Actor Keith Stanfield has been cast to play a young Snoop Dogg in the upcoming N.W.A. biopic.
The Purge: Anarchy star will join Jason Mitchell, Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. and Corey Hawkins, who will portray the late Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, respectively, in Straight Outta Compton, according to TheWrap.com. Meanwhile, Sheldon A. Smith has been chosen to play rapper Warren G and Carra Patterson from Why Did I Get Married Too? will portray Eazy-E's widow Tomica Woods.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about Compton, California rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella's rise to fame in the late 1980s and their subsequent split in 1991.
The movie is scheduled to hit theatres in August, 2015.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Movie legend Lauren Bacall has died after suffering a stroke at her home in Manhattan, New York. The 89-year-old star of classic films The Mirror Has Two Faces, How to Marry a Millionaire and Key Largo was married to two other big screen greats, Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, and she famously romanced Frank Sinatra. Bacall first emerged as a leading lady opposite Bogart in 1944's To Have and Have Not and enjoyed success onstage as well as on the big screen. She scored Tony Awards for her Broadway shows Applause and Woman of the Year, and Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for her role in 1996's The Mirror Has Two Faces. She received an honorary Academy Award in 2009. Her autobiography, By Myself, won a National Book Award in 1980. Born Betty Joan Perske in New York, Bacall's mother was a Romanian immigrant and her father was a New Jersey salesman. After studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she landed a handful of small off-Broadway productions while making waves as a young model. Rumour has it that the wife of moviemaker Howard Hawks was so taken by the one-time Miss Greenwich Village's beauty when she appeared on the cover of style bible Harper's Bazaar, she suggested her husband should screen test her. That meeting led to her breakthrough as Marie Browning in To Have and Have Not, which became the first of many projects that teamed her up with Bogart. The 'Bogie-Bacall' romance is still considered one of Hollywood's greatest love stories. The stars wed in 1945 and were inseparable until the actor's death in 1957. She also appeared in Bright Leaf, opposite Gary Cooper, and teamed up with fellow big screen pin-ups Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in 1953's How to Marry a Millionaire. Her leading men also included Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis (Sex & the Single Girl), Paul Newman (Harper), John Wayne (The Shootist) and Jack Lemmon and James Garner (My Fellow Americans). Bacall's voice was used in 2012 Oscar-nominated animated movie Ernest & Celestine and she was reportedly filming crime drama Trouble Is My Business at the time of her death on Tuesday morning (12Aug14).
Rapper/actor Ice Cube has opened up about his controversial decision not to cast the late Eazy-E's son as the hip-hop icon in his forthcoming N.W.A. biopic, insisting the role required an experienced actor with "a lot of range". Eazy-E's son, Eric Wright, Jr., auditioned for the Straight Outta Compton film job and recently admitted he was disappointed after movie bosses decided to cast newcomer Jason Mitchell as the younger version of his tragic father.
Now Ice Cube, who is serving as one of the project's producers, has explained the reasons behind the decision, insisting aspiring actor Wright, Jr. simply wasn't a good fit.
Speaking to Colorado radio station KS 107.5, Ice Cube says, "He (Wright, Jr.) is an up-and-coming actor trying to do it, but we needed somebody who was a little more polished to play Eazy, because he goes through a lot in his life. He goes from selling dope in Compton to fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So we needed to find an actor with a lot of range. And we just couldn't use just anybody. We gave him (Wright, Jr.) a shot, and it just didn't work out."
Wright, Jr. wasn't the only N.W.A. offspring snubbed for a role in the film - Dr. Dre's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young was also passed over in favour of Corey Hawkins, although Ice Cube's kid, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., will play his dad onscreen.
Meanwhile, the remaining N.W.A. bandmates MC Ren and DJ Yella will be played by Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr., respectively.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the iconic California rap group and their split in 1991.
The biopic is scheduled for release next summer (15).
Rap mogul Dr. Dre halted plans for his son to portray him on the big screen in N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton over fears he didn't have enough acting experience. F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the California rap group, which included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, and their split in 1991.
The cast was announced last week (ends22Jun14) and includes O'Shea Jackson, Jr., playing his father Ice Cube, and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
Newcomer Marcus Callender landed the role of Dre, but the hip-hop veteran's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young reveals he auditioned for the role first.
He says, "I actually tried out for the role, 'cause the casting company called me. But my father wanted somebody with more acting experience, and I haven't been acting for a long time, so I'm happy for the guy that got the role. It's one of those things where we want what's best for the movie and for the film. I had a lot of fans that were upset about it, but whatever's best for the film."
The biopic is set for release in 2015
"Reality TV to me is the museum of social decay. And what passes for music - it's all on that plateau. Who's the hero for young people today? Some idiot who can't f**king sing or write or who's shaking her a** and twerking in front of 11 year olds." British actor Gary Oldman appears to take a swipe at pop star Miley Cyrus, who is known for her 'twerking' dance moves.
Reclusive rock star Gary Glitter returned to the spotlight on Thursday (19Jun14) as he appeared in court to face child sex charges. The glam rock icon, who has been charged with eight sex assaults on two girls as young as 12, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London under his real name Paul Gadd.
He is facing six counts of indecent assault, one count of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse", and one of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13. The alleged offences date from between 1977 and 1980.
