Here’s an update on a project we first alerted you to in 2011. 

First, a quick refresher…

In 2011, it was announced that F. Gary Gray had acquired the rights to the debut novel from New York City-based writer Frank Matthews, titled, Respect The Jux.

The novel was published on September 21st that year, with a synopsis that reads as follows:

Meet Cat; In Jamaica, he learned the art of the “jux”: robbing people by studying their everyday movements. By the age of eight, Cat was shoplifting and purse-snatching. By ten, he had his first gun. At fifteen, he committed his first murder. In New York City, he created The Order – a secret society of thieves who played by Cat’s rules. He taught his crew how to pull off the perfect jux. Made them swear on a bible and a bullet. Robbed dealers, pushers, thugs. And raked in millions. Then Cat was betrayed by one of his own men. Cat has to watch his back and remember the rules: Never trust a thief. Never get caught. And always . . .respect the jux.

The novel is reportedly based on true events, and Matthews, inspired by the work of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, wrote and self-published the book, before publishing house, Simon and Schuster, picked it up.

At the time of that announcement, little info was available on what F. Gary Gray’s plans were for the book, other than an XXL magazine interview with author Matthews, in which he shared the following:

Since the book has been out I have been really blessed. I ended up with a deal with director F. Gary Gray, who did Law Abiding Citizen [and] Italian Job just to name [some] of his work. He read the book and loved [it] and basically flew me out to L.A. and wanted to turn this into a television series. We’re looking at Showtime, Starz, and HBO. We haven’t really decided which one we’re going to sign with yet, but it’s going to be a major series on television and after that we’re actually going to turn this into a film on the big screen directed by F. Gary Gray.

Skip ahead to more than 2 years after that last report, to news that Gray is no longer attached to adapt the novel (his option on it expired), and instead, the author, Matthews, is taking matters into his own hands, has decided to direct the film adaptation of his novel. 

KeepLock Entertainment is on board, with Matthews and Ron Elliot exec producing.

Shooting for the film has apparently already begun, with locations in New York, New Jersey and Jamaica, respectively, with a cast that currently includes Ed Lover, NYC-based rapper Vado, Robert Constanzo, and Nashawn Kearse.

“I am very happy for the opportunity to bring “Respect The Jux” to the big screen,” author Frank Matthews says. “This book has had an amazing impact on my life and I hope to bring that to large audiences and impact them as well.”

Expect more casting announcements in the coming months.

I unfortunately haven’t read Matthews’ book (although I’ll pick up a copy). If you have, please chime in with your thoughts, and let us know what to expect. And if you haven’t read the novel either, you can order your copy HERE.