Naomi Campbell calls for an end to racism in new UNESCO video

Naomi Campbell has lent her voice to a new film by UNESCO titled United Against Racism.The model is one of a long list of celebrities, activists and other famous names to join UNESCO’s campaign, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Freida Pinto, Forest Whitaker,…

Naomi Campbell has lent her voice to a new film by UNESCO titled United Against Racism.

The model is one of a long list of celebrities, activists and other famous names to join UNESCO’s campaign, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Freida Pinto, Forest Whitaker, Roma actress Yalitza Aparicio, journalist Jorge Ramos, composer Jean-Michel Jarre and musician Marcus Miller among the others also answering the organisation’s call to arms.

Posting the short on her Instagram, Naomi wrote to her 9.4 million followers: “Racism and discrimination are caused by ignorance and fear of what is different. But that doesn’t have to be the case! We can all create the chance that we want @unesco #FightRacism #UnitedAgainstRacism.”

“Many of us like to think of racism as something from the past. Something that no longer holds sway over our societies. Something that no longer exists,” actress Charlotte begins the video.

“But World War II took place less than a century ago. Survivors of the Holocaust are still alive today,” Freida continues, with Naomi adding: “The Jim Crow laws were enforced until 1965.”

The Jim Crow laws reference the racial segregation laws in the U.S.

Later in the video, supermodel Naomi, who often uses her platform to speak out against racism, told viewers that “people are discriminated against, excluded, stigmatised, attacked or even murdered” because of the colour of their skin or where they come from, before the stars all repeated the phrase “no more”.

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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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Jennifer Hudson celebrates completion of Aretha Franklin biopic

Jennifer Hudson has completed production on her upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic.The Queen of Soul handpicked the Oscar winner to play her in the film before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018, and Jennifer took the role so seriously, she passed …

Jennifer Hudson has completed production on her upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic.

The Queen of Soul handpicked the Oscar winner to play her in the film before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018, and Jennifer took the role so seriously, she passed on a return to U.K. talent show The Voice so she could focus on her performance.

And before she took to the stage at Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game to perform a Kobe Bryant tribute, she confirmed reports that work on Respect had wrapped.

“It is officially a wrap on @respectmovie wrap it up, it’s done!” she wrote on Instagram. “Too overwhelmed to get into it right now but words can’t express how grateful I am to be chosen by the queen herself and to live out yet another dream! It was my honour to honour the Queen’s request!”

Hudson also posted a series of photos from the set of Respect, which is due to hit cinemas in October.

“I have to give credit where credit is due!” the 38-year-old captioned one shot of the cast and crew. “To every single cast and crew member who put your heart and soul into this project! It was beyond a joy and a pleasure to work side by side with each and every one of u! Lord knows if I could post every picture, I would but u know who u r (sic)!!

“From the director to the DP (director of photography), to hair and make-up, acting coach and extras too! To each and every driver and everyone in between! Much Respect to all of you!!!!”

Hudson will be hoping this film is better received than her last – the movie adaptation of stage musical Cats was one of last year’s biggest commercial and critical flops.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect also features appearances from Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Mary J. Blige, and Queen Latifah.

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Jennifer Hudson ‘overwhelmed’ by pressure of Aretha Franklin role

Jennifer Hudson is feeling “overwhelmed” by the pressure to perfect her performance as Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic.The singer is stepping into the Queen of Soul’s shoes for the upcoming musical movie, Respect, and told As If Magazine she “cou…

Jennifer Hudson is feeling “overwhelmed” by the pressure to perfect her performance as Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic.

The singer is stepping into the Queen of Soul’s shoes for the upcoming musical movie, Respect, and told As If Magazine she “couldn’t be more humbled, intimidated and excited” by the honour of portraying the “iconic” diva.

“It’s a blessing, but scary at the same time. I go to sleep listening to Aretha, and I wake up listening to Aretha. I just want to do her justice and do the best job I possibly can,” she said. “To take on the lifespan of the career and legacy of this iconic figure is a huge responsibility. Even the way she spoke was so beautiful. I’m trying to pay as much homage to her as I possibly can.”

The former American Idol contestant was close with the Think hitmaker, and revealed the star gave her “pieces into her life” before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018.

“When people are that iconic it’s easy to forget they had a life and that they are more than just an entertainer,” the 38-year-old shared. “They are a person, they’re a sister, they’re a child, they’re a wife, they’re a friend… In our conversations she was teaching me more about life than her life.”

Respect, also starring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, Audra McDonald, and Tate Donovan, is expected to hit cinemas in October.

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Forest Whitaker cast in Netflix Christmas musical

Forest Whitaker is leaving his serious roles behind for Netflix’s new holiday musical Jingle Jangle.Known for his roles in The Last King of Scotland, which won him an Oscar, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black Panther, Forest is going in a different dire…

Forest Whitaker is leaving his serious roles behind for Netflix’s new holiday musical Jingle Jangle.

Known for his roles in The Last King of Scotland, which won him an Oscar, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black Panther, Forest is going in a different direction for his latest project.

The 57-year-old has been cast in David E. Talbert’s Christmas tale, about a cobblestone world that comes to life.

According to Deadline, he’ll play Jeronicus Jangle, a once-great inventor and toy maker who has lost his belief in himself and his inventions, but stumbles upon a second chance and a magical invention, when his granddaughter comes to town for the holidays. It’s slated for a 2020 release.

This isn’t the first time Forest has shown off his musical skills; in 2013 he starred in Black Nativity opposite musical heavyweights Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige. He’s also displayed his impressive vocal abilities on TV show Empire.

Prior to his acting career, Forest studied singing at university, after changing his course – a football scholarship – following a back injury. He even toured England with the Cal Poly Chamber Singers.

Talking about his last foray into a musical, the star said it was intimidating to perform alongside his co-stars.

“Looking back, the last scene we did was the most daunting, with Jennifer, because she is such an amazing singer,” he told The Daily Star. “We had recorded it, so I knew I could just mouth it if I got too nervous. But they wanted to do it without the recording; they wanted it live, so that was a little more daunting. By that point, though, I was so into the character it worked out. I was so consumed by who he was and I was connecting to the audience in my church and my choir, so I was able to bypass that.”

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Johnny Depp’s Notorious B.I.G. movie pulled from U.S. release schedule

Johnny Depp’s City of Lies, a movie about the investigation into the death of The Notorious B.I.G., has been pulled from the U.S. release schedule.The film was set to hit cinemas on 7 September (18), but a spokesperson for distributor Global Road Enter…

Johnny Depp’s City of Lies, a movie about the investigation into the death of The Notorious B.I.G., has been pulled from the U.S. release schedule.

The film was set to hit cinemas on 7 September (18), but a spokesperson for distributor Global Road Entertainment told Variety on Monday that there is now no confirmed release date.

City of Lies is based on the 2002 book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan, which tells the story of the investigations into the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls – who were both murdered in drive-by shootings in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

Under the direction of The Lincoln Lawyer filmmaker Brad Furman, Depp plays detective Russell Poole, while Forest Whitaker portrays journalist Jack Jackson, who probes Russell’s allegations that the officials at the Los Angeles Police Department were involved in a conspiracy related to the killing.

According to IMDb, City of Lies is still scheduled for release in the U.K. on 7 September.

Global Road Entertainment representatives have not explained the basis of their decision, but the news comes less than a month after the film’s location manager Gregg Brooks sued Depp, having accused the film star of committing assault and battery on set. Brooks is seeking damages over his allegations that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and wrongful termination.

The Alice in the Wonderland actor also recently settled a lawsuit with his former managers, who had accused him of spending money at an unsustainable rate.

Depp will hit cinemas in another film later this year, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which he reprises his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from the previous instalment.

His casting was tainted by controversy on the back of allegations of domestic abuse during his divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling defended the decision to cast Depp, while the 55-year-old denied the allegations. He and Heard later issued a joint statement in which they claimed “there was never any intent of physical or emotional” harm.

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Michael B. Jordan: ‘Black Panther shows black kids they can be superheroes’

Michael B. Jordan has hailed new movie Black Panther as “extremely important” in changing the landscape of cinema for black actors.The new Marvel movie features a mainly black cast, with a host of big names starring alongside Creed star Michael, includ…

Michael B. Jordan has hailed new movie Black Panther as “extremely important” in changing the landscape of cinema for black actors.

The new Marvel movie features a mainly black cast, with a host of big names starring alongside Creed star Michael, including Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K. Brown and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Talking to British GQ about the significance of Ryan Coogler’s new flick, Michael highlighted why it is such a landmark film.

“I think it’s extremely important,” he stated. “I feel like I never had that many actors to look at and inspire me growing up. Black actors that I could identify with, that look like me on screen… And I’m just thinking about what this movie is going to do to the kids growing up… Black kids, white kids, all kids because they can imagine just as much as we can, but specifically black kids who don’t have that many positive examples to look at on TV and film.

“We’re giving black people power, royalty – we don’t gotta be crackheads or gangbangers, selling drugs or robbing people. We don’t have to be comic relief. We can be superheroes. Imagine what that’s going to do to the imagination and ambition of kids watching these movies. That’s the real impact of this film.”

The highly anticipated movie hits cinemas from 13 February (18). Chadwick takes on the lead role of T’Challa/ Black Panther, with Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis among the supporting cast.

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Chadwick Boseman studied ‘quiet strength’ of warriors and leaders for Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman studied the “quiet strength” of warriors and political leaders to become Black Panther character King T’Challa.The 41-year-old Get on Up actor stars as the leader of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation, in Marvel’s first…

Chadwick Boseman studied the “quiet strength” of warriors and political leaders to become Black Panther character King T’Challa.

The 41-year-old Get on Up actor stars as the leader of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation, in Marvel’s first standalone movie to feature a black superhero. The movie, which had its premiere on Tuesday (30Jan18), stars the cream of Hollywood’s black stars including Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and British Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya.

