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The Reeler Blog

IFC Buys the Chocolate Factory

I remember the days when Evan Shapiro could do no right around these parts. If the IFC boss wasn't flinging MBA talking points like ninja stars, then he was assiduously, dramatically stirring the shit in preparation for This Film is Not Yet Rated's war on the MPAA and fair-use law. So when the guy hits one out of the park, fairness requires a proportionate recognition.

Which is why today I stand in full-hearted appreciation of Shapiro, who is bankrolling the continuation of R. Kelly's epochal, misunderstoood hip-hopera masterpiece, Trapped in the Closet. Conceived by Kelly and NYC filmmaker Jim Swaffield, the 12-episode saga of infidelity, gay preachers, ex-cons, wayward cops, Bridgets and midgets will nearly double in size, with 10 new installments streaming online with their predecessors. I've had to defend Trapped's legitimacy for years now, and it pleases me to virtually no fucking end that Shapiro and Kelly's perpetuation of the legend entitles me to another half-decade of ridicule and perhaps guarantees DVD history's most overbearingly self-indulgent commentary track.

We heard about the prospects for this godsend not too long ago, but Variety confirms it today:

Kelly said IFC made sense as a platform for the property, which may in fact be more of a classic serial than a movie, because he's "always thought of Trapped as an independent film."

Series is part of what IFC general manager Evan Shapiro said is the net's transition away from showing only independent film. "What we want to do is go from an independent film channel to one that is the voice of independent culture," he said.

Rumor has it that Kelly's contract grants him complete creative control, though he's supposedly pledged to honor his new partnership with at least one slant-rhyme of "Shapiro" and "hero" and a guest filibuster on The Henry Rollins Show. I have a birthday coming up and everything; consider me shopped for!

Posted at July 12, 2007 10:32 AM

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