Movie News

Go Behind the Scenes of Kanye West's Jesus Is King Film. On the 23rd day after Kanye West was set to release Jesus Is King (the album), he gave us BTS footage of Jesus Is King (the film). The 42-year-old rapper released the first trailer for his highly-anticipated IMAX movie, Jesus Is King, earlier last week. While the trailer didn't give out too many details of what we could expect from the film, the behind-the-scenes footage Kanye released this morning gives us a bit more insight on what went on in Kanye's mind while filming and dreaming up Jesus Is King. The nearly two-minute clip of BTS footage begins by displaying bible verse, Mark 1:15, on the screen, which reads: "In the words of Jesus Christ. 'The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repeat and believe in the gospel." The YouTube video then cuts to Kanye walking up a hill -- narrating the moment, he says, "We're here to spread the gospel. I'm not here for your entertainment. I'm an evangelist so my music, my films, every conversation, every room I go in, we're here to save souls ... from eternal damnation. I use art to make believers." According to the behind-the-scenes footage credits, Jesus Is King was directed by Nick Knight with credits also given to James Turrell's Roden Crater. Turrell also makes a cameo in the BTS video, having a conversation with Kanye himself. In the past, Kanye has attributed Turrell's work as a source of inspiration for his Sunday Service performance. During Kanye's interview for David Letterman's Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, he said, "The only thing I can parallel with James Turrell is to contribute something musically and to learn more about sonics that are healing." So, it's no surprise that Kanye's Jesus Is King film will also take place in Turrell's large-scale artwork, Roden Crater. Located in the Painted Desert region of Northern Arizona, Roden Crater was created within a volcanic cinder cone and it represents the "culmination of the artist's lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception." The film will also feature 13 songs arranged by Kanye in gospel tradition and will include new music from the forthcoming album Jesus Is King. Now, it's time to wait and see if we'll actually be getting the album anytime soon. Jesus Is King will be released in theaters on Oct. 25. Tickets are on sale now. (Eonline)

Priyanka Chopra Just Nabbed a Major Role in Frozen 2 But There's a Catch. We'll never let this exciting news go! Priyanka Chopra has joined the cast of Frozen 2, she announced on Friday. But, there's a catch: She'll voice Queen Elsa -- also played by Idina Menzel -- in the Hindi version of the highly-anticipated Disney sequel. And she isn't going at it alone, either. Her cousin Parineeti Chopra will star as Kristen Bell's Anna. Making this a true family affair! "Mimi and Tisha are now Elsa and Anna!" Priyanka shared on Instagram. "The #ChopraSisters are finally coming together for Disney's Frozen 2. Can't wait for you guys to see us... I mean HEAR us bring these amazing, strong characters to life in Hindi." Naturally, the duo got a warm welcome following the big announcement. "Some moments are worth melting for!" the official Disney Films India account raved on Instagram. "Welcoming the dynamic sisters @priyankachopra and @parineetichopra as the voices for Elsa and Anna in Hindi!" Frozen 2 doesn't make its big debut for another month, but fans of the film have already been treated to several new details about the film. In addition to the release of a brand-new trailer, Disney has also unveiled the sequel's soundtrack track list, which features newcomer Evan Rachel Wood showing off her singing talent alongside Idina and Kristen. And, according to Kristen, it's really good. "Evan actually sings what might be my favorite song in the whole movie, which I have been singing to my children for years since I heard it," she teased to E! News. "She sings a lullaby song in the film because she plays our mother and she is a pivotal character and it is an ear worm of all ear worms. It is a very large ear worm, so it will never get out of your head." Frozen 2 hits theaters on November 22. (Eonline)

Yes, a Barney Movie Is in the Works Thanks to Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya. If you grew up in the '90s and '00s, get ready for a whole lotta nostalgia. Get Out and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya and Mattel Films are co-producing a live-action movie based on the Barney TV series. Yes, that's right, the one that starred that big, cuddly purple dinosaur from your childhood. "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood," Kaluuya said in a statement released by Mattel Films on Friday. "We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time." "Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination, and we can't wait to get 'I love you, you love me' stuck in heads everywhere, yet again," said David Carrico, founder of Valparaiso Pictures, which is developing the Barney movie along with Mattel Films and Kaluuya and his partners at the 59% production company. Mattel Films head Robbie Brenner said, "Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to 'Barney' that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today's kids." The Barney & Friends TV show aired between 1992 and 2009 and helped launch the career of Selena Gomez, who appeared on the show when she was 10 to 12 years old. It is unclear if she will appear in the movie. (Eonline)

