Tag: Sanaa Lathan

“Perfect Guy” Writer Tyger Williams Thrills Again with “Bad Influence” at Broad Green Pictures

Tyger Williams
Screenwriter Tyger Williams (MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Broad Green Pictures is developing the drama “Bad Influence,” based on a pitch from “The Perfect Guy” writer Tyger Williams.

The story is centered on a single mother who has to deal with her son’s obsessive ex-girlfriend. Producers are Offspring partners Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman.

“The Perfect Guy,” starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, was a major success for Screen Gems with a worldwide gross of $60 million on a $12 million budget. Williams writing credits also include the Hughes Brothers film “Menace II Society” in 1994.

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Gina Prince-Bythewood and Sanaa Lathan Reunite for Racially-Charged Police Shooting TV Project at Fox

Sanaa Lathan
Sanaa Lathan (PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX)

Fox is developing a new event series revolving around a racially-motivated police shooting.  The project hails from “Love & Basketball” writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood and will star Sanaa Lathan, who starred in the 2000 film.

The untitled event series examines the dangerous aftermath of a police shooting when an African-American cop kills a white teen in Tennessee. Lathan (“The Perfect Guy”) will play an expert investigator who digs into the case, alongside a yet-to-be-cast special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice. The duo must navigate the media attention, public debate and social unrest that accompany such a volatile case, as they seek justice before the divided town erupts into a race war.

The announcement of the project comes amidst of an uproar of recent media attention on racially-motivated police attacks, most notably the Trayvon Martin case, in which the African American teenager was fatally shot by George Zimmerman. The Fox project, however, features a race-flipped scenario with a white teen being killed by a black cop.

Prince-Bythewood, along with Reggie Rock Bythewood, will serve as writers and exec producers on the 20th Century Fox project, which will be directed by Prince-Bythewood. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will also exec produce. Prince-Bythewood’s Undisputed Cinema and Imagine Television will also produce.

The event series reunites Lathan and Gina Prince-Bythewood, who worked together “Love & Basketball.” Prince-Bythewood and Bythewood also worked together on “Beyond the Lights.”

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

The ‘Perfect Guy’ for the Job: Why ‘Menace II Society’ Screenwriter Tyger Williams Had to Wait 22 Years for His Next Hit

“The Perfect Guy” and “Menace To Society” screenwriter Tyger Williams (photo via grantland.com)

Shortly after Menace II Society was released in the summer of 1993, the Los Angeles Times profiled the film’s screenwriter, Tyger Williams. A 24-year-old wunderkind living his dream, Williams was no longer mooching off his parents. His film was the toast of Hollywood. The future was bright. Still, he remained pragmatic. “I do my art,” he told the paper, “but I understand the realities of the business I work in.”

The article stated that Williams and Menace directors Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes had already started working on their next project, “an urban action thriller” titled Public Enemez. The film never went into production, and the Hughes brothers soon moved on to Dead Presidents, their 1995 heist film. Williams, however, struggled to land a follow-up to his harrowing debut.

“After Menace I did the usual writing, pitching, rewriting, the whole development treadmill,” Williams tells me. “For one reason or another — regime changes, actors not being available, a changing climate — nothing got made.”

For more than two decades, nothing got made.

Continue reading “The ‘Perfect Guy’ for the Job: Why ‘Menace II Society’ Screenwriter Tyger Williams Had to Wait 22 Years for His Next Hit”

Sanaa Lathan Thriller “The Perfect Guy” Takes 1st Place at Weekend Box Office with $26.7 Million

the-perfect-guy

Thriller “The Perfect Guy” narrowly beat out horror film “The Visit” for first place at the weekend box office, picking up a leading $26.7 million.

“The Visit,” M. Night Shyamalan’s return to the shock and chills genre that made him famous with “The Sixth Sense,” was close behind with a sterling $25.7 million. Going into the weekend, both films were expected to pull in between $15 million and $17 million.

“The Perfect Guy” has more than doubled its $12 million budget in a single weekend, putting it on a path to profitability. The story of a successful lobbyist (Sanaa Lathan) who rebounds from a breakup by embarking on a new relationship with a Mr. Wrong (Michael Ealy) was backed by Sony’s ScreenGems division. The studio had a similar success on the same weekend last year when “No Good Deed,” a thriller with Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, debuted to $24.2 million.

“It’s ideal timing, because there’s not a lot of competition in the marketplace and you can really stand out with a slightly lower [ad] spend,” said Josh Greenstein, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Sony.

In order to bring in its audience while keeping costs at a minimum, the studio aggressively went after African-American moviegoers. It launched a BET Awards takeover for “The Perfect Guy” and also debuted a customized trailer to appear alongside “Straight Outta Compton” that was wordless save for a sultry rendition of “I Put a Spell On You.”

“We wanted to sell it as a sexy, taut thriller,” said Greenstein. The picture marks the first ScreenGems title he has handled the marketing campaign for since he was brought over to Sony from Paramount Pictures in 2014.

article by Brent Lang via Variety.com

 

Sanaa Lathan Executive Producing and Starring in “Flyy Girl’ Movie Adaptation

Sanaa Lathan
Sanaa Lathan (TIBRINA HOBSON/FILMMAGIC)

Sanaa Lathan will star in and executive produce the movie adaptation of Omar Tyree’s “Flyy Girl” book trilogy for Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films.  Lathan will portray the film’s protagonist, Tracy Ellison — a successful businesswoman and workaholic who believes that money is always the key to happiness.

Lathan will also star in Lionsgate’s “Now You See Me 2″ and the upcoming production of “The Best Man Wedding.”  “So many people have grown up on this series and I’m looking forward to bringing Tracy Ellison’s story to life through film,” Lathan said. “It’s my hope to continue to help bring diverse stories to the big screen.”

Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”) will write the script.

“Lathan’s star power paired with Fletcher’s nuanced script work — we’re confident that ‘Flyy Girl’ will prove to be a classic,” Codeblack Films President Jeff Clanagan said.

Lathan’s credits iclude “Brown Sugar,” “Best Man’s Holiday” and “Love and Basketball.”

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

“True Blood”‘s Rutina Wesley Books Lead Role in ABC’s Cop Drama Pilot “Broad Squad”

Rutina Wesley

This marks the second TV casting for Rutina Wesley during this pilot season – the first, although not for a pilot, was announced a month ago, when she joined the cast of NBC’s “Hannibal” as a pivotal character from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” novel, for the next season. She’ll play Reba McClane, a blind woman who enters into a relationship with the psychotic Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), and helps soothe his murderous urges – at least at first. “Hannibal” will return to NBC this summer.

The “True Blood” actress has now landed a lead role in ABC’s cop drama pilot titled “Broad Squad,” which, inspired by real-life stories, follows the first 4 women to graduate from Boston’s Police Academy in 1978.

Wesley will play Joanne, a lesbian, described as strong, strict and reserved, who prefers to keep her personal life private, in large part because she’s gay. She’s also a hard worker – a character trait that’s influenced by the fact that she’s black and a woman, and believes that, given her skin color and gender, she will have to work 10 times as hard as her fellow squad members, in order to be recognized and move up the proverbial ladder.

Wesley joins a cast that also includes Charlotte Spencer and Cody Horn, who play 2 of the other “broads” in the “Squad.”

“Broad Squad” will be written by Bess Wohl (“CSI: NY”) which will be executive produced by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Aaron Kaplan.  Coky Geirdroyc will direct the pilot.

Wesley will next be seen on the big screen, alongside Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan and Morris Chestnut in Sony/Screen Gems thriller titled “The Perfect Guy,” which follows a woman (Lathan) who meets an IT expert (Ealy), who seems to be the perfect guy. But after a sexually-charged courtship, she sees a violent side of him and dissolves the budding relationship. In a jealous rage and fueled by insane revenge, he disrupts her life.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

Morris Chestnut Signs Three-Picture Deal with Screen Gems

Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut has inked a 3-picture deal with Sony’s Screen Gems, that will see him act in, as well as produce projects for the studio.

He’s already booked for the upcoming thriller “The Perfect Guy,” which he co-stars in with Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, and he’s now also landed a starring role in the psychological thriller “When the Bough Breaks,” joining Regina Hall.

To be directed by Jon Cassar, “When the Bough Breaks” (previously titled “The Surrogate”), tells the story of a couple who hire a surrogate to have their baby, but, as you might expect, things don’t go entirely as expected.

Director Cassar’s resume includes helming episodes of hit TV series like “24,” “Daybreak” (which starred Taye Diggs), “La Femme Nikita,” the most recently-broadcast “24: Live Another Day,” and more. He’s also currently finishing a western titled “Forsaken,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, and Demi Moore.

Production on “The Surrogate” is set for early winter, with Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, producing.

Meanwhile, Chestnut’s 3rd project under his 3-picture deal with Screen Gems, will be  called “The Syndicate,” from writer Cliff Dorfman (“Entourage”), which Chestnut is producing.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

“Best Man Holiday” Tops All Expectations by Earning $30.6 Million in Opening Weekend

www.best-man-2-cast

Although Thor: The Dark World hung on to the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend, the big story was a stellar opening for The Best Man Holiday, which trounced all expectations to debut with a studio-estimated $30.6-million.  Disney’s 3-D sequel Thor: the Dark World took in a solid $38.5-million, which represented an expected 55% drop from its opening weekend when it grossed $86 million.

The Best Man Holiday received a coveted average grade of A+ from moviegoers, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That means it joins an elite club of films that have enjoyed long and fruitful box office runs, including Argo, 42, The Help, The King’s Speech, The Blind Side and Titanic.  Going into the weekend, the distributor Universal Pictures projected that The Best Man Holiday would take in a modest $17 million, while prerelease audience surveys indicated the film would start off with around $23 million.

“There’s no crystal ball in guessing this stuff,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president of distribution.  “It was fair to think this film— where 87% of the audience was African American—would open in the high teens.”  That it nearly doubled that estimate is “a phenomenal result,” said Rocco. “I would never have thought in my most non-lucid moment to expect this — the picture only cost $17-million.”  Thanks to the A+ CinemaScore, Rocco says she believes the film will eventually reach a broader audience.

The Best Man Holiday, which is about a group of friends gathering for Christmas, is a sequel to 1999’s The Best Man which grossed $34 million. Both films were directed by Malcolm D. Lee and star a number of the same actors, including Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard and Nia Long.

article by Jessica Gelt via latimes.com

“The Best Man Holiday” Official Trailer Released (VIDEO)

Best Man Holiday Cast PhotoThis week, Universal Pictures released the official trailer to The Best Man Holiday, the upcoming sequel to the 1999 film, The Best Man. Writer/director Malcolm D. Lee is at the helm again, and he has reunited his all-star cast of Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Harold Perrineau, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall for a story set fifteen years later during the Christmas holidays.  The movie is scheduled for wide release on November 15.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

“Best Man Holiday” Teaser Trailer Out; Movie in Theatres November 15

Best ManThe Best Man is returning to the big screen this fall.  The gang is back and the star-studded cast reunites to film Best Man Holiday. In it, Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall come together fifteen years later.

Universal Pictures has released the teaser trailer to the sequel of the 1999 film, which are both directed and written by Malcolm D. Lee.

The film picks up when the group of friends reunite over the Christmas holidays where rivalries are ignited and romances spark.  The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on November 15.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com