Now that Carl Franklin has chosen The Maintenance Man as his next project, he is no longer attached to Tulia, the project reuniting Oscar-winner Halle Berry with her Monster's Ball co-star Billy Bob Thornton. Too bad, since it also would have reunited Franklin with his One False Move screenwriter/actor -- again, Thornton. Filling in for Franklin, according to Blackfilm.com, is John Singleton. While this isn't officially confirmed yet, it does make sense for the Boyz n the Hood director to take over a ready-made production while he waits and waits for that Luke Cage greenlight. If it is true, I wonder if Singleton will do another re-write of the screenplay, which was originally adapted by Karen Croner (Franklin's One True Thing) and then supposedly rewritten by Franklin.
As we told you back in March, Tulia is based on Nate Blakeslee's book Tulia: Race, Cocaine and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, which tells the true story of 46 racially profiled men arrested in a drug-less drug bust in Texas in 1999. Berry will play the lead attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense, a character Blackfilm.com notes is Indian, not African-American (it's true). Thornton also joined the project back in March, but we still don't know his role (Erik imagines he'll be the racist cop who aids in the conviction of the 46 men) and Blackfilm claims that Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard) may be added to the cast. The film was set to begin shooting back in April, but Thornton supposedly had a scheduling conflict. Hopefully Singleton, who is no stranger lately to race-based legal battles, won't need too much time to become acquainted with the project and it can start lensing soon.