was going to lead with a not-very-clever joke about Ice Cube reimagining Blake Edward’s 10 as the ribald tale of a married hip-hop producer who, in the midst of a midlife crisis, falls for an unattainable beauty (Rihanna, the new Uhura herself!), but what’s so funny about that which could be in development at Screen Gems as soon as tomorrow (note the timestamp, Mr. Culpepper)? Hell, I’d prefer it to that abhorrent Big Chill redo the studio-lette is currently setting up with director Sanaa Hamri; aside from Bo Derek and a few decent gags, Edwards’s 10 is deeply forgettable.

Unfortunately, the 10 Ice Cube is stalking (in his big black boots) is the graphic novel by Shannon Eric Denton and Keith Giffen. For the non-comic reading contingent (which includes me), the premise centers on ten folks who receive random letters informing them that they are engaged in a life-or-death competition with nine other people. The object of the game? Be the one motherfucker who doesn’t die. I think I like this idea, but – and maybe this is just my zany imagination going all haywire – wouldn’t the whole thing work better with Japanese schoolkids on a remote island?

Cube and his CubeVision partner Matt Alvarez are just "circling" the Dimension-housed project at the moment, which means they might be cooling on Welcome Back, Kotter (actually, Cube himself seemed less than enthusiastic about the television transfer when we spoke to him at the First Sunday set visit). Though Cube is convincing enough in action vehicles, audiences seem to prefer watching his crotch get abused by bratty little kids. It’d be nice if we could ascribe this disconnect to one symptom; my soul needs an excuse for the financial failure of the very wonderful xXx: State of the Union.

The screenplay for 10 is by Gustin Nash and Jesse Cale. Just thought you’d like to know.