All Articles Tagged "lee daniels"

Oprah To Play Richard Pryor’s Pimp Grandmother In New Biopic, Alongside Mike Epps

August 27th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Looks like Nick Cannon lost out on that much coveted Richard Pryor role, even after that very unfortunate hair cut.

Instead the role went to fellow comedian Mike Epps. And judging by Epps’ past in the dramatic field (see Sparkle), I would say this is a pretty good choice.

And if you didn’t believe it was official, all you have to do is look at Oprah’s Instagram page for confirmation. A couple of weeks ago, Winfrey posted a picture of herself, director Lee Daniels and the film’s star after one of their first read throughs of the script.

So what role will Oprah play?

She’s going to be a pimp.

If you know anything about Richard Pryor, you know his formative years weren’t exactly…conventional. As a child Pryor was raised in his grandmother’s brothel in Peoria, Illinois where his mother was a prostitute. His mother abandoned him when he was 10 and his grandmother, a notoriously violent, woman raised him.

Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer told TMZ, once Oprah got the script she was desperate to play Marie Carter, Pryor’s grandmother because she’s anxious to play a more, meaty and gritty role after her performance in The Butler. 

Damon Dash Sues Lee Daniels For $25 Million

August 14th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

In random entertainment news, Former Rock-A-Fella Records CEO Damon Dash is reportedly suing Lee Daniels—at least that’s what TMZ is reporting.

According to reports, Daniels and Dash entered into an agreement ten years ago where Dash invested in Daniels’ film projects—including “Precious,” “The Woodsman,” “Precious,” “The Paperboy” and “The Butler.” Dash claims that he invested $2 million into Daniels’ “The Woodsman” project, but never received a dime in return.

Daniels “attempt(ed) to deprive (Dash) of the monetary benefits and producer and executive producer credits owed to Mr. Dash as per the parties’ agreements,” the summons said, according to Business Insider.

Damon also argues that he was swindled out of his executive producer and credits on the projects. As a result, asking for no less than $25 million from the director. So far, Lee Daniels’ reps have yet to respond to the allegations.

Brian Banks, Football Player Falsely Accused Of Rape, Working On A Documentary

August 8th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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AP Photo/Long Beach Press-Telegram, Brittany Murray

AP Photo/Long Beach Press-Telegram, Brittany Murray

Most of us remember Brian Banks, the football player who was falsely accused of rape at 16 and spent five years in prison. And even when he was released, he had to register as a sex offender and had trouble finding work.

After his exoneration, at 26, Banks decided to release a documentary describing what his life had been like for the past ten years. And he started a Kickstarter to help raise funds for the project. He ended up earning $47,000.

After two years the film is not complete because it grew far beyond Banks’ own expectations. He shared that initially he thought it would be a small project but as more and more people learned about his story, they wanted to help him. First he was trying out for NFL teams, eventually joining the Atlanta Falcons for training camp. He would go on to play in four games during last year’s NFL season.

And in the meantime, Banks has been touring the country speaking at schools, organizations and events across the country and meeting with politicians and lawmakers bringing awareness to wrongful convictions.

Most recently Banks’ documentary attracted the attention of Michele Farinola, the producer behind the Oscare winning documentary Undefeated. 

And then on top of all that good news, Lee Daniels, director of The Butler and Precious has signed on to direct a scripted feature film based on Banks’ story.

The project is currently looking for screenwriters.

It’ll be interesting to see what Daniels does with the feature film but personally I’m more interested in the documentary.

Check out the video Brian used to solicit funds for his Kickstarter.

“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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Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

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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Precious

(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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FayesVision/WENN.com

FayesVision/WENN.com

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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WENN

WENN

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 BlackVoices.com

Director Lee Daniels Wanted To Commit Suicide Because Of His Sexuality

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

Source: FayesVision/WENN.com

 

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 HelloBeautiful.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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