‘Into the Spider-Verse’ Star Shameik Moore Among 6 Cast in Hulu’s Wu-Tang Clan Drama

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hulu is beginning to cast its Wu-Tang Clan.

Shameik Moore (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”), Ashton Sanders (“Moonlight”), Siddiq Saunderson (“Messiah”), Marcus Callender (“Power”), Zolee Griggs (“Ballers”) and Erika Alexander (“Get Out”) have been tapped to star in the 10-episode scripted drama series, which tells the origin story of the legendary rap group.

Sanders will play RZA, while Saunderson will portray Dennis “D-Love” Coles (aka Ghostface Killah).

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Moore will portray Sha Rader, a gunner for drug dealer Power Grant and a kid who grew up on the streets who now wields a gun without blinking. He’s still got some innocence to him, however, and his friendship with Bobby makes it tough to carry out his orders.

Callender will take on the part of Power Grant, the top dog of Park Hill, an area in the projects that he and his gang control as the chief rivals to Divine’s crew in Stapleton.

Griggs plays Shurrie, the second-youngest of four, but she’s basically the woman of the house. She’s taught herself how to care for others and take care of any issues around the home, all the while staying focused on school. Shurrie is in a relationship with Dennis that no one can know about.

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Alexander rounds out the cast as Linda, an overworked mother of four who has been through hell and back. Now rid of her abusive husband, Linda spends most of her time at the rib shop working. She knows her relationship with her children has suffered, but has to put on a brave face and go to work in spite of it.

The scripted drama series is from Wu-Tang members The RZA and Method Man, along with Alex Tse, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. The show is created and written by Tse and RZA. Imagine Television’s Grazer and Calfo will executive producer, as will RZA, Tse, and Method Man. Fellow Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and GZA will serve as consulting producers on the project, as will the estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

“Wu-Tang: An American Saga” is inspired by RZA’s books “The Wu-Tang Manual” and “Tao of Wu,” and based on the true story of the Wu-Tang Clan. Set in early ’90s New York at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, the show tracks the Clan’s formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories.

The Wu-Tang Clan has released five gold and platinum albums, selling 40 million albums worldwide.

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How Costume Designer Caroline Eselin Crafted Classic, Timeless Looks & Color Stories For ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

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Given the remarkably positive nature of her first collaboration with Barry Jenkins on Moonlight, costume designer Caroline Eselin dove head first into the director’s next film, If Beale Street Could Talk. Set in Harlem, the period film follows Tish, a …

‘Choir Boy’ Review: ‘Moonlight’ Writer Reaches For High Notes In Heartfelt Coming Of Age Drama

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How Barry Jenkins Planted The Seed For Adapting ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Long Before ‘Moonlight’ Oscar Victory

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“Love cannot be taken from your heart,” says Barry Jenkins. “Love is too important.”
It is a lesson the director of Medicine for Melancholy and Moonlight—both films about love’s survival in spite of challenging circumstances—has final…

‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Signs TV Development Deal With Amazon

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amazon Studios is expanding its relationship with Barry Jenkins, signing a first-look TV deal with the “Moonlight” director’s company, Pastel.

“Barry is clearly a master of groundbreaking, authentically emotional storytelling and we are so proud to have him share that gift with us,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We are incredibly fortunate to have also secured his directorial vision for the entire limited series ‘The Underground Railroad.’”

Jenkins will direct all 11 episodes of the streamer’s adaption of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling novel.

Also Read: Barry Jenkins Will Direct Every Episode of Amazon Studios’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Adaptation

“The Underground Railroad” centers on a young slave named Cora and her journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. “The Underground Railroad” is being produced by Pastel andBrad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

“We at Pastel are excited to continue our Amazon relationship begun on ‘Underground Railroad’ and look forward to growing that partnership on projects near and beyond,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins, along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Moonlight,” which also won Best Picture. Jenkins’ next film, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is set to hit theaters Nov. 30.

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Moonlight was no fluke

Read on: The A.V. Club.

The last time Barry Jenkins had a movie playing in Toronto, the whole festival seemed to fall collectively under its spell—drawn as deeply to its hypnotic shades of blue as its main character, the agonizingly withdrawn Chiron, was drawn to the crashing…

Netflix Buys Steven Soderbergh Drama ‘High Flying Bird’ With Zazie Beetz, André Holland

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix announced on Tuesday that it has acquired global rights to Steven Soderbergh’s next film “High Flying Bird.”

The film, written by Academy Award-winning “Moonlight” co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, is a sports-themed drama set during a pro basketball lockout.

Starring Zazie Beetz of “Atlanta” fame and “Moonlight’s” André Holland, “High Flying Bird” follows a sports agent during the lockout, who pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business proposition.

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The project marks Soderbergh’s first collaboration with the streaming giant. He’s been an advocate for making films outside of the studio system and released last year’s “Logan Lucky” independently.

“We had several strong options for distributing ‘High Flying Bird,’ but to borrow the patois of the movie itself, this deal felt like a slam dunk and the perfect way for me to begin my relationship with Netflix as a director,” Soderbergh said.

The film is being produced by the director’s collaborator on “Unsane,” Joseph Malloch. And theh executive producers on the project are Ken Meyer (“Unsane,” “Logan Lucky”) and André Holland via his production shingle Harper Road Films.

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Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke also star in “High Flying Bird,” which Netflix will release globally in 2019.

Soderbergh shot the film in double quick time on an iPhone, like he did for the Claire Foy-led “Unsane,” which pulled in $14.3 million at the box office worldwide.

Deadline first reported the news.

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‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Says His Limo Driver Once Called Him the N-Word (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Even after getting his big break with “Moonlight,” filmmaker Barry Jenkins says he still faces discrimination and racial slurs.

At a Q&A for his new film “If Beale Street Could Talk” at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jenkins was asked if there was a moment where the social importance of the James Baldwin novel he was adapting hit him personally. Jenkins responded by telling a story of something he experienced at the 2016 Academy Governors Awards, a gala event held prior to the Oscars and which took place just before he won the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars for “Moonlight.”

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The filmmaker explained that the after-party took place at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood, a tightly packed part of town where limo drivers have to keep driving around the block if the celebs they are picking up aren’t ready. When Jenkins arrived for his limo, the valet warned him that he shouldn’t get in the limo assigned to him.

“He goes, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t get in the car with that dude,’” Jenkins recounted. “He goes, ‘When I was out here before, [the driver] looked all agitated, and I said to him, ‘What’s wrong?’ He goes, ‘Oh you know, nothing. I’m just sitting around here waiting around to pick up this n—-r.’ And then he smiled and said, ‘Oh and he’s probably going to get nominated for Best Director.’”

Also Read: Barry Jenkins Will Direct Every Episode of Amazon Studios’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Adaptation

Jenkins connected this to a scene in his film where Daniel Carty, played by Brian Tyree Henry, talks about how he was sent to prison for stealing a car even though he doesn’t know how to drive, and how his sentence was marked by daily harassment by the white inmates.

“This was when I’m wearing a $5,000 suit. I’ve just come from the Governor Awards,” Jenkins said. “So if it could happen to me with someone who’s driving me, a person in power, what the hell do you think happens to some dude working a shift at the factory? So when we got to that scene I was like, ‘This is f—-g it. This is it. Everything we’ve been doing.’”

“If Beale Street Could Talk” will be released in theaters on November 30. Watch Jenkins discuss the film in the clip above.

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‘Moonlight’, ‘Carol’, ‘Icarus’ & ‘Billions’ Producers Head To IFP Forum With New Projects

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EXCLUSIVE: The producers of Oscar winners Moonlight and Icarus, Oscar nominee Carol and Showtime series Billions, are among those bringing new projects to the IFP Project Forum, which runs during the 40th IFP Week (September 15 – 20, 2018) in New…

How Denzel Washington Saved the 2017 Oscars (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The 2017 Oscars already exist in infamy for their “Moonlight”-“La La Land” Best Picture snafu, but the awards show was rescued from ending on an even more awkward note by an unlikely hero: Denzel Washington.

Washington guested on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday, when the ABC late-night talk show host publicly thanked “The Equalizer 2” star for saving his butt.

“I was confused, as was everyone — except for you,” Jimmy Kimmel recalled that fateful night, his first effort as Academy Awards emcee. “I didn’t know what exactly to do, and I looked out in the audience and you were looking at me and you… point at Barry Jenkins, the director of ‘Moonlight,’ and you go, ‘Bring him to the mic.’”

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“And I was like, ‘Uh, yeah, OK’ and then I went and got Barry,” the comedian continued. “You saved me and the Oscars.”

“I didn’t win an Oscar, I just saved the Oscars,” Washington countered.

Chill, Denzel, you’ve got two of those awards.

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Watch their conversation on the video above.

Back then, an envelope mishap led presenter Warren Beatty to call up Lionsgate musical “La La Land” for the 2017 awards show’s top honor — which actually belonged to A24 picture “Moonlight.

Washington’s new movie “The Equalizer 2” hits theaters on Friday, July 20.

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Will The Oscar Best Picture Box Office Spoils Go To Fox Searchlight?

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Some might say that the answer to the above question is abundantly clear: When it comes to Oscar’s best picture winner on Sunday night, it’s a coin toss between Fox Seachlight’s The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 
However, there’s a few whispers of an upset, and if that’s the case, Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Outwhich is already out on DVD, VOD and playing on HBO, may have a shot at walking away with the top prize.
Last year at this time…

Barry Jenkins says last year’s envelope fuck-up kind of ruined the Oscars for him

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For a lot of us, the Best Picture fuck-up at last year’s Oscars was a momentary and amusing blip, or even an eventual moment of relief: We were free from the tyranny of La La Land, and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight had actually won. It was less reassuring for Jenkins himself, as it turns out, who says the cloud of…

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Janelle Monae Announces First Album in Five Years, ‘Dirty Computer,’ With Teaser Video

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It’s been some five years since Janelle Monae’s last album, “The Electric Lady,” and in that time she’s toured; landed star-making acting appearances in “Hidden Figures” and Oscar Best Picture “Moonlight”;launched a label, Wondaland (home to Jidenna, St. Beauty and others); and gave a rousing #TimesUp-themed speech at the Grammy Awards late last month. She’s […]