The Saga of a "Beauty Shop" has learned through inside sources that “Kill Bill” costar Vivica A. Fox has replaced Queen Latifah as the star of the upcoming “Barbershop” spin-off, “Beauty Shop.” The beguiling Ms. Fox will step in to the role as Jenny Smith, who finds she is about to lose her beloved beauty shop, a pillar of her inner city neighborhood for generations, through an act of eminent domain just so the nearby water company can have a bigger parking lot.

Like next door neighbor Calvin Palmer’s barbershop (the beauty shop will be introduced in the upcoming “Barbershop” sequel), Jenny will be surrounded by a quirky group of supporting characters. The heavyset Lashuanna is a beauty shop employee and Jenny’s good friend, who doesn’t let anyone get over on her and is not afraid to say exactly what she thinks, and in the most vibrant of terms. Lashuanna is the only person Jenny confides to when she receives notice the Department of Water and Power is going to shut the salon down. D.D. is the acerbic, gaudy and unconditionally wild gay man of the staff. D.D. is proud to be a gay African-American, and can talk trash as well as he can take it, ready to defend himself against anyone who dares to question his lifestyle. Ricky is D.D.’s exact opposite; a smooth street type who prides himself on how many women he can “play” at the same time, who has a thing for white women, although he would never admit it to the righteous sisters of the shop. Brenda is a shy, reserved and submissive member of the staff, who finds herself stuck in an abusive relationship with her live-in boyfriend, while Trina is a “cocoa-colored sex goddess” who claims to be a “buy-sexual” (you have to spend and spend big if you want to get under the sheets).

The conflict, evicting the shop, comes under the guise of Michael Edwards, a young and drop-dead handsome Armani-clad attorney hired by the DWP to handle the case. At first, Michael has some qualms about his job, as he has already tired of being the bad guy who helps big business and the government to triumph over small business owners. When he meets Jenny, Michael is even more conflicted. His affections for Jenny anger Bob, the Caucasian associate at the law whom Michael works for, who suspects his protegee is undermining the case.

Will love truly conquer allr You’ll have to wait until Summer 2004, when “Beauty Shop” is tentatively set to open, depending on when “Barbershop 2” opens, that is. Production is scheduled to begin in Baltimore and Washington D.C. on October 19, under the direction of Mark Brown, the writer of “Barbershop” who previously worked with Vivica A. Fox on “Two Can Play That Game.”.

“Beauty Shop” Scorecard
Director: Mark Brown
Producers: Carl Craig, Mark Brown
Writer: Mark Brown
Casting Director: Joe Adams
Casting Assistant: Kara Edwards
Production Start Date: Oct. 19, 2003
Shooting Locations: Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
U.S. Distributor: MGM/UA


Addendum: September 24, 2003
It appears our usually extremely reliable source might have missed on this one. A spokesperson for MGM/UA contacted us this afternoon, disputing the exit of Queen Latifah. We apologize to MGM/UA, Ms. Latifah, Ms. Fox and our readers for the error.

Addendum: October 2, 2003
Ms. Fox was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last evening, where she confirmed her next film is “Beauty Shop.” A request for comment from MGM has yet to be answered. We’ll keep you informed…

Addendum: October 3, 2003
The first trailer for “Barbershop 2” was released today, featuring several scenes with Queen Latifah. We’re waving a white flag on this one.