All Articles Tagged "lee daniels"

“Do You Want To Be A King?” Watch The Trailer For The New Series, “Empire” Starring Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson

May 13th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Empire II

There are a wealth of new shows coming to TV this fall, and we’re happy to say that quite a few have black leads. One such example is the new drama from FOX called “Empire,” starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.

According to Shadow and Act, the show stars Howard as Lucious Lyon, the head of the record label Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO. Aka, big money, big money money money money. Henson is Cookie (yes, Cookie) Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious who was just released from prison after 17 years for dealing drugs, and drug money she acquired helped Lucious start his label. Of course, she is back and looking to claim what is hers out of his megahit label.

And to cap off the drama, there is beef between Lucious’ sons, Jamal (played by Jurnee Smollett’s brother Jussie), Hakeem (played by Bryshere Y. Gray), and Andre (played by Trai Byers), as they struggle with one another over their father’s empire. And did we mention that Lucious has only three years left to live because of cancer?

Talk about drama. I will say, the first minute or so of the trailer is a bit on the corny side, but as it went on, I saw a lot of potential for the drama. The show is directed by Lee Daniels, and The Butler writer, Danny Strong, is also working on it. Other guest roles include Gabourey Sidibe as Lucious’ assistant, Becky, and Macy Gray as a woman having an affair with Hakeem.

Check out the trailer for yourself and let us know if you think you will give it a chance, and why or why not.

10 Ratings & Box Office Winners To Look Forward To This Year

March 31st, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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With the sounds of birds chirping before dawn and temperatures inching above 50 degrees, warm days and comfortable nights are not the only things to get excited about this spring and summer season. There are a host of television shows and films to salivate over.

As the critics continue to chatter, take a look at the 10 TV shows and movies we think will usher in top ratings and box office success for the rest of this year.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Precious”

March 24th, 2014 - By Deron Dalton
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(photo credit: Lionsgate 2009)

Precious is a thought-provoking, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking independently-funded film that went on to become an Academy-Award winning success!

The movie is about an overweight, dark-skinned African American girl dealing with incest and child and sexual abuse who has to “push” through the abuse, her illiteracy and teen motherhood by attending an alternative school in hopes for her life to head in a new direction. Though most are familiar with these details, having read the novel the film was based on, there are many behind-the-scenes trivia you probably didn’t know happened in order to make this adapted film come to the big screen — Like the name of the film was changed from the novel’s name Push: The Novel to Precious to avoid conflict with the 2008 action film, Push. The novel was also republished as Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

Read on for more secrets behind the making of Precious.

Taraji P. Henson And Terrence Howard To Star In Fox Hip-Hop Pilot, ‘Empire’

February 27th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard have amazing on-screen chemistry. And luckily for us the “Hustle & Flow” duo will be reuniting for a Fox pilot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is titled “Empire” and is being put together by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. The drama takes place in the midst of a family-run hip-hop empire. Terrence will be playing Lucious Lyon, who is at the head of a record label. Taraji will be playing Lucious’ ex-wife, Cookie Lyon, an ex-con who has just been released after serving 17 years in prison for dealing drugs to fund Lucious’ then-struggling record label. After being released for good behavior, naturally, Cookie is looking to reclaim what’s hers.

As if all of that isn’t enough, it turns out that Cookie was the driving force behind Lucious’ rise to super stardom and now she’s looking to do the same with the couple’s homosexual son, Jamal, who will be played by Jussie Smollet. This puts Cookie at odds with Lucious, who has rejected and shunned his son since childhood because of his sexuality. Jamal is actually the couple’s middle son of three and is described as “a sensitive soul and musical prodigy who could easily rise to superstardom if he desires.”

This sounds like something I’d totally be interested in seeing. What about you?

Lee Daniels’ New Hip Hop Drama Set To Hit The Small Screen!

January 25th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Lee Daniels is a busy man these days and now, he’s about to be focused on his new hop hop drama set to air on Fox.

Empire is described by The Hollywood Reporter as a “family drama set in the world of a hop hop empire.”  I know, that doesn’t tell us much at all but Lee Daniels is well connected and could give us an honest look into the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the hip hop world. 

Daniels will direct Empire while Danny Strong, who worked with him on The Butler, has agreed to write the script.  The hour long pilot actually had a bidding war going on for it but Fox came out on top as the winner. This will be Daniels’ first time writing for television.

It’ll be interesting to see how the show will pan out. Every now and then, shows tend to fall flat when they try to focus on music, often becoming quite cheesy and unrealistic. Fox has a bit of a better track record sticking with its new shows so hopefully, Daniels and Strong will bring something fresh to the table.

Since we don’t have any further information about the show, it is impossible to start thinking about who will actually star on the show. But if we’re being honest, we know there will have to be a few black actors and actresses on there and that’s almost always a good thing.

No word on when Empire will premiere on Fox.

Are you a big enough fan of Lee Daniels’ work that you’ll check out Empire when it makes its way to the small screen?

