Mulan director opens up about decision to drop musical numbers from live-action remake

Director Niki Caro has explained why there will be no musical numbers in the upcoming live-action Mulan remake.The movie, which stars newcomer Liu Yifei alongside Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li, follows the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises hers…

Director Niki Caro has explained why there will be no musical numbers in the upcoming live-action Mulan remake.

The movie, which stars newcomer Liu Yifei alongside Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li, follows the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a male warrior and joins the army in order to save her ailing father.

While the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to the 1998 animated Disney classic featured such songs as Reflection, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, and A Girl Worth Fighting For, Caro has now explained why her version doesn’t include any musical numbers.

“I mean, back to the realism question – we don’t tend to break into song when we go to war. Not that I’m saying anything against the animation,” the director said at a press presentation, according to Digital Spy. “The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have. But we do honour the music from the animation in a very significant way.”

Caro also upset fans when she revealed that Mushu, who served as Mulan’s dragon guardian and was voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original, would not be making an appearance in the new film.

“I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable,” she stated, before adding that there will be a creature that serves as the spiritual representation of Mulan’s ancestors, but it will not be an animated dragon.

Mulan, also featuring Donnie Yen, Yoson An, and Gong Li, hits cinemas from 25 March.

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Eddie Murphy hated wearing platform shoes while shooting Dolemite Is My Name

Eddie Murphy couldn’t wait to kick off his shoes after shooting Dolemite Is My Name because the platform heels he had to wear left his feet “throbbing”.The comedy icon plays Dolemite star Rudy Ray Moore in Craig Brewer’s biopic, and getting the ’70s wa…

Eddie Murphy couldn’t wait to kick off his shoes after shooting Dolemite Is My Name because the platform heels he had to wear left his feet “throbbing”.

The comedy icon plays Dolemite star Rudy Ray Moore in Craig Brewer’s biopic, and getting the ’70s wardrobe just right was key to pulling off the performance because the late funnyman was known for his extreme fashion sense – although Murphy didn’t love the footwear.

“The costuming gave the character a pulse. Except the shoes. Those platform shoes, it was more like a throbbing feeling,” the 58-year-old told W Magazine. “When you’re in your 50s and you put on platform shoes, your feet are saying, ‘Take these off me.'”

However, Murphy learned to ignore the pain during filming because he wanted to do Moore justice with his movie portrayal, having admired the man since he was a teen.

“The first time I saw Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite, I was 15 years old,” he recalled. “My brother told me to see it, and we thought it was crazy and funny and, ‘What is this?’ That’s the universal response to Dolemite.”

The Netflix project has since won Murphy critical acclaim, earning him a Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy nomination at the recent Golden Globes, where the movie was also shortlisted for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

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Eddie Murphy to receive Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award

Eddie Murphy will kick off 2020 in style by picking up the Lifetime Achievement honour at the upcoming Critics’ Choice Awards.The iconic funnyman, who is currently enjoying a comedy comeback, will be presented with the prize in recognition of his caree…

Eddie Murphy will kick off 2020 in style by picking up the Lifetime Achievement honour at the upcoming Critics’ Choice Awards.

The iconic funnyman, who is currently enjoying a comedy comeback, will be presented with the prize in recognition of his career achievements.

“Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion picture business and is one of the industry’s top five box office performers overall,” said officials at the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the organisation behind the prizegiving, in a press release. “Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care. Some of his other most beloved hits include 48 Hours, Trading Places, Coming to America, Harlem Nights, The Distinguished Gentleman, Bowfinger, The Nutty Professor, and Shrek.”

The 58-year-old is also going into the ceremony as a nominee for Best Actor, thanks to his portrayal of late comedian Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name.

He faces competition from Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems, and Robert De Niro for The Irishman.

Dolemite Is My Name marked Murphy’s return to the big screen for the first time in three years. He has continued his resurgence by returning to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years and beginning production on Coming to America 2, a sequel to his 1988 movie.

The 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards will be hosted by Taye Diggs and is set to take place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California on 12 January.

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Eddie Murphy regrets turning down Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Eddie Murphy feels “like an idiot” for turning down the lead role in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.The 58-year-old actor and comedian opened up about turning down the role of private detective Eddie Valiant in the 1988 comedy film, which was directed by Robe…

Eddie Murphy feels “like an idiot” for turning down the lead role in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

The 58-year-old actor and comedian opened up about turning down the role of private detective Eddie Valiant in the 1988 comedy film, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Murphy told host Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Tonight Show it was the only part he has ever turned down during his Hollywood career, and added, “Now, every time I see it, I feel like an idiot.”

The late Bob Hoskins went on to play Eddie in the groundbreaking movie, which fused live-action with animation and raked in more than $329 million (£254 million) at the worldwide box office from a budget of around $50 million (£39 million).

Murphy also revealed he turned down the role because the pitch didn’t sound very appealing.

“I was going to be the Bob Hoskins dude. And I was like, ‘What? Animation and people? That sounds like bulls**t to me,'” he laughed.

