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Tracee Ellis Ross To Executively Produce And Star In 'Daria' Spinoff 'Jodie'

MTV has dug into their archives with good reason. The network announced Thursday (June 13) Jodie, the first spinoff series from the cult classic Daria.

Tracee Ellis Ross will voice Jodie Landon, a fan favorite from Lawndale High and an important character who helped spruce the show with wit and black girl magic in the 90s. Jodie will showcase the character's transition from college to the workplace, specifically the tech world.

While Jodie would technically be hailed as an older millennial (she graduated high school in the early aughts), the series will "satirize the post-college workplace and personal adventures of Gen Z" instead. Viewers will also find Jodie exploring workplace culture, social media in addition to privilege and gender.

The series also marks the first adult animated sitcom to center around an African-American female lead in nearly two decades.

“I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie’s character," Ross said in a press release. "Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me. Jodie will spin-off from the cult classic Daria, and with the brilliant, sweet and sarcastic black girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female
characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture."

Jodie marks the first of several series and films to come from the “Daria universe.” The show will be led by writer Grace Nkenge Edwards, the writer/co-producer of Insecure. Edwards is best known for her work on the Emmy-nominated Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Inside Amy Schumer. 

“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” said Chris McCarthy president of MTV. “This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation.”

If Jodie continues on the stream of consciousness as its sister show, the series will probably be a hit.

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Chiwetel Ejiofor Proves The Real Star Of The 'Lion King’ Is Actually The Villain

The bad guy makes the movie what it is. He tests the parameters of your empathy, understanding, and grace, forcing you to see what you’re made of.

This particular bad guy lets resentment fester and rumble in his belly, as his mighty and righteous brother merits admiration and reverence from faithful servants. When it comes to brains, he knows he has the lion's share, but it’s the permanent mark in the shape of a dagger slicing above his left eye that reminds him his brother is the sole proprietor of brute strength.

It's this same villain who deputizes himself among the others also tired of begging for whatever's left to orchestrate a felony so sorrowful, it plucks at your Adam’s Apple, pushing your screams and cries back into your throat because what’s done cannot be undone.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s embodiment of the deceitful Scar is just that: a wondrous amalgamation of pain, defeat, rejection and will bursting onto the big screen in Disney’s live-action remake of the Lion King. Jeremy Irons’ 1994 version of the antagonist, while still deceptive, encapsulated a bit of theatrics and bounce. The only telltale sign of Scar’s venom was his flowing jet-black mane. Ejiofor’s 2019 portrayal is bloated with greed, anger and the need to control. The use of the word “bloated” is hyperbole, of course, as on-screen Scar is thin, almost emaciated and physically hungry for the dominance he feels he’s owed.

There’s no need to rehash the 25-year-old film. Moviegoers can be reassured to know director Jon Favreau stayed true to the movie’s heart. He often replicated important scenes detail for detail, including the quintessential opening sequence with the sun rising over the Pride Lands as zebras, antelope, rhinos and other wildlife assembled to meet and bow to the future king.

And while we know Mufasa dies, his live-action death stings even more.

As Hans Zimmer’s “To Die For” thunders, the wildebeest come running down into the gorge and your 10-year-old self tells Simba to run. Hope is still a possibility after Mufasa saves his cub and leaps from the stampede onto the rocks and climbs to the top. Then your 34-year-old self soothes your inner child, because what happens next—the grave offense Scar commits—is irreversible.

But what most miss about Scar, even after 25 years, is under all of his deplorable ways lies his one admirable quality: ambition.

Scar saw himself among the greats and envisioned a kingdom under his rule. He let nothing get in the way of his chosen destiny, including his weak older brother. Scar couldn’t and wouldn’t settle for being a knight, or a duke or a lord. Scar wanted to be king, so much so betrayal and murder were mere casualties in the race to rule Pride Rock.

Who among us has ever gone after our future with more reckless abandon?

Ejiofor understood this insatiable need to ascend to the greatness Scar believed he possessed, and he channeled that with his voice. The east-London native’s lilt took on whatever emotions needed to give way to Scar's true intentions.

Whether it be the flat, emotionless way he dismissed Simba into the den. (“I don’t babysit,” he sneers) or the way he let his words dangle in the air as he covertly described life as Mufasa's brother ("Others spend their lives in the dark...begging for scraps"), Ejiofor’s reinvention of Scar is more than just a voice over. It’s the inflated and arguably updated blueprint Irons left behind.

Ejiofor showed that to embody Scar meant more than reciting lines from a page. It meant whatever couldn’t be expressed through physical emotion seen on screen had to be demonstrated in the inflections, whispers, and passion of his voice. Scar’s lustful desire to outshine his brother and his brother’s memory was on full display whenever Scar was on screen and Ejiofor zeroed in on that, even from behind a microphone.

