Julia Roberts to reunite with Denzel Washington for Leave the World Behind

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington will reunite onscreen for the first time in nearly 30 years for Netflix movie Leave the World Behind.The Oscar-winning actors, who last co-starred with each other in 1993 legal thriller The Pelican Brief, will lead t…

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington will reunite onscreen for the first time in nearly 30 years for Netflix movie Leave the World Behind.

The Oscar-winning actors, who last co-starred with each other in 1993 legal thriller The Pelican Brief, will lead the cast of the feature adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s upcoming novel, which is set to be released in the autumn by HarperCollins publishing imprint Ecco.

According to Deadline, the story follows a white family whose vacation is interrupted when the Black middle-aged couple who own the holiday home they are renting arrive following a blackout in the city. When the internet, television, phones and radio stop working, they have no way of finding out an explanation for the strange events occurring outside. The physical and mental health of the families begins to disintegrate, and their clashes become distractions to the more alarming things happening all around them.

Roberts will play the mother of the family that rents the house, while Washington will play the homeowner.

The project will also serve as a reunion for Roberts and Sam Esmail, who will direct from his own screenplay. They previously worked together when the Pretty Woman actress starred in the first season of the Amazon drama series Homecoming, which Esmail co-created, directed, and produced.

Roberts will also produce via her Red Om Films banner, alongside Washington, Esmail, Alam, and Chad Hamilton.

According to the publication, Netflix officials won the world rights to Leave the World Behind after a vigorous bidding war which reportedly involved 10 offers. In the final stage of the bidding battle, it came down to Netflix, rival streaming service Apple, and movie studio MGM.

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Jonah Hill ‘humbled’ after surpassing Samuel L. Jackson’s onscreen cursing record

Jonah Hill has been “humbled” to learn he has surpassed Samuel L. Jackson’s onscreen cursing record.The Superbad actor took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a screenshot of an article on The Wrap with the headline, “Jonah Hill Passes Samuel L Jackson …

Jonah Hill has been “humbled” to learn he has surpassed Samuel L. Jackson’s onscreen cursing record.

The Superbad actor took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a screenshot of an article on The Wrap with the headline, “Jonah Hill Passes Samuel L Jackson With Most F**king Swear Words on Film.”

In the accompanying caption, Jonah celebrated the news by thanking his The Wolf of Wall Street director Martin Scorsese for helping him to achieve the record.

“So many people to thank. @martinscorsese_ thanks for pushing me over the edge. And of course the great @samuelljackson. Humbled,” he wrote, adding: “(Also ‘new report’? Lol what team of scientists cracked this one?). Lots of love.”

According to the new Profanity on Film report from Buzz Bingo, Hill has collectively said the most swear words in all the movies he’s appeared in, with a total of 376 profanities. He was followed by his The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio in the rankings, who has 361 curse words recorded, and Jackson, who had 301.

Jackson has become well known for using curse words in films, especially in flicks like Jackie Brown and Snakes on a Plane.

Other celebrities on the list included Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Billy Bob Thornton, Seth Rogen, Bradley Cooper, and Danny McBride.

Responding to Hill’s Instagram post, his friend and frequent collaborator Rogen simply commented, “The dream.”

And in response, the 36-year-old wrote: “We should make a last dance (2020 series about Michael Jordan’s basketball career) style doc of me exhausted getting to the final f**k. ‘I can’t do it anymore!'”

Buzz Bingo’s analysts studied over 3,500 movie scripts for their report.

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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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Aretha Franklin biopic Respect postponed until Christmas

The release of the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, has been postponed until December.The highly-anticipated movie is directed by Liesl Tommy and features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayan…

The release of the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, has been postponed until December.

The highly-anticipated movie is directed by Liesl Tommy and features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, and Tituss Burgess.

It was announced on Thursday that bosses at MGM have decided to move the release date of the biopic from 9 October to a limited run starting on 25 December.

Respect will then expand on 8 January, ahead of a full release across the U.S. on 15 January, to kick off the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, according to Deadline.

The move is thought to have been done in order to improve Hudson’s chances of landing an Oscar nomination for her performance as the soul icon.

Hudson, who won an Academy Award for her performance in Dreamgirls back in 2007, was personally picked for the role in the musical biopic by Franklin before she passed away in 2018 at the age of 76.

The movie was due to be competing against Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie sequel Death on the Nile and Robert Zemeckis’ big-screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, The Witches.

However, release schedules for the year have been thrown into disarray due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has closed thousands of cinema chains across the world.

Movies including The Batman, Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid, and Mission: Impossible 7 have had production halted amid the global pandemic, and Joel Coen’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has also been affected.

The drama, starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and Brendan Gleeson, was set to begin filming in Los Angeles, but has been postponed as the city is on lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, according to the publication.

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American Gangster movie was set to become Hollywood joke over terrifying director

Universal bosses were willing to take a massive hit on producer Brian Grazer’s film American Gangster because they were terrified of the director he hired.The movie mogul had Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro attached to the drama, and had no idea…

Universal bosses were willing to take a massive hit on producer Brian Grazer’s film American Gangster because they were terrified of the director he hired.

The movie mogul had Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro attached to the drama, and had no idea studio executives were so scared of the unnamed moviemaker he had tasked with directing the film, they were willing to walk away from the project and accept a $33 million (£26.5 million) loss.

“That would’ve been the biggest loss in the history of films that had never been made,” Grazer said. “It was heartbreaking. I thought, ‘I can’t forget American Gangster and I’m gonna build a better case.'”

