Aladdin sequel in the works at Disney

Disney executives are reportedly working on a sequel to the live-action version of Aladdin.Directed by Guy Ritchie, the adaptation of the studio’s 1992 animated movie of the same name followed street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) as he falls in love wi…

Disney executives are reportedly working on a sequel to the live-action version of Aladdin.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, the adaptation of the studio’s 1992 animated movie of the same name followed street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) as he falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and befriends the wish-granting Genie (Will Smith).

While Aladdin received mixed reviews from critics when it premiered last May, it grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and on Wednesday, editors at Variety reported that producers are in the “early” phases of developing a follow-up.

Sources claimed writers John Gatins and Andrea Berloff are involved, while executive producer Ryan Halprin and producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are apparently also back on board for a second film.

At present, it is not known if Ritchie plans to return, though the producers are reportedly keen for the central cast members to reprise their roles.

And while the original animated Disney movie Aladdin had two straight-to-video sequels, it’s believed this movie won’t be based on any of those films.

The news comes after star Massoud admitted he was struggling to find his feet in Hollywood, despite receiving praise for his performance in the flick.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” the 28-year-old told The Daily Beast last year. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin: ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.”

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Brad Pitt confirms he turned down The Matrix

Brad Pitt has confirmed he turned down an offer to star in The Matrix.The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor was asked about the roles he had passed on during a talk at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and he confirmed that he rej…

Brad Pitt has confirmed he turned down an offer to star in The Matrix.

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor was asked about the roles he had passed on during a talk at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and he confirmed that he rejected an offer to portray Neo, who was ultimately played by Keanu Reeves, in the 1999 sci-fi movie.

“I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill. That’s the only one I’m naming,” he said. “I wasn’t offered two or three. Only the first one, just to clarify that.”

The red pill comment is a reference to the movie. In the film, choosing the red pill means being aware of the cruel truths of everyday life, while taking the blue pill is opting to remain living in blissful ignorance.

The Oscar-nominated actor, who received the Maltin Modern Master Award at the festival, also explained why he was reluctant to name any of the projects he’d rejected.

“I come from a place, maybe it’s my upbringing, if I didn’t get it, then it wasn’t mine,” the 56-year-old commented. “I really believe (the role) was never mine. It’s not mine. It was someone else’s and they go and make it. I really do believe in that… If we were doing a show on the great movies I’ve passed on, we would need two nights.”

Last year, The Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said Pitt was considered for Neo, while Will Smith expressed his regret about passing on the part in a YouTube video last February.

“Keanu was perfect, Laurence Fishburne was perfect,” he insisted. “So, I probably would have messed The Matrix up. I would have ruined it, so I did y’all a favour.”

Other stars like Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer, and Johnny Depp were also reportedly considered to play Neo, but it ultimately went to Reeves. The Matrix trilogy redefined his career and he is currently shooting the fourth instalment.

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Jon Bernthal to play Venus and Serena Williams’ coach in sports drama

Jon Bernthal is in negotiations to portray Venus and Serena Williams’ tennis coach Rick Macci in upcoming sports drama King Richard. The Punisher actor will portray the famed tennis coach, who made a deal with Richard Williams to train his daughters V…

Jon Bernthal is in negotiations to portray Venus and Serena Williams’ tennis coach Rick Macci in upcoming sports drama King Richard.

The Punisher actor will portray the famed tennis coach, who made a deal with Richard Williams to train his daughters Venus and Serena and hone their talent while they were young children, according to Deadline.

The coach, who is now 65 years old, trained five number other one players, including Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati, and Maria Sharapova, throughout his sports career.

Bernthal shared the casting news on Instagram with the caption, “Big. Love. Y’all. Very grateful.”

He joins a cast that already includes Will Smith as Richard Williams, the main focus of the film, which documents how he guided his daughters from the tennis courts of Compton, California to become world number ones.

The cast also includes child stars Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as the young Venus and Serena Williams, and Aunjanue Ellis as their mother, Oracene Price.

The film, which is slated for cinema release in November, is being directed by Monsters and Men’s Reinaldo Marcus Green from a script by Zach Baylin. Producers include Tim White, Trevor White, and James Lassiter, with Allan Mandelbaum, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Caleeb Pinkett serving as executive producers.

Bernthal, 43, was recently seen in Oscar-nominated movie Ford v Ferrari. His upcoming projects include a lead role in The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, and Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, opposite Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Hoult.

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Seth Rogen helped Judd Apatow rewrite Bad Boys II

Seth Rogen has revealed he helped Judd Apatow rewrite Michael Bay’s action sequel Bad Boys II.The epic follow-up to 1995’s Bad Boys, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has become a cult classic since its release in 2003, thanks to its enormous se…

Seth Rogen has revealed he helped Judd Apatow rewrite Michael Bay’s action sequel Bad Boys II.

The epic follow-up to 1995’s Bad Boys, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has become a cult classic since its release in 2003, thanks to its enormous set-pieces, a fast-paced storyline, and plenty of comedy gags.

