SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly | Andrew Lawrence
January 5, 2021
EXCLUSIVE – When it comes to emotional scene work, LaKeith Stanfield’s method is to retreat into silence. Something about it sends his mind racing to call up every dark moment, difficult loss, and deep-seated sadness. But on Dec. 4, 2019, things got a little too quiet for the Atlanta star on the Cleveland set of Judas and the Black Messiah, the bravura first studio film from director Shaka King that rehashes the state-sanctioned killing of 21-year-old Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton. On the docket was a scene that called for Stanfield, who plays a college-age FBI informant named William O’Neal, to betray an unwitting Hampton during a Last Supper-type party at the chairman’s home, hours before Chicago police would storm in (on O’Neal’s intel) and pockmark the place — and Hampton — in a hail of bullets. The hush that came over the set that day was palpable.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
SOURCE: Variety | Clayton Davis
December 30, 2020
One of the final shoes to drop on the awards season is Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, the official category submissions for the upcoming Oscars have been named. Kaluuya, who portrays Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, will campaign for best supporting actor while Stanfield, as FBI informant Bill O’Neal, will seek consideration in best actor. The film will also feature an original song titled “Fight for You,” written by Grammy winner H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas.
SOURCE: Screenrant | Rachel Labonte
December 29, 2020
Tom Holland’s Cherry is labeled as a junkie and more in these new and improved character posters. Holland’s latest collaboration with his Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo will take a noted step away from the comic book universe that brought them together. In Cherry, an adaptation of Nico Walker’s novel of the same name, Holland plays a PTSD-riddled army vet who turns to bank robbing to support his opioid addiction upon returning home. Described as multiple movies in one, Cherry looks to catapult Holland, who is best known for playing Spider-Man in the MCU, into brand new territory.
SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Scott Suttell
December 23, 2020
Playhouse Square CEO Gina Vernaci is quoted in this Bloomberg article about the impact of Congress approving about $15 billion in grants to the arts and entertainment industry.
The bipartisan provision, dubbed SOS for “Save Our Stages,” was written by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and it’s included in the stimulus package that Congress passed on Monday, Dec. 21, that President Donald Trump now says he wants to rework to get larger checks to Americans. (The SOS provision is likely to stay in any revision, but who knows these days.)
SOURCE: Deadline.com | Anthony D’Alessandro
December 22, 2020
Warner Bros. drama Judas and the Black Messiah about Fred Hampton, the Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman who was betrayed by FBI informant William O’Neal, will open on Feb. 12, 2021 in both theaters and on HBO Max.
The studio is planning to push the Shaka King directed feature for the current 2020-21 awards season. The pic stars Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as William O’Neal. A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands?
(Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
SOURCE: Deadline.com | Ted Johnson
December 21, 2020
The Senate passed a $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package and government spending bill, with a host of provisions sought by different sectors of the entertainment industry including aid to movie theaters and live venues including Broadway.
The Senate passed the massive package, 91-7.
The bill next will go to President Donald Trump for his signature.
John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theaters Owners, said that the legislation “means that the vast majority of small and mid-size U.S. movie theaters and their employees will have the resources to make it through to the end of that tunnel. We urge its immediate implementation.”
COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
SOURCE: Variety | Clayton Davis
Studios didn’t exactly jump at the chance to make a movie about the late Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton.
“It knocked me on my ass,” admits Shaka King, the co-writer and director of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” the blistering new look at Hampton’s short life and enduring impact. “I was under the impression that if you make a movie about a Black Panther, produced by the director of ‘Black Panther,’ which made a billion dollars, starring two of the best actors of our generation, and you have a producer and co-financer in Charles King, who is willing to put up half the budget, it’s going to be a bidding war. That was not the case.”
SOURCE: Variety | Charles D. King
December 16, 2020
Former WME partner Charles D. King launched Macro in 2015 as a production banner to focus on amplifying stories and creative talent from underrepresented backgrounds. Macro brings deep resources to the development and production process thanks to private equity supporters including Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. In its short life, Macro has produced or co-financed such films as “Mudbound,” “Fences,” “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” “Sorry to Bother You” and the upcoming “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The company also has expanded into management with its M88 banner, which now has more than half a dozen managers representing actors, writers and directors.
As Macro approaches its sixth anniversary next month, King speaks with Variety about leading a young business at a time of unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the kind of content King has vowed to champion.
SOURCE: Collider.com | Steve Weintraub
December 15, 2020
Last week, at CCXP Worlds, I moderated an exclusive conversation with Anthony and Joe Russo during which they talked about all the exciting projects at their production company AGBO. During the forty-five-minute panel, the brothers discussed Cherry with Tom Holland, their big-budget Netflix spy movie The Gray Man with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, the Extraction sequel with Chris Hemsworth, Matthew Michael Carnahan’s Mosul, the Hercules remake, Saigon Bodyguards with Chris Pratt, Exit West, Citadel, Relic, their untitled Cambridge Analytica movie, and so much more. In addition, they also shared their memories of working with Chadwick Boseman on 21 Bridges and on their Marvel movies like Captain America: Civil Warand Avengers: Endgame.
Steven Caple, Jr., directing in Cleveland
SOURCE: Cleveland Scene | Sam Allard
December 15, 2020
Hollywood film director and Cleveland native Steven Caple Jr. will field questions about his distinguished young career and offer advice to filmmakers in a conversation with the Greater Cleveland Film Commission’s Mike Wendt Thursday evening.
The digital “Between the Screens” event, hosted by GCFC, will touch on many of Caple’s biggest projects, including The Land, Creed II and HBO’s forthcoming Emmett Till miniseries. It will also include an audience Q&A.