Mary J. Blige has become the latest star to land a guest role on Lee Daniels' hit new music drama Empire. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love and Rita Ora have also secured appearances on the TV show, which stars Terrence Howard as a dying hip-hop mogul and Taraji P. Henson as his ex-wife.
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is set to reunite with her Winnie Mandela co-star Terrence Howard on his new hit music drama Empire. Howard played late South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela opposite Hudson, who portrayed wife Winnie, in the 2011 biopic, and the former movie couple will reteam on the small screen when she makes a guest appearance on his new TV hit.
The duo also appeared in drama Lullaby in 2014.
Empire centres on the relationship of a conniving music mogul, played by Howard, and his ex-wife, Taraji P. Henson, who demands a cut of the business after spending years behind bars.
The drama, written and produced by filmmaker Lee Daniels, already has a star-studded line-up of guest stars, including Naomi Campbell, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Courtney Love, and Rita Ora is also set to make a cameo on an upcoming episode.
Director Lee Daniels is helping supermodel Naomi Campbell make her big screen acting return by casting her in his upcoming Richard Pryor biopic. The filmmaker recently recruited the British beauty for a recurring role in his new TV drama series Empire, alongside Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, and now Campbell will have a role in his next project, too.
She revealed the news during an interview on U.S. breakfast show Today on Friday (23Jan15) as she discussed her appearance on Empire, saying, "I'm grateful to Lee Daniels (for casting her in Empire)... and also Richard Pryor, his new film, with Oprah (Winfrey), Mike Epps, Kate Hudson."
Campbell stopped short of sharing any further details about her part.
The Hangover funnyman Epps will portray the late comic legend in the new biopic, with Hudson taking on the role of his wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor, and Selma star Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother.
Production is expected to begin at the end of March (15).
Pryor died in 2005, aged 65, after suffering a heart attack.
Campbell last featured on the movie screen in 2009 Bollywood film Karma, Confessions and Holi, while she also previously appeared in 1999 comedy Trippin'.
"It's a very low key group. The boys actually sat around this year and did arts and crafts... Howard is painting these beautiful landscapes and flowers... he's really good...! Jimmy is an incredible artist... Justin draws pictures of zombie babies... and crazy monkeys and dead people." Actress Jennifer Aniston's recent couples vacation with her fiance Justin Theroux, U.S. radio personality Howard Stern and American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and their wives was not quite what fans might expect.
As obsessive readers and fans of dismissing quality movies as inferior to their literary counterparts, it's important for us to know which books will head to the big screen ahead of time. How else will we know how Wild Reese will be, or what is going to happen to Peeta? Be reasonable. We've decided to use our research for the good of society and share the adaptations coming soon that we are most excited for.
1. The Spook's Apprentice - Joseph Delaney (Seventh Son)
Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of the seventh son, which gives him the ability to see things that others cannot: ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, and the like. He becomes an apprentice to John Gregory, the Spook (Jeff Bridges). Julianne Moore is set to play Mother Malkin, one of the most sinister witches who uses blood magic, luring young runaway women into care before sucking their blood to maintain her youth, who was then imprisoned by the Spook. Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou also star.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, in case you somehow didn't know, are stepping into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for the adaptation of the incredibly successful erotic novel. Steele, a literature student, interviews Grey as a favor to her roommate, but quickly becomes entranced by this brilliant and handsome man who is unable to resist her. He admits his desire, but on his own terms; this is a man with a need to control everything. This is also probably going to be the movie with a bunch of heavy-breathing sweaty middle-aged women trying to control themselves in the theater. You've been warned.
3. In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick
The last time Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth teamed up, they brought us one of the best films of 2013, Rush. Now, they're at it again (along with Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker) with this story of a whaleship attacked by one angry whale, leaving the crew shipwrecked and stranded for 90 days, thousands of miles from land. The true story inspired a little book by Herman Melville (played in the movie by our favorite, Ben Whishaw) entitled Moby-Dick.
4. The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith (Carol)
W. W. Norton & Company
Patricia Highsmith, author of successful novels-turned-movies like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley (we're choosing to ignore the recent The Two Faces of January here), wrote The Price of Salt, which will be released as 'Carol.' The novel itself, controversial for its lesbian content and unprecedented gay happy ending, is said to have inspired Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson, with Far From Heaven and I'm Not There director Todd Haynes helming.
5. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
Shaye Areheart Books
Gone Girl author brings us yet another chilling thriller. A young girl is the sole survivor of a massacre that leaves both of her sisters and her mother dead in an apparent Satanic cult ritual. She testifies against her brother, but 25 years later, she begins to investigate the actual events. Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, and Christina Hendricks star.
6. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants director Ken Kwapis is set to direct Bryson's memoir, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. The hilarious book describes Bryson's attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman will also star.
7. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
As conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows, a war looms for Divergent's post-apocalyptic Chicago. In this sequel, we're still following Shailene Woodley and Theo James' Tris and Four as they try to understand the reasons for Erudite's insurrection and obtain information the Abnegation are trying to protect. Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller return in their supporting roles, and are joined by some all-star names: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Suki Waterhouse.
8. Serena - Ron Rash
The dynamic duo of mega-nominated movies Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are back at it! Bradley Cooper plays a man trying to maintain his timber empire during the Depression, while Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife who discovers she can't have children. For some reason, we're a little terrified of JLaw in this movie from the trailer.
