Downton Abbey star Gary Carr has replaced Anthony Mackie as the lead in a new biopic about jazz great Buddy Bolden. The actor/singer, who plays Jack Ross on the period TV drama, joins Ian McShane and Get On Up star Nelsan Ellis among the cast of Bolden, which is back after a lengthy hiatus.
A long-time asylum inmate, Bolden became a student of Louis Armstrong in the 1930s and was inspired to master the cornet and trumpet.
He is considered by many to be the father of modern jazz.
The music for the biopic will be composed and performed by Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis.
McShane will portray Bolden's nemesis Judge Perry, while Ellis will play the role of Bartley, the wily entrepreneur who manages the Bolden Band.
Actor Anthony Mackie is set to develop and star in a film about Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier star has teamed up with his producing partner Jason Spire and screenwriter Jamie Linden and they are hoping to shoot the film in Germany later this year (14), according to Deadline.com.
The untitled movie will centre on the lead-up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where the sprinter took home four gold medals, much to the disgust of Germany's Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Mackie's project is not the only movie about the American track and field star in the works - bosses at Disney are working on a film based on on the Jeremy Schaap book Triumph, while Stephan James has reportedly been cast as Owens in a film to be directed by Predator 2's Stephen Hopkins.
The Owens film might help explain why Mackie has dropped out of playing jazz musician Buddy Bolden in a biopic, due to scheduling issues.
He began filming Bolden in 2007, but in 2009 director Dan Pritzker ordered extensive re-shoots involving Mackie's scenes.
Pritzker is now planning to finish the movie by filming half of it over again and has cast Downton Abbey's Gary Carr to replace Mackie.
Robbie Williams has been handed a deadline to decide whether or not he will rejoin pop group Take That. Williams quit the British band in 1995 but reunited with them in 2010 after working with fellow singer Gary Barlow on the album Progress. He even joined them on tour between 2010 and 2011.
However, the Angels hitmaker has since gone on to work on more solo material, as well as welcoming his first daughter in 2012, and it is unclear how he will feature in the group's future plans.
Barlow has now given Williams until May (14) to decide if he will officially rejoin the group, telling U.K. chat show host Alan Carr, "We'd need to know what we're doing by the end of May... The thing with Robbie is he's family with us now. If he's not in the band he'll write on the record and you know we'll work with him on his next record. We do this now, we work together a lot. Whether he'll be in the final line-up I'm not sure."
It's getting a little bizarre how much Downton Abbey has in common with the Real Housewives franchise: a bunch of rich people making well-placed barbs and fighting over trivial things. The only thing missing is the confessionals, and the fact that the actors of Downton are so amazing they can sell the intensity.
Everyone is excited about Lord Grantham’s birthday. They are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Lady Mary Craweley’s oft-rejected suitor Evelyn Napier, his employer Mr. Charles Blake, and some pigs. Mr. Blake arrives and instantly butts heads with Lady Mary. He is studying the lavish estates and questioning if they are even meant for a modern UK.
Lady Rose MacClare organizes a surprise for her uncle’s birthday. She recruits Steve Urkel Jack Ross (Gary Carr), the nasal jazz singer. It’s always strange when British television shows cast English actors to play Americans. They spend more time trying to sound like accountants.
Gird your loins, Isobel Crawley and the Dowager Countess are back to fighting. Watching Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton go at it is the best part of this show. This verbal joust was over the fate of Peg, the gardener. Isobel reboots Murder She Wrote and goes snooping through Violet’s drawing room. Boom! She finds the missing knife. She shows up with Dr. Clarkson to shame the Dowager into giving Peg his job back. She has a rehired Peg come in and completely embarrass Isobel. Check and mate.
Tom Branson bonds with Isobel about their dead loved ones. He goes on to make a valid point. He won’t be able to find another member of the aristocracy willing to slum it with him. Plus, everyone would take issue with him bringing some ratchet girl from town to the house.
Lady Edith is still waiting for word from her married lover and gets a bombshell…she’s pregnant with the bastard son of her married lover. Equally shocking, Lady Mary catches Lady Rose and Steve Urkel ... um, Mr. Ross engaged in a little chocolate vanilla swirl. The look on Mary’s face is priceless.
Alfred ends up getting the apprenticeship at The Ritz. It sends everyone into a rural fervor. Daisy is emotional because Alfred is leaving. Mr. Molesley stops by to try and get the footman job but Carson is still dying to make him suffer for his hubris. Mr. Molesley suffers until Mrs. Hughes has him serve the servants and Carson stops him right there and rehires him.
Jimmy takes Ivy to a movie and then decides he’s earned the right to sexually harass her. Luckily, she escapes unscathed but their relationship is over. Suddenly, she’s a little more keen on Alfred which sends Daisy into a tantrum.
Bates and Anna go to a hotel to try and escape the terror of Anna’s attack. Their host is rude and dismissive until Cora Crawley gets them a table. But she does overhear their bickering. But she did miss him talking about wanting to murder. Mrs. Baxter is in the room when Cora tells Mary what she heard. Barrow puts the lean on Mrs. Baxter for the details. But it looks like Baxter has some fight in her.
The Reading Room - Best Barbs of the Episode
"I have a feeling most things would fit into this particular pocket." -The Dowager Countess about thieving Peg
"I wonder you don’t just set fire to the Abbey and dance around it… painted in woe and howling." -The Dowager’s recommendation for Isobel’s weekend.
Isobel: "How you hate to be wrong."Dowager Countess: "I wouldn’t know…I’m not familiar with the sensation."
"What a very disturbing thought." -Carson at the idea of Mrs. Patmore with a man
"I don’t expect Mr. Blake to be witty." -Lady Mary to Mr. Bates
"Some people run on greed, lust, even love she runs on indignation." -Dowager Countess about Isobel
There is no shortage of shocking moments this season. It looks like Downton Abbey is channeling Melrose Place. Here’s hoping that Heather Locklear stops by as a 1920s advertising executive hell-bent on getting her hands on the Abbey. The original Shady Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) is replete with side-eyes, social slights, and aristocratic sass. Lady Edith is also making poor romantic choices as usual. Oh poor Edith, why are you so unlovable? Meanwhile, has anyone noticed that Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) sounds a lot like a slightly inebriated Liza Minnelli?
The party guests are slowly leaving. Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards) proved himself a hero. Miss Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring) has gone full-on Fatal Attraction on Tom Branson (Allen Leech). She is trying to turn their one-night-stand into a ticket to the wealth of Downton.
Lady Mary, Edith, Tom and Lady Rose MacClare (Lily James) head to London to stay with Lady Rosamund Painswick (Samantha Bond). They head to The Lotus Club to listen to some jazz. Steve Urkel Jack Ross (Gary Carr) serenedes with the most nasal rendition of 1920s jazz. When, Lady Rose’s escort gets sloppy, Jack saves the day by cutting in. However, Tom rushes to stop her from dancing with a black man. Racism is alive in London, people.
Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) is courting the hell out of Lady Mary. He even snuck on the same train to surprise her at home. He proposes but Mary has to decline but she does give him an epic kiss on the grounds.
The Drama: Not only is Mr. Gregson heading to a pre-World War 2 Germany to get a divorce, but they totally spent the night together. He seems somewhat above board since he gave Edith power of attorney over his finances. But ... does he plan to sleep with her and run? Also, has he left her with legal control for an ulterior motive?
Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) is still recovering from her attack and not doing so well since she has to see Mr. Green (Nigel Harman) before he leaves. She has become very icy to Bates (Brendan Coyle) and absolutely refuses to tell him why. She has even asked Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) to move back with the servants. Ivy (Cara Theobold) and Jimmy (Ed Speleers) have upgraded their lame courtship into full-on canoodling. Alfred (Matt Milne), jilted, has decided to apply for a cooking fellowship with The Ritz hotel. He may be leaving Downton like his aunt O’Brien. Carson (Jim Carter) is also beginning a very slow flirtation with Mrs. Hughes. Could the Mom and Pop of the staff get together for real?
The Drama: Mrs. Hughes plays Tom’s hero by destroying Braithwaite and her pregnancy claims. She finds a book about conception and bluffs Braithwaite into leaving Downton. She also tells her that if she makes a fuss she will never get a job in her lifetime. Now, if only Mrs. Hughes can tackle Anna’s attacker.
Best Lines of the Night
Don’t be transparent mamà, it doesn’t suit you. -Lady Mary to Cora
Don’t say I’m not good enough. If you were good enough for Lady Cybil Crawley then I’m good enough for you. -Braithwaite to Tom
Ivy moves a little fast for a beginner, don’t she -Daisy (Sophie McShera)
If we only had moral thoughts ... what would the poor church men find to do? -Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith)
Things have come to a pretty pass when you have to be rescued by a black band leader. -Lady Rosemound being a tad wee bit racist
Do you ever wonder why people dislike you so much? It’s because you’re sly, oily, and smug and I’m really pleased I got to tell you before I go. -Braithwaite to Barrow
If we’re playing the truth game. You’re a lying manipulative little witch and if your schemes have come to nothing I’m delighted. -Tom Barrow (Rob James-Collier) to Braithwaite
Edith is about as mysterious as a bucket. -Lady Mary
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Break out the tea towels! Filming on Series 4 of Downton Abbey has wrapped, and though those of us Stateside won't be able to catch up with the Crawleys until January, photos from the production have been released to whet our appetites for the many heated arguments about the propriety of white-tie attire versus black-tie attire to come. Specifically, we're getting our first glimpse of the three new men in the life of Michelle Dockery's Lady Mary, following the death of her husband Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) at the end of Series 3. “We do see quite a bit of the Mary she was before she met Matthew, that icy iron-maiden quality," producer Gareth Neame tells TV Guide. "It's going to take an awful lot to get her back to life." Let’s get to know the three gents in her orbit better.
