Tag: Mario Van Peebles

Muhammad Ali Biopic ‘Ali’ Starring Will Smith Gets Re-Release | Deadline

As the world continues to celebrate the legacy of boxing great Muhammad Ali, who died Friday night at age 74, Sony pictures has today announced the re-release of its 2001 biopic Ali.

Written and directed by Michael Mann and starring Will Smith, the film charts the life and career of the three-time Heavyweight champion, philanthropist and civil rights icon from 1964 to his 1974 victory over George Foreman in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” bout. The film will play this weekend in a few hundred theaters nationwide.

“With the passing of Muhammad Ali, we have received many requests for this film to return to theaters, in celebration of his life,” said Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures. “The film truly honors everything that made Ali one of the central figures of our time, a man who commanded his sport but whose personal faith and principles made him mean so much more. Muhammad Ali truly was The Greatest, and this tribute is a great way to honor him.”

The film garnered two Oscar nominations – Best Actor for Will Smith, and Best Supporting Actor for Jon Voight, who portrayed Howard Cosell. Ali also starred Jamie Foxx, Mario Van Peebles, Ron Silver, Jeffrey Wright, and Mykelti Williamson.

Source: Muhammad Ali Biopic ‘Ali’ Starring Will Smith Gets Re-Release | Deadline

LeToya Luckett, Danny Glover to Star in Dionne Warwick Movie “Dionne”

Brunch With Bevy Presented by Belvedere in Honor of Selita Ebanks Charity "Shine On Sierra Leone"
LeToya Luckett  (Photo by Derick Hingle/PictureGroup)

article by Ramin Setoodeh via Variety.com

LeToya Luckett will play Dionne Warwick in “Dionne,” a new biopic about the legendary singer that was announced at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday morning.

Danny Glover will portray Warwick’s father, Mansel Warwick. Olympia Dukakis will co-star as German songstress and actress Marlene Dietrich, who mentored Warwick. The film will span the early days of Warwick’s career from 1962 to 1968, as she belted out would-be classics like “Alfie” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”

Warwick, 75, said she was pleased that Luckett (an original member of Destiny’s Child) was channeling her on the big screen. “She just kind of morphed,” Warwick said of meeting the actress. “Vocally, she was right. Her look was completely right.”

Shooting is set to begin in October, with Mario Van Peebles in talks to direct. AMBI Pictures and David F. Wooley’s WW Film Company are financing the movie. Producers are Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Wooley and Jacker Binder.

Wooley revealed that he’s already spent 10 years getting the story to the big screen. After early scripts stalled, he realized that he needed a book to adapt the movie from, and co-authored “My Life, As I See It: An Autobiography” with Warwick. Then the movie was back on track, with Randall Jahnson (“The Doors”) writing the latest screenplay with Wooley.

In 2013, Warwick made headlines when she declared bankruptcy with $10 million in tax debt. When asked if the project would help with her finances, Warwick declined to comment.

“Roots” TV Movie Adds Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Anna Paquin, More to Cast

Roots Forest Whitaker Anna Paquin
Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin (photo variety.com)

A+E Networks has announced additional casting for “Roots,” its epic miniseries based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel as well as other researched material.

The four-night, eight-hour scripted miniseries has tapped newcomer Malachi Kirby to play lead Kunta Kinte, the Mandinka warrior captured in his homeland of the Gambia and forced into slavery in colonial America. Forest WhitakerAnna PaquinJonathan Rhys Meyers and Anika Noni Rose have also been added to the cast. Casting descriptions are below. They join Laurence Fishburne, who had already been cast as Haley.

The production, which hails from A+E Studios in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, also announced that Mario Van Peebles and Bruce Beresford will be directing the episodes set to air on nights two and four. Phillip Noyce and Thomas Carter had already signed on to direct the episodes for nights one and three and Grammy winner Questlove will serve as executive music producer.

“Roots” will air in 2016 and be simulcast on A&E, Lifetime and History. Will Packer, Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte in the 1977 TV movie, and Korin D. Huggins are co-executive producers. Konner, Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Dirk Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as executives in charge of production for History. “Roots” is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.

* Forest Whitaker (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “South Paw”) will play Fiddler, a slave who tries to mentor Kunta Kinte and ends up risking his own life to help him escape.

* Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) plays Nancy Holt, the wife of a Confederate officer who happens to have her own agenda when it comes to handling the slaves.

* Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”) plays Tom Lea, an uneducated slave owner who is desperate to claw his way into the elite company of Southern gentility.

* Anika Noni Rose (“Dream Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “The Princess and the Frog”) plays Kizzy, Kunta Kinte’s cherished, smart daughter who maintains her family pride and warrior spirit.

* Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”) plays Mingo, the stern no-nonsense slave who really keeps the Lea plantation afloat.

* Regé-Jean Page (“Waterloo Road”) plays Chicken George, Kizzy’s son who is a handsome social magnet. He knows how to transfix a crowd with a story, yet doesn’t appreciate what he has until his luck abandons him.

* Erica Tazel (“Justified”) plays Matilda, a preacher’s daughter and love interest to Chicken George.

* Derek Luke (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Antwone Fisher”) plays Silla Ba Dibba, a military trainer charged with transforming teen boys into powerful Mandinka Warriors.

article by Whitney Frielander via Variety.com

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