Czar Entertainment CEO Jimmy Henchmen is looking to expand his success beyond the music industry, as the mogul has launched several high-profile film and television ventures this year.
In addition to managing the career of superstar rapper The Game, who recently released his album L.A. X., Czar is expanding into film with Belly 2, the straight-to-DVD sequel to the cult classic 1998 original.
We originally had a different title for the film, Henchmen explained to AllHipHop.com. We shot it about three years ago. When we struck our deal with Lions Gate Films [who owns the rights to Belly], they really wanted us to rename the project Belly 2. It was going to have a limited theater release, but due to the current market climate for urban films we opted for DVD.
The August 12 release marked Henchmens second DVD project.
The first was the highly successful and controversial documentary Infamous Times: The Original 50 Cent (2003), which sold close to 200,000 copies.
Belly 2 stars The Game, but features none of principals of the original cast: DMX, Nas, Method Man, Taral Hicks, or T-Boz.
Director Hype Williams is also absent from the project.
Anticipating skepticism from fans, Henchmen clarified how this sequel will stack up to the original.
Some of the expectations people are looking for in the movie may not be there, Henchmen admits. We dont have all the beautiful shots and colors that Hype did, but it gets its point across. We just did one of those hood movies that reflect what goes on in California. We also put some interesting actors in there like Michael K. Williams [The Wire].
The second major project for Czar Entertainment is Luther Campbells reality show Parental Advisory, which currently airs on VH1 each Monday night at 10:30 PM EST.
Henchmen detailed how an impromptu meeting birthed the project.
I ran into Luke one day and he mentioned he wanted to do a reality show, Henchmen revealed. I was like wow, thatd be different. Heres someone known as the nasty man but is also a family man, business man, and philanthropist. People only know him one way so itd be dope to show him as a father. A lot of us walk contradictory (paths) but Luke is just one of those guys who dont mind showing that on TV.
In addition to The Game, Czar Entertainment manages the careers of Sheek Louch, Mario Winans, Jibbs, Blood Raw, Pleasure P, Dominique Young, Gucci Mane boxer Hector Camacho Jr. and others.
Belly 2: Millionaire Boyz Club is available now.