Rapper Lil Wayne has issued an apology to Emmett Till's family after he rapped about the murdered African-American teenager in Future's track Karate Chop. In an unauthorized remix of the song, the hip-hop star makes reference to Till, who was brutally pistol-whipped and murdered in 1955 for flirting with a white girl in America's Deep South, rapping, "Beat the p**sy up like Emmett Till." The lyric infuriated Till's family, who claimed the tune was insensitive and disrespectful to the tragic 14 year old's memory, prompting activists to petition bosses at Mountain Dew to drop Lil Wayne as a spokesman due to his behaviour.
And now the Lollipop hitmaker, real name Dwayne Carter, Jr., has personally offered up an apology to Till's relatives after the song was pulled from the Internet by bosses at Epic Records. In an open letter addressed to the Till family, he writes, "As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists. "It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist's song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys. "Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record's decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue."
He's done it again! Ever since X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer took it upon himself to be his own movie’s publicist, he has revealed many new castings via his Twitter. Friday was no exception, as Singer posted a photo of a production office wall of actors' headshots with the caption, "3 #Oscars, 6 #GoldenGlobes, 1 #BAFTA, 2 #Emmys, 2 #Tonys, 5 #Oliviers, 1 #Ceaser - Now let's blow s**t up! #XMEN."
Along with the previously reported castings, Singer’s photo revealed three new names joining the film – well, more accurately two new names and one returning. Fan Bingbing, a Chinese actress best known for Double Exposure will be playing the teleporting mutant Blink. Daniel Cudmore is reprising his role as Colossus from X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. Boo Boo Stewart, best known for his role in The Twilight Saga, also joins the cast.
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Bingbing, Stewart, and Cudmore join previously cast Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry.
Check out the full photo below to get a glimpse of our new X-Men!
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters July 18, 2014.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Getty Images/Twitter]
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UPDATE: Berry's spidey-senses were tingling correctly (I know, I know, Spider-Man is in a different universe). Her return for X-Men: Days of Future Past has just been confirmed by Deadline.
EARLIER: It's a big weekend for X-Men fans. First, the director of the upcoming sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer tweeted (below) that French actor Omar Sy from critical hit The Intouchables will join the film. And now, Halle Berry, who fans will remember as Storm in the original X-Men movies, says she "thinks" she's in for the new movie.
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During the junket for her new flick The Call, Berry told Access Hollywood that she's "in" for the movie, adding the super safe follow-up: "I think I'm in." Of course, it's not all that unlikely that Berry would return to reprise her explosive role in Singer's followup to X-Men: First Class. with Patrick Stewart returning to play his signature role as Professor Charles Xavier, Hugh Jackman coming back as Wolverine, and Anna Paquin returning as Rogue, it would seem a little lonely without Berry's beloved lady mutant along for the ride. Reps for Berry could not be reached for confirmation at the time of publication.
As for Sy, his role remains shrouded in mystery, as Singer only managed to reveal the fact that the actor will be in the film. Perhaps there's a mutant role just primed and ready for the French star?
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Sy and (potentially) Berry join an already robust cast for X-Men: Days of Future Past, including Stewart, Jackman, Paquin, Ellen Paige, Sir Ian McKellan, and Jennifer Lawrence to name a few.
Thrilled to welcome the brilliant #OmarSy from the amazing film #TheIntouchables to the cast of #Xmen #DaysofFuturePast!
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) March 2, 2013
[Photo Credit: Wenn]
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With Bob Iger confirming on Feb.5 what we'd already known for months, that plans were in motion to develop standalone Star Wars films beyond Episodes VII, VIII, and IX focusing on other characters of George Lucas' saga, the respective geek lobes of our brains got fired up faster than a Dug high on Death Sticks.
Now EW.com is saying that two of those projects are going to be a Young Han Solo movie and a Boba Fett movie. We already told you what we'd like to see in a spin-off movie based around Yoda, but what other denizens of that Galaxy Far, Far away are ready for the spotlight?
