Spike Lee shares script for unmade Jackie Robinson project

Spike Lee gifted film fans the script for his unmade Jackie Robinson biopic on Sunday. The BlacKkKlansman director posted a video on Instagram on Sunday in which he told his followers he had been reflecting on his life and career while self-isolating …

Spike Lee gifted film fans the script for his unmade Jackie Robinson biopic on Sunday.

The BlacKkKlansman director posted a video on Instagram on Sunday in which he told his followers he had been reflecting on his life and career while self-isolating at home in New York City and started thinking about one of his “dream projects”, a biopic about sporting legend Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.

He also revealed he envisioned Denzel Washington for the part, but the Training Day actor felt he was too old.

“I pulled this script out of the vault and so, I want to share the script with you. And also, don’t worry about it if you don’t like baseball or sports… This is a great American story,” he said. “Hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, that’s alright too. It’s never getting made, but I wanted to share this script with you. Be safe! Be safe! Social distancing! Peace.”

In the caption to the video, he wrote, “Good Sunday Afternoon From Da Corona Epicenter Of The USA-NYC. I Dug Deep Into Da 40 Acres Vault And Pulled Out This Script From One Of My EPIC Dream (Never Got Made) Projects – JACKIE ROBINSON. You Do Not Have To Be A Baseball Fan To Enjoy. This Script Is A Great American Story. Be Safe. Peace, Light And Love (sic).”

He added a link to a Dropbox page into his Instagram bio. Fans who click on the link are taken through to the fifth draft of the Jackie Robinson script, which was written in 1996.

When he filmed the video, Lee sat on a sofa in front of a movie poster from Alfred E. Green’s 1950 movie The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself. The sportsman was also portrayed by Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman in 2013 movie 42.

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Sienna Miller ‘didn’t care’ about appearance in 21 Bridges

Sienna Miller enjoyed the refreshing change of working “totally unaware” of her appearance on her new movie 21 Bridges.The British actress stars alongside Chadwick Boseman in the new film, in which she plays New York detective Frankie Burns, who helps …

Sienna Miller enjoyed the refreshing change of working “totally unaware” of her appearance on her new movie 21 Bridges.

The British actress stars alongside Chadwick Boseman in the new film, in which she plays New York detective Frankie Burns, who helps coordinate a manhunt to find those responsible for the killing of a police officer.

The role is a departure for Sienna, who is usually seen clad in make-up and sexy dresses, but the screen star loved the chance to fully concentrate on the job without worrying about her appearance.

“No glamour for me in this,” she told the New York Post’s gossip column Page Six. “I’m completely plain. Zero make-up. Same one outfit. Hair in a bun. I’ve done lots of glamour films. This time I worked totally unaware of my appearance. Didn’t even care how I looked.”

Sienna had her breakthrough in 2004 playing the gorgeous love interests in Alfie and Layer Cake, and had further glamorous roles in Factory Girl, Casanova, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but she has been trying to break away from that image in recent years.

The 37-year-old had been wanting to do a gritty movie for a while and relished learning new skills for her character in the new crime drama.

“Working with the NYPD, they taught me my character’s tricks. Homicide detectives gave me weapons training and some monitoring of the behaviour of cops. Not what you usually learn to do in this job. Not naturally part of my acting repertoire, to know how to reload a gun,” she joked.

21 Bridges is in cinemas now.

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Chadwick Boseman auditioned for role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy

Chadwick Boseman auditioned for the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy years before he was cast as fellow Marvel superhero Black Panther. The 21 Bridges actor is perhaps best known for playing T’Challa / Black Panther in the Marvel film franchise…

Chadwick Boseman auditioned for the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy years before he was cast as fellow Marvel superhero Black Panther.

The 21 Bridges actor is perhaps best known for playing T’Challa / Black Panther in the Marvel film franchise, including instalments such as 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the final two Avengers movies, and his own standalone film, which won three Oscars earlier this year.

However, during a recent interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Boseman revealed that he originally tried out to play Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but never expected to get the role, which eventually went to former wrestler Dave Bautista.

