Imagine if all the themes of an era were compacted in a sensory journey of rhythm, lyrical controversy, props, symbolism, and movement…. well Donald Glover has done it. His latest hit “This is America” is the whole package as it dissects the current state of a mixed nation under the tyrannical boots of discrimination, capitalism, and internalized stratification- and almost all his projects are collaborative, his work reaches volumes as it lets others shine.
One shinning contributor to the projects energy is the video’s choreographer: 23 year-old Sherrie Silver. Having danced for years, the Rwanda-born, England-bred creative initially gained traction for her “Afro-Dance” videos on Youtube, but after Glovers team reached out, her career took on a different weight.
She tells Interview: “The video is full of madness and reflects what’s going on in America and around the world right now. The kids and the choir are supposed to be the happy part of that, so there are two different worlds at the same time. Multiple parts of the video are meant to catch the viewer off-guard, with people smiling and enjoying themselves before it goes dark.”
The themes of this video, are the video- so for Silver it was important to speak to all aspects of Glovers message. By incorporating African dance like the South African ‘Gwara Gwara’, alongside Hip-Hop phenomenons like ‘Shoot’ or ‘Nae Nae’, she succeeds in illuminating the dichotomy of joy and pain- as it related to Pop Culture and its hidden state of affairs.
Stevie Wonder’s birthday was Sunday, but it seems like the celebration has been under way since at least last week. And if he has his way, it won’t stop anytime soon.
The legendary soul singer who has a history of social activism recently offered up his opinions, and solutions, surrounding several contentious topics, including but definitely not limited to the sad state of affairs in the world.
To counter the widespread “confusion” and surge of hate around the globe, Wonder’s first order of business, he said, was to perform a series of “positive” shows, according to the Associated Press, which attended the Hollywood performance.
Donald Glover singing "Superstition" with Stevie Wonder last night at The Peppermint Club in L.A. Kelly Rowland, Jessie J on backup vocals. Wow. pic.twitter.com/ZhjF6O5a1w
“So much is going on in the world. And there is too much confusion,” Wonder said during the performance last Thursday. “The one thing we know for sure that we can celebrate is our life, our love and our music… The positive will win in the end.”
He also had an impromptu jam session with Donald Glover, the actor who also sings and raps as Childish Gambino. Wonder said he wanted to work with Glover for an upcoming album.
At the 69th edition of the Emmy Awards, there was more diversity among nominees, and therefore winners, than there has been in previous years. Compelling actor Sterling K. Brown took home the hardware for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in NBC’s This Is Us. According to Entertainment Weekly, Brown is the first black actor to win the prize since Andre Braugher in 1998 for his role in Homicide: Life on the Street. During his backstage speech, Sterling reflectively acknowledged this achievement. “When I first got to [NYU] there was a poster of Gideon’s Crossing above the Public Theater, so I would see [Braugher’s] face all the time when I left my apartment to go to school,” he said, per The Ringer. “So, I’m bugging out. I never thought that this was a possibility, and to be standing here 19 years after him! I wanna represent.”
Another epic win went to Donald Glover, who became the first black director to garner the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. For his brilliant acting in Atlanta, the “Redbone” artist (as Childish Gambino) became the first black performer to join the legion of comedic outstanding lead actors. The achievements kept pouring in as actress/screenwriter Lena Waithe went down in history as the first black woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Master of None. She also won the hearts of the audience and viewers with her motivating acceptance speech to the LGBTQIA community.
The nominees for the 2017 Primetime Emmys were announced this morning, and among them are nods in the Best Comedy Series category for writer/creator/star Donald Glover‘s freshman FX half-hour “Atlanta” as well as writer/creator Kenya Barris‘ veteran ABC show “Black-ish,” which also garnered nods in the Lead Comedy Actor and Actress categories for its stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Glover also picked up a nod for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Emmy winner Viola Davis was recognized again for her role as Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Sterling K. Brown came through in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his work on the popular NBC hit “This is Us.” Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton were acknowledged for their Supporting Roles in “Westworld,” as was Samira Wiley for her work in the original Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Up against Wiley in the same category is her former “Orange Is the New Black” castmate Uzo Aduba.
Additionally, Leslie Jones grabbed a nomination in the Supporting Role in Comedy category for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” and RuPaul Charles got some love in the Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program category for his work on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Behind the scenes, Donald Glover earned his third Emmy nomination for “Atlanta” in the directing category, and his fourth, along with his brother Stephen Glover, for Writing for a Comedy Series. Ava DuVernay & Spencer Averick were nominated in the Writing for a Nonfiction Program category for their outstanding work on the Netflix documentary “13th.” The full list of nominees follows below:
“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)
“This Is Us” (NBC)
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”)
Claire Foy (“The Crown”)
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Keri Russell (“The Americans”)
Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)
Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)
Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
Zach Galifianakis (“Baskets”)
Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)
Donald Glover and James Earl Jones are ready to sing “Hakuna Matata.” The “Atlanta” star is in talks to play Simba in Disney’s live-action “The Lion King” remake directed by Jon Favreau, (“The Jungle Book,” “Iron Man”). Jones, who voiced Simba’s father Mufasa in the original, will return to reprise the role.
Favreau is directing with Jeff Nathanson writing. “Lion King” was originally released in 1994 and is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, ultimately hauling $968.5 million at the global box office. The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows the successes of “Maleficent” (2014) and “Cinderella” (2015), while “Beauty and the Beast” is already one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
On Sunday’s 74th Golden Globe Awards, the most shocking-but-deserved win of the night was Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” taking the honor of Best Motion Picture, Drama over “Hacksaw Ridge”, “Hell or High Water”, “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea.”
Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her powerhouse performance in the Denzel Washington-directed “Fences,” while on the television side, “Black-ish” lead Tracee Ellis Ross became the first African-American woman since Debbie Allen in 1983 to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
Donald Glover and his lauded FX cable creation “Atlanta” went two-for-two by winning both awards he was nominated for: Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
It seems as if last year’s #OscarsSoWhite backlash has had a marked effect on this year’s pool of projects and talent considered and honored as the 2017 awards season gets underway.
The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and nominees of color were found in the majority of film and television categories. Indie film sensation “Moonlight”not only garnered a nod for Best Motion Picture, Drama, but also for directing and screenwriting by Barry Jenkins, in the Best Actress category for Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali was recognized in the supporting actor category.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were honored for their performances in “Fences”, Ruth Negga was nominated for her leading role in “Loving,” and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer grabbed a nomination for her supporting role in the upcoming space race drama “Hidden Figures.” Additionally, Pharrell Williams is in the running for Best Original Score — Motion Picture, for his work on the music for “Hidden Figures.”
On the television side, Donald Glover‘s “Atlanta” received nods in two categories; Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Anthony Anderson provides some competition for Glover in the acting category, and “Black-ish” is nominated for Best Comedy Television Series as well. Tracee Ellis Ross gained a nod in the Lead Comedy Actress category, as did “Insecure” star Issa Rae.
In limited series, actress Thandie Newton was nominated for Westworld, and Kerry Washington‘s portrayal of Anita Hill in “Confirmation” was also acknowledged. Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance gained a nod for his work as Johnny Cochran in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”and the series was nominated in the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category alongside Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley’s “American Crime.”
Writer/Actor/Rapper Donald Glover (“Atlanta”, “Community”) has landed the coveted role of Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo stand-alone movie starring Alden Ehrenreich.
That film will be set prior to “Star Wars: A New Hope,” like the other upcoming “Star Wars” standalone project, “Rogue One.”
“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” said Phil Lord and Chris Miller. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”
Testing for the role of Calrissian has been going on for months with actors like O’Shea Jackson, Jason Mitchell and “The Get Down”‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen among those who have tested. Glover was considered the favorite but just to be sure co-directors Lord and Miller decided to do a second round of tests earlier this month with Glover and Mitchell. Glover was eventually tapped for the role.
There was some worry that scheduling Glover’s hit show “Atlanta” and the Han Solo shoot would be an issue, with the series just getting a second season. Since Glover is also the creator and heads the writers’ room for “Atlanta,” there was a worry that his commitment to running the room — which is open now and would of gone into production in March — would cause scheduling conflicts.
Sources now say they will probably bank all the scripts now and move production to next summer to accommodate the Solo shoot. Production on the untitled Han Solo film is expected to begin in January.
Played originally by Billy Dee Williams in “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” the Lando character is a fan favorite in the “Star Wars” universe and it was unknown, until recently, if he would be making an appearance in any of these standalone movies.
The Han Solo prequel will hit theaters May 25, 2018.
Hannibal Buress is joining the cast of Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Tom Holland will play Peter Parker in the reboot with Marisa Tomei taking on Aunt May. Michael Keaton is also on board for the role of a villain. Other actors who have joined the cast over the last several weeks include Logan Marshall-Green, Donald Glover, Zendaya and Tony Revolori.
Jon Watts has been hired to direct with Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige producing. Plot details are still being heavily guarded as is Buress’ character. “Vacation” directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein wrote the script.
Production is expected to start this summer with the film hitting theaters on July 7, 2017.
Buress, a stand-up comedian, has recently shifted gears to film, with upcoming roles in some of next year’s more anticipated comedies. First he has “The Masterpiece,” opposite Dave and James Franco, which is a movie about the making of what is widely considered the worst film of all-time, “The Room.” He will follow that up with Dwayne Johnson’s reboot of “Baywatch,” which bows next summer. He also lent his voice to Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets.”
FX Networks has found its leads for Donald Glover’s comedy pilot Atlanta.Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Lee Stanfield and Zazie Beetz will co-star with Glover, who created and wrote the pilot. Community alum Glover grew up in Atlanta and has an active music career as a hip-hop artist, stage name Childish Gambino.
Atlanta revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race will make their quest anything but easy. Henry, repped by Hartig-Hilepo Agency and JWS Entertainment, will play Alfred Miles, Atlanta’s hot of the moment rapper who plans to capitalize on the sudden fame as quickly as possible. Henry recurs on HBO’s Vice Principals. His other credits feature Puerto Ricans and TV’s The Knick, Boardwalk Empire, My America, The Good Wife and Law & Order.
Stanfield will play Darius, Alfred’s oddly talented right-hand man and musical collaborator. Stanfield’s film credits include Dope, Selma and Short Term 12, and will next be seen in the features Snowden, Straight Outta Compton and Miles Ahead. Beetz will play Van, a pragmatist caught up in a complicated relationship with Earn (Glover) due to their daughter. Beetz has appeared in the feature film Applesauce and the short films Beasts and The Crocotta. She will next appear in the feature Finding Her and is currently shooting Wolves for writer/director Bart Freundlich. They will join Glover, who plays Earn, a loner who left Atlanta only to return; now working an unglamorous job and barely getting by. When his cousin Alfred becomes Atlanta’s hot rapper, Earn sees an opportunity to manage Alfred’s career. Glover is repped by UTA, MGMT Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Hiro Murai will direct the pilot, which will be produced by FX Prods. Filming begins in Atlanta at the end of July. Glover executive produces with Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment.