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.”
2017 Golden Globe nominees Donald Glover, Pharrell and Riz (photo via billboard.com)
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.
It looks like Donald Glover will be engaging in some extracurricular work outside of Greendale Community College. The Community star, who plays former high school quarterback-turned-air conditioning repair annex recruit Troy Barnes, is developing a new show for NBC with 30 Rockco-executive producer Matt Hubbard. Continue reading →