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Warner Bros.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized for not insisting on more Afro-Latino or dark-skinned actors in the movie adaptation of his 2008 Broadway musical hit 'In the Heights.'

In the Heights debuted on streaming site HBO Max and in theaters on Friday, June 11, but didn't have the blockbuster opening weekend that many had predicted.

In the Heights was expected to break box office records for a musical with opening weekend estimates of $25 million to $35 million.

However the woke musical was a crushing disappointment, coming in 2nd behind 'A Quiet Place 2' with just $11 million in box office receipts.

In the Heights carried a production budget of $55 million. $110 million gross is required to break even.

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Warner Bros.

Some viewers criticized director Jon M. Chu and Miranda, who has a small part in the film, for being colorists.

Chu, who faced similar criticism for his film 'Crazy Rich Asians,' addressed the controversy by stating the 'colorism' debate was "a fair conversation to have".

Chu told The Root, "Listen, we're not going to get everything right in a movie. We tried our best on all fronts of it."

Miranda took to Twitter to address the "whitewashing" allegations with his followers on Monday.

"I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy. I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening."

Mexican actress Melissa Barrera, who plays Vanessa in the film, said the producers were looking for actors who fit the white Hispanic residents of the Washington Heights neighborhood.

"In the audition process, which was a long audition process, there were a lot of Afro-Latinos there. A lot of darker skinned people. And I think they were looking for just the right people for the roles. For the person that embodied each character in the fullest extent."

Barrera, best known for her role as Lyn in the Starz LGBT+ series Vida, added:

"Because the cast ended up being us, and because Washington Heights is a melting pot of black and Latinx people, Jon and Lin wanted the dancers and the big numbers to feel very truthful to what the community looks like."

In the Heights was delayed for a year due to the Covid outbreak.

Watch the movie trailer below.
 

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Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios announced its upcoming movie release scheduled for the next 2 years. Included in the list was the official title treatments for many of its upcoming releases, such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (July 8, 2022), Black Widow (July 9, 2021), Ms. Marvel (Fall 2021), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17, 2021).

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Marvel fans were excited about Black Panther's official title treatment. The new Black Panther, currently filming on location in Atlanta, will be a tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman who died from colon cancer last August at age 43.

Fans wonder how Marvel will explain Wakanda's king dying from cancer with all of the fictional country's advanced technology.

Black Panther Cast Attends European Premiere

JRP/WENN

One Reddit user wrote: "I wonder if they'll outright just be like 'it was a rare cancer. even with all of our technology we could not cure cancer.'"

Another user wrote:

"Yea. Because I don't see anyone killing T'challa. He must either go voluntarily back to the D'jalia (ancestral plain) or he has to have an ailment from the snap and the heart shaped herb. No one should kill him. After all he told his father that he had to make things right before he joined him in the Djalia."

Question: How do you think Marvel will explain T'Challa's disappearance?

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Kris Connor/Getty Images

Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have pulled their runaway slave movie out of Georgia due to controversial voter ID law.

Smith's new slavery film titled, Emancipation, was scheduled to begin filming on in Atlanta in June, but he is now looking for a new location.

Smith, who is starring in, as well as producing the movie, blamed "institutional racism," for his decision.

"The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting. Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state."

The movie, based on a true story, will likely be filmed in Louisiana, where the actual events took place.

In the film, Smith plays a slave who escaped the plantation and joined the Union Army after he was whipped to within an inch of his life.

The historic photo of the ex-slave's scarred back, taken during an Army medical examination, became known as "The Scourged Back."

The photo was published by The Independent and Harper's Weekly in 1863, and served to embody the cruelty of slavery in America.

"It was the first viral image of the brutality of slavery that the world saw, which is interesting, when you put it into perspective with today and social media and what the world is seeing, again," Fuqua told Deadline last year. "You can't fix the past, but you can remind people of the past and I think we have to, in an accurate, real way."

Emancipation is the first film to pull out of Georgia since the new laws went into effect.

Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star game out of Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the new election bill into law in March.

The new election law requires identification to submit absentee ballots by mail.

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YouTube

Comedian Chris Rock and actor Samuel L. Jackson star in the ninth installation of the Saw series.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is executive produced by Rock who plays detective Ezekiel 'Zeke' Banks.

Det. Banks pursues the ruthless Jigsaw killer, who has some sort of connection to Banks' father (played by Jackson).

Lionsgate describes Spiral as "the terrifying new chapter of the book of Saw," where "a sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice."