“It’s about going in and playing. I didn’t think I was going to get it,” he explained. “We didn’t know what Guardians was going to be so I didn’t know what it was. I only had a few pages at that time so it was good to come in and play to see what they did with it.”

Despite not being successful with the Drax audition, Boseman believes the opportunity got him in front of Marvel casting directors, who thought of him when they were casting for Black Panther.

“Well, sometimes, that’s the way it works as an actor. You go in knowing you’re not gonna get it, but you’re meeting the people that, you know they might be like, ‘He’s not this, but we’ll put him in this other thing.’ So, I feel like that was one of the moments where they were like, ‘Hey, we could use him later,'” the star added, giving a shout out to casting director Sarah Finn, who was responsible for finding every actor that appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The 41-year-old will reprise the role of Black Panther for a sequel, which is set to hit cinemas in May 2022.

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Chadwick Boseman: ‘I’ve noticed change in Hollywood since Black Panther’

Chadwick Boseman has noticed a change in Hollywood since the release of Black Panther in early 2018.The actor starred in the title role in the Marvel superhero movie – an instant classic that broke box office records and cultural ground thanks to its d…

Chadwick Boseman has noticed a change in Hollywood since the release of Black Panther in early 2018.

The actor starred in the title role in the Marvel superhero movie – an instant classic that broke box office records and cultural ground thanks to its diverse cast and storyline.

As for the lasting effect of the film on the movie industry, Chadwick told Britain’s Esquire magazine that he has seen a shift in the business.

“I’ve noticed change. I’ve seen a willingness of production companies and studios to castings in a way that they wouldn’t normally do,” he said. “You can’t make certain statements about a black lead, or a black cast, or having a certain number of people of colour – it’s not just black actors – anymore. In fact, it’s been proven that audiences want to see difference. They want to see variety and a world that reflects them whether it be race, gender, or sexuality. They want to see those things, so I think people are looking for opportunities in storytelling now.”

While the release of Black Panther has also positively affected the “business of distribution”, Chadwick noted that there’s still a long way to go.

“At the same time, I can’t say that everything has changed,” the 41-year-old continued. “The business is finding itself, and finding its value, so it’s still in the balance. I’ll also say that I’m in a unique position where I get to see the front and back of those things. There are a lot of people that haven’t broken through yet, and who are still trying to find their way and trying to get through certain prejudices. I have to acknowledge that, but they have more opportunities to do it.”

Now, film bosses are busy working on a sequel to the film, but there’s little Chadwick can reveal about the hotly anticipated Black Panther 2.

“The only thing I can say is that, for people who are hungry, the food is being prepared. I’m sorry I can’t say more!” he grinned.

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Chadwick Boseman felt James Brown’s presence before he filmed Get on Up

Chadwick Boseman feels he may have been possessed by the late James Brown’s spirit before playing him in a 2014 biopic.The Black Panther star appears on Friday’s episode of U.K. chat programme The Graham Norton Show, alongside Helena Bonham Carter, who…

Chadwick Boseman feels he may have been possessed by the late James Brown’s spirit before playing him in a 2014 biopic.

The Black Panther star appears on Friday’s episode of U.K. chat programme The Graham Norton Show, alongside Helena Bonham Carter, who told host Graham she spoke to late British royal Princess Margaret before playing her in the new series of The Crown.

Revealing his own spooky encounter before playing Brown in Get on Up, Boseman said: “I had a similar experience with James Brown because I had a lot of questions about playing him.

“I’d actually said no to the role a few times. But after I accepted I was really worried about his movement, his walk, his voice, all of it. I went to sleep one night and when I woke up I was kind of doing his voice and ‘he’ said, ‘You’re going to be good, but you ain’t going to be better than me!'”

Brown died at the age of 73 in 2006.

On the show, Bonham Carter opened up about her ghoulish meeting with Margaret, who died in 2002, explaining that it happened quite by accident.

“I actually went to see a friend about something else, but she has a talent for mediumship and she suddenly said, ‘Margaret is here. Does that mean anything?’ I hadn’t actually said yes (to the part) yet, but thought I’d ask her if I should take the role and she said, ‘You’ll be better than the other one,'” the Alice in Wonderland star shared. “There was actually someone else up for the part and it was typical of Margaret. I’d met her a few times and you never really knew where you were with her, she had a way of complimenting and putting you down at the same time.”

