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Rapper Wiz Khalifa is tapped to play funk legend George Clinton in a long-delayed biopic about disco music mogul Neil Bogart.

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Spinning Gold, which has been in development for years, initially cast pop singer Justin Timberlake as Bogart, reports Deadline.com.

Supergirl actor Jeremy Jordan has since taken over the lead role as the Casablanca Records boss.

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Now Khalifa has been reported to play Clinton - a part that originally went to Samuel L. Jackson.

Also joining the star-studded line-up is singer Tayla Parx as Donna Summer, and Ledisi as Gladys Knight. Also cast is singer Jason Derulo, who was previously tapped to portray Ronald Isley.

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George Clinton (right) and Parliament Funkadelic perform perform at Taste of Chicago 2018 at Grant Park in 2018.

Production on Spinning Gold, written and directed by Bogart's son Timothy Scott Bogart, is already underway in New Jersey.

The film will chronicle the rise of Bogart's hit labels Buddah and Casablanca in the 1960s and 1970s, when his artists included Donna Summer, Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic group, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers, Village People, KISS, and Bill Withers, among many others.

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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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Fox 5 I-Team

More actresses have come forward accusing Hollywood director and acting coach Troy Rowland of asking them to film themselves partially nude in audition tapes.

Rowland, who is related to singer Kelly Rowland, directed the films Gracefully Broken, Morbius (2022), Black and Blue (2019) and Merry Liddle Christmas (2019), starring Kelly (pictured below).

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Fox 5 I-Team

He is best known for coaching actress Hillary Duff in Disney's hit show Lizzie McGuire.

The FOX 5 I-Team previously reported that seven actresses from around the country accused the Atlanta-based director and acting coach of luring them into sexually charged auditions for a role that didn't exist.

Now five more women have reached out to FOX 5 I-Team after seeing the original report, saying the same thing happened to them.

One actress filed an FTC complaint accusing the acting coach of coercion, fraud and revenge porn, the I-Team reports.

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Fox 5 I-Team

Rowland reportedly met the women through acting classes that he offers in Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles. Actresses pay $400 a night to attend his classes.

Rowland, who is married and has a daughter, allegedly urged the women to try out for a role as a stripper named Keisha in a spin-off for the TV series "Power."

Rowland allegedly told the women to record themselves partially nude and send the audition tapes to him.

However, "Power" casting director Rori Bergman told FOX 5 I-Team there was no role for a stripper named Keisha in the TV spin-off and she had no working relationship with Rowland.

Bergman told the I-Team the auditions were "reprehensible" and that "I want this guy to never be able to do this to anyone else again."

The women said Rowland preyed on them and used the "God-fearing man" angle to reel them in.

One woman said: "He reels you in. He was God-fearing, and he loved and adored her (his wife). We wouldn't expect anything like that from him. It was easy to trust (him)."

Rowland has not responded to requests from the I-Team for a comment.

Watch the I-Team report 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).

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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

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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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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.
 

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Actors Michael B. Jordan and Chante Adams share a kiss while filming "Journal for Jordan" on location in New York City on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

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In the movie, based on a real life story, Jordan plays 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, a soldier who is killed in action in Baghdad. Before he dies, King writes a journal telling his unborn son how to live a decent life despite growing up without a father.

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Adams plays King's wife, Dana Canedy, whose essay describes King's 200-page journal written for their unborn son.

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The movie is directed by Denzel Washington (right) and also stars Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and Cleveland Berto (Terminator: Dark Fate).

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Character actor Yaphet Kotto, best known for starring as a villain kingpin in James Bond film Live and Let Die, has passed away. He was 81.

Kotto's wife Tessie Sinahon broke the news on Facebook on Monday night, March 15. She wrote:

"I'm saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30pm Philippine time... You played a villain on some of your movies but for me you're a real hero and to a lot of people also. A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find. One of the best actor in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you everyday, my best friend, my rock."

Kotto got his start in acting on Broadway, where he appeared in The Great White Hope, among other productions in the 1960s.

In 1967 he released a single, "Have You Ever Seen The Blues" / "Have You Dug His Scene" on Chisa Records.

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He transitioned from Broadway to blaxploitation films such as 1973's Friday Foster, alongside Pam Grier, before major Hollywood studios came calling.

As well as starring in Live and Let Die - pulling double duty as dictator Dr. Kananga and his alter ego Mr. Big - Kotto famously played technician Dennis Parker in 1979 horror movie Alien, and appeared opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987 action film The Running Man.

Kotto also enjoyed success on the small screen, starring as Al Giardello in the series Homicide: Life on the Street from 1993 to 1999.

In his final role before his death he voiced the character of Parker once again for the Alien: Isolation video game.

He is survived by his wife and six children.

Top photo: Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

@LucaSgro / BACKGRID

Lady Gaga was dressed in a Gucci headscarf and Burberry trench coat on the set of her current film, House of Gucci, in Milan, Italy.

House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott, tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani, the scorned ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renown fashion designer Guccio Gucci.

@LucaSgro / BACKGRID

House of Gucci also stars Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino and Adam Driver, pictured with Gaga on the set.

Pacino plays Guccio Gucci's eldest son Aldo Gucci, who was the chairman of Gucci Shops Inc.

@LucaSgro / BACKGRID

Gaga wears an assortment of wigs and Gucci outfits and furs on the set.

House of Gucci is based on a true story. Gaga plays Patrizia, who hired a hitman to kill Maurizio outside his Milan office in 1995.

@LucaSgro / BACKGRID

Dubbed the "Black Widow" by the press, Patrizia's 29 year prison sentence was later reduced to 26 years after her daughters, Allegra and Alessandra, claimed a brain tumor affected her ability to reason.

Gaga won an Oscar Award for her portrayal of a young singer in A Star Is Born.

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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.