Alan Menken working on new music for Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted

Alan Menken is working on the scores for The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.Despite Disney bosses temporarily halting production on Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action adaption of the 19…

Alan Menken is working on the scores for The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

Despite Disney bosses temporarily halting production on Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action adaption of the 1989 animated classic due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oscar-winning composer and songwriter is putting his time spent indoors to good use.

“This has been a great time for writing. Production stopped on The Little Mermaid movie,” he shared during a special live stream of The Rosie O’Donnell Show. “We recorded all the songs, and I wrote four new songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist for Mermaid.”

The new Little Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as the mermaid princess, with Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, and Jonah Hauer-King taking on supporting roles.

In addition, Menken revealed that he is making progress on another big Disney feature.

“And I’m working on Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted,” the 70-year-old divulged.

Though there is yet to be an official announcement about Disenchanted, Disney producers have been teasing an update regarding the follow-up to the 2007 hit featuring Amy Adams and James Marsden in recent months.

Elsewhere in the chat, Menken admitted he has “a whole bushel of new projects” on the go, including a new stage adaptation of 1997 hit movie Hercules.

“And I have another Broadway show. Oh, and Hercules is coming to the stage, of course. We did that in Central Park last summer,” he added.

© Cover Media

Awkwafina to star in gambling drama

Awkwafina is set to play the world’s greatest female gambler in The Baccarat Machine. The Crazy Rich Asians actress, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, will portray Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, the most successful female ga…

Awkwafina is set to play the world’s greatest female gambler in The Baccarat Machine.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, will portray Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, the most successful female gambler in modern history.

Based on Michael Kaplan’s article The Baccarat Machine, which was published in Cigar Aficionado magazine, the film will follow young Chinese woman Sun as she painstakingly develops talent and an obsession for payback.

With major casinos conspiring to bar her from their properties, Sun partners with the international “King of Poker” Phil Ivey in order to take down the system through subterfuge, ingenuity, and pure daring, resulting in one of the most ingenious legal gambling runs ever documented.

John Penotti and Charlie Corwin from SK Global, which is financing and producing the project, made the announcement on Wednesday. They also revealed Andy Bellin will be writing the script and Jeffrey Sharp will be producing. They are still in talks with potential directors and additional actors.

“We can’t think of a better way to start this project than by announcing that our friend Awkwafina has come on board,” Penotti said in a statement, according to Deadline and Variety. “She is uniquely equipped to bring Kelly to life onscreen and will infuse the role with genuine humour and humanity. Along with our partners at Sharp, we’re thrilled to bring this unbelievable story to the screen.”

SK Global previously worked with Awkwafina on Crazy Rich Asians, one of her breakout roles in 2018, along with Ocean’s 8. The actress, real name Nora Lum, was recently seen in Jumanji: The Next Level and is starring in new TV comedy series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which she co-created.

© Cover Media

Awkwafina: ‘I had to learn to love myself in a dress’

Awkwafina had to learn how to beat her insecurities and love herself in a dress.The Crazy Rich Asians star feels more comfortable wearing suits on the red carpet, but she is working hard to become confident while wearing gowns. “I think fittings for me…

Awkwafina had to learn how to beat her insecurities and love herself in a dress.

The Crazy Rich Asians star feels more comfortable wearing suits on the red carpet, but she is working hard to become confident while wearing gowns.

“I think fittings for me always start with insecurity, like, ‘I hate this part about me,'” the 31-year-old shared. “I love dresses, but I think I had to learn to love myself in a dress. I had to learn to look at myself and be like, ‘Don’t slouch; really stand up and feel proud that you’re in this beautiful dress.’ I had to teach myself that.”

Awkwafina, real name Nora Lum, prefers wearing glamorous two-piece suits because not only can she move better, it makes her feel powerful.

“The first time I really wore a suit to an event, I remember thinking, ‘I can move so well.’ But then there is (also) something about looking at yourself in a suit that does make you feel a sense of empowerment,” the Golden Globe Award-winning actress added. “I like suits because I grew up kind of more of a tomboy. So I live in them better.”