With fervor, and indignation Ejiofor’s portrayal of Scar proved why, without him, Simba would be nothing. Without Scar, Simba wouldn’t have to face his biggest foe or know how to. While Mufasa taught him compassion, loyalty, and love, Scar taught him to fight. Scar is a liar and a cheat and will stop at nothing to get what he feels rightfully belongs to him. And yet, as vile as Scar is, he's also the unintended teacher.

Ejiofor knew that deeper than his fury and his jealousy, Scar was more than just a bad guy. Scar was an instructor who made Simba and audiences examine themselves and Ejiofor’s performance underscores that. Does it feel good to give Scar his flowers? Of course not. I wouldn't spit on Scar even if he were on fire. But let’s face it, there would be no Lion King if Simba didn’t have to fight for his throne.

So to Scar and to all the bad guys who help us roar a little bit louder, thank you for the unintended lesson.

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HBO's 'Euphoria' Receives Second Season Green Light

Zendaya Coleman delivered in the dramatic HBO series Euphoria and now it has been renewed for a second season. The Hollywood Reporter states that the series' creator, Sam Levinson, loosely based the drama on an Israeli format and intertwined his history of drug addiction and anxiety.

Raw and unfiltered, Euphoria dives deep into the life of a recovering 17-year-old drug addict, Rue (Zendaya), and ties in the realities that her peers are facing individually, including her newest friend, searching for self-identity girl, Jules (Hunter Schafer).

"Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has built an incredible world with an extraordinary cast led by the supremely talented Zendaya," Francesca Orsi, executive VP HBO Programming, said Thursday (July 11) in a statement. "We are so grateful that he chose HBO as the home for this groundbreaking series. We look forward to following these complex characters as their journeys continue through the challenging world they inhabit."

The Spider-Man: Far From Home actress posted on her Twitter to share her awe behind the news. Executive producer Drake also shared the news.

Literally just got the call. Can’t say thank you enough for the support we’ve seen, wow...

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 11, 2019


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Euphoria picked up for Season 2 😁 OBVIOUSLYYYYYYYYY 💨

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Jul 11, 2019 at 1:52pm PDT

Delivering more than 5.5 million viewers per episode, according to Entertainment Weekly, the provocative and jarring season exposes viewers to sex, identity, drugs, trauma, love, and more.

Euphoria airs on HBO Sundays at 10 p.m. ET

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Chance The Rapper Makes A Brief Cameo In 'The Lion King' Remake

We’d be lion if we said we weren’t excited for the Jon Favreau-remake of The Lion King. The film stars Donald Glover, Beyonce, James Earle Jones and many more, and it was revealed on Instagram that Chance The Rapper is also featured in the CGI-edition of the Disney classic.

In a social media post after attending the world premiere of the movie, Lil Chano wrote that he was a part of the film’s consulting process, which was a dream come true.

“I grew up my whole life obsessed with all things related to #TheLionKing,” he wrote. "Needless to say the original film was immensely impactful on my music and overall life. So when my big bro Donald [Glover] got casted as Simba, he did the coolest thing ever and told director Jon Favreau to call me in as a consultant to keep the original flavor."

He then continued his post by stating that what followed was recording some singing and speaking parts for the movie. According to reports, he can be heard in the film in the role of “Bush Baby,” and is billed as Chance Bennett.

"One day I’m there Jon [Favreau] asked me to do some singing stuff, another day he asks me to do some lines,” he continues. “Its all a blur, but I’ll tell u its one of the best blurs of my whole life. I am so blessed to know people like Donald and Jon man. AMAZING FILM, AMAZING CAST AND AN AMAZING (NIGHT) LAST NIGHT. GOD BLESS AND LONG LIVE THE KING."


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Here’s a short story. I grew up my whole life obsessed with all things related to #TheLionKing; like all three films, the Timon and Pumbaa tv show, the broadway play and especially the broadway soundtrack. Needless to say the original film was immensely impactful on my music and overall life. So when my big bro Donald got casted as Simba, he did the coolest thing ever and told director Jon Favreau to call me in as a consultant to keep the original flavor. So for about a year I would go to the LK studio and see early animations, scenes, music direction or assemblies and they’d always be out of this world amazing. One day I’m there Jon asked me to do some singing stuff, another day he asks me to do some lines. Its all a blur, but I’ll tell u its one of the best blurs of my whole life. I am so blessed to know people like Donald and Jon man. AMAZING FILM, AMAZING CAST AND AN AMAZING NIGGHT LAST NIGHT. GOD BLESS AND LONG LIVE THE KING

A post shared by Chance The Rapper Owbum (@chancetherapper) on Jul 10, 2019 at 8:17am PDT

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