All Articles Tagged "lee daniels"
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 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?
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 BlackVoices.com
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 HelloBeautiful.com
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 HelloBeautiful.com
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?
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.
Read more at EurWeb.com
Director Lee Daniels said he is “deeply” hurt when people say he doesn’t support African-American women, especially because of the intense connection he felt with them while growing up black and gay.
When Daniels stopped by the HuffPost Live studio to discuss his new film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” host Marc Lamont Hill asked about criticism surrounding recent remarks Daniel made about researching his movie “Precious.”
During an interview on “Larry King Now,” Daniels described visiting a health crisis center for gay men to learn about AIDS. He said that when he arrived, he saw “black women with kids — I thought I had walked into the welfare office.” The comment was part of a larger point that because gay black men are pressured to stay in the closet, many black women contract AIDS from men who are on the “down-low.”
Daniels told HuffPost Live that the criticism of his remarks hurts because African-American women were a lifeline for him during a difficult childhood.
“I wish I were straight because I love women so much. I love black women. They are the reason that I’m here today, because I rarely was accepted by any African American man growing up, inclusive of my dad,” he said.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
Lee Daniels: I Saw So Many Black Women And Kids At AIDS Center I Thought I Was At The Welfare Office
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when one minority attempts to to marginalize another for the sake of their own personal cause and that is exactly what “The Butler” director Lee Daniels did in a recent interview with Larry King.
In discussing his experience growing up gay and coming into his sexuality, Daniels made a very sharp left in what could have been a productive discussion. Apparently in a previous interview he had remarked that gay people are third class citizens and when asked to expound on this idea by King, Daniels threw this dagger:
“I think they are prejudiced upon even from the African Americans too. I think that the reason we have AIDS…I did a movie called ‘Previous’ and when I was doing the research for ‘Precious,’ I walked into the gay mens health crisis center in New York City and I expected to see studying [of] AIDS and HIV, I expected to see a room full of gay men, but there are nothing but women that are there – black women with kids, I thought I had walked into the welfare office – but they service black women with AIDS, why?
“Because black men can’t come out. Why? Because you simply can’t do it. Your family says it, your church says it, your teachers say it, your parents say it, your friends say it, your work says it. And so you’re living on this DL thing and you’re infecting black women.”
And that has what to do with black women being on welfare?
Look, I won’t pretend to know the struggle of being a homosexual black male, or to be an expert on the bureaucracy AIDS research and treatment when it comes to the black community. However, if black women are getting services in a gay men’s clinic, that’s a systematic issue, not one that has to do with prejudice from the black community. Furthermore, a man’s inability to live his life freely as an openly homosexual male has no bearing, in my mind, on his inability to be sexually responsible. Being chastised for your sexual orientation is not an excuse to one, play with a woman’s heart and pretend to be heterosexual when you’re not, and two, sleep around indiscriminately, particularity when you’re aware that there may be these biases in sexual health care as it relates to gay men.
And again I find myself asking what the hell does any of this have to do with black women being on welfare?
I don’t think I’m too far off when I say there was just a slight, if not overt, element of bitterness to Daniels’ narrative which no doubt stems back to his childhood and being beat by his father for being gay. But that’s not black women’s fault, nor is it their fault they’ve found some place to be serviced for sexual health issues. There is equal responsibility to be had amongst black men and women women it comes to the rapid spread of AIDS and finger pointting and excusing just won’t cut it if we really want to stop this epidemic and neither will stereotyping. Being the double minority that he is, Daniels should know this more than anyone else.
Check out the video of his interview below. What do you think?
“Black Filmmakers Are Saying Terrible Things About The Inhabitants Of Black America”: Actor Harry Lennix On State Of Black Film
If you missed it, actor Harry Lennix has been vocal about the state of black film. Lennix, probably known by most for starring in films like The Five Heartbeats, Get On The Bus, Love & Basketball and Ray, recently shared his thoughts on Lee Daniels’ new film, The Butler. Lennix called it “ni**erfied p*rn” when speaking with Shadow And Act, and while the actor initially read for a part in the film, after checking out the script, he wasn’t happy with what he saw:
“I read five pages of this thing and could not go any further. I tried to read more of it, and I’m not a soft spoken guy, but it was such an appalling mis-direction of history in terms of taking an actual guy who worked at the White House. But then he “ni**erfies” it. He “ni**ers” it up and he gives people these, stupid, luddite, antediluvian ideas about black people and their roles in the historical span in the White House and it becomes… well… historical p*rn. I refused.”
While he refused to mess with the movie, clearly many others were willing to spend their money to see it, because the film is number one at the box office right now. A major success considering it beat out popular action franchise Kick-A** 2. But Lennix stands by his comments, and has even managed to take them a step further in an op-ed he did for thewrap.com. In it, he discusses his disappointment with the images our own black filmmakers (not just Hollywood in general) are delivering us. Here are some excerpts from the piece:
The only place I never see normal black folks represented is in the increasingly popular films (and reality shows and music) being masqueraded as indicative of the Black Experience. A troubling stream of craven and depraved sociopaths and psychotics haunt the environs of black entertainment. The doom these figures inflict upon their familiars is taken for granted as a natural condition of our people.
These images and messages do not represent the predominant experiences and nature of my people — and I, for one, want it as widely known as possible that I reject them wholesale.
I take no part with, nor give any corner to, those who keep us in as a function of these images. I reject the reduction of the traumatized but decent people I know as marginalized slaves and menials. Equally bankrupt are the media offerings that show us as sanitized and shallow beyond recognition — devoid of serious concerns outside of those that are worthy of soap-opera treatment…
With greater frequency black filmmakers are saying terrible things about the inhabitants of Black America. While viewing a black film of the recent past (choose your own), I saw black women weeping their eyes out, scene after scene, abused and victimized by black men in a relentless parade of misery. What joy, I wondered, is to be found in this? Even in pathos, of course there is release. But surely there is a difference between pathos and sadomasochism.
Ironically, very little of artistic merit or craft is to be found in the dramatically bereft constructions of the other variety of black movie. Many of these projects feature very talented and attractive casts, slick direction, and high production values. The subject matter is seldom of great ambition or depth. They are designed to please the broadest possible demographic of black ticket buyers. Most of this work is innocent and innocuous enough, and thank goodness for this alternative. That stipulated, it would be less than honest to point to but a small few of these as artistically satisfying.
…And thank God there are still those who use the mediums available to them to create great art. To them belongs the future, should they only take the initiative to reclaim the present. And, please God, in reclaiming the idea of “black.”
After all, everything cool and edgy in our collective experience now is said to be the new version of black.
Frankly, I’d settle for the old kind. It beats the heck out of sitting chained up in a cave.
He makes some interesting points. You can check out the full op-ed at thewrap.com. Does Lennix have a point?