"Pimp" saga moves closer to film adaptation
By Borys Kit
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Robert "Iceberg Slim" Beck's 1969 autobiography, "Pimp: The Story of My Life," is on its way to the big screen.
Rob Weiss, an executive producer of HBO's "Entourage," along with producers Mitch Davis, Ryan Drexler and Andrew Left have acquired film rights to the best-seller.
Born into poverty, Beck became a pimp at 18 and rose to kingpin status in the Chicago underworld. He served several stints in prison, making one escape. After retiring from the business he became an insecticide salesman in Los Angeles. During a call to a college professor, Beck mentioned that he had been a pimp, and the professor encouraged him to write an autobiography. Three months later, Beck had penned "Pimp."
The book has sold more than 5 million copies and is the second-best-selling book by a black man, after Alex Haley's "Roots."
"The story is really the birth of the American inner city, and it's an incredible tale of overcoming oppression," said Weiss. "It speaks of a very specific time in America and its street culture. The book is filled with broken souls but shows how, in the end, Iceberg found a way to heal himself."
The quartet is looking for actors, writers and a director before bringing the project to a studio.
Over the years, many parties have tried to get a movie adaptation of the book under way, without much luck. One iteration was set up at Fine Line as a starring vehicle for Ice Cube with Bill Duke directing. Pras of the Fugees was trying to mount a film version as recently as 2004.
One stumbling block has been an ongoing lawsuit between the author's estate and the publisher (Beck died in 1992). With the suit recently settled, Weiss and Davis, who had been involved with the project earlier, partnered with investors Drexler and Left to pounce on the rights, acquiring them outright.
(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)
Ice-T gave me his own copy of this book way back in '87...
Not as important or as well written, but certainly as much as of eye opener as "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (one of my all time favorite books).