Elsewhere in the interview, he also made the revelation that he had to miss out on starring in Ghostbusters because he was tied up filming Beverly Hills Cop.

Dan Aykroyd previously confirmed that he wrote the 1984 comedy with him, Murphy and the late John Belushi in mind as the original line-up for the ghost-busting gang, however, the Coming to America star was unable to commit.

“Yes, but I did Beverly Hills Cop,” Murphy explained. “It wasn’t like I turned it down inasmuch as I wasn’t available because I was doing this other movie.”

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Us is a triple winner at African American Film Critics Association Awards

Jordan Peele’s Us has been named the Best Film of 2019 by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).The movie, which banked just over $255 million (£193.5 million) at the worldwide box office, also earned Peele the Best Director title and …

Jordan Peele’s Us has been named the Best Film of 2019 by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).

The movie, which banked just over $255 million (£193.5 million) at the worldwide box office, also earned Peele the Best Director title and Best Actress for Lupita Nyong’o.

“Jordan Peele continued to raise the bar in horror specifically and film overall,” AAFCA President/Co-Founder Gil Robertson shared in a statement.

“With Us, he once again upended the horror genre. His centering of a black nuclear family determined to survive in a complex storyline in a genre where black family units have historically been unseen is extraordinary. He continues to push previously set boundaries with bold storylines that bring a refreshing perspective to cinema overall and the genre specifically.

“The film’s $255 million global gross is yet another example that inclusive filmmaking resonates big at the box office and it also resonated critically with our members who awarded the film with our highest honors.”

Eddie Murphy was another big winner, taking the Best Actor prize for Dolemite Is My Name, while his co-star, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, picked up a supporting accolade, alongside Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy.

AAFCA officials also listed their top films of the year. In addition to Us, they named Dolemite Is My Name, Just Mercy, The Irishman, Clemency, Queen & Slim, Waves, Parasite, Atlantics, The Farewell, and Harriet as their favourites.

Meanwhile, there were double honours for Waves as Kelvin Harrison, Jr. landed Best Breakout Performance, and Taylor Russell claimed the We See You Award for rising stars.

Parasite was declared Best Foreign Film, its writer/director Bong Joon-ho scored Best Screenplay, while Queen & Slim won the Impact Award.

Best Animated Film went to Abominable, The Black Godfather won Best Documentary, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco was deemed Best Independent Film.

The winners of the AAFCA Awards will be celebrated at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 22 January.

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Eddie Murphy was ‘tired’ of acting before taking break from the spotlight

Eddie Murphy took some time away from the spotlight because he was “tired” of acting.The 58-year-old actor returns to the screen in the new Netflix film Dolemite Is My Name, which premiered to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival on …

Eddie Murphy took some time away from the spotlight because he was “tired” of acting.

The 58-year-old actor returns to the screen in the new Netflix film Dolemite Is My Name, which premiered to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday. And speaking to People and Entertainment Weekly at the annual event, the star, who last appeared in 2016’s Mr. Church, admitted he welcomed the break.

“I was on the couch for maybe five six years and now it’s time to get off the couch,” Murphy shared. “I was on the couch because I was rested, I mean I was tired. I’d been making movies and doing this stuff for so long I just needed time to be on the couch.

“Now, I’m off and (Dolemite) kind of lit a spark because it turned out so well and it got the creative juices flowing.”

Murphy stars as comedian Rudy Ray Moore in the movie, who used the character of Dolemite to become an icon of Blaxploitation movies, which highlight racial exploitation, in the 1970s, and gushed of the funnyman: “You know that expression ‘turn lemons into lemonade’? Rudy turned s**t into lemonade.”

In addition to appearing back on screen, Murphy is set to return to stand-up, reprising his role on Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years later this month. He is also planning to take his stand-up show on the road next year.

Dolemite Is My Name is set to be released in U.S. cinemas on 4 October.

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Wesley Snipes joins Eddie Murphy in Coming to America sequel

Wesley Snipes has signed up for a starring role in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America sequel. The Blade actor has sealed a deal to play villain General Izzi, who rules an African nation that neighbours Zamunda, the fictional country Murphy’s Prince Akee…

Wesley Snipes has signed up for a starring role in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America sequel.

The Blade actor has sealed a deal to play villain General Izzi, who rules an African nation that neighbours Zamunda, the fictional country Murphy’s Prince Akeem oversees, in the sequel to the 1988 comedy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sharing the news on Instagram, Snipes wrote, “Twenty five years I’ve been trying to get to Zamunda, and now I’ve finally made it. See kids. Dreams do come true!”

Arsenio Hall is already on board to reprise his role as Akeem’s assistant Semmi in Coming 2 America, while James Earl Jones is also part of the cast. The new movie, which follows Prince Akeem as he returns to America to find his long-lost son, will be directed by Craig Brewer, who led Hustle & Flow.

Coming 2 America begins filming later this year and is set for a 2020 release.

Snipes, Murphy and Brewer recently teamed up for Dolemite Is My Name, a biopic of comedian Rudy Ray Moore, set to premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

News of Snipes’ new role as General Izzi comes shortly after he told fans he supports Mahershala Ali’s casting as vampire vigilante Blade in a revamp of his 1990s action-horror film trilogy.

