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Pharrell Williams To Narrate Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Grinch

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Grammy and Oscar award-winning artist Pharrell Williams has joined the cast of Universal Pictures and Illumination’s The Grinch, as the film’s narrator.

Williams scored all three of the entries in the Despicable Me franchise, and his song Happy (from the second film) went 7x platinum in the US. Fellow rapper Tyler the Creator has scored The Grinch along with veteran Batman composer Danny Elfman, and has written a solo track entitled I Am The Grinch for the feature.

Doctor Strange and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the film’s title curmudgeonly creature, and Rashida Jones, Keenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury round out the rest of the cast. Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney will direct, and the flick is scheduled for an early November release, this year.

Illumination’s animated The Grinch also comes a whole eighteen years after the Jim Carrey-fronted live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book. So yeah, now you feel old, huh?

Pharrell is currently gearing up to release his next collection of Adidas trainers, entitled SOLARHU, which will go live in five days. They are expected to sell out within hours.

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Ana de Armas Joins Daniel Craig In Rian Johnson’s Knives Out

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Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) has officially signed on to join actors Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Michael Shannon in Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

The film, which Johnson also wrote, is scheduled to start shooting next month. Knives Out has been described as a contemporary whodunit, with Craig portraying an archetypal grizzled detective, tasked with getting to the bottom of a classic locked-room murder mystery.

Johnson is set to produce with his creative partner Ram Bergman, and studios are expected to bid fiercely for the rights to distribute the feature in the coming months. Craig was previously pencilled in to begin shooting Bond 25 for director Danny Boyle at the tail end of this year, but when Boyle departed that project following creative differences it freed up the Casino Royale actor’s schedule to join Knives Out.

Somewhat ironically, Ana de Armas can next be seen in an untitled project from Danny Boyle, which is likely to release prior to Johnson’s crime thriller.

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Michael B. Jordan To Lead, Produce Hitman Novel Adaptation The Silver Bear

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Black Panther and Creed star Michael B. Jordan is set to produce and star in Lionsgate’s adaptation of Derek Haas’ hitman novel The Silver Bear.

Haas, who penned the screenplay for both Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma, released the novel online in 2008 (and it was later collated into physical print with its two sequels, becoming The Assassin Trilogy). The book follows an assassin named Columbus, a.k.a the Silver Bear, who is initially tasked with hunting and eliminating a wily politician who dreams of being president, before becoming embroiled in a high-action conspiracy. Frank Baldwin (The Godmother) adapted the script from Haas’ novel, with the intention clearly being to kick off a franchise.

Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake released a statement, exuberating that “The Silver Bear is the kind of story that needs to be experienced on the big screen and Michael is the perfect movie star to inhabit the skin of this dynamic character and take us into the cinematic world of Columbus. We’re incredibly honoured that Michael and [his production house] Nickel City chose Lionsgate to partner with in bringing this exciting property to life”.

The project is presently seeking a director with experience in handling high-octane, contemporary action. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan can next be seen in Creed II, which releases in UK cinemas on the 30th November, rated 12A.

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Idris Elba Joining Taylor Swift, Sir Ian McKellan In Cats Adaptation

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Apparently Shere Khan isn’t done with Cats. The Jungle Book and Luther actor Idris Elba has joined the cast of The Danish Girl director Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, alongside an all-star cast.

Already on board are Lord of the Rings‘ Sir Ian McKellan, entertainer James Corden, and pop stars Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift. The film, which is being produced by Universal Studios, ran for 21 years in the West End and 18 years on Broadway.

Idris Elba is currently filming the gleefully-anticipated Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, which will pit him as the antagonist against Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s fan-favourites.

Cats is eyeing a December 20th, 2019 release.

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