When I first heard about this movie a couple of years ago, I said the same thing everyone else said at the time: What the hell? And now that the movie finally has a trailer and a release date, that sentiment hasn’t changed. Listen, I don’t begrudge any actress of color taking work where she can find it in the hellscape known as Hollywood, but this should have been a no-go from the start.
I was perplexed when I found out that Zoe Saldana was playing the role of the iconic Nina Simone because I just didn’t think she was right for the part. But my puzzlement over her casting turned into disgust and anger when I learned she had to have her skin darkened and a prosthetic nose applied in order to achieve Nina’s appearance. That was a deal breaker for me. And judging by the horrendous trailer that has recently been released, it should have also been a deal breaker for the filmmakers.
It’s so bad I suffer secondhand embarrassment every time I watch it.
Anyway, I’m not going to rehash a lot of what has been said about this movie. Most people aren’t happy that Zoe is playing the part, nor are they happy with Zoe for taking the part. All I know for certain is that I’ll be skipping this one. My money and time is better spent doing something else. Anything else.
Well we now know what Ava will be doing after shooting on her TV show Queen Sugar wraps. She’s gotten the nod to direct the classic YA novel A Wrinkle in Time for Disney studios!
Ava apparently had been the front runner for the position from day 1, and today it looks like Disney finally sealed the deal. Ava remains in talks to direct Intelligent Life, starring Lupita Nyong’o.
You may remember A Wrinkle in Time from your school days, it’s been a staple of school reading list for decades. The book by Madeline L’Engle tells the story of young girl whose father disappears while doing research on a tesseract (note to Marvel fans, it’s not same thing as the one in the Marvel-verse). The girl is forced to travel to the fifth dimension in order to find her father and she has interesting adventures along the way. It’s very beloved book and the comments I am reading on the internet are very positive on Ava helming the project.
Y’all. Y’all. Did you watch The Walking Dead last night? Did you? Because if you didn’t, you missed something momentous taking place. You missed a glorious culmination three long, frustrating seasons in the making. You missed the coming together of what is inarguably the most badass couple on television.
If you were unfortunate enough to miss the show last night, you also missed the wonder that was Michonne and Rick finally taking their relationship to the next level. And it was as amazing as I’ve always imaged it would be. It was…perfect. And I don’t use that term lightly. There’s no other way to describe it. It was tender and playful and sexy and sensuous. As usual, Danai Gurira’s and Andrew Lincoln’s natural chemistry was palpable, and they made what could have been an awkward first coupling both sweet and hot at the same time.
MizCaramelVixen, who also founded VixenVarsity.com, started #BlackComicsMonth when she saw people people on Twitter asking if there were any black super heroes. It occurred to her that if they didn’t know about any black super heroes, they knew nothing about any black comic creators. Thus BlackComicsMonth was created.
Here is the official BlackComicsMonth website if you want to check it out. There are lots of links to black comic creators and their work. It will keep you busy for quite some time! I also recommend the interview with MizCaramelVixen, she’s an interesting person.
A few days ago Shonda Rhimes, producer of just about every show on ABC, participated in the recent round of TED talks in Vancouver BC. TED stand for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the talks cover just about every conceivable topic, my personal favorite is about how being an introvert is perfectly OK even when everyone is telling you isn’t.
Shonda’s talk was about her year of saying Yes to everything; as the TED website described it:
Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling,” she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God’s whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her “year of yes” and find out how she got her hum back.
Channing Dungey has been named to replace Paul Lee as president of ABC. She becomes the first black person to head a major broadcast network. She was formerly the executive VP of Drama for the network, a position that allowed her to develop many of ABC’s successful dramas, including Scandal, Quantico, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, How to Get Away With Murder and American Crime.
No surprise, many of the most successful dramas on her list have POC in key roles. I’m looking forward to seeing more original programming from ABC that includes juicy roles for POC. Hey Matt Damon, see what happens when you have POC behind the camera? You get POC in front of the camera! Shocking!
Channing responded to the news with this statement:
“I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.”
Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis are reportedly being pursued for the project as well. Apparently they want to start production fairly soon, so we should know who the rest of the cast is in the next few weeks.
I’m excited about this movie, I’m a space nerd who has watched Apollo 13 an embarrassing number of times and owns the complete DVD set of From Earth to the Moon. Yeah, I’m hard core. Aside from the all-star cast we already know, there is an all-start cast behind the camera. Ted Melfi (St Vincent) is set to direct. Donna Gigliotti (Shakespeare In Love, Silver Linings Playbook) will produce and Allison Schroeder (Pineapple Express, Shipping Julia) penned the screenplay.
Several more characters have been cast in Ava DuVernay’s new TV show Queen Sugar, based on Natalie Baszile’s novel of the name that follow the trials and tribulations of a group of sublings trying to save teh fmaily sugar cane farm. So far we already have Bordelon siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) cast. Here’s the scoop on the newly announced cast members:
Tina Lifford (Minority Report, Scandal) will portray Violet Bordelon, the aunt to the Bordelon siblings, described as a spunky woman involved in a long-term relationship with a younger man, played by Omar Dorsey (Django Unchained)
Dondré Whitfield (Mistresses)will play Remy Newell, a trusted friend working on the Bordelon land as a water irrigation specialist
Timon Kyle Durrett (72 Hours) Davis West, a professional basketball player married to Bordelion sibling Charley
Nicholas L. Ashe (Are We There Yet?) will play Micha, Davis and Charley’s 15-year-old son who, despite a privileged life, is grounded and has a great relationship with his parents.