Will Smith and Queen Latifah, both of whom have made solid marks in hip hop and television two decades ago, have joined the ever-growing list of celebrities inking production deals with Netflix for a joint venture.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the duo is reportedly working on contemporary musical remake of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for Netflix. Solvan “Slick” Naim, whose short-form series It’s Bruno was just added to the streaming service Friday, has been tapped to direct the project.
The movie is set to take place in “the urban rhythms of New York,” and plans to tell the story of “a young waitress from the streets of Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a wealthy family whose unconventional romance forces them to confront their life choices.”
Smith will serve as executive producer under his Overbrook Entertainment, with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett. While Latifah and Shakim Compere will produce under their Flavor Unit Entertainment company, along with Broome and Yong Yam for 25/7 Productions.
In addition to this new undertaking, Latifah recently launched a project in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Tribeca Studios called The Queen Collective. The program, which is close to her heart, aims to promote gender and racial equality amongst filmmakers. It also seeks to shorten the gap between female directors and their male counterparts, through mentoring, production support and by offering equal distribution opportunities.
As if supporting a new wave of female creatives wasn’t enough, Latifah is also building affordable housing in her hometown of Newark, N.J., and has invested $14 million into the development.
Meanwhile, Smith is currently promoting his new movie Aladdin which is now out in theaters.