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We'd say a Darth Maul movie could be interesting, but the Clone Wars television series has already gotten there first. Maybe a blistering corporate satire about Nute Gunray's career titled The Trade Federation: Credits Never Sleep? For those of us who want to delve deeper into the taxation of interstellar trade routes. Maybe a podrace movie about the early years of Ben Quadinaros. The Fast & the Furious: Tatooine Drift? Or a torture-porn gorefest about how Dr. Evazan earned every one of the death sentences on 12 systems? It could be from Hostel director Eli Roth and simply called Cantina. Okay, we kid. But here are 5 characters we really do think need more attention:
Boba Fett — Disney is on our wavelength: Fett is a no-brainer for a spin-off movie. Character creator Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji, Captain America: The First Avenger) has even said he wants to do a standalone Fett flick. And if you wanted to set it after Return of the Jedi, to avoid the stigma of a prequel, there would be an Expanded Universe basis for doing so. The fact is, Fett survived being swallowed by the sarlacc and lived to menace Han Solo another day. Just as long as a movie about the bounty hunter doesn't become a geriatric hitman flick about an elderly Fett targeting an elderly Harrison Ford as Solo, in which he'll need a jetpack...and a walker. I keep fearing a Stand-Up Guys scenario. But if you set it during Fett's prime, just imagine the possibilities. It could be about some particularly daunting bounty he has to claim and the motley rogues he has to beat out to nab the prize. We could have cameos from Dengar (Simon Pegg's already voicing him on The Clone Wars, now he can do so in the flesh!), Bossk, Aurra Sing, and, best of all, IG-88, the assassin droid who really would be ripe for a spinoff of his own.
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Lando Calrissian — Imagine an Ocean's 11-style heist thriller based around Lando Calrissian. Admittedly, Timothy Zahn already kind of did that with his recent novel Scoundrels. But I think we could go even further, add kind of a David Mamet, House of Games storyline about the former Cloud City administrator entering into a high-stakes sabacc tournament, in which he has to beat out all manner of scum and villainy, sometimes via shady means, to walk away with the prize. It could go really heavy on the fake Star Wars galaxy profanity. Every sentence should be peppered with expletives like "kriff" and "kark." By default it's gotta be better than the way Lando's depicted most of the time in the Expanded Universe. God, there was even once an arc in a series of novels about him trying desperately to find a wife. Lando doesn't do anything out of desperation...except betray his best friend when confronted by Imperial troops. But other than that? Nothing.
The Emperor — I'd like to see a standalone story about Palpatine at his prime, how he consolidated his power after declaring himself Emperor and destroying the Jedi Order. Maybe it could be about his epic campaign to enslave the Wookiees so he could use their labor to build the Death Star. So much of the prequels, Old Palpy is hiding his true malice, that it'd be fun to just see him let it rip. And, as was rumored way back in the heady days before Revenge of the Sith, Hugh Jackman could finally play Grand Moff Tarkin. Imagine Mark Strong as Thrawn! Maybe we could even get a glimpse of Darth Vader doing something cooler than just screaming "Nooooo!"
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Jabba — Okay, bear with me here. A hard-edged gangster thriller about Jabba's pre-strangulation climb to the top of the Outer Rim criminal heap, his battles with the Black Sun criminal syndicate, his torrid romance with a Twi'lek showgirl. The Clone Wars TV series already shown how his lounge singer Sy Snootles is really that Galaxy Far, Far Away's ultimate femme fatale, so she would be a must.
Salacious Crumb — Then the Jabba movie would get its own spinoff focused entirely on the cackling Kowakian monkey lizard who serves as the Hutt's jester. Totally non-verbal it could be written by the prankmeister who wrote that complete Mr. Peepers script on spec last year.
What Star Wars characters do you think should get the big-screen spotlight?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Lucasfilm]
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Relativity Media announced today that it has struck a deal with Lionsgate to acquire the North American distribution rights for Machine Gun Preacher, a fact-based thriller starring Gerard Butler and directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). According to Relativity's press release, the film features a "tour de force" performance from Butler, and has thus been slapped with a September 23, 2011 release date -- prime awards-season territory. The effusive praise for Butler sounds a tad dubious, if only because the actor's recent oeuvre includes such Oscar kryptonite as The Bounty Hunter and The Awful Truth, but who am I to doubt a studio press release?
