Cher Officially Announces Upcoming Biopic

Cher (photo: Machado Cicala via Karpel Group)

Just before celebrating her 75th birthday this weekend, Oscar winner and music legend Cher is giving fans what they really, really want: a big Hollywood biopic!

The diva announced the news on Twitter Wednesday to the excitement of fans.

As the Moonstruck star mentions, the film will be produced by Mamma Mia powerhouses Judy Craymer and Gay Goetzman. Oscar winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, A Star Is Born) will pen the script.

You’ll recall Cher has already been the subject of a big, splashy Broadway musical – The Cher Show.

News Round-Up: August 10, 2020

Broadway star Ramin Karimloo (screen capture)

Some news stories you might have missed:

Pink News: Dr. Allen Bergin, an influential Mormon therapist who advocated for conversion therapy for decades, has reversed his position and apologized for his harmful views after learning that his two sons and grandson are gay.

Edge Media: A candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives may face charges after ripping down a rainbow Pride flag flown by a church and then threatening witnesses to the act, telling them that “If it gets put back up, I will take it down.”

YouTube: How I haven’t done a full post about the oh-so-talented Ramin Karimloo (above) is beyond me. Please enjoy the perfection that is Ramin singing “Being Alive” from Stephen Sondheim’s Company. The performance was part of the KINGS OF BROADWAY 2020: A Celebration Of The Music Of Jule Styne, Jerry Herman & Stephen Sondheim charity event.

Instinct Magazine: Poland’s President Andrzej Duda was sworn into his second term last week after his campaign described the LGBT rights movement as a dangerous “ideology,” and declared that LGBT folks “not people.” And so, LGBT people are now leaving the country.

Gay Star News: More from Poland as thousands of LGBT people and allies protested in Warsaw, Poland on Friday and Saturday – resulting in police brutality. Commentators say the events are a possible ‘Stonewall moment’ for Poland as people stood up to two years of mounting LGBT+ hate.

Cox Media: According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 97,078 children tested positive for the novel coronavirus between July 16 and July 30. As of July 30, 338,982 children tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Instagram: Academy Award-winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) has been announced to star in a film about the life of famed counter-culture artist Andy Warhol. Leto broke the news on his Instagram account.

Behind-The-Scenes Of The Upcoming Garland Biopic ‘JUDY’

In advance of the upcoming September 27 release of JUDY, starring Oscar winner Renée Zellweger as the legendary Judy Garland, the producers share this behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the film.

“There are a lot of reasons I wanted to make this picture—to look into the human side of this icon,” Zellweger says. “There’s a reason why we’re telling her story 40 years after her passing. That combination of spirit and beauty and humility and grace and empathy is so rare.”

The official synopsis:

Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown.

As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”

(lead image courtesy Roadside Attractions – photo credit: David Hindley)

Taron Egerton Shows He Can SANG In Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’

Taron Egerton sings in ‘Rocketman’

Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and the creative team behind the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, share this behind-the-scenes peek into bringing the music of Elton John to the big screen.

Egerton does his own (very) impressive singing in the movie, and according to music producer Giles Martin, Elton himself said, “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone sing my songs better than Taron.”

Paramount has described the film as an “epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years.”

In this new featurette, Egerton gushes, “This has been the greatest joy of my professional life making this film.”

In addition to Egerton, the flick stars Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four) as Elton’s longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as the singer’s first manager John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) portrays Elton’s mum.

Dexter Fletcher, who was the uncredited director who took over on Bohemian Rhapsody in the wake of Bryan Singer being sacked, handles the directing duties here as well.

Rocketman lands in theaters May 31. Watch the behind-the-scenes featurette below.

Trailer For Upcoming Biopic ‘MAPPLETHORPE’

Official poster for MAPPLETHORPE

“In church I found God, and then Polaroid led me straight to the devil.”

A rather apt statement from Matt Smith’s “Robert Mapplethorpe” in the trailer for the upcoming biopic, MAPPLETHORPE.

Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who) stars as the controversial and provocative photographer of the 1970s and 1980s who became a flashpoint for political conversations about art versus pornography.

The influential artist, who died in 1989 due to AIDS-related causes, scandalized the art world with his images S&M scenes and the naked male body.

From the trailer description:

Robert Mapplethorpe (Matt Smith) is arguably one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Mapplethorpe discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The film explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. Here he begins photographing its inhabitants and his new found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground.

Mapplethorpe’s work explored eroticism in a manner that shocked and challenged the public’s views on the boundaries of art. The film explores the intersection of his art and his sexuality along with his struggle for mainstream recognition.

“Like any artist in many senses he was vilified at the time,” Smith told EW. “But that’s because he was pushing the boundaries and the form and the envelope of that he was doing and the time he was in, and often the purpose of art is to do that.”

Mapplethorpe was also responsible, in part, in reigniting interest in photography as a mainstream, evocative art form.

“I’m an artist,” says Smith’s Mapplethorpe. “I would have been a painter, but the camera was invented.”

Matt Smith as “Robert Mapplethorpe”

In that Mapplethorpe died of AIDS, Smith also explored the impact of the disease that nearly wiped out a generation of gay men. He told EW:

Just investigating that moment in time, it certainly made me reflect on being a homosexual in the ’70s in New York and the way they were treated for a disease that was completely misunderstood. You think with what we know now about HIV and AIDS, you think if only we could have imparted a bit of the medicinal knowledge and the cultural understanding of that thing. It was appalling really what happened to gay men then, and the way they were treated, and what they had to go through.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in being able to treat that particular disease. It absolutely made me think about that. He died so young and if he were around now, then he’d live out the whole of his life and still be a brilliant, prolific artist I’m sure. Because he was prolific. He just worked and worked and worked.

