Oscars 2019: Who Will Host Now? The 10 Most Likely Candidates — Including No Host At All

Now that Kevin Hart has withdrawn as Oscars 2019 host, the Academy will need to find a replacement quickly. We’ve got some ideas.

If anyone doubts the insane pace of the news cycle in Hollywood these days, consider this: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences just announced that Kevin Hart would be hosting the 2019 Oscars this Tuesday, December 4 and just a little over 48 hours later he had withdrawn. The Academy now faces a dilemma: any potential host they reach out to could feel like they were a second choice or a “safe” choice.

But it doesn’t have to be that way: the IndieWire staff has given a lot of thought to who is most likely to step into Hart’s shoes, given their availability, the image they’ll project for the Academy, what corporate synergy they’ll represent for broadcaster ABC, and any previous statements they’ve given about their desire to host. Based on what we know right now, these are the most likely contenders.

10. Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani

Hosts Kate McKinnon, left, and Kumail Nanjiani speak at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show, Santa Monica, USA - 27 Feb 2016

Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Anyone who watched the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards knows what a powerhouse comedic duo Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani are as emcees. The two comedians delivered a knockout hosting gig, with hilarious live bits (not surprising considering McKinnon’s Emmy-winning “SNL” chops) and some amazing pre-tapped videos parodying the nominees (McKinnon’s “Carol” ripoff was hilariously inspired). Oscar host legend Billy Crystal was famous for inserting himself into footage from the nominees, and McKinnon proved tenfold she can carry on that tradition in an innovative new way. Plus, McKinnon and Nanjiani are minorities in Hollywood who have broken through in a big way and that’s worth celebrating. —ZS

9. Will Smith

Few major actors have managed to make charisma a key part of their brand the way Will Smith has maintained it for decades. The actor-producer-rapper remains a major movie star with a sizable audience, even as his kids have matured into their own promising entertainment careers. There’s no question that Smith would make an endearing Oscar host, able to mingle with the A-list crowd without condescending to it, and his sizable fan base — which stretches across many ages and demographics — would likely tune in. On his Instagram, Smith has been charming and personal as he shares intimate moments from his life, proving that no matter how many wisecracking types he’s played over the years, he’s always in his element when playing himself. Unlike Kevin Hart and other comedians, Smith is also down to earth. He could follow the rules with an endearing aw-shucks quality, but wouldn’t waste time on distracting stunts. The Oscars need a safe bet who stands out from the crowd, and couldn’t do much better than this. Plus, Smith has “Aladdin” coming out next year, and it wouldn’t hurt ABC parent company Disney to drum up a little extra PR for its newest genie. —EK

8. Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy is expected to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actress thanks to her leading role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” but hiring her as host wouldn’t be a conflict of interest (just look at the Golden Globes, where “Killing Eve” nominee Sandra Oh is co-hosting next year). A host has been nominated for an Academy Award the year of their hosting gig six times in the past. The Oscars could use McCarthy’s infectious energy and acclaimed comic wit, and she has so many funny friends (Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, for starters) she could bring on stage with her that the idea of her hosting is quite enticing. McCarthy thrives in the live performance space, having won an Emmy for “Saturday Night Live” hosting duties, so she should be considered as a top contender. —ZS

7. Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson'Fate of the Furious' film premiere, Arrivals, New York, USA - 08 Apr 2017

If ABC is looking for a beloved A-lister with comic chops and some celebrity friends he or she can bring to the party, then Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be an ideal choice. From a business perspective, Johnson is a member of the ABC-owned Disney family and has the studios’s epic family adventure “Jungle Cruise” with Emily Blunt coming in 2020, which bodes well for his prospects. Simply put, everyone loves Johnson and he’s got a enormous social media presence, which would be crucial advertising for Disney and ABC. Johnson could also bring in the teen demographic the Academy is so desperate to capitalize on. The only minor hiccup is that Johnson co-starred with Kevin Hart in the comedy “Central Intelligence.” Would the Academy hire a host with direct ties to Hart? And would Johnson even be willing to take over a job that canned his friend? It remains to be seen. —ZS

6. Someone Who’s Hosted Before

The truly safe choice for the Academy and ABC would be just to have someone who’s hosted before host again: all parties involved will know the person is question can deliver and do so without being offensive. However, this year the Academy has been trying hard to shake up the Oscars telecast formula, first with the withdrawn “Most Popular Film” category, then with the decision to remand certain technical categories to the commercial breaks to speed up the show. Kevin Hart was appealing because he could bring in viewers who might not normally watch the Oscars. If it’s Jimmy Kimmel hosting again, like he has the past two years, viewers can expect more of the same  and ABC can expect similar ratings to what they had for the ceremony in 2018. As a mini ranking within this larger ranking here are previous Oscars from the most likely (A) to host again this year to the least likely (E):

A. Ellen DeGeneres: She’s the most likely simply because she’s universally beloved and she hasn’t hosted since 2014.
B. Jimmy Kimmel: Continues the corporate synergy for ABC from having him host the two previous years.
C. Billy Crystal: Stepped in for the 2012 ceremony following Eddie Murphy’s withdrawal from the ceremony because he stood by Brett Ratner, who had been widely criticized for his homophobic remarks while briefly set to produce the show.
D. Whoopi Goldberg: Last hosted in 2002, which some may think is too long a gap.
E. Hugh Jackman: Possibly the preferred host overall from within the Academy, but the fact that he has a touring show next year — and may be hosting the Grammys — makes that unlikely. —CB

This article continues on the next page.

‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ Trailer: Can Emmet Rescue Lucy From The Evil Queen?

“Once, everything was awesome,” Wildstyle broods. “Now everything is bleak.” That opening line from the new trailer for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part might trigger some parents who endured “Everything Is Awesome”…

“Once, everything was awesome,” Wildstyle broods. “Now everything is bleak.” That opening line from the new trailer for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part might trigger some parents who endured “Everything Is Awesome” on daylong replay — possibly while contorted into the fetal position — but it sets up the premise for the sequel to that 2014 toon. Happy-go-lucky Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) thinks he’s just doing a good deed when he facilitates the kidnapping of…

New ‘Lego Movie 2’ Trailer Sees Chris Pratt Tickle a Lego Raptor (Video)

What more do you want from the sequel to “The Lego Movie?” How about intergalactic space horses voiced by Tiffany Haddish? Or maybe Chris Pratt voicing a new character, Rex Dangervest, “Galaxy defending archeologist, cowboy and raptor trainer” (sounds like a quick glance at Pratt’s filmography)? We even get to see his character tickle a raptor made out of legos. We bet  you didn’t see that in “Jurassic World!”

