Photo by WENN.com

Rapper/actor Tip "T.I." Harris has been added to the cast of an upcoming Aretha Franklin TV project, Genius: Aretha. The "ASAP" hitmaker portrays Franklin's one-time lover, fashion designer Ken Cunningham.

Actress Cynthia Erivo will star as the late music icon in Genius: Aretha, an authorized limited TV series that chronicles the life and legacy of the late Queen of Soul.

Although production was halted earlier this month due to the global coronavirus chaos, show officials have unveiled new cast additions.

Photo may have been deleted

Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

T.I., 39, will play socially-conscious New York entrepreneur Cunningham, who approaches Aretha to invest in his fashion business, and ends up embarking on a relationship with the singer.

Cunningham eventually became the singer's road manager, and fathered her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, who was born in April, 1970.

Notorious star Antonique Smith and acting newcomers Tina Fears and Ethan Henry have also been added to the line-up, with Henry set to portray civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The news was released to coincide with what would have been Aretha's 78th birthday on Wednesday, March 25.

Producers at National Geographic Network marked the occasion by releasing a new image of Erivo as the "Respect" legend.

Genius: Aretha, which also stars Courtney B. Vance as the musician's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was due to premiere this spring, but will now launch at a later date.

The TV series isn't the only screen project about Aretha in the works - Jennifer Hudson is also playing Franklin in a new movie biopic, titled Respect, which is set to debut this Christmas.

The biopic was pushed back from its previously-announced October opening, according to Deadline.

Source: WENN.com

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Here's a story to take your mind off the coronavirus: Disney Plus released the trailer for "Elephant", narrated by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

The film follows one family of elephants as they make an extraordinary journey across the Kalahari Desert in Africa - an adventure that will change their lives.

The trailer does not feature Meghan's narration, but we all know what she sounds like.

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry begged Disney chairman Bob Iger to give her a voiceover gig when they met him during the London premiere of the Lion King in July.

Their less than royal behavior was an embarrassment to the royal family and is partly the reason the former royal couple decided to step back from their royal duties to seek fame and fortune on their own.

"Elephant" streams April 3rd on Disney Plus.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Screen grab: YouTube.com

Jordan Peele released the gory first trailer for his thriller 'Candyman'. The MGM/Universal Pictures remake was released on Thursday and tells the story of an artist fixated on finding a mysterious hook-handed killer, who appears when his name is repeated 5 times.

Jordan's version of Candyman is set in 1992 in Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing projects. The last of the buildings that comprised Cabrini-Green Homes was demolished in March 2011.

The area where the projects once stood is now a landscape of gleaming high-rise buildings and upscale townhouses on the gentrified Near North Side of Chicago.

According to urban legend, "Candyman" is summoned when anyone repeats his name 5 times in a mirror.

"The urban legend is, if you say his name five times while looking in the mirror, he appears in the reflection and it kills you," says Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays artist Anthony McCoy.

Candyman's murderous rampage begins when a group of girls says his name five times in a mirror and are promptly murdered.

McCoy becomes obsessed with finding out if the Candyman is real. He takes photos around the old Cabrini-Green neighborhood, basing his art exhibit on the elusive slasher, as bodies begin piling up.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Photos by WENN.com, Getty Images

Katherine Johnson, the NASA space scientist and mathematician who's calculations helped send astronauts into space, passed away of natural causes at age 101.

Johnson's groundbreaking career played a key role in the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

The space pioneer's death was announced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday, Feb. 24.

"We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson," the statement read. "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers."

Actress Taraji P. Henson penned a heartfelt tribute to the NASA scientist she portrayed in the Oscar nominated 2016 movie Hidden Figures.

Henson, 49, took to Instagram on Monday to share an image of Johnson alongside a touching dedication.

"Thank you QUEEN #KatherineJohnson for sharing your intelligence, poise, grace and beauty with the world!" she wrote.

"Because of your hard work little girls EVERYWHERE can dream as big as the MOON!!! Your legacy will live on FORVER AND EVER!!! You ran so we could fly!!! I will forever be honored to have been a part of bringing your story to life.

"You/your story was hidden and thank GOD you are #hiddennomore God bless your beautiful family. I am so honored to have sat and broke bread with you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you! #RIHKatherineJohnson #representationmatters."

Source: WENN.com

Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Esther Scott, who appeared in the coming of age film Boyz N the Hood, died in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack at her Santa Monica home. She was 66.

