What’s going on in the TV world?
Step up. I am Harlem and Harlem is me. pic.twitter.com/nCgSY2EK4n
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) March 6, 2018
Luke Cage is coming back for it’s second. A video released on twitter this week announced that we can expect new episodes on June 22. It also serves as an introduction to the bulletproof superhero from Harlem.
Speaking of Netflix, according to a New York Times report former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are currently in advanced negotiations with the streaming platform. If the deal is finalized they will produce a series of high-profile shows. While the topics or formats are not known thus far, it is known that Mr. Obama will not use the series to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics. Instead, the Obamas will most likely focus on inspirational stories. The New York Times speculates that one of the series could be Mr. Obama moderating conversations on topics that dominated his presidency such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.
Lucasfilm announced that Jon Favreau has signed on to executive produce and write the new live-action Star Wars series. In addition to directing Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and serving as an executive producer for the Iron Man and Avengers films, Favreau also played Happy Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. In the Star Wars universe, he had roles in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story. “I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”
USA has ordered the Suits spinoff based around Gina Torres’ character Jessica Pearson to series. The spinoff will follow Jessica Pearson as she adjusts to the dirty world of Chicago politics. The season 7 series finale of Suits will serve as a backdoor pilot for the new untitled series. “Fans of Suits have come to know Jessica as this confident, kick-ass attorney who is always five steps ahead of everyone, but that’s only 5-10% of the entirety of this woman,” Torres said. “What is wonderful is that the audience will be treated to not just the great television expected of Suits but also peek into Jessica’s world.” A premiere date or episode count hasn’t been announced yet.
The 8-part BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is moving forward. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) is in final talks to direct the series. Logan breakout star Dafne Keen is also in final talks to play the main character of Lyra, a young girl who finds herself on a dangerous mission to rescue a kidnapped friend. Adding to the possible star-studded cast is Lin-Manuel Miranda who is close to signing a deal to play balloonist and adventurer Lee Scoresby.
Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions are partnering with 44 Blue Productions for a docuseries based on Shantrelle P. Lewis’ book Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style. The Dandy Lions series will take inspiration from the curated collection of photographs and stories in the book and explore the history of the Black Dandy fashion and style movement and its increased attention in recent years. The movement has found the popularity on social media platforms such as Street Etiquette, and with celebrities like Jidenna, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Janelle Monae. “This project looks at how men dress in the Dandy style across the world and how they influence culture through a powerful positive lens,” said Davis and Tennon.
BET’s The New Edition Story is getting a sequel focusing on Bobby Brown. The Bobby Brown Story will see Woody McClain reprise his role from The New Edition Story. Mekhi Phifer, Lil Rel Howery, T.K. Carter, Laz Alonso, Lance Gross, Alyssa Goss, and Sandi McCree will be joining him. The two-part miniseries will take place after The New Edition Story ended and will chronicle Brown’s rise to success after leaving the popular boy band, his affair with Janet Jackson and later marriage to Whitney Houston. It will span 30 years of Brown’s life.
The first episode of Atlanta‘s second season had a strong showing with 1.8 million total viewers. That’s a 7 percent increase over the season 1 premiere. According to FX, this marks the best basic cable prime-time scripted comedy telecast in more than a year. Careful viewers caught a possible Get Out shout-out in last week’s episode. In the scene, Earn is unknowingly observed by a group of frozen white people who all begin moving again once he turns his attention to them. It mimics a scene in Get Out in which Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris is at a party surrounded by wealthy white people. When he goes upstairs, the camera stays on them as they stare at where Chris disappeared to.
Pilot Season 2018
Scandal‘s Kimrie Lewis and Hawaii Five-O‘s Jake Choi will be starring in the new ABC comedy pilot Single Parents. From New Girl creator/executive producer Liz Meriwether and former writer J.J. Philbin the series follows a “group of dysfunctional single parents who lean on one another as they raise their kids, look for love and ultimately realize survival is only possible with the help of one another.” Lewis will play Poppy, a single mom who is a bit of a hippie and raises her son to always be himself. Choi will play Miggy, a sleep-deprived dad raising his son alone after the mother leaves for college.
The cast of Regina King and Robin Roberts‘ untitled ABC drama pilot has grown with the addition of The Gifted‘s Frances Turner and Hamilton‘s Aurin Wise. They join Amirah Vann and Tisha Campbell-Martin, filling the roles of four out of the five sisters. The show is written by CSI: NY showrunner Pam Veasey and directed by King. It explores the “lives of five African-American sisters, all officers in the NYPD, as they face the challenges of their high-risk jobs while juggling the responsibilities of marriage, motherhood and family.” Turner will play Lena Kendrick, the lead sister and the first African-American woman to be promoted to Assistant Chief in the department. Wise will play Detective Serena Kendrick-Archer, the youngest of the sisters. She’s happily married to her architect husband. Pitch‘s Michael Beach also joined the cast as the husband of Amirah Vann’s Sgt. Ella Kendrick Graves.
Khandi Alexander and Shea Buckner have been cast as series regulars opposite Kylie Bunbury in ABC’s Get Christie Love reboot pilot. Written by Power creator/showrunner Courtney Kemp and directed by Stephen Williams, the show follows Christie Love (Bunbury), an African American female CIA agent who is part of an elite ops unit. Alexander will play Sarah, a veteran intelligence agent and head of Christie’s unit. Buckner will play Jason, Christie’s former fiancé. Alexander recently had a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal as Maya, the mother of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope. Shea recently shot guest roles on Animal Kingdom, Shameless, and How To Get Away With Murder.