Well, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is stacked with all of those missing pieces. The latest trailer for the film shows Emmet blasting off into space in order to rescue Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) after she’s captured by an invading alien named Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”).

“Emmet, did you draw stubble dots on your face,” Wyldstyle asks as Emmet tries to look tough like Dangervest.

Also Read: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Director Chris McKay to Direct ‘Jonny Quest’ for Warner Bros (Exclusive)

Tiffany Haddish also joins the cast, voicing Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi, who can take different forms and manages to startle Will Arnett’s Batman in the process.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is produced by the original’s directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Mike Mitchell and Trisha Gum took up the directing helm from a screenplay by Lord, Miller, Matthew Fogel and “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg.

The sequel to Warner Bros. animated hit opens Feb. 8, 2019. Watch the new trailer above.

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Pixar’s ‘Coco,’ 2 Lego Movies Top List of 26 Oscars Animation Contenders

‘The Lego Movie Sequel’ to Tackle ‘Really Profound’ Gender Issues With Toys

What more do you want from the sequel to “The Lego Movie?” How about intergalactic space horses voiced by Tiffany Haddish? Or maybe Chris Pratt voicing a new character, Rex Dangervest, “Galaxy defending archeologist, cowboy and raptor trainer” (sounds like a quick glance at Pratt’s filmography)? We even get to see his character tickle a raptor made out of legos. We bet  you didn’t see that in “Jurassic World!”

Well, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is stacked with all of those missing pieces. The latest trailer for the film shows Emmet blasting off into space in order to rescue Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) after she’s captured by an invading alien named Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”).

“Emmet, did you draw stubble dots on your face,” Wyldstyle asks as Emmet tries to look tough like Dangervest.

Tiffany Haddish also joins the cast, voicing Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi, who can take different forms and manages to startle Will Arnett’s Batman in the process.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is produced by the original’s directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Mike Mitchell and Trisha Gum took up the directing helm from a screenplay by Lord, Miller, Matthew Fogel and “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg.

The sequel to Warner Bros. animated hit opens Feb. 8, 2019. Watch the new trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

How 'The LEGO Movie' Was 'Ready Player One' First, and Better (Commentary)

Pixar's 'Coco,' 2 Lego Movies Top List of 26 Oscars Animation Contenders

'The Lego Movie Sequel' to Tackle 'Really Profound' Gender Issues With Toys

Patton Oswalt Replaces Louis CK in ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Trailer (Video)

Things are about to get hairier. While the first “Secret Life of Pets” showed the hidden lives of household pets — in the vein of “Toy Story” — the first trailer for the sequel shows the insecurities and worries your pets think about when they’re dragged to the vet.

“My owner always says I’m such a good dog, and I feel like a good dog, but what if I’m a bad dog,” one particularly neurotic pet says in the trailer. “What if I’m a bad dog!?

That’s hardly the biggest change to the upcomingfilm. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” has re-cast Patton Oswalt in the role of the lead dog Max, a part originally voiced by Louis C.K. The comedian was dropped from the film back in November 2017 after he admitted to sexual misconduct.

Also Read: ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’ Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming

Other new additions to the voice cast include Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll, joining Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and Bobby Moynihan.

Chris Renaud is returning to direct and Brian Lynch wrote the screenplay to the sequel.

“The Secret Life of Pets 2,” from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, opens in the summer of 2019, originally pushed back from June 2018. Illumination’s “The Grinch” opens this Friday.

Watch the first trailer above.

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Things are about to get hairier. While the first “Secret Life of Pets” showed the hidden lives of household pets — in the vein of “Toy Story” — the first trailer for the sequel shows the insecurities and worries your pets think about when they’re dragged to the vet.

“My owner always says I’m such a good dog, and I feel like a good dog, but what if I’m a bad dog,” one particularly neurotic pet says in the trailer. “What if I’m a bad dog!?

That’s hardly the biggest change to the upcomingfilm. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” has re-cast Patton Oswalt in the role of the lead dog Max, a part originally voiced by Louis C.K. The comedian was dropped from the film back in November 2017 after he admitted to sexual misconduct.

Other new additions to the voice cast include Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll, joining Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and Bobby Moynihan.

Chris Renaud is returning to direct and Brian Lynch wrote the screenplay to the sequel.

“The Secret Life of Pets 2,” from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, opens in the summer of 2019, originally pushed back from June 2018. Illumination’s “The Grinch” opens this Friday.

Watch the first trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Harrison Ford and Tiffany Haddish Join 'Secret Life of Pets 2'

'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming

Patton Oswalt and Christy Carlson Romano Join Disney's Live-Action 'Kim Possible'

‘Nobody’s Fool’ Film Review: Tyler Perry Makes Tiffany Haddish Do All the Work

Tyler Perry loves to torture rich characters and female characters who put career over love and family, so just one look at the New York apartment of rising ad exec Danica (Tika Sumpter, “Southside With You”) in “Nobody’s Fool” makes it apparent that the writer-director has put two targets on her back.

Her high-rise two-bedroom has the kind of Manhattan square footage usually reserved exclusively for oil sheiks and media heiresses, and it’s furnished with the soullessness of a Wayfair.com commercial. It also boasts the phoniest skyscraper views this side of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” although the latter film made them obviously fake on purpose.

I mention the apartment because it makes no sense, which makes it the perfect avatar for “Nobody’s Fool,” a comedy that, even by Tyler Perry’s notoriously lax standards, has very little internal logic or narrative drive. The movie is ostensibly the story of Danica learning to loosen up and love her own flaws, and those of other people, but it’s really a delivery device for Tiffany Haddish as Danica’s sister Tanya.

Watch Video: ‘Nobody’s Fool’ Trailer: Tiffany Haddish Is Out of Prison and Ready to Kill the Guy Catfishing Her Sister

Where Danica is hard-working, focused and soft-spoken, Tanya is her exact opposite: she’s just gotten out of jail after five years, announces inappropriate opinions at full volume, and cuts through other people’s B.S. so they can stop kidding themselves and start living better lives. In short, she’s this movie’s Madea, and boy does it need one.

The plot involves Danica taking Tanya in post-release, and as Tanya gets back on her feet by working at a coffee house owned by nice-guy Frank (Omari Hardwick, “Power”), a budding relationship between Frank and Danica is stymied by her long-distance boyfriend and by the fact that Frank doesn’t fit all the items on Danica’s literal list of attributes she wants in a man; he has a child with another woman (we see this kid once before he disappears from the movie), is a recovering addict, and has been to jail, even though he’s obviously gotten his act together.

