Janet Jackson sings for ''Chicago.'' Producer Jimmy Jam says he's working on a single that will please contemporary fans while fitting the movie's 1920s setting

By Gary Susman
October 18, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Janet Jackson: Lisa O'Connor/Zuma Press/Newscom
  • Movie

Janet Jackson may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think of Broadway musicals, and she’s not in the upcoming movie version of the musical ”Chicago,” but moviegoers will hear her sing over the closing credits. MTV reports that she’s writing a new song with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis that is ”hot and danceable,” Jam says, but will still fit with the movie’s Jazz Age-styled songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

”We’re really trying to come up with something that is not only compatible with the movie — because obviously all the songs are already written in more of a 1920s style of music — but melding that in with something contemporary,” Jam tells MTV. ”If you think about some of the sounds and videos that she’s done, like the ‘Alright’ video with the zoot suit thing, or any of that, she’s a girl that grew up on musicals,” Jam tells MTV. (OK, zoot suits were the 1940s, not ’20s, but we get the point.)

Jackson and her producers are taking the assignment very seriously, as is Miramax co-chief Harvey Weinstein, who flew to Minneapolis last week to discuss the yet-untitled song with them, Jam says. Ultimately, of course, there will be a soundtrack CD, where Jackson will match pipes with such unlikely album-mates as Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and John C. Reilly, all of whom sing in the movie. So do other cast members with more of a recording pedigree, including Queen Latifah and Mya. The ”Chicago” soundtrack hits stores on Nov. 26; the movie will be released on Christmas Day.

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 108 minutes
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