On Tuesday, days before the release of Bad Boys For Life, film writer Eric Vespe debated the pros and cons of the hit sequel with his followers, which prompted Rogen to join in and make his surprising confession.

“I helped rewrite bad boys 2,” he replied, leading to scores of Twitter users demanding more information from the Long Shot star.

Rogen went on to explain in a follow-up tweet that he and longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg were hired by director and friend Apatow to help him out with the script.

“Judd was rewriting it and me and Evan were broke so he gave us a bit of money to help,” he added. “I don’t remember much but we all definitely wrote the joke where they don’t know the words to the song, and where Martin shoots the machine gun in the car by accident. And probably many more…”

The script for Bad Boys II was originally written by Ron Shelton, who penned other classics such as White Men Can’t Jump, along with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation writer Jerry Stahl. Apatow was not officially credited for his work.

Apatow first began working with Rogen and Goldberg on the short-lived 2001 Fox sitcom Undeclared, in which the Knocked Up star appeared in alongside Jay Baruchel and Charlie Hunnam.

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence scrapped stunt plans for Bad Boys sequel

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence abandoned plans to do all of their own stunt work in the new Bad Boys movie after realising they were no match for professionals.The pals have reunited for Bad Boys for Life, the long-awaited third and final film in the b…

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence abandoned plans to do all of their own stunt work in the new Bad Boys movie after realising they were no match for professionals.

The pals have reunited for Bad Boys for Life, the long-awaited third and final film in the buddy cop franchise, which began in 1995 and continued with the 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II.

Smith initially wanted the duo to take on as much of the action work as possible, but it didn’t take the stars long to admit they were no longer cut out for the physical toll of the stunt scenes.

“The big change for us (from previous films) was probably the amount of stunt work,” the 51-year-old shared in a joint interview on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. “When I started, I was like, ‘We doing all the stunts, we doing everything, every one of these Bad Boys, 25 years later, all the stunts!’ Then like, probably three days in, I looked over to (Lawrence), and was like, ‘Hey, what you thinking?’

“He was like, ‘Yeah, we should probably let the stuntmen earn they money (sic)!'”

Lawrence, 54, acknowledged his larger frame is partly to blame for his lack of fitness, but joked that packing on the pounds was all in preparation to reprise his role as veteran Miami Police Department Detective Marcus Burnett, who becomes a grandfather in the new film.

“I’m a lot heavier (compared to the previous instalments),” he said. “I put on a little more pounds (sic), but it’s for the role…! Method acting!”

Smith, who plays his onscreen partner, Detective Mike Lowrey, quipped, “I was like, ‘Oh, Martin’s really into this character!'”

Bad Boys for Life opens in U.S. cinemas on Friday.

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Tom Holland never met Will Smith while making Spies in Disguise

Tom Holland never met his Spies in Disguise co-star Will Smith while making the animated film.In the animated movie, Tom voices scientist and inventor Walter Beckett, who teams up with super spy Lance Sterling, played by Will, to save the world. Howev…

Tom Holland never met his Spies in Disguise co-star Will Smith while making the animated film.

In the animated movie, Tom voices scientist and inventor Walter Beckett, who teams up with super spy Lance Sterling, played by Will, to save the world.

However, the pair never crossed paths while recording their parts, as the 23-year-old Spider-Man: Far From Home star was recording in Los Angeles, while his co-star was in New York.

And to ensure that he and Tom got along, Will arranged for them to take part in an escape room, working together to try and get out of the locked room by doing a series of challenges.

“It was kind of crazy, you know, because we did an escape room together,” Tom told Variety. “I’ve been a big Will Smith fan for a long time, and then all of a sudden I was locked in a room with him, trying to get us to escape. And I don’t know if I wanted to escape, I was enjoying myself in there with Will Smith.”

The 51-year-old explained that he wanted to do something unusual in an effort to bond with his young co-star, after the duo had spent thousands of miles apart recording their roles on the new movie.

“We were having a really good time in there. And it’s funny, when we did get out, it was a little anticlimactic. It was a little sad that our time together was done,” Will shared.

Tom also revealed that he really enjoyed recording his part on Spies in Disguise, as it meant he could relax his style.

“I did most of this film in my pyjamas. I would just show up in my pyjamas, T-shirt and spend seven hours in a recording booth,” he laughed.

Spies in Disguise hits cinemas later this month.

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Will Smith voices support for ‘spectacular actor’ Mena Massoud

Will Smith has voiced his support for Mena Massoud after the actor claimed he was struggling to land auditions.The 28-year-old recently shared his dismay at his career issues and confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since playing the titular role …

Will Smith has voiced his support for Mena Massoud after the actor claimed he was struggling to land auditions.

The 28-year-old recently shared his dismay at his career issues and confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since playing the titular role in Disney’s live-action blockbuster Aladdin, which was released in May.

