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Lena Waithe Developing Open-Marriage Drama Series for Amazon Studios

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*Lena Waithe is developing a drama series about open marriages with Amazon Studios. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project has the working title “Open,” and should it move forward, the series would be the first to tackle the subject of nontraditional marriages. 

“I’ve never been in an open marriage, but it’s fascinating to me,” Waithe told THR. “We live in a world where, if I told you I cheated on my wife, you would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it goes.’ But if I told you that I’m in an open marriage, it would be as if I told you I’m joining the Church of Scientology.” 

Waithe signed a deal with the streaming platform back in 2019, and “Open” will be the latest in a slate of projects under her deal. The Emmy-winning writer/actress is also developing a horror anthology series titled “Them: Covenant,” which “follows a Black couple and their move to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood—where the picturesque street masks malevolent forces both real and supernatural,” per Complex.  

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Sweet Destiny: Mariah Carey’s First ‘Vision of Love’ TV Performances on Song’s #1 Anniversary [EUR Video Throwback]

“Society has such a conservative way of looking at marriage,” Waithe told THR while discussing Open. “I do think that we as a nation need to reevaluate what marriage looks like for us as a country—because whatever we have right now, it ain’t working.”

In related news, Waite and her rumored girlfriend Cynthia Erivo are collaborating on the upcoming musical drama “Talent Show” from Universal Pictures. 

The story hails from Duane Adler, the writer behind “Step Up,” and follows a “failed songwriter who returns home to Chicago to lead a group of at-risk youth in their annual talent show.”

In addition to writing the final script, Waithe will serve as executive producer and Gandja Monteiro will direct, Complex reports. 

George Tillman Jr. and Robert Teitel will produce for their State Street Pictures.

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Tyrese Says He and Dwayne Johnson Haved Squashed 3-year Feud [VIDEO]

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*Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Tyrese have reportedly ended their 3-year feud.

The two actors’ public beef first began in 2017 when Tyrese publicly criticized The Rock for signing on to do a spinoff of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

At the time, Tyrese called Dwayne “selfish” for agreeing to do the “Hobbs & Shaw,” spinoff. The two starred in four “Fast & Furious” films together and Tyrese also said Johnson wouldn’t respond to his text messages despite the two having been friends.  

READ MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Sees No Reason to Squash ‘One-sided’ Beef with Tyrese [Video]

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Dwayne previously said it was “pretty disappointing” that Tyrese made their disagreement so public. 

“I always feel like a beef requires two people to actually jump in it, and it was really one-sided, and he had voiced his opinion a lot on social media,” Dwayne said. “Apparently, he was going through some stuff too in his personal life. We haven’t talked and I don’t see where we would, and to me, there’s no need to have a conversation.”

Now, it seems things have apparently cooled between the two men. 

“We talked,” Tyrese told Comedy Central’s Stir Crazy with Josh Horowitz this week. “We talked for at least four hours. It was great.”

“What’s interesting about ‘The Fast and The Furious’ is it’s not about any of us individually,” he continued, speaking specifically about the franchise’s spinoffs. “We’re like the UN at this point. Everyone gets to go to the theater and say, ‘He and she looks like me.’ If I did it with [Ludacris’ Tej], then who are we going to play off of? I could not just make it about me. I just could not.”

What do you think of Tyrese’s take on the “Fast and Furious” franchise? Let us know in the comments. 

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Regina King On Her Directorial Debut, Motherhood and John Singelton’s Influence

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REGINA KING Covers WSJ. Magazine's Dec/Jan Issue!

*Regina King is set to make her feature directorial debut with “One Night in Miami” for Amazon Studios.

Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, the film has achieved critical raves — quickly garnering awards buzz in this year’s Oscar race. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”… has been praised for its timely and effective performances. 

Based on Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers’ 2013 stage play, “One Night In Miami” is a fictional account inspired by the historic night these four formidable figures spent together. It looks at the struggles these men faced and the vital role they each played in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. More than 40 years later, their conversations on racial injustice, religion, and personal responsibility still resonate — via press release.

In the wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal, King speaks candidly about her brush with Covid and finishing her movie during the Black Lives Matter protests. 

Check out excerpts below. 

READ MORE: Amazon Studios Drops Official Trailer for Regina King’s ‘One Night in Miami’ [WATCH]


King on finishing her movie during BLM protests & Covid:

“The work has truly been a welcome distraction. I find that…on set or editing, working on the music for the film [or] on the color, it forces you to focus on something else. Because everything around us has to do with the pandemic, who’s been in office, this election,” she says, two weeks before Election Day. “But as a Black American, that’s been the story before we were even born—of being marginalized people. That’s all the time happening, and the work kind of allows for me to escape it and not feel like I’m irresponsibly escaping it.”