(Whoopi Goldberg, sporting a wig and an indoor marijuana farm that make her this movie’s Aunt Bam, pops up occasionally as Tanya and Danica’s mom in Jersey to dispense advice and toughlove.)

Watch Video: Billy Eichner and Tiffany Haddish Search for More Diverse Witches for ‘Hocus Pocus’ Remake

If a rumor started going around that Perry and his cast were just making up the movie as it went along, that would be a credible story. The plot galumphs around from idea to idea: the issue of whether or not Danica is being catfished by her long-distance man prompts the appearance of Nev and Max from MTV’s “Catfish” (MTV is the Viacom sibling of BET, and BET Films produced this movie), and Danica spends lots of time working on an ad campaign in scenes that indicate that Perry learned everything he knows about the world of business from the Hallmark Channel.

When most of Haddish’s scenes end with one of her co-stars breaking character and laughing, it’s clear that Perry just turned the cameras on and let his comedic leading lady go wild. And while Haddish is certainly gifted enough to run with this flimsy material, she would have benefited from someone at the helm paying attention. Poor Sumpter, saddled with this uptight character who exists to embarrass herself and to learn lessons, is game but overwhelmed, while Hardwick makes his character into one of Perry’s more interesting Flawless Rescue Studs. (The FRS is critic Witney Seibold’s male counterpart to Nathan Rabin’s legendary Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.)

Watch Video: Hallelujah! ‘Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral’ Trailer Teases Franchise’s Lethal Finale

Perry puts some talented comic performers at the margins — Amber Riley, Missi Pyle, Jon Rudnitsky — but they’re mainly stuck either reacting to Haddish or sucking in the huge pockets of dead air in this movie’s comedic timing. It’s interesting to see Perry risk alienating his conservative fans by working in the R-rated sphere (between Haddish’s improvisations and those of a legendary comedian who turns up well into the film, there was probably no way to edit them to PG-13), but given that this is the auteur’s 20th theatrical feature film, there’s no longer any excuse for the pacing issues, the scenes that don’t end and the general flaccidness of his direction.

After Haddish’s star-making turn in “Girls Trip,” many of the internet’s more enthusiastic voices started saying, “Put her in everything!” Perhaps they should have been more specific.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Tyler Perry on Why He’s Ending ‘Madea’ Franchise Next Year: ‘Time for Me to Kill That Old Bitch’

Geoffrey Owens Accepts Role on Tyler Perry’s ‘The Haves and Have Nots’

No One Will Want to Follow Tiffany Haddish’s ‘Lip Sync Battle’ Performance (Video)

Tiffany Haddish Gets First Netflix Standup Special

Tyler Perry loves to torture rich characters and female characters who put career over love and family, so just one look at the New York apartment of rising ad exec Danica (Tika Sumpter, “Southside With You”) in “Nobody’s Fool” makes it apparent that the writer-director has put two targets on her back.

Her high-rise two-bedroom has the kind of Manhattan square footage usually reserved exclusively for oil sheiks and media heiresses, and it’s furnished with the soullessness of a Wayfair.com commercial. It also boasts the phoniest skyscraper views this side of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” although the latter film made them obviously fake on purpose.

I mention the apartment because it makes no sense, which makes it the perfect avatar for “Nobody’s Fool,” a comedy that, even by Tyler Perry’s notoriously lax standards, has very little internal logic or narrative drive. The movie is ostensibly the story of Danica learning to loosen up and love her own flaws, and those of other people, but it’s really a delivery device for Tiffany Haddish as Danica’s sister Tanya.

Where Danica is hard-working, focused and soft-spoken, Tanya is her exact opposite: she’s just gotten out of jail after five years, announces inappropriate opinions at full volume, and cuts through other people’s B.S. so they can stop kidding themselves and start living better lives. In short, she’s this movie’s Madea, and boy does it need one.

The plot involves Danica taking Tanya in post-release, and as Tanya gets back on her feet by working at a coffee house owned by nice-guy Frank (Omari Hardwick, “Power”), a budding relationship between Frank and Danica is stymied by her long-distance boyfriend and by the fact that Frank doesn’t fit all the items on Danica’s literal list of attributes she wants in a man; he has a child with another woman (we see this kid once before he disappears from the movie), is a recovering addict, and has been to jail, even though he’s obviously gotten his act together.

(Whoopi Goldberg, sporting a wig and an indoor marijuana farm that make her this movie’s Aunt Bam, pops up occasionally as Tanya and Danica’s mom in Jersey to dispense advice and toughlove.)

If a rumor started going around that Perry and his cast were just making up the movie as it went along, that would be a credible story. The plot galumphs around from idea to idea: the issue of whether or not Danica is being catfished by her long-distance man prompts the appearance of Nev and Max from MTV’s “Catfish” (MTV is the Viacom sibling of BET, and BET Films produced this movie), and Danica spends lots of time working on an ad campaign in scenes that indicate that Perry learned everything he knows about the world of business from the Hallmark Channel.

When most of Haddish’s scenes end with one of her co-stars breaking character and laughing, it’s clear that Perry just turned the cameras on and let his comedic leading lady go wild. And while Haddish is certainly gifted enough to run with this flimsy material, she would have benefited from someone at the helm paying attention. Poor Sumpter, saddled with this uptight character who exists to embarrass herself and to learn lessons, is game but overwhelmed, while Hardwick makes his character into one of Perry’s more interesting Flawless Rescue Studs. (The FRS is critic Witney Seibold’s male counterpart to Nathan Rabin’s legendary Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.)

Perry puts some talented comic performers at the margins — Amber Riley, Missi Pyle, Jon Rudnitsky — but they’re mainly stuck either reacting to Haddish or sucking in the huge pockets of dead air in this movie’s comedic timing. It’s interesting to see Perry risk alienating his conservative fans by working in the R-rated sphere (between Haddish’s improvisations and those of a legendary comedian who turns up well into the film, there was probably no way to edit them to PG-13), but given that this is the auteur’s 20th theatrical feature film, there’s no longer any excuse for the pacing issues, the scenes that don’t end and the general flaccidness of his direction.

After Haddish’s star-making turn in “Girls Trip,” many of the internet’s more enthusiastic voices started saying, “Put her in everything!” Perhaps they should have been more specific.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tyler Perry on Why He's Ending 'Madea' Franchise Next Year: 'Time for Me to Kill That Old Bitch'

Geoffrey Owens Accepts Role on Tyler Perry's 'The Haves and Have Nots'

No One Will Want to Follow Tiffany Haddish's 'Lip Sync Battle' Performance (Video)

Tiffany Haddish Gets First Netflix Standup Special

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Drums Up $3.9 Million at Thursday Box Office

Rami Malek and Fox hit a high note with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” drawing $3.9 million in Thursday night showings as it stays on track for a $40 million box office bow.

