'The People v. O.J. Simpson' star Sterling K. Brown boards 'Black Panther' - Silver Screen Beat
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‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ star Sterling K. Brown boards ‘Black Panther’

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Just in case you weren’t already happy with the star-studded cast of Marvel Studio’s Black Panther, Sterling K. Brown, who we can expect to see win a Golden Globe this weekend for his portrayal of Christopher Darden in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, has signed on to join the project as somewhat of an acquaintance to T’Challa.

According to an announcement from the studio, the Emmy-winning actor will play N’Jobu, a figure from Black Panther’s past. Not too familiar with that name? You shouldn’t be. After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that this character doesn’t exist anywhere within the comic books and was most likely created specifically for the upcoming movie. That shouldn’t necessarily change anything, though—this movie is destined to be great despite the origins of its characters.

Brown joins an ensemble cast which includes Chadwick Boseman as the title character along with Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba. Ryan Coogler is directing Black Panther from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is producing the project.

In Black Panther, T’Challa finds himself responsible for taking over the throne after the death of his father, which occurred during the events of Captain America: Civil War where Boseman made his infamous debut as the character who’s set out for revenge. With Coogler at the helm and an all-star lineup to help round things out, we can certainly expect quite the superhero film from Marvel thanks to nothing but great decisions on their end.

Black Panther will hit theaters next year on February 6, 2018.

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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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