The Banker cast and crew stand by film and its ‘positive message of empowerment’

Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie have defended the content of their stalled film The Banker following sexual molestation allegations made against a co-producer.Apple bosses pulled The Banker from closing the AFI Fest in Los Angeles last month and s…

Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie have defended the content of their stalled film The Banker following sexual molestation allegations made against a co-producer.

Apple bosses pulled The Banker from closing the AFI Fest in Los Angeles last month and subsequently scrapped the movie’s December cinema release amid an investigation surrounding Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of pioneering African-American banker Bernard Garrett, who is portrayed onscreen by Mackie.

Garrett Jr. has been accused of assaulting his half-sisters Cynthia and Sheila Garrett in the early 1970s, when he was a teen, but he has staunchly denied the claims, insisting it “simply never happened”.

The scandal cost him a co-producer credit on The Banker and left the film in limbo.

Now, the cast and crew of the project, including director George Nolfi and stars Mackie, Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, and Nia Long, have all signed a statement expressing their support for the movie and its “positive message of empowerment”.

“We set out to tell a story we were very passionate about, recounting the remarkable lives of Bernard Garrett, Sr. and (his partner) Joe Morris, and their ground-breaking achievements combating racial inequality in the 1950s and ’60s,” reads the note. “Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett’s children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered.

“The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett, Sr.’s children, but rather, on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett, Sr. himself, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film, and its positive message of empowerment.”

Garrett Sr. and Morris, played onscreen by Jackson, bought up banks in Texas in the 1950s. They then hired a white man to front the operation while they pretended to be a janitor and a chauffeur.

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Amy Adams’s The Woman in the Window pushed back to 2020

Amy Adams’s upcoming movie The Woman in the Window has been pushed back to 2020 so it can be reworked after test screenings flagged problems. The thriller, starring Adams as an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses a crime, was set to hit cinem…

Amy Adams’s upcoming movie The Woman in the Window has been pushed back to 2020 so it can be reworked after test screenings flagged problems.

The thriller, starring Adams as an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses a crime, was set to hit cinemas on 4 October, but it has now been switched to an unknown date in 2020 so it can undergo reshoots.

According to editors at The Hollywood Reporter, Disney executives, who obtained the feature when they acquired the Fox film empire in March, have opted to remove it from their 2019 slate so they can rework the picture after early test screenings showed that the narrative confused audiences.

“We’re dealing with a complex novel,” said Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler, who is departing the studio imminently but will remain as a consultant on the film for Disney until its release. “We tested the movie really early for that very reason. We wanted to make it better, and we’ve had Disney’s full support in doing that.”

Director Joe Wright, known for films such as Darkest Hour and Atonement, is reportedly planning to do five days of reshoots in August, once Adams wraps filming on Ron Howard’s Netflix movie Hillbilly Elegy.

The Woman in the Window, based on the best-selling 2018 novel by A.J. Finn, also stars Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie and Brian Tyree Henry, and was adapted for the screen by playwright Tracy Letts.

The mystery will be the last film released by Fox 2000 before Disney shutters the division, and there will now be a significant gap between it and Fox 2000’s penultimate film, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is due for release in August.

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**SPOILER ALERT** Anthony Mackie cried with Chris Evans after discovering Avengers: Endgame conclusion

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie cried together as they bonded over the ending of Avengers: Endgame. Mackie plays Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in the final installment of the Avengers franchise, Evans’ Steve Rogers retir…

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie cried together as they bonded over the ending of Avengers: Endgame.

Mackie plays Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in the final installment of the Avengers franchise, Evans’ Steve Rogers retires as Captain America as he hands over his famous shield to his flying sidekick.

Evans was so excited to find out the unexpected ending of his tenure as the superhero that he rushed to share the news with Mackie before he’d had chance to read the script for himself.

Mackie told IMDb, “We were at his house and he goes, ‘You excited?’ And I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ and he goes, ‘You don’t know?’ He jumps up, runs out of the room and comes back in with the script.”