For comparison, Warner Bros.’s critical and commercial hit “A Star is Born” earned $3.2 million in early Thursday showings on its way to a $42.9 million opening weekend. “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” hit theaters with $3.4 million in early previews, pulling in $35.0 million in its first weekend for Universal. Independent trackers are looking for “Bohemian Rhapsody” to open to the tune of $35-$40 million.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has been heavily criticized for its series of events and its effectiveness as a biopic for Queen front-man Freddie Mercury.

Also Read: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Film Review: Queen Bio Won’t Exactly Rock You

The film has a 59 percent score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and critics have panned the film’s screenplay for leaning on biopic cliches and heavily altering the history of the famed British rock band, while failing to reveal anything insightful about them.

Malek’s portrayal of Mercury, however, has been praised by critics, even earning some Oscar contention buzz that Fox will surely want to ride into awards season.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was co-produced and c0-financed by New Regency, had a long and often tumultuous road through development and production. The film was directed by Bryan Singer before he was fired from the set in December amid reports of unprofessional behavior and on-set clashes with star Rami Malek. Singer later said Fox fired him because he wanted to take a break to care for an ailing parent.

Also Read: 11 Riskiest, Priciest Movie Gambles This Fall, From ‘Venom’ to ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Dexter Fletcher (“Eddie the Eagle”) finished the film after Singer left. Anthony McCarten, who earned Oscar nominations as producer and writer for “The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour,” wrote the screenplay.

Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” opened its theatrical run with just $625,000 at the box office on Thursday. Trackers expect the Christmas film to open in the low $20 million, coming out just two days after Halloween.

By comparison, Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” earned $1.3 million at the Thursday box office earlier this year before debuting to $33.1 million. And “Alice Through the Looking Glass” pulled in $1.5 million in early previews back in 2016 before disappointing with a $26.9 million opening weekend.

The film, which has a 33 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, stars Mackenzie Foy (“Intersteller”) as Clara, a girl who receives a key to a priceless Christmas gift from her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman). But the key disappears into a magical world where, with the help of a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara must retrieve the key and save the land’s three peaceful realms from the dark Fourth Realm and its ruler, Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren).

Also Read: ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ Film Review: This Sugarplum Is Rancid

Lasse Hallstrom directed the film, with reshoots directed by Joe Johnston and a screenplay by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy. Keira Knightley, Misty Copeland, Eugenio Derbez and Richard E. Grant also star.

The last wide release for the weekend, Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool,” pulled in $600,000 at the Thursday box office. Trackers expect the Tiffany Haddish-led film to open between $12-$14 million.

For comparison, Perry’s “Acrimony,” starring Taraji P. Henson, earned $1 million in its Thursday showings and $17.2 million across its opening weekend Lionsgate.  Another of the year’s R-rated comedies “Blockers” pulled in $1.5 million in early showings before raking in $20.6 million in its debut weekend for Universal. And Lionsgates “Uncle Drew,” which also starred Tiffany Haddish, earned $1.1 million in Thursday showings and $15.2 million in its opening weekend.

Also Read: Evolution of Tiffany Haddish, From ‘The Carmichael Show’ to ‘Nobody’s Fool’ (Photos)

Written and directed by Perry, “Nobody’s Fool” stars Haddish as a woman recently released from prison who reunited with her sister (Tika Sumpter) and discovers that she is in an online relationship with a man who might not exist. Whoopi Goldberg stars as the sisters’ mother, with Omari Hardwick also starring.

Also releasing this weekend in a limited number of theaters is the Lucas Hedges-led “Boy Erased” from Universal’s Focus Features, and Rosamund Pike’s “A Private War.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Can ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Rock the Box Office Despite Tepid Reviews?

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Rami Malek and Fox hit a high note with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” drawing $3.9 million in Thursday night showings as it stays on track for a $40 million box office bow.

For comparison, Warner Bros.’s critical and commercial hit “A Star is Born” earned $3.2 million in early Thursday showings on its way to a $42.9 million opening weekend. “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” hit theaters with $3.4 million in early previews, pulling in $35.0 million in its first weekend for Universal. Independent trackers are looking for “Bohemian Rhapsody” to open to the tune of $35-$40 million.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has been heavily criticized for its series of events and its effectiveness as a biopic for Queen front-man Freddie Mercury.

The film has a 59 percent score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and critics have panned the film’s screenplay for leaning on biopic cliches and heavily altering the history of the famed British rock band, while failing to reveal anything insightful about them.

Malek’s portrayal of Mercury, however, has been praised by critics, even earning some Oscar contention buzz that Fox will surely want to ride into awards season.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was co-produced and c0-financed by New Regency, had a long and often tumultuous road through development and production. The film was directed by Bryan Singer before he was fired from the set in December amid reports of unprofessional behavior and on-set clashes with star Rami Malek. Singer later said Fox fired him because he wanted to take a break to care for an ailing parent.

Dexter Fletcher (“Eddie the Eagle”) finished the film after Singer left. Anthony McCarten, who earned Oscar nominations as producer and writer for “The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour,” wrote the screenplay.

Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” opened its theatrical run with just $625,000 at the box office on Thursday. Trackers expect the Christmas film to open in the low $20 million, coming out just two days after Halloween.

By comparison, Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” earned $1.3 million at the Thursday box office earlier this year before debuting to $33.1 million. And “Alice Through the Looking Glass” pulled in $1.5 million in early previews back in 2016 before disappointing with a $26.9 million opening weekend.

The film, which has a 33 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, stars Mackenzie Foy (“Intersteller”) as Clara, a girl who receives a key to a priceless Christmas gift from her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman). But the key disappears into a magical world where, with the help of a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara must retrieve the key and save the land’s three peaceful realms from the dark Fourth Realm and its ruler, Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren).

Lasse Hallstrom directed the film, with reshoots directed by Joe Johnston and a screenplay by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy. Keira Knightley, Misty Copeland, Eugenio Derbez and Richard E. Grant also star.

The last wide release for the weekend, Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool,” pulled in $600,000 at the Thursday box office. Trackers expect the Tiffany Haddish-led film to open between $12-$14 million.

For comparison, Perry’s “Acrimony,” starring Taraji P. Henson, earned $1 million in its Thursday showings and $17.2 million across its opening weekend Lionsgate.  Another of the year’s R-rated comedies “Blockers” pulled in $1.5 million in early showings before raking in $20.6 million in its debut weekend for Universal. And Lionsgates “Uncle Drew,” which also starred Tiffany Haddish, earned $1.1 million in Thursday showings and $15.2 million in its opening weekend.

Written and directed by Perry, “Nobody’s Fool” stars Haddish as a woman recently released from prison who reunited with her sister (Tika Sumpter) and discovers that she is in an online relationship with a man who might not exist. Whoopi Goldberg stars as the sisters’ mother, with Omari Hardwick also starring.

Also releasing this weekend in a limited number of theaters is the Lucas Hedges-led “Boy Erased” from Universal’s Focus Features, and Rosamund Pike’s “A Private War.”

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Film Review: Tiffany Haddish in ‘Nobody’s Fool’

It’s probably no coincidence that Tyler Perry chose this week, just days before the premiere of his latest film, “Nobody’s Fool,” to make the announcement that he’s planning to retire Madea, the rowdy, blaring, acid-tongued, tin…

It’s probably no coincidence that Tyler Perry chose this week, just days before the premiere of his latest film, “Nobody’s Fool,” to make the announcement that he’s planning to retire Madea, the rowdy, blaring, acid-tongued, tiny-pistol-toting church lady from hell who will dress down anyone under the Atlanta sun who crosses her. The madly exuberant […]

Chris Rock to Direct Kevin Hart-Led Film ‘Coparenting’ for Universal

Comedian Chris Rock is on board to direct an original comedy, “Coparenting,” with Kevin Hart attached to star.

The film is based on an original idea from Rock. “Black-ish” writer Yamara Taylor will pen the script about a stay at home dad raising the kids while his CEO wife serves as the family’s breadwinner. He finds himself in emotional turmoil when his wife kicks him to the curb, and they engage in a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Powerhouse producer Will Packer (“Night School,” “Girls Trip”) will produce the film for his company alongside Rock’s Chris Rock Enterprises. Universal Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the film.

Also Read: Chris Rock to Star in ‘Fargo’ Season 4 at FX

The last time Rock directed a film was 2014’s “Top Five,” which pulled in $26 million at the box office worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, on a $12 million production budget.

Packer’s “Night School,” which Hart also starred in along with Tiffany Haddish, had the highest opening weekend for a comedy since his last big project “Girls Trip.”

Hart and John Cheng will produce, with Cheng and Carli Haney overseeing via HartBeat Productions. James Lopez will also serve as a producer for Will Packer Productions. And executive vice president of production Kristin Lowe will oversee production on behalf of Universal.

Rock is represented by ICM Partners, Untitled and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. Taylor is represented by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Deadline first reported the news.

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Comedian Chris Rock is on board to direct an original comedy, “Coparenting,” with Kevin Hart attached to star.

The film is based on an original idea from Rock. “Black-ish” writer Yamara Taylor will pen the script about a stay at home dad raising the kids while his CEO wife serves as the family’s breadwinner. He finds himself in emotional turmoil when his wife kicks him to the curb, and they engage in a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Powerhouse producer Will Packer (“Night School,” “Girls Trip”) will produce the film for his company alongside Rock’s Chris Rock Enterprises. Universal Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the film.

The last time Rock directed a film was 2014’s “Top Five,” which pulled in $26 million at the box office worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, on a $12 million production budget.

Packer’s “Night School,” which Hart also starred in along with Tiffany Haddish, had the highest opening weekend for a comedy since his last big project “Girls Trip.”

Hart and John Cheng will produce, with Cheng and Carli Haney overseeing via HartBeat Productions. James Lopez will also serve as a producer for Will Packer Productions. And executive vice president of production Kristin Lowe will oversee production on behalf of Universal.

Rock is represented by ICM Partners, Untitled and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. Taylor is represented by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Deadline first reported the news.

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No One Will Want to Follow Tiffany Haddish’s ‘Lip Sync Battle’ Performance (Video)

Tiffany Haddish just set the bar perhaps a bit too high for future “Lip Sync Battle” performers. Going up against Jimmy Fallon at his home turf “The Tonight Show” on Thursday, Haddish was sure to save her best for last, securing an easy win in the very informal competition.

Up first, her host Fallon kicked things off with a little “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite, complete with a nifty aerial camera-angle trick. Haddish responded with “Afro Puffs” by The Lady of Rage. She rocked rough and stuff, but it wasn’t particularly mind-blowing.

That’s when the props came out and the whole thing heated up.

Also Read: ‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’: NBC Names Jim Bell as Showrunner

Fallon fought back with his best Post Malone. The “Saturday Night Live” alum paused mid-performance to get face tattoos administered by a stagehand. OK, points for originality.

Haddish then one-upped him by going old school — real old school — on James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”

Swapping out Fallon’s color camera in favor of a black & white filter, Haddish also had all the moves, and the appreciative 30 Rock studio audience got on their feet for the Groupon spokeswoman.

Also Read: Post Malone Squires Jimmy Fallon to His Favorite Restaurant, Olive Garden (Video)

Yes, Haddish got a cape put on her for the climax, courtesy of The Roots.

She win.

Watch the video above.

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Tiffany Haddish just set the bar perhaps a bit too high for future “Lip Sync Battle” performers. Going up against Jimmy Fallon at his home turf “The Tonight Show” on Thursday, Haddish was sure to save her best for last, securing an easy win in the very informal competition.

Up first, her host Fallon kicked things off with a little “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite, complete with a nifty aerial camera-angle trick. Haddish responded with “Afro Puffs” by The Lady of Rage. She rocked rough and stuff, but it wasn’t particularly mind-blowing.

That’s when the props came out and the whole thing heated up.

Fallon fought back with his best Post Malone. The “Saturday Night Live” alum paused mid-performance to get face tattoos administered by a stagehand. OK, points for originality.

Haddish then one-upped him by going old school — real old school — on James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”

Swapping out Fallon’s color camera in favor of a black & white filter, Haddish also had all the moves, and the appreciative 30 Rock studio audience got on their feet for the Groupon spokeswoman.

Yes, Haddish got a cape put on her for the climax, courtesy of The Roots.

She win.

Watch the video above.

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Billy Eichner and Tiffany Haddish Search for More Diverse Witches for 'Hocus Pocus' Remake (Video)

Billy Eichner and Tiffany Haddish cast their Hocus Pocus remake

Billy Eichner is out here doing his part for Hollywood diversity. This week, with a little help from Tiffany Haddish, he attempted to jumpstart a reboot of the early-90s Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus, this time with a more inclusive cast. That means t…

Billy Eichner is out here doing his part for Hollywood diversity. This week, with a little help from Tiffany Haddish, he attempted to jumpstart a reboot of the early-90s Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus, this time with a more inclusive cast. That means that instead of Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica…

Read more...

