Model-turned-actress Yaya Dacosta is preparing to bring Whitney Houston back to life on the small screen after landing the lead role in a planned TV biopic. Angela Bassett is stepping behind the camera to make her directorial debut with the project for America's Lifetime network, and she has cast The Butler star as the tragic R&B icon, according to TVLine.com.
The film, tentatively-titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, will focus on the singer's rise to fame, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown and her drug issues. It is expected to air next year (15). DaCosta rose to prominence as a competitor on reality TV show America's Next Top Model and has since established herself as an actress with roles on U.S. soap opera All My Children, medical drama House and comedy Ugly Betty.
Last year (13), she also landed a small part in Lee Daniels' The Butler. Houston's manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, recently blasted plans to turn the late superstar's life story into a TV project, insisting she is "certainly worthy of more than a television movie".
The Houston family is reportedly in the process of developing its own Whitney film, similar to Michael Jackson's This Is It concert documentary, which was released following his death in 2009.
MGM via Everett Collection
Here are this week's highlights from VH1, Celebuzz, Flavorwire, and Hollywood.com.
Can another show make the Friends format work? Plenty have tried, but none have succeeded. From Don't Trust the B– in Apartment 23 to The Class, check out VH1's failed Friends wannabes.
There are some scary gangsters on the big screen. From hidden guns to sinister smiles, check out Flavorwire's list of the most frightening movie gangsters.
From the hats to the pastels, see the 140th Kentucky Derby's craziest and best fashion. And Johnny Weir wins. Check out the gallery at Celebuzz.
Mother's Day is approaching, and we know which mom we shouldn't honor. Oh Betty Draper, you've had it rough, but so have your kids. Relive Betty's worst parenting moments at Hollywood.com.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The 2014 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards will be a three-way race after 12 Years A Slave, Lee Daniels' The Butler and August: Osage County were all nominated for three prizes each. The trio received nods in the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category, alongside American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club.
In the Outstanding Performance by a Leading Male Actor category, 12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor will compete against The Butler's Forest Whitaker, Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), and Bruce Dern (Nebraska).
In the Leading Actress category, the nominees are Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks).
Late actor James Gandolfini is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Male Actor for Enough Said, alongside Daniel Bruhl (Rush), Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and Captain Phillips' newcomer Barkhad Abdi
In the Supporting Actress Category, former Oscar nominee Oprah Winfrey receives a nod for her big screen comeback in The Butler, and is pitted against this year's (13) Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence. Others nominated are Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and June Squibb (Nebraska).
Breaking Bad leads the nods in the TV drama categories, picking up nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Best Actor for Bryan Cranston and Best Actress for Anna Gunn.
In the comedy categories, 30 Rock's final series has also picked up three nominations - Best Comedy Ensemble and acting nods for its leads, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
The winners will be announced next year (14).
The full list of nominees is as follows:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years A Slave
Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Forest Whitaker - Lee Daniels' The Butler
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Judi Dench - Philomena
Meryl Streep - August: Osage County
Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl - Rush
Michael Fassbender - 12 Years A Slave
James Gandolfini - Enough Said
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years A Slave
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
June Squibb - Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey - Lee Daniels' The Butler
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
12 Years A Slave
August: Osage County
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Dallas Buyers Club
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Matt Damon - Behind The Candelabra
Michael Douglas - Behind The Candelabra
Jeremy Irons - The Hollow Crown
Rob Lowe - Killing Kennedy
Al Pacino - Phil Spector
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Angela Bassett - Betty & Coretta
Helena Bonham Carter - Burton And Taylor
Holly Hunter - Top Of The Lake
Helen Mirren - Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss - Top Of The Lake
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor an a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels - The Newsroom
Peter Dinklage - Game Of Thrones
Kevin Spacey - House Of Cards
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland
Anna Gunn - Breaking Bad
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Coven
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Kerry Washington - Scandal
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Jason Bateman - Arrested Development
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Don Cheadle - House Of Lies
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Pop superstar Madonna caused commotion at the University of Michigan on Wednesday (21Nov13) when she accompanied her daughter Lourdes to the campus to check out the school's facilities. The Material Girl hitmaker tried to keep a low profile as the 17 year old was given a tour of the singer's alma mater by a musical theatre student, but word of the Queen of Pop's presence in Ann Arbor quickly spread.
Student Lindsey Meekhof tells People.com, "There was a lot of excitement. (Madonna's) daughter was learning about our musical theatre programme. Someone announced to my choir class Madonna was in the building, and choir wasn't productive anymore after that.
"People that weren't music school students were all over the area. Madonna tried to keep the attention on her daughter but... people were everywhere."
