Gabrielle Union throws support behind A League of Their Own sequel

Gabrielle Union has thrown her support behind a sequel to A League Of Their Own, which would follow the rise of three female Black stars of post-war baseball.Filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry first pitched the idea of a follow-up to the hit 1992 movie, which…

Gabrielle Union has thrown her support behind a sequel to A League Of Their Own, which would follow the rise of three female Black stars of post-war baseball.

Filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry first pitched the idea of a follow-up to the hit 1992 movie, which starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna, and followed the beginnings of the first female professional baseball league in the 1940s.

Back in December 2018, the Oscar-winning director suggested in a post on Twitter that a sequel to late director Penny Marshall’s flick should pick up at the point in the film when a Black woman in the crowd at a game throws a ground ball back to the team, impressing Davis’ character Dottie Hinson.

“Imagine A League Of Their Own sequel that starts with the scene of the Black woman throwing the ball back from the stands and you stay with her and it becomes a biopic on (Toni Stone, Mami (sic) ‘Peanut’ Johnson & Connie Morgan),” the Hair Love director wrote.

Toni, Mamie and Connie broke new ground when they played professional baseball in the 1940s and 1950s.

On Monday, Gabrielle took to Twitter to share Matthew’s post, and implored Hollywood bosses to look at getting the potential project off the ground.

“Can we make this please?” the Bring It On actress wrote. “Asking for a bunch of us.”

Fans of the 47-year-old went wild for her idea, and suggested Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay could helm the sports biopic.

© Cover Media

Ava DuVernay elected to Academy’s board of governors

Ava DuVernay has been elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors.The Selma filmmaker is among six people who have landed a place on the board, which oversees the Oscars, for the first time, and she was nominated to h…

Ava DuVernay has been elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors.

The Selma filmmaker is among six people who have landed a place on the board, which oversees the Oscars, for the first time, and she was nominated to head the directors branch.

“Thank you to the members of the Directors Branch of @TheAcademy. Life is a funny, fascinating thing. You never know what’s around the corner,” Ava wrote in a post on Twitter.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker has been speaking out about racial injustice and inequality following the death of George Floyd, and recently made her Netflix documentary 13th available to watch on YouTube in an effort to educate those on systemic racism in the U.S.

Also elected to the board of governors for the first time are casting director Debra Zane, producer Lynette Howell Taylor, editor Stephen Rivkin, make-up artist Linda Flowers, and Rob Bredow for visuals effects.

Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for her role in Ghost back in 1991, was among those re-elected to the board of governors and will serve another three-year term as a governor of the actors branch.

The election results mean the number of female board members has increased from 25 to 26 and people of colour from 11 to 12.

The Academy’s board is also expected to meet on Thursday, via video conference call, to discuss the possibility of postponing the 2021 Oscars in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Deadline, it is expected that the current date of 28 February will be pushed into March or even April due to the industry-wide shutdown.

© Cover Media

Paramount makes Selma free to rent on digital platforms in June

Paramount Pictures officials have made Selma free to rent on all digital platforms during the month of June.The 2014 historical drama depicts the events surrounding the civil rights movement march in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Dr. M…

Paramount Pictures officials have made Selma free to rent on all digital platforms during the month of June.

The 2014 historical drama depicts the events surrounding the civil rights movement march in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as part of a widespread campaign to secure equal voting rights for black people in the U.S.

The Golden Globe-winning movie, directed by Ava DuVernay, starred David Oyelowo as the iconic activist, alongside Carmen Ejogo, Tessa Thompson, and Andre Holland.

And on Saturday, Paramount announced it would be offering free digital rentals of the critically-acclaimed movie until the end of the month to help support the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We witness the expression of decades of collective pain, we should reflect on Dr. King’s words: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'” the statement read.

“We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965.”

