Rap mogul SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS secured his co-starring role in prequel Carlito's Way: THE BEGINNING without even having to audition for the part.

Entrepreneur Combs recently wowed New York audiences with his performance in Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun, and convinced producer Martin Bregman he has the talent to star in a major film.

Bregman, who produced the 1993 original, CARLITO'S WAY, and whose son, Michael Scott Bregman, is the writer/director of the new film, says, "I saw him onstage. Of course, we didn't test him. He's got it. He can do it. He plays HOLLYWOOD NICKY, the kingpin.

"Sean's not even nervous about it. He's just simply excited."

The movie is a prequel to director Brian De Palma's classic, and follows the early drug-dealing days of Al Pacino's character CARLITO BRIGANTE, to be played in the The Beginning by CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL star Jay Hernandez.

Carlito's Way: The Beginning also stars Burt Young and original castmember Luis Guzman. It is set to begin production next month (NOV04) in New York's Harlem neighbourhood, reports website PAGESIX.COM.

28/10/2004 17:35