Beyonce, actor James Earl Jones and comedian John Oliver are joining the cast of Walt Disney’s new live-action film version of the “The Lion King”, the studio said.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie follows the storyline of the 1994 animated film, in which a young lion named Simba grows up on the African savanna after his uncle Scar conspires to ursurp his father Mufasa’s place as king.
Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, while the young Simba is voiced by Donald Glover, who recently starred in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. Chiwetel Ejiofor, lead actor in “Twelve Years A Slave”, takes the role of the villainous Scar.
Beyonce plays Simba’s childhood friend and love interest Nala, while Golden Globe-winning actress Alfre Woodard voices the character of Simba’s mother Sarabi.
Comedian Seth Rogen takes on the character of Simba’s warthog friend Pumbaa, while Oliver plays Zazu, the hornbill adviser to Mufasa.
“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” said Favreau, who has also directed Disney’s “The Jungle Book” live-action remake, which saw actors interacting with characters enhanced by computer-generated imagery.
The film is expected to hit U.S. theaters on July 19, 2019.
(Reporting by Karishma Singh; Editing by Himani Sardar)
‘Making of a Murderer’ case may go to Supreme Court
A Wisconsin man convicted of murder in the case that was chronicled in the Netflix documentary, “Making of a Murderer,” on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out his 2005 confession that his attorneys claim was coerced by investigators, the Washington Post reported.
Attorneys for Brendan Dassey, 28, made a similar argument to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in December and failed. The judges voted 4-3 to uphold his conviction in the slaying of Teresa Halbach.
Dassey confessed when he was 16 of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach, a freelance photographer, in 2005. Her charred remains were found on Avery’s property about 80 miles north of Milwaukee in Manitowoc County.
The pair were convicted of the murder in separate trials. Avery is now 55. Both men are in prison in Wisconsin.
The case was the basis for a 10-part documentary, “Making a Murderer,” which questioned the handling of the investigation and the motives of Manitowoc County law enforcement officials.
A dissenter in the 7th Circuit Appeals Court decision, Chief Judge Diane Wood, said Dassey was a low-functioning teenager with an IQ in the low 80s, and that without his confession, the case against him was “almost nonexistent.”
Wood wrote, “Even if we were to overlook the coercion, the confession is so riddled with input from the police that its use violates due process.”
In 2016, a U.S. magistrate judge overturned the guilty verdict against Dassey, citing coercion. Then a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit upheld the magistrate’s ruling, and Wisconsin prosecutors asked for the review by the full circuit.
In October, a Wisconsin judge denied Avery a new trial.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)reuter
George Clooney Donates $500,000 and Pledges to March in Student-Led Gun Control March
Thousands of teenagers are taking matters into their own hands after last week’s shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, replaced Columbine as the deadliest high school shooting on American soil. Outspokenly unwilling to sit on their asses and wait for adults to do something to help prevent more massacres from taking place, they’re advocating for stricter gun laws and more mental health resources for treating their peers, swiftly mobilizing in a way that is commanding attention of the world.
Calls to action have spread across social media, from school walkouts to a march on Washington.
Student organizers got the surprise of their lives when George Clooney donated half-a-million dollars in support. The actor even pledged that he’d be there, alongside wife Amal.
“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” according to their website. “No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”
Other celebrities have voiced their support for the students’ efforts on social media, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Cher.
The March For Our Lives will take place on March 24.
Haters can say it’s fake, but Justin Timberlake has No. 1 album
Justin Timberlake snagged the No.1 Spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with “Man of the Woods,” despite harsh reviews and a Super Bowl halftime show that was deemed underwhelming on social media and by music critics.
“Man of the Woods,” Timberlake’s first studio album since 2013, sold more than 242,000 units in its first week of release, according to Nielsen Music data released on Monday.
The Billboard 200 chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
“Man of the Woods” marks Timberlake’s fourth Billboard No.1 album and was the biggest-selling album in the U.S. since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in December 2017, Billboard said.
It debuted at No.1 after a Feb. 4 Super Bowl performance consisting mostly of Timberlake’s old hits that also featured a controversial segment featuring a huge projection of Prince, who died in 2016.
The former NSYNC singer also took heat on social media for failing to mention, or perform with, Janet Jackson after an infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance which ended with Timberlake ripping off Jackson’s top and accidentally briefly exposing her breast.
Nevertheless, the Super Bowl and halftime show were watched by some 103 million Americans on television. Nielsen Music reported last week that on-demand audio and video streams for all of the songs performed by Timberlake jumped 45 percent on the day after the game, compared to the day before.
Timberlake, best known for pop tracks like “SexyBack” and “Rock Your Body,” promoted “Man of the Woods” as a country-inspired album that took him back to his Memphis roots.
But the album had few fans among music reviewers. Esquire called it “disappointing” and “kind of embarrassing,” while USA Today said the album “can’t pull off its Americana-pop fusion.”
On the digital Billboard songs chart, which measures online single sales, Timberlake had three songs in the top 20 – “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton, “Man of the Woods,” and his 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Canadian rapper Drake took the top spot with “God’s Plan,” with more than 55,00 units sold.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
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