Scott's representative conformed her death in a statement on Tuesday. Scott appeared in 73 films and TV shows including Beverly Hills 90210, Full House, Sister Sister, The Steve Harvey Show and Party of Five.

Scott is best known for playing the grandmother of Tisha in Boyz N the Hood. She was also a character actress in the movies You Got Served (2004), Dreamgirls (2006), Transformers (2007) and The Birth of a Nation (2016).

"She loved the work she did," a family rep told PEOPLE. "She loved her fans. She was always humbled and honored when her fans acknowledged and recognized her. She'll be missed."

Photo by Apega/WENN.com

Issa Rae wants to showcase romances that don't "center on whiteness" in her upcoming movies. The actress currently stars in two romantic movies with Black leading men this year.

The Los Angeles native stars in The Photograph, a drama with Lakeith Stanfield, and The Lovebirds, a romantic comedy with Kumail Nanjiani as her leading man.

Photo by Nicky Nelson/WENN.com

Speaking to Variety, the 35-year-old said her movies are important because they show Black relationships that are often excluded from Hollywood films, while interracial relationships are pushed to the forefront.

"Every time there's an interracial romance, it feels like it centers on whiteness, and it doesn't have to," she said. "Just so you know, there are people who don't procreate with just white people."

Reflecting on the issue of diversity in Hollywood, after vocalizing her disappointment that the 2020 Oscars nominations were white and male, she added she hopes to see a change in the near future.

Photo by Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com

"I don't feel like it's up to me to answer those questions. Like, I'm doing the work. I'm out here. I'm employing who I need to employ, I'm telling the stories that I need to tell," she said. "Those questions need to be asked to the powers-that-be. It needs to be asked to the white people who run this industry."

Issa added: "Hopefully, something will be done... I think it's easy to be like, '(clapping) I'm so glad he said something. Next. Let's go get tacos.'"

Rae, who is rumored to be a discreet lesbian, made Glamour Magazine's "35 Under 35" list in 2013 and the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in both 2013 and 2014.

Photo may have been deleted

Photo: Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o paid tribute to her "Queen of Katwe" co-star Nikita Pearl Waliga in a touching Instagram post on Sunday, following the announcement of the 15-year-old's tragic death from brain cancer.

The teenager died at TMR International Hospital in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Saturday, according to a Twitter announcement from the school in Uganda where she was a student.

Waliga was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and, after radiation therapy, she was told she was cancer-free a year later. However, another tumor was detected in 2019, WENN.com reports.

Photo may have been deleted

Screen grab: Imdb.com

Nikita (right) was best known for her only starring role in Queen of Katwe as Gloria, a friend of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi (played by Madina Nalwanga). The film also starred David Oyelowo and Lupita, who played Mutesi's mother in the Disney film.

Sharing a snap of Nikita from the movie, Lupita wrote:

"It is with great sadness that I post about the passing of Nikita Waligwa, the sweet, warm, talented girl whom I worked with on the film, Queen Of Katwe. She played Gloria with such vibrancy. In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer.

"My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon. May she truly rest in piece [sic]. May it be well with her soul."

 

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Character actress, singer, dancer and choreographer Paula Kelly died of natural causes on Sunday, February 9, at age 76, according to Broadway World.

Kelly made her Broadway debut in the 1964 musical Something More! She worked with other artists and choreographed numerous television specials, including Sammy and Friends (starring Sammy Davis Jr.).

Kelly performed a dance solo at the 41st Annual Academy Awards in 1968. She also won the London Variety Award for Best Supporting Actress in the London stage play Sweet Charity with dancer and actress Juliet Prowse.

Kelly's film credits include Trouble Man; Uptown Saturday Night (with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier); Soylent Green (with Charlton Heston); Andromeda Strain; Jo Jo dancer, Your Life is Calling (with Richard Pryor); and Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored, among other films.

Her TV credits included Sanford and Son; The Carol Burnett Show; Kojak; Good Times; and The Richard Pryor Show. She also played a voodoo priestess/housekeeper in an episode of The Golden Girls.

Kelly was nominated for an EMMY Award for her recurring role as Liz Williams on the first season of the TV sitcom Night Court.

Kelly was married to TV director Don Chaffey (Charlie's Angels). They had one child together before he died of a heart attack in 1990.
 

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Acting legend Kirk Douglas died from natural causes at his Hollywood home on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Son Michael Douglas announced the passing of the 'Spartacus' star in a statement, which reads: "It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.

Photo may have been deleted

Sreencapture: YouTube.com

"To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard of us all to aspire to... but to me and my brothers, Joel and Peter, he was simply dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband."