King on winning an Emmy while wearing a Breonna Taylor T-shirt:

Like many Black Americans, King felt the fatigue of maintaining a professional visage amid violence. “The faces that we put on to smile and to succeed,” she says. “That shit is exhausting.”

King on having her son in mind when telling the story of One Night In Miami:

King describes the story as a personalized portrait of revered figures. “We meet them in places where they’re each getting punched in the gut and getting reminded of their blackness or inequities in some way,” she says. “I wanted the world to see Black men the way I see them, as complex, as vulnerable, as strong…as human beings that feel—who are not void of being hurt.”

King on keeping a focus on her Black audience without feeling she needed to please everyone:

She points to a pool scene of Cassius Clay that’s soundtracked to Donny Hathaway’s timeless cover of Ray Charles’s “I Believe to My Soul.” “I was like, ‘That’s for Black people! I’m letting y’all know now: I’m not changing that!’” she says, laughing. “There’s some things that are inside jokes that, because you’re not Black, you’re going to miss that joke. And in those moments, do you think, OK, does it matter to me if the joke is missed or that beat is missed? No, sometimes it doesn’t matter.”

King on her own brush with Covid:

With a preliminary acceptance to the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival and two more scenes to shoot, she found herself in a time crunch when several test results, including her own, came back inconclusive, and they were forced to retest the sample. “I’m pulling up to the testing site [to do a second test], and they called and said, ‘The test came in and you’re negative.’ I literally started crying,” says King, who rushed home and immediately prepared to return to set. 

King on the late director John Singleton’s influence on her career (her first films were Singleton – directed projects—Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning):

Singleton, who died in 2019, opened her eyes to the world of directing before she knew what it was. He was the first director who she felt spoke her language. “We weren’t that far away in age, and prior to that, probably every director I’d ever worked with was my parents’ age or older,” she says. “I was able to see directing from a whole different lens, and he was also allowing me to be part of his process.” 

King on her Broadway aspirations:

King eventually wants to act in a stage play. When she received offers before to star in productions, Ian was still in school, and she wasn’t ready. She is now. She figures she’ll enjoy both the rush and terror of theater, and so she consulted one of her favorite actors, Laura Linney, a four-time Tony Award nominee. 

“What do you have to give of yourself?” King asked her. “Because that’s the thing,” she says now, from the shadows of Zoom. “It sucks the life out of you. It takes up so much of your time. But it’s the most rewarding thing.”

 

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Ice Cube Explains Social Media Absence Following Trump Controversy [VIDEO]

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*Ice Cube has responded to inquiries about why he’s been silent since Joe Biden allegedly won the 2020 presidential election. 

Cube previously caught heat for celebrating Trump’s “adjustments” to his administration’s Platinum Plan for Blacks to favor the rapper’s own “Contract with Black America.”

Ice Cube reassured his fans that he hasn’t abandoned his political agenda for the Black community. 

“I know a lot people been wondering where I’ve been. I was real active before the election, talking about what’s needed, you know, specifically for the Black community,” he explained in an Instagram video Monday night. “About 10 days or two weeks before the election, I pushed back all the way pretty much until now because I just felt there was a lot of noise, a lot of poison, a lot of people with they own agendas—personal agendas or party agendas—and they really wanted to attack me for what I was doing because it was outside of the line of what they was doing, or what they believed need to be done.”

READ MORE: Roland Martin Has Hard to Answer Questions for Ice Cube About Trump’s ‘Platinum Plan’ / [WATCH]


Cube went on to note the importance of holding leaders (Democrat or Republican) accountable when it comes to delivering tangibles to Black folks.

“So that’s the agenda: to push whatever candidate that’s in power—Republican or Democrat—to do what needs to be done,” he said. “I think we’ve focused on one party way too long … I just believe that when you really look at the problems we’re going through, it’s bipartisan. You’re really trippin’ if you don’t look at both sides of the aisle and push both sides of the aisle to fix the problem. What’s wrong with that? I think we gotta try that, because our problems are not being solved.”

Cube also addressed those who criticized his decision to meet with the Trump campaign.

“All the people who dissed what I was doing, you know, I’ma just watch to see what you get out of the whole deal,” he said. “You talkin’ about I was worried about getting some taxes or some shit. Yeah right. Anybody that would go through all this for some fucking taxes is an idiot … I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing—behind the scenes, in front of the scenes … That’s it.”

Both the Trump and Biden camps had contacted Cube about his CWBA. He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that while Biden’s team didn’t want to discuss the plan until after the election, Trump’s reps offered to meet with him immediately.

“I didn’t run to go work with any campaign. Both campaigns contacted me,” Cube explained. “Both campaigns wanted to talk to me about the Contract with Black America. One campaign said, ‘We love what you have, but let’s really dig into after the election.’ And one campaign said ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ And that’s what I did, so I didn’t run to nobody.”

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