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Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Chadwick Boseman to star in film adaptation of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

WOW! WOW! WOW!

Netflix is teaming up with Denzel Washington for the film adaptation of the August Wilson classic—Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The project will be produced by the Oscar winning actor along with direction from Tony Award nominee George C. Wolfe and starring Oscar winning actress and Tony Award winner Viola Davis, Tony Award nominee Colman Domingo and Black Panther icon Chadwick Boseman.

According to the press release, the story will focus on Ma Rainey recording a record in 1927 Chicago, when tension erupts between her, her white agent and producer and bandmates.

The film will also feature the amazing talents of Glynn Turman and Michael Potts. Jazz icon Branford Marsalis will serve as the film’s musical composer while Tony Award winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson will pen the story.

The original theatrical production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre in October 1984 and played 276 performances before closing in June 1985. The Wiz and That’s My Mama star Theresa Merritt portrayed the “Mother of the Blues” alongside iconic actors Charles S. Dutton and Joe Seneca. The play was later revived in 2003 starring Dutton and the fabulous Whoopi Goldberg.

“I am beyond grateful to join this masterful film adaptation of one of my favorite August Wilson plays with these incredible artists,” said Colman Domingo in a statement. “Truly we are our ancestors wildest dreams.”

Filming for the project begins next month in Pittsburgh, PA.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credit: Engadget.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent Renegade

Viola Davis to star in ‘Troupe Zero’ and ‘The Fighting Shirley Chisholm’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a first look image of actresses Viola Davis and Allison Janney in the upcoming movie Troupe Zero. The Oscar-winning film, stage and TV star posted the photo on her social media page announcing that the film will also premiere at Sundance in January.

Troupe Zero follows a misfit girl from rural 1977 Georgia, who dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troupe of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime. The film also stars Jim Gaffigan and Mike Epps.

The photo comes on the heels of Davis announcing her new production deal with Amazon Studios. According to DEADLINE, the first project from the collaboration will focus on the life of political maverick Shirley Chisholm and is titled, The Fighting Shirley Chisholm. She was the U.S. representative who was both the first woman and the first person of color to seek a major American political party’s nomination for President.

Davis will star as Chisholm in the film and will produce it through her JuVee Productions. This is the company that she and her husband, Julius Tennon, run which develops and produces independent film, television, theater, and digital content across all spaces of narrative entertainment from a diverse range of creative voices.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credit: Instagram/Viola Davis

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Watch Trailer for ‘WIDOWS’ with Viola Davis & Cynthia Erivo (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new trailer for Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen‘s new dramatic thriller Widows. It stars Oscar® winner Viola Davis and Tony® award-winning Broadway star Cynthia Erivo and opens in theaters November 16.

Widows is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Widows also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.

Photo Credit: YouTube/Widows

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Donald Glover, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Rupaul & more nominated for Emmys

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations are in order as a number of our favorite African American actors and entertainers picked up Emmy Nominations this week.

The big news was announced on Thursday with nods going to Donald Glover and his hit FX series Atlanta, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony AndersonRuPaul, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown and This is Us, Cicely Tyson and Tiffany Haddish.

Click here to see the full list of nominees and don’t forget to tune in on Monday, September 17 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Photo Credit: Emmy.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent Renegade

Viola Davis + Lupita Nyong’o to star in ‘The Woman King’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Oscar winning actresses Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o are teaming up for a new mother and daughter film titled The Woman King. The project has been acquired by TriStar and is being produced through Davis’ JuVee Productions.

According to S&A, The Woman King is inspired by true events in the Kingdom of Dahomey, a powerful state in 18th century. It will tell the story of Nanisca (Davis), general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi (Nyong’o), who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.

“I’m looking forward to working with this exquisite gem. Happy birthday @LupitaNyongo! ••• Hope y’all ready for this,” said Davis on her Instagram page.

