Tyrese, Mark Wahlberg, ...
Credit: Four Brothers: George Kraychyk

The four brothers in director John Singleton’s crime drama are Mark Wahlberg, OutKast’s Andre Benjamin, 2 Fast 2 Furious‘ Tyrese Gibson, and Friday Night Lights‘ Garrett Hedlund. You read that right, ”it’s two white guys, two black guys,” explains Benjamin. ”When I tell people the story, they’re like, ‘Huh? How are y’all brothers?’ We were adopted.” Singleton picks up the plot: ”They grew up as foster brothers in Detroit, and they come back for the funeral of the woman who raised them because she’s been killed in a liquor store robbery. At the funeral, they start asking questions. Turns out there’s a lot behind how she died and who killed her. So the movie is four guys…four knuckleheads trying to solve the crime.”

Brothers was born when producer (and former Warner Bros. production exec) Lorenzo di Bonaventura decided he simply wanted to make a movie about brothers. He gave the theme to writers David Elliot and Paul Lovett, liked their script’s foster-siblings spin on it, and teamed real-life buddies Wahlberg and Singleton. Recruiting Benjamin, fresh off Be Cool and OutKast’s upcoming HBO musical My Life in Idlewild, was more difficult. ”I read it and I said, ‘You know, John, I don’t know if this is the next one for me,’ ” Benjamin admits. ”And then I was on the Isle of Man in Europe, and I was on iTunes trying to buy some songs or something, and an advertisement for a CD popped up on screen, and it was for a band called the Brothers Four.” He laughs. ”I swear to God, the Brothers Four! The next day I called my agent.”