Awkwafina’s style has evolved with the help of stylist Erica Cloud, who is responsible for dressing the former YouTube rapper in a pale pink Dsquared2 sequinned suit for the 2019 Academy Awards, and now the actress feels like she can express herself on the red carpet.

“I always felt very unsure when it came to fashion, but what I learned from (working with a stylist) is that it is definitely an expression of who you are,” she said. “If you don’t (feel like) yourself in it, you’re not going to feel good in anything that you wear.”

© Cover Media

Zendaya stuns in metallic breastplate at 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards

Zendaya stole the spotlight in a hot pink breastplate and matching skirt by Tom Ford at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night.The 23-year-old, who was nominated in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Rue in the HBO dra…

Zendaya stole the spotlight in a hot pink breastplate and matching skirt by Tom Ford at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night.

The 23-year-old, who was nominated in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Rue in the HBO drama Euphoria, stunned as she hit the red carpet wearing the $15,000 (£11,500) bespoke piece from the designer’s spring 2020 collection.

Zendaya complemented the unique creation with a floor-length fuchsia skirt, Mateo New York earrings, Djula rings, and satin pumps by Christian Louboutin. Her stylist, Law Roach, later pointed out that the breastplate was a homage to the vintage pieces by Issey Miyake and Yves Saint Laurent, and called the Spider-Man: Far From Home star a “Warrior Woman” in a post on Instagram.

The piece was also recently worn by Gwyneth Paltrow for the cover of the latest issue of U.S. Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and the Oscar winner took to social media to lavish praise on the young star.

“Thank God I can say I have something in common with Zendaya,” she commented on a picture of the actress wearing the breastplate.

Other famous faces who also rocked bright colours on the red carpet included Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein, who wore a two-tone pastel pink and red dress with open-toe velvet Jimmy Choo platform heels.

Kristen Bell made a bold statement with her neon green caped jumpsuit by Cong Tri, paired with matching heels, while Awkwafina wowed in a bright yellow Ellie Saab gown, which featured a flowing skirt and sleeves, and Stuart Weitzman platform shoes.

Renee Zellweger, who scooped the Best Actress prize at the ceremony for her role in Judy, bucked the colourful trend by wearing a black strapless Dior gown, and Best Actress in a Comedy Series winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge rocked a one-shouldered sheer dress also created by designers at the French fashion house.

Little Women star Florence Pugh was among those who embraced show-stopping glittering gowns for the annual ceremony, wearing a silver sequinned column-style dress by Prada, while Jennifer Lopez opted for an elegant cream cut-out gown with embellishment by Georges Hobeika.

© Cover Media

BAFTA officials ‘disappointed’ by lack of diversity in nominations

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards. The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker ca…

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards.

The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker came top with 11 nods, closely followed by Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman with 10.

Social media users swiftly went online to express their outrage at the all-white acting nominees, with them using the hashtag #BAFTASSoWhite. They blasted BAFTA voters for snubbing the likes of Awkwafina, Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas, and Cynthia Erivo and opting to give Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson two nods each.

BAFTA executives have now admitted they are also disappointed about the all-white shortlist.

“Being totally honest, we are disappointed and that is not to take anything away from the people who have been nominated,” said BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry, according to Press Association. She added that although no female filmmaker made the Best Director shortlist, they were recognised across other categories and this “gives me joy and hope”.

“But we are going to do more, we are not going to stop pushing,” she insisted.

While Marc Samuelson, chairman of BAFTA’s film committee, commented: “Clearly everybody knows that everybody in the four acting groups of nominees are white, it’s infuriating, we can’t make the industry do something, all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end.”

Samuelson also noted that diversity is improving in other ways, as the percentage of female nominees has risen. However, he did concede, “It doesn’t take anything away from the issue in the acting categories but, nonetheless, it’s something and things are moving.”

