The actor recently joked on twitter that he was leaving the show and fans went into a meltdown
‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett has described how he got a little more than he bargained for when he joked on twitter that he might be leaving the hit show. Earlier this month Smollett had posted a cryptic tweet which hinted that his character Jamal Lyon might be leaving the show and fans were so unhappy that creator Lee Daniels even received death threats.
Jussie Smollett caused trouble with fans on twitter when he hinted he may be leaving ‘Empire’.
"I was thinking like my little core group of amazing fans would be like, ‘What?' But it just went so much further. Like there were calls about it and Lee (Daniels) was getting death threats about it," Smollett told Fox at a cast event on Friday (May 20).
Continue reading: 'Empire's' Jussie Smollett Will Think Twice Before He Prank Tweets Again
Daniels was defending his 'Empire' star Terrence Howard last year when he made reference to the long-standing, and false, rumours.
Film and TV director Lee Daniels has settled the defamation lawsuit brought by Sean Penn, with an apology for insinuating that the actor physically abused his ex-wife Madonna and with a donation to the charity Penn founded.
The 55 year old actor issued a $10 million defamation suit against Daniels, the co-creator of smash TV drama ‘Empire’, last September after the director had leapt to the defence of the series’ star Terrence Howard after he’d received intense criticism after admitting striking his ex-wife.
Sean Penn launched the lawsuit last September
Oprah Winfrey is seemingly involved in an upcoming Richard Pryor biopic and is rumoured to be playing his abusive grandmother.
Oprah Winfrey has confirmed her involvement in an upcoming biopic of the late American actor and comedian Richard Pryor. The 60-year-old added a photograph to her Instagram account in which she posed alongside Lee Daniels and Mike Epps. She added the caption "just finished a great 1st read session" and used the hashtag "RichardPryor".
The music mogul claims he helped Daniels build up his career and saw nothing in return.
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) has come under fire from hip hop mogul and Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash. Dash made a substantial investment in six of Daniels' movies, including The Woodsman starring Kevin Bacon, which he put $2m into. He is now suing the director for "unpaid principal, interest and royalties" all of which come to a total of $25 million, according to the lawsuit. The New York Post reports that Dash was also not given his promised producer credit on the films.
According to the Post, Dash's lawyer, Natraj Bhushan, the music producer helped Daniels' career early on and only wants to receive what he is entitled to.
The 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala in New York was chock-full of Hollywood's biggest stars of the moment including 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' star and director Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese, as well as Meryl Streep who later shocked attendees with her speech against Disney's apparent bigotry and anti-Semitism.
The Hunger Games sequel gets great reviews at its world premiere in London, while anticipation builds for Disney's dark spin on Sleeping Beauty. And Walhberg's Lone Survivor starts to gather awards-season momentum...
The big event this week was the world premiere on Monday night of the new Hunger Games movie Catching Fire, with the entire cast on the red carpet in Leicester Square. Early word on the film has been overwhelmingly positive before it opens worldwide next week. The press have even been seen applauding at screenings. Click here to read why The Hunger Games Catching Fire is leaving fans starving for more [Premiere Pics, Trailer, Movie Stills and More].
New films released in Britain this week include Lee Daniels' star-packed drama The Butler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's crowd-pleasing writing and directing debut Don Jon, Ridley Scott's A-list thriller The Counsellor and Jude Law in the British crime comedy Dom Hemingway. But will any of these be able to unseat Gravity on the UK box office chart? Click to read our reviews for The Butler, Don Jon, The Counsellor, Dom Hemingway and Gravity.
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and The Paperboy) bristled with unexpected life. By contrast, this star-packed drama uses a true story to trace the Civil Rights struggle from the 1950s to the present day. But it's been so fictionalised that it feels kind of like a variation on Forrest Gump.
Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) grew up on a Georgia cotton plantation, where the cruel master's kindly mother (Redgrave) taught him to be a house servant. Years later, he marries Gloria (Winfrey) and moves to Washington DC, where he gets a job in the White House as a butler to presidents from Eisenhower (Williams) to Reagan (Rickman). His job description is simple: "You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve." And yet as the nation grapples with its racist culture, he has a quiet influence on each leader who moves through the house.
Whitaker narrates the film in drawling flashbacks, while the story flickers between Cecil and his eldest son Louis (Oyelowo), an activist who is involved in every key moment in the Civil Rights movement. And their younger son (Kelley) is sent to Vietnam. So it's like a condensed version of late 20th century American history, made notable by the lively cast of cameo players including Marsden (as JFK), Schreiber (LBJ), Ellis (MLK) and Cusack (Nixon), plus Fonda as a lively Nancy Reagan.
Continue reading: The Butler Review
The box office brings one surprise and several disappointments.