“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx (sic),” Snipes told ComicBook.com. “Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan.

“Congratulations and Salaam (peace) to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah (God willing), we will someday work together.”

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Arsenio Hall to reprise role in Coming to America sequel

Arsenio Hall is set to team up with Eddie Murphy once more in the Coming to America sequel. Paramount Studios chiefs announced in January that Murphy would return as Prince Akeem, an African prince who fled to Queens, New York to avoid an arranged mar…

Arsenio Hall is set to team up with Eddie Murphy once more in the Coming to America sequel.

Paramount Studios chiefs announced in January that Murphy would return as Prince Akeem, an African prince who fled to Queens, New York to avoid an arranged marriage in the original 1988 comedy.

Reports over the weekend speculated over Hall’s return as Prince Akeem’s assistant Semmi, and the funnyman took to Twitter to confirm the rumours on Monday.

“Arsenio Hall Officially Confirmed For ‘Coming to America 2’,” he wrote, linking to a Moviefone.com article claiming he would definitely reprise his role.

Hustle & Flow filmmaker Craig Brewer will direct the flick, which is set for a 2020 release, with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris reworking a script by Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, who both wrote the original.

Plot details are scarce, but according to Deadline, the movie will feature Akeem returning to America to meet his unlikely heir.

“After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward,” Murphy said in a statement in January. “We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on (their upcoming movie) Dolemite (Is My Name), and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen.”

In addition to Hall and Murphy, the first film also starred James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos, and a young Samuel L. Jackson in a small role as a hold-up man.

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Fans share excitement over live-action Mulan teaser trailer

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action Mulan.Directed by Niki Caro, the upcoming movie is a remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name and stars Chinese actress Li…

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action Mulan.

Directed by Niki Caro, the upcoming movie is a remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name and stars Chinese actress Liu Yifei as the gender-bending titular character, who impersonates a man to honour her warrior father and fight against invaders.

Released on YouTube on Sunday, the 90-second trailer follows Mulan as she gets to work on preparing for battle while simultaneously appearing to abide by the traditions of her family, and accordingly, fans took to social media to praise the fresh take on the narrative.

“Can’t believe Disney are finally giving us a live-action remake that might actually add something new to the source material!” journalist David Opie wrote on Twitter, while film critic Rendy Jones commented, “I give it this, the film looks like it will focus more on Mulan and her being a warrior who comes to her own without a dragon and bug helping her way which seems to be the right forward step. The tone feels rightfully mature as well. I just hope it’s a re-imagining than a remake.”

Another Twitter user added: “#Mulan was the hero of my childhood. An Asian woman was seen by many kids as the ultimate hero better than Superman, Hercules and Spider-Man. A woman could do greater than men. An Asian woman against the white male supremacy and didn’t need a man to succeed in life.”

But while many fans expressed delight over the trailer, a number of people pointed out that it appeared the new film won’t have the same musical numbers, or an appearance from cheeky dragon Mushu, as voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original.

“Mulan definitely looks like a bada*s… even if I’m sad that the movie won’t have any songs or Mushu, this movie looks like it’s going to be a hit!!” another Twitter user insisted.

The live-action Mulan, also starring Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, and Jet Li, is set to hit cinemas in March 2020.

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Eddie Murphy to star in Grumpy Old Men remake

Eddie Murphy has reportedly signed on to star in a remake of 1993 comedy Grumpy Old Men. The Beverly Hills Cop star has been attached to star in a comedy closely inspired by the 1993 movie, which starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two feuding n…

Eddie Murphy has reportedly signed on to star in a remake of 1993 comedy Grumpy Old Men.

The Beverly Hills Cop star has been attached to star in a comedy closely inspired by the 1993 movie, which starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two feuding neighbours whose lifelong hatred for each other deepens when a new female neighbour, played by Ann-Margret, moves in across the street.

According to Deadline, Ride Along moviemaker Tim Story will direct and produce the untitled project for New Line Cinema, alongside producer John Davis, who produced the original and its 1995 sequel, Grumpier Old Men.

Story will produce through his The Story Company banner, while Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, president of The Story Company, is also producing.

Murphy, who would play one of the neighbours, and Davis are currently producing Dolemite Is My Name, an upcoming American biographical-dramedy about comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who Murphy will portray on screen.

Story is currently in post-production on the 2019 instalment of action thriller movie Shaft, a sequel to the 2000 film of the same name. He has been working with Samuel L. Jackson, leading outlets to suggest the Snakes on a Plane actor could be a possible co-star for Murphy.

Story’s previous directing credits include 2005’s Fantastic Four and its sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer, and the Think Like A Man films. He is preparing to team up with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart once again for Ride Along 3, before directing Hart in My Own Worst Enemy and Ice Cube in Humbug.

Murphy, 57, is set to reprise the character Axel Foley for a fourth Beverly Hills Cop film, and join Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Triplets, a sequel to Twins.

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