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Whitney Houston's mum Cissy Houston has slammed an upcoming TV biopic about the late singer, calling on filmmakers to "let her rest".
Actress Angela Bassett, who co-starred with Houston in 1995's Waiting to Exhale, is planning to make her directorial debut with I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story for America's Lifetime network.
However, she does not have support from Houston's mum, who has now spoken out against the made-for-TV movie. A statement to Entertainment Tonight reads, "Lifetime has chosen to go ahead with the movie about Whitney in spite of my family's objections."
"No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with (ex-husband) Bobby (Brown). In the two years since Whitney's death, many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn't know her."
"We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please please let her rest."
While the release date for the movie has yet to be revealed, the main cast has already been made public - former America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta is set to play Houston, R&B singer Deborah Cox will provide the vocal tracks, and Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpeta will play Brown.
Denzel Washington is to be honoured for his contribution to cinema at the upcoming San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain. The Training Day star will be presented with the coveted Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award during the event's opening gala in September (14).
The presentation will take place ahead of the European premiere of the Oscar winner's new movie, The Equalizer, which will be screened during the film festival.
Previous winners of the Donostia award include Julia Roberts, Sir Ian McKellen, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and last year's (13) winner Hugh Jackman.
Rock icon Billy Joel is set to be honoured with America's prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The Piano Man star has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Library of Congress award, which is named after iconic composer George Gershwin and celebrates the lifetime achievements of a living musical artist.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."
"Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a Billy Joel song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we see something of ourselves in them."
A flattered Joel adds, "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November (14).
Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carole King, who made history last year (13) as the first woman to ever claim the Gershwin Prize.
Zendaya Coleman has thrown her support behind Alexandra Shipp as the actress prepares to take over the lead role in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic. Coleman was hired to play the late R&B superstar in a new TV movie about her life, but pulled out over fears the project "felt a little rushed".
The actress also revealed she was bombarded with negative comments from Aaliyah fans who insisted she was not right for the role, and she hopes her replacement, Nickelodeon regular Shipp, will not have the same problems.
She says, "Congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah. I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the haters that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let's practice motivation and love, not discrimination and hate. Alright."
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is scheduled to debut on America's Lifetime network later this year (14). The singer died in a plane crash in the Bahamas in August, 2001.
Nickelodeon regular Alexandra Shipp has replaced Zendaya Coleman in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic. Coleman pulled out of the project last month (Jun14) after she was bombarded with negative remarks following her casting as the late R&B singer.
Executives at U.S. TV network Lifetime put the film on hold following her departure, but now the movie is up and running again with Shipp as the lead and TV talk show queen Wendy Williams on board as a producer.
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is scheduled to debut on Lifetime later this year (14).
The singer was just 22 when she died in a plane crash in 2001.
A court in Italy has overturned Silvio Berlusconi's conviction for paying a teenage girl for sex in 2010. The former Italian Prime Minister won his appeal against the conviction on Friday (18Jul14). The charge related to allegations he slept with 17-year-old nightclub dancer Karima El-Mahroug, also known as 'Ruby the Heartstealer', and then used his political influence to cover it up.
Berlusconi, 77, had been handed seven years in prison relating to the underage sex charge and was given a lifetime ban on holding political office.
The media mogul is currently serving a community service sentence relating to a separate conviction on tax fraud charges.
Miramax Films via Everett Collection
Pulp Fiction fans, be warned: this news may cause you to freak out in ways that are emotionally, physically, and/or financially unhealthy for you. Take a breather before reading on.
In celebration of the film's 20th anniversary, Uma Thurman AKA Mrs. Mia Wallace is giving you and 55 of your friends a chance to screen the Quentin Tarantino classic... with her. The actress—who was nominated for an Oscar for her iconic role—is auctioning off the once-in-lifetime opportunity, which she hopes will raise funds for the charity organization Room To Grow. The winner and friends will also get Q&A time and cocktails with Thurman.
In other words, they will likely experience one of the greatest evenings of their lives. The bid to beat right now is $8,500—if you're feeling lucky (and wealthy) you can bid at Charitybuzz.
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Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpata has been cast as Bobby Brown in Angela Bassett's upcoming Whitney Houston biopic. Bassett, who is making her directorial debut with the TV movie, has cast America's Next Top Model star Yaya DaCosta as Houston and now she has her Bobby Brown.