“I’ve Already Won”: Oprah Said She’s A Winner When Asked About Oscar Snub

January 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From BlackVoices

Oprah Winfrey says she’s “already won.” And Emma Thompson says she’s at least relieved not to have to put on “another frock and heels.”

Both actresses, snubbed by Oscar this year, are waxing philosophical about the situation, and looking at the bright side.

“Don’t be annoyed,” Winfrey, overlooked in the supporting actress category for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” said of her reaction.

“… I really look at that category and look who is nominated in that category: my friend Julia (Roberts) and June (Squibb), whom I don’t know, but Sally Hawkins and Jennifer (Lawrence) and Lupita (Nyong’o.) I think that’s fantastic. And so I haven’t picked up the acting chops in 15 years. So to be able to be a part of a film that could get that kind of attention, that could earn the kind of audience respect that it has, I’ve been saying all along, ‘I’ve already won. I already won.’”

As for Thompson, passed over for best actress in “Saving Mr. Banks,” she noted: “You just go ‘Oh!’— and then you (say) ‘Ooh, that means I can work in March instead of getting into another frock and heels.’”

Both actresses spoke at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday in Santa Monica.

Read more on Oscar snubs at

Director Lee Daniels Wanted To Commit Suicide Because Of His Sexuality

December 31st, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Source: FayesVision/

Source: FayesVision/


From HelloBeautiful

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 54-year-old openly gay man said he was bullied for his sexuality growing up.

“I had a rough childhood growing up — very rough,” he said. “Oftentimes I wanted to kill myself as a kid. You know, I was bullied because I was gay. And then I was bullied because I was black going to an all-white school later on.”

Now, looking back, Daniels said, “Thank God I didn’t kill myself, huh?”

“I think that the universe took care and God took care of me. I am the product of that environment,” he explained.

Read more about Lee Daniels at 







Encore! “The Butler” Returns To Theaters For The Holiday Season

December 5th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From HelloBeautiful 

Just in time for Oscar season, Lee Daniels’ box office hit The Butler is returning for an encore.

The drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey will come back to theaters for a limited time on December 6th. According to reports, the Weinstein Company is re-releasing the film for those who missed it on the big screen the first time around.

It is set to play in 1007 theaters nationwide.“We are excited to be bringing it back to theaters just as the holiday season begins, so that audiences who didn’t catch it the first time around have another opportunity at catching it on the big screen,” said Erik Lomis, TWC’s President of Distribution.The Butler, which moved President Obama to tears, tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a African-American butler who worked in the White House for 34 years.

Read more at 

So What’s Lee Daniels’ Next Project? An Interracial Love Affair Action Flick…With A Twist!

October 12th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: FayesVision/

Source: FayesVision/

Some of you hate him and some of you just dislike him, but Lee Daniels is sitting pretty on the success of Lee Daniels’ The Butler. So pretty, in fact, that he’s ready to turn some heads with his latest project idea.

Daniels recently spoke to Out magazine and according to our friends over at The YBF, he gave a huge spoiler: the star will be a gay action hero.

He described the film as the “gay Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and will star Alex Pettyfer. Pettyfer has already worked with Daniels having co-starred in The Butler.

The problem he’s having right now is casting a very hot black man:

“Alex Pettyfer is in it, [but] I have to find the right black guy opposite him. He’s so hot, isn’t he? So hot. And so aware of his hotness in a way that’s so…I love him to death.”

Daniels also doesn’t think that his idea for the movie will turn movie executives off now that The Butler has likely solidified his place:

“I don’t think I’m going to have a problem now. I made a $100 million for The Butler. I’m in a rare group. So this is something I feel good about.”

We’ve got to admit he makes a good point. We just wonder who he has in mind for the role he’s trying to fill. Do you think Michael B. Jordan would consider it? He is the “It” guy in Black Hollywood right now.

What do you think about Lee Daniels’ new project? Who do you think should be cast opposite Alex Pettyfer?

The Producer Guild Of America Ashamed Of ‘The Butler’s’ 41 Producers

September 12th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: FayesVision/

Source: FayesVision/



From EurWeb 

When it comes to producers’ credits, the most newsworthy movie of the moment is definitely “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which has drawn media attention for having more than 40 different credited producers.

“I wish that there weren’t so many producer credits on this picture, because it is a little embarrassing for everyone within our community,” said Producers Guild of America co-president Mark Gordon in an interview with TheWrap. “But I do understand that there’s very little that someone won’t do to get a movie made. And in the end, if you look at that movie and you appreciate what its message is, and you weigh what they had to do and what they ended up with, I get it.”

Most of the credited producers are in the executive-producer and associate-producer categories, with IMDb listing seven associate producers, six co-producers, 18 executive producers and four co-executive producers. Only five – Daniels, Cassian Elwes, Buddy Patrick, Pam Williams and Laura Ziskin – receive the actual “Produced by” credit, and those five have yet to go through the vetting process that would result in the Producers Mark.

If the film is nominated for any awards, though, they will be.

“It will be arbitrated, and if it gets nominated we’ll announce who the real producers are,” said PGA co-president Hawk Koch.