So, he urged Denzel to stay with the project, asked Ridley Scott to take over as director, and then went after Russell Crowe.

“I said, ‘You and (screenwriter) Steve Zaillian can work on the role and enrich it, but I need your absolute commitment.’

“I was able to reunite these guys (Crowe and his Gladiator director) on something that was an absolute no from Universal. I turned it and them around and made the movie and everybody was proud of it.”

American Gangster, based on the life of gangster Frank Lucas, was released in 2000 and went on to make over $266 million (£214 million) at the global box office from a $100 million (£80 million) budget.

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Tyler Perry dedicates new studio soundstage to one-time critic Spike Lee

Tyler Perry has dedicated a soundstage at his new Atlanta, Georgia film complex to former critic Spike Lee after revealing the two moviemakers have patched up their differences.Lee, who once accused Perry of promoting black stereotypes in his Madea mov…

Tyler Perry has dedicated a soundstage at his new Atlanta, Georgia film complex to former critic Spike Lee after revealing the two moviemakers have patched up their differences.

Lee, who once accused Perry of promoting black stereotypes in his Madea movies, has been honoured alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, and Oprah Winfrey with his own soundstage at the Tyler Perry Film Studios.

But in spite of his rocky history with Lee, Perry has now told TMZ Live that he had to include the director because of what he has done to advance African-American cinema.

“You cannot deny what he has done in the film industry and how he has been at the forefront to help me and everybody else get to the place where we are… I just wanted to honour him for what he has done,” Perry commented, revealing he and Lee once thrashed out their differences during a face-to-face meeting. “He came to my house and we sat down and we had a great conversation… This moment for me and Spike was a huge moment.”

Perry opened his new studio complex over the weekend and welcomed Beyonce, JAY-Z, Winfrey, Goldberg, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others, to the new site, which features the first full-scale replica of the White House.

During a discussion in 2009 with Ed Gordon on Our World with Black Enterprise, the Do the Right Thing director equated Perry’s work to minstrel shows.

Lee argued popularising characters like Madea is a disparaging action that spreads the idea of “buffoonery” in relation to black culture.

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Jared Leto eyeing serial killer role opposite Denzel Washington in The Little Things

Jared Leto is reportedly in early talks to join Denzel Washington and Rami Malek in The Little Things. Variety sources claim the Dallas Buyers Club actor is close to sealing a deal to play a serial killer in the upcoming film, which will star Washingt…

Jared Leto is reportedly in early talks to join Denzel Washington and Rami Malek in The Little Things.

Variety sources claim the Dallas Buyers Club actor is close to sealing a deal to play a serial killer in the upcoming film, which will star Washington and Malek as cops.

John Lee Hancock, who directed The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks, has been hired to write and direct the project, which begins filming later this year.

The Little Things follows Washington’s troubled and burned-out deputy sheriff Deke, who teams with top detective Baxter, played by Malek, as they attempt to catch a serial killer.

Leto has strong ties with Warner Bros., the studio behind the new project – the Oscar-winning actor appeared in Blade Runner 2049 in 2017, and as the Joker in Suicide Squad.

The 47-year-old recently wrapped production on Morbius, based on the Marvel comic-book anti-hero character, set to be released in July next year.

Leto will play Dr. Morbius, a scientist who tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, only to gain vampire-like abilities in the process. Back in March, the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman shared a snap from the set shortly after filming got underway, and wrote: “1 week down, 11 to go.”

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is also onboard for the movie, with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa helming the project.

Leto was also seen in Netflix’s The Outsider, and recently produced the documentary A Day in the Life of America, which was filmed across America on Independence Day in 2017.

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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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Michael B. Jordan in talks to star in Denzel Washington’s Journal for Jordan

Michael B. Jordan is reportedly in talks to star in Denzel Washington’s next directorial effort, Journal for Jordan. The film will be based on the relationship between Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Canedy and First Sergeant Charles Monroe Kin…

Michael B. Jordan is reportedly in talks to star in Denzel Washington’s next directorial effort, Journal for Jordan.

The film will be based on the relationship between Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Canedy and First Sergeant Charles Monroe King while he was deployed overseas in Iraq.

King kept a journal for their newborn son Jordan, but Charles was killed in 2006 when the baby was seven months old.

The movie will be produced by the Black Panther and Creed star for his Outlier Society company, while Washington will also produce alongside Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch.

Mudbound screenwriter Virgin Williams will pen the script.

Meanwhile, Jordan has also announced plans to launch a mentorship programme under his production banner, which was established last year (18).

He previously used his new platform with his company to help deal with the diversity issues in Hollywood by working with bosses at Warner Bros. Pictures Group to create their new inclusion policy, and now, the actor is developing the Outlier Fellowship, an internship and mentorship programme for young people who want to work in media, arts and entertainment, according to Deadline.

“Since Fruitvale Station, it’s been a dream of mine to use every opportunity I have to create pathways of success for young people,” Jordan says. “Outlier Fellows is a chance to find and cultivate a purposeful pipeline of talented and diverse minds from the next generation – the voices who will shape our community for years to come. Pulling up a seat to the table for the next group of cultural leaders is the greatest investment we can make as a community.”

The initiative was announced at former U.S. President Barack Obama’s foundation event on Wednesday (20Feb19) in Oakland, California. Jordan will work with officials at Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper organisation to help find high school and college students to participate in the programme.

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