In an interview with PORTER magazine, the actor revealed his real-world inspiration for the cat-like superhero. When creating his character King T’Challa’s regal presence, the actor explained how he drew inspiration from black leaders past and present.

“I studied that quiet strength, how the body exudes it,” he explained. “I looked at Masai warriors, I watched the movies. And other leaders like Patrice Lumumba (the famous Congolese leader), (former U.S. President Barack) Obama. I listened to Mandela’s speeches in my trailer.”

Boseman also felt that it was important for his character to have an African accent, something others tried to dissuade him from.

“There was a time period where people would ask me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character that spoke with that accent,” Boseman said of T’Challa’s east African inflection at a press conference in Los Angeles earlier this week. “I became adamant about the fact that it’s not true,” adding that the doubters hadn’t come from within Marvel.

“The intonations and melodies inside an African accent are just as classical as a British one or a European one,” he told AFP.

At 41, he is older than many of the other actors who have taken on Marvel superhero roles. When asked about why he thought fame came so late for him, he answered: “You say later, but when did it come to Denzel (Washington) or Samuel L. Jackson or Morgan Freeman? And why is that? I don’t have the answer, but it’s a question to pose.

“The industry looks for white actors and actresses, but it’s not the same for black actors. We have to really put the work in,” added the actor who credits his daily workouts and “almost vegan” diet for his youthful looks.

Black Panther begins hitting theatres 12 February.

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Lupita Nyong’o dazzles in violet at Black Panther premiere

Lupita Nyong’o stole the spotlight in a stunning violet gown at the Black Panther premiere on Monday night (29Jan18).For the debut of the upcoming Marvel superhero movie held at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the actress stepped out in a custom vivid …

Lupita Nyong’o stole the spotlight in a stunning violet gown at the Black Panther premiere on Monday night (29Jan18).

For the debut of the upcoming Marvel superhero movie held at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the actress stepped out in a custom vivid purple gown with flowing chiffon skirt and dramatic gold detailing on the bodice from Atelier Versace, with the look matched with a Versace purse, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, and jewellery from Beladora.

When putting the ensemble together, Lupita’s stylist Micaela Erlanger wanted to pay homage to her character in the film, the fierce Nakia.

“There’s definitely a nod to her warrior character Nakia here, without being costumey,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a really glamorous take on our vision and it’s very fierce, certainly.”

Danai Gurira, who portrays Okoye in the flick, chose to sport bright colour on the purple carpet too, opting for a pink satin gown with ruffle detail and black crystal embellishment from Viktor & Rolf.

While Angela Bassett pulled out all of the stops in a sunny yellow fringed jumpsuit from Naeem Khan, which she accessorised with Vendorafa jewellery and a Thale Blanc purse.

Letitia Wright looked beautiful in a flowing white gown with a sheer black overlay from Bibhu Mohapatra, Yara Shahidi donned a chic white dress and Janelle Monae stunned in a regal ballgown made with black, blue and white satin from Christian Siriano that she topped off with an African headpiece and beaded choker necklace.

Though it wasn’t just the ladies that got dressed up for the night; Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman was handsome in black trousers and a gold jacket from Emporio Armani, while Michael B. Jordan, who plays villain Erik Killmonger, wore a black Calvin Klein suit.

Tessa Thompson, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Freeman were also in attendance.

Black Panther hits cinemas from 13 February.

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Forest Whitaker promises Black Panther is something completely new

Forest Whitaker has assured Marvel fans that Black Panther is offering up a brand new movie experience.The actor plays Zuri in the film, who director Ryan Coogler has described to Entertainment Weekly reporters as “Black Panther’s version of Obi-Wan Ke…

Forest Whitaker has assured Marvel fans that Black Panther is offering up a brand new movie experience.

The actor plays Zuri in the film, who director Ryan Coogler has described to Entertainment Weekly reporters as “Black Panther’s version of Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

And The Last King of Scotland star has revealed that he is particularly impressed by the premise of his latest screen offering, claiming the comic book film serves up a fresh take on the much-loved superhero drama genre.

“It’s a unique piece. It’s a multicultural piece. I think people are waiting to find something new,” Forest said, at the Variety Studio during the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday (21Jan18). “This superhero from Africa who is in this society and trying to fix the world is something that hasn’t been seen before.”

“I think Ryan is a great director so there’s always going to be some social consciousness inside of it. And at the same time, the action is something we haven’t seen before,” added the Oscar winner.

Forest’s sentiment is something that is clearly shared by his co-stars, who include Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, as the 56-year-old went on to reveal that the film’s first screening turned out to be an extraordinarily emotional event.

“The first time we saw it, just as a cast, after it, everybody leapt up to their feet – literally some were in tears, they were so excited about what was actually occurring,” he shared. “I think people have that same excitement around the movie. I’m expecting something great and something great for Ryan.”

Fans certainly appear to be sharing Forest’s enthusiasm, as Black Panther is already one of the most anticipated films of the year, breaking pre-sale records as Marvel’s fastest selling move in the first 24 hours.

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