Directed by Ondi Timoner, the movie premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival and the critics raved.

“A phenomenal performance from lead Matt Smith,” wrote Lena Smith for Slate. “Audiences will feel unable to tear themselves away.”

The Hollywood Reporter also gushed about the film’s lead: “A superb performance from Matt Smith.”

“The film is afraid of neither the life nor the work of the notorious photographer” wrote Dan Callahan of The Wrap.

The film also stars Marianne Rendón, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Sklenar, McKinley Belcher III, and Kerry Butler.

A favorite on the film festival circuit, the movie garnered several awards including:

• Winner of the Audience Award (Feature Film) at the Auction Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival

• Winner of the Audience Award (Best LGBTQ Film) at the Key West Film Festival

• Winner of the Audience Award (Narrative Film) at the Long Beach Film Festival

• Winner of the Audience Award (Best Feature Film) at the Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival

MAPPLETHORPE lands in theaters March 1, 2019. Watch the trailer below.

Go Behind-The-Scenes As Rami Malek Becomes Freddie Mercury In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The producers of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, have shared a behind-the-scenes peek at the genesis of star Rami Malek “becoming Freddie.”
Rami Malek as “Freddie Mercury” in Bohemian Rhapsody (screen capture)

The producers of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, have shared a behind-the-scenes peek at the genesis of star Rami Malek “becoming Freddie.”

The film is a “foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury.”

Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, Mercury emerged as one of the most theatrical rock stars of the 1970s and 1980s. Following the meteoric rise of Queen through their songs and revolutionary sound, the band reaches breathtaking heights in the music industry.

Although Mercury explored a solo career, it was with Queen that he found his greatest successes. While facing an AIDS diagnosis, he would reunite with his band mates in 1985 for Live Aid, delivering what many consider one of the great performances in rock history.

He died at the age of 45 in 1991.

According to producer Graham King, he knew Malek was their guy early in the planning stages.

“He came in and I was like, whoa, he IS Freddie,” says King. “And he wasn’t just acting, it was something that came natural to him.”

Once cast, though, Malek felt the gravity of bringing the iconic rocker to life on screen.

“When you set out to play Freddie Mercury, you think ‘How am I ever going to fill those shoes?,” wonders Malek. “It’s an immense responsibility but one that I was very eager to take on.”

In his approach to the role, Malek shares that he didn’t set out to “mimic” Freddie but knew movement would be an intrinsic part of his performance.

“I had some top choreographers come in and realized a choreographer isn’t going to help me,” says Malek. “I need a movement coach.”

Polly Bennett was brought in to help Malek focus on specific ‘mannerism tricks’ that included “every eye lift, every turn, every flick of the microphone.”

And then there’s the all-important style of dress that made Freddie so much who he was.

Malek shares there were over 50 hours of costume fittings which included four-inch high platform shoes, tight-fitting satin pants, and an entire outfit made out of lycra.

“When you dress as Freddie does, it makes every day feel like it’s going to be a good time,” says Malek with a smile.

Watch the teaser below and look for Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters November 2, 2018.

First Look At Upcoming Queen Biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Rami Malek as “Freddie Mercury” in Bohemian Rhapsody

In the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) has transformed himself into iconic rocker Freddie Mercury.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.

The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.”

It’s been a bumpy road from page to screen for Bohemian Rhapsody.

First, for years Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Mercury but eventually departed the project over creative differences.

Shortly after production was halted due to director Bryan Singer’s “unexpected unavailability,” the Singer was fired. Within days, English actor and director Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) was tapped as the replacement.

Singer says he was removed from the film last December after the studio refused to allow him to deal with the illness of one of his parents. But, there were also reports that Singer showing up late to set, or not showing up at all for shooting on several occasions, all of which lead to tensions with Malek.

In any case, watch the teaser below. Malek is strutting out some seriously awesome “Freddie.”

In theaters November 2, 2018.

Trailer: Biopic Of Early Life Of President Obama “Barry”

Check out the trailer for the upcoming biopic based on the early life of President Barack Obama from Netflix – Barry.

A young Barack Obama, known to his friends as “Barry,” arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 to begin his junior year at Columbia University.

In a crime-ridden and racially charged environment, Barry finds himself pulled between various social spheres and struggles to maintain a series of increasingly strained relationships with his Kansas-born mother, his estranged Kenyan father, and his classmates.

Barry is the story of a young man grappling with those same issues that his country, and arguably the world, are still coming to terms with 35 years later.

The film begins streaming December 16.

Whitney Houston Biopic “Whitney” Premieres On Lifetime Channel Tonight

Check out the trailer for the highly anticipated biopic on the life of Whitney Houston – “Whitney” – which premieres on Lifetime Channel tonight, January 17, at 8pm ET.

Yaya DaCosta stars as Whitney Houston, Arlen Escarpeta plays Bobby Brown and Mark Rolston is music exec Clive Davis. The project marks Angela Bassett’s directorial debut.

Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston has denounced the film and the producers had troubles securing the rights to Whitney’s spectacular vocals. So Grammy nominated dance artist and Broadway actress Deborah Cox was brought in to re-record several of Houston’s iconic songs.