Showing posts from 2019

Shonda Rhimes First Netflix Series to be a "Bridgerton" Adaption

Shondaland’s first Netflix project is based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling Bridgerton novels. 

Shot in the London the historical drama is set in the lavish and highly competitive world of Regency London high society. 
The Official Description: "From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground. At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love."  The CastThe Julie Andrews voices Lady Whistledown, the unseen gossip writer.
Rege-Jean Page (Roots 2016) as Simon Bassett A Duke who finds himself the target of the town's single ladies.
Phoebe Dynevor (Dickensian) as Daphne Bridgerton, the young debutante wa…

Production Begins on Mary Seacole Biopic starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Producer Billy Peterson has chosen “Seacole,” as his first feature film for his new production company, Racing Green Pictures. Racing Green Pictures says that one of its goals is to back prestige films with strong social messages. Seacole fits the bill as it will center on Mary Seacole, a pioneering Jamaican nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War and found herself at odds with Florence Nightingale.

Period film mainstay Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle”, "Free State of Jones") will be playing the British-Jamaican business woman and nurse who worked behind the lines during the Crimean War. Mbatha-Raw will be joined by Sam Worthington (“Avatar”).

“Seacole” will shoot over the next two months in Malta, Romania and London. The goal is to be ready for a festival circuit debut in 2020.

Happy Juneteenth!!

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.

Trailer | Year of the Rabbit featuring Susie Wokoma | Starts Monday 10th June

Check out the lovely Susie Wokoma as Mabel in the new British comedy series Year of the Rabbit. 

The series airs Monday 10th June.  The show will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and IFC in the US.

Video | Jennifer Hudson Sings “The Jeffersons” Theme Song for Live In Front Of A Studio Audience

"Movin' on Up" the original theme song for "The Jefferson's" was written by Ja'Net DuBois (Willona from Good Times) and Jeff Barry. The theme song was sung by Ja'Net DuBois along with a gospel choir. In 1978 Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded a cover version of the song.

Twitter Loves the ABC 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' 'All in the Family' & 'The Jeffersons' Remakes

ABC's The Jeffersons and All in The Family event was aired on Wednesday night with ABC's late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and television icon Norman Lear as hosts. The 90 minute live reenactment of the two legendary series was meet with positive reviews by viewers.

The live shows tonight were fire. #TheJeffersons and — Vanessa Riley (@VanessaRiley) May 23, 2019 Even through his flub (and clever recovery) Jamie Foxx was a crowd pleaser as George Jefferson.
Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson, the slight over exaggeration on the body movement. Perfect!
...and our first blooper. 😂 — A.C. Junior (@OfficialMisterC) May 23, 2019 We even got a surprise apperance by The Marla Gibbs reprising her role as Florence!!
Stop. Y'all, just stop! Marla Gibbs? MARLA GIBBS!!! Be still my heart. #TheJeffersons#LiveInFrontOfAStudioAudience — T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes…

Trailer | Mixed-ish + Photos

Our last post and videodiscussed this project. The episode that was made as a backdoor pilot was approved by ABC and picked up as a series!! 
Here is the trailer!
In “mixed-ish,” Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.

I love Tika Sumpter and am excited to see her in this 1980s set series. I look forward to falling in love with the little actors in Mixed-ish. They have already done a wonderful job of carrying the roles that w…

Black-ish Prequel Episode 5.22 | Becoming Bow | Press Release & First Look Photos

Erica of Blacks in Period Films discusses the first look images of the upcoming Black-ish prequel episode titled, Becoming Bow.

Press Release: “BLACK-ISH - "Becoming Bow" - After Dre and the kids question Bow's unusual upbringing, we flashback to a young, 12-year old Rainbow living in a commune with her family. When the commune is unexpectedly raided, they are upended and must move to the suburbs. The mixed-race family has difficulty acclimating to this new, mainstream life and the kids struggle with their biracial identity as they try to fit in at their new school. This special, all-new episode of "black-ish," is airing on TUESDAY, MAY 7 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.”

Casting| Jamie Foxx And Wanda Sykes As George And Louise Jefferson In ABC Live Event

The Jeffersons was an American cultural classic that ran on television from 1975 to 1985. The spinoff of "All in the Family" chronicled the upward mobility of George and Louise Jefferson and cemented itself a place in television history. 

The series going to be honored in front of a live studio audience. The project is called Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons and is being created by ABC and Jimmy Kimmel with Norman Lear as producer. The event will be a live 90-minute recreation of original episodes from All in the Family and The Jeffersons and will take place on May 22 at 8 p.m. ET. Will and Grace director James Burrows will direct the event. 

The cast is an amazing one. Leading The Jeffersons will be Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson (originally played by Sherman Hemsley) and Wanda Sykes as George's wife, Louise Jefferson (originally played by Isabel Sanford). Other cast members include Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunke…

Casting | Three Main Cast Members Casted for Barry Jenkins’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Series at Amazon

Variety has reported the casting for the upcoming Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series. The series will be lead by South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora, Caesar is to be played by Brit Aaron Pierre, and little Homer will be played by Chase W. Dillon.

The series is based on the Colson Whitehead book “The Underground Railroad”. The novel is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, in addition to being a #1 New York Times bestseller.

The Underground Railroad Summary: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.