The story comes from Maria Bello and Cathy Schulman‘s Welle Entertainment.

The Woman King has the potential to be a game changer for women of color everywhere. Viola and our team at JuVee are beyond excited to partner with Sony/TriStar to bring these fierce women to the big screen,” said Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credits: ExploringAfrica.com + WallPaperQQ.net

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‘A Wrinkle in Time’ stars attend L.A. Premiere [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“All the stars were closer” on Monday night for the mystical L.A. premiere of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. The lavish screening took place at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

The film’s stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Rowan Blanchard were joined by director Ava DuVernay for a walk down the blue carpet where they greeted enthusiastic fans and press. 

Mindy Kaling + Reese Witherspoon + Oprah Winfrey

Other special invited guests included Viola Davis, Rosario Dawson, Laura Dern, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, Kobe Bryant, America Ferrera, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, Jay Hernandez, Don Cheadle, Eva Longoria, Tessa Thompson, Constance Wu, J.J. Abrams, Niki Caro, Ryan CooglerIssa Rae and many more. 

Ava DuVernay with Tracee Ellis Ross + Tessa Thompson

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, is an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

Check out more photos below:

Winston Duke + Anthony AndersonYara Shahidi + Ava DuVernay

Tiffany Johnson + Lena Waithe

Emayatzy Corinealdi

Gugu Mbatha-Raw + Jim Whitaker

Omar Dorsey 

Lalah Hathaway

Dewanda Wise + Alano Miller 

Yvette Nicole Brown 

Chloe X Halle

Bellamy Young 

Angela Bassett + Slater Vance + Bronwyn Vance 

Ryan Coogler

Tarana Burke + Ava DuVernay

Timon Kyle Durrett

Kobe Bryant

Dre Terrell Whitfield + Dondre Whitfield + Parker Richardson Whitfield

Bridgid Coulter + Don Cheadle

Ava DuVernay + Issa Rae 

Aisha Hinds

Marsai Martin

Deric McCabe + Chris Pine + Storm Reid

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time arrives in

theaters on Friday, March 9.

Photo Credits: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

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Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis and more to present at the Oscars

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Oscar winners Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis will be presenting at this year’s Academy Awards. They are part of the first round of celebrity presenters announced on Friday’s edition of Good Morning America.

Other presenters include Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman and Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish along with Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Tom Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Margot Robbie, and Daniela Vega

“Whether returning to the Oscars stage or gracing it for the first time, each of these artists bring their own distinguishing and energetic appeal,” said Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd. “Their contributions will make for an unforgettable evening.”

This year’s nominees include Mary J. BligeJordan PeeleOctavia SpencerDaniel Kaluuya and Denzel Washington.  

The 90th Oscars will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on Sunday, March 4 at 8p.m. EST.

Photo Credit: Oscar.go.com

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TV One’s ‘Two Sides’ explores 2014 shooting of John Crawford

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TONIGHT’s episode of TV One’s original series “Two Sides” will evaluate and present multiple points of view of the controversial case involving John Crawford III, who was shot by officers while carrying a BB gun at a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Crawford was only 22-years-old at the time of his death in August 2014. A grand jury failed to indict Officer Sean Williams and Sgt. David Darkow, leading to protests by members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Executive produced by Academy Award® winner Viola Davis, Julius Tennon (JuVee Productions), and Lemuel Plummer (L. Plummer Media) with narration by Davis, “Two Sides” examines watershed moments for law enforcement and the Black community at the crossroads between life and death. The series focuses on four headline-grabbing fatal police encounters during 2014 – 2015, including Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, and Sandra Bland.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: HuffingtonPost.com

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TV One hosts Advanced Screenings of ‘Two Sides’ + ‘Behind the Movement’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out images from TV One‘s recent advanced screenings of their upcoming original programs, “Behind the Movement” and “Two Sides.” The events took place during the recent “49th NAACP Image Awards.”

