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Marvel’s Luke Cage is adding a new villain. The Sopranos’ Annabella Sciorra will play Rosalie Carbone. She is described as a “dangerous downtown criminal underworld power player with an eye, and an agenda, toward Harlem.” Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker said of her casting, “I’ve been a huge fan of hers since Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, and Annabella Sciorra is no joke as Rosalie Carbone. You haven’t seen her this gangster since her thrilling turn as Tony’s formidable flame Gloria Trillo on season three of The Sopranos.” Rosaline Carbone was introduced in the 90s as part of the Carbone crime family in The Punisher: War Zone. Frank Castle tried to infiltrate the Carbone family and take it down from the inside by turning Rosalie’s father and uncle against each other. Rosalie ended up inheriting the family and vowed to get revenge of Castle. We’ll see if this addition leads to a possible crossover between the two Marvel Netflix properties.
The Bobby Brown Story has found it’s Whitney Houston in Gabrielle Dennis. When it aired in January 2017, The New Edition Story broke BET records. The Bobby Brown Story picks up where it left off, following Brown’s solo career. It’s assumed that Whitney and Bobby’s relationship will play a big part of the two part movie. The turbulent relationship spanned from 1992-2007 and played out in the media, tabloids and even reality TV. Dennis stared in both seasons of Rosewood opposite Morris Chestnut. She also has a role in season 2 of Luke Cage.
After an intense bidding war, the adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel Little Fires Everywhere has landed at Hulu. It received an eight-episode, straight to series order. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company purchased the rights to the novel before it was published. She brought the project to Kerry Washington and her Simpson Street banner. They both will star in and produce the limited series. Liz Tigelaar (Casual) was brought in to adapt the book and act as showrunner. The book follows the follows the story of the Richardson family whose lives are upended by the arrival of a mother and daughter.
Citing creative differences with showrunner Kenya Barris, ABC decided to pull a politically and socially themed episode of Black-ish. The episode, titled “Please, Baby, Please,” the was originally set to air Feb. 27. It was instead replaced by a re-run. In the episode, Dre tries to calm his infant son by reading him a bedtime story during an intense thunderstorm. His story shifts into telling his son all of his concerns about the current state of the country. According to Variety, the episode covered multiple political and social issues. At one point Dre and Junior argued over the right of athletes to kneel during the national anthem at football games. “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris told Variety. “Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”
Pilot Season 2018
Tichina Arnold has just joined the cast of CBS’ multi-camera comedy pilot Welcome to the Neighborhood. The series follows Dave, played by House of Lies‘ Josh Lawson, and his family as they move from the midwest to a tough neighborhood in L.A. Arnold will play Loretta, the wife of Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) and the mother of Malcolm and Marty (Marcel Spears, Sheaun McKinney). She’s described as “very devoted to her faith. She judges the newcomers to her neighborhood by their knowledge of Scripture (nonexistent) and their Sunday service attendance record (shockingly poor!).” Arnold is best known for her roles in Martin and Everybody Hates Chris.
Actress-comedian Nicole Byer has been cast in a series regular role opposite Kat Dennings in ABC’s untitled Justine Noble comedy pilot. The series is based on the book and blog How May We Hate You? Byer will play Whitney who described as an “event manager at the hotel who participates in an underground female boxing league during her off hours.” Byer can currently be seen as the host of Netflix’s reality-competition baking series Nailed It and was previously on MTV’s Girl Code and Loosely Exactly Nicole, the series she starred in and executive produced.
In Movie News…
Marvel dropped a new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. We get to see Peter Quill and Tony Stark, two of the biggest egos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as well as Peter Parker and Doctor Strange meeting up in humorous sequences. Things are looking very dire for our collection of heroes. It’s been said multiple times that everyone isn’t going to make out through these films. This trailer gives you the sense that that predication is true. Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters April 27. Check out our set interview with Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson here and our interviews with directors, the Russo brothers here and here.
After making history as the first women of color to direct a $100 million dollar film, Ava DuVernay will become only the second women of color to direct a superhero film. Warner Bros. announced that she will be helming their adaptation of The New Gods. This is a free-standing world of superheroes created by notable comic book writer and artist Jack Kirby in the 70s. The New Gods is the genesis of the popular DC villain Darkseid and features characters such as Orion, Mister Miracle and Big Barda. They came into existence afterworld of the gods of classic mythology were destroyed during Ragnarok. The Gods now inhabit two worlds: New Genesis, a lush paradise, and Apokolips, a hell like landscape. DuVernay will have plenty of material to adapt.