The news comes after Oyelowo claimed certain Academy Award voters told the studio that they would not be supporting Selma in response to the cast wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts to the film’s premiere in protest of the killing of Eric Garner, a police brutality victim who hit headlines earlier in 2014.

In addition to Paramount offering up Selma for free on digital platforms, Warner Bros. officials have also made Just Mercy, starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan, free to rent during this month.

© Cover Media

David Oyelowo claims Academy members refused to vote for Selma following premiere protests

David Oyelowo has claimed members of the Academy refused to vote for his 2014 movie Selma after the cast protested the death of Eric Garner at the film’s premiere. During a virtual discussion as part of Screen Daily’s Screen Talks series on Thursday, t…

David Oyelowo has claimed members of the Academy refused to vote for his 2014 movie Selma after the cast protested the death of Eric Garner at the film’s premiere.

During a virtual discussion as part of Screen Daily’s Screen Talks series on Thursday, the British actor discussed the recent support for the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the shocking death of unarmed African-American man George Floyd, and recalled how Selma, a drama in which he starred as Martin Luther King Jr., was negatively impacted by the cast and crew taking a stand against police brutality and racism.

At the New York premiere of the film, Oyelowo, director Ava DuVernay and the entire cast – including Tessa Thompson and Colman Domingo – wore black T-shirts bearing the message “I Can’t Breathe” to stand in solidarity with African-American man Garner, who uttered those words during his arrest, shortly after which he died.

And as a result of their actions, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote for the Oscars, allegedly sabotaged its awards season chances.

“Selma coincided with Eric Garner being murdered,” he said. “I remember at the premiere of Selma us wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts in protest. Members of the Academy called into the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring S-*-*-T?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that.'”

“It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite,” continued Oyelowo, referring to the social media campaign addressing the lack of diversity in the nominations. “They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”

DuVernay shared the quotes on her Twitter account and added, “True story”.

The film, which told the story of protest marches calling for African-Americans to be given the right to vote, received two Oscar nominations – Best Picture and Best Original Song – and won the latter.

© Cover Media

Academy acknowledges members”unacceptable’ behaviour towards Selma premiere protest

The Academy has acknowledged David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay’s claim that their 2014 movie Selma was sabotaged by some Oscars voters following an anti-racism protest at the film’s premiere. On Thursday, the British actor, who portrayed Martin Luther Ki…

The Academy has acknowledged David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay’s claim that their 2014 movie Selma was sabotaged by some Oscars voters following an anti-racism protest at the film’s premiere.

On Thursday, the British actor, who portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. in the historical movie, alleged members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) damaged Selma’s awards season journey after he, director DuVernay and the cast attended the film’s New York premiere wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts to stand in solidarity with late police brutality victim Eric Garner, who uttered those words during his arrest earlier that year.

DuVernay retweeted Oyelowo’s comments and backed them up with the caption: “True Story”.

A short time later, representatives for the Academy took to Twitter to respond to their claims, while also making a promise to do better.

“Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable. We’re committed to progress. @ava #DavidOyelowo,” they simply wrote.

The 2015 Oscar nominations, which honoured films released in 2014, sparked controversy and the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, as all 20 actors nominated in acting categories were white. After the same issue happened again in 2016, Academy officials announced a raft of changes to help them reach their goal to double the number of diverse members by 2020.

Oyelowo recalled the story during a virtual appearance on Screen Daily’s Screen Talks series on Thursday.

“Members of the Academy called into the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring S-*-*-T?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that,'” he said. “It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite. They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”

© Cover Media

Celebrity fashion guru blasts top designers for ‘only working with white stylists’

Fashion star Jason Bolden has claimed some top designers only work with black celebrities if they have “a white stylist”.Earlier this week, a representative for French fashion house Celine, headed up by Hedi Slimane, uploaded a message on Instagram in …

Fashion star Jason Bolden has claimed some top designers only work with black celebrities if they have “a white stylist”.