According to WENN.com, New York-born Kirk, real name Issur Danielovitch, started his acting career onstage in New York in 1940 before he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Following service in World War II, the son of Russian emigrants returned to the theater and then found fame on the big screen.

He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1959 for his role in Champion and went on to become one of the most revered Hollywood icons of the 1960s and 1970s.

Douglas survived a helicopter crash in 1991 and a stroke in 1996. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and was also honored with France's top award, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

Considered one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Kirk was nominated for three Oscar awards but he never won.

He was finally presented with an honorary Oscar in 1995, a year before suffering a stroke.

Photo by Juan Rico/BACKGRID

Will Smith (left) and Martin Lawrence pose for photos at the Hollywood Premiere of their film Bad Boys for Life, held at The TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Bad Boys for Life opens everywhere on Jan. 17.
 

Photo by NGRE / BACKGRID

Actors Vivica A. Fox (left) and LisaRaye dined together at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills after attending the Hollywood Premiere of Bad Boys for Life, held at The TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
 

Photo by Juan Rico/BACKGRID

Martin, 54, posed with his fiancée Roberta Moradfar (center) and his daughters: (L-R) Jasmine Page Lawrence, Amara Trinity Lawrence and Iyanna Faith Lawrence at the Hollywood Premiere of Bad Boys for Life.

Photo by Prince Williams/ATLpics.net

One of the most anticipated movies for the new year is Just Mercy, starring award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson. Just Mercy is about a lawyer who works tirelessly to win freedom for Black prisoners on death row.

Jamie is pictured far right partying with Majic 107.5/97.5 FM radio host Ryan Cameron (far left), singer Tank, 2nd from left, Kenny Burns, 2nd from right, at Compound nightclub in Atlanta in 2010.

Ryan spoke with Jamie Foxx about his new film, Just Mercy, his children now becoming stars in their own right, his new projects, and returning to the stage as a standup comedian.

Listen to the full interview below.
 

Photo by Steve Rogers Photography/Getty Images

Former James Bond actor George Lazenby says the James Bond franchise has to change because today's men are "less masculine" than they were in his day.

Lazenby played manly agent 007 James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He offered his opinion on actress Lashana Lynch taking over as fictitious agent 007 after actor Daniel Craig plays his fifth and final role as Bond in No Time to Die.

Photo by Image Press / BACKGRID

Lynch plays a British agent who takes over Bond's assignments when he retires from active service in No Time to Die.

The news that a woman is stepping into Craig's macho shoes does not sit well with Bond fans.

But Lazenby accepts a woman playing Bond. He said today's men are less masculine now than they were back when he was Bond.

"Men haven't got the balls they had 50 years ago," the 80-year-old told London's Daily Mail.

"When I was born my mother had to get permission to speak. And now the men have to [get permission to speak]. It's a different time. And, well, the movies have to show that."

He added: "You just have to look at the newscast. 75 percent of the people are women and before it was ten percent, so women have taken over. I don't say that as a bad thing, but it's different."

No photo

Promo photo: Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures has one of the biggest flops in movie history on its hands. On opening day, Cats took in just $2.6 million, which doesn't scratch the surface of the film's $95 million production budget. The musical earned a total of $6.5 million on opening weekend.

In an unprecedented move on Friday, Universal notified theaters that it was pulling the film and replacing it with an updated version with "improved visual effects."

The swap was made via digital download in a satellite uplink on Sunday, Dec. 22.

For theaters that couldn't access the server, Universal shipped digital prints on hard drives that will arrive by Tuesday, Dec. 24.

Movie managers tell The Hollywood Reporter that swapping out a major theatrical release in mid-run is unheard of.

Cats stars Jennifer Hudson (pictured above), Taylor Swift, Dame Judi Dench, and Francesca Hayward in the CATastrophic film adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical.

No photo

Promo photo: Universal Pictures

According to published reports, Universal's "improved visual effects" include the removal of human hands from at least one of the cats. Other improvements include blurring the creepy photorealistic cat fur that appears to grow from human skin.

The 1st trailer revealing the film's nightmare-inducing "digital fur technology" resulted in a massive backlash on YouTube. Cat lovers were horrified by house cats with human faces and hands.

Moviegoers say the star-studded cast resemble escapees from a laboratory that conducts animal experiments.

Fans of the Broadway musical wondered why Universal didn't use CGI cats with voiceovers by the star-studded cast.

Imagine the uproar if Disney plastered Beyonce's face on Nala in the Lion King.

