Barack and Michelle Obama teaming with Russo brothers on new movie – report

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have reportedly teamed up with the Russo brothers on a new Netflix movie.Back in 2017, Joe and Anthony Russo acquired the rights to Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel Exit West, and later that same year, the former U.S Pre…

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have reportedly teamed up with the Russo brothers on a new Netflix movie.

Back in 2017, Joe and Anthony Russo acquired the rights to Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel Exit West, and later that same year, the former U.S President included the fantasy drama on his list of best books.

The fourth novel from Pakistani writer Hamid tackles the global refugee crisis as it follows a young couple, Saeed and Nadia, who are forced to flee an unidentified war-torn city in the Middle East following violent clashes between guerrillas and the government.

The duo then joins a group of migrants and travel to safe havens around the world, including Greece and California, using a system of guarded magical doors.

According to editors at Collider, the Obamas’ company Higher Ground Productions is teaming up with the Avengers: Endgame directors’ AGBO banner to produce the feature adaption for the streaming giant.

Riz Ahmed is reportedly attached to star, with Yann Demange helming the project.

A rep for the Russo Brothers has yet to comment on the report.

The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum was originally tapped to direct in a first-look deal, but duties have since been passed to White Boy Rick filmmaker Demange.

Mike Larocca will produce alongside Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan, while a new writer is expected to be hired to work on the adaptation in the near future.

The Russo brothers recently wrapped production on crime-drama Cherry, starring Tom Holland, while the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions was behind the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory.

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Director Ruben Fleischer devastated after Venom was mauled by critics

Director Ruben Fleischer was “really surprised” by the negative critical reaction to Venom.Sony’s adaptation of the Marvel villain was released in October 2018, and starred Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, who becomes infected and eventually transf…

Director Ruben Fleischer was “really surprised” by the negative critical reaction to Venom.

Sony’s adaptation of the Marvel villain was released in October 2018, and starred Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, who becomes infected and eventually transforms into the terrifying alien symbiote.

Despite taking more than $856 million (£665 million) worldwide, and boasting a stellar cast including Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, critics panned the movie, and Venom currently stands at only 29 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

During a recent interview with Fandom, Fleischer confessed the harsh reviews of his comic book adaptation really affected him, and if he could change one thing about the 2018 blockbuster, it would be to have a more positive reaction from film critics.

“I was really bummed that people didn’t like it because it’s a crowd-pleasing movie and I’m not sure if there was just blowback against Sony or people just worship Marvel,” he explained. “But I was really surprised that the critics (were gunning for it) because audiences really enjoyed the movie. And so many people who’ve seen it just appreciated that it was a fun superhero movie.

“So, I was a little surprised. I don’t know what they were expecting.”

Fleischer later passed on directing the sequel, with directing duties being handed to Andy Serkis instead. However, the Zombieland filmmaker couldn’t be happier with his replacement.

“I was kinda happy to let somebody else take over. And I’m excited to see what he does with it,” the 44-year-old added.

And Fleischer also seemingly confirmed a possible Spider-Man/Venom crossover film will happen, now that Sony and Marvel have hammered out a new deal.

“That’s where it’s all going to lead,” he revealed. “And so, the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”

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Michelle Williams officially onboard for Venom 2

Michelle Williams has confirmed she’s returning for the Venom sequel.The Oscar-nominated actress played lawyer Anne Weying in last year’s blockbuster, and revealed to Yahoo that she was excited to be onboard for Venom 2 after Andy Serkis was hired to h…

Michelle Williams has confirmed she’s returning for the Venom sequel.

The Oscar-nominated actress played lawyer Anne Weying in last year’s blockbuster, and revealed to Yahoo that she was excited to be onboard for Venom 2 after Andy Serkis was hired to helm the movie.

“I’m in. I’m such a fan of Andy’s, and I’m so inspired by what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s so gifted in such a specific way, and I’m very excited to learn from him and be around him,” the 38-year-old gushed.

In 2018’s Venom, Anne was the ex-fiancee of journalist Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, who becomes intertwined with an alien symbiote, to become the movie’s eponymous anti-hero.

The pair work together to try and bring down the villainous Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, and in one memorable scene, Anne briefly bonded with the symbiote and became She-Venom.

And when asked if the Marvel comic-book character of She-Venom would be making a longer appearance in the sequel, Williams gave a cryptic response.

“I hope I get equal time that way – I can say that!” she teased.

