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Common and DeVon Franklin to produce ‘Cooley High’ remake

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Deadline is reporting that Oscar winning-performer Common is teaming up with DeVon Franklin for a remake of the 1975 coming-of-age story “Cooley High.”

91RlkWUMLYL._SL1500_The two are co-producing the film with Tony Krantz, whose father Steve Krantz produced the original film.

“Cooley High” follows a group of high school friends whose lives change when two of the friends meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac.  The original film starred Glynn Terman (Colonel Taylor of “A “Different World”), Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Joe Jackson of “The Jacksons: An American Dream”) and Garrett Morris (Stan of “Martin”) and was the blueprint for the hugely popular TV series “What’s Happening!!”

Common, Franklin and Krantz are reportedly remaking the film in light of the recent murders of African-American men around Chicago and the rest of the country. The movie featured a number of Motown hits from The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes and the G.C. Cameron classic, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” which was remade famously by Boyz II Men.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and IMDB.com

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Bravo’s ‘Fashion Queens’ attend ATL Premiere of ‘Blackbird’ [PHOTOS]

Blackbird  actors Nikki Jane and Torrey Laamar with Miss Lawrence of Bravo’s Fashion Queens

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Atlanta’s Out of Film kicked off its annual festival last night with the premiere of Patrik Ian-Polk’s coming of age story, Blackbird.  The film takes a look at Randy (Julian Walker), a talented teenage singer and aspiring actor who’s struggling with religion, sexuality, a troubled home life and other high school woes in a small Southern Baptist town. It’s a journey that ultimately leads to him to love and acceptance. Blackbird  is based on Larry Duplechan‘s 1986 book of the same name.

D. Woods and Patrick Ian Polk 09

D. Woods with Patrik Ian-Polk

Blackbird  features Isaiah Washington as Randy’s father Lance and Mo’Nique as his overly religious mother, Claire. The Oscar winning-actress also served as one of the film’s executive producers along with her husband, Sidney Hicks. Rounding out the cast is Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane, Terry Henry and former Danity Kane singer, D. Woods.

Julian Walker talking

Terry Henry, Julian Walker and D. Woods talking during Q&A

A number of Atlanta tastemakers were in attendance for the screening including Kontrol Magazine, Sheen Magazine and celebrity stylists, Derek J and Miss Lawrence of Bravo’s Fashion Queens.  After the film, Patrik and some of the cast engaged in a brief Q&A session with the audience. It was during this time that he revealed that the film was shot entirely in his hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, using such familiar places as his childhood church, high school and his aunt’s home. He also mentioned that he and actor, Torrey Laamar performed a few songs in the movie. Patrik says he is also looking to take Blackbird  throughout Europe and South Africa when the film opens in spring of 2015.

Check out a few photos below from the red carpet and Q&A:

D. Woods Solo

D. Woods on the red carpet

Terry, Julian and D. Woods

Terry Henry, Julian Walker and D. Woods

Nikki Jane and Torrrey Laamar

Nikki Jane with Torrey Laamar

Torrey Laamar talking

Torrey Laamar talking during Q&A session

Derek J with Patrick and Lawrence

Patrik Ian-Polk with Bravo’s Fashion Queens’ Derek J and Miss Lawrence

cast photo

Blackbird cast with director Patrik Ian-Polk and guest moderator, Meko A. Evans

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com