Tag: Mykelti Williamson

Actor/Director Denzel Washington to be Honored by Santa Barbara Film Festival

Denzel Washington Fences
Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington has been selected to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre.

Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry, culminating with Paramount’s upcoming movie “Fences,” which he directs, produces, and stars in.

The award is named for film critic Leonard Maltin, who will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening.  Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director, said, “Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in ‘Fences’ defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century.”

Washington portrays a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

The screenplay is written August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. Paramount opens “Fences” on Dec. 25.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/denzel-washington-santa-barbara-film-festival-1201928237/

‘Rebel’ Cast Set: John Singleton’s BET Pilot Stars Danielle Moné Truitt & Giancarlo Esposito

Danielle Truitt and Giancarlo Esposito
Danielle Truitt and Giancarlo Esposito (photo via deadline.com)

article by Nellie Andreeva and Erik Pedersen via deadline.com

BET has set the cast for Rebel, its two-hour police-drama pilot from filmmaker John Singleton. Stage actress Danielle Moné Truitt is set as the lead, Oakland cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight, and Breaking Bad alum Giancarlo Esposito will play her lieutenant, who’s a friend and mentor. Mykelti Williamson, Cliff “Method Man” Smith and Brandon Quinn co-star.

The show examines the unique and conflicted relationship officers of color have with their jobs at a time when police forces are rife with brutality and misconduct. Officer Cole has excelled by playing by the rules but always has known that she must be better and smarter on the job because she is both black and female. After her brother is killed by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community. Caught between family loyalty and the fraternity in blue, Rebel’s actions set in motion a cause-and-effect crisis that can’t be undone.

Mykelti Williamson Method Man Brandon Quinn 3-shot

Williamson will play Rebel’s father Rene Knight, a strong but broken man. Although he loves his daughter dearly, he blames her for the death of her brother, Malik. Smith is TJ, Rebel’s ex-husband. They share a history in the military that bonds them for life. Although he’s moved on, there is still a lot of passion between them, and he can’t seem to stay away. Quinn will portray Rebel’s partner Thompson “Mack” McIntyre, whose decision to shoot at Rebel’s brother places him squarely between her career and her family.

Rebel is produced by MarVista Entertainment for BET and co-written, executive produced and directed by Singleton. Dallas Jackson also is an Executive Producer. Production on the two-hour pilot began this week in Los Angeles.

To read more, go to:  http://deadline.com/2016/06/rebel-pilot-cast-giancarlo-esposito-danielle-truitt-john-singleton-bet-1201769874/

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

“Underground” Renewed for Second Season on WGN America

Underground WGN TV Review
“Underground” starring Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell  (COURTESY OF WGN)

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

“Underground,” the critically acclaimed first-year drama about the Underground Railroad and the most-watched original scripted series ever for WGN America, has been renewed for a second season.

The network announced Monday that “Underground” will return for a 10-episode second season in 2017. Production will get under way this summer for the series, which hails from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.

Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” averages 3 million total viewers on Wednesday nights this season, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. It grows on average from its same-day numbers by roughly 130%, and is the No. 6-rated scripted series premiere for any cable drama this season. Last week, it was Wednesday’s No. 1 original scripted cable series across all key demos in “live plus-3” ratings.

Compared with the WGN American primetime average this season, “Underground” is delivering roughly six times as many total viewers and about 11 times as many adults 18-49, according to L+7 Nielsen estimates.

“Underground” follows a courageous group of American heroes who attempt a daring flight to freedom in one of the greatest escapes in history. It is executive-produced by Misha Green, Joe Pokaski, John Legens, Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Anthony Hemingway.

The cast includes Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, Adina Porter, Mykelti Williamson, Amirah Vann, Johnny Ray Gill, Chris Chalk, Reed Diamond, Theodus Crane, James Lafferty, Renwick Scott and Jussie Smollett.

Continue reading ““Underground” Renewed for Second Season on WGN America”

Denzel Washington to Direct and Star in “Fences” Movie for Paramount

Denzel Washington Cecil B. DeMille
Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington will star in and direct a movie version of August Wilson’s “Fences” for Paramount Pictures with Viola Davis on board to star.

Both actors won Tony Awards for their performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of “Fences.” Bron Creative and Macro are producing the movie with Washington, based on Wilson’s screen adaptation of his Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Scott Rudin and Todd Black are producing with Washington. Executive producers are Eli Bush; Bron Creative’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Andy Pollack; Macro’s Charles D. King and Kim Roth along with co-executive producer Poppy Hanks.

Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures said, “This important and beloved play has been a passion of Denzel’s for many years and it is with great excitement that we embark together to bring his dream project to the big screen.”

“Fences” is the story of a one-time promising baseball player, now working as a Pittsburgh garbage collector, and the complicated relationships with his wife, son, and friends. The film’s ensemble cast includes Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo and Saniyya Sydney.

“Fences” is Washington’s third outing behind the camera following “The Great Deabaters” and “Antwone Fisher.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/denzel-washington-viola-davis-starring-fences-movie-1201750942/

John Legend’s Scripted Drama “Underground” Releases First-Look Trailer (VIDEO)

WGN America just released a chilling first-look teaser for Underground, the upcoming original scripted series scheduled to debut early next year.  The drama takes center stage as plantation slaves band together in the fight of their lives for their families, their future … and most importantly, their freedom.

Hailing from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, Underground  was filmed in Baton Rouge, LA. John Legend and his production company are in charge of the score and soundtrack for Underground.

Legend most recently won an Oscar alongside rapper Common for Best Original Song “Glory” from Selma.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jussie Smollett, Christopher Meloni, Aldis Hodge, Adina Porter, Alano Miller, and Mykelti Williamson round out the cast for the series.

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article via thegrio.com