Billy Porter opens up about playing ‘genderless’ Fairy Godmother in Cinderella remake

Billy Porter has opened up about his decision to play the Fairy Godmother as “genderless” in the upcoming Cinderella remake.The Emmy-winning actor plays the iconic character in the live-action musical version of the fairytale, which stars Camila Cabell…

Billy Porter has opened up about his decision to play the Fairy Godmother as “genderless” in the upcoming Cinderella remake.

The Emmy-winning actor plays the iconic character in the live-action musical version of the fairytale, which stars Camila Cabello, Minnie Driver, Missy Elliott, Pierce Brosnan, and James Corden.

In a new interview with Variety Live, the 50-year-old star described his portrayal of the Fairy Godmother as “non-conforming” and explained his decision to play the character gender-free.

“Magic is genderless. We have all these sort of genders that we’ve put on things and it doesn’t actually matter,” Porter stated. “It’s not about sex. It’s not about sexuality. It’s not about gender. It’s about magic. It’s about being somebody’s fairy godmother, father, person, whatever you want to call it. That’s what it’s about.”

Production on the movie at Pinewood Studios near London was shut down last month due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Pose star had already completed his work on the film.

Despite remaining secretive over what musical numbers he’s involved in, he did tease fans with small details about his character’s glamorous costume.

“It’s gold and there are pants, there are skirts, there are heels, there are cowl necks and wands and things,” he shared.

Elsewhere in the interview, Porter opened up about his upcoming role as the voice of man-eating plant Audrey II in the Little Shop of Horrors remake, which is also rumoured to be starring Scarlett Johansson as the meek and vulnerable Audrey.

“She’s a fantastic actress and her energy is right,” he gushed. “You need that kind of strong but vulnerable. It’s the dichotomy of that.”

Chris Evans has also reportedly signed up to play Audrey’s abusive dentist boyfriend Orin Scrivello, which Porter believes is a great casting decision.

“He’ll be hot, which is sort of what it needs to be. You need to understand why she stays in that abusive relationship,” he stated.

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Trolls World Tour breaks records with biggest digital release ever

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, …

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.

The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, was due to be released in cinemas on 10 April.

However, while big-budget blockbusters, including No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, and Mulan, were postponed after the Covid-19 outbreak led to cinema chains shuttering across the world, bosses at Universal decided to release Trolls World Tour on video-on-demand services for audiences to enjoy while self-isolating at home.

The movie has become the number one title on on-demand video platforms, such as Amazon, Comcast, Apple, and FandangoNOW, and Universal officials announced on Monday that Trolls World Tour had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title. They have not released official figures.

Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, said that the animated sequel had generated the best weekend sales in the history of the streaming service.

“Following weeks of anticipation for its home premiere, Trolls World Tour is now FandangoNOW’s streaming debut champ, with the best pre-orders, first day and opening weekend sales we’ve ever seen,” he said in a statement. “We’re pleased that families looking for a much-needed entertainment break are enjoying DreamWorks Animation’s latest movie on our service.”

The movie, which was available to rent for $19.99 (£16) for 48 hours, was also available to 21 drive-in locations across the U.S.

Movies are traditionally shown in cinemas for around 90 days before being released on video-on-demand services.

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Cats dominates 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards

Cats has dominated the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, picking up six trophies including Worst Picture. Tom Hooper’s live-action movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Judi Dench…

Cats has dominated the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, picking up six trophies including Worst Picture.

Tom Hooper’s live-action movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Judi Dench, was a critical and commercial flop upon its release in December.

And on Monday night, the organisers of the Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies, which are designed to send up the worst films of each year, gave out six prizes to the much-ridiculed musical.

In addition to being named Worst Picture, Hooper won the Worst Director category and his script with Lee Hall topped the Worst Screenplay shortlist. In addition, James Corden and Rebel Wilson won the worst supporting categories for their portrayals of Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots, respectively, and Worst Screen Combo went to “any two half-feline/half-human hairballs”.

The only other film to receive multiple wins was Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood, which was named Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property.

Other “winners” included Hilary Duff, who was crowned Worst Actress for The Haunting of Sharon Tate, and John Travolta, who was named Worst Actor for his starring roles in The Fanatic and Trading Paint.

The only positive award of the night, the Razzie Redeemer Award, went to Eddie Murphy, who has been frequently nominated for the awards, for his portrayal of Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name.

The Razzies ceremony was scrapped on Saturday as a result of the growing coronavirus pandemic, so the organisers announced the “winners” via a press release on Monday.

The full list of 2020 Razzie ‘winners’ is:

Worst Picture – Cats

Worst Actor – John Travolta, The Fanatic and Trading Paint

Worst Actress – Hilary Duff, The Haunting of Sharon Tate

Worst Supporting Actress – Rebel Wilson, Cats

Worst Supporting Actor – James Corden, Cats

Worst Screen Combo – Any two half-feline/half-human hairballs, Cats

Worst Director – Tom Hooper, Cats

Worst Screenplay – Lee Hall and Tom Hooper, Cats

Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel – Rambo: Last Blood

Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property – Rambo: Last Blood

Razzie Redeemer Award – Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

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Production halted on Camila Cabello’s Cinderella movie

Production has been halted on the live-action Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.Bosses at Sony have pulled the plug on filming the re-imagining of the classic fairytale, which features a star-studded cast in…

Production has been halted on the live-action Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Bosses at Sony have pulled the plug on filming the re-imagining of the classic fairytale, which features a star-studded cast including Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Missy Elliott, Pierce Brosnan, and James Corden.

