*The Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, has been pushed back to summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second time the film has been delayed.
“Respect” is now moving from Jan. 15, 2021 to Aug. 13, 2021.
We previously reported… Hudson has spoken out about the biopic, noting that she shared a special connection with Franklin. Before her passing in 2018, the music icon gave Hudson her blessing to play her on the big screen.
Directed by Broadway veteran Liesl Tommy, the film also stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Marc Maron, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige.
Months after filming on the project wrapped, Hudson said this of Franklin: “I still feel like she’s in me, I really do. I just hope to meet her requests. You think you respect Aretha, but once you see the film and you learn her story, you can’t help but to have a newfound respect for her.”
She also had this to say about her personal connection with the Queen of Soul, “I still have the text chains, so every now and then I look back at them. The last time I spoke to her was Aug. 8, [2018,] and I can honestly say she sang until her last breath.”
In related news, filming on National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Enrivo has been halted after a background actor tested positive for COVID-19. The program is slated to debut in early 2021.
When asked about the competing projects in an interview earlier this month, Hudson dropped some subtle shade, saying “I know that Aretha was adamant that [her life] be a film. If it’s not a film, it’s nothing. I’m just honored that she picked me to play her.”
Nicki Minaj: Rapper Announces Six-Part HBO Max Documentary Series [VIDEO]
*Nicki Minaj has teamed with Emmy-nominated director Michael John Warren for a new six-part HBO Max documentary series.
“Nicki Minaj is a multi-faceted artist, businesswoman, and innovator as well as a force to be reckoned with,” said Sarah Aubrey—head of original content at HBO Max. “It’s a privilege to bring this project to HBO Max and provide our viewers with unprecedented access to her life.”
Here’s more from Complex: Per an HBO rep, fans can expect six half-hour episodes, each of which will offer a look inside Minaj’s “brilliantly creative mind” while telling the larger story of both her personal and professional trajectory.
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 20, 2020
Minaj announced the project in a video posted on social media — check it out via the Twitter clip above.
“I love that this series not only provides an all-access glimpse at one of the most iconic musicians of our generation; it also profiles the brave woman behind the artist, Onika,” Warren said Friday. “I believe all of us can learn a great deal from her remarkable professional and personal life. It’s an honor to be entrusted with this dynamic story.”
Warren’s prior credits include Jay-Z’s “Fade to Black.”
Nicki’s HBO Max series is currently untitled.
Meanwhile, this month also marks 10 years since the release of Minaj’s “Pink Friday” anniversary. The artist celebrated by giving fans a “complete edition” of the album featuring eight bonus tracks, Billboard reports. Stream it here via Apple Music:
Minaj, who gave birth to her first child this year (a son), is said to be working on a fifth album, the followup to 2018’s “Queen.”
NBC Relaunches ‘Saved By The Bell’ on Peacock TV
*When your favorite tv show goes off the air do you think about the lives of their characters?
Wondering where would they be now, what would they be up to now? “Saved By The Bell” fans will get those answers in the relaunch of the show on NBC’s Peacock.
A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) is a PE teacher and coach and Bayside and Jessie Spano ( Elizabeth Berkely) is a counselor at the school. What is Zack Morris (Marc-Paul Grosselaar) doing, well he is the governor of California, of course, Zack Morris became a politician. And as we saw in the wedding special “Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Vegas” he and Kelly Kapowski got married. They now of a son, Mac Morris who is attending their high school alma mater Bayside High. Mac Morris, played by Mitchell Hoog, seems like a Zack Morris 2.0. He is the popular kid at school who finds himself living in the shadow of his infamous father.
We talked with Mitchell Hoog about his role as Mac Morris and if he himself felt any pressure playing Zack Morris’ son.
“ I don’t think I felt pressure to live up to the legacy of the Morris name, me as an actor I always put it within the story. So within the storyline, I have pressure to live up to my dad,” says Hoog.
Mitchell Hoog’s character isn’t the only character following in their parents’ footsteps. Jamie Spano, played by Belmont Cameli, is Jessie Spano’s (Elizabeth Berkely) son who also has to live up to his mom’s high school reputation.
This reboot’s main focus is the new generation but having the original cast be so a large part of the show brings enough nostalgia for old fans to enjoy this new version of “Saved By The Bell.” It is said that the whole season is full of little Easter eggs that fans of the original should pick up on.
Don’t miss “Saved By The Bell” streaming on Peacock from November 25.
Jada Pinkett Smith Announces Animated Short ‘Cops and Robbers’ About Police Brutality [VIDEO]
*Jada Pinkett-Smith has announced her timely new animated short “Cops and Robbers,” is set to premiere Dec. 28 on Netflix.
Directed by Arnon Manor, the project was written and performed by Timothy Ware-Hill in response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Manor used one of Ware-Hill’s poems for their collaboration, Variety reports.
The duo said they made this film “for all the Black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiling, police violence, loss of life and other injustices just for being themselves.”
Pinkett-Smith apparently serves as a producer on the animated short, and she spoke with Variety about getting the title to Netflix, and why the message resonates with her.
Hear/watch the actress tell it via the clip above, and check out a few excerpts from her interview below.
I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it🖤✨ https://t.co/mZfpUgEZgM
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) November 23, 2020
“Over 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world collaborated to each create a short segment of the poem with their own visual interpretation of the subject matter and individual animation technique. Half the animators on the “Cops and Robbers” are Black animation artists,” per Variety.
“I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter. Here’s what she told the publication about the upcoming film:
Why was it important for you to be a part of “Cops and Robbers?”
As an African American woman, it was one of those pieces that I could feel powerful messaging with such compassion from the perspective of the African American community. It was this explanation with this bleeding heart of what we are experiencing during this particular time.
For me, it was this emotional connection that pierced my heart and soul.
It was also written by a very talented African American male, and then, I realized how many minorities had contributed their talent as animators to the project. It’s important that I flow resources in any way that I can to voices and the talent I feel as though doesn’t always have equal opportunity.
My friend Ramsey Naito is president of Nickelodeon animation and she said, ‘I wish there was something we could do with it at Nickelodeon.’ I told her I wanted to be involved and I was down with it. I had a conversation with Lawrence Bender who is a producer and I wanted to help.
The story is such a powerful one with its messaging.
It had so much vulnerability. A lot of times, you could get this messaging and sometimes it can be militant and have power to it. The way this particular expression that we don’t often see while talking about topics of this kind had so much vulnerability, especially through the lens of a Black man. You do not see that a lot and that for me was important because it humanizes Black men. It also humanizes Black people and marginalized communities.
We can talk about the issues, but if you don’t feel, if you don’t really see and understand that and see that there’s nothing to fear — we are human and we bleed just like you. I found that be a very powerful component.
“Cops and Robbers” didn’t find a home at Nickelodeon. It found a home at Netflix, which is global and will raise this global awareness to Black Lives Matter and police brutality, how did that happen?
We got together and had a conversation with quite a few people at Netflix who had seen the project and absolutely loved it. As a team, we just came together. We said, ‘Look, you know as well as we do that this is a powerful piece. It’s not only powerful, but it’s important. We feel that your platform is the place that this piece needs to be.’ And thank goodness they were in agreement and they took it on. We really felt that Netflix was the best place for the short.
Read her full interview here.
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