Roland Martin + D’Angela Proctor + Julius Tennon + Lemuel Plummer

A number of Los Angeles VIPs gathered at The Museum of Tolerance to pre-screen “Behind The Movement,” while the advance screening of the Viola Davis executive produced docu-series “Two Sides” was screened at First AME Church. Both events featured Q&A’s with in depth conversation, featuring notable cast-members, executives and community leaders. Famed “NewsOne Now” host Roland Martin moderated the Q&A for “Two Sides” while TV One SVP of Original Programming & Production, D’Angela Proctor, moderated the Q&A for “Behind The Movement.”

The cast + crew of “Behind the Movement”

Behind The Movement,” is a unique and fast paced retelling of how Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat launched the history making Montgomery Bus Boycott starring Meta Golding (“The Hunger Games”) as Rosa Parks. Additionally, the film will star Roger Guenveur Smith (“American Gangster”), Isaiah Washington (“The 100”) and Loretta Devine (“Waiting to Exhale”),  Shaun Clay as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Keith Arthur Bolden as Ralph David Abernathy. “Behind the Movement” premieres Sunday, February 11 at 7/6c on TV One.

Two Sides” is a landmark limited four-part docu-series exploring watershed moments for law enforcement and the Black community at the crossroads between life and death, premiering Monday, January 22 at 10 p.m. ET on TV One. Executive produced by Academy Award® winner Viola DavisJulius Tennon (JuVee Productions) and Lemuel Plummer (L. Plummer Media) with narration by Davis, each one-hour episode of “Two Sides” offers an in-depth, comprehensive look into disturbing cases of officer-involved deaths.

See more photos below:

Michael Jai White + Gillian White 

Roland Martin

Mother of the Movement –  Gwen Carr

Lemuel Plummer + Julius Tennon

Photo Credits: TV One

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Viola Davis discusses new TV One Series ‘Two Sides’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out Oscar winning actress Viola Davis as she and her creative team discuss the relevance and importance of the new TV One series, “Two Sides.”

As previously reported, “Two Sides” analyzes and presents multiple points of view of the highly charged cases involving Eric Garner (New York), Ezell Ford (California), John Crawford (Ohio), and Sandra Bland (Texas). Their tragic deaths sparked grassroots social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, inspired protests by high profile personalities, and immortalized their names as tragic figures in the polarizing debate on police brutality and race.  Davis will narrate each episode and serves as executive producer along with her husband and business partner, Julius Tennon.

“What this show does is it arms you with as much information as possible…even information that you didn’t want to hear when the incident happened.”

“Two Sides” will also feature commentary from high profile contributors such as activist Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and attorney Christopher Darden, as well as representatives from various law enforcement agencies and other notable pundits.

“Two Sides” airs on January 22 at 10 p.m. EST

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

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TV One teams up with Viola Davis for ‘Two Sides’ debuting on 1/22

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

TV One and Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis are coming together for a new four-part docu-series, “Two Sides.” It premieres Monday January 22 at 10 p.m.

According to the press release, “Two Sides” focusing on four headline-grabbing fatal police encounters during 2014 – 2015, the series analyzes and presents multiple points of view of the highly charged cases involving Eric Garner (New York), Ezell Ford (California), John Crawford (Ohio), and Sandra Bland (Texas). Their tragic deaths sparked grassroots social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, inspired protests by high profile personalities, and immortalized their names as tragic figures in the polarizing debate on police brutality and race.

Davis will narrate each episode and also serves as executive producer along with her husband and business partner—Julius Tennon.

“With Two Sides you’ll hear how the incident transpired and how it affected change, or did not affect change. And, how the families are still being affected,” said Davis and Tennon in a joint statement.

“This is a way for us to humanize these victims and not make them just a statistic. We also have to look at the other side of the story – our law enforcement’s point of view. Let’s come together and have a conversation around these issues so that we can come up with real solutions that will lead to positive change.”