It was announced earlier this month that British filmmaker and actor Serkis will direct Venom 2, and he shared a post on Instagram confirming the exciting news.

“Verified It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride…Can’t wait,” Serkis wrote, alongside a picture of him posing with a Venom comic.

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Riz Ahmed blames U.S. immigration authorities for missing Star Wars convention

British Muslim actor Riz Ahmed has put U.S. immigration authorities on blast after he was forced to miss a flight to a Star Wars Celebration convention earlier this year. The 36-year-old has alleged he was racially profiled in April as he made his way…

British Muslim actor Riz Ahmed has put U.S. immigration authorities on blast after he was forced to miss a flight to a Star Wars Celebration convention earlier this year.

The 36-year-old has alleged he was racially profiled in April as he made his way through an unnamed U.S. airport en route to Chicago, Illinois to join fans of the sci-fi franchise, after portraying Bodhi Rook in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

However, Ahmed claimed he was also forced to scrap plans to make an official appearance at the big event after he was interrogated by Homeland Security officials and then allegedly banned from boarding his flight due to terrorism suspicions.

The actor shared the news for the first time earlier this week during a panel discussion at the three-day Amplify leadership summit in California, organised by agents at the Creative Artists Agency, when he urged Hollywood casting officials to provide more varied opportunities for Muslims onscreen, so they can change the way people like him are viewed in the public eye.

“I’m basically here to ask for your help, because it’s really scary to be a Muslim right now, super scary,” he said, after explaining how he had reportedly been treated trying to make his way to the Star Wars Celebration bash.

Ahmed recalled how he had frequently been stopped and searched at airports due to the colour of his skin, and added, “I’ve often wondered, ‘Is this going to be the year when they round us up?’ (Or) if this is going to be the year they put (U.S President Donald) Trump’s (Muslim) registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off (deport them).”

Warning studio bosses against heightening fears of Islamophobia with the stories they create for the screen, he continued, “I think lives are quite literally at stake here. The representation of Muslims on screen – that feeds the (legal) policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”

Homeland Security officials have not commented on the alleged incident in April.

It’s not the first time Ahmed has used his position in the spotlight to draw attention to the issue.

At the 2017 Emmy Awards, he made history as the first man of South Asian descent – and only the second Asian ever – to win a prize for his work on TV crime drama series The Night Of, in which he played a Pakistani-American college student accused of murdering a white woman.

“If this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our society, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that’s something,” he said as he collected the honour for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited

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Riz Ahmed co-hosts stylish dinner to celebrate London’s design diversity

Riz Ahmed celebrated London’s creative diversity at a star-studded dinner he co-hosted with British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush.The 36-year-old actor also joined forces Ben Cobb, editor-in-chief of Another Man, for the prestigious eve…

Riz Ahmed celebrated London’s creative diversity at a star-studded dinner he co-hosted with British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush.

The 36-year-old actor also joined forces Ben Cobb, editor-in-chief of Another Man, for the prestigious event at the newly opened Moet Summer House in London.

Dressed by Nicholas Daley, the Venom star charmed a room full of local designers including Patrick Grant, Liam Hodges, Edward Crutchley and Oliver Spencer.

Among the other guests were British GQ editor Dylan Jones, British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, model Eric Rutherford, and London Fashion Week Men’s ambassadors Hu Bing and David Gandy.

“I used to think that fashion was full of annoyingly good-looking, creative people – I was right,” Ahmed joked in an off-the-cuff speech.

“For a long time, clothing was how I survived, in a weird way. I grew up in two different classes, two different cultures in a working-class Pakistani household in North London. It was a big part of my code-switching,” he explained, as he shared his ever-changing relationship with fashion.

“It was a big part of our identity; it was costume-changing so it’s no surprise that I became an actor where costume is such a big part of a character.”

He eventually stopped caring so much about fashion as it became too conflicting and was “masking elements” of his life, but he’s had a change of heart in recent years thanks to the emerging British designers who were celebrated at the dinner.

“I’ve seen this amazing wave of British design talent come to the fore and really celebrate what is best about Britain, which is these juxtapositions, this diversity and mongrel-hood that makes up Britain,” he told the audience. “And in a time when people are trying to put forward such a purist, nativist idea of what Britain is, it’s so important that we celebrate those designers.”

