The adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s “Freaky Deaky” boasts an impressive cast of colorful characters, including Andy Dick, Christian Slater, Billy Burke and Crispin Glover. However, action fans will spot one surprising name: Michael Jai White, who steals the film as two-timing bodyguard Donnell Lewis. After the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the film, White spoke of his upcoming projects — while he doesn’t have the household name of some of his co-stars, he’s no less busy than all of them.
“We hope to shoot ‘Black Dynamite 2‘ at the end of the year,” he says, announcing a reprisal of the popular cult film character. The original 2009 film wasn’t a massive hit though it gained a strong grassroots following and has even led to a Cartoon Network spinoff, which Jai White continues to develop. White wouldn’t reveal any plot specifics, though the fake-blaxploitation angle could possibly undergo a revamp for the eighties, if he so chooses.
White, who has a notable sense of humor about his career (“I’ll probably be fighting a Mexican drug cartel or two soon [in one of my movies]”) also revealed he’s prepping another directorial effort, though it may surprise some of his long time fans. “I’m prepping to direct a romantic comedy early next year,” he reveals. On the subject of his self-made career, he says, “You can’t really complain unless you get behind the camera. I just want to change things instead of getting upset about them.”
“Freaky Deaky” director Charles Matthau also has a few irons in the fire. His next project, which is angling for a summer start date, is “Sugar Shack.” A comedy about male strippers, he’s quick to point out it shares no DNA with Steven Soderbergh‘s upcoming “Magic Mike,” describing it as “a mixture of ‘Caddyshack‘ and ‘The Full Monty.'” After that he’ll continue a strong tradition of Matthaus collaborating with Lemmons, as he’ll be directing Chris (son of Jack) Lemmon‘s screenplay for “Publicity Stunt.” “I do hope that comes together easier,” he says in comparison to the shoot for “Freaky Deaky,” which saw many cast members drop out for various reasons. “I think it’s a great script.”