News of the 33-year-old actor's casting was announced on Monday (14Jul14) when bosses at Lifetime - the channel behind the film - released a photo of the leading lady with Escarpata.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Jean M. Auel's classic novels The Clan Of The Cave Bear are set to be adapted for the small screen.
Moviemaker Ron Howard is executive producing a mini-series based on the bestsellers and Maleficent screenwriter Linda Woolverton has penned the pilot episode, which is set to debut on U.S. cable channel Lifetime next year (15).
Auel's six-book series, which has sold over 60 million copies globally, is set more than 25,000 years ago, when Neanderthals shared the planet with the first early modern humans.
The books inspired a 1986 movie, starring Daryl Hannah.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might have usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction from the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, but the fourth installment in Michael Bay's rock'em, sock'em robot franchise did hit a very significant milestone. With a hefty $752 million intake, Age of Extinction is now the top grossing film of the year, and just after just three short weeks. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where your opinion lies on Bay's controversial franchise, but 2014 is far from over. There's still a ton of strong summer and fall films looking to contend for the top spot at the box-office. We've taken the remainder of the big films releasing in 2014 and assessed their chances of outgrossing Transformers: Age of Extinction.
HerculesCan it beat Transformers?: Over the last couple of years, the Rock has blossomed into a full-fledged movie star. The last Fast and Furious movie grossed $789 Million, but this latest Hercules film doesn't have the fast cars or the built-in fan base of the aforementioned franchise. We think Hercules will do well at the box office (if the Rock flexes it, they will come) but there's no possible way the Rock's latest venture will come close to making Transformers money... even though we're pretty sure the Rock could take Optimus Prime in a fist fight.
Guardians of the GalaxyCan it beat Transformers?: Marvel has a lot riding on Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio's galaxy-spanning adventure doesn't have any recognizable heroes in its ranks, and might not have the same box office muscle as something like Iron Man 3 or The Avengers. But even Marvel's safest bets would have trouble toppling the Transformers in 2014. This year's Captian America: The Winter Soldier only took in $712 million at the box-office, falling short of what Transformers made in just a few weeks. But who knows? Maybe the buzz, hype, and the novelty of Marvel's space opera gamble might bring in a huge enough audience... but we wouldn't bet much on it. Like we said, it is a gamble.
Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCan it beat Transformers?: The Michael Bay produced Turtles reboot will likely do big business just by virtue of having Bay's name on the marquee. It also helps that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are enjoying a huge upswing in popularity thanks to the current animated series running on Nickelodeon. But even with so much going for it, the upcoming Turtles flick still lacks the same media saturation that the Transformers series has. Also, the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film floundered at the box office. This one will likely do better than its predecessor, but no that much better.
The Expendables 3Can it beat Transformers?: Has Sly Stallone sold out? It's hard not to feel that way. The upcoming entry in the heavy hitting Expendables series, which originally promised to bring back the R-rated sensibilities of '80s action movies, has earned a soft ball PG-13. So while The Expendables 3 might lack some of the gory oomph of the earlier films, the toned-down adventure will likely get more teens and tweens into the theater. Will it be enough to beat Transformers? Definitely not, but we wouldn't be surprised if it became the top grossing Expendables film to date.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Can it beat Transformers?: The Hunger Games series is basically a summer blockbuster releasing in November, and the lack of competition plus the huge buzz surrounding the series might be the right cocktail to take out the current box office leader. The last Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, made $158 million on its opening weekend, easily besting the opening for Transformers 4, but the Hunger Games series doesn't quite have the same earning power overseas. Catching Fire made $864 million over its box office lifetime, while Transformes has hit almost $800 million in just a few weeks, thanks to heavy business in China and other places abroad. Mockingjay has a chance, but a slight one.
InterstellarCan it beat Transformers?: Christopher Nolan is perhaps the only director besides Michael Bay that can still attract big box office business based on name alone. The mysterious Interstellar will no doubt attract some deep box office sums, but we're also doubtful that Interstellar's intriguing premise will be enough to beat the known quantity that is Transformers. Nolan's last film, The Dark Knight Rises, made $1.1 billion in theaters, so it's certainly not beyond reason, but that was the capper of a huge franchise about a recognizable comic book hero. We don't think a story about a rural astronaut can outmatch Optimus Prime.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesCan it beat Transformers?: While the domestic earnings for the second Hobbit films left a little to be desired, Peter Jackson's fantasy series does huge business overseas. And those foreign box office receipts boosted Desolation of Smaug to a $958 million gross. Since this will be the last entry in the franchise, we're thinking this might have the best chance of the lot.