The series also features commentary from high profile contributors such as activist Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and attorney Christopher Darden, as well as representatives from various law enforcement agencies and other notable pundits.

“There are two sides to every story,” says Rev. Al Sharpton in the premiere episode. “I believe the policeman has a side; I believe the victim has a side; But there is only one truth.”

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: TV One and Hype Hair

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Viola Davis to star in film adaptation of ‘I Almost Forgot about You’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis will produce and star in a film adaptation of Terry McMillan‘s best selling book, I Almost Forgot About You.

According to DEADLINE, Davis will play Georgia Young, a twice-divorced, successful optometrist. Despite a life, full of great friends and family, she hasn’t felt a romantic spark in awhile, and feeling bored and restless. She decides it’s time to change, and goes on a wild journey of self-discovery, reuniting with old lovers, and getting a brand new lease on life.

The film will be directed by Malcolm D. Lee and produced through The Jackal Group along with Davis’ company, JuVee Productions.

The film will also be written by Ron Bass and McMillan who also adapted her two books, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale.

RC will keep you posted as this continues to develop.

Photo Credits: AARP.org and Beauty and Good Book

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Viola Davis teams up with Larry Wilmore + Regina Hicks for new ABC comedy series ‘Black Don’t Crack’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congrats to multi-award winning actress—Viola Davis! She is teaming up with “Insecure” co-creator Larry Wilmore and “Insecure” co-executive producer Regina Hicks for a new ABC comedy titled “Black Don’t Crack.”

According to DEADLINE, the show is written and executive produced by Hicks and will center around three former sorority sisters who lost touch after college reunite during a pivotal point in each of their lives and realize that now that they are of a certain age sometimes it’s okay to crack and no one will be there for you like your sisters.

“Black Don’t Crack” will also be executive produced through Davis’ JuVee Productions and Wilmore Films. Both have overall deals with ABC Studios.

“My pilot ‘Black Don’t Crack’ – dreams coming true y’all! So excited to work with these 2! & @abcnetwork,” said Hicks on her social media pages.

Hicks is also attached to NBC’s hit series “Marlon,” which was just renewed for a second season and was the writer of the explosive “Insecure” episode that had everyone talking this past season. CLICK HERE and listen to my August #UPFRONT interview with Hicks about that and more.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credits: Pintrest and Regina Hicks/Instagram

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Recap

Lincoln honors Aja Naomi King during ESSENCE’s ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Event [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out photos from ESSENCE Magazine’s recent “Black Women in Hollywood” event that was held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA prior to the Academy Awards. The event was a huge success and was powered by The Lincoln Motor Company.

This year’s event celebrated black excellence in film and honored singer and breakout actress Janelle Monáe, producer Issa Rae, “Black-Ish” star Yara Shaidi and “How To Get Away With Murder” actress Aja Naomi King, who was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by her co-stars Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch.

Kenya Freeman, lead designer for Sylvia Mollie created custom dresses inspired Lincoln Black Label for Lincoln Art of Arrival contest winner, Adeola Bakre, and Lincoln Blogger Bar host and author Demetria Lucas D’Oyley. The designs pulled inspiration from Black Label themes Rhapsody in Blue (Bakre) and Center Stage (D’Oyley).

“This year’s honorees embodied class and elegance similar to our flagship vehicle, the all-new Lincoln Continental,” said Raj Register, multicultural communications manager, Lincoln.

Celebrities like Broadway star Cynthia Ervio, TV, stage and film icon Loretta Devine, trans superstar Laverne Cox and dancing legend Debbie Allen arrived to the star-studded event in the latest lineup of Lincoln vehicles including 2017 Lincoln MKZ and Continental.  See more pics below of the stars posing in front of the all-new Lincoln Continental including actress Meagan Good, celebrity stylist June Ambrose and more!

Meagan Good

Gabrielle Union

June Ambrose 

Dawn-Lyne Gardner

Photo Credits: PictureGroup