Jack Ross (Gary Carr)
The dashing young jazz singer from Chicago, pictured above, meets Lady Mary in the third episode, after Branson, Rose, and Aunt Rosamund force her finally to leave Downton after her extended period of mourning. They take her to a swinging club in London called the Lotus, where Ross helps her come out of her shell. "The spine of the new season is how Mary moves from total bereavement into turning to life again," Neame says. "Ross is very positive, ambitious and charming. And we get to see him perform."
Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen)
Around the same time, Lady Mary reacquaints herself with old family friend Lord Gillingham at one of Downton’s lavish parties. He helps her out with the tangled mess of inheritance taxes surrounding Matthew’s assets. "Mary is not looking for anyone to replace Matthew, but she is, of course, a beautiful, eligible young widow, so inevitably there is going to be quite a lot of male interest," Neame says. "Gillingham is a very useful friend to Mary at a time when she's not able to make decisions."
Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden)
Remember Evelyn Napier? He was the Crawley family friend who introduced them to Turkish ambassador Kemal Pamuk — who died in Lady Mary’s bed — way back in Season 1. Well, he’s coming back. And hopefully the friend he’s bringing with him this time has a healthier ticker. Evelyn’s pal is named Charles Blake, and he’s full of ideas about how to run Downton more efficiently…just like Matthew was before his untimely end. But unlike Matthew Mary despises him. However, if you think about it, she wasn’t really keen on her eventual husband at the start of Season 1, either. "There's a bit of a difference," Neame says. "Mary objected to the law making Matthew the heir to Downton. Blake is someone she just doesn't like. He's modern-thinking but does not share the family's sentimentality about the past."
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More: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4: 10 Spoilers About What’s Next for the Crawleys Why Are All the ‘Downton Abbey’ Maids Redheads? Stephen Colbert Mashes Up ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Breaking Bad’
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In May, we learned that Gary Carr joined the cast of Downton Abbey as a jazz singer, making him the first black major character on the British period drama. But now we have our first look at Carr in action.
A photo of Carr on set reveals that his character will be spending a bit of time with Rose (played by Lily James). Rose inflused Downton's third season with a bit more youthful energy, as she introduced our stuffy family to the wild parties of the Roaring '20s. From the looks of things, Rose will continue to push boundaries — and likely cause mischief and mayhem — when the show returns for Season 4.
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Rap mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs has cleared up confusion surrounding his claims he was set to star in Downton Abbey by debuting an online spoof featuring him parodying the hit U.K. period drama. The hip-hop star announced on his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (15May13) that he was to become a series regular on Julian Fellowes' British show, only for TV bosses to deny the claim.
Combs has now revealed his prank was to promote a new FunnyOrDie.com skit, which he unveiled to fans early on Thursday (16May13).
He declares, "Last week it was reported that they have cast the first black cast member... (Gary Carr) - the only problem with this is I already broke down that barrier. I'm the first black cast member... and I got the scenes to prove it."
The rapper then introduces a series of clips from 'Downtown Abbey' which he appears in thanks to computer trickery - and his character, Lord Wolcott, causes a stir in the online show.
In one scene, Combs, dressed in smart period costume, turns down the advances of Rob James-Collier's character Thomas Barrow, while in another he appears to host "the first ever white party" for the cast.
He later recommends Hugh Bonneville's Earl of Grantham invests in upcoming company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and then offers Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton's characters a sip of his own-brand Ciroc vodka - before asking them to kiss.
Rap mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs has left fans of Downton Abbey confused after declaring he had landed a recurring role on the hit period drama - only for TV bosses to deny the allegations. The hip-hop star took to his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (15May13) to announce the news after admitting that he was an unlikely fan of Julian Fellowes' British TV series.
He initially wrote, "How many of y'all out there are Downton Abbey fans? I have to admit that Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows..."
Soon afterwards, he posted, "MY BIG NEWS: So happy to announce that Im (sic) a series regular on DOWNTON ABBEY-my favorite show+i'll be debuting a sneak peek tonight 12am PST!"
Combs then gave his Twitter profile a complete makeover with a new Downtown Abbey background and an image of the titular country estate as his avatar picture.
However, it appears the Get Him to the Greek star won't be joining the cast after all - a representative for the show tells GossipCop.com the reports are "not true", adding, "He is not joining the cast of Downton Abbey."
It is not yet clear why Combs made the claims.
He wouldn't have been the only black castmember added to the programme line-up after British actor Gary Carr recently joined the show as the first major black character, portraying a jazz star in the upcoming fourth season of the critically-acclaimed drama.