John Boyega to Star in Netflix Sci-Fi Feature 'They Cloned Tyrone' (Exclusive). The film, set up at Macro, will mark the directorial debut of 'Creed 2' writer Juel Taylor. John Boyega has landed himself the lead role in another sci-fi, this time in Netflix's upcoming They Cloned Tyrone. Likened to "Friday-meets-Get Out," the film is described a pulpy, sci-fi mystery caper, in which an unlikely trio investigates a series of eerie events, alerting them to a nefarious conspiracy lurking directly beneath their hood. Set up at Macro, They Cloned Tyrone will mark the directorial debut of Creed 2 writer Juel Taylor, who co-wrote the script alongside Tony Rettenmaier. Taylor, Rettenmaier and Stephen "Dr." Love are producing, with shooting expected to start in the first quarter of 2020. Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry was reportedly in negotiations earlier this year, but The Hollywood Reporter understands that the role has now gone to Boyega, soon to be seen once again as Finn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter in the third Star Wars trilogy. Boyega has a number of projects in the pipeline, including Steve McQueen's London-based Amazon/BBC period drama Small Axe, currently in production, and sci-fi romance Hold Back the Stars, both alongside Letitia Wright. Boyega is repped by the Identity Agency Group. (Hollywood Reporter)

China Cancels Release of Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' (Exclusive). Sources tell THR that Bruce Lee's daughter made a direct appeal to China's National Film Administration for changes to her father's controversial portrayal in the film. Now, the movie's China backer Bona Film Group is said to be frantically working with Tarantino on a new cut to salvage the release. In a shocking twist not unlike the ending of a Quentin Tarantino film or two, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's China box office ambitions appear to be going up in flames. The critically acclaimed movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, had been approved for release in China on Oct. 25, but regulators have abruptly reversed course. According to multiple sources close to the situation in Beijing, who asked not to be named because they weren't permitted to speak publicly about the matter, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's local release has been indefinitely put on hold. The film would have been Tarantino's first proper release in China, and the country's enormous market was expected to help push the title's worldwide box office total past the $400 million mark (it has earned $366 million to date). The abrupt change-up comes as a blow to both Sony Pictures and the film's Chinese financier, Beijing-based Bona Film Group. As The Hollywood Reporter reported exclusively in January, Bona took a sizable equity stake in Once Upon a Time, which gave the company participation in the film's worldwide box office, as well as distribution rights in Greater China. Bona's CEO Yu Dong and COO Jeffrey Chan are both prominently credited as executive producers of the film. As is typical in China, no official explanation for the cancelation has been offered by Beijing regulators. Bona didn't reply to text messages and emails, and Sony's China office could not immediately be reached. But the story swirling through the executive ranks of China's film industry Friday was that the decision stemmed from Tarantino's somewhat controversial portrayal of martial arts hero Bruce Lee, the only character of Chinese descent in the movie. Friends and family of the late Lee have blasted the director for the depiction, saying the real-life action star didn't behave as he's portrayed in the film. According to sources close to Bona and China's Film Bureau, Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, made a direct appeal to China's National Film Administration, asking that it demand changes to her father's portrayal. Played by Mike Moh, the Lee in Sony's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is wildly cocky and claims he could have "crippled" Muhammad Ali in a fight (referred to as Cassius Clay). Pitt's character, a stuntman and former war hero named Cliff Booth, laughs in Lee's face over the comment and then the two get into a "friendly" contest of who can knock the other down three times without hitting the face. The scuffle ends before either side wins, but Pitt appears to have an edge near the end, after throwing Lee into the side of a classic car. Sources described to THR a last-minute scramble at Bona to work with Tarantino to cut the film in time for it to be ready for its originally planned Oct. 25 release date. The only prior Tarantino title to come close to a proper theatrical rollout in China was his 2012 Western Django Unchained. That film also initially received permission to screen, but was bizarrely ordered pulled from cinemas across the country minutes into its opening night. Again, no official explanation for the sudden change was ever provided, but sources said at the time that a senior Communist Party official had seen the film on opening night and took issue with its graphic violence. Django received heavy cuts and was rereleased a month later; but by then, pirate copies were widely available with Chinese subtitling. The unedited, pirated version went widely seen, but the delayed official release fizzled and promptly faded from cinemas, earning just $2.6 million. Although Once Upon a Time's ultimate fate remains uncertain, the release drama comes at a time of rising official repression within China's media and entertainment sector. Beijing has taken a heavy-handed approach to censoring China's own film output throughout 2019, blocking the distribution of hotly anticipated titles from some of the country's most esteemed directors, such as Zhang Yimou and Guan Hu. On the international front, the NBA was plunged into an international crisis after Beijing took extreme umbrage with a single tweet from the general manager of the Houston Rockets, who expressed his support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. The uproar over the tweet briefly appeared to threaten the NBA's entire multi-billion-dollar business in China (the league and its stars' seeming capitulation to Beijing's pressure has only inspired more international outrage). A recent episode of South Park, meanwhile, made international headlines by poking fun at Hollywood's willingness to bend over backwards to appease Chinese censors in order to maintain market access there. Beijing responded in its typical fashion, instituting an outright ban of the comedy show. South Park creator's Matt Stone and Trey Parker then responded in their own typical fashion, ridiculing the authorities with a satirical apology. (Hollywood Reporter)


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