Earlier this week, a representative for French fashion house Celine, headed up by Hedi Slimane, uploaded a message on Instagram in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the shocking death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May.

“Celine stands against all forms of discrimination, oppression, and racism. Tomorrow’s world will not exist without equality for all,” they stated.

However, Bolden soon took issue with the post and wrote in the comments section: “Wait really, you guys dnt (sic) dress any black celebs unless they have a white stylist @celine. FACTS.”

The Styling Hollywood personality, who regularly works with the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Ava DuVernay, Cynthia Erivo, Janet Mock, Sasha Lane, and Yara Shahidi, didn’t expand any further. However, when moderators at fashion Instagram page Diet Prada picked up the story, Bolden also alleged the team at Saint Laurent, helmed by Anthony Vaccarello, and other leading fashion houses were behind the times with embracing diversity.

“@ysl is another one! I’m only supporting brands who support us,” he added. “NOT JUST THIS BRAND BUT TO ALL OF THEM, BE HONEST ABOUT HOW YOU’VE SUPPORTED THIS TYPE OF TREATMENT OF BLACK PEOPLE! WE SEE YOU AND WONT SUPPORT YOU UNTIL YOU SUPPORT US (sic).”

Bolden’s comments soon racked up thousands of likes, with model Adwoa Aboah replying: “Call them all out. This is the way we have been treated by so many brands for far too long.”

© Cover Media

Niki Caro credits Patty Jenkins with inspiring her to make live-action Mulan

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films…

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.

The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films costing more than $100 million (£77 million), was disappointed in the almost non-existent opportunities for female directors in Hollywood when she started out.

“When I first started wanting to be a filmmaker, there was so little precedent for women doing this (big studio) work,” Caro told The Hollywood Reporter. “Patty changed the game with Wonder Woman. It was like a shot of adrenaline for me as a filmmaker.”

And for the live-action remake of the 1998 Disney animated classic, the 53-year-old hired a female-dominated crew, including cinematographer Mandy Walker, costume designer Bina Daigeler, and first assistant director Liz Tan.

Elsewhere in the interview, Caro revealed that a huge global hunt was conducted to find the perfect actress to play Mulan, with her sending a team of casting directors to almost every small village in China back in 2016.

“She’s a needle in a haystack, but we were going to find her,” she explained. “It’s impossible to make this movie without this person.”

Liu Yifei was eventually picked to play the young girl who takes her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, and Caro immediately put the actress through a 90-minute physical assessment to ensure she was able to deal with the rigorous training and fight scenes during filming,

“(Liu) never complained once, never said, ‘I can’t.’ She went to her limits,” the director added.

© Cover Media

Hollywood stars celebrate Parasite’s historic Best Picture win at 2020 Oscars

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the under…

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the underdog going into the ceremony and wasn’t expected to win much more than the Best International Feature Film category, but ended up sweeping the event with four wins, also including Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and the night’s coveted Best Picture prize, which had been widely expected to go to 1917.

Social media users and celebrities alike were thrilled with the surprising and historic wins, with director DuVernay tweeting, “MASSIVE! HISTORIC! LANDMARK! PARASITE! The world is big and it is beautiful and films from everywhere deserve to be on that stage winning @TheAcademy’s highest honour. This is wonderful and right. #Oscars.”

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu wrote, “Parasite Parasite Parasite Parasite!!!! Oh my gawwwdddd Parasite did it (sic)!!!! Director Bong did it!! The whole insanely talented cast did it!! South Korea did it. History made. Heading out to celebrate all night!!!” while Killing Eve star Oh posted, “Congratulations @ParasiteMovie So so proud to be Korean.”

Indian actress Chopra added, “Wow! It’s so emotional to see an international film like Parasite, in Korean with English subtitles, not only receive such a warm embrace from audiences around the world, but also this kind of recognition from one of the most prestigious film academy’s (sic) in the world… Congratulations to the entire film for shattering the glass ceiling and making history as the first non-English film to win Best Picture.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also offered up his congratulations on social media, thanking Joon Ho for giving “pride and courage” to the country’s people.

