Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Whisper Price Game: Hey, Black People

Yes, your favorite way to rag on celebs and assign a precise monetary value to their soul is back.

This week's Whisper Price Game will correct a glaring deficiency of previous weeks-- no people of any color other than lily-white. Consider it my nod to affirmative action. Although, really, who wants affirmative action to include a mediocre blogger's rants? Ah well, you take the good with the bad. Let's start this week with Mekhi Phifer.

Mekhi is one of those actors that you think is going to blow up big very soon, but never quite seems to. Maybe it's his role choice: "Dawn of the Dead" won't exactly score you an Oscar nod. That said, Mekhi seems reasonably talented and his filmography is getting to the point where he's going to start getting strong consideration to topline a pic or two. But will he have the box office draw to pull it off?

You probably don't recognize Meagan Good-- yet. You may remember her as "Beautifull with two L's" in You Got Served. Remember? She was the only one who bothered to act in that movie? Anyway, besides being in the upcoming Roll Bounce with Bow Wow and Nick Cannon, she'll also appear in Dimension's latest P.O.S. horror film-- "The Reaper". But at some point, she's going to get a good role, and I think we'll all be pleasantly surprised when she does. She's smoking hot, she can act, she's reportedly very sweet and did I mention that this picture doesn't do her justice? I'd give her a bundle to be in my movie-- would you?

Usher is trying for the A-List by giving himself a last name [Raymond] and producing all of his upcoming movies. Somehow, he nabbed Bill Condon (of Kinsey and Gods and Monsters fame) to direct "Dreamgirls" so there's a chance that that flick [which also has Beyonce and Jamie Foxx in the cast] could be pretty good. But still, would you go to see a movie with Usher in it? Will he ever have a chance to topline for twenty mil?

Rosario Dawson is also trying her hand at producing, having formed her own shingle, Trybe Films. It'll produce the first film she'll be toplining-- Descent. According to IMDB, she'll be playing a seductress-- which means that I'll be seeing that one on the big screen for sure. She's been in a slew of higher-profile projects lately (Alexander, Sin City), eschewing the indie fare (KIDS, Light It Up) in which she got her start. So there's no doubt that Rosario's been on a roll. But how high will she go? And how much dough?

Nick Cannon's popularity surprises me, to be honest with you. He overacted in Drumline and I couldn't bear to watch more than 20 minutes of "Love Don't Cost A Thing", despite Christina Milian (who can't act either, but is nice to look at). But for some reason, Nick Cannon is the box office crack of teen set. We'll see if his afro (have you seen the trailer?) can pull them in for Roll Bounce (I'm betting yes-- I almost wanna see it for that), but if that doesn't work, he's got about eight million projects lined up. Oh-- and he doesn't just produce, he writes as well. Usually, that's not a plus, but if it means he can avoid more doody like Love Don't Cost a Thing, then I'm all for it.

What happened to Gabrielle Union? She put in her time with a slew of teen films, seemed poised to be bigger than Halle Berry, and then. . . not much. I think crappy role choice is finally catching up with her. Just when "Bring It On" delivered her some momentum, she signed up for such varied crap as "Two Can Play That Game", "Biker Boyz", "Cradle 2 the Grave" and "Bad Boys 2". Now, I know that black actors and actresses often get the short shrift in Ho'wood and maybe Gabrielle is a victim of that. But it's more likely she just has stupid representation. Because seriously, if your agent recommends a remake of "The Honeymooners", shouldn't you know it's time to get a new rep?

So there you have it. Six of the biggest up-and-comers Ho'wood has to offer. Should we be worried?


Anonymous McNasty said...

MEKHI PHIFER - $.5MM: He's missed his window (Tyrese Gibson is getting the nod for roles that Mekhi once would have gotten first consideration for) and will soon be helming romantic comedies -- Ho'wood's door prize for Black actors.

MEAGAN GOOD - $1.2MM: The Biker Boyz sequel is gonna be BANGIN'!! j/k... Meagan actually IS sweet (stood in line behind her and her girls at Shelter. They were really cool once we got inside, too). She needs to make a quantum leap before she'll be a contender, though (Atlas - you actually watched "You Got Served"?)

USHER - BOP Only: Atlas - Can we introduce a new facet to the game? I'm predicting Usher would only take a percentage of the total box office instead of an actual sum. Especially if he's the producer...

ROSARIO DAWSON - $5MM: This is just a shot in the dark, but after Sin City, wouldn't you pay her that much? She could name her own price...

NICK CANNON - $1.2MM: Yeah, he overacted in Drumline, and "Love Don't Cost a Thing" sucked, but I bet he could get this price for a major studio production (think: Ben Affleck in "Armageddon" adjusted for inflation)

GABRIELLE UNION - $2MM: Never really been that impressed, but "Breakin All the Rules" with Jaime Foxx was good. She needs to get away from the romantic comedies and do some serious dramatic acting (see Mekhi Phifer whisper for the reason why)

12:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really know how to play this whisper game (i'm obviously not in the biz) but I don't see how any of these actors could make anywhere in the mil range (with the exception of Rosaria since she's becoming more commercial).

I mean it seems like with black actors you're either BIG (Jaime Foxx, Halle Berry) or you're on silly sidekick/4th fiddle duty (Nick Cannon, Noe Saldana *sp). It's like you can't catch a break.

Why aren't there more mulit racial acotrs?

1:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot pixxx, Atlas.

Mekhi could get $1.5 mil thanks to his 8 Mile street cred among suburban white kids.
I would definitely pay to see Meagan Good on roller skates, so count me in. $1 mil if she gets a 'Roll Bounce'.
I would pay Usher to go away, but I understand he's moderately talented for those who can stomach him. $.75 mil.
Rosario Dawson should get $10 mil, but probably can only get $5 at most.
Nick Cannon is smarter/funnier than most, so I'd wager his solid reps could get him $2 mil.
Gabrielle Union needs to play a strong, mothering support role in a serious drama and get an Oscar support nom-- she could totally pull it off, and then she could sign on to do Charlie's Angels 3 or something. $3.25 mil.

1:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More multiracial actors? Like Rosario Dawson? Yes, please. I'd be surprised if they could get much more than $2.5 mil even to star in a crappy urban comedy [whoever approved The Honeymooners movie needs a swift kick to the head]. That is all.

1:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just scrolled down the page and it was funny that everyone looked so posed and poised for a picture-- and then there's old Gabrielle Union without a bra. And then you bag on her work-- coincidence? Maybe.

5:38 PM

Blogger Vampos Vulgar said...

Consider these all final and non-negotiable. That said, this is what I feel these actors are worth:

MEKHI PHIFER - A primo Kight Ridder poster featuring one David Hasselhoff, his feathered hair, and a FUCKING TALKING CAR. Come on now, recognize.

MEAGAN GOOD - All my childhood hopes and dreams. God, those eyes.

NICK CANNON - I'm sorry, Nick who? How 'bout, a copy of "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert" and a quiet, dark room for Nick to go cry in after he watches it.

GABRIELLE UNION - A second chance.

ROSARIO DAWSON - Woo-woo! The ENTIRE contents of my pockets (I should mention, I'm writing this in bed. Naked.)

USHER - A sharpened stick in the eye or a punch to the cervix. Your choice.

Vampos Vulgar
President & Queso Grande
Bangladoink! Studios

12:36 AM


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