In a surprising turn of events, it was Lee Daniels’ The Butler and not Kick-Ass 2 that took the Friday box office. The historicald drama, which tracks the life of White House butler Cecil gaines through eight presidents’ terms, is also poised to take this weekend’s box office. Reports of the movie’s Friday earnings vary slightly, with The Hollywood Reporter placing them at $8.3 million, while according to the L.A. Times the movie took in around $9 million on the first night of the weekend.
This weekend sees a whole host of new releases.
We won’t know the final figures of the weekend box office until, quite obviously, the end of the weekend, but right now, the fight between Kick-Ass 2 and Lee Daniels’ The Butler is looking pretty tight.
Will The Butler come out as a surprise weekend hit?
The Butler, a based-on-a-true-story historical drama has been promoted to and fro over the past couple of weeks. While the critics have deemed the direction somewhat patchy and undecided, everyone has been impressed with the performances of Forest Whitaker and co., even earning this film some early Oscar buzz.
Daniels went down the 'known' route, and it seems to have paid off.
The Butler – officially known as Lee Daniel’s The Butler – has been well-received by the critics of late. Particularly lauded has been the all-star cast, but the decision to cast such a famous bunch wasn’t an easy one for Daniels.
Terrence Howard and Oprah Winfrey in The Butler.
“I had a choice of going with unknown or known actors. I decided to roll the dice and go with knowns. Partially because I liked the idea of the audience getting to unknow the actors, people think they know, but we could change those perceptions of who they are,” Daniels told Fastcocreate.com.
The part fact-based story of the live-in manservant of the White House will be released next week and already it has critics singing it's praise
The Butler movie could very well be the first real contender for next year's Academy Awards when it is released next Friday (16 August) as critics have already singled the film out as a wonderfully acted, well told story worthy of award recognition. Covering the course of thirty years and eight presidents, some of the most important moments in the history of the 20th century are retold from the unique point of view from within the presidential chambers.
Forest Whitaker stars as the fictional butler Cecil Gains in the film
Starring Forest Whitaker, The Butler covers the extensive career of Cecil Gains, a devoted butler for the White House who was born on a southern cotton farm and rose from humble origins as a kitchen worker to eventually become the top butler to eight different presidents over the course of more than 30 years; including John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower. Despite serving a series of conflicting presidents, Cecil never forgot his duties and always presents himself as the upmost professional, no matter what is happening in the world.
Liev Schreiber and his partner Naomi Watts were among the star arrivals at the New York premiere of 'The Butler'. Liev played the part of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the flick, while Naomi is set to portray a similarly important historical figure in her new film 'Diana' as the titular Princess.
Check out our extended clips and pictures below
Hollywood and the film industry seem more confident in taking on the issue of slavery in a cinematic context. Last year saw Django Unchained and Lincoln prove popular, and this year will see more films of that ilk, including Lee Daniels' The Butler, which enjoyed its premiere last night (Monday, Aug 5) in New York.
Whitaker is The Butler
The film follows Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) – an African-American White House butler who, due to his close proximity, was privy to many of the political events that helped shaped contemporary America. The film is based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen.
Continue reading: Lee Daniel's 'The Butler' Is A Clear Oscar Contender [Stills + Clips]
Mariah Carey appeared alongside Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker on the red carpet sporting an adorned arm injury.
'The Butler' looks set to be one of the most memorable movies of the year with an all-star cast that glittered on the red carpet at the New York premiere last night (August 5th 2013).
Sparkling the brightest was Oprah Winfrey in a pretty pink sequined gown with her hair in full afro form, alongside her onscreen husband Forest Whitaker who plays the title role, and her real partner Stedman Graham. Nursing a dislocated shoulder in a funky studded sling was Mariah Carey, who has not been letting her injury get in the way of anything she does at the moment as this wasn't the first time she has stepped out in a quirky bling sling. Some of the presidents from the movie also showed up, including Liev Schreiber who played Lyndon B. Johnson and James Marsden who was John F. Kennedy, as well as First Ladies Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.
Forest Whitaker plays the title character in 'The Butler'
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to make for himself a respectable career despite his underprivileged upbringing and cotton farm roots. Starting out as a regular kitchen worker, Cecil soon proves himself to be extremely proficient and works his way up to be the head butler for eight different US presidents. Some of them prove to be discriminatory, treating Cecil with little respect and holding massively differing views to him, but he always remains polite and does everything within his power to care for his employers while keeping any top secret information that he might hear firmly to himself. Meanwhile, he struggles at home with his son; a Black Panther with aggressive views on racial equality who is less than grateful to have a father working for the people that he believes are causing racial oppression.
This story of loyalty and unconditional dedication is based on the true story of Eugene Allen; a butler who similarly lived through years of racial inequality before finally seeing, in his retirement, the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. His story was documented in the article 'A Butler Well Served by This Election' written by Wil Haygood. 'The Butler' has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount') and will be released in the US on August 16th 2013.
