Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Richard Pryor's son has threatened legal action in a bid to block production on Lee Daniels' new movie about the famous funnyman.
Lawyers representing Richard Pryor, Jr. have sent a cease and desist letter to the star's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor, who is contributing to the film biopic, urging her to stop work on the project amid a dispute over name rights.
In the letter, obtained by TMZ.com, the star's son accuses his stepmother of using "illegal, fraudulent" activity to obtain the rights to her husband's name.
He is also reportedly threatening to take legal action if the biopic moves forward. Rapper/actor Nick Cannon has been linked to the lead role in the movie.
Pryor died in 2005 aged 65 after suffering a heart attack. He spent years battling multiple sclerosis prior to his death.
Richard Pryor's son has given Nick Cannon his blessing to play his father in a new biopic. Cannon has made several strong hints that he will portray the iconic comedian in the movie, but no official confirmation has been announced.
Earlier this month (Jul14), two of Pryor's children - son Richard Pryor, Jr. and daughter Rain - told TMZ.com they worried Cannon would not do justice to the role, insisting they would rather see Marlon Wayans land the part.
However Pryor, Jr. has now been convinced Cannon is the right man for the job after seeing how committed he is to the role, telling New York Post gossip column Page Six, "I am actually very excited about it now. He changed my mind by how he is delving into it... He did the small thing of using his left hand instead of his right hand, he picked up smoking to try and emulate my dad, he's let his hair grow out... he's looking into who my dad really was, looking into his childhood, who he was raised by and around, and he is interested in talking to me about who my dad was."
Pryor died in 2005, aged 65.
Two of Richard Pryor's children are against Nick Cannon portraying the late comedian in an upcoming biopic. Cannon sparked speculation he will play the late comedy icon by dropping hints in a series of snaps on Instagram.com over the weekend (28-29Jun14).
During an interview with TMZ.com on Wednesday (02Jul14), he refused to confirm his role but admitted he is growing facial hair, adopting a retro hairstyle and taking up smoking so he is prepared when the movie goes into production.
However, two of Pryor's children - his eldest son Richard, Jr. and daughter Rain - do not approve of the casting, telling editors at the publication they fear Cannon will not do the character justice and they would prefer actor Marlon Wayans to step into the role.
Director Lee Daniels has been attached to the project and Eddie Murphy and Michael B. Jordan have also been linked to the role. Pryor died in 2005 aged 65.
Nick Cannon has sparked rumours he is to portray comedy icon Richard Pryor in a new project after dropping a number of hints on Instagram.com.
The rapper/actor shared a picture of Pryor online on Friday (27Jun14) with the caption, "I'm feeling his spirit. I hope y'all (sic) ready for the next level in my career. #GameChanger #Pryor (sic)."
After showing off a retro hairstyle and beard at the BET Awards on Sunday night (29Jun14), fans began commenting on Cannon's new look, and a photo comparison to Pryor appeared to hit home. Cannon re-posted the shot with the caption "Now y'all (sic) get it!"
The America's Got Talent host continued to fuel the rumours on Monday night (30Jun14) by sharing a picture of Pryor smoking, and suggesting he is imitating the bad habit to get into character, writing, "Picking up smoking cigarettes for the next few months so forgive me if I smell like an ashtray. #KidsDontTryThis #CancerSticksSuck #AnythingForTheCraft #HopeIDontGetAddicted #LeftHandChainSmoking #ActorLife #NotAGame #Ncredible (sic)."
Cannon has not given any further details about the project. Director Lee Daniels has previously been attached to a potential biopic of the Brewster's Millions star, with Eddie Murphy and Michael B. Jordan rumoured to be in the running for the role.
Alicia Keys, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner and Susan Sarandon are among the stars who have thrown their support behind a new U.S. government initiative to provide education to girls worldwide. Actor/director Tyler Perry, entertainer Nick Cannon, and Modern Family star Julie Bowen have also added their voices to the Let Girls Learn campaign, which aims to stress the importance of educating females around the globe.
The new initiative was launched on Friday (20Jun14) by officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development, who have pledged $231 million (£144 million) to the cause to fund safe learning opportunities for girls in Jordan, Guatemala, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Nigeria.
Celebrities were moved to join the Let Girls Learn campaign after more than 250 teenage girls were kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria by members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. The April (14) abduction took place two years after fellow Islamic extremists in the Taliban attempted to assassinate Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai as she made her way to school.
In the two-minute public service announcement (PSA) for Let Girls Learn, Bowen says, "A threat to girls' education anywhere is a threat to progress everywhere."
And Keys adds in a statement, "All around the world, people want to change the injustices but often times don't know exactly what they can do about it. I really wanted to participate in this (video) because empowering women changes the course of our world."
Rapper-turned-U.S. TV personality Nick Cannon is set to make his directorial debut with a new film inspired by his first sexual encounter. Mariah Carey's husband has spent months making the low-key film, School Dance, about a high school student chasing the girl of his dreams, and he is set to release it later this summer (Jul14).
Revealing all about his latest project, Cannon says, "I actually pulled this storyline right out of my stand-up (comedy routine) and it's about a boy that loses his virginity at a school dance. Yeah it happened to me."
He adds, "It was a great opportunity because I got a chance to work with all of my friends. Katt Williams, Kevin Hart, Lil Duval, Luenell, George Lopez and Wilmer Valderrama. So everybody came in for cameos and had a great time.
"I might be in it, but I'm not really in it, because I was trying to focus on being a director. I didn't want to star and direct my first feature film."
Mariah Carey's rapper/actor husband Nick Cannon realised the importance of Easter at an early age when he got up onstage at church and attempted to perform a rendition of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Cannon was a big fan of the King of Pop growing up and he chose to debut his Thriller performance on one of the holiest days of the year.
He recalls, "The pulpit was the stage. I remember being four years old and I had to do an Easter speech. I'd been practising all week. I had it all memorised and I was excited and wearing this bright yellow suit.
"I went up there and I did my speech but I stayed longer and started singing Michael Jackson's Thriller. It was in the middle of church and everybody was like, 'Get off the stage!' I had the bug and I didn't want to leave.
"I guess Thriller doesn't go over very well on Easter Sunday!"
The song and its iconic video is all about the ghouls and ghosts that haunt us in the night.
Now he's a dad, Easter is a big deal for himself and Carey: "You'll probably see me in an Easter Bunny costume."
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
It looks like you'll have to wait even longer for your return trip to Pandora. In a recent Reddit AMA, director James Cameron revealed that the scripts for the three Avatar sequels will be completed within the next six weeks, and that all three films will go into production simultaneously. In the AMA, Cameron opened up about his creative process, saying, "The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable." It's admirable that Cameron is taking the time to perfect the Avatar sequels, projects that are clearly special to him, but has he already taken too long to create them? The first sequel to 2009's Avatar is set to hit theaters in December of 2016, seven whole years after the first Avatar was released. Cameron may very well be crafting the next sci-fi masterpiece, but will people still care about the franchise two years from now?
Blockbuster filmmaking is often a game of timing; studios jostle each other for prime release date position from years out, and films are made at an assembly line pace. It’s all a necessary evil. The honest truth is that the average filmgoers are a fickle bunch, with memory leaking from their heads like a drippy faucet. Wait too long, and the next whiz-bang event movie can steal your thunder. Studios need to strike when the iron is hot, and Cameron has already waited five whole years to create the next Avatar film, a millennia in movie years. In contrast, it took less time for Sony to completely reboot the Spider-Man franchise. Unfortunately for Cameron, the iron might have already gone cold. We have our doubts that the sequels to the highest grossing film of all time will have the same game-changing affect as the first one.
The original Avatar was undiluted spectacle, a film that didn't have many big ideas rattling around its head but sure delivered on the big moments. Beyond just being pretty to gawk at, Avatar was a runaway success because it was the first film to really utilize modern 3D technology in a way that didn’t feel like a gimmick. It was a new technology, and going to see that film felt like standing on the cutting edge of something new in cinema... at least for a time anyway. It used the 3D technology to draw viewers into its world, and give the film’s vibrant visuals depth. It was a cool parlor trick, but circa five years later, and everyone else already has that same trick up their own sleeves. Just about every blockbuster under the sun is in 3D, and just like that, one of Avatar’s greatest strengths feels already like old hat. Moviegoers are already tiring of 3D, with percentage of 3D ticket sales slipping with each coming year. An Avatar sequel simply wont have the same spellbinding affect the first one did in 2009.
It also doesn't help that Avatar simply doesn't hold up all that well story-wise. The plot of Avatar is relatively generic. It's a sci-fi pastiche of other man vs. nature films, and it is often unfavorably compared to films like Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas. It's been a long time since 2009 and the spectacle has worn off for most. Public opinion of the film has also soured considerably, and beyond it's visual fidelity, it's not really a great piece of storytelling. At this point, the film probably gets more love showing off new Blu-Ray players or HDTVs, than being genuinely enjoyed for it's story.
With all that said, we're definitely not ringing the death knell for the Avatar franchise. James Cameron is a blockbuster mastermind, and when big even filmmaking can sometimes feel cynical and calculated, Cameron's films always feel like they're coming from a genuine and deeply felt desire to create something new. Each of his projects is full of ambition, so maybe the wait for the next Avatar will be well worth it. The coming sequels could very well rock the world the way Avatar did five years ago and Titanic did 12 years before that. Cameron is a man full of surprises, and maybe we shouldn't be doubting the director who created the two highest grossing movies of all time. Maybe this will be added to the cannon of James Cameron proving snarky film writers wrong. We sincerely hope it is.
"She doesn't even know who Kim Kardashian is. She doesn't pay attention to that." U.S. TV personality Nick Cannon insists his wife Mariah Carey has no idea about reality TV stars. The rapper/actor recently claimed to have bedded the Keeping Up With the Kardashians beauty after listing his past conquests.
In this pilot for the long-running series, a portly, well-heeled investigator looks into the murder of an old flame's husband and becomes enmeshed in a web of small-town corruption. Long-time character actor Conrad finally attained stardom with this role. Previously he had been one of the great radio voices, a frequent screen and TV villain, a motion picture producer and director, and often narrator of Quinn Martin's various productions on television.