After reading the ending with Evans, the 8 Mile star admitted he was “blown away”.

“We cried. We drank. We laughed,” he shared. “I am very happy I got that moment with Chris, for him to not only pass me the shield, but to tell me it was happening.”

The actors first worked together as Captain America and Falcon in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was also directed by Endgame filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo.

And filming the closing scenes on Endgame was incredibly emotional for Mackie, as the father-of-three admitted the significance of becoming the first black Captain America began to really dawn on him.

“It means a lot to me for my sons to see Captain America as a black dude and for me to be that dude to my sons,” the 40 year old continued. “So that moment was not just, ‘Hey, we’re acting.’ It was more of a thing. And then they (the Russo brothers) cut and I cried. And Chris cried. And the Russos cried. And everyone cried. It was an emotional day.”

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Anthony Mackie feared Avengers: Infinity War would be ‘awful’

Actor Anthony Mackie worried the new Avengers sequel would bomb at the box office after failing to realise the script he’d received was just one part of the movie. The star portrays Captain America’s sidekick Falcon, aka Sam Wilson, in the Marvel film…

Actor Anthony Mackie worried the new Avengers sequel would bomb at the box office after failing to realise the script he’d received was just one part of the movie.

The star portrays Captain America’s sidekick Falcon, aka Sam Wilson, in the Marvel film franchise, and reprises his role for the new Avengers: Infinity War.

However, Mackie was initially unsure about the direction filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo were taking the comic book adaptation in, because he had no idea he was only given a portion of the full script to avoid the leak of plot details.

“I got 25 pages, which was the final fight sequence, and I sent this long email (to film bosses), like, ‘This movie is gonna be awful. How does this work? There’s no story! This is gonna be the longest fight sequence ever!’,” he recalled on breakfast show Good Morning America.

“They were like, ‘No, there’s 250 other pages!’ I was like, ‘Oh, oh, alright…! It’ll make it much better!'”

Mackie wasn’t the only castmember to be kept in the dark about the rest of the Infinity War storyline – new Spider-Man Tom Holland recently revealed he wasn’t allowed to read the rest of the screenplay, although co-star Benedict Cumberbatch was granted more access to help him “understand what the context was” in relation to his character, Doctor Strange.

Meanwhile, Mackie enjoyed having the freedom to improvise lines on set, although Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner and his alter ego the Hulk onscreen, made it tough for the stars to keep a straight face during filming.

“Mark Ruffalo is an institution of trouble!,” Anthony laughed. “He would do all this ridiculous stuff on set and crack people up, and pinch you in awkward places. He’s hilarious. He’s a problem!”

Avengers: Infinity War, which opens next week (27Apr18), also features Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Chris Evans as Captain America, and Chris Pratt as Guardians of the Galaxy’s Star-Lord, among many others.

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Kian Lawley fired from The Hate U Give after racist video surfaces

Kian Lawley has been fired from upcoming movie The Hate U Give after a video surfaced showing him making offensive remarks.The actor and YouTube star had been cast in the role of Chris, the boyfriend of main character Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), i…

Kian Lawley has been fired from upcoming movie The Hate U Give after a video surfaced showing him making offensive remarks.

The actor and YouTube star had been cast in the role of Chris, the boyfriend of main character Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), in the adaptation of Angie Thomas’ young adult novel of the same name, which tells of a woman drawn to activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend.

However, executives at Twentieth Century Fox Film announced on Monday (05Feb18) that they have decided to cut Lawley from the film after a bleeped 12-second video showing him apparently using the N-word and making racist comments was posted on YouTube on 26 January. The video is believed to be a few years old.

“Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behaviour, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”

At present, the film does not have a release date, and a replacement actor for Lawley has not yet been announced. In response to his firing, Lawley has issued an apology for his actions.

“Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past,” he said. “I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.”

In addition to Stenberg, the cast also features Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Lamar Johnson and Common.

Lawley is best known for his online videos, but has attempted to transition to Hollywood in recent years, appearing in TV show H8TERS and movie Before I Fall as the character of Rob Cokran.

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