Remember last week when director Tom Hooper laughed at the negative reaction to the trailer? He isn't laughing now.

Variety.com writes, "At the end of the day, one wonders whether Hooper has even spent much time around cats."

Photo by Nicky Nelson/WENN.com

Queen & Slim director Melina Matsoukas says she wasn't surprised that her film was snubbed by Golden Globes voters.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner Smith as an unlikely couple who go on the run after killing a cop.

Queen & Slim didn't receive a single nomination in any of the 14 film categories voted on by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

Photo by Nicky Nelson/WENN.com

Matsoukas, pictured right with screenwriter Lena Waithe, said, "It's extremely discouraging. It's extremely infuriating. And it just represents an archaic system that is full of people who don't value us.”

Matsoukas tells Variety.com that the members skipped multiple screenings of Queen & Slim that was set up for them.

Matsoukas said only 4 members of HFPA attended the screenings.

"We held three screenings for the HFPA and almost no members attended," Matsoukas said. "For me, it's reflective of their voting body. It's not reflective of the society in which we live in or the industry as it stands today."

She added, "They don't value the stories that represent all of us, and those stories are so often disregarded and discredited, as are their filmmakers."

But critics say the film missed the mark. It is widely believe that Queen & Slim was written James Frey, a white male who has a reputation for being a liar. The movie was promoted as a film written and directed by 2 Black females.

Waithe was dragged on Twitter.com when someone leaked the original script which contained questionable references to slavery.

One Twitter user wrote:

"It was cheap and manipulative to play off of the very real hurt going on in this country right now. Lena should be ashamed of that raggedy ass script."

An HFPA representative told Variety that "Queen & Slim was in the conversation amongst the membership."

The 2020 Golden Globes airs on Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

No photo

Photo: Universal Pictures

If you were creeped out by the trailer for the star-studded movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Cats, you're not alone.

Twitter was so creeped out by the swishing tails and twitching whiskers on the human cast, that the producers were forced to respond to the backlash.

It's one thing to see people dressed up as cats onstage, but transforming humans into cats using computer-generated imagery is just unsettling.

"It would be a little less unsettling if they didn't have human hands, feet, and faces," said one YouTube viewer.

Another viewer wrote: "I imagine this is what a cat sees when overdosing on catnip."

The $100 million movie stars Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Judi Dench as feline-ized humans.

Producer Eric Feliner is unimpressed with the backlash on Twitter. "What does one say? The reality is that 100 million people or more saw the trailer, and, yes, there were some people that didn't like it," said Feliner. "As is the world we live in, those who didn't like it were the most vociferous."

Producer Tim Bevan had a different take on the controversy. He believes the people who hated the trailer just aren't cat people in general.

"They were probably people who didn't know 'Cats', and the fact is they were either anticipating something animated or something that was on four legs," Bevan theorized. "Among people who know 'Cats', the reaction was pretty solid."

Cats is in theaters this Christmas.

Watch the trailer below. But it might creep you out if you're not a cat person.
 

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Will Smith sympathizes with his Aladdin co-star who complained that he has been ignored by Hollywood since the movie surpassed $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

Mena Massoud, an Egyptian-born actor, starred alongside Smith, who received praise as the blue genie.

Massoud told the Daily Beast his career has tanked since the movie's release. He says he is not getting calls from movie studio's offering roles.

"I haven't had a single audition since Aladdin came out," he said. "The big truth is I haven't really seen a big anything from [the film].

Photo by Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com

"It's like, I'm sitting here being like, okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion — can I at least get an audition? Like I'm not expecting you to be like, 'Here’s Batman.' But can I just get in the room?... Can you just give me a chance?"

Massoud, who is 28, believes his age might be hurting his chances to land a movie role in Hollywood.

"I feel like I'm going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor," he said.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Smith was asked to comment on his former co-star when he attended the Hollywood premiere of his new animated film Spies In Disguise on Wednesday.

Smith, 51, seemed surprised to learn that Massoud was an unemployed actor who is down on his luck.

"Uh I'm just hearing that right now so I haven't spoken to Mena," he told Variety.com.

"But he is a spectacular actor, and he has nothing to worry about," he added.

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams misspoke when he claimed to be "gender fluid." The senior citizen has backtracked on his comments, insisting he didn't fully understand what being gender fluid meant.

In an interview with Esquire magazine, the 82-year-old AARP cardholder explained that he uses both male and female pronouns when referring to himself.

Williams said, "I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn't take himself or herself too seriously... And you see I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine."

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

There were reports of Williams' elderly female fans falling out over the news that he might be a cross-dresser or go both ways.

The LGBT+ community was ecstatic and praised Williams for being his authentic self. He was portrayed as an "elder gay" speaking his truth. Filmmaker and friend J.J. Abrams congratulated Williams for his "openness".

But, in a later interview with The Undefeated, Williams clarified his comments, insisting he was simply talking about "men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves".

"I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves. I wasn't talking about sex, I wasn't talking about being gay or straight," he said.

Many social media users suspect Williams trolled his fans to promote his news film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which he reprises his role as Lando Calrissian.

The film opens in theaters in 2 weeks.

No photo

Photos: Getty Images, Corbis

Michelle Obama has invited actress Julia Roberts to join her girls' empowerment trip to Vietnam and Malaysia. Roberts, 52, is best known for her role as a thoughtful hooker in the romantic comedy film Pretty Woman (1990).

The invitation raised eyebrows on Black Twitter where users are still angry that Roberts was being considered to play Harriet Tubman.

Photo by JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

The former First Lady previously teased special guests would join her for the overseas visits.

On Monday, Dec. 2, officials at The Obama Foundation announced that the actress and TV personality Jenna Bush Hager will join Mrs. Obama on the trips, according to WENN.com.

Bosses at the Girls Opportunity Alliance initiative, developed by the Obama Foundation, will join Obama, 55, and the stars when they meet with Vietnamese girls' education organizations beginning on Dec. 9.

Screenplay writer Gregory Allen Howard spent 10 years trying to get a Hollywood studio to green light his script about the famed abolitionist who led thousands of slaves to freedom.

After "Harriet" opened in theaters last month, Howard recalled his first meeting with a Hollywood bigwig about the script in 1994.

"This script is fantastic. Let's get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman," an executive told Howard. But the lone Black producer in the room spoke up, reminding the others that Tubman was Black.

"That was so long ago," the executive responded. "No one is going to know the difference."

Howard did not publicly reveal the name of the studio or the executive.

No photo

Photo: Universal Pictures

The NY Times contributor Carvell Wallace penned an emotional review of the new movie Queen & Slim, in theaters everywhere on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Wallace, a Black father of two teenagers, urges moviegoers to give Queen & Slim a chance. He says they might be among "the great love stories of all time."

Queen & Slim is about a Black couple who meet on Tinder and go out to a Cleveland diner for their first date.

The man (Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya) is a minimum wage Costco cashier whose deep faith in God is reflected on his vanity license plate that reads: "TrustGod."

Queen (played by British newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith) is an uptight defense lawyer and atheist. The date is a disaster from the start. The only reason she went out with him, she says, is because he looked sad in his profile photo, and she felt sorry for him.

Queen has an attitude because one of her clients was sentenced to die on Ohio's death row.

"Was he innocent?" Slim asks. "Does it matter?" she snaps. "The state shouldn't decide who lives or dies."

The movie's flimsy plot line is based on that argument.

After dinner, Slim drives Queen home. On the way, his car is pulled over by an aggressive white cop.

Slim is polite and courteous at first. But Queen, the defense lawyer, knows her rights and just won't stop talking (the film's director, Melina Matsoukas, was "haunted" by the footage of Sandra Bland's arrest).

When Slim asks the cop to hurry it up because he's cold, the cop draws his weapon, because, you know, he fears for his life.

Queen reaches for her cell phone to record the encounter while Slim and the cop struggle over the gun. The gun discharges, grazing Queen on the thigh. Now fearing for his life, Slim kills the cop.

Slim wants to call his folks and turn himself in. He has a good case for self-defense. But Queen, the defense lawyer, decides to throw her law career away by ordering Slim to go on the lam with her.

Matsoukas, who directed Beyonce's music video "Lemonade", takes the couple on a meandering journey from the Midwest to the Deep South.

No photo

Universal Pictures

Their first stop is the home of Queen's Uncle Earl in New Orleans. Uncle Earl (Bokeem Woodbine) is a war veteran and a pimp. Among his scantily clad hookers is Pose star Indya Moore, a cross-dresser who helps Queen remove her box braids so she will be less recognizable while on the run.

Of all the eccentric characters Queen & Slim encounter on their journey, Moore is the least memorable. Yet Wallace spends time describing the moments between the biological female Queen and the male-to-female trans Moore.

"The camera lingers on them in the intimate act of hairdressing; cool light fills the room. Queen breathes slowly, feeling protected for maybe the first time in the film."

It isn't hard to figure out where Wallace is going with this: Queen didn't feel protected when she was with Slim, a heterosexual male?

Wallace was physically and emotionally moved by Queen & Slim. After the film ended, he went into a bathroom for an ugly cry. "I put my sunglasses on because I was bawling, my whole torso heaving," he wrote.

Wallace goes overboard in his praise of the movie, over-exaggerating the "love story" between the two hapless fugitives.

Unlike the real Bonnie & Clyde, who were in a longterm relationship, Queen and Slim barely knew each other. They weren't even planning to go on a second date before the fateful encounter with the cop.

Their brief relationship is described by Wallace as "true, active, life-affirming love... He allows her anger, makes space for her hurt. Isn't this what love is?"

"If you allow it to be, Queen & Slim can be one of the great love stories of all time," Wallace writes.

If Queen & Slim is considered to be the standard for mature, life-affirming love, it is no wonder the divorce rate in America is over 70%.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Samuel L. Jackson's new movie The Banker is in jeopardy after allegations of molestation by the family of the main character's son, who produced the movie.

Jackson, 70, stars in a real-life story about Bernard Garrett, a Black businessman who hired a white man as the face of his financial business before the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. Garrett Sr. gave loans to Black Americans at a time when few banks would accept loan applications from Black people.

The Banker, which was filmed in Atlanta, also stars Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, and Jessie Usher. It was written and directed by George Nolfi.

The film was set to premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, CA on November 21, but the premiere was abruptly canceled by Apple+ after family members of the main character's son made serious allegations against him.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cynthia and Sheila Garrett accused one of their 8 siblings, half brother Bernard Garrett, Jr., of molesting them when they were young. Garrett Jr. is listed as a producer of the movie.

The sisters, who are about 15 years younger than their half brother, accused Garrett Jr. of sexually abusing them over the course of a few years when they were young.

Cynthia Garrett, formerly an interviewer on MTV and VH1, has since founded Cynthia Garrett Ministries and speaks to women's groups about the stigma surrounding molestation by family members.

Molestation is a serious problem in the Black community. It often goes unreported to protect the molester, who is typically a male relative.

Another sister, Grace Garett, was upset that Apple+ erased her and her mom from the film.

"Yes it's true. They omitted my mom and my siblings and I entirely. Stole our mom and our life story and did so with our abuser. It hurts. Deeply," she said.

Apple, which purchased the rights to The Banker in 2019, declined to comment on the specifics of Cynthia Garrett's allegations.

In a statement announcing the cancellation of the premiere on Wednesday, the company said:

"We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film's entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy. Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps."

THR reports Apple has a lot riding on The Banker, which is set for theatrical release domestically on Dec. 6. The film is getting an awards-season push.

Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images

Idris Elba has signed on to star in Jay-Z's all-Black Western flick The Harder They Fall. Elba's fans can't wait to see the hunky British actor wearing leather chaps and riding horseback.

The Harder They Fall is no Brokeback Mountain. The all-black Western for Netflix is produced by rapper Jay-Z, James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender.

The Harder They Fall stars actor Jonathan Majors as an outlaw who finds out that the murderer who killed his parents (Elba) is being released from prison.

According to Deadline.com, Elba is also starring in another Western drama, Concrete Cowboys, which began filming this year.

The 47-year-old Virgo is best known as the sexy drug kingpin Stringer Bell on HBO's The Wire.

Photo by Paramount Pictures via Getty Images

The successful Beverly Hills Cop movie franchise is getting another remake. Netflix has secured the rights to a fourth Beverly Hills Cop sequel starring Eddie Murphy as wisecracking, street-smart Detroit officer Axel Foley.

Netflix has picked up the rights in a one-time licensing deal with Paramount Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The first three Beverly Hills Cop films were released in 1984, 1987 and 1994, respectively. The movie franchise shot Murphy to international stardom and cemented his reputation for striking box office gold in the '80s and '90s.

Beverly Hills Cop earned $234 million, making it the highest-grossing film in 1984. The three films grossed $736 million worldwide.

In addition to winning a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Beverly Hills Cop also picked up an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1985.

Photo by Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Netflix breathed new life into Murphy's stalled career with the movie Dolemite Is My Name, which garnered strong reviews.

Murphy, 58, has no plans to slow down. Next year he will host Saturday Night Live for the first time in over 3 decades before heading out on the road for a sold out comedy tour.

No photo

Photos: Splash News, WENN.com

Vivica A. Fox reacted angrily to the news that Issa Rae intends to remake the hit all-female bank heist movie Set It Off. Vivica, pictured left, told Issa to "create your own franchise" as she responded to the news that the Insecure star is working on a reboot of her 1996 crime drama.

Photo by New Line Cinema/Getty Images

A young Vivica, pictured 2nd from right, starred alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, far right, Queen Latifah, far left, and Kimberly Elise, 2nd from left, in the original film, about a group of female friends who use insider information to rob Los Angeles banks.

Despite the demand for a remake of the urban classic, a Set It Off sequel was never made.

According to WENN.com, Issa, 34, is in the early stages of developing a new version of the film but, when asked about the prospect by Entertainment Tonight, Vivica was less than enthusiastic of the remake plan.

"It's a classic, leave it alone," the 55-year-old actress responded, bluntly. "There's absolutely no reason to try to redo it. It's been done, and we did it so well, that people are absolutely going to compare it to that and I think that's her taking on a tremendous chore because that film has become a cult classic and some things are just better left."

Vivica said Issa will face a massive backlash if she gets the reboot wrong: "Like, create your own franchise. If you want to do a new film of girls robbing banks, create your own thing. You can make it up to date. We did that film in 1996. We are in 2019, going into 2020. So, create your own thing because people are absolutely going to compare it to it, and she'll probably, if it's not good, they're going to slay her for it."
 

Fernando Ramales / BACKGRID

Halle Berry nearly broke the Internet on Friday when she revealed her ripped abdominal muscles in a photo on Instagram.com.

No photo

Photo: Instagram.com/@halleberry

The 53-year-old mother of two hit the gym several days a week to train for a role in her new movie Bruised, a MMA movie that she starred in and directed.

She captioned the image, "There's no better feeling than setting a goal and smashing it. One of my goals for the #BruisedTeMovie? Ripped Abs - and today? I finally got them and it feels unbelievable!"

Her followers agreed. The image was 'liked' over 250,000 times on Instagram. Young fans told Halle she was their body goals.

One IG user wrote: "In your 50’s and fabulous. You inspire me ! #itgetsgreaterlater".

Another user wrote, "Halle my goal is to get shredded. And to publish a novel. Send me your ripped abs vibes".

And a third wrote, "What do you want for Christmas ? Halle Berry's abs".
 

No photo

Perfect World Pictures

Liberals hate it when Black people don't play along with their attempts to keep them "in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system," according to Walter E. Williams.

Online activist Tariq Nasheed was canceled by Kickstarter because, among other things, he bashed the Harriet Tubman film, starring British actress Cynthia Erivo, before the movie could earn back its production costs at the box office.

No photo

YouTube.com

Liberals love their slavery movies - and that sticks in the craw of anti-racists like Nasheed, who railed against the movie for twisting the historical facts and for making the film's villain a Black man named "Bigger Long".

Tariq and his 266K followers on Twitter.com campaigned against the film, and they celebrated when the movie earned only $12 million on opening weekend - a flop by any other standards.

"Can anyone point to any other time in modern history where Hollywood & the mainstream media praised a movie and called it a 'success' for making just $12 million dollars on opening weekend?" Nasheed asked his followers on Twitter.

Nasheed blamed his Tubman movie critique as part of the reason for losing his Kickstarter crowdfunding to raise $200,000 for his Foundational Black American Conference 2020 in Atlanta.

Nasheed took to YouTube to lash out at Kickstarter for not giving him a clear reason why the crowdfunding was canceled.

Nasheed has since moved his crowdfunding efforts over to Indiegogo.com where he quickly raised $11,190 of his $200,000 goal.
 

No photo

Photos: BrosNYC / BACKGRID

Aretha Franklin fans reacted with excitement to the first images of singer Jennifer Hudson portraying the Queen of Soul in the upcoming biopic titled RESPECT, filmed on location in Manhattan's Harlem Neighborhood.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Jennifer, pictured at a July 4th concert in Philadelphia, was transformed into Aretha for a scene with costar Marlon Wayans, 47, who plays her onscreen husband Ted While. In the scene, which takes place in 1966, Marlon collects money from prostitutes while Jennifer looks on from a car.

BrosNYC / BACKGRID

Later Jennifer and Marlon share a passionate kiss in the car. The images were shot on November 2 by BACKGRID celebrity photo agency.

Ray Filmano / WENN

Aretha, who passed away on Aug. 16, 2018 at age 76, personally handpicked Jennifer to play her in the biopic.

