Movie Article

Stuck in Idlewild

Has the oft-delayed OutKast movie gotten a bad rap? Producer says the mysterious musical will hit theatres in August

OutKast have proved they make terrific music videos, but the whole motion-picture thing isn't coming as easily. For the second time in four months, Universal has bumped the release date of the duo's Prohibition-era movie musical, Idlewild. (It's now slated for the last weekend in August, typically a dumping ground.) All this after a game of studio switcheroos and delays in the accompanying CD.

So is OutKast frontman André ''3000'' Benjamin shaking like a Polaroid picture? In a very un-Hollywood move, the budding actor (Four Brothers) actually blames himself. ''Yeah, it's true. We don't want to rush the project because [film] is a new thing for us,'' he says. ''[We've invested] 10 years into this brand and want to make sure the album is an OutKast album, not some stuff they throw out with the movie.'' Adds director and longtime OutKast collaborator Bryan Barber, ''I've been mixing the film as early as January, but the music is still coming in.'' Shot in late 2004, the movie chronicles the life of two Southern speakeasy performers (Benjamin and Antwan ''Big Boi'' Patton). Idlewild was developed as a project for HBO, but near the end of production, the producers shopped it around for a theatrical release. The film finally ended up at Universal in late summer 2005.

But that was half a year ago — and Benjamin still doesn't have an inkling of when his CD will be done, other than to say, ''It'll be out a month before the movie.'' Meanwhile, Idlewild producer Charles Roven insists the August date is permanent. ''We were sorry to push it,'' he says. ''But it's tough to have a musical without all the music.''

Originally posted Mar 10, 2006 Published in issue #868 Mar 17, 2006 Order article reprints