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Malcom D. Lee's upcoming Barbershop 3 has spent the last few months putting together its cast, collecting both new and old faces, and today new reports are circulating that one more actress has signed on for a role. Nicki Minaj, best known for her career as a pop star, is once again heading in front of the cameras for a part in the new comedy.
Variety was the first to report this news, and adds a few details about the character that Minaj will be playing in the movie. According to the trade's sources, the singer will be playing Draya, "the sassy new hairdresser of the beauty shop portion of the barbershop." Thus far, it has been announced that multiple stars from the original will be returning to the project, including Ice Cube (as Calvin Palmer), Cedric The Entertainer (as Eddie), Anthony Anderson (as J.D.) and Eve (as Terri Jones). Minaj is joining a group of newcomers that also includes Regina Hall and Common.
In the music world, Nicki Minaj is a big name, having released three albums since 2010, but she is only starting to get into the acting game now. Her first feature film role was a voice part in Ice Age: Continental Drift. Last year she made her live-action debut, playing Cameron Diaz's assistant in the comedy The Other Woman.
Barbershop 3 has not yet revealed any plot details, but it's hard to imagine that the sequel will break away from the formula of the first two movies - which is to say that it will portray the day's events at a barbershop located in the South Side Chicago. Ice Cube became involved with the project a little over a year ago, but director Malcom D. Lee wasn't brought aboard until this past February. He will be the third director that the franchise has seen, following Tim Story and Kevin Rodney Sullivan (he's the fourth if you include Bille Woodruff's work on the 2005 spin-off Beauty Shop).
It's been a full decade since the last Barbershop-related feature was put together, but it makes a degree of sense that the franchise is returning. The first movie was made for a tiny $12 million, and wound up making $77 million worldwide. And while the $30 million-budgeted sequel, Barbershop 2: Back In Business, didn't out-gross its predecessor, it did still make a respectable $65 million worldwide. All that said, it's understandable that the series went dormant for a while, given that Beauty Shop only made $37 million during its global run.
Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver wrote the screenplay for Barbershop 3, and while it seems that pieces are being put in place now, the timetable seems to be a bit unclear. There is no release date announced just yet, and Variety's report doesn't mention a schedule for production.