Production has begun in New York on Dash Films/ROC Films' StateProperty II, the sequelto Abdul Malik Abbott's crime drama about an ambitious group of gangsters thatwas released by Lions Gate in 2002.

Damon Dash will direct based on a screenplay by Adam Moreno, withwhom he collaborated on last year's hip-hop satire Death Of A Dynasty. Beth Melillo is producing and LionsGate is planning a 2005 release.

State Property II tells the tale of three gangsters and their fight to control thestreets of Philadelphia and stars Beanie Sigel from the original, Dash (DeathOf A Dynasty) and VictorSantiago.

"We are delighted to be inbusiness with Damon again," Mike Paseornek, president of production at LionsGate Films, said in a statement. "He has made an incredibly impressivetransition from music to film and has demonstrated an ability to beartistically and financially successful in both areas."

"I welcome the opportunity to showcase my skills as both aproducer and a director," Dash added. "I also look forward to continuing myrelationship with Lions Gate and am thankful they're allowing me to hone mydirectorial skills."

Just as in Death Of A Dynasty, State Property II will feature cameos by supermodels, athletes, actors andmusicians.

Lions Gate isabout to go into production with the drama Fierce People, starring Diane Lane, Donald Sutherlandand Eric McCormack, and the ensemble comedy-drama Happy Endings, which will be directed by Don Roos andstars Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal.