MARVIN GAYE FILM
Focus Features International has picked up worldwide sales on director Julien Temple’s Untitled Marvin Gaye project, starring Jesse L. Martin as the late singer.
Focus will present the title to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival next month, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
With a screenplay by Matthew Broughton, the project will also star Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, Troy) in the role of Freddy Cousaert, Vicky Krieps (Hanna) as Eugenie and Dwight Henry (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) as the singer’s father.
Frederick Bestall of Auric Entertainment and Jimmy De Brabant from Delux Productions are producing. Grammy Award-winning producer Vassal Benford will executive produce alongside Peter Davy. Vassal will also compose the score.
The film, currently shooting in Luxemburg and Belgium, will focus on the later part of Gaye’s life when he recorded one of his most lauded albums, “Midnight Love,” during an 18-month period in Belgium and his close but turbulent friendship with promoter Cousaert.
“Marvin Gaye is an iconic idol with a bittersweet story spanning success, fame and the torments of addiction,” FFI co-president Alison Thompson said. “With his long established track record in making movies about music and the great musicians who touch us all, Julien and his team are the ideal partners to bring the extraordinary life of Marvin Gaye to audiences around the world.”
Mike Epps and Katt Williams will go heads up in “Blazin Four,” a Blazing Saddles-style action comedy about a ragtag quartet of gunslingers hired to protect a small town from marauding Mexican bandits.
Epps is playing Noah, a rather lowlife preacher who takes the job on in the hopes of finding redemption. Williams is El Loco, the menacing leader of the Mexican bandits. Found as a baby on a Mexican family’s doorstep, El Loco has no idea he is black — and none of his bandits has the nerve to tell him.
John Luessenhop and Gabriel Casseus, who produced Sony Screen Gems’ “Takers,” optioned the project and will produce. Luessenhop is considering directing the project, which they’re currently shopping around town.
Nicki Minaj is set to make her live action film debut in “The Other Woman,” a Nick Cassavetes-directed comedy starring Cameron Diaz as a woman who finds out that she is “the other woman” in an affair. She teams up with the wife (Leslie Mann) to get revenge on the cheater, being played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Minaj will play Diaz’s opinionated assistant at a law firm, a woman on her third marriage.
The singer, currently a judge on “American Idol,” voiced a character in Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”
“The Other Woman” begins shooting in late spring/early summer.
Since Scottie Pippen isn’t doing much of anything these days, how about giving him a reality show?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the NBA Hall of Famer is being recruited for the next quickly manufactured television series, “Big Pippen.”
Highlighting the luxurious, yet quite busy life of Pippen and his wife Larsa, the show is slated to air on WE tv some time this year.
It’ll be a look inside the lavish life of the former Bulls superstar, as he and Larsa take on Chicago with their bare hands.
Actor Larenz Tate was honored by the LA Urban League Young Professionals for their third-annual To the Nines party over the weekend. Tate, who we know for the classics “Menace II Society and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” has put forth many efforts with the group BLOOM, which focuses on young Black males involved with the Los Angeles probation system.
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS
Last week, the famed Billy Dee Williams who is legendary for his roles in 1970s films “Mahagony” and “Lady Sings the Blues,” got in to a minor accident in Los Angeles, according to TMZ.
As Williams was reportedly backing up his Mercedes Benz E350, he mistakenly hit a woman’s car. According to Williams, though, the woman was at fault because she was driving too fast, “She was passing through and I…kids, the young people today, they just drive too fast.”
After the 76-year-old Williams said he didn’t sustain any damage, he indicated that the other driver did, “She had very slight..she had slight da