Earlier in the night, as the filmmaker accepted the Best Director prize, he told the audience, “After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax. Thank you so much… I never thought I would win.”

He let other members of the Parasite team speak following the Best Picture win but told reporters backstage that the film’s Oscars haul was “really f**king crazy”.

© Cover Media

Stephen King backtracks over controversial Oscars diversity comments

Stephen King has clarified comments he made about the lack of diversity at the 2020 Academy Awards.Earlier this month, the horror author, who can vote in three Oscars categories, waded in on the controversy over the lack of women and people of colour n…

Stephen King has clarified comments he made about the lack of diversity at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Earlier this month, the horror author, who can vote in three Oscars categories, waded in on the controversy over the lack of women and people of colour nominated this year, and faced backlash from the likes of Ava DuVernay for tweeting that he would never consider diversity in regards to art and only focused on quality.

Now, the author has seemingly backtracked on his comments, and in an op-ed for The Washington Post published on Monday, he insisted he didn’t intend to spark outrage.

“I stepped over one of those lines recently by saying something on Twitter that I mistakenly thought was noncontroversial: ‘I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong’. The subject was the Academy Awards,” King began. “I also said, in essence, that those judging creative excellence should be blind to questions of race, gender or sexual orientation.”

He denied he meant movies focusing on diversity and inequality “cannot be works of creative genius,” and noted that DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, was a “splendid case in point.”

“Judgments of creative excellence should be blind. But that would be the case in a perfect world, one where the game isn’t rigged in favor of the white folks,” he wrote. “Creative excellence comes from every walk, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation, and it’s made richer and bolder and more exciting by diversity, but it’s defined by being excellent. Judging anyone’s work by any other standard is insulting and — worse — it undermines those hard-won moments when excellence from a diverse source is rewarded (against, it seems, all the odds) by leaving such recognition vulnerable to being dismissed as politically correct.”

King also questioned whether voters had seen all the eligible films and wrote that he hoped the demographic of the Oscars voting pool would eventually catch up with today’s diverse society.

© Cover Media

Ava DuVernay criticises Stephen King for diversity comments

Ava DuVernay has criticised author Stephen King for posting “backward and ignorant” tweets about the lack of diversity at the 2020 Oscars. The 2020 Academy Award nominations were announced on Monday, revealing that the vast majority of nominees were w…

Ava DuVernay has criticised author Stephen King for posting “backward and ignorant” tweets about the lack of diversity at the 2020 Oscars.

The 2020 Academy Award nominations were announced on Monday, revealing that the vast majority of nominees were white males, with only one out of the 20 acting nominees being a person of colour.

The lack of diversity sparked a debate on social media, and The Shining author Stephen King, who has had many books adapted into films and TV shows, decided to weigh in on the issue and tell his followers he doesn’t consider diversity when casting his vote in three Oscars categories.

“As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just three categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. For me, the diversity issue – as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway – did not come up,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “That said… I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

His tweets sparked backlash online from many social media users, including Selma filmmaker DuVernay, who expressed her dismay at his remarks.

“When you wake up, meditate, stretch, reach for your phone to check on the world and see a tweet from someone you admire that is so backward and ignorant you want to go back to bed,” she commented alongside a retweet of King’s message.

Writer Roxane Gay also tweeted, “As a fan, this is painful to read from you. It implies that diversity and quality cannot be synonymous. They are not separate things. Quality is everywhere but most industries only believe in quality from one demographic. And now, here you are.”

King returned to Twitter later to try and calm the backlash by writing, “The most important thing we can do as artists and creative people is make sure everyone has the same fair shot, regardless of sex, colour, or orientation. Right now, such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts… You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game.”

The 2020 Oscars will take place in Los Angeles on 9 February.

© Cover Media