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Channing Tatum unveils bold new platinum blond hair

Channing Tatum has surprised fans by unveiling a bold new hair colour and style.The Magic Mike actor took to his Instagram Stories on Tuesday (19Mar19) to post a selfie showing him pointing to his fresh buzz cut and platinum blond dye job. Adding a pol…

Channing Tatum has surprised fans by unveiling a bold new hair colour and style.

The Magic Mike actor took to his Instagram Stories on Tuesday (19Mar19) to post a selfie showing him pointing to his fresh buzz cut and platinum blond dye job.

Adding a poll button, Channing wrote, “Bad idea? Haha,” and allowed options for “Yes” and “No.”

In spite of asking for opinions, in a follow-up post, he indicated that he will be sticking with his blond hair as he captioned the snap: “Well, bad ideas are sort of my thing. So…”

It is not clear when Channing bleached his naturally brown hair as he was seen sporting a black cap in recent paparazzi photos, in which he was spotted with new girlfriend Jessie J.

However, the makeover has divided the 38-year-old’s followers. Many praised the look, with one user writing, “Love the new hair! Looks great!” and another commenting, “Channing can do no wrong.”

A third noted, “I didn’t know I needed blond @channingtatum until I saw him.”

Though many users made comparisons between Channing’s hair and Eminem’s signature look.

“Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up,” one person wrote, referring to the rapper’s 2000 song, another added: “I’m not emotionally ready to talk about Channing Tatum going blond.”

Channing has mostly stuck with his brown hair for movie roles in recent years, though he did show off lighter hair while visiting Peru with his then-wife Jenna Dewan in late 2015 and shaved his head for 2009 movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Other celebrity men to recently try out platinum blond hair include Justin Bieber, Chris Messina, Riz Ahmed, Pete Davidson, and Zac Efron.

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Farfetch taps Chloe Sevigny and Adwoa Aboah for new content platform

Farfetch has announced a new content initiative to help consumers discover the latest trends, with the help of a number of famous faces and industry pioneers.The online retailer has recruited Chloe Sevigny, Riz Ahmed, Adwoa Aboah and Blondey McCoy to b…

Farfetch has announced a new content initiative to help consumers discover the latest trends, with the help of a number of famous faces and industry pioneers.

The online retailer has recruited Chloe Sevigny, Riz Ahmed, Adwoa Aboah and Blondey McCoy to be part of the Farfetch Communities platform, which will feature specially curated shopping edits and allow users to share daily fashion inspiration.

Alongside the celebrities, the community will also include Farfetch’s in-house creative team, industry figures, local influencers and boutique owners who work with the platform.

The idea is to bring together “people who are shaping the cultural landscape from all corners of the globe.”

Farfetch chief executive officer and co-chairman Jose Neves expressed his hope that the initiative will help the retailer keep up with fierce online competition.

“Since Day One, Farfetch has brought the world’s curators and creators of fashion together with people all around the world,” he told WWD. “We wanted to take that a step further by building out Farfetch Communities to create an inspiring way to help our customers, discover the things they love.”

He also considered the changing landscape of retail, and highlighted the need for brands to produce fresh, regular content to keep customers engaged.

Reflecting on the platform’s ability to connect with consumers globally, Sevigny explained she hopes it will inspire people to take greater risks when shopping for themselves.

“I hope to inspire buyers to explore something new and perhaps try designers that they’ve never worn before,” the 44-year-old actress said.

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Venom holds on to North American box office title

Tom Hardy’s Venom has tightened its grip around the North American box office title for a second consecutive week. The Marvel comic book adaptation, which co-stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, grossed $35.7 million (£27.1 million) in its second w…

Tom Hardy’s Venom has tightened its grip around the North American box office title for a second consecutive week.

The Marvel comic book adaptation, which co-stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, grossed $35.7 million (£27.1 million) in its second weekend of release, taking its domestic total to $142.8 million (£108.6 million), in spite of the mixed reception it received from comic book fans and critics alike upon its debut earlier this month (Oct18).

Venom also remains the top box office film globally, crossing the $378 million (£287.4 million) mark.

Its continued popularity in North America helped Venom outpace Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s movie musical remake A Star is Born, which continues to hit the high notes with theatre-goers, banking a further $28 million (£21.3 million) to hold at two.

