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Steve McQueen on the Power of Small Axe: “These Stories Are Monumental”

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The director speaks just as passionately about Parkes, comparing the lesser-known star to a young Al Pacino. “Shaun has the weight of the world and you see it on his face,” he says. “He is like a silent-movie star. There’s not much he has to do with his face to convey emotion, to convey depth.”

A director speaking fondly of their actor isn’t novel, but it carries special meaning with McQueen, who shepherded Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender into the mainstream. Part of the director’s mission with Small Axe was to usher in a wave of new talent both in front of and behind the camera, partly an ode to all the Black talent that was barred from the industry between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, the era the series represents. 

“There have been two generations of filmmakers, editors, costume designers, cinematographers, actors who have been lost in this country because they were never given the opportunity, or never thought they had the possibility of being involved in the film world,” he said. “We have a lost narrative in our trajectory. That’s why I wanted to make five films. In some ways, it’s trying to fill that gap from ’68 to the mid-’80s. That’s why we were ambitious with what we wanted to do, because it was necessary.”

“We have Marlon Brandos driving buses in this country. We have Montgomery Clifts who are on building sites. We had Audrey Hepburns who are working in I.T.,” he continued. “We had those people, but they were not invited to participate in this industry. Fact.”

While working on the BBC production, McQueen made it mandatory for each department to include a young POC trainee, as a means of offering aspiring artists a way into the industry. “It was about making room for people to come in,” he said. “Because a lot of people who are a certain age don’t give any light to younger people. I needed that around me. I wanted to see that around me. First and foremost, I want to make a great movie, but to have young people around me being involved, it just inspires me.” 

It was also imperative “to see them be treated with respect and care, because sometimes people are treated very badly on movie sets,” he added. He wanted Small Axe to be a place where newcomers could make mistakes and grow, though some might view that as a waste of precious, hard-won time on a film set. “It was very integral,” McQueen says. “It’s actually to the advantage of the film. Fact!”

The filmmaker has been vocal about the industry’s lack of inclusion for years, most recently calling out BAFTA for not doing enough to support nonwhite artists. Naturally, he’s extremely supportive of John Boyega similarly taking the industry to task. The Star Wars actor led a Black Lives Matter protest over the summer and spoke with unshakeable candor about racism in the film industry in a recent interview. 

“It’s fantastic,” he said of Boyega’s outspokenness. “First and foremost, he’s a great artist. He actually is a movie star. He has that quality. And I support him 110 percent in what he’s doing and how he’s doing it.”

“I wish more people would do it,” he adds slyly. “But they don’t.”

McQueen is, by contrast, less intrigued by the film Academy, which recently announced a series of easily surmountable inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility, as a means to force film sets to be holistic when it comes to diversity. “Fair dues to the Oscars for doing their best and trying a new idea, but I’m more interested in people who are coming into the industry,” he said. 

“I want to go at the bottom on the mountain and start people to try and climb the mountain,” McQueen added. “That’s what I’m after. So I’m grateful of, again, what they’re trying to do, but my focus is trying to put people on a footing where they can actually at least try and climb that mountain.”

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Exclusive: Godzilla’s Michael Dougherty to Direct Nightbreed Series!

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Exclusive: Godzilla’s Michael Dougherty to direct Nightbreed Series!

While chatting with the iconic horror author and director for the upcoming adaptation of his legendary Books of Blood, ComingSoon.net learned from Clive Barker that the in-development series adaptation of Nightbreed is set to feature Trick ‘r Treat‘s Michael Dougherty as director!

RELATED: Hulu’s Books of Blood Trailer: All Stories End Here

When reflecting on the 30th anniversary of his original film adaptation of his 1988 novel Cabal, Barker confirmed that he is indeed making progress on the series, currently writing “the bible” for the world of the titular group, and that he’s excited to be working with the Godzilla: King of the Monsters director on the project, as well as on the series adaptation of Hellraiser at HBO on which Dougherty is a writer and executive producer.

“It’s exciting, after 30 years, to go back to these characters and find out who’s still speaking to me, who wants their story told,” Barker brightly expressed. “My tongue isn’t in my cheek when I say that as when I start a piece, it’s listening. The writing is a piece of listening, I’ve always said I was a journalist and what I was reporting on was the space between my ears.”

