GBN would like to take a moment to commemorate the birth of one of the most talented musicians to ever grace planet Earth, Aretha Louise Franklin, on what would have been her 78th birthday.
Although 2020 will offer memorials to the Queen in the form of MGM‘s theatrical movie “Respect”starring Jennifer Hudson and the limited series under National Geographic Channel’s “Genius” banner starring Cynthia Erivo, it’s doubtful either will focus on an oft-overlook aspect of Franklin’s myriad talents: her songwriting.
Above you can watch Aretha performing “Think,” one of her best-known compositions in a clip from “The Blues Brothers,” while below you can listen to fourteen more gems penned by Aretha in a Spotify playlist called The Aretha Franklin Songbook:
According to rollingstone.com and deadline.com, Chance the Rapper is augmenting his long list of side projects by partnering with Haight Films and Tradecraft to produce a new movie musical called Hope for MGM. Hope follows a group of teenagers who turn “art into [community] action.”
Chance’s longtime musical collaborator Nico Segal — formerly known as Donnie Trumpet — is in charge of the music for the film. Segal has worked with Chance for his entire career, and helmed Surf, The Social Experiment’s 2015 album. Carlito Rodriguez, a writer for Empire and The Leftovers, will write the script.
Chance the Rapper became the first streaming-only artist to win a Grammy Award for his album Coloring Book, which became the first to chart on the Billboard 200 based solely on streaming, rising to Number 8. On the social activism front, Chance has long given back to the Chicago community he grew up in and that includes; donating $1 million to local schools; and creating Social Works, an organization aimed at empowering youth through arts, education and civic engagement within the city. The movie furthers that message of empowerment.
Chance’s longtime manager Pat Corcoran, said: “From day one, our mission at Haight Films has been to apply Haight Brand’s artist-first and Chicago-proud ideology to the film space. We are incredibly excited to be working alongside Chance, MGM and Scott Bernstein [of Tradecraft] to bring this vision to life.”
According to Variety.com, Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”, “Creed”)is slated to star in MGM Studio’s second remake of the heist thriller “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
The reboot is in early development stages and has no producer, writer or director attached. Jordan teamed with MGM on “Creed,” which performed with a very profitable $172 million worldwide, proving Jordan’s worth as a leading man.
The original “Thomas Crown Affair,” directed by Norman Jewison, was released in 1968. Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway starred in the film in which McQueen’s character masterminded a Boston bank robbery of $2.66 million without meeting any of the four thieves. Director John McTiernan’s 1999 remake starred Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. The film was a solid hit, grossing $124 million worldwide.
Jordan, obviously younger than the two former leading men, will likely bring a fresh, contemporary energy to the role, and hopefully this elevated genre vehicle will increase his staying power at the box office.
This is two minutes and forty three seconds of just pure sublime. It’s Ryan Coogler’s Creed, the MGM/New Line film that Warner Bros will release this fall. This isn’t just another installment of Rocky. After Coogler and Michael B. Jordan teamed on the Sundance sensation Fruitvale Station, each of these young guys had their pick of projects. Coogler used his currency on his dream to make Creed. Turns out that while he was growing up, Coogler’s father showed him the Rocky movies to instill the notion of heroes and the idea that dreams can come true with hard work.
As he became an accomplished wide receiver at Sacramento State and a budding filmmaker, Coogler’s father later came down with ALS. All of the touchstones of his life are rolled into this movie and it required him to win the trust of Sylvester Stallone, who was very protective over his first and most memorable character creation. When the movie became a reality, there was no one else he wanted to play the role of Apollo Creed’s son (it started out as grandson, but that evolved).
It is becoming a right of passage for actors to play ring heroes, and, just like Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw, Miles Teller in Bleed for This and Edgar Ramirez in Hands Of Stone, Jordan accepted the challenge and got himself into rocking gym shape. The film follows the late Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Johnson stepping into the boxing ring, a profession which killed his father in Rocky IV when he battled Russian fighter Drago. “Your Daddy died in the ring,” a trainer reminds the young Creed who retorts, “That got nothin’ to do with me.” Adonis turns to Rocky Balboa to train him. At this point, The Italian Stallion has completely checked out of the boxing game.
Best part in the trailer that will raise hairs, is when the young Creed meets Rocky:
“I heard about a third fight between you and Apollo behind close doors, is that true?,” asks the fighter.
Common has committed to star in the ensemble cast of Barbershop 3, the MGM sequel that New Line will distribute. He joins Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer, who are reprising their roles from the first two movies, and The Best Man franchise director Malcolm D. Lee, who’s helming. Cube Vision is producing and MGM will run production. Bob Teitel and George Tillman Jr. of State Street Pictures are the lead producers. The script is by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver.
Common has been busy since winning the Oscar for Best Original Song in the film Selma. He is starring in the Rob Reiner-directed Being Charlie as well as the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad and the Martin Campbell-directed Hunter Killer.
It’s been over a decade since Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and director Antoine Fuqua patrolled the mean streets of Los Angeles in “Training Day,” and it looks like that team is looking to head to the Wild West for their next collaboration.
Sources say the Oscar-nominated Hawke is in final negotiations to join Washington in MGM’s “Magnificent Seven” remake with Fuqua directing.
Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett are also on board to star.
The 1960 original, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai,” starred Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. It centered on seven gunslingers who protect an oppressed Mexican village from a group of outlaws.
The script was most recently reworked by John Lee Hancock, with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto writing the previous draft.
MGM is hoping the pairing of Hawke with Washington leads to the same success the two saw on crime drama “Training Day,” which overperformed at the box office and led to both men receiving Oscar nominations, with Washington eventually taking home the prize.
Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua are in early talks to pair up yet again on MGM’s remake of “The Magnificent Seven.” Both men have the offers and while Washington is still weighing his options. Sources say it’s possible both will commit.
The original movie starred Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen and revolved around seven gunslingers that protect an oppressed Mexican village from a group of outlaws.
The script was reworked by John Lee Hancock, with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto writing the previous version.
Washington and Fuqua first teamed up on the hit “Training Day” (for which Washington earned a Best Actor Oscar) and their next film, “The Equalizer” opens this September.