The 2020 British Academy Film Awards will be hosted by Graham Norton at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February.

© Cover Media

Awkwafina makes history with Golden Globes win

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night. The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s …

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s Emma Thompson, and Cate Blanchett for Where’d You Go, Bernadette to win the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical prize for her role in The Farewell.

With her win, the 31-year-old became the first person of Asian descent to win that category and win a lead actress Golden Globe for a film.

No Asian woman had ever been nominated in the category until last year, when her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu landed on the shortlist and was subsequently beaten by Olivia Colman for The Favourite. At the 2019 awards ceremony, Sandra Oh became the first Asian to win Best Actress in a TV show for Killing Eve.

First-time nominee Awkwafina, whose father is Chinese-American and late mother was South Korean, acknowledged her historic win backstage by saying, “I just heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. There’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”

In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina joked to the star-studded audience at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, “This is great. If I ever fall on hard times, I’m gonna sell this, so that’s great.

“I’ve never been to the Golden Globes, so I’m here now and it’s this and it’s great. Most importantly, to Lulu Wang, our incredible director. You gave me this chance, this chance of a lifetime and taught me so much.”

She dedicated the award to her father, praised her paternal grandmother, whom she described as her “best friend”, and thanked her late mum, commenting that she “always hoped was watching from somewhere above and I hope she’s watching now.”

© Cover Media

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever nominated for BAFTA Rising Star honour

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever have been nominated for the 2020 BAFTA Rising Star Award. The 31-year-old, who is known for films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8 and Jumanji: The Next Level, made history at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night when…

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever have been nominated for the 2020 BAFTA Rising Star Award.

The 31-year-old, who is known for films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8 and Jumanji: The Next Level, made history at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night when she won the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in The Farewell, becoming the first-ever Asian actor to win a leading actress Golden Globe for a film.

Awkwafina’s success continued on Monday when representatives for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) unveiled the five nominees for the Rising Star Award, an honour given to up-and-coming talent at the organisation’s annual British Academy Film Awards.

“It’s truly an honour to be nominated for the EE Rising Star Award,” said Awkwafina in a statement. “I’m grateful to BAFTA and the jury for the nomination and that I am able to share this recognition with so many other talented actors and actresses.”

The shortlist also included Dever, who was nominated at the Golden Globes for her work in Netflix miniseries Unbelievable, though she lost out to Michelle Williams for Fosse/Verdon. Dever, 23, is best known for films such as Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart, Short Term 12, Detroit, and the TV show Justified.

The other nominees include Scottish actor Jack Lowden, whose credits include Dunkirk, Mary Queen of Scots, and Fighting with my Family, Kelvin Harrison Jr., who established himself as one to watch with roles in films such as Waves, It Comes at Night, and Mudbound, and Top Boy actor Micheal Ward, who recently starred in Blue Story.

Previous winners of the Rising Star Award, BAFTA’s only fan-voted category, have included Shia LaBeouf, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy, John Boyega, Tom Holland, Daniel Kaluuya, and Letitia Wright.

The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February.

The full list of nominees will be announced on Tuesday morning.

© Cover Media

Marriage Story dominates Gotham Awards

Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story was the big winner at the 2019 Gotham Awards on Monday night. The Netflix film, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as an estranged couple going through a cross-country divorce, won four prizes, for…

Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story was the big winner at the 2019 Gotham Awards on Monday night.

The Netflix film, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as an estranged couple going through a cross-country divorce, won four prizes, for Best Feature, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and the Audience Award.

During his multiple trips to the stage at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, Baumbach thanked Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos for financing his movie and his cast.

“My special effect is the cast,” he said during his final acceptance speech, according to Deadline. “I hide behind them. When I was cutting the movie, I felt like it was not mine anymore. It was theirs. That’s the greatest gift any director can get.”

Another big winner was Awkwafina, who won Best Actress for her first dramatic role in The Farewell, about a young American who returns to China to tend to her ailing grandmother.

