Connect with us

Entertainment

Madonna Will Direct Her Own Biopic, Co-Written by Diablo Cody

Published

on

Madonna is set to direct a biopic about her own life, which she has been co-writing with Oscar winner Diablo Cody.

Variety reports: “The untitled film has landed at Universal Pictures, under the wing of filmed entertainment group chair Donna Langley and producer Amy Pascal, whose eponymous company is set up on the Universal lot. A production timeline is unknown and principal cast has yet to be announced.”

FLASHBACK: Madonna Lashes Out at ‘Blond Ambition’ Biopic: ‘Nobody Knows What I Know and What I Have Seen’

Said Madonna in a statement: “I want to convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer — a human being, trying to make her way in this world. The focus of this film will always be music.  Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive. There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me. It’s essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.”

Deadline adds: “It is hard to recall another big music biopic directed by its subject, though the surviving members of Queen had a lot of influence on the blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody about the band and its late frontman Freddie Mercury, and Elton John was exec producer and his partner David Furnish a producer on Rocketman. Sara Zambreno and Guy Oseary will be exec producers on this, and the film’s ability to avail the vast catalogue of hit songs makes the potential here quite large on a global scale.”

Madonna has been posting videos to her Instagram over the past several months of the writing duo working on the couch together.

Entertainment

Why Ethan Hawke created his first TV show with ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Published

on

By

Ethan Hawke makes his debut as a series creator with Showtime’s Civil War-era miniseries “The Good Lord Bird.”

“It was definitely the most challenging undertaking of my life,” says Hawke, 49, who stars in and executive-produced the show. “It was like doing four or five indie movies back-to-back.”

Premiering Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. — and based on James McBride’s National Book Award-winning 2013 novel of the same name — “The Good Lord Bird” follows newly freed young slave Henry, nicknamed “Onion” (Joshua Caleb Johnson), who ends up with famous abolitionist John Brown (Hawke) and his band of soldiers on a crusade to end slavery. It culminates in the 1859 raid on the Army depot at Harpers Ferry, Va. — the prelude to the Civil War.

(Brown ultimately became the first person in US history to be executed for treason; his 1859 hanging is the show’s attention-grabbing opening.)

“I’m not playing John Brown the historical figure, I’m playing John Brown as Onion sees him and as James McBride spins a big yarn,” says Hawke.

Ethan Hawke as John Brown in "The Good Lord Bird."
Ethan Hawke as John Brown in “The Good Lord Bird.”Kevin Lynch/SHOWTIME

“It’s a strange tone to walk. It’s a tone [Quentin] Tarantino has hit and the Coen brothers have hit, where it’s half-ridiculous and half-blistering and half-electric and half-silly and half-preposterous. That was the joy of it — it’s like taking a high dive. You don’t really know how it’s going to go, you just have to throw yourself off and hope you live.”

“The Good Lord Bird” mixes fact and fiction: “All of this is true. Most of it happened,” reads a tongue-in-cheek on-screen announcement. In addition to Brown, the fictional Onion encounters iconic figures such as Frederick Douglass (“Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs).

“I’m a big Mark Twain fan, and I just felt like McBride lapped Mark Twain,” says Hawke. “It’s like [‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’], but Huck Finn flirts with talking about race in America, and McBride dives all-in. So I just wanted to share it with everybody I knew, and the way to do that is to perform it.

Beau Knapp as Owen Brown, Ethan Hawke as John Brown, Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion, Ellar Coltrane as Salmon Brown and Mo Brings Plenty as Ottawa Jones in "The Good Lord Bird."
Beau Knapp as Owen Brown, Ethan Hawke as John Brown, Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion, Ellar Coltrane as Salmon Brown and Mo Brings Plenty as Ottawa Jones in “The Good Lord Bird.”William Gray/SHOWTIME

“The Harpers Ferry raid is one of the most dramatic events in US history, and I couldn’t believe it hasn’t been 15 movies,” he says. “They made about a hundred movies about the Alamo…[the raid] is such an incendiary story, and to talk about it forces you to have other conversations that are hard. That’s why it’s been avoided.”

The seven-episode miniseries is a rare TV role for Hawke, whose career has primarily been on the big screen, where he’s racked up four Oscar nominations to date (“Best Supporting Actor” nods for “Boyhood” and “Training Day” and “Best Adapted Screenplay” nods for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight”).

He says, though, that creating a TV series has not been a longtime ambition.

Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion and Ethan Hawke as John Brown.
Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion and Ethan Hawke as John Brown.Kevin Lynch/SHOWTIME

“It was really just this story. I was thinking, ‘How would you tell that book in two hours?’ You wouldn’t be able to reduce it enough for a movie,” he says. “And my wife [producer Ryan Hawke] was like, ‘Dummy, there’s this thing called limited series now, wake up!’ So in a lot of ways, I always just thought of it as a long movie.”

