OUTKAST stars ANDRE 3000 and Big Boi begin work on their ambitious musical with HBO this summer (04) - marking a first for the American cable TV network.

BRYAN BARBER - who directed the band's videos for HEY YA! and THE WAY YOU MOVE - has scripted a drama that takes place in a Speakeasy in the South during the 1930s Prohibition era.

Andre 3000 will portray the house piano player, while Big Boi will play the lead performer and manager, who's trying to stave off gangsters who want to get their hands on the place.

The project will inject contemporary music - including songs from OutKast's GRAMMY-winning album SPEAKERBOXX/THE LOVE BELOW - into a period tale.

Broadway veteran HINTON BATTLE will choreograph the film, which has a budget in the $15 million (GBP8.3 million) range.

24/06/2004 09:16