When quizzed about his former co-star’s comments, Will, who played the Genie in the movie, said he was unaware of Mena’s lack of work, but gave the Egypt-born Canadian some encouraging words of support.

“He is a spectacular actor and he has nothing to worry about,” the Oscar-nominated star told Variety while at the premiere of his new animated movie, Spies in Disguise.

Earlier this week, Mena told The Daily Beast that he was “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely successful.

“I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out,” he explained. “It’s wild to a lot of people… People have these ideas in their heads. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, ‘OK, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition?’ Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So, it’s not always what you think.”

Mena will next be seen in the Hulu series Reprisal.

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Mena Massoud hasn’t had an audition since Aladdin

Aladdin star Mena Massoud hasn’t had a single audition since the release of the hit Disney movie.The 28-year-old actor has spoken out about his career struggles, revealing he is “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely s…

Aladdin star Mena Massoud hasn’t had a single audition since the release of the hit Disney movie.

The 28-year-old actor has spoken out about his career struggles, revealing he is “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely successful since the live-action blockbuster, which was directed by Guy Ritchie.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” he told The Daily Beast. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers’. It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.

“It’s wild to a lot of people… People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, OK, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So it’s not always what you think.”

The Egypt-born Canadian, who will next be seen in the Hulu series Reprisal, has been open about his struggles as an actor of colour, which led him to launch the Ethnically Diverse Artists Foundation to help under-represented artists in September.

“I feel like I’m going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor,” he added. “I’m an up-and-comer in the sense that I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but to a lot of people, Aladdin’s the first thing they’ve seen me in. So I think I’m going to be viewed that way for a long time. I’m going to have to work at chipping away at that.”

Aladdin, which was released in May, also starred Naomi Scott and Will Smith and has made more than $1 billion (£769 million) at the worldwide box office.

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Willow Smith promotes new Prada line with London tube station performance

Willow Smith marked the launch of her new collaboration with Prada on Monday with a performance at London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station.The set, which coincided with the release of the luxury brand’s Linea Rossa range for autumn/winter 2019, took…

Willow Smith marked the launch of her new collaboration with Prada on Monday with a performance at London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station.

The set, which coincided with the release of the luxury brand’s Linea Rossa range for autumn/winter 2019, took place just outside the entrance of the Central Line – “London’s own Linea Rossa”, or red line, a representative for the label noted.

The 18-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith played the guitar and sang a few ballads for commuters while sporting a bright pink Prada ensemble which comprised of sports trousers, a turtleneck top and puffer jacket, which she paired with black sneakers.

“Unexpected by the audience. Unannounced. @OfficialWillow makes her way to the Central Red Line on the London’s Tube to do something that has never been done before,” Prada officials tweeted before the set.

“Completely unexpected by the audience, raw and spontaneous, this moment was a celebration of the transient nature of our real life experiences, the performance of the everyday,” bosses at the brand shared on the photo-sharing site, alongside an image of the star.

Footage shared by Willow on her Instagram Stories showed her surrounded by a crowd of commuters recording the set on their phones during her performance.

The collection was first showcased at Prada men’s and women’s show in Milan this January and combines functional and stylish pieces made from sustainable items.

The unannounced appearance comes months after the release of the Whip My Hair hitmaker’s album Willow in July.

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Will Smith drops sportswear line inspired by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith has released a sportswear line inspired by his TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.Clothes in the 26-piece Bel-Air Athletics collection have been designed to resemble the sports uniforms at Bel-Air Academy, the fictional private school his c…

Will Smith has released a sportswear line inspired by his TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Clothes in the 26-piece Bel-Air Athletics collection have been designed to resemble the sports uniforms at Bel-Air Academy, the fictional private school his character Will attended with his cousin, Carlton Banks, on the hit 1990s NBC sitcom.

Pieces include burgundy and gold graphic track T-shirts emblazoned with “Bel-Air Athletics”, a tie-dye top, and tees that feature a cartoon version of Smith with the phrase “Will Power”.

Fans can also buy a reversible track jacket with a paisley interior that is inspired by the school uniform blazer his Fresh Prince character famously wore inside out.

According to a press release, the collection is “grounded in the rebellion and individuality that Will’s character embodied on the show,” and every item is either limited edition or made to order, so no excess items will be produced and nothing goes to waste.

The Bel-Air Athletics line also includes a cropped hoodie and gym shorts for women, children’s apparel, and accessories such as socks, caps, a navy and paisley basketball, a gym bag, and an air freshener.

The actor has modelled the clothes in an Instagram video, which he captioned, “I put my thang down, flipped it and reversed it. Then I put it on sale. NEW @FRESHPRINCE MERCH!”

The collection, priced from $6 (£5) to $200 (£163), is only available to buy from the 51-year-old’s website until 14 October.

Bel-Air Athletics has been released through Smith’s holding company Westbrook Inc., which he created with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith as well as Miguel Melendez and Kosaku Yada.

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