'Gangster' Gang Adds Rappers, Gugino


When your film is directed by Ridley Scott and features Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the project probably won't lack for star power.

In addition to those two Oscar-winning actors, the cast of Scott's "American Gangster" has expanded in the past couple days to include an eclectic mixture of respected film actors, TV stars and rappers.

The ensemble behind Crowe and Washington will include Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Serenity"), Carla Gugino ("Karen Sisco"), John Hawkes ("Deadwood"), Ted Levine ("Silence of the Lambs"), John Ortiz and Yul Vazquez, along with rappers-turned-actors Common, T.I. ("ATL") and The RZA ("Derailed").

"American Gangster" was written by Steve Zaillian and tells the fact-based tale of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas (Washington), famous for smuggling heroin into the States in the coffins of dead soldiers back from Vietnam. Crowe plays Richie Roberts, the lawman who brought Lucas to justice.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ejiofor will play the brother of Washington's character, with T.I. and Common playing other relatives and parts of the drug empire. The RZA and Ortiz will play members of Crowe's team.

All other casting specifics are a mystery.

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