Role Call: H.E.R. Is Making Her Acting Debut in the Upcoming The Color Purple Musical Film

Role Call: H.E.R. Is Making Her Acting Debut in the Upcoming The Color Purple Musical Film

A new fresh prince is cast for Peacock's BEL-AIR; Eddie Murphy to star in new Kenya Barris comedy; secure your edges for the Our Kind of People trailer

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H.E.R. attends the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on May 27, 2021.
H.E.R. attends the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on May 27, 2021.
Photo: Emma McIntyre (Getty Images)

Sistaaaa, you been on my mind! And the sista I’m referring to specifically is none other than the Academy Award-winning artist H.E.R, who is set to make her acting debut in the forthcoming film adaptation of the Tony-winning musical version of The Color Purple. Per Billboard, the “Slide” singer will take on the role of “Squeak,” who, in the musical, goes from a juke joint waitress to an aspiring singer.

The film will be directed by Blitz Bazawule, who previously served as the filmmaker for Beyoncé’s Black Is King and will be produced under Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films banner in tandem with Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg. Warner Bros. has announced the release date for the film is December 23rd, 2023 for the big-screen musical per Rolling Stone. Additionally, In The Heights star Corey Hawkins has been tapped to play Harpo in the musical (h/t The Hollywood Reporter).

Additionally, H.E.R. recently announced the day-to-day lineup for the upcoming Lights On Festival in Concord, Calif. In a press release sent to The Root, the sold-out festival will take place across two days, Sep. 18 and 19, and will feature performances by Erykah Badu, Bryson Tiller, Ari Lennox, Masego, Lucky Daye, Vanjess, Ty Dolla $ign, Keyshia Cole, Tiana Major9 and more.

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Peacock’s BEL-AIR Has Finally Found a Fresh Face for The Fresh Prince

Peacock’s BEL-AIR Has Finally Found a Fresh Face for The Fresh Prince

Will Smith, left; Jabari Banks
Will Smith, left; Jabari Banks
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Courtesy of Peacock

I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there while I tell you how newcomer Jabari Banks is about to be the new fresh prince of Bel-Air. Per a press release to The Root, the young West Philly native has been selected to carry the mantle of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince character for the newest reimagining of the beloved ‘90s series on NBC’s Peacock: Bel-Air.

Per the show’s official description, this one-hour drama will center around “Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.” Adapted from Morgan Cooper’s original fan film, the series has already received a two-season series order from the streamer and is expected to begin filming in Los Angeles and Philadelphia soon.

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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Dedicates Grand Lobby to Sidney Poitier

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Dedicates Grand Lobby to Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier on September 15, 1980
Sidney Poitier on September 15, 1980
Photo: Evening Standard (Getty Images)

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is paying tribute to one of Black America’s most beloved actors: Sidney Poitier. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the nearly 10,000 square foot lobby is set to be dedicated to the iconic artist and will be open for public viewing beginning September 30. Among the team of people who helped push to make this notable honor possible are Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom have spoken frequently about Poitier’s impact and legacy over the years. Speaking on the dedication, Poitier’s wife Joanna Shimkus Poitier expressed:

“Sidney’s tremendous impact on the motion picture industry, and on audiences around the world, is inseparable from the story of his longstanding, collegial relationship with the Academy. Sidney has always taken great pride in the Academy’s recognition of his work. To be honored now as the namesake of the Academy Museum’s lobby, the place of access to everything that lies within, is almost like receiving a second Oscar, for lifetime achievement.”

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Kasi Lemmons Tapped to Direct Upcoming Whitney Houston Biopic

Kasi Lemmons Tapped to Direct Upcoming Whitney Houston Biopic

Kasi Lemmons attends the premiere of Focus Features’ “Harriet” at The Orpheum Theatre on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Kasi Lemmons attends the premiere of Focus Features’ “Harriet” at The Orpheum Theatre on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Harriet and Eve’s Bayou director Kasi Lemmons will be taking her talents to Trifecta’s forthcoming feature, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, a biopic on Whitney Houston. Lemmons replaces The Photograph’s Stella Meghie, who previously left the project due to creative differences but will stay on as an executive producer. Written by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten, the film is expected to “take audiences on an emotional, energetic journey through Houston’s career and music.,” according to Deadline, and appears to have the green light from Pat Houston. Speaking on the project, Lemmons explained:

“Early in my writing career I developed two projects for Whitney, and I had the opportunity to meet her. She was a tremendous, incomparable artist, and her story is as awe-inspiring as it is tragic. I feel privileged to be part of bringing her life story and music to the audience.”

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Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson and Effie T. Brown All Set to Bring Sorcerority to the Big Screen

Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson and Effie T. Brown All Set to Bring Sorcerority to the Big Screen

Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Effie T. Brown
Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, Effie T. Brown
Image: Rich Fury for dcp; Rich FurY; Film Independent/YouTube

Issa whole lotta Sorcerority in this MF’er! Variety reports that Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson are joining forces to help bring the fantasy graphic novel Sorcerority to the big screen. They’ll be doing so under their respective production companies I’ll Have Another and TPH Entertainment in tandem with producer Effie T. Brown, who secured the rights under her Gamechanger Films banner earlier this year.

