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Kenya Barris To Make Directorial Debut With Richard Pryor Biopic

The ‘Black-Ish’ creator will pen the script, direct and produce the autobiographical film.

Kenya Barris has signed on to write and direct a forthcoming biopic on Richard Pryor for MGM. The movie studio acquired the film in a heated bidding war, Deadline reports.

The biopic will mark Barris’ directorial debut. In addition to directing and penning the script, the Black-Ish creator will also produce the film through his company, Khalabo Ink Society. Additional producers include Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, through her Tarnished Angel imprint, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films.

“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability – that was the power and impact of his work,” Barris said in a statement. “Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”

There have been several attempts to bring Pryor’s story to the big screen, including in 2016 when The Weinstein Company teamed with Jennifer and Lee Daniels on a script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon. Mike Epps was slated to start as the comic legend, and Oprah Winfrey was going to play his grandmother, Eddie Murphy as his father, and Kate Hudson at Jennifer.

Pryor began his comedy career in the early 1960s playing local clubs around New York. By the following decade, Pryor rose up the ranks to become one of the most popular Black comedians in the genre appearing in films like Lady Sings the Blues, The Mack, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Harlem Nights, and The Wiz. Pryor was also a talented writer and producer (he wrote his stand-up comedy specials as well as other shows such as Sanford & Son, The Richard Pryor Show).

The 65-year-old comedian passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2005.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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There’s A Petition For LeVar Burton To Become The New Host Of ‘Jeopardy’

While fans are still mourning the death of Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, the Canadian broadcaster’s passing leaves an opening at the game show and the internet has been leaning towards LeVar Burton as a possible replacement. Not that Trebek can ever truly be replaced, but an online petition has been launched in hopes of Burton taking over the job.

The onetime Reading Rainbow host tweeted the petition on Thursday (Nov. 12). “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”

Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support! 🙏🏾♥️

Petition · Make LeVar Burton the next host of Jeopardy! · https://t.co/60lC1WCD61 https://t.co/QFxedpuWpU

— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) November 12, 2020

So far, the petition has received more than 64,000 signatures and counting.

“Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and filling the roll of Kunta Kinte in the ever important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” reads the petition which was launched to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Jeopardy producers Mike Richards and Harry Freidman, “just how much love the public has for Burton and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!”

Trebek began hosting Jeopardy in 1984. He helmed the show for more than 30 years before announcing his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2019. Though the 80-year-old beloved game show host passed away on Nov. 8, he pre-taped enough Jeopardy episodes to air until the end of the year.

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HBO Max Releases Trailer For ’The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ Reunion

Now this is a story all about how, the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunited for the show’s 30-year anniversary. The official reunion trailer arrived on HBO Max on Friday (Nov. 13) and fans are giddy with excitement.

In the 2:00-minute clip, Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Tatyana Ali, and Karyn Parsons reminisce about the groundbreaking series.

The cast also pays tribute to James Avery, who passed away in 2013. And there’s one more special guest in the mix: Janet Hubert, a.k.a the “original Aunt Viv.” Hubert’s voice is heard towards the end of the trailer.

The cast held a socially-distanced virtual reunion earlier in the year. The official Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion was confirmed in September.

Besides serving up a hit of nostalgia with the reunion special, there’s a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot in the works that will be a dramatic reimagining of the NBC sitcom.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion will begin streaming on HBO Max on Nov. 19.

Check out the trailer below.

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