DeWanda Wise is no longer attached to Captain Marvel. It’s being reported that scheduling conflicts with the second season of her Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It are the reason. The series was renewed for a second season in January around the same time Wise was cast in the Marvel film. While Wise’s role was unknown, many speculated that she could be playing Monica Rambeau. Shortly after the announcement that Wise had left the project, they already had a replacement. Lashana Lynch is in final negotiations to replace Wise. Lynch starred in the short-lived ABC period drama Still Star-Crossed.
Spike Lee is currently in talks with Sony to direct a film based on the Marvel character Nightwatch. Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker will most likely be writing the script. The negotiations are still in the early phase. Introduced in 1993, Nightwatch is the alter ego of Dr. Kevin Trench. In the comics Trench is rescued by an older version of himself who later dies. Trench takes his older self’s futuristic suit armor. The superhero teamed up with Spider-Man, Captain America and others in the comics. The film will be part of Sony’s Spider-Man universe.
Last weekend, Black Panther crossed $1 billion dollars at the box office. Now it’s looking like Black Panther will take the number one spot for the fifth weekend in a row, edging out new release Tomb Raider. It will become the first film to hold the number one spot for at least five weekends since Avatar which managed to keep that position for seven weeks in 2009 and 2010. It’s also the seventh largest grossing film domestically. Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time is set to take the fourth spot after I Can Only Imagine. In case you’re interested in the future of Black Panther, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Entertainment Weekly, “Okoye, I think I’d watch three action films just Okoye.” He quickly followed that up with “I’m not saying we’re doing that, but I’m saying that we’re intrigued by them.” A sequel is a given but perhaps, we can also have an Okoye film sometime in the future.
Black Panther actress Sope Aluko has just been added to Sony’s Venom. In the Marvel blockbuster, she played a role credited as “Shaman,” the woman who replaced Forest Whitaker’s Zuri after the ascendancy of Killmonger. Aluko’s role in Venom is currently unknown which isn’t surprising considering that little is known about the plot of Venom. She joins a cast led by Tom Hardy who plays the titular character that includes Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze and Reid Scott.
Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key are reunited for the stop-motion animation film Wendell and Wild. Veteran animator Henry Selick, the director behind The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, is behind the project. The former Key & Peele duo are set to voice two demon brothers, Wendell (Peele) and Wild (Key). They are forced to face off against their arch-enemy in order to earn their way out of hell. Netflix will finance and distribute the animated film. Peele will producer through his Monkeypaw Productions banner.
Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs and Guerilla‘s Zawe Ashton have just joined the cast of Dan Gilroy’s upcoming Netflix film. The cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo along with Natalia Dyer, Billy Magnussen, Toni Collette, John Malkovich and Tom Sturridge. For Gilroy, Gyllenhaal, and Russo, this marks their first reunion since Gilroy’s directorial debut, Nightcrawler. According to Variety, Ashton beat out several actresses for the role. The film will follow big-money artists and mega-collectors who pay a high price when art collides with commerce.
In Other News
The Dora Milaje are coming back to Marvel comics. After the cancellation of World of Wakanda, the Dora Milaje are getting a new arc in Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man. In the comic Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka head to New York to investigate a threat against national security. There they end up working with Spider-Man. The three-part comic is written by sci-fi and fantasy author Nnedi Okorafor, with art by Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque and Terry Dodson. “Typically when you see them, they’re with T’Challa, representing and protecting him,” said Okorafor. “Now you’re going to see the Dora Miljae for the first time as an independent entity; they’re not under the shadow of the throne.” Okorafor first entered the Marvel world last year with her book Black Panther: Long Live the King.
Black Lightning will soon be teaming up with Batman in Detective Comics #982 & 983. Bryan Edward Hill is taking over writing duties from James Tynion IV. He will be bringing in Black Lightning for a two-part arc entitled “On the Outside.” Part one is described as “Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher…and Black Lightning fits the bill!” Part two is described as “Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés—but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?” Part one hits shelves on June 13.