For those unfamiliar, Sorcerority tells the story of “a young African American girl named Melanie, who follows in the footsteps of her late mother by enrolling into a historically African American coven and university of magic. According to a description of the project, Melanie soon discovers her enrollment into the school may not be entirely of her own choosing, but rather the calculated actions of a higher authority. In between her studies, she uncovers her familial connection to the school’s mysterious past, as well as her pivotal role in its future.” There is no word yet on a potential premiere date.

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Hold Onto Your Edges for This First Look at Fox’s Upcoming Series Our Kind Of People

Hold Onto Your Edges for This First Look at Fox’s Upcoming Series Our Kind Of People

The first trailer for the forthcoming Fox series Our Kind Of People is finally here and boooooyyy, you better grab your nearest bottle of Gorilla Glue Gorilla Snot hair gel and secure your edges because this show is sure to take them all! Inspired by the critically acclaimed book of the same name by Lawrence Otis Graham, per a press release sent to The Root, the series will center around the “aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for over 50 years. It “follows a strong-willed, single mom as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of black resilience and achievement.”

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to tune in to all the juicy mess that’s to ensue, the cast just might! Directed by Tasha Smith, Our Kind Of People stars Yaya DaCosta, Morris Chestnut (yes Lord), Joe Morton (hey, Papa Pope), Nadine Ellis, Lance Gross, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Kyle Bary and newcomer Alana Bright. Our Kind Of People premieres Tuesday, September 21 at 9 p.m. ET only on Fox.

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Nkechi Okoro Carroll Gets Overall Deal Renewal From Warner Bros. Television Group, Will Develop Sequel to Life Goes On

Nkechi Okoro Carroll Gets Overall Deal Renewal From Warner Bros. Television Group, Will Develop Sequel to Life Goes On

Image for article titled Role Call: H.E.R. Is Making Her Acting Debut in the Upcoming The Color Purple Musical Film
Photo: Vahan Moosekian/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Group

Nkechi Okoro Carroll, the executive producer and showrunner behind the CW’s highly successful series All American has received an overall deal renewal with Warner Bros. Television Group, The Root has learned. According to a press release sent, Okoro Carroll and her newly developed production banner Rock My Soul have now entered into a multi-year agreement with WBTVG which will see her continue in her role on All American as well as its spinoff series All American: Homecoming. Additionally, she and Rock My Soul will also be tasked with developing “new programming for all platforms, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, external streaming services, cable, and the broadcast networks.”

One of those new programs will include a sequel to the 1990s series Life Goes On. The new drama will “revisit a grown-up Becca Thatcher, now an accomplished doctor, and her extended family as she returns to her hometown. Original series cast members Kellie Martin and Chad Lowe will serve as producers on the project, with Martin set to reprise her on-screen role as Thatcher.”

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Regina Hall Is About to Get Some Me Time With Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg

Regina Hall Is About to Get Some Me Time With Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg

Regina Hall attends the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Annual Grants Banquet at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Regina Hall attends the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Annual Grants Banquet at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Photo: Rich Fury (Getty Images)

Currently unsure what “me time” means to Kevin Hart, but we’re about to find out. Netflix has tapped Regina Hall to star alongside Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming comedy Me Time. The film follows Hart—a stay-at-home dad—as he finally has time to himself for the first time in years after his wife and kids leave for the weekend.

Obviously, chaos ensues.

Deadline reports John Hamburg (writer, Night School) will write and direct the film. Hamburg is also one of the producers for the film through his company, Particular Pictures. There is no confirmed date for the film’s release at this time.

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Secure and Protect The Bag with Lecrae

Secure and Protect The Bag with Lecrae

Lecrae with his production company partners, 3 Strand FilmsFrom left to right: Erick Hodge, A.D. “Lumkile” Thomason, Lecrae, Reginald Brown
Lecrae with his production company partners, 3 Strand FilmsFrom left to right: Erick Hodge, A.D. “Lumkile” Thomason, Lecrae, Reginald Brown
Photo: Courtesy of Schure Media Group

Financial literacy is something we all need to be taking more seriously, and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Lecrae has partnered with Experian North America to present Protect the Bag, per a press release sent to The Root. The six-part series premieres this fall and will “guide audiences through the ins and outs of financial health.” The series will use short sketches featuring high-profile special guests where Lecrae will “break down the basics of financial literacy and credit education to help viewers understand how to balance their financial needs of today, with those of tomorrow.” Each episode covers ways in which one can “build a financial legacy” along with topics such as budgeting, saving, identity protection, debt and investing.

Protect the Bag will appear on Lecrae’s YouTube channel and social media platforms.