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One in the U.K.

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Martin Freeman: ‘I will be returning for Black Panther 2’

Martin Freeman believes he will be reprising the role of Everett K. Ross in the next Black Panther movie. The Sherlock actor first played the CIA operative, who had been tasked to control and regulate the actions of the Avengers, in Captain America: C…

Martin Freeman believes he will be reprising the role of Everett K. Ross in the next Black Panther movie.

 The Sherlock actor first played the CIA operative, who had been tasked to control and regulate the actions of the Avengers, in Captain America: Civil War, and returned for 2018’s Black Panther, where he was injured in the line of duty and saved by Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, before going on to help Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and his forces battle Michael B. Jordan’s antagonist Erik Killmonger. 

 Original director Ryan Coogler has signed on to direct a follow-up, but further details are currently unknown. However, in a new chat with Collider, the British actor said he expected to be back for the sequel.  

 “As far as I know, I will be returning,” he shared. “As far as I know, I will be in another Black Panther. That’s my understanding. As to when that will happen, I don’t know.”  

 It isn’t known when the sequel will be released, but as it didn’t appear on Marvel’s slate for 2020 and 2021 during their San Diego Comic-Con presentation, it’s likely it won’t be due until at least 2022.  

 Alongside Freeman, other castmembers expected to return for the sequel include Wright, Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Winston Duke. 

 Last year, Marvel boss Kevin Feige told Entertainment Weekly the plot for the sequel was coming together and he teased that audiences would be seeing more of Wright’s Shuri.   

 “One of the favourite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two. There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one,” he said. 

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Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman to star in adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman are to star in Denzel Washington’s adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.Oscar-winning actor Washington has spoken about his plans to oversee and produce the project for several years, and on Wednesday, executives at N…

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman are to star in Denzel Washington’s adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Oscar-winning actor Washington has spoken about his plans to oversee and produce the project for several years, and on Wednesday, executives at Netflix confirmed that they had won the rights for the film, to be based on the 1982 play of the same name by August Wilson.

Set in Chicago in the 1920s, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom follows the lead character, or “Queen of the Blues,” as she makes a record in a studio. The narrative explores how tensions boil between her, her white agent and producer, and her bandmates.

Washington’s Fences co-star Davis and Black Panther actor Boseman will take on major roles, while the cast also includes How to Get Away with Murder’s Glynn Turman, If Beale Street Could Talk’s Colman Domingo, and True Detective’s Michael Potts.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks filmmaker George C. Wolfe will direct, while Ruben Santiago-Hudson is adapting the script.

In addition to Washington, Todd Black and Dany Wolf will serve as producers, with Constanza Romero executive producing.

Academy Award winner Ann Roth is designing the costumes, and Branford Marsalis is composing the score. Filming will commence next month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opened on Broadway in October 1984, playing 276 performances before closing in June 1985. Featuring direction by Lloyd Richards, the play cast Theresa Merritt in the title role. Nominated for a Tony Award, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won the 1984 New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

It was also revived for a run in 2003, with Whoopi Goldberg and Charles S. Dutton featuring.

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Denzel Washington awarded AFI Life Achievement Award

Denzel Washington was feted by the American Film Institute (AFI) in a special ceremony on Thursday. The movie legend was the 47th recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, and was the man of the hour at a gala tribute held at the Dolby Theatre in H…

Denzel Washington was feted by the American Film Institute (AFI) in a special ceremony on Thursday.

The movie legend was the 47th recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, and was the man of the hour at a gala tribute held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Peers including Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman and Jodie Foster were there to cheer him on.

Talking to Entertainment Tonight about his biggest achievement in life, Denzel ignored his stellar film career, which has won him two Oscars, and instead chose his wife of nearly 36 years, Pauletta.

“(Actually) I was pointing to her,” Denzel said when Pauletta suggested their four children. “That’s my biggest lifetime achievement.”

The 64-year-old also revealed how honoured he was to be chosen by the AFI, following in the footsteps of Al Pacino, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda.