Det. Banks who and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) are no match for Jigsaw. Luckily, Jackson comes along to save the day and the film.

The horror films, which debuted in 2004, took a seven-year break and made its comeback with 2017's Jigsaw.

According to Complex.com, 'Spiral' was set for an Oct. 23, 2020 theatrical release. But it was pushed back due to the Covid.

Spiral will premiere in theaters on May 14, 2021.

Watch the trailer below.
 

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Aretha Franklin's family has made it clear they did not want a new biopic about the beloved Queen of Soul to see the light of day.

The family did not support the much-hyped Genius: Aretha series, which debuted on National Geographic on Sunday evening, March 21.

Cynthia Erivo, pictured with Aretha in 2015, earned critical praise for her role as the Queen of Soul in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' new eight-part project, but Aretha's granddaughter said it's full of fiction.

"This movie has to go," she said in a new TikTok video. "As the immediate family, we feel that it's important to be involved with any biopic of my grandma's life, as it's hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone's life without speaking to the ones closest to them."

She said the family has "been disrespected and told we will not be worked with. As the immediate family - emphasis on immediate - we do not support this film and we ask that you also do not support this film, as we feel extremely disrespected, and we feel there will be many inaccuracies about my grandmother's life."

Her father and Aretha's son, Kecalf Franklin, supported his daughter, telling Rolling Stone, "What we've found out in the past is that usually when people don't want to work with you, that is a prelude to some type of unprofessional behavior or a prelude to some type of untruth or slander... That's usually the case when people say that they don't want to work with you."

Genius: Aretha chronicles the soul legend's rise to the top from her roots as a teenage single teenage mom in Alabama.

National Geographic bosses acknowledged they made no contact with Franklin's family while making the series, but they still insist the biopic was thoroughly researched.

The Franklin family is working with the producers of Respect, the new Aretha Franklin biopic starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, which is slated to hit theaters this summer.
 

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After canceling Dr. Seuss, the classic cartoon character Pepé Le Pew's head is next on the chopping block.

The Looney Tunes character was dropped from the live animation sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James.

In one scene, Pepe, the bartender, flirts with Greice Santo's character by kissing her arm which she rejects with an open handed slap.

Pepe then tells James and Bugs Bunny that Penelope Pussycat filed a restraining order against him. James responds that the skunk can't go around kissing other cartoon characters without their consent.

Deadline states Santo was "upset" over the removal of the scene, according to her spokesperson.

"This was such a big deal for Greice to be in this movie. Even though Pepe is a cartoon character, if anyone was going to slap a sexual harasser like him, Greice wished it would be her," said the spokesperson. "Now the scene is cut, and she doesn't have that power to influence the world through younger generations who'll be watching Space Jam 2, to let younger girls and younger boys know that Pepe’s behavior is unacceptable,” the statement read."

Deadline.com reports that the French skunk's scenes were cut after director Malcolm D. Lee took over from the movie's first director Terence Nance.

Lee desexualized curvaceous Looney Tunes cartoon character Lola Bunny whose curves dominated scenes in the original Space Jam starring the g.o.a.t Michael Jordan.

Charles Blow, a columnist for the New York Times, complained on Twitter that Pepe was too overly amorous in old cartoons. He said Pepe "normalized rape culture" and convinced boys that "no doesn't mean no."

Blow shared an old cartoon clip on Twitter of Pepe forcibly restraining and kissing Penelope.

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Warner Bros.

Social media is in an uproar over the modernized, less sexy look of Space Jam 1 star Lola Bunny in the sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy.

If you recall, the original Lola Bunny was a top heavy sexy siren who made male fans forget for a minute that she was an animated bunny rabbit.

But this is a new day, and liberals have taken over Hollywood. They have something to say about top heavy sexy sirens -- even if they are just cartoon rabbits.

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Fans are mortified over the desexualization of Lola Bunny 2.0 in the sequel. Gone are Lola's sexy curves and her ample boobs are nonexistent. Instead of a crop top and short shorts, Lola is clad in the same genderless team uniform as the boys.

Social media reacted to the drastic change by pointing out that Lola Bunny now looks like a WNBA player -- 80% of whom are male-identified lesbians.
 

L.A. Lakers star LeBron James makes his leading man debut in the new Space Jam: A New Legacy sequel to 1996's Space Jam starring the g.o.a.t. Michael Jordan.

LeBron appears in the sequel alongside the Looney Tunes all-stars: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Taz and Lola Bunny.

But no one is talking about LeBron, because, apparently, a bunny rabbit is more interesting than he is.
 

LeBron is probably not happy that a bunny rabbit is taking all his shine in his first big screen debut.

No doubt someone on his team sat him down and gently explained that if no one was talking about Lola Bunny, there would be no buzz about the film at all.

Space Jam: A New Legacy director Malcolm D. Lee dismissed the criticism of new look Lola Bunny.

He tells Entertainment Weekly that he was caught off guard by the "very sexualized" look of the original Lola Bunny, and he thought her look should be updated for a more liberal audience.

"This is 2021. It's important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters, a.k.a. the team's best non-LeBron player."

His explanation may be PC, but fans are exhausted by the liberal gymnastics.

One Twitter user wrote: "I don't care that Lola Bunny is dressed less sexy in Space Jam 2 but I am unbelievably exhausted by the idea that the way you communicate that a female character is to be taken seriously is by removing her boobs."

A fan of the original took the time to depict Lola Bunny 2.0 the way she should look in 2021.

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Here's what others on social media had to say about the drastic change Lola has undergone in the sequel:

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Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic, Amazon

Eddie Murphy wanted "Coming to America" to be an afrocentric extravaganza showcasing the wide range of talent in Black Hollywood. But the movie studio had different ideas.

Comedian Louie Anderson appeared in 1988's Coming to America as Maurice, a fast food employee who took pride in his work at McDowell's restaurant, owned by Cleo McDowell (John Amos).

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the sequel, Coming 2 America, Murphy and Arsenio Hall explained that Anderson wasn't originally cast in Coming to America.

"I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it," said Hall, 65. "We were forced to put in a white person."

Murphy, 59, added: "[The studio was] like, 'There has to be a white person in the movie.' I was like, 'What?' So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that's how Louie got in the movie."

"It was official," Hall continued. "I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys. They said, 'Who would you rather work with?' I said Louie."

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Amazon

Also cast in the original was white comedian Jake Steinfeld who made a cameo appearance as a wise cracking cab driver.

Other cameos included Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, who reprised their roles as Mortimer and Randolph Duke from the 1983 comedy film "Trading Places," starring Murphy.
 

Fern / Splash News

Rapper T.I. won't be back for Marvel's third Ant-Man movie as new sexual assault allegations threaten to destroy his career

The Hollywood Reporter's sources claim the father-of-seven will not be returning as sidekick Dave in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

The news comes after the rap star and his wife, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, were accused of sexual abuse by as many as 30 women.

On Monday, Mar. 1, an attorney representing 11 alleged victims accused the couple of crimes including sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, false imprisonment, intimidation, assault and harassment.

The attorney, Tyrone A. Blackburn is asking authorities in California and Georgia to open criminal investigations into the Atlanta power couple.

T.I. and Tiny have strongly denied the accusations through their defense attorney, Steve Sadow, who writes: "Clifford (T.I.) and Tameka Harris (Tiny) deny in the strongest possible terms these unsubstantiated and baseless allegations. We are confident that if these claims are thoroughly and fairly investigated, no charges will be forthcoming."

Meanwhile, VH1 bosses suspended production of the reality TV show T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle last month, when the claims against the couple first came to light.

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Adriana M. Barraza/WENN

Charlize Theron, star of action films like Mad Max: Fury Road, is down for an all lesbian "Die Hard" with herself as a lesbian Bruce Willis lead.

She made the pitch in response to one fan who tweeted: "Lesbian Christmas rom coms are all well and good but what I REALLY want is a Die Hard where Charlize Theron goes on a rampage to save her wife."

Theron retweeted the post and added: "Where do I sign?"

In a new Vanity Fair interview, she stated, "It's a great idea. That's why I replied on Twitter, because I just thought it was kind of brilliant. I was like, 'This person needs to start pitching. That's a great idea', and the fact it would be two women, I was like, 'Yeah, sign me on'."

But the lesbian community is not eager for an all-lesbian "Die Hard" remake with an all-heterosexual female cast.

Here are just a sample of the responses on Twitter:

One user wrote:

"If it got greenlit there would be 2 factions on twitter condemning it, Die Hard fans and those who think Charlize Theron would be taking an acting role away from a lesbian actor."

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Another user wrote:

"Please no, just make a good movie with strong female characters. Charlie's Angels and Ghostbusters remakes were disasters. Stop trying to make a point and make a good move."

And a third user tweeted:

"Of course ride the name for money and make this change, because Hollywood can't simply make a new and original movie, that would be too hard."