According to editors at Deadline, the crew were sent home from the project, which is based at Pinewood Studios near London, for two weeks.

Director Kay Cannon is helming the musical blockbuster, which also stars newcomer Nicholas Galitzine and British comedian Romesh Ranganathan, with Corden’s company Fulwell 73 producing.

Universal also confirmed it has sent home the crew from Jurassic World: Dominion, which was also filming at Pinewood.

“The Pinewood Group is continuing to follow guidance set out by the government, and the studios remain fully operational,” a statement from the studios read.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, and the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which are both filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England, have also halted production as the Covid-19 outbreak escalates, with more than 1,500 reported cases and 55 deaths in the U.K. so far.

“At the moment, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will remain open and operational. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will post any updates on our website,” the studios said in a statement.

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Judi Dench still hasn’t seen Cats

Judi Dench still hasn’t seen her critically-panned movie Cats.The highly-anticipated movie, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson, was mauled by critics upon its release i…

Judi Dench still hasn’t seen her critically-panned movie Cats.

The highly-anticipated movie, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson, was mauled by critics upon its release in December.

The big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical, which was directed by Tom Hooper, had a budget of more than $100 million (£81 million), but grossed just $76 million (£62 million) worldwide, making it a box office flop.

However, Judi has now revealed she is unaware of the furore surrounding the movie and hasn’t even seen it.

“I didn’t read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it,” the 85-year-old told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row show, noting that she is unable to watch it as she suffers from macular degeneration, which has left her with blurred vision.

The Oscar-winning British actress has only seen a photo of herself playing the Jellicle tribe leader Old Deuteronomy, and she was shocked to see herself looking like a glamorous feline, thanks to the digital fur technology used in post-production to make the actors look more like cats.

“I’ve only seen a picture of myself (from the film). I once had a cat (who looked) like that, called Carpet, and I didn’t realise I was playing Carpet. I thought I was playing a kind of, you know, mangier cat who didn’t have much fur. I didn’t realise I was this wonderful show cat!” she laughed.

Judi also had no idea she was nominated in the Worst Supporting Actress category at the Golden Raspberry Awards, which ‘honours’ the worst films and performances of the year, and joked that she was pleased to have landed her first-ever Razzie nomination.

“Oh, am I? That would be good! As far as I know, that’s a first!” she quipped.

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Peter Rabbit 2 release delayed due to coronavirus concerns – report

The release of family film Peter Rabbit 2 has reportedly been delayed until August due to the coronavirus outbreak.With cinemas in Italy and China, among others, closing in the hope of curbing the spread of the escalating virus, Sony bosses have report…

The release of family film Peter Rabbit 2 has reportedly been delayed until August due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With cinemas in Italy and China, among others, closing in the hope of curbing the spread of the escalating virus, Sony bosses have reportedly decided to put the release of the CGI/live-action film, the follow-up to 2018’s hugely successful Peter Rabbit, on ice for more than four months.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie, also known as Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, will no longer debut from 27 March as planned, and will instead receive an international and U.S. release on 7 August.

The move follows the delay to the release of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, from the start of April until November.

Peter Rabbit 2 features James Corden as the voice of author Beatrix Potter’s mischievous bunny, with Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, and Elizabeth Debicki also voicing fellow rabbits, and Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, and David Oyelowo in live-action roles.

Some of the stars were scheduled to attend a premiere for the movie in London ahead of its release.

The decision comes after Italian officials announced that all its cinemas were to be closed, and other European governments advising people to take precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. Around 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 other provinces in Italy have been effectively placed in quarantine.

Insiders have told editors at The Hollywood Reporter that Sony officials wanted to delay the debut because Peter Rabbit made $236 million (£180 million) of its $351 million (£269 million) box office outside of North America, while the U.S. release has reportedly been shifted to avoid piracy.

Following the postponement of No Time to Die, the release of animated sequel Trolls World Tour was brought forward to 10 April.

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James Corden has ‘no regrets’ over Cats role

James Corden doesn’t regret appearing in box office flop Cats.The talk show host appeared as Bustopher Jones alongside Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Jason Derulo in the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage classic, whic…

James Corden doesn’t regret appearing in box office flop Cats.

The talk show host appeared as Bustopher Jones alongside Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Jason Derulo in the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage classic, which was panned by audiences and critics alike and bombed at the box office following its release in December.

During a game of Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts with Justin Bieber on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the host was asked, “On a scale of one to 10, how much do you regret doing Cats?”

The star either had to eat a bit of cod sperm or answer the question and, after a few seconds deliberating, he said: “Well, here’s the thing, I had the loveliest time making that film. It took me six days and I loved every single second of it. So, I think you gotta decide things on your own personal experience, and I had a really great time.