Billy Eichner and Tiffany Haddish Search for More Diverse Witches for ‘Hocus Pocus’ Remake (Video)

Get ready for a gender inclusive “Hocus Pocus,” witches.

In the newest “Billy on the Street,” Billy Eichner headed out with Tiffany Haddish (get out of the way, because her profile is really growing) with the announcement that they will make a more diverse remake of Disney’s Halloween favorite “Hocus Pocus.” He’s gay, she’s black, so they set out to find the third diverse member of their witches trio.

Better yet, call it “#WokusPocus.”

Also Read: Emma Stone and Billy Eichner Talk to New Yorkers About Instagram in ‘Billy on the Street’ Return (Video)

“Yes! A Chinese lesbian witch! Crazy Witch Asians,” Eichner shouted at one New York pedestrian in the video upon learning that she was from China and was also gay.

Eichner asked another woman if she thinks Americans are ready to see a Disney Channel movie classic remade with a diverse cast.

“They ain’t ready, but they better get ready,” the woman replied.

Also Read: Tiffany Haddish Gets First Netflix Standup Special

Kenny Ortega directed the 1993 Halloween family movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. People born in the ’90s have decided it’s good.

Eichner’s “Billy on the Street” is back as presented by Lyft Entertainment. He previously hit the streets with Emma Stone in the return of his hit show. Watch the latest segment via his Twitter below.

BIG NEWS!!! @TiffanyHaddish and I will star as witches in a remake of HOCUS POCUS!!! Watch us hit the street to find someone to play the 3rd witch in our more diverse cast!!! pic.twitter.com/XHBaup9Xtx

— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 24, 2018

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Get ready for a gender inclusive “Hocus Pocus,” witches.

In the newest “Billy on the Street,” Billy Eichner headed out with Tiffany Haddish (get out of the way, because her profile is really growing) with the announcement that they will make a more diverse remake of Disney’s Halloween favorite “Hocus Pocus.” He’s gay, she’s black, so they set out to find the third diverse member of their witches trio.

Better yet, call it “#WokusPocus.”

“Yes! A Chinese lesbian witch! Crazy Witch Asians,” Eichner shouted at one New York pedestrian in the video upon learning that she was from China and was also gay.

Eichner asked another woman if she thinks Americans are ready to see a Disney Channel movie classic remade with a diverse cast.

“They ain’t ready, but they better get ready,” the woman replied.

Kenny Ortega directed the 1993 Halloween family movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. People born in the ’90s have decided it’s good.

Eichner’s “Billy on the Street” is back as presented by Lyft Entertainment. He previously hit the streets with Emma Stone in the return of his hit show. Watch the latest segment via his Twitter below.

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Emma Stone and Billy Eichner Talk to New Yorkers About Instagram in 'Billy on the Street' Return (Video)

18 Family-Friendly Halloween Movies, From 'Hocus Pocus' to 'Hotel Transylvania' (Photos)

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Tiffany Haddish Puts Beyonce Drama Behind Her: ‘We Cool’

Beyonce and Tiffany Haddish have moved on from the headlines that the “Girls Trip” star stirred up when she revealed earlier this year that she saw an unnamed actress bite the singer at a private party. Variety caught up with Haddish on Thu…

Beyonce and Tiffany Haddish have moved on from the headlines that the “Girls Trip” star stirred up when she revealed earlier this year that she saw an unnamed actress bite the singer at a private party. Variety caught up with Haddish on Thursday night at the City of Hope gala in Los Angeles, where Beyonce performed in honor […]

Tiffany Haddish Accepts Variety Power of Women Honor: ‘I’m Not Sorry’ I’m So Honest

“Sorry I’m so honest, but I’m not sorry,” Tiffany Haddish said at Variety’s Power of Women presented by Lifetime on Friday. The “Girls Trip” star had just finished a rapid-fire shoutout to everything and everyone in …

“Sorry I’m so honest, but I’m not sorry,” Tiffany Haddish said at Variety’s Power of Women presented by Lifetime on Friday. The “Girls Trip” star had just finished a rapid-fire shoutout to everything and everyone in the room, from Regina King’s hairstyle to FreshPaper’s ability to keep weed fresh. “I feel like it’s very important to always be […]

Tiffany Haddish on Pay Parity, Licking Arsenio, and Why Emmys and Oscars Are Overrated

“More work! More work, and more sleep.”’ That’s what on Tiffany Haddish’s agenda for the rest of 2018, which has already been a tear for the comedian. She’s been on a winning streak at the box office, following up the hit “Girls Trip” with “Night Schoo…

“More work! More work, and more sleep.”’ That’s what on Tiffany Haddish’s agenda for the rest of 2018, which has already been a tear for the comedian. She’s been on a winning streak at the box office, following up the hit “Girls Trip” with “Night School,” opposite Kevin Hart. Her autobiography became a best-seller, and […]

Can Tiffany Haddish Keep Up Her Box Office Winning Streak?

A star is born, but we’re not talking about Lady Gaga just yet. Tiffany Haddish returned to multiplexes, this time around with Kevin Hart, for her first co-lead role since the breakout hit “Girls Trip.” The 2017 raunchy comedy with Qu…

A star is born, but we’re not talking about Lady Gaga just yet. Tiffany Haddish returned to multiplexes, this time around with Kevin Hart, for her first co-lead role since the breakout hit “Girls Trip.” The 2017 raunchy comedy with Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith struck a chord with moviegoers and picked up a […]

‘Night School’ and ‘Smallfoot’ Box Office: Original Comedies Score Big

With mighty combo Haddish and Hart, “Night School” is the top comedy opener of 2018 (beating Wednesday opener “Crazy Rich Asians”) and has a shot at $100 million.

For the second time this year, two original, non-franchise movies, “Night School” (Universal) and “Smallfoot” (Warner Bros.), opened to over $20 million. The last time two originals topped the box office was last spring, with “A Quiet Place” and “Blocker.”

This yielded the first weekend since Labor Day to improve over the same dates last year ($102 million total gross compared to $90 million in 2017). Grosses for the year continue their strong increase — just under nine percent (six percent up in ticket sales) — as weekends like this help to guarantee an uptick for the whole year.

Openers

The two new films both gained from having core appeal and adding to wider audiences — exactly what is needed to boost films that don’t derive their appeal from pre-sold elements. They differ in that modest-budget “Night School” boasts more domestic appeal, while the more expensive animated film “Smallfoot” plays better internationally. But their presence with some initial success will encourage more like them.