Click here to purchase the Shout Factory Director’s Cut of Barker’s 1990 cult classic! 

Barker wrote and directed the film adaptation of his work but, at the time of its release, it was considered a box office failure. In recent decades, the film has since attained a cult status among dark fantasy and horror fans alike.

RELATED: Exclusive: Lin Shaye Talks Status of Insidious Franchise & Possible Return

Nightbreed follows a group of underground half-human/half-monsters seeking to find a new refuge and home after their original hiding place is destroyed. Leading these efforts is a recently turned reluctant hero who not only is adjusting to his new supernatural status but also is dealing with the grief and mystery surrounding the death of his fiancée. Will this group band together despite being hunted and persecuted by humans who find their “otherness” to be frightening?

Morgan Creek’s James G. Robinson, David Robinson and Barbara Wall will be executive producing the planned series. Barker and Mark Miller of Seraphim Films will also be executive producing. Books of Blood, co-written by Barker, Brannon Braga and Adam Simon and directed by Braga, is set to debut on Hulu on October 7!

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‘Beast’: Idris Elba Will Face Off Against a Lion in New Thriller From ‘Contraband’ Director

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Idris Elba once played the villainous Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, but now the actor will go toe to toe with the king of the forest in a new thriller called Beast.

Elba has been cast in the lead role in the movie, which hails from Contraband and 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormakur. Get more details below.

Baltasar Kormakur, the Iceland-born director whose previous credits include Contraband, The Deep, 2 Guns, Everest, The Oath, and Adrift, is set to make this new Beast movie for Universal Pictures, according to Deadline. Plot details are still slim, but the film is reportedly in the vein of Jaume Collet-Serra’s hyper-focused Blake Lively survival thriller The Shallows, “but instead of sharks, a lion [will] be involved as a the central antagonist.”

Idris Elba vs. a lion? Sign me the hell up. Elba is a terrific actor with an impressive range, and while I appreciate his dramas as much as the next cinephile, I’ve always kind of hoped that he’d lean into action hero mode a little bit more since he’s evidently not going to be the next James Bond. Maybe starring in a fun B-movie where he faces off against a lion will spark a new era of his career where he can pull a Liam Neeson and release one of these types of movies every few years. There must be something in the water right now with lions, because Megan Fox just starred in a movie called Rogue where she faced off against killer lions, and Barry Jenkins was just announced as the director of Disney’s new follow-up to The Lion King. Looks like all those years of lion lobbying in Hollywood are finally paying off.

This film is based on an original idea by writer Jaime Primak-Sullivan, who previously cooked up the story for the Gabrielle Union-led home invasion movie Breaking In. Ryan Engle (Rampage) was credited with writing the screenplay for Breaking In, and Engle is writing the screenplay for Beast, once again tackling a script based on a Primak-Sullivan idea.

Will Packer, who has been one of the most successful producers in Hollywood over the past several years thanks to films like Straight Outta Compton, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, and Girls Trip, is producing this movie along with his production partner James Lopez. They previously worked with Primak-Sullivan and Engle on Breaking In. Kormakur is producing as well.

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Chrissy Teigen Shares New of Her Heartbreaking Miscarriage

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Chrissy Teigen revealed Wednesday night that she suffered a miscarriage after she had been rushed to the hospital earlier this week for excessive bleeding.

Teigen said doctors were unable to stop the bleeding “despite bags and bags of blood transfusions.”

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” Teigen wrote in an Instagram post. “We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.”


Also Read: Chrissy Teigen Sets Quibi Game Show About Telling ‘Edible Creations’ Apart From Ordinary Objects


She added, “To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you.”

Teigen concluded her post by writing, “We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience.  But everyday can’t be full of sunshine.  On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”

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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers.  We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience.  But everyday can’t be full of sunshine.  On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.

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Teigen and husband John Legend are parents to 4-year-old daughter Luna and 2-year-old son Miles. The model and entrepreneur has been open about the fact both children were conceived via in vitro fertilization. This pregnancy was a surprise to Teigen and a source told People in August that she “never thought it would be possible” to get pregnant naturally.

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