted his mother to launch a $10m (7m) lawsuit against him.

His wife Kimberly attempted suicide in July 2000, and the pair have made several failed attempts at reconciliation since.

He was recently sentenced to two years' probation for carrying a concealed weapon and will appear in court on another gun charge on 5 June.

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23 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem enters no contest plea
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