“Night School”

Screencap

“Night School,” about a group of adults trying to get their GED degrees after work, performed at the higher end of expectations, because this movie with working-class appeal starring African-American box-office lures Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish crossed over to a wider audience. Hart is well established, but some of his earlier successes including recent reboot “Jumanji” were shared with co-stars (Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson), while Haddish has built on her “Girls Trip” success last year on multiple platforms. Combined they add up to a powerful force indeed.

Due to a less lucrative fall release date, the $28-million gross falls below both Hart’s top films and “Girls Trip.” The A- Cinemascore and a healthy second-day increase of 18 percent portends a healthy run ahead.

Check out the movie’s broad appeal: the 50-50 male/female “Night School” audience pulled 37 percent white audiences, 30 percent African-American, and 24 percent Latino.

In a slim year for comedies, Friday opener “Night School” beat out Wednesday opener “Crazy Rich Asians” for the top comedy opening of the year. It’s early yet but “Night School” could have a strong multiple and a shot at $100 million.

Smallfoot channing tatum

“Smallfoot”

Warner Bros.

Warners Animation is best known for its LEGO-related titles; “Smallfoot” marks only its sixth release, and the third non-LEGO entry, as well as is Warner Animation’s third straight late September release.

This $23 million opening, while not on the high end for animation, is still the best of the three fall films (ahead of “Storks” and last year’s “The LEGO Ninjago Movie”), but handily beat by the two earliest “LEGO” releases.

Aiding its cause was the absence of any new animated film since late July, or a major one since “Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation.” Comedy and animation remain a refuge for original material, in this case, role reversals among Yetis and humans. Based on this decent opening, this should thrive ahead. International tends to disproportionately boost animated titles (most territories have yet to open). While it’s not a low-budget film, $80 million is relatively modest for a studio cartoon title. It’s a promising start.

Hell Fest

“Hell Fest”

Two other wide releases had lower results. “Hell Fest” (Lionsgate partner CBS Films) grossed less than its $5.5 million budget. Getting in early on the non-stop pre-Halloween month ahead, it’s a slasher film set in a haunted house. For the genre, a four percent second-day drop is a mildly positive note.

“Little Women” (Pinnacle) is the latest of many adaptations of the classic novel (ahead of Greta Gerwig’s anticipated version) with little advance notice, poor reviews, and only $747,000 in 643 theaters.

"The House with a Clock in Its Walls"

“The House with a Clock in Its Walls”

Holdovers

Among second week titles, last week’s surprisingly strong “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” (Universal) dropped 53 percent, not a stellar hold. It is just below $45 million so far, with a total of around $75 million now in view at best.

Whatever hopes remained for Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” (Briarcliff) other than sustaining some big city and college area runs beyond this week were dashed by its 63 percent drop this weekend. The issue for the film isn’t so much a too-wide release as a decline in interest in the director’s films. A platform release would likely have reflected a similar fall, with the major difference a much less expensive release overall in marketing terms. Still it will end up around $6 million, more than $2 million more than his last film “Where to Invade Next.”

The best holds in the Top Ten were “A Simple Favor” (Lionsgate) down 36 percent in week three and at $43 million. The female-focused thriller joins another women’s picture, “Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros.), which in its seventh weekend fell just under 35 per cent to reach $165 million.

The Top Ten

1. Night School (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 43; Est. budget: $29 million

$28,000,000 in 3,010 theaters; PTA (per theater allowance): $9,302; Cumulative: $28,000,000

2. Smallfoot (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 15; Est. budget: $80 million

$23,020,000 in 4,131 theaters; PTA: $5,573; Cumulative: $23,020,000

3. The House With a Clock in Its Walls (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$12,510,000 (-53%) in 3,592 theaters (no change); PTA: $3,483; Cumulative: $44,765,000

4. A Simple Favor (Lionsgate) Week 3; Last weekend #2

$6,600,000 (-36%) in 3,073 theaters (-29); PTA: $2,148; Cumulative: $43,067,000

5. The Nun (Warner Bros.) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$5,435,000 (-45%) in 3,331 theaters (-376); PTA: $1,632; Cumulative: $109,018,000

6. Hell Fest (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: C; Metacritic: 23; est. budget: $5 million

$5,075,000 in 2,297 theaters; PTA: $2,029; Cumulative: $5,075,000

7. Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) Week 7; Last weekend #4

$4,150,000 (-35%) in 2,347 theaters (-455); PTA: $1,768; Cumulative: $165,682,000

8. The Predator (20th Century Fox) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$3,700,000 (-60%) in 2,926 theaters (-1,114); PTA: $1,265; Cumulative: $47,634,000

9. White Boy Rick (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #6

$2,385,000 (-51%) in 2,017 theaters (-487); PTA: $1,182; Cumulative: $21,715,000

10. Peppermint (STX) Week 4; Last weekend #7

$1,770,000 (-52%) in 2,002 theaters (-678); PTA: $884; Cumulative: $33,537,000

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Tiffany Haddish Is a Shining Star Stuck Playing Second Fiddle to Less-Funny Men

In “Night School” and “The Oath,” our favorite fireball plays the cool straight woman, when we need her as Wonder Woman’s kid sister.

“There she is!,” Maya Rudolph practically squealed with glee when Tiffany Haddish began to break it down at the 2018 Academy Awards in March. Outside of Frances McDormand’s impassioned “inclusion rider” speech, it was the highlight of the night, prompting many to imagine a Rudolph/Haddish buddy comedy, not the least of which included Paul Thomas Anderson. “That’s a combustible combination, the two of them,” Anderson told the L.A. Times at the time, confirming he and Haddish had been talking about working together. “That’s what you dream of as a director.”

“I haven’t talked to him in a while, I’ve been busy,” Haddish told IndieWire when asked about the status of the Anderson project. “I’m going to call him tonight. Just because you said that, I’m going to call him right when we finish.”

She needs to make that call; we need her to make that call. Haddish was on her way to the premiere of her new film, “The Oath,” a clunky political comedy written and directed by Ike Barinholtz, best known for his work on “The Mindy Project.” Haddish plays supportive wife Kai to Barinholtz’s Chris, a broad caricature of a left-leaning news junkie. A consummate scene-stealer, Haddish manages to eke out a few laughs from a slew of disappointed-wife routines. (There’s a lot of: “Can I talk to you in the other room for a second?”)