“I don’t regret doing it all, because I decided to do it in the same way I decided to do many things. Some have worked, some haven’t. Some I’m going to put it at a solid 5… a 4.5.”

Corden previously mocked Tom Hooper’s movie at the Oscars earlier this month, when he and co-star Rebel Wilson donned furry cat costumes before making their way onto the stage to present the award for Best Visual Effects.

“As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” they quipped, referencing the criticism directed at the digital fur technology used to make them look like felines in the movie.

Officials from the Visual Effects Society took issue with the skit and released a statement in which they labelled it “immensely disappointing”.

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Visual Effects Society slams Oscars over Rebel Wilson and James Corden’s Cats skit

Members of the Visual Effects Society have slammed Oscars bosses over a skit in which Rebel Wilson and James Corden mocked Cats during the awards show on Sunday.The actors starred alongside the likes of Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and Idris Elba in Tom H…

Members of the Visual Effects Society have slammed Oscars bosses over a skit in which Rebel Wilson and James Corden mocked Cats during the awards show on Sunday.

The actors starred alongside the likes of Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and Idris Elba in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the hit stage musical, which bombed at the box office and was slated by critics, who took issue with the visual effects used to make the stars look like felines.

Rebel and James wore furry cat costumes as they took to the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to present the award for Best Visual Effects, and joked: “As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.”

Accordingly, officials at the Visual Effects Society took offence to the quip and issued a statement in which they made it clear that they didn’t appreciate a joke being made at their expense.

“Last night, in presenting the Academy Award for outstanding visual effects, the producers chose to make visual effects the punchline, and suggested that bad VFX were to blame for the poor performance of the movie Cats,” the statement said. “The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.

“On a night that is all about honouring the work of talented artists, it is immensely disappointing that The Academy made visual effects the butt of a joke. It demeaned the global community of expert VFX practitioners doing outstanding, challenging and visually stunning work to achieve the filmmakers’ vision. Our artists, technicians and innovators deserve respect for their remarkable contributions to filmed entertainment, and should not be presented as the all-too-convenient scapegoat in service for a laugh.”

Representatives for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) have not yet responded. The 2020 Oscar for Best Visual Effects went to the 1917 team.

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James Corden, Missy Elliott and Minnie Driver join Cinderella musical

James Corden, Missy Elliott and Minnie Driver have joined the cast of Camila Cabello’s Cinderella musical.The movie, directed by writer/director Kay Cannon, is based on an original idea from the U.S. late night TV host, and will be a musical retelling …

James Corden, Missy Elliott and Minnie Driver have joined the cast of Camila Cabello’s Cinderella musical.

The movie, directed by writer/director Kay Cannon, is based on an original idea from the U.S. late night TV host, and will be a musical retelling of the classic fairytale.

The British star will play one of the mice who is turned into a footman to take Cinderella to the ball alongside fellow comedians John Mulaney and Romesh Ranganathan.

Meanwhile, rapper Elliott will play the Town Crier in the flick, while Driver has been tapped for the role of Queen Beatrice, according to Deadline.

The newcomers join Senorita singer Cabello, who is making her feature acting debut in Cinderella and will also be involved in the music, and as well as relatively unknown British actor Nicholas Galitzine, who has been cast as love interest Prince Robert.

Pierce Brosnan will also be playing the King, Idina Menzel will serve as the wicked stepmother, and Billy Porter will take on the role of the fairy godmother.

The musical comedy re-imagines the traditional Cinderella tale and follows the heroine as she tries to make her ambitious dreams come true. Production on the movie is set to begin this month.

Corden and Leo Pearlman are serving as producers on the film, alongside Jonathan Kadin and Shannon McIntosh, who was executive producer on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The musical is set to hit theatres in February 2021.

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Taylor Swift has ‘no complaints’ about Cats

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats. The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-r…

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats.

The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, while she also teamed up with the theatre mogul to create the original song Beautiful Ghosts.

The movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics ahead of its release in December and is considered a box office bomb, having so far grossed $61 million (£48 million) on a budget rumoured to be as high as $100 million (£77 million).

When asked about Cats in an interview with Variety, Taylor insisted the divisive reaction hasn’t taken away from the positive experience she had filming it.

“I’m happy to be here, happy to be nominated, and I had a really great time working on that weird-a*s movie,” she declared. “I’m not gonna retroactively decide that it wasn’t the best experience. I never would have met Andrew Lloyd Webber or gotten to see how he works, and now he’s my buddy. I got to work with the sickest dancers and performers. No complaints.”

Her co-stars have remained quiet about the film since it was released in cinemas. However, following early reactions from the critics, Jason Derulo defended the movie, telling TMZ.com that “reviews don’t matter”.

“It’s an incredible piece of art done by some of the best people in the world,” he said. “I am just excited for the people to actually see it because reviewers, I mean, what the hell do they know? Have they made a film ever in their life?”

Swift and Lloyd Webber were nominated for a Golden Globe for Beautiful Ghosts but were beaten to the Best Original Song prize by Elton John and Bernie Taupin for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman.

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