'The Butler' boasts a superb supporting cast including Robin Williams, John Cusack, Alan Rickman and Cuba Gooding Jr.
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online. It has always been assumed that Harvey Weinstein believes the film is one of his better chances of tasting Oscars success this season and the trailer certainly appears to confirm that. It stars Whitaker as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler. It's over-the-top, patriotic and, well, Oscar bait.
In the mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady, the historical biopic is set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. As well as Whitaker returning to a leading role, 'The Butler' boasts one of the more spectacular casts of the year, including Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson). David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Watch 'The Butler' Trailer!
Speaking to Indiewire last year, Daniels hinted that his movie might be a little too focused on awards, "I'm trying to keep it [The Butler] PG13 which is not easy for me. It's very un-Precious and un-Paperboy... I can't go into my bag of tricks on this one [...] I felt like I directed the film in handcuffs and a muzzle," he said.
Continue reading: Forest Whitaker As 'The Butler' Could Be A Recipe For Success [Trailer]
Cecil Gains is a devoted White House butler who grew up on a simple cotton farm where he and other black workers were not treated with any respect by their white counterparts. From a simple kitchen worker, he rises to be top butler to eight different presidents over the course of more than 30 years. Sworn to secrecy over the goings on at the White House, he serves the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson with all the care that he has in spite of their differing policies and the suppression of his race across the country. He rejects his freedom fighter son's distaste at Cecil's job and never once wavers in his respect for his government. He merely stands back, silver platter in hand and watches the progression of racial equality until the day the country's first black president is finally inaugurated.
This is a story about loyalty and commitment based on the article by Wil Haygood, 'A Butler Well Served by This Election', about Eugene Allen; a real butler who showed his devotion to his job over the course of three decades while he and his fellow black civilians went from being the underdogs to top dog as he lives to see the election of President Barack Obama. It has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount'), and has an incredible all-star ensemble cast. 'The Butler' is set to his theatres in the US on August 16th 2013.
Lee Daniels is clearly vying for Oscars glory with 'The Butler.'
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online and Harvey Weinstein's ambitions of taking this film all the way to the Oscars couldn't be more apparent. Whitaker stars as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler.
The movie is clearly Oscar bait. Firstly, it's a typical Weinstein movie in the same mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady and secondly it's set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. Oh, and there's a pretty strong cast with plenty of Oscar winners and several up-and-coming stars. Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson), David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie in recent memory: a swampy thriller packed with desperate characters hiding grisly secrets. Daniels and his cast dive headlong into this garish world, refusing to blink as they take us to the fringes of human behaviour. It's so marvellously audacious that we feel like we need a shower after watching it.
The film takes us into the steamy backwoods of central Florida in 1969, as Miami journalist Ward (McConaughey) returns home with his black colleague Yardley (Oyelowo), who sparks whispers of racism everywhere he goes. Staying with his editor dad (Glenn) and delivery boy brother Jack (Efron), Ward is investigating the case of death row inmate Hillary (Cusack), whose trashy fiancee Charlotte (Kidman) is filing an appeal. The 20-year-old Jack is instantly smitten with the overtly sexual Charlotte, who seems happy to seduce every man she meets. And as Ward, Yardley and Jack dig deeper into the case, they get several startling surprises.
Daniels keeps the film sweaty and snarky as he delves into the story's seriously dark corners. And the actors all go along with him. The always terrific Kidman really goes for broke here, prowling through each scene and oozing raw sexuality. It's no wonder she triggers Jack's lust, and Efron plays him with a delicate balance of intelligence and naivete, underscored of course with relentless horndog desire. None of the characters are as dumb as they look, and McConaughey, Oyelowo and especially Cusack revel in playing against expectations. Each actor packs every line with attitude and insinuation, creating fascinating chemistry along the way.
Continue reading: The Paperboy Review
Charlotte Bless is a busty, blonde, middle-aged woman who enchants most men she meets with her looks and sexual appeal. She has fallen emphatically in love with Hillary Van Wetter, an inmate on death row accused of murdering a sheriff with whom she is regularly in correspondence with, and plans to marry him once she finds a way of getting him released. She enlists the help of two newspaper reporters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crime and to gather evidence to prove his innocence. One of their main objections is that the judge who sentenced Wetter did not see the evidence that was presented before him in court. Whilst Charlotte is convinced that Wetter is not a bad person, young Jack Jansen is equally convinced that she doesn't really love Wetter and becomes deeply infatuated with her.
Continue: The Paperboy Trailer
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and...
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to...
Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie...
Charlotte Bless is a busty, blonde, middle-aged woman who enchants most men she meets with...