“I’m humbled, I’m grateful, I’m thankful… I’ve never done this before so I can’t really tell you how I feel,” he smiled. “It doesn’t feel like other times I’m on the red carpet. I’m usually promoting a film or at an award show. (Here) I’ve already won, I guess, so it’s different. It’s relaxed.”

Other guests in attendance included Morgan Freeman, Mahershala Ali and Michael B. Jordan.

And Beyonce surprised guests when she stepped out on stage to heap praise on another honouree of the night, Franklin J. Schaffner Award recipient Melina Matsoukas.

Denzel can next be seen in Joel Coen’s version of Macbeth, which is in the pre-production stage. He is also about to start work on Little Things, with Rami Malek.

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Stan Lee makes his final cameo in Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo has confirmed Stan Lee’s cameo in the upcoming superhero movie will be his last onscreen appearance.The comic book legend passed away in November (18) at the age of 95, with fans around the world, both famous and…

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo has confirmed Stan Lee’s cameo in the upcoming superhero movie will be his last onscreen appearance.

The comic book legend passed away in November (18) at the age of 95, with fans around the world, both famous and non-celebrities, mourning the loss.

As well as his extensive work in comics, including co-creating characters like Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Black Panther, Stan had become well known for his cameos in Marvel’s superhero movies, and the upcoming Avengers flick will mark his last time doing so.

“It’s his last one committed to film,” Joe told Mashable. “I have to say, I think it’s astonishing that this would be his last cameo. It’s just kind of mind-boggling that he made it to the end of this run. I can’t believe it.”

Avengers: Endgame, which Joe directed with his brother Anthony Russo, began shooting in August 2017, and finally hits cinemas from 24 April (19).

It boasts an all-star cast, including old favourites Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., as well as franchise newcomers Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman and Tessa Thompson.

Recalling memories of Stan’s set visits, self-described “comic book nerd” Anthony, who has directed numerous Marvel films along with brother Joe, revealed how everyone was always in awe of the late star.

“We have all these movie stars on that set, and when Stan came to set, everybody would be like kids again,” he said. “It was always a lot of fun shooting these cameos because he was very charming, and he would maybe get the crew going, and everybody would be laughing and having a good time.”

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Winston Duke: ‘Avengers: Endgame is going to be crazy’

Winston Duke has teased that the final instalment in Marvel’s Avengers franchise will be “bigger than Infinity War”.According to the Black Panther star, bosses at Marvel Studios have covered new ground with Avengers: Endgame which he insists is going t…

Winston Duke has teased that the final instalment in Marvel’s Avengers franchise will be “bigger than Infinity War”.

According to the Black Panther star, bosses at Marvel Studios have covered new ground with Avengers: Endgame which he insists is going to wow fans and will easily top Avengers: Infinity War.

The 32-year-old actor spoke to Entertainment Tonight at the 50th NAACP Awards on Friday (29Mar19), before celebrating Black Panther’s eight awards on the night.

“Honestly, what I can tell you is that it’s bigger than Infinity War … It’s going to be a lot of fun, going to be crazy, and they have a way of still topping themselves when you feel like they might have jumped the shark,” gushed Winston. “They still have a way of making it new.”

The Us star, who won a legion of fans for his portrayal of Wakandan warrior M’Baku, shared that he was also stunned by the superhero deaths in Infinity War, including his former adversary Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).

In Endgame, which premieres 26 April, the remaining superheroes band together to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin), while also trying to find a way to bring their friends back from the dead.

“I went through the same thing, too,” he revealed. “I just went back to the comic books, because I didn’t know anyone was going to die. They shot things separate. Even some of the people who died didn’t know they were going to die.”

Winston’s comments come after the directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, revealed that the film’s runtime will be 182 minutes, making it 22 minutes longer Infinity War.

“We’re very rigorous about storytelling points, and we spend months in the edit room twisting and turning the narrative a bunch of different ways until we think we’ve unlocked the best one,” Joe Russo explained to Box Office Pro. “We’re vigilant about using test audiences to tell us whether we’re on the right track or we’re making bad decisions.

“With Endgame, it had one of the most incredible audience responses in Marvel history. Irrespective of the length, it’s been consistently embraced by the test audiences.”

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