Cheadle Cheadle

Biopics on Miles Davis, Justin Bieber and Richard Pryor Headed To The Big Screen

Hollywood biopics never get old because audiences remain fascinated by the lives of entertainers and always love a birdseye view to see how they live them. Actors enjoy playing these classic roles because it allows them to become bigger iconic figures than themselves, and can sometimes garner Academy Award buzz and attention. That happened for Angela Bassett when she earned a best actress nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993'What’s Love Got To Do With It. And these films can even provide a shortcut to mining Oscar gold only after a short time in the film world like Jamie Foxx accomplished by playing Ray Charles in 2004's Ray. So whether these actors are in it for the glory or the gold, here are a handful of biopics moviegoers will be front and center for when they hit the big screen.—Ronke Idowu Reeves

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Don Cheadle as Miles Davis (currently untitled)

Reel History: The Miles Davis biopic was supposed to be done a few times prior to Don Cheadle’s involvement. During the 1990s both actors Wesley Snipes and Michael Wright (Sugar Hill) each had competing projects in development in their rush to bring the story of the Kind of Blue trumpeter to the screen. Both of those races ended in a dead end deadheat.

MilesIs It a Biopic or a Movie? Don Cheadle told VIBE exclusively: “It’s just a movie. Biopics are concerned with cradle to the grave depictions of a subject and character. This movie is much more expressive. And in my opinion, we’re hopefully making a movie that Miles would want to be in as opposed to it just 'being about Miles.' It’s all about his life but its not specific facts, those are irrelevant.”

Box Office Hit or Miss: A definite hit whether the filmmakers target the indie art house crowd [Basquiat] or go after mainstream audience [Ray]. Like Ray Charles, Miles Davis was one of those galvanizing music figures embraced and loved by audiences young and old and black and white for decades. Cheadle not only shares a physical resemblance  to Davis, but also has the dramatic acting chops to pull this off. Plus the Iron Man 2 star has enough big box office screen successes to make this a Hollywood financial success story . Finally, Cheadle also has the experience of playing an iconic legend on screen; he portrayed Sammy Davis Jr. in the HBO movie The Rat Pack. The Miles Davis project is still in development and securing financing. Its release date has been tentatively set for 2013.

Official stamp of approval: The Miles Davis/Don Cheadle projected has been blessed by the Davis family specifically son Erin, who also served as a Davis bandmember in his legend's later years. Erin Davis and other family members will also serve as film producers.

 

Justin Bieber as Justin Bieber in Justin Bieber 3D Movie (working title)

bieberReel History: Before you chuckle at the prospect of this teenage mega-phenom tackling his own story, recognize that Muhammad Ali in The Greatest,  Richard Pryor in JoJo Dancer Your Life Is Calling You and even Fantasia Barrino in the Lifetime TV movie, Life is not a Fairytale all did so before him. (Not to compare The Bieb to the greatests in boxing or comedy but he’s already achieved demigod status among the teenybopper set.)

Box Office Hit or Miss: Definite hit. The Justin Bieber movie will cash in on the current 3D film craze, be directed by Jon Chu (Step Up 3D) and spotlight his rags to riches story specifically how Bieber's career, fame and celebrity was created by the Internet.  Based on his music sales, the frenzied Beiber fever response he solicits wherever he appears plus his huge crossover popularity, expect this movie to open at number one on its scheduled release date Valentine's Day weekend February 11th 2011. Bieber could even give Michael Jackson's This is it and The Jonas Bros 3D Concert Experience a run for the money in the highest grossing music films in box office history department. Stay tuned.

Official stamp of approval: Justin Bieber obviously signed off on this project, so there were no permission or music licensing issues here.

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Al Bello

Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.

 

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Andre 3000 Stars In New Space Thriller 'High Life'

A new space thriller is coming to theaters this year. Andre 3000 will star in the new film alongside Twilight's Robert Pattinson in High Life, and the first trailer looks pretty intense.

The feature focuses on a group of criminals who are coerced into a mission to travel towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source. They are also forced to undergo sexual experiments while in outer space. The 2-minute preview features Pattinson and Andre 3000 as they struggle to survive on the spaceship.

High Life originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2018. It received positive reviews from numerous film critics.

"High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis," Rotten Tomatoes said of the film.

The film is written and directed by Claire Denis. High Life will hit theaters on Apr. 12. Watch the new trailer in the video above.

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