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Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman will lead the ensemble cast of Ryan Murphy’s musical ‘The Prom’

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If you can’t enough of Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman together on Big Little Lies, then you’ll be pleased to learn that the Oscar-winning actresses have just signed on to lead the cast of Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the Tony-nominated musical The Prom for Netflix.

According to Deadline, “Streep will play Dee Dee Allen, a two-time Tony winner who teams with [James] Corden’s Barry Glickman in a flop musical about Eleanor Roosevelt. After career-ending reviews, they decide — along with Broadway babies Kidman as Angie Dickinson and [Andrew] Rannells as Trent Oliver — to champion a cause to rehabilitate their careers. They find one in Emma, a high school senior in Indiana who isn’t allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom.”

The star-studded cast of The Prom will also include the likes of Ariana Grande as Alyssa, a popular daughter of the head of the PTA, Awkwafina as Ms. Sheldon, the group’s publicist, and Keegan-Michael Key as Principal Hawkins, Streep’s love interest and one of Emma’s allies.

Everything sounds pretty good here, except there are a couple of issues I have with this project, one of which would be the fact that James Corden is annoying and bad and does not need to be cast in anything, let alone a movie with a bunch of people that I actually I really do like. Just, please Hollywood, stop putting him in things. He needs to be stopped.

Also, despite my unfamiliarity with the source material, it’s my understanding that Alyssa (Ariana Grande’s character) is a person of color and yet it seems Ryan Murphy has gone ahead and placed a white person in the role, resulting in yet another classic case of Hollywood whitewashing. It’s 2019. Whitewashing should be obsolete at this point.

Anyway, production on The Prom is expected to get underway in December and it will likely debut on Netflix and in theaters in the fall of 2020.

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Taika Waititi’s ‘Next Goal Wins’ rounds out its cast as production gets underway in Hawaii

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Fox Searchlight announced Wednesday that it has acquired worldwide rights to Next Goal Wins, writer-director Taika Waititi’s follow-up to his World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, which opened in theaters last month.

Production is currently underway in Honolulu, Hawaii on the film, which stars Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss and tells the story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the most devastating loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001. With the 2014 World Cup approaching, the team recruits a down on his luck, maverick coach (Fassbender) to help turn their fate around.

In addition to Fassbender and Moss, the film’s cast also includes the likes of Oscar Kightley, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, and Kaimana in their debut role.

“I’ve just started production on my next film Next Goal Wins,” Waititi said in a statement. “We have such an amazing cast and crew behind this film, and I’m stoked to be partnering once again with the lovely people at Fox Searchlight Pictures.”

Waititi wrote the script for Next Goal Wins along with Iain Morris, based on the 2014 documentary of the same name. Jonathan Cavendish, Garrett Basch, and Waititi are producers, with Andy Serkis, Will Tennant, and Kathryn Dean executive producing.

“Taika is an incredible talent and master at bringing honesty and humanity to the surface in any story. We are thrilled to be working with him again on such an extraordinary true story of perseverance in the face of defeat. He has brought together a terrific group of actors, craftspeople and sports players to bring this unique story to life,” said Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, presidents of production at Fox Searchlight.

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Ben Affleck struggles with alcohol addiction, recovery in Gavin O’Connor’s ‘The Way Back’ trailer

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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for The Way Back, which finds director Gavin O’Connor reuniting with his The Accountant star Ben Affleck for what appears to be a heavier sort of sports drama that explores alcohol addiction and recovery.

Affleck stars here as Jack Cunningham, a one-time high school sports prodigy whose life is spiraling downward due to the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life for himself.

However, Jack’s opportunity for a better life eventually comes when he’s asked to go back to his alma mater to coach the basketball team, which has been underperforming and desperately needs new leadership in order to succeed this season.

Slowly but surely, the team starts to get their act together and manages to start winning some games, proving Jack’s ability to coach, but whether that’s enough to help him cope with his addiction and set him on the road to redemption remains to be seen.

Brad Ingelsby scripted the film, which is produced by O’Connor along with Gordon Gray, Jennifer Todd, and Ravi Mehta. Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman also star alongside Affleck.

The Way Back opens in theaters March 6, 2020.

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Spike Lee to direct ‘Prince of Cats,’ a hip-hop retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ set in the 1980s

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Spike Lee has been set to direct Legendary’s adaptation of Prince of Cats, the graphic novel hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in 1980s Brooklyn, New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lee will work with Prince of Cats author Ron Wimberly and screenwriter Selwyn Seyfu Hinds on rewriting the original draft of the script, which “is described as a 1980s hip-hop take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with the tragic star-crossed love story seen through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet’s angry and duel-loving cousin.”

Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions are producing the film, with Legendary’s Jon Silk and Ali Mendes overseeing the production for the studio. Casting is expected to get underway some time early next year.

Lee most recently directed last year’s BlacKkKlansman, which earned him a number of Oscar nominations — including Best Picture — and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. He’s currently in post-production on the thriller Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman.

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