Ryan Gosling’s space drama First Man debuts at three with a $16.5 million (£12.5 million) opening, just below experts’ predictions, although its slow start isn’t a concern for studio officials, who believe the latest collaboration between the actor and his La La Land director Damien Chazelle is better suited to a box office “marathon, not a sprint”, particularly as older viewers are its target audience.

“What we know is for these types of adult, fall (autumn) films for discerning audiences, it’s not about the opening weekend,” Universal Pictures’ president of domestic distribution Jim Orr says of the Neil Armstrong biopic, which was made on a $59 million (£44.9 million) budget.

“We’re very comfortable that it’s going to have a long life at the domestic box office.”

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens in fourth place ahead of the spooky holiday, and animated family film Smallfoot ends the weekend at five.

Meanwhile, period thriller Bad Times at the El Royale struggled to break into the top five – it debuted with a disappointing $7.2 million (£5.5 million), despite boasting the star power of Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, and Jon Hamm.

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Tom Hardy clarifies ‘misunderstood’ comments about cut Venom scenes

Tom Hardy has clarified his comments regarding the number of scenes that were cut from Venom at the final edit.The actor plays the title character as well as the symbiote’s investigative journalist counterpart Eddie Brock, while Riz Ahmed, Michelle Wil…

Tom Hardy has clarified his comments regarding the number of scenes that were cut from Venom at the final edit.

The actor plays the title character as well as the symbiote’s investigative journalist counterpart Eddie Brock, while Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams and Jenny Slate also appear in the superhero movie.

When asked to describe his favourite scene in the flick, Hardy told ComicsExplained that his best moments were embedded in “30 to 40 minutes'” of footage eventually removed from the picture. With many concerned that filmmakers may have ditched some of Venom’s most promising content, the British star has now readdressed his previous claims in an interview with IGN.

“I think that’s been misunderstood,” the 41-year-old explained. “What I’m saying is that I had a lot of time improvising and a lot of freedom to play with Venom. In honesty, there’s probably about seven hours or more worth of footage of me playing as Venom and enjoying myself.

“Me and the other executive producers know fully well that has nothing to do with what’s in the story, do you know what I mean?” he continued. “But nevertheless, would I like to watch a seven-hour version of Venom? Yeah. Do you know what I mean? But that’s as an actor.”

The Dunkirk star insisted that “everything we wanted” was included, and added that he was keen to shoot a sequel to the “awesome” movie.

However, it appears that Hardy may be alone in wanting a second helping of Venom, as reviews have been overwhelmingly unfavourable.

The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw wrote that the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe is “riddled with the poison of dullness”, while Variety’s Owen Gleiberman described it as “unexciting in its ho-hum competence”. Don Kaye from Den of Geek added that the feature “might have been made in 1996”.

Venom currently has a 27 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating and hits U.S. cinemas on Friday (05Oct18).

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Riz Ahmed praises ‘intense’ Tom Hardy

Riz Ahmed’s Venom co-star Tom Hardy was an early champion of his rap music.The two met on British TV The Play’s The Thing before both hitting the big time, and have reunited for the new Marvel flick, in which Tom plays Eddie Brock – a journalist wh…

Riz Ahmed’s Venom co-star Tom Hardy was an early champion of his rap music.

The two met on British TV The Play’s The Thing before both hitting the big time, and have reunited for the new Marvel flick, in which Tom plays Eddie Brock – a journalist who turns into the title character after coming into contact with an alien symbiote.

Talking on The Jonathan Ross Show, which airs in the U.K. on Saturday (22Sep18), Riz shed some light on his friendship with the “intense” Inception star.

“I’ve known him for about 11 years now and we first met when we were both doing a reality TV show about playwrights… It was me, Tom Hardy and Rafe Spall and we had all just started,” he told host Jonathan. “This was in 2007. We were bonding over rap music, Tom is a big rap fan, I played him my first track I’d just recorded, he was really encouraging. He kept doing this strange thing… Any breaks in conversation he just started doing push ups. And I thought, ‘This guy is going to go all the way, man.’ He is intense but that’s also because he cares. He is really passionate about his work.”

When comic book fan Jonathan pressed Riz on his role in Venom, where he’s listed as playing Dr. Carlton Drake, The Night Of star remained tight-lipped over whether he was also doubling up as comic book character Carnage.

“I haven’t talked about this up until now… And I’m not about to start,” he smiled.

Fans don’t have to wait long to find out though, as Venom begins hitting cinemas from 3 October (18).

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