The Oath Tiffany Haddish Ike Barinholtz

“The Oath”

Roadside

“The Oath” sets up an alternate dystopian reality (just close enough to our current one to be sufficiently unnerving), in which the government has demanded all citizens sign a loyalty oath to the White House. Produced by Sean McKittrick (“Get Out”), “The Oath” clearly reaches for dark satirical heights but ultimately falls far short.

As political tensions rise, the comedy devolves, and a Thanksgiving argument ends in a bloody hostage situation. Haddish needed no training for the bone-crunching fight scenes. “I didn’t have to do a lot of those, ’cause I already know how to fight,” she said. “You forgot where I’m from, huh? I’m from South Central, girl.”

When asked about her own feelings about the current president, Haddish demurred. “I don’t feel nothing. I was always taught that if you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all,” she said, saying something. “His hair has been looking good lately though. I want to know who do his weave. His hair is popping.”

In the Kevin Hart vehicle “Night School,” opening this weekend, Haddish’s infectious magic is confined again to playing the straight woman. Haddish plays a teacher in “Night School,” another woman whose job it is to nag a man, boss him around, and ultimately — help him grow. Once again, Haddish in her brilliance, manages to squeeze a personality into tough-as-nails Carrie, and she finds a far better scene partner in Hart than in Barinholtz.

TIFFANY HADDISH stars in "Night School," the new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee ("Girls Trip") that follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

“Night School”

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Like Kai, Carrie is the sensible, responsible, mature one. The same could be said for her character in the Tracy Morgan TV series, “The Last O.G.,” though she is able to flex a bit more comedic muscle there. (“Nobody’s Fool,” a new Tyler Perry movie out in November, appears to play more to Haddish’s strengths.)

Her three biggest roles this year are nothing like her “Girls Trip” character, Dina, the wildly unhinged party girl who singlehandedly made that movie the highest-grossing comedy of 2017.  Of course, Haddish and her team may want to show dramatic range, to avoid getting pigeonholed into playing knockoff Dinas for the rest of her career. They seem to have over-corrected, but Haddish said she likes playing straight characters, and gave a broad description of the kinds of projects she turns down.

“I say ‘no’ to projects that don’t resonate with my soul. Don’t make me feel that good,” she said. “I still like projects that seem to have a lot of heart, and be funny if it’s going to be a comedy, and if it’s going to be a drama it needs to captivate me, and really just resonate with my spirit. Everything don’t do that.”

We may have to wait until next fall for the great dramatic ascendance of Tiffany Haddish, serious actress. In “The Kitchen,” she stars opposite Elisabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy as three mob wives who take up their husbands’ places when they get locked up. Set in the 1970s and directed by “Straight Outta Compton” scribe Andrea Berloff, Haddish praised McCarthy as a “phenomenal actress,” adding “I can’t wait for the world to see it.”

As for the future, Haddish has a few ideas about the ideal project: “I would love to do Mystery Girl, or play Wonder Woman’s sister, ’cause she has a sister. In the 1978 issue of ‘Wonder Woman,’ she has a sister named Nubia. She has a black sister. Only person that could kill her. They don’t tell you that though, too much,” she said, adding: “Me and Gal Gadot. That would be sold out.”

Salma Hayek Joins Tiffany Haddish & Rose Byrne In Paramount’s ‘Limited Partners’

EXCLUSIVE: Salma Hayek will star alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in Limited Partners, the Paramount Pictures comedy that Miguel Arteta will direct from a script by Sam Pitman & Adam Cole-Kelly. Production begins in October.
Haddish and Byr…

EXCLUSIVE: Salma Hayek will star alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in Limited Partners, the Paramount Pictures comedy that Miguel Arteta will direct from a script by Sam Pitman & Adam Cole-Kelly. Production begins in October. Haddish and Byrne play two hard-charging best girlfriends who build a juggernaut company and find their relationship tested when they are made a big buyout offer. Suddenly all the differences that made them the perfect odd-couple partners put…

‘Night School’ Collects $1.35M In Thursday Night Tuition

Universal’s Night School threw its doors open for session last night, ringing up $1.35 million at 2,500 theaters with showtimes that began at 7 PM.
With a projected opening weekend of $30M at 3,010 theaters, the Tiffany Haddish-Kevin Hart PG-13 m…

Universal’s Night School threw its doors open for session last night, ringing up $1.35 million at 2,500 theaters with showtimes that began at 7 PM. With a projected opening weekend of $30M at 3,010 theaters, the Tiffany Haddish-Kevin Hart PG-13 movie is poised to be a box office anomaly for comedies, which have suffered greatly in recent months: The last big openings for a comedy were last year’s R-rated Girls Trip with Haddish ($31.2M, also a career record box office…

The Evolution of Tiffany Haddish, From ‘The Carmichael Show’ to ‘Night School’ (Photos)

Haddish was born in Los Angeles on Dec. 3, 1979. After she became the primary caregiver for her family after her mother suffered an accident, she opted to go to the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp when she was 17 years old. There, she received mentorship fro…

Haddish was born in Los Angeles on Dec. 3, 1979. After she became the primary caregiver for her family after her mother suffered an accident, she opted to go to the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp when she was 17 years old. There, she received mentorship from people like Richard Pryor and Dane Cook.

Haddish got her break on the comedy competition “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?”, and had guest appearances on shows such as “Chelsea Lately,” “That’s So Raven,” “My Name Is Earl” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

In 2013, she scored a recurring role on “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” In 2014, she was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network series “If Loving You Is Wrong.” However, she left that role after one season because she got a regular role on NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” for three seasons.

In 2017, Haddish starred in “Girls Trip” alongside Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall. The film was a hit financially and critically, and her performance was praised by many.

After “Girls Trip,” Haddish’s comedy special “Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood” premiered on Showtime.

In November 2017, she became the first black female stand-up comedian to host “Saturday Night Live.” A month later, she released her memoir, “The Last Black Unicorn.”

Haddish currently stars in the sitcom “The Last O.G.” opposite Tracy Morgan, as well as “Night School” alongside Kevin Hart. She will next star in Paramount’s “Limited Partners.”

Also this year, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for “Saturday Night Live” — and she won! She also won a BET Award for her role in “Girls Trip.”

‘The Oath’ Star Nora Dunn Says Bill Cosby Has a ‘Psychopathic Personality’

Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for sexual assault just hours before the red carpet premiere of “The Oath,” and actress Nora Dunn didn’t hold back from talking about it. “I feel sorry for him, for what he did with his power. …

Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for sexual assault just hours before the red carpet premiere of “The Oath,” and actress Nora Dunn didn’t hold back from talking about it. “I feel sorry for him, for what he did with his power. He abused it, and he destroyed something, and he destroyed our trust,” Dunn […]