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Ice Cube to star in a Disney remake of ‘Oliver Twist’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Iconic hip hop star Ice Cube is teaming up with “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail for a Disney remake of the classic children’s story, “Oliver Twist.”

According to THR, “Empire” co-creator Danny Strong will write the script for the modern, musical take on the Charles Dickens‘ story. Kail will serve as the project’s director and Cube is taking on the role of Fagin. He is also producing the film as well.

“Oliver Twist” tells the story of an orphan boy who moves from a life as an exploited child laborer to being under the wings of Fagin, a leader of a gang of London pickpockets. Hardship, murder and secrets waiting to be revealed follow the boy.

While I’m not sure how “modern” this remake will be, I can’t help but think of the Debbie Allen directed musical, “Twist” that I saw back in 2010. The show debuted at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and was written by William F. Brown, the author of “The Wiz.” “Twist” centered on an African-American character from New Orleans and featured some a-maz-ing music from award winning songwriter Tena Clark.

RC will keep you in the loop as this project continues to develop.

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RC Exclusive - Ent

MIchael B. Jordan, ‘Empire’ and ‘Black-ish’ Win Big at NAACP Image Awards [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It was all Black Achievement last night during the live telecast of the NAACP Image Awards on TV One. Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars came out to recognize the best in television, film, music, and literature. A BIG congratulations goes out to “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan who picked up the biggest honor of the night—Entertainer of the Year—as well as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in “Creed.”


ABC’s “black-ish” picked several awards including Outstanding Comedy Series as well Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for Anthony Anderson and Outstanding Actress In a Comedy Series for Tracee Ellis Ross. “Empire” was also a big winner of the night including Outstanding Drama Series + Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for Terrence Howard and Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for Taraji P. Henson.


Other winners included “Survivor’s Remorse” star Mike Epps for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, “black-ish” starlet Marsai Martin for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, “Scandal” villian Joe Morton for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and “American Crime” star  Regina King for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Click here to see a complete list of winners and check out more photos below courtesy of Jerome Dorn & InDaHouseMedia:


Winners F. Gary Gray, Anthony Anderson and O’Shea Jackson Jr.


John Legend picked up this year’s President’s Award and performed “All Of Me”


The cast of “Empire” with Show co-creator Danny Strong 


Winner Tracee Ellis Ross


Actor and media personality Terrence J with “Empire” Star Serayah McNeill


Winner O’Shea Jackson Jr. 


Acclaimed actor Chadwick Boseman


Sevyn Streeter with Jussie Smollett and Tika Sumpter 


“Survivor’s Remorse” actress Erica Ash


NAACP Nominee and Atlanta favorite Egypt Sherrod


Actress and singer Demetria McKinney and Roger M. Bobb


“Empire” diva Ta’Rhonda Jones and guest on the red carpet


“The Next: 15” star Claudia Jordan with Congress’ Frederica Wilson & guests


Actress Aunjanue Ellis making a bold statement with her dress on the red carpet

RC Exclusive - Ent

NAACP Image Awards to honor Jussie Smollett + Confirmed Attendee List

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to “Empire” star Jussie Smollett! The singer and actor will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award during this year’s telecast on Friday, February 5 at 9 p.m. Also being recognized is Grammy Award-winning vocalist John Legend. The Oscar winning-songwriter will pick up this year’s President’s Award.

jussie_06_recording_room_1170final2_0An all-star lineup of talent is also confirmed to attend and/or present at this year’s show including Will Smith, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez, Kerry Washington, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tika Sumpter, Keegan-Michael Key, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Chadwick Boseman, Shameik Moore, Abraham Attah, Michael B. Jordan, Tracee Ellis Ross, Loretta Devine, Shonda Rhimes, Omari Hardwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sanaa Lathan, RonReaco Lee, Keke Palmer, Teyonah Parris, Michael Ealy, Tom Joyner, LeToya Luckett, Ken Jeong, F. Gary Gray and more. Also expected are cast members from “Empire” – Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealy, Trai Byers, Serayah, Gabourey Sidibe, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Kaitlin Doubleday, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong.

The award ceremony is being hosted once again by “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson along with a red carpet pre-show hosted by Terrence J and Tracey Edmonds. Click here to see all of the nominees!

Click here to read Jussie’s current story in OUT Magazine where he dishes on everything from Black Lives Matter to why he’s still waiting on his “boo” to show up!

The NAACP Image Awards airs live beginning at 9 p.m. EST on TV One.

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Malik Yoba joins Lee Daniels’ new series, ‘EMPIRE’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

ESSENCE is reporting that veteran actor Malik Yoba will co-star alongside Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Lee Daniels’ new hip-hop drama pilot, Empire.

As previously reported, Empire  is set in the world of a family-run-hip-hop dynasty much like the real lives of rap moguls Jay Z, Diddy and Russell Simmons. Howard is tapped to play Lucius Lyons, a businessman on the rise that is about to take his record company, Empire Entertainment, public.

Yoba will play Vernon Turner, Lyons’ old friend and now business associate. Henson is slated to play Howard’s ex-wife, who spent some time in prison for drug trafficking.  Rounding out the cast is Jussie Smollett, brother of actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.  He is playing Howard and Henson’s son.

Empire  reunites Daniels’ with his Butler  writer Danny Strong and will air on Fox.

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Lee Daniels to direct new Hip-Hop Drama for Fox

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Butler  director Lee Daniels will make his television directorial debut for a new series titled, Empire.

According to THR, Fox network has picked up the dramatic pilot that is set in the world of a family-run hip-hop empire much like the real lives of hip-hop moguls Russell Simmons, Diddy and Jay Z.  Empire  will reunite Daniels with his Butler  writer Danny Strong.

Daniels and Strong will also serve as executive producers of the project along with Francie Calfofor and hip-hop aficionado Brian Grazer, who is also tied to Diddy’s remake of the 90’s cult classic, King of New York.

Reportedly, Fox won the pilot script during a bidding war among the big 4 major networks last year.

RC will keep you posted as more of this story continues to develop.

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