But despite the massive undertaking by Hawke to co-create “The Good Lord Bird” — along with “Hell on Wheels” writer Mark Richard — and to executive-produce the series, he says it wasn’t a hardship to star in it as well.

“I love acting. I loved being on set with the guys and playing this character,” he says. “In a lot of ways, the production was the work, and the work was the play.

“Gene Hackman has my favorite line: ‘They pay me to wait. I’ll act for free. It’s the waiting I hate.’ ”

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Kobe Bryant’s Youngest Daughter Capri Says ‘Dada’ While Carrying Around Photo of Him

Published

on

By

Daddy’s little girl! Kobe Bryant’s youngest daughter, Capri, is keeping her father’s memory alive in the sweetest way possible.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, posted the adorable moment to her Instagram on Friday, September 25. As the 15-month-old walked around in pink pajamas, she held a framed photo of the NBA legend.

“Coco, who’s that?” the 38-year-old former model said, while Capri responded, “Dada. Dada.”

Vanessa added, “That is your dada. Dada, he loves you!”

Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018. Ace Pictures/Shutterstock

Kobe and Vanessa tied the knot in 2001. The basketball legend died on January 26 in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The couple’s second eldest child, Gianna, also died in the accident alongside Kobe and seven others.

The father-daughter pair were laid to rest in a private funeral held in early February. That same month, they were honored again in a larger public memorial held at the Los Angeles Staples Center — the location where Kobe played with the Lakers.

In addition to Gianna and Capri, the longtime loves shared daughters Natalia, 17, and Bianka, 3.

Last month, Vanessa paid tribute to Kobe on what would have been his 42nd birthday. “To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain,” she wrote. “I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi.”

She continued, “I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh. I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

Vanessa also shared her appreciation for Kobe’s ability to “see the best in people” and noted how she missed his “thoughtful gestures.”

In April, a source exclusively told Us Weekly how Vanessa has been coping with the losses of Kobe and Gianna. “No two days are the same for Vanessa,” an insider close to the family said. “One day she feels motivated, and the next she’s depressed and needs to take time for herself. … There are moments when it all completely consumes her.”

Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Drew Barrymore’s Emotional Reunion with Ex-Husband Tom Green, Plus: They Recall Unique First Date

Published

on

By

Famous exes Drew Barrymore and Tom Green met up for the first time in 15 years on her talk show “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

It was an emotional reunion for the pair, who began dating in 1999 when they made “Charlie’s Angels” together, and who wed in 2001. The couple split later that year and divorced in 2002.

Drew revealed to the audience that they “haven’t seen or spoken to each other in far too long.”

Tom praised her show, saying, “It is nice to see you every day bringing this burst of optimism and happiness to the world right now.”

When he passed along a “hello” from his parents Dick and Mary Jane, Drew got emotional, recalling a trip they took to his parents’ lake house.

She explained, “I don’t know why, but sleep is, like, it’s just been, like, a weird thing for me. I remember this night just being so content. And I was at your parents’ lake house and I remember hearing all their voices upstairs and I was just by myself and I was going to sleep and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is what safety and contentedness feels before you’re going to sleep.’ And I will never forget that night, and I love your parents and I really love you and I celebrate you.”

Tearing up, she continued, “You know, when you say 20 years, it’s sometimes… it’s the blink of an eye, and sometimes you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, we’ve lived so much in these last 20 years.’ You’ve had a whole life and I’ve had a whole life. It’s just really nice to come together and check in and talk about it — it just thrills me to no end. I think the world of you and I celebrate you and I always have and I always will.”

Tom replied, “Thank you, Drew. This is really, I was so happy when you invited me on the show. It’s been too long. It’s nice to reconnect. We really did not talk for about 15 years, I guess, and this is really the first time we’ve looked at each other face-to-face in 15 years.”

Beaming, she recalled calling him and asking him to be a part of “Charlie’s Angels,” and Tom remembered them hitting it off right away.

Green told her, “That was so exciting, getting to do that movie with you. And you know, we kind of sort of hit it off right away, pretty much. We had a lot of laughs together. I think one of our first dates, I think we went and bought lobsters because we both love animals and we both got lobsters and we released them into the ocean. That was what we decided to do.”

Barrymore also credited him for her “Annie Hall phase,” saying, “You bought me a camera and I still have it, the Pentax K1000, and you got me started into what would become two decades full of being a real photographer, and you got me into my whole Annie Hall phase of taking photographs, which is such a beautiful art.”

“The Drew Barrymore Show” airs weekdays. Check local listings.

Continue Reading

Hot Stories