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Janelle Monae's Wondaland Pictures Inks Production Deal With Universal

Ms. Monae is now a quadruple threat.

On Monday (Nov. 19), Deadline reported that Dirty Computer singer Janelle Monae's Wondaland Pictures secured a deal with Universal Pictures for a first-look production deal. With the new deal, both parties hope to give a platform to underrepresented voices and brand new perspectives.

The creative in-house team for Wondaland Pictures consists of Monae as it's CEO, Mikeal Moore as the Managing Partner, and Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder as the Creative Director and Executive Producer, respectively. Together, the two film companies will be developing multi-genre content.

Monáe spoke to Fast Company this month saying that everyone on her Wonderland team works in both the music and film side as well as “the endorsement side and the activism side” beginning with a Vision Board idea.

“Say it’s an album, or a movie – we [then] bring it to the management team and say, ‘Help us execute, keep us on schedule,’" Monae said. “All I want is to make sure the creative part of the enterprise is protected from people who don’t understand the metamorphosis – the many stages it takes to create art.”

In a statement to Deadline, Universal Pictures' Chairman Donna Langley said, “There is an exciting, artistic revolution taking place in our industry, and Janelle and the talented team at Wondaland are at the forefront. Their forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio.”

Wondaland Pictures is a film division of Monae's multimedia company which she founded in 2001 shortly after linking up with Outkast's Big Boi. The Afrofuturism-influenced artist first crossed over to the acting world in 2016 when she co-starred in both the black queer film Moonlight and the biographical film Hidden Figures, that garnered critical acclaim and Oscars nods.

The business agreement takes Wondaland and Universal's relationship further as the 32-year old R&B singer will be gracing the movie screen again on Friday (Dec. 21) with the release of Universal's Welcome to Marwen and Universal affiliate Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman biopic in 2019. She will also be lending her voice to STX Entertainment's UglyDolls and Disney's remake of Lady and the Tramp.

Readers, are you excited for Monae's new venture?

READ MOREJanelle Monae To Be Honored With Trailblazer Award At Billboard’s Women In Music

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Netflix Releases 'Dear White People' Season 3 Trailer

Loose ends are finally tied, while other storylines and character arcs are more defined in the third season of Netflix's Dear White People. The Justin Simien comedy released its trailer Friday (July 19).

Shadow And Act report a few scenes that season three will deliver includes Sam (Logan Browning) parting ways with her radio show, Troy (Brandon Bell) experiencing a parody or pastiche, and Lionel (DeRon Horton) continuing to live in his identity.

The campus' secret society, The Order of X, also reappears after being discovered in season 2 by Sam and Lionel. Depicting a lighter and easing going tone is a shift from the gloom and murk from previous seasons while still giving a satirical sense of style. As the series moves through its characters dealing with microaggressions and evident racism at Winchester University, the script addresses a range of controversial issues.

Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers: Endgame), Blair Underwood (When They See Us), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), and the show's creator Simien are set to make guest appearances throughout the season, according to IndieWire. 

Season 3 will premiere on Aug. 2.

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The Internet Reacts To ‘Cats’ Trailer Feat. Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba And More

The film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats musical will soon hit the big screen, but the new trailer isn't getting the best internet reviews. The two-minute sneak peek released Thursday (July 18), gives a first look at the cast, which includes Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen, decked out as felines.

Elba stars as the mysterious Macavity and Hudson portrays Grizabella the Glamour Cat who sings “Memory,” one of the musical’s most popular numbers. Derulo takes on Rum Tum Tugger, Corden plays Bustopher Jones, Swift is Bombalurina, and McKellen is Gus the Theater Cat. The all-star cast also features Dame Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy.

Many of the bad Twitter reviews were due to the CGI technology making for an awkward final product that left some utterly confused, and maybe even terrified.

JENNIFER HUDSON AND JAMES CORDEN IN CATS (2019) Y'ALL DID DIRTY TO MY FELLAS #CatsMusical pic.twitter.com/oIICv76hHN

— papadenke (@papadenke) July 18, 2019

Idris Elba and Jason DeRulo in Cats (2019, Dir. Tom Hooper) pic.twitter.com/shRwcy80P0

— Freddie Benson (@DeeH_NYC) July 18, 2019

I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY DID THIS ON PURPOSE. pic.twitter.com/oItHY9G7s1

— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 18, 2019

THERAPIST: Jason Derulo cat isn't real. He can't hurt you. JASON DERULO CAT: pic.twitter.com/Ex2YDbrW5O

— mandrew (@knuckifyouzuck) July 18, 2019

Me trying to save Idris Elba from the CATS movie: pic.twitter.com/xlaIaAQNTh

— Ryan Aguirre (@aguirreryan) July 18, 2019

The 1981 musical, is based on T.S. Elliott’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and centers around a cat collective known as the Jellicles, as they prepare to choose one feline for the “Jellicle choice” (where on cat will be reborn).

Cats is scheduled to hit theaters on December 20. Watch the trailer in the video above.

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Spike Lee's 'She's Gotta Have It' Won't Return To Netflix For Season Three

Nola Darling and the She's Gotta Have It cast will not return to Netflix for season three, according to Entertainment Weekly. Director Spike Lee revisited his 1986 feature film to create the series adaption in 2017.

Starring DeWanda Wise (Nola Darling), her character considers herself a free-spirited artist who weaves her intimate relationships and experiences, all while going toe-to-toe with the gentrification of her Brooklyn community.

The sudden cancellation arrived less than two months after season two aired earlier this summer. "While this is our last season, we're very proud that it will be on our service for years to come," Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement on Wednesday (July 17).

The nineteen-episode series also starred Anthony Ramos, Ifenesh Hadera, Cleo Anthony, Lyriq Bent, Margot Bingham, Chyna Layne, and Fat Joe. Musical selections featured on the show included Stevie Wonder, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Madonna, Erykah Badu, and Frank Ocean.

Lee is currently working on an upcoming film for Netflix titled Da 5 Bloods. The war drama tells the story of Vietnam veterans with appearances from Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (BlacKkKlansman), Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight), and Norm Lewis (Les Misérables).

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