Failing to hide her surprise at the podium, she told the audience, “Holy s**t! Oh my God, I didn’t write anything, and they were like, ‘You should write something!’ Oh my God. I never won anything. I can’t even win an argument in the Instagram comments… I would like to thank grandmas everywhere for spoiling us, for loving us and for believing us.”

During the ceremony, hosted by the Independent Filmmakers Project, American Factory won Best Documentary, Taylor Russell won Breakthrough Actor for his performance in Waves and Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre won the Breakthrough Director Award for The Mustang.

In the TV categories, the winners were PEN15 and When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s drama about the Central Park Five case, meaning Netflix won six of the night’s 10 awards.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Feature – Marriage Story

Audience Award – Marriage Story

Best Screenplay – Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Best Actor – Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Best Actress – Awkwafina, The Farewell

Best Documentary – American Factory

Breakthrough Actor – Taylor Russell, Waves

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award – Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, The Mustang

Breakthrough Series (Short Form) – PEN15

Breakthrough Series (Long Form) – When They See Us

© Cover Media

Daveed Diggs in final talks for The Little Mermaid role – report

Daveed Diggs is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to join the line-up of Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.According to editors at Variety, the Hamilton actor is the studio’s top choice for the role of Sebastian – the crab …

Daveed Diggs is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to join the line-up of Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

According to editors at Variety, the Hamilton actor is the studio’s top choice for the role of Sebastian – the crab who is King Triton’s advisor – and will perform the iconic song Under the Sea, which appeared in the 1989 animated original.

The role was previously voiced by Samuel E. Wright.

Producers are currently casting for the flick, which begins production next year, with singer/actress Halle Bailey confirmed to play mermaid princess Ariel in the film.

Elsewhere, Javier Bardem is rumoured to be in talks to portray Triton, and Melissa McCarthy has long been linked to the part of sea witch Ursula.

Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay are also attached to play Scuttle and Flounder, respectively, but director Rob Marshall is yet to settle on an actor to play Prince Eric.

Singer Harry Styles was previously in the running for the lead role, but ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity, with other young actors including Cameron Cuffe, Jonah Hauer-King, Christian Navarro, and Asher Angel among those to audition.

Diggs originated the parts of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the original production of Hamilton, winning both a Grammy Award and a Tony Award for his performance.

He has also appeared in films such as Wonder and Blindspotting, and will next be seen onscreen as Andre Layton in TV series Snowpiercer.

A release date for Marshall’s The Little Mermaid has not yet been announced.

© Cover Media

Christian Navarro auditioning for Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid remake

Actor Christian Navarro has added his name to the list of hopefuls dreaming of landing the role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.Previously, Harry Styles was in talks to play human prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid Ariel in Rob Marshall’…

Actor Christian Navarro has added his name to the list of hopefuls dreaming of landing the role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.

Previously, Harry Styles was in talks to play human prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid Ariel in Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action reboot of the 1989 animated Disney classic, however, a representative for the One Direction singer later confirmed he had passed on the role.

But now it appears 13 Reasons Why star Navarro is keen for the opportunity to dive into the project and has made a direct appeal to star in the movie.

The 28-year-old recently retweeted a post about Styles’s exit, adding: “Well… I can sing. Black Ariel/Latino Prince… no ones called but Season 3 (of 13 Reasons Why) drops next week and (I) think it’s one hell of an audition (sic).”

And it seems Disney bosses were impressed with Navarro’s direct approach to land an audition and got the ball rolling.

“@disney saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call,” he tweeted. “They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history… Let me know! @DisneyStudios.”

Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in talks to play the villainous Ursula, with Javier Bardem in the running for King Triton. Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay have been attached to play Scuttle and Flounder, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shazam! star Asher Angel has also revealed he is auditioning for the role of Prince Eric, telling reporters at Entertainment Tonight, “I went in for it. It means so much to me. I started off doing musical theatre.”

© Cover Media