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Exclusive : Conjuring up Bewitched remake details!

In contention for the 2020-2021 ABC line-up

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Though its no longer moving forward this TV season (its in contention for the 2020-2021 line-up), thought y’all would be keen on learning about ABC Studios’ “Bewitched”, a ‘blended’ reworking of the ’60s sitcom (that our folks were glued to the boob tube watching on Thursday nights) but with more of a ‘supernatural’ tone than its precursor.

Not at all unlike the original Sol Saks series, the new “Bewitched” wants fresh faces to play Samantha, Darrin and Endora – so every agent and manager on WhatsApp had been hit up with the call.

Here’s the 411 on the characters and plot :

Samantha, played by Elizabeth Montgomery in the original, is described as an African American Female, 35-42.  “A divorced single mother and witch. Magic has given her everything. Now she wants what matters, and she’ll get it herself. She’s determined to make a new life amongst mortals with her 13-year-old daughter, Mya, without relying on their magic. The kind of woman who’d be adored by a rockstar but dumps him for an improviser. She’s showing her daughter female empowerment while locking horns with her mother about how that looks. She won’t hesitate to risk it all for love. She asks for forgiveness instead of permission. She’s determined, but easy going. Fun, but not frivolous. Stylish, but not stuffy. Means business, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. If you want her to do something, tell her she “can’t” and then stand back.”

Darrin, played by both Dick York and Dick Sargent over the original series’ run, is “Caucasian Male, 35-42; A divorced single dad and mortal. He’s down to Earth despite the silver spoon in his mouth. He’s over his parents’ coddling. Darrin’s woke to his privilege, finding himself late in life, but excited for the journey. He’s never had to work hard, but now it’s all he wants to do. He’s flawed, not hopeless. Goofy, not lame. A good guy – the office favorite who even remembers the janitor’s birthday. He’d love to be cooler and buffer, but he still likes himself. He wears his heart on his sleeve, finds joy in the little things, is prone to fight injustice and not above being petty. He’s teaching his 13-year-old daughter, Poppy, a strong work ethic while learning it himself. The guy who ruins a surprise party out of excitement, not malice.”

And Endora, Agnes Moorehead in the original, is “African American Female, 48-55; a witch. Sam’s powerful, diva mother with a designer wardrobe and old school politics. But she’s empowered, just in a different way — secure and wise enough to be unbothered by the trivial worries of mortal women. Who cares if you cook when you can conjure up a Michelin star quality dinner out of nowhere? But to Sam, her traditionalism often contradicts her feminism. She travels a lot, dates many, lives lavishly and speaks authentically. She loves to be feared and, sometimes she fears to be loved. Crusty, but benign when it comes to family. An unstoppable enemy when you come for her family.”

Casting was also underway for the part of Roman, the chauvinistic douche who Samantha dumps early on in the pilot, Maurice, Sam’s friend and owner of a magic store, his wife, Liliana (described as ‘Sofia Vergara with an AARP card’), and Darrin’s emo daughter, Poppy.

The new “Bewitched” hails from “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and that show’s writer/producer Yamara Taylor. Set up with ABC Studios, Sony Pictures TV, and Davis Entertainment, it tells of a single black mother, also a witch, who marries white slacker Darrin. It’s apparently a very, very decent pilot script and should really surprise when it eventually hits the air next year.

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Exclusive : Dwayne Johnson, Atlantean!?

Mike Lowery on a possible collaboration between ‘Hobbs’ and Feige

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While he does wear a VIP lanyard at DC now, due to his lengthy involvement with the “Shazam!” franchise (he’s set to play the villainous Black Adam in a future Shazam sequel and spin-off, too), Hawaiian hulkster Dwayne Johnson is also on Marvel’s wish list – and has been for a number of years. No big surprise, right?

You may have noticed, the “Hobbs & Shaw” star took to Instagram a couple of days back to congratulate Marvel on the success they’re having, commercially and critically, with “Avengers : Endgame” – showering much of the praise on bigwig Kevin Feige. It’s a gushing – and then some – post that suggests the artist formerly known as ‘The Rock’ is indeed in good, or hopes to be, with Marvel Studios.

Something is up, right?

It sure is!