Emayatzy Corinealdi has been cast as a lead in the upcoming CBS drama pilot Red Line. Joining her will be Howard Charles (The Musketeers). Corinealdi will play Tia Young, who is described as a “formidable, well-educated woman raised on the South Side of Chicago. Tia’s desire to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption might conflict with her aspirations for a political career.” Charles will play Tia’s husband and an operator on Chicago’s Red Line. He supports his wife’s political career but cautions her about reconnecting with her biological daughter. The series is from executive producer Ava DuVernay. She directed Corinealdi in the 2012 film Middle of Nowhere.
In Movie News…
Entertainment Weekly is releasing 15 covers for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Each of the 22 characters gets their time to shine in the covers. Inside the issue will be an interview with the stars of Black Panther, reflecting on Wakanda being the battleground for Thanos’ incursion. This film will mark a turning point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all of our heroes may not survive it. The issue will also contains a Q&A with Josh Brolin on the origin of Thanos, a “family tree” outlining all the character connections of the MCU, a look at the evolution of female superheroes and a breakdown of the Infinity Stones and their current whereabouts. Entertainment Weekly also dropped photos from the movie, two of which you can see below.
After the Academy Awards, a Disney executive told Deadline that they will be seriously campaigning for Black Panther next awards season. They’re hoping to get a Best Picture nomination at next year’s Academy Awards. If it happens, it will mark the first time a comic book movie received such a nomination. Not only has Black Panther been a critical success, it has also been a financial one. It’s crossed $1 billion dollars worldwide this weekend. Half of that number has come from domestic sales.
Over at DC, Warner Bros. reportedly is trying to hire Chris McQuarrie to direct Green Lantern Corps. McQuarrie previously directed Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible-Fallout and Jack Reacher. There’s a rumor that this is in a bid to get Tom Cruise to star in the film. McQuarrie and Cruise have collaborated with each other a total of 6 times. There’s a similar report that Warner Bros. hired Martin Scorcese for the standalone Joker origin movie in the hope of getting Leonardo DiCaprio for the role. It’s possible they’re trying to do the same for Green Lantern Corps. Cruise is on the short list of actors being considered for the role of Hal Jordan. That list includes Joel McHale, Bradley Cooper, Armie Hammer, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds.
I earlier reported that Kristen Wiig was in talks to play Wonder Woman villain Cheetah. Now we know the results of those talks. Director Patty Jenkins confirmed on Twitter on Friday that Kristen Wiig will indeed be playing Cheetah in the Wonder Woman sequel. “So excited to confirm the most thrilling news,” Jenkins tweeted with a photo of Wiig. “Yes! It’s true! So incredibly lucky to welcome the sensationally talented Kristen Wiig to our Wonder Woman family. Can’t wait to finally work with one of my favorites. And SO excited by what we have planned. #Cheetah!!!” Jenkins is returning to write, direct, and produce with Gal Gadot reprising her role as the titular heroine.
Fox has no plans on stopping their X-Men movies after their merger with Disney and that includes the growing Deadpool franchise. It was recently revealed that Zazie Beetz, who is playing Domino in the Deadpool sequel, has a 3 picture deal to play the character. It’s possible that her second appearance might be in X-Force which starts filming later in the year. In the comics, she’s a main member of the team. Hopefully, her third appearance will be in Domino standalone film.
The latest Terminator movie will reunite Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time since 1991’s Terminator: Judgement Day. Tim Miller is directing and James Cameron is also involved. Blade Runner 2049‘s Mackenzie Davis is currently in negotiations to play a soldier-assassin on a mission. While she’ll play a key role, she won’t be the star. Neither will Hamilton. Sources are saying the studio is undergoing an intense and so far fruitless search to find a Latina for the story’s main role. The reboot is intended to be a trilogy and this role will most likely span all three movies.
In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society. I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward. If you want to learn more about how to support the cause – link in bio. #OutlierSociety #AnnenbergInclusionInitiative
Diversity and inclusion have been popular topics of late in Hollywood, especially at last weekend’s Academy Awards. In her acceptance speech for Best Actress, Frances McDormand mentioned an Inclusion Rider. You can read our article to learn more about inclusion riders. Basically, it’s something that can be added to contracts so that at least 50 percent of the cast and crew have to be diverse. Michael B. Jordan announced he will add the inclusion rider to all projects produced by his company, Outlier Society Productions. He made the announcement via Instagram in a photo alongside Alana Mayo, the head of production and development for his Outlier Society Productions, and Phil Sun, his WME agent. Jordan launched the company in 2016 and his upcoming projects include Fahrenheit 451 and Creed 2.
Finally, Cheryl Dunye has been chosen to write and direct The Wonder of All Things for Lionsgate. Based on the 2014 Jason Mott novel, The Wonder of All Things is a supernatural tale about 13-year-old Ava, a girl with healing abilities that are revealed to the world after she heals a friend from serious incurred at a disastrous air show. Dunye has directed episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, The Fosters, and Claws. She’s best known for her 1996 feature film, The Watermelon Woman, which was the first feature film directed by a black lesbian. It won Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at Berlinale. In 2001 she was nominated for Best Director at the Spirit Awards for HBO’s The Stranger Inside.
If you have anything I missed, email me at email@example.com or tweet me at @jane_anon. Check back in next Monday for all the exciting news happening next week.