No photo

DreamWorks Pictures

The 38-year-old American Idol finalist is no stranger to big budget musicals. She played Effie Melody White in the 2006 movie, Dreamgirls, with Beyonce, left, and Anika Noni Rose, center. Jennifer notably sang "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in the film Dreamgirls.

No photo

Paramount Pictures

Will Smith's new action thriller Gemini Man is a box office flop. The movie is about a retiring assassin, Henry Brogan (Smith), who finds himself battling a mysterious killer that turns out to be a younger clone of himself. Henry needs to find out why he's being targeted and who created his clone to kill him.

Directed by Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain), the action thriller opened with just $20 million in domestic ticket sales over the Oct. 11-13 weekend. Then the terrible reviews began rolling in.

Critics trashed the "groundbreaking" de-aging technology and the movie's high frame-rate that looked like the film was sped up in some places. The terrible reviews resulted in a career-worst Rotten Tomatoes score of 25 percent for Lee.

No photo

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures had hoped Gemini Man would pick up the slack in China, but it was upset by Angelina Jolie's fantasy flick Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ($22.4 million).

Gemini Man finished Sunday with an underwhelming $82.2 million in foreign box office receipts.

Gemini Man faces a $75 million loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The production cost for Gemini Man is a staggering $240 million - including $100 million in marketing costs alone. The film was heavily marketed in television commercials, print ads and online.

Gemini Man sparked free press around the world, thanks to the de-aging technology that rendered a barely recognizable younger version of Will Smith. Did they think we forgot what he looked like in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

The staggering marketing cost aside, Paramount and Skydance each ponied up 35 percent of the budget. The rest of the cost was split by 2 China-based companies, Alibaba and Fosun. All four companies will absorb the $75 million loss.

Amy Sussman/SHJ2019/WireImage

STXfilms' Hustlers is tracking for a big box office opening this weekend, after getting off to a great start with $2.5 million in ticket sales on Thursday.

According to Deadline.com, Hustlers is expected to rake in at least $20 million this weekend, with tracking indicating the film may debut with a $25 million-$30 million opening.

The stripper flick stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer and former stripper Cardi B as a group of criminal minded former strip club employees who rob their wealthy Wall Street clients.

Hustlers is inspired by a viral New York Magazine article about a crew of former strippers who were arrested for credit card theft fraud.

Anything over $23.1 million is a win for Lopez, 50, besting her 2005 high Monster in Law, and anything over $23.8 million is a record opening for STXFilms, according to Deadline.

Hustlers is the first major motion picture for rapper Cardi B, 26, and singer Lizzo, 31.
 

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez's new movie Hustlers opens in theaters everywhere this weekend.

The movie is about a group of criminal minded strippers who conspire to rob their customers by stealing their credit cards and running up massive bills.

The movie, which is based on a true story, also stars Keke Palmer, 26, Cardi B, 26, and Lizzo, 31.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

But there is one fact in the movie that doesn't ring true in real life: Jennifer Lopez plays one of the strippers.

Lopez turned 50 in July.

J-Lo may be able to sell out arenas, but if all she did was take her clothes off (no singing), her arena tour would flop.

Lopez has the money and the resources to nip and tuck her body until the cows come home. But most 50-year-old women aren't as fortunate.

50-year-old women in menopause are not stripper material. 40-year-old strippers are rare. 50-year-old strippers in the club are unheard of.

No photo

STX Films

There's a reason why age restrictions are in place at most strip clubs.

Men are the reason strip clubs exist. They drive the most revenue. Without men, strip clubs would be a thing of the past.

Men's brains are wired to be attracted to younger women of childbearing age. They pay to see firm perky breasts and a perfect round ass.

Watching a middle aged stripper is like watching your mom take her clothes off for money. Men do have some standards when it comes to strippers.

That's not to say that a young man won't date a woman old enough to be his mother. But the older woman is usually rich or willing to financially support a broke, lazy man.

When a man patronizes a strip club, he is there to fulfill a sexual fantasy and to fantasize about the women on stage.

It's kinda hard to fantasize about a 50-year-old stripper - even if she's drop dead gorgeous like Jennifer Lopez.

This is an open post where you can discuss any subject matter. This post will not be censored or moderated. Disqus may automatically moderate certain words considered offensive. There are no rules in Open Posts. So enter at your own risk.

No photo

Marvel Studios

Screenwriter and comedian Bisha K. Ali (inset) deleted her Twitter account and went into hiding after Disney announced she will serve as writer and showrunner for the studio's upcoming "Ms. Marvel" series. Ms. Marvel will be Disney's first Muslim superhero.

Read more »