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Chiwetel Ejiofor, RZA and John Ortiz Among Several Boarding American Gangster

By Brian B. — August 22nd, 2006

Chiwetel Ejiofor, RZA and John Ortiz are the latest to join the cast of the crime drama, American Gangster for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.

The film already stars Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington; Ridley Scott is directing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, rappers-turned-actors T.I. and Common, as well as Ted Levine, John Hawkes and Yul Vazquez also have been added to the cast. The movie is based on the life of drug kingpin-turned-informant Frank Lucas (Washington), who shipped heroin to the U.S. in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. Lucas was brought to justice by lawman Richie Roberts (Crowe). The two then worked together to expose the crooked cops and foreign nationals. Ejiofor will play Washington's brother, who helps Frank run his heroin empire.

American Gangster is currently shooting in New York; a 2007 release has been scheduled.