Madonna only studied at the University of Michigan for a brief period before quitting to pursue her pop dreams in New York, but she has made no secret of her desire for Lourdes to attend her old college.
Last year (12), she said, "I want my daughter to go to school there. I keep telling her, Ann Arbor is an awesome place."
Lourdes, Madonna's daughter with her former personal trainer Carlos Leon, has already proved her acting and singing credentials after taking on the role of Betty Rizzo in a production of Grease at LaGuardia High School in New York. Stockard Channing portrayed the character in the 1978 film.
Glee star Jayma Mays was so in awe of TV comedy veteran Betty White when the two women first met she dropped to her knees to worship the former Golden Girls star. The actress admits she completely embarrassed herself when she finally ran into White, who had been her TV idol ever since she was a kid.
She says, "Golden Girls was like my favourite show, still is. I drink out of a Golden Girls mug every single morning.
"I met Betty White... I probably scared the poor woman... I remember seeing her and I kind of locked eyes on her... It was kind of an out of body experience.
"The next thing I remember I was kneeling at her feet. I was, like, worshipping an idol, but she was really gracious and she said really nice things, but she was probably like, 'Who is this weird woman kneeling before me?' She's wonderful."
HBO / WENN
It’s a new week, and we should all be over our Halloween Hangovers by now. In the wake of the festivities, the Twitterverse went back to normal, with celebs returning to posting amusing things about themselves and others. Whether it’s throwing some shade at Betty Draper herself, confessing to something that should never be confessed (here’s looking at you, Lena), or having outbursts against random words of the English language, these ladies gave us all a chuckle with their tweets (whether intentionally or not).
WOW. You guys are awesome. So kind. Thank you thank you thank you! PS. Babies eat mostly salsa right?
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 28, 2013
Olivia Wilde responds to all her pregnancy well-wishes. And duh, of course babies eat salsa! Who doesn't?!
Really wish I could take back the tears I cried while watching Never Say Never
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) November 2, 2013
So do we, Lena. So do we.
I ate so much candy. I dunno why people say sugar's bad for you. Now If you'll excuse me, I'll get back to crying on the floor for no reason
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 1, 2013
Ellen speaks some real sh*t. If this hasn’t happened to you, you’re not doing Halloween right.
a puppy could lick it's tiny paw while riding a unicorn through a strawberry quik river in a candy forest & january jones would still scowl.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 3, 2013
Chrissy speaks the truth! Everyone knows JJ is incapable of smiling. But I’d like some more information about this Strawberry Quik river…
Yes I'm going as Carrie however I have a feeling I might end up looking like a tampon!
— Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne) October 31, 2013
Because dressing up like a tampon is so common that people would mistake you for that, right? Although, in Kelly’s defense, she did end up looking like this.
STOP SAYING BANTER, it's revolting. Thank you.
— Lily Allen (@lilyallen) October 29, 2013
Whatever you do, don’t banter with Lily Allen. And if you do, don’t tell her that you just bantered.
Madonna's daughter, Lourdes, is following her mum into the spotlight as she prepares to play Betty Rizzo in the LaGuardia High School production of Grease. Stockard Channing played the character in the 1978 film.
Actress/journalist Irene Kane has lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. Kane passed away on Thursday (31Oct13) at her home in New York City, her family confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.
She landed a handful of roles onscreen and on the Broadway stage in the 1950s and '60s, but was perhaps best known for her role in Stanley Kubrick's 1955 film, Killer Kiss, in which she played the lead female character, Gloria Price.
Kane, whose date of birth has not been published, later decided to pursue a career as a writer and journalist under her real name, Chris Chase. She went on to work for TV networks CBS and CNN, and the New York Times, and co-authored autobiographies with Rosalind Russell, Betty Ford and Josephine Baker. She also wrote her own memoir, titled How Be a Movie Star, or A Terrible Beauty Is Born.
Action man Arnold Schwarzenegger has been named an honorary ranger by officials at the U.S. Forest Service. The actor, who served as California governor from 2003 to 2011, has been recognised for his continued efforts to combat climate change.
A statement from agency bosses reads, "Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger, California is now well on its way to meeting its targets through a ground-breaking mix of measures, including a low carbon fuel standard, a renewable energy portfolio, and a cap-and-trade program.
"Governor Schwarzenegger also approved tough new vehicle fuel economy standards that have since been adopted at the national level."
The Terminator star, who co-founded the non-profit R20 Regions of Climate Change organisation, joins Betty White and Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell as the only other honorary rangers in the agency's history, according to the Huffington Post.