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Disney Finds New Director and Writer for Musical ‘Oliver Twist’ Starring Ice Cube

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Danny Strong, co-creator of Fox’s Empire, has been tapped to pen Disney’s modern and musical take on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Thomas Kail, the Tony-winning director of Hamilton, is attached to helm the project, which has Ice Cube on board to star and produce.

Also producing are Marc Platt, the veteran movie producer who was behind Broadway’s hit musical Wicked, and Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm.

Oliver Twist is one of Dickens’ most famous works and tells of an orphan boy who moves from a life as an exploited child laborer to being under the wings of Fagin, a leader of a gang of London pickpockets. Hardship, murder and secrets waiting to be revealed follow the boy. (Cube is attached to play Fagin.)

Disney already took a stab of adapting it when it produced the 1988 animated movie Oliver and Company.

Strong is an actor who had key roles on TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men, but is also known for his acclaimed script writing. He won an Emmy for penning Game Change, the HBO movie about the 2008 presidential election that starred Julianne Morris and Ed Harris, and drew praise for Recount, HBO’s take on the controversial 2000 election.

Strong also worked on the last two installments of the Hunger Games franchise, while his most recent work was directing and writing Rebel in the Rye, which starred Nicholas Hoult and Kevin Spacey

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Emilia Clarke Joins Paul Feig’s Holiday Comedy Last Christmas

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Game of Thrones’ mother of dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, has joined the cast of Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s next comedy, Last Christmas.

Clarke will star opposite Crazy Rich Asians’ breakout hunk Henry Golding, in what’s being described as a holiday-themed romance set in London. Little else is known about the project, aside from the fact that national treasure Emma Thompson has written the script with her creative partner Bryony Kimmings.

The film will be financed and distributed by Universal Pictures, following Feig’s public breakaway from Sony over his 2017 flick Ghostbusters.

Emilia Clarke can most recently be seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story as Qi’ra, crime lord and childhood sweetheart to the legendary scoundrel. Solo is due for release on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K on the 24th of September. Crazy Rich Asians is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A. Last Christmas is eyeing a Winter 2019 debut.

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Ken Jeong Joins Australian Sci-Fi Sequel Occupation: Rainfall

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Crazy Rich Asians actor and stand-up comedian Ken Jeong has joined the cast of Australian director Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall.

The science fiction sequel to this year’s Occupation, which saw a group of small town civilians fight back against an alien invasion, will pick up two years after the first film – as the band of resistance fighters discovers a plot that could bring the one-sided war to a decisive end.

Occupation starred Temuera Morrison, Dan Ewing and Stephanie Jacobson, who will all return for the sequel.

“We’re building a whole new world with Occupation: Rainfall, and to have Ken join the film alongside our awesome returning cast members is mind-blowing,” Sparke said in a statement, “I’ve admired his work and his successes for years, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the project when he arrives here to shoot in October.”

Ken Jeong is currently lining up to become one of the judges on Fox’s American remake of popular South Korean singing competition Masked Singer. He is also prepping for his first ever Netflix comedy special; entitled First Date, and directed by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu.

Occupation: Rainfall is eyeing a 2019 release.

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Jack Black Calls Trump A “Piece Of Sh*t” As He Accepts His Walk Of Fame Star

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School of Rock star and human-cannonball-of-energy Jack Black accepted a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in a lavish public ceremony yesterday, and couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at the President whilst he was at it.

In his acceptance speech to the crowd, Jack mused appreciatively on the honour, saying “I’ve wanted one of these things for so long. Since I was a kid I thought ‘Oh man, if you get one of those stars on the sidewalk that means you’ve made it’. And I feel like I’ve finally grasped that sweet brass ring. In the immortal words of Axl Rose; ‘Where do we go now?'”

Black then continued to sing a few bars from Guns ‘N Roses’ 1987 hit Sweet Child O’ Mine in the raspy, hard-rocking affectation he’s famous for, before laughing and asking the crowd “I’ve got the thing! Why continue? I made it!”

The jovial comedic actor and Tenacious D musician assured those gathered that he’d return for a sequel to last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and one final entry in the popular Kung Fu Panda franchise, but noted that “It’s time to pass the torch to the Uzi Verts and Lil Peeps and… the Tommy and Sammy Blacks of the world,” he smiled, looking off to his two sons.

“Unless something really cool comes around … I love you all so much. Except for Donald Trump’s a piece of shit! Peace out, love you!”

Jack Black can next be seen in Eli Roth’s The House With A Clock In Its Walls, which releases into UK cinemas this Friday, rated 12A.

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