Michael B. Jordan Starring in MGM’s ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ Remake

Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan (ROB LATOUR/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

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.

More on this project as it develops.

Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and “Training Day” Director Antoine Fuqua Reteam on “Magnificent Seven”

Denzel Crushes "Fences"!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.

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Director Steve McQueen and Harry Belafonte Join Forces for Paul Robeson Film

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Director Steve McQueen backstage at the Tracy Reese fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 at Art Beam on Sept. 7, 2014, in New York City. (VIVIEN KILLILEA/GETTY IMAGES)

Earlier this year, Steve McQueen earned three Oscars for his film 12 Years a Slave, which told the story of Solomon Northup and his fight for freedom after being captured and forced into slavery. McQueen’s telling of Northup’s story not only opened up a bit of history many people never knew about but also gave insight into what McQueen’s thought process is when it comes to making a film. And his next film isn’t any different.

Speaking at the Hidden Heroes Awards in New York City on Monday, McQueen revealed to the attendees that his next movie will be about Paul Robeson. Robeson was the quintessential Renaissance man, from his early start as a scholar and athlete at Rutgers University to singing his well-known song “Ol’ Man River.” Outside of the arts, Robeson was also a powerful voice during the civil rights movement. But some of his political views weren’t always welcome. During the McCarthy era, Robeson was labeled a communist and blacklisted, but that didn’t stop him from expressing his opinion.

“His life and legacy was the film I wanted to make the second after Hunger. But I didn’t have the power, I didn’t have the juice,” McQueen said, according to The Guardian. McQueen also credits a neighbor for piquing his interest about Robeson when he passed an article to him.

“It was about this black guy who was in Wales and was singing with these miners,” McQueen recalled. “I was about 14 years old, and not knowing who Paul Robeson was, this black American in Wales, it seemed strange. So then, of course, I just found out that this man was an incredible human being.”

Not only will McQueen’s movie look into various aspects of Robeson’s life, but he’ll also have the help of Robeson’s friend, the iconic Harry Belafonte. Although Belafonte’s role in the film has yet to be discussed, the award-winning actor said only good things about McQueen.

“We get on like a house on fire,” McQueen told The Guardian. “I never thought I’d make a new friend, and a man who is 87 years old, but I’m very happy. He’s a beautiful man.”

McQueen hasn’t revealed who he has in mind to play Robeson, but he’s definitely eager to start working with Belafonte. “Miracles do happen. With Paul Robeson and Harry Belafonte, things have come full circle, “McQueen stated.

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Denzel Washington, Antoine Fuqua in Talks to Remake Film Classic “Magnificent Seven”

Denzel Washington Broadway Raisin

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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.

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

“12 Years A Slave” Triumphs with Oscars for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress

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12 Years A Slave topped off its amazing awards-season run by earning the Best Picture Oscar tonight at the 86th Academy Awards. 12 Years director/producer Steve McQueen and producer Brad Pitt accepted the award at the end of a night that also saw writer John Ridley win for Best Adapted Screenplay, and rising star Lupita Nyong’o triumph in the Best Supporting Actress category.  According to Variety.com, McQueen made history by becoming the first black producer to ever win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

The star-studded night also saw an energizing performance of “Happy” by Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams (who danced with Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in the aisles), a brief a cappella version of “Eye on the Sparrow” from Darlene Love during the Best Feature Documentary acceptance speech for 20 Feet From Stardom and Oscar presentations from Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, Tyler Perry, Gabourey Sidibe, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and the first black man to ever win a Leading Actor Oscar, Sidney Poitier.

best-supporting-actress-academy-awards-1One of the biggest highlights of the evening was Nyong’o’s acceptance speech, where she honored those who suffered so she could shine:

Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

Nyong’o then went on to thank McQueen, co-star and Best Actor nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, her family and her chosen family, before closing with encouragement to children everywhere:

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

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“12 Years a Slave” Wins Best Feature and More at Independent Spirit Awards

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According to Variety.com12 Years a Slave dominated the Independent Spirit Awards today, winning Best Feature,  Best Director for Steve McQueen, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley12 Years also took the cinematography award for Sean Bobbitt.  McQueen dedicated his Best Director award to Solomon Northup, whose life and book was the basis for the searing historical drama, and also gave thanks to Chiwetel Ejiofor — the “soul” of the film.

In her acceptance speech, a composed Nyong’o said breathlessly that she had not been aware initially of the distinction of independent films, but said she then realized, “Independent film is where stuff actually happens.”  Nyong’o noted that it was her birthday and concluded her speech by thanking her mother for supporting her choice to become an actress.

Fruitvale Station finally gained some much-deserved recognition this awards season, winning Best First Feature for writer/director Ryan Coogler and its cast.  Coogler gave a moving acceptance speech honoring Oscar Grant that received a standing ovation.

Matthew McConaughey won the best actor trophy as an activist for Dallas Buyers Club and Cate Blanchett took the best actress award for her portrayal of the neurotic title character in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. A full list of winners appears below.

In order to be nominated, each film has to have less than a $20 million production budget. To vote, one need only buy a $95 per year membership in Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival.

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NAACP Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer of the Year, “12 Years A Slave” Wins Best Picture

Kevin Hart wins Entertainer of the

(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year while 12 Years a Slave racked up another four awards including for Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards, which were held Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  Hart said he was a “real mama’s boy” and dedicated his prize to his mother, who recently passed away.

Director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley won kudos for “12 Years” during a non-televised portion of the show Friday, while Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o said she was honored to win for a film ”that has inspired discourse long overdue.”

Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo were honored for their roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Angela Bassett won the Lead Actress prize for Black Nativity. Whitaker was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.  “I’m one of those with a funny accent and an African name,” Oyelowo referencing emcee Anthony Anderson’s earlier jokes about Brit actors with their accents and African names in his speech who cross the Pond to grab roles in Hollywood.  Meanwhile, Whitaker quoted a song from Nat King Cole, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved.”

On the television side, Hart and his BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood were honored for comedy, while Kerry Washington, Joe Morton and ABC’s Scandal picked up three awards for drama. Since showrunner Shonda Rhimes was unable to attend, Washington accepted the Scandal award. In her own acceptance speech, Washington said, “The historic nature of this role is due not to lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.”

The NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live on TV One and hosted by Anthony Anderson. Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Director’s Guild (DGA) president Paris Barclay were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. Both are the first African-American presidents of their respective organizations. Barclay referenced his upbringing saying, “I’m the first in a long line of factory workers.”  Boone Isaacs said AMPAS invited more women and minority this year than it ever has. “We still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to it,” she said to applause.

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