Historical Reenactment | The Story of Dido Belle by English Heritage

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites all while running an amazingly entertaining and educational Youtube channel. The channel has a series titled, 'What Was Life Like?'. Previous episodes have discussed people that lived during Medieval and Tudor historical eras. Episode 9 of the series focuses on Dido Elizabeth Belle.

Thanks to the incredible 2013 film Belle, most period film fans have a general idea of what life was like for Dido Elizabeth Belle. This entertaining short video shows a historical reenactor portraying Dido Elizabeth Belle's typical day at Kenwood.

According to Kenwood
It was not unheard of for a powerful aristocrat to be the legal guardian to such a relation. But it was extremely unusual at this time for a mixed-race woman – who had perhaps been born to an enslaved mother – to be raised as part of an aristocratic British family. Dido’s exact position within Lord Mansfield’s household is unclear, but the evidence suggests…

Television| Kerri McLean to Appear as Catherine Despard in Poldark Season 5

In the last season of hit television series Poldark, we will meet the first black character Catherine Despard. After some research I found that Catherine/Catharine Despard is in fact a historical figure. Could the lovely Kerri McLean be playing this oft forgotten historical figure?

Who Is Catherine Despard? Historians do not know Catherine’s exact background. Many accounts have her listed as the daughter of a Jamaican preacher, while others say her father was an educated Spanish creole. If her last name Despard sounds familiar that’s because you most likely have heard of her infamous husband, Colonel Edward Marcus Despard. He is best known for his involvement in the failed Despard Plot of 1802. He had a promising career and was made Superintendent of the Bay of Honduras (nka: Belize). In 1790 he had married a young black woman. Catharine. After marrying her, he vowed to give the same rights to freed slaves as to white settlers. This of course did not end well for him.

Fast forward 12 …

Review | In His Father's Shoes (TV Movie 1997)

Director: Vic Sarin | Writer: Gary Gelt

Stars: Robert Ri'chard, Louis Gossett Jr., Barbara Eve Harris, Rachael Crawford, Djanet Sears, Shadia Simmons

Genre: Drama | Rated: PG for language and some thematic elements| Release Date: June 1, 1997

Runtime: 105 min

Summary: When his father (Louis Gossett Jr.) suddenly dies, Clay Crosby (Robert Ri'chard) is devastated. It seems he'll never be able to get over the loss. But everything changes when the boy puts on a pair of his father's wingtip shoes, which magically bring him back in time to experience his father's early life.

I have seen this film come up on my Amazon prime account more than once. I always thought that the entire film was in a historical setting. However, this film does not become a period film until 21 minutes into the film when the main character Clay is transported back in time to 1962.  

Clay  is transported back in time as his father Frank. This means that everyone that sees Clay, sees his father Frank…

Teaser Trailer | Godfather of Harlem

Here is the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Epix series, Godfather of Harlem.  Set in the early 1960s, we follow crime boss Bumpy Johnson as he takes Harlem back from the Italian mob. 

I know Forest Whitaker will do an amazing bringing Bumpy Johnson's story to life.  The Real Bumpy Johnson:

"Bolden" - A 10+ Year Long Creative Journey

If you’re a period film fan I like am, then you are one of the many people who have been patiently awaiting the film BOLDEN! This film based on the life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden has been years in the making. 

I remember constantly checking the IMDB page hoping for an update. The film gained and lost cast members, but through it all Daniel Pritzker refused to give up on his passion project. He had the money to make the project of his dreams and he would not stop until he did. If the May 3, 2019 release date is any indication, Daniel Pritzker has finally created the film he set out to in 2007.
Because of the near permanency of the Internet, I was able to use articles to chart the 12 year journey that this amazing film went on. 2007
March 2007 - Production begins.  The creative team is working on two films.  "Bolden" a musical biography with Anthony Mackie (“We Are Marshall”) in the lead role and “The Great Observer (eventually the short film was named “Louis”),” an hourlo…

Tyrese Gibson To Star As Teddy Pendergrass In Lee Daniels Produced Biopic At Warner Bros

There's a Teddy Pendergrass biopic in the works!! Warner Bros. has acquired the singer’s life rights. After actively campaigning to play the singer for a while now, Tyrese Gibson has been cast as singer Teddy Pendergrass.

On playing his dream role Tyrese said: “I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,“ Gibson said. "Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin and Warner Bros is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud… Here we go!!”
Donald De Line, Lee Daniels and Gibson are producing the film. Little Marvin is the scriptwriter, and  Pendergrass' widow, Joan Pendergrass, will be an executive producer.

Casting | 1980s-set Black-ish Rainbow Prequel Spinoff Episode

The hit series Black-ish may be getting another spinoff! This time we will be taken back in time. Set in the 1980’s the prequel spinoff will follow a pre-teen version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Rainbow Johnson.

Young Rainbow will be played by newcomer Arica Himmel. Tika Sumpter (Southside with You, Bessie, Sparkle) will play Rainbow’s mother Alicia, alongside Anders Holm as Rainbow’s father Paul. Rainbow’s parents have previously appeared on Black-ish and were portrayed by Anna Deveare Smith and Beau Bridges.

The prospective, series (which does not yet have a name) could be the second spinoff of the black-ish franchise; Freeform’s Grown-ish being the first. The potential series will follow a 12-year-old Bow, who is described as emotionally and intellectually brilliant yet clueless, confused and awkward. 
Little actor and actress Ethan William Childress and Mykal-Michelle Harris will play Bow’s siblings Johan and Santamonica. The adult versions of Johan and Santamonica were previously playe…