Nick Cannon: Writer, Director, and Star of New Movie ‘She Ball’
Just when you think Nick Cannon couldn’t possibly fit any more on his plate, he goes back for seconds. Recently, he announced his daytime television debut for his new talk show. Now, the Masked Singer host is set to premiere his new movie “She Ball,” on August.
Cannon wrote, directed, and stars in the basketball-themed feature film. While the movie does center around a female lead, she does not seem to be as acknowledged in the marketing as much as she should be. Does Cannon want all the glory for himself?
What is Nick Cannon’s She Ball About?
According to the official She Ball website, the movie follows Avery Watts, played by Nick Cannon. He plays a single father who lost his NBA dreams to gang violence. In the film, Watts struggles to keep his family community center open amidst rising gentrification in his Inglewood community.
Cannon’s character joins forces with an unlikely ally, Shelby Vandergun, who is described as a “white girl with serious basketball skills.” As a team, they fight against local politicians, gangs, and personal stereotypes to save their community center.
Sounds like Shelby Vandergun has a very important role in this movie, right? Well if you take a closer look at the film’s marketing, you will notice that her credentials are a bit harder to find compared to less significant characters.
While Cannon is the star of the film, the female lead is just as significant in driving the plot of the narrative. The movie is called She Ball after all. On the film’s website the casting list reads in the following order:
Nick Cannon, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Chris Brown, Cedric the Entertainer, D.C. Young Fly, Evan Ross, Faizon Love, Luenell, K.D Aubert, Marla Gibbs, Melody Rae, Jaliya Manuel.
That’s a whole lot of male names. Shelby Vangergun is played by Melody Rae, who is placed next to last on that list. It took me a hot minute to even figure out which actor played her. You would think someone that important to the story would be ranked right after Cannon. Nonetheless, Rae is not really given the credit she deserves on the official site.
It seems Nick Cannon has delegated more importance to his friends in the industry, than to the driving force of the plot. He has given executive producer roles to Chris Brown and Birdman, who are featured exclusively in the site’s 50 second trailer. That video in particular does not mention the name Melody Rae at all in the starring credits.Even the full cast and crew list on IMDb places Rae’s character significantly far down on the list. She doesn’t even have a cast photo next to her name.
Does Cannon Want All the Glory?
The She Ball Instagram page, does a better job of showcasing the female characters, but it seems that Cannon wants all the glory on this project. He strategically places any award acknowledgements he has been recognized for before any actual movie content on the website. Official Selection‘s “American Black Film Festival” and “Pan African Film Festival” are some of the accolades he features.
Meanwhile, Melody Rae’s background is also quite interesting. She was offered a basketball scholarship from the University of Tennessee-Martin, but chose to leave school in order to pursue her passions of modeling and acting. She then founded the brand Hoops2heels before starring in Cannon’s film.
While She Ball seems like a good film, I wish Cannon did a better job focusing the attention on those who deserve it. Many of them men highlighted are already very well known. It would have been nice to get some insight on the women behind the driving force of the narrative. You can catch Melody Rae beside Nick Cannon on demand and Redbox August 6.