During the brief hearing, Gadd spoke only to confirm his name and personal details, and when the deputy chief magistrate questioned why the veteran star was wearing sunglasses in court, his defence attorney Christopher Ware insisted his client has a "medical condition".
Gadd was released on bail and will appear at Southwark Crown Court in London on 3 July (14).
Actor Tony Danza is officially heading back to Broadway for the first time in 13 years with a musical adaptation of 1992 movie Honeymoon In Vegas. The Taxi star will take on the role of gambler Tommy Korman, the character made famous by James Caan in the film, about a man who falls for a young woman while she is in Las Vegas to wed her boyfriend.
Actress Brynn O'Malley will play the bride-to-be, depicted by Sarah Jessica Parker on the big screen, while Rob McClure will take on the role Nicolas Cage played in the early 1990s.
Gary Griffin will direct the show, which will begin previews on 18 November (14) at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, ahead of its official opening on 15 January (15).
Danza last appeared on the Great White Way in a 2001 production of The Producers, while he previously featured in The Iceman Cometh in 1999 and A View From the Bridge in 1997.
Rumours about Danza's Broadway return first surfaced in 2011, before producers decided to give the Honeymoon in Vegas musical a trial run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse last year (13).
Country music stars Gary Allan and Chris Young were forced to scrap appearances at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday night (05Jun14) due to illness and injury. Vocal issues forced Allan to pull the plug on his fan club party, while Young's hand injury kept him from a planned autograph signing event.
Reports suggest he cut his hand while cooking.
Young is still hoping to perform at the festival on Saturday night (07Jun14), but Allan's vocal problems are far more serious - the It Ain't the Whiskey singer has suffered similar issues in the past, and underwent surgery in 2010 to remove a polyp from his throat.
Glam rock icon Gary Glitter has been charged with eight sex assaults on girls as young as 12. The Rock and Roll Part II hitmaker is accused of abusing two females between 1977 and 1980, and faces a claim that one alleged victim was drugged by the star.
He has been charged with six counts of indecent assault, one count of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse", and one of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.
Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is due at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on 19 June (14).
Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
Million Dollar Arm takes a lot for granted when it comes to its audience. It assumes that anyone paying to see this film must care about baseball. Odds are it's right — you've got to have some motivating factor beyond Jon Hamm's jawline. But it assumes you care enough that it doesn't matter how little its characters seem to. We see so few instances involving any carnal appreciation for the game throughout the bulk of the picture, least of all from cranky and materialistic sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm), that when the final act treats us to its coup de grâce tearjerkers we can't help but feel like we're being thrown one hell of a curveball.
But that isn't the worst of the film's assumptions. As a last ditch effort to find a ringer both talented and bankable enough to save his career, J.B. throws caution to the wind and high tails it to India on a scouting mission for strong-armed cricket bowlers. So casually racist that you'd think this film takes place long before 2008, J.B. hates everything about cricket (...why?) and India on the whole, submitting immediately to the idea that he's in a third-rate wasteland where nothing can get done, nobody knows anything, and any young boy would be elated to get out of dodge. And Million Dollar Arm has no interest in proving him wrong: The film never second-guesses (and assumes we won't either) the notion that Big Leagues hopefuls Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma) would be happier and better off in America. It assumes we won't take any issue with the idea that two boys from India must have never seen an elevator, a television, or a moment of good fortune. Sure, they might not have... but it's as if Million Dollar Arm expects us to believe there is no other option when a wide-eyed Sharma wanders through a Californian hotel like Wall-E exploring the starliner.
Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
The film gives itself so much regrettable leeway while carting through the necessary points of its true story, jumping from the laughable inception of J.B.'s plan to move his search overseas to the languid introduction of the two boys (neither of whom is given any backstory) and their entry into the MLB's consideration. But scattered throughout are beats and scenes that seem ripped from a different script entirely — J.B.'s gradual appreciation of Dinesh, Rinku, and much bemoaned translator, documentarian, and aspiring baseball coach Amit (Pitobash Tripathy) as his surrogate family. Of course the vast majority of his emotional realizations come at the behest of his beautiful, kooky tenant Brenda (Lake Bell), but the kids are usually at least nearby.
It's shocking how much the personal material does to salvage Million Dollar Arm, though. J.B.'s relationship with Dinesh, Rinku, and Amit, and — perhaps more importantly — the relationships between Dinesh, Rinku, and Amit themselves are funny, warm, and flavorful enough to give this otherwise faceless movie some real character. Secondary players Bill Paxton and Alan Arkin do little to surprise, playing disgruntled and unconscious respectively, but there's a reason these guys are always called on to do the same thing. And if that's not enough for you, Aasif Mandvi's kids keep throwing up. It plays both like an extended metaphor about the hidden joys in family life and a non sequitur gag from Tomcats. Take your pick.
Million Dollar Arm's charming points are strong enough to distract at times from its boisterous misgivings, but they peer through in the end. Not every baseball movie needs hair-tustling and eye-welling. Not every baseball movie warrants a Pride of the Yankees elegy about the glories of the diamond. But Million Dollar Arm wishes it was one of these movies (so much so that it actually rips the Lou Gehrig speech right out of Gary Cooper's mouth). Still, instead of building a story about the love of baseball or even about the magic of this story, Million Dollar Arm keeps all its genuine energy on a bunt: the story of some jackass who warms up to a couple of kids after a while. Not a bad play, but hardly the grand slam it was going for.
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