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Strap In. Davis Oyelowo Tapped to Produce The Rocketeer Reboot

Strap In. Davis Oyelowo Tapped to Produce The Rocketeer Reboot

Awards Presenter David Oyelowo attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall on April 11, 2021 in London, England.
Awards Presenter David Oyelowo attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall on April 11, 2021 in London, England.
Photo: Jeff Spicer (Getty Images)

David (Qween of Katwe) and Jessica Oyelowo are set to produce a reboot of the 1991 Walt Disney film The Rocketeer. This will be the first film produced under Yoruba Saxon’s first-look deal with Disney. The Hollywood Reporter confirms Oyelowo will be producing the sequel, The Return of The Rocketeer under Yoruba Saxon—there is also talk of him starring in the film.

“Disney has long considered a reboot of the movie, but had to wait before a fresh view on the characters in The Rocketeers came into focus. The new story will portray a retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the mantle of the Rocketeer.” The film’s release date has not been confirmed but is slated to release exclusively on Disney+ through their live-action team.

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Three New Steve McQueen Documentaries to Premiere on Amazon Prime

Three New Steve McQueen Documentaries to Premiere on Amazon Prime

Director Steve McQueen attends the 3rd AACTA International Awards at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on January 10, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Director Steve McQueen attends the 3rd AACTA International Awards at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on January 10, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
Photo: Mike Windle (Getty Images)

Three documentaries—Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance and Subnormal: A British Scandal—will be available on Amazon Prime on September 17. Uprising is a three-part documentary that examines the events that killed 13 young Black people in the UK in 1981. Black Power: A British Story of Resistance explores how the Black Power movement came to Britain in the late 1960s. According to a press release provided to The Root, the 90-minute documentary features “rare archival footage of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael’s activities in Britain, and footage of leading figures in the movement in the UK, including Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Darcus Howe, and Roy Sawh.” Subnormal: A British Scandal looks at the biggest scandal in the history of British education where Black children in the 1960s and 1970s were placed in schools for the “educationally subnormal.”

The films will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting September 17.

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Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill Are Doing a Comedy, Y’all—and Kenya Barris Is Directing It.

Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill Are Doing a Comedy, Y’all—and Kenya Barris Is Directing It.

From left to right: Eddie Murphy, Kenya Barris
From left to right: Eddie Murphy, Kenya Barris
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Mike Coppola (Getty Images)

What do you get when you take a script written by Kenya Barris, and add Jonah Hill, a dash of Eddie Murphy and a sizable Netflix budget? You get a comedy that will probably have you laughing more than you care to admit. After their successful collaboration on Coming 2 America, Barris and Murphy are working together again on a Netflix comedy with Jonah Hill. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the details of the film are being kept under wraps but focus on themes such as modern love, family dynamics and societal pressures—and Murphy and Hill will find themselves on opposite sides of some of the issues. The unnamed project does not have a confirmed release date and is Barris’ feature film directorial debut.

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Nancy Who? A Nancy Drew Spinoff Is Set to Hit the CW in 2022

Nancy Who? A Nancy Drew Spinoff Is Set to Hit the CW in 2022

My, oh my. Tom Swift is on his way to having his own show—and we’re here for it. The new series is a spinoff of the successful CW show Nancy Drew; the Hollywood Reporter reports the “straight-to-series order for the show, centers on a Black, gay billionaire inventor.” Tian Richards plays the titular character, who is forced to leave the comforts of his lavish lifestyle and is thrown into a sci-fi paranormal world as he searches for his long-lost father—while attempting to stay a few steps ahead of an Illuminati-style group.

The spinoff went into development in October 2020 and will be released at some point in 2021 or 2022.

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Former NFL Star Akbar Gbajabiamila Named New Co-Host of The Talk

Former NFL Star Akbar Gbajabiamila Named New Co-Host of The Talk

Akbar Gbaja-Biamila attends the 71st Emmy Awards on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila attends the 71st Emmy Awards on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

After the departure of rapper Eve last fall followed by the unceremonious (and highly contentious) exit of Sharon Osbourne this spring, The Talk has experienced quite a bit of turnover. Earlier this week, Elaine Welteroth announced her departure after a single season, while longtime co-host Carrie Ann Inaba also announced her tenure was ending.

Then came last month’s news surprising news that actor Jerry O’Connell would make history as the first male co-host to join the historically all-female cast (h/t CNN). Now, O’Connell, Sheryl Underwood and relative newcomer Amanda Kloots will reportedly be joined by former NFL player and American Ninja Warrior host Akbar Gbajabiamila.

“It is an absolute honor to be joining The Talk as a host,” Gbajabiamila told The Hollywood Reporter, adding: “In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self every day and advocating for conversation over confrontation.”

Gbajabiamila shadowed fellow NFL veteran turned talk show host Michael Strahan in preparation for the co-hosting gig, which will begin with the Season 12 premiere on September 13.

“He was just dropping me dimes, just like, nuggets here and there, here and there,” Gbajabiamila shared with CNN. “He’s been very inspirational.”

“It’s a new day in daytime for season 12 of The Talk and we are thrilled to welcome Akbar to the family,” Heather Gray, the show’s executive producer and showrunner told THR.

   

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