Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will play Pumbaa and Timon in 'The Lion King' remake - Silver Screen Beat
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Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will play Pumbaa and Timon in ‘The Lion King’ remake

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Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will soon be singing “Hakuna Matata,” as the comedy stars have been tapped to star in Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Lion King as Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. While the casting news certainly comes as a bit of a surprise, we honestly can’t think of anyone better to take these iconic roles.

According to TheWrap, both Rogen and Eichner are in final negotiations to join the film which already has Donald Glover voicing Simba and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. Variety, whose own sources confirmed the latest casting update, says that Beyonce is “still circling” the role of Nala, Simba’s love interest. However, due to the star’s busy schedule, it appears the Disney and her agents are having a hard time negotiating a deal that will work for both sides.

Yesterday, the studio also set an official release date for The Lion King on June 19, 2019, among several others including Star Wars: Episode IX, Frozen 2, Wreck-It-Ralph 2, an Indiana Jones movie, and Gigantic. Oh, and this might be slightly off-topic, but don’t be surprised to see them move Episode IX from May 24, 2019, to December 20, 2019—we all know it’s going to happen anyway, right?

The Lion King remake builds upon Disney’s success of reimagining classics for a modern audience with films such as MaleficentCinderella, and The Jungle Book, winning big at the box office. The upcoming film will include music from the original, such as Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score, both of which earned the film two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score, respectively.

The original cast of The Lion King included Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Jim Cummings, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and more.

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With their case diminishing, prosecutors drop sexual assault charges against Kevin Spacey

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Kevin Spacey
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With their case against Kevin Spacey diminishing, Nantucket prosecutors asked Wednesday for charges to be dropped against the actor, who had been facing a felony charge for the alleged sexual assault of the teenage son of a former Boston TV news anchor in 2016.

In a document filed in the Nantucket District Court, Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said he was filing a “nolle prosequi,” which, in a criminal case, is an admission that the charges against the defendant cannot be proven. O’Keefe cited the “unavailability of the complaining witness” as his reason for the dismissal of the case.

O’Keefe’s decision to drop the charges against Spacey is not a particularly surprising one. During an evidentiary hearing last week, Spacey’s accuser refused to testify about what happened to a missing cellphone containing text messages — and possibly video — the night the alleged assault took place.

When asked if he knew that he could be charged with a felony should an investigation find that he had tampered with or destroyed evidence on the phone, Spacey’s accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment and was unwilling to continue his testimony, according to The New York Times.

The accuser’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said in a statement that the accuser and his family “have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” and added that he will not be commenting on the case any further at this time.

Spacey’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In December, just moments before the news of the felony charge against Spacey broke, the actor posted to YouTube a bizarre video in which he appears as his character Frank Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards and says he is “certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

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Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu lead a band of grifting strippers in the ‘Hustlers’ trailer

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Hustlers
STX FILMS

STX Films has released the first trailer for Hustlers, the upcoming stripper comedy featuring an all-star cast that includes the likes of Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Mercedes Ruehl, and Cardi B.

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film follows a group of savvy former strip club employees who come together to turn the tables on their unsuspecting, money-grubbing Wall Street clients.

“These Wall Street guys — you see what they did to this country? They stole from everybody,” Lopez’s character says. “Hard-working people lost everything and not one of these douchebags go to jail. The game is rigged and it does not reward people who play by the rules. It’s like robbing a bank; except you get the keys.”

Scafaria based Hustlers on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York Magazine article titled “Hustlers at Scores,” which tells the real-life story of a band of New York City strippers scamming their wealthy clients out of thousands of dollars before eventually being caught by authorities.

In addition to starring in the film, Lopez also serves as a producer on Hustlers alongside Elaine Goldsmith Thomas, Jessica Elbaum, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay. The film is a co-production between STX and Annapurna.

Hustlers will open in theaters on September 13.

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Taika Waititi signs on to direct ‘Thor 4’ as the live-action ‘Akira’ movie gets delayed indefinitely

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Taika Waititi Thor 4 Akira release date
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In a move that will force him to put the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Akira on the backburner indefinitely, Taika Waititi has officially closed a deal to direct Thor 4 for Marvel Studios, sources tell Silver Screen Beat.

The development is a rather surprising one considering Akira — which has been in development at Warner Bros. ever since the studio acquired the rights to the popular Japanese manga in 2002 — was as close as it ever was to getting made.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, pre-production on Akira had been moving along smoothly — despite some concerns with the script that were later resolved — and Waititi had been meeting with and testing young Japanese actors for roles in the film as part of a worldwide search for talent.

But now that the project has experienced yet another major setback, execs can only hope that Waititi will pick up where he left off once he completes Thor 4, which will once again see Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the titular God of Thunder.

Waititi is currently prepping to hop on the fall festival circuit with his World War II-era satire Jojo Rabbit, which he wrote, directed, and stars in alongside Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, and Sam Rockwell. Fox Searchlight will release the film on October 18.

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