9. Silence - Shusako Endo
Taplinger Publishing Company
This 1966 novel about a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan where he endures persecution is set to be adapted by Martin Scorsese. It will also have an all star cast of Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, and Adam Driver.
10. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
The producers of The Fault in Our Stars, the author of The Notebook, and the hottest Hollywood son around, this movie already has us in love with it. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson play two lovers and there's a rodeo or something; we don't really know, we were just thinking about how much this movie will make us cry. Time to read the book.
11. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Hunt director Thomas Vinterberg tackles Thomas Hardy's novel. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who has too many men in love with her and of course rejects them all until she falls for one. Three men, played by Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Tom Sturridge (On The Road), all after this woman: who will she end up with? We actually just read the plot description and had everything spoiled and somehow still gasped and cried at those three paragraphs. Why didn't we know about this book before?!
12. Paper Towns - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green's next book to be adapted by the same team who adapted TFIOS (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber). Margo and her adventures are legendary at her high school, and Quentin ("Q") has always loved her for it. Margo climbs through his window and demands he take an all night road trip of revenge, but when she goes missing the next day, Q realizes she's left clues for him and promptly hits the road again in search of her. Cara Delevingne will play Margo and TFIOS' Nat Wolff will play Q.
13. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge - Michael Punke
Carroll & Graf Publishers
Academy Award-nominated Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, 21 Grams, Biutiful) is set to direct Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in this adaptation. Partially based on the life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Leo will play Glass, who is mauled by a bear, then later robbed and left for dead by his companions. He survives and sets out for revenge against those same men.
14. The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
Faber and Faber
A one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, in a mental hospital for about 50 years decides to retrace her history. As the hospital faces demolition and he must choose which of his patients should be transferred and which should rejoin the community, Dr. Grene also tries to discover her history. What they find is very different, though there are some consistencies. Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara will play Roseanne McNulty, Eric Bana will play Grene, with Theo James also starring.
15. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
An oft-adapted novel, Mary Shelley's classic is to be turned into yet another film, this time directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Push). The updated version, titled Victor Frankenstein, will be told from the perspective of the doctor's assistant, Igor. The film will explain how the doctor became the man who created the legendary monster. Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor and James McAvoy will play Victor Frankenstein.
16. The Martian - Andy Weir
Crown Publishing Group
Described as Cast Away meets Apollo 13, the novel follows an astronaut stranded on Mars, fighting to survive (which also sounds mildly like Gravity to us, no?). Ridley Scott is set to direct a pretty stellar (no pun intended) cast here: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This sounds like a great movie already, but we'll have to wait until November to see it.
17. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Walt Disney Pictures is working on this live-action/CGI mash-up of the classic book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef), with a mind-bogglingly incredible cast. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will provide voices, while newcomer Neel Sethi will play Mowgli.
Birdman is continuing to soar high as it enters awards season after landing 13 nominations for the 2015 Critics' Choice Movie Awards. Michael Keaton's film will compete for Best Picture against The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Selma, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Unbroken and another critics' favourite, Boyhood.
Meanwhile, Birdman filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is shortlisted for Best Director, facing off against Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Ava DuVernay (Selma), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken).
There was also recognition for Keaton (Best Actor) and supporting nominations for Edward Norton and Emma Stone.
Other Best Actor contenders include Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), David Oyelowo (Selma) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), while the female equivalent features the likes of Jennifer Aniston (Cake), Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).
Supporting nods went to Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game).
The Grand Budapest Hotel was the second most-nominated film just behind Birdman with 11 nods, while Boyhood grabbed eight.
Meanwhile, director Ron Howard will receive the Louis XIII Critics' Choice Genius Award, while Best Supporting Actress nominee Jessica Chastain will take home the inaugural Critics' Choice MVP Award and Kevin Costner will be saluted with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winners of the 2015 Critics' Choice Movie Awards will be unveiled at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 15 January (15).
Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence has scored her first pop chart hit in the U.S. - her The Hanging Tree collaboration with composer James Newton Howard for the latest The Hunger Games movie has debuted at number 12 on the new Billboard Hot 100 countdown.
Jennifer Lawrence can add pop star to her resume after her rendition of The Hanging Tree in the new The Hunger Games sequel entered charts around the globe.
Lawrence, who plays Katniss in the popular franchise, performed the song by composer James Newton Howard and folk band The Lumineers for a scene in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.
Despite claiming she has a "tone deaf Amy Winehouse voice" during an appearance on David Letterman's U.S. talk show earlier this month (Nov14), the track is at number three in the U.S. Itunes Chart and number 16 in the U.K.
The single, which was made available to download on Friday (21Nov14), has also reached the Top 10 in 31 other countries.
Studio bosses at Sony Pictures are developing a remake of hit 1997 horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer. The executives have recruited Oculus co-writers Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard to pen the screenplay for the thriller, which was originally adapted from author Lois Duncan's 1973 novel of the same name.
The first big screen adaptation featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr., and grossed over $125.6 million (£78.5 million) at the worldwide box office.
A sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, was released the following year (1998).
According to Deadline.com, bosses at Sony are aiming for a 2016 release for the reboot.
U.S. shock jock Howard Stern has nominated the recently deceased Casey Kasem to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for charity. Stern took on the challenge in comedy fashion after Jennifer Aniston nominated him, by tipping a shot glass with one ice cube in it on his head.