Machine Gun Preacher had been slated to languish on Lionsgate's shelf for the foreseeable future, with an approximate release date of "whenever we get around to it," as the studio focused on rolling out its glut of titles. In addition to Butler, the film stars Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Michael Shannon (Superman: Man of Steel), Madeline Carroll (The Spy Next Door) and newcomer Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo). It chronicles the true-life tale of Sam Childers, an American biker-gang member who found God, traveled to Sudan, and started an organization to aid victims of the Lord's Resistance Army, a para-military force infamous for its use of child soldiers.
Source: Relativity Media
The British actor has approached producers about depicting the late Hallelujah hitmaker once he completes the last two movies in the vampire franchise.
But Pattinson, who sang on the Twilight soundtrack, will have to impress with his musicianship if he wants to land the coveted role.
Producer Michelle Sy says, "I've met actors who are keen on the part and Robert was one... The actor must be able to play music and sing, or at least make it believable he can do that."
The 24 year old has already received a vote of confidence from Mary Guibert, Buckley's mother, amid reports actors including James Franco and James Marsden are also vying for the part.
Guibert says, "Robert is a fine young actor. I'm flattered he's been linked to the project. When the times comes we'll give everybody an opportunity to be seen and heard."
Buckley drowned in Memphis, Tennessee in 1997 when he was just 30 years old.
In true straightforward comic-book style TMNT starts with a brief backstory (without the laborious explanation on why four turtles and a rat become human-like in the first place) and then launches into the heart of the movie. After the defeat of their old arch nemesis The Shredder the Turtles—fun-lovin’ Michelangelo (Mikey Kelly) tech guru Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield) hotheaded Raphael (Nolan North) and pragmatic leader Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor)--have grown apart as a family. While Leo is off honing his craft the turtles no longer fight crime--except Raphael who still fights crime under the pseudonym Nightwatcher. Struggling to keep them together is their rat sensei Master Splinter (the late Mako). But strange things are brewing. Tech-industrialist Max Winters (Patrick Stewart) is amassing an army of ancient monsters to apparently take over the world. With the help of old allies April O'Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Casey Jones (Chris Evans) the Turtles finally come together as brothers to fight the good fight and once again face the mysterious Foot Clan who have put their own ninja skills behind Winters' endeavors. As opposed to hiring just A-list actors TMNT is a nice eclectic mix of veteran voice-over artists who give the Turtles their voices and regular actors such as Gellar Stewart and Evans. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’s Ziyi Zhang also gets in on the action providing the voice of the Foot Clan leader Karai who was once an enemy of the Turtles but now sees the value in what they do. Of course there isn’t a Robin Williams or Ben Stiller to laugh with but Kelly is pretty funny as Michelangelo who has had to resort to entertaining kids at birthday parties as “Cowabunga Carl ” a clown-for-hire in a “fake” turtle suit. It will all depend on whether those ninja-fightin’ pizza-eatin’ giant turtles still have a monetary appeal but methinks a new TMNT movie franchise has been born. The comic book was created in 1984 by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman as a spoof to the superhero stories and quickly took off into merchandising heaven with a toy license and then a television series. The original 1990 live-action movie used state-of-the-art animatronics but somehow felt static and fake. Since the last TMNT movie in 1993 the whole Turtle phenomenon has sort of fallen off the radar at least in the U.S. so the time was ripe for a renovation. Using the innovative CGI we know and love this new TMNT--created by a team of animators from California and Hong Kong under the watchful direction of Kevin Munroe--gives the Turtles not to mention all the otherworldly monsters they have to fight a realistic look and feel. With this kind of freedom the film can focus on the action which is the best part of the TMNT lore. Though the demographics may skew male ages 8-11 (as well as those 8-to-11-year-old boys who loved it back in the day and are now grown men) TMNT is just your basic supercharged animated fun.