With so many Marvel productions about to gear up – expect the next phase, or part thereof, to be announced at SDCC in July – there’s undoubtedly going to be a lot of spots to fill ahead, so Feige’s been meeting with a number of A listers (rumblings of Tom Cruise wanting to collaborate with Feige too, in the future) and one of those recent meets has been with Johnson.

They’ve been talking about a number of different possibilities – the actor has his pick of the board – all of which Johnson would produce and headline.

The one gig I know about, that’s been floated Johnson’s way, is Namor!

Namor as he appeared in an episode of the “Fantastic Four” animated series.

Yep, Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner has been taking shape over at Manhattan Beach and Johnson’s been on that go-to list for it for a while now.A snug fit too, if I don’t say so myself.

While the “Jumanji” actor had previously said “Black Adam”, over at DC/Warner, would go into production next summer the studio have yet to make any moves on it, so don’t be surprised if one of the projects Marvel want Johnson for – like the ‘Sub Mariner’ movie – comes together first.

Marvel had been looking at doing a “Sub-Mariner” movie long before, even, “Iron Man”. Back in the late ’90s, they hired Philip Kaufman to direct, and Sam Hamm (“Batman Returns”) to write the piece. That went away, just as the Universal Pictures version- which went into development in 2001 – did too. Chris Columbus was attached to direct their take at one point, as was Jonathan Mostow. These were different times, comic book movies weren’t the sure-thing successes they would seem to be today. In 2014, Marvel Studios finally got the rights back to the character from Uni (well, most of the rights – Universal still get to distribute), and have been tinkering with the film proposition ever since.


Namor, the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, has remained a historically important and popular Marvel character that regularly gets about with the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men. While it’s possible the character might be introduced in a future “Avengers” movie, it’s much more likely he’ll be treated to a solo jaunt first.

Hopefully more info on the “Sub-Mariner” film plans emerge in San Diego this summer.

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Exclusive : Baz’s Elvis project shooting January

Search now underway for a fresh-faced to play young Elvis

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News from a very reliable source down under, Baz Luhrmann’s reported Elvis biopic for Warner Bros is a go, with filming due to kick off in January 2020.

While the “Moulin Rouge” and “Great Gatsby” director recently set Tom Hanks to play Colonel Tom Parker, the producing committee –  Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, and Gail Berman – are now on the hunt for a fresh-faced Elvis Presely. Casting agents have been given the heads up that the film has a a vacancy for a 19-28 year old to play the king before his famed persona.

The untitled film, which will feature a record crate’s full of Presley hits, is being penned by Luhrmann and regular collaborator Craig Pearce.

Luhrmann has a few projects on his to-do list – including a feature film take on classic series “Kung-Fu” – but seems the Elvis pic, which will tell the tale of the Memphis megastar “in typically wonderfully wild Baz tradition”, will be his next picture.

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Exclusive : Here’s the plot of Coming 2 America!

Who will replace Prince Akeem on the throne!?

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Happy Easter!

“Coming 2 America”. Big sequel. Highly anticipated. One of the few Eddie Murphy-headlined sequels they have been able to get off the ground – looking at you “Beverly Hills Cop 4”–  and rather quickly.  It’s headed towards the cameras soon, with both Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprising their roles from John Landis’s timeless 1988 comedy. The casting folks behind “Empire” are casting this, slotting the supports into place as we speak.

There’s little Paramount have released about the movie, only that it somehow involves a ‘son character’ – but you know what? I have more! (courtesy the same Paramount insider that tipped us off to the “Grease” prequel plans for the original leads last week) I have the plot.. and it promises to be as welcomingly humorous as it does hearty.

While in the first film Akeem had to find a wife, and bring her back to the homeland, in this one he’s out to bring his American son back to Zumanda. If the son is willing to replace him as prince, then Akeem gets to be King.

Akeem’s long-lost son LaVelle is essentially living the flip side life to his father – he’s permanently ‘trapped’ in Queens, he is broke, he is working at a burger place just to make ends meet, and his boss (Big Reem, guy that lives at home with his mom) is no McDowell. It’s on his 30th birthday that LaVelle starts to get a deeper itch to do more and be more.

He gets that wish when he discovers he’s heir to the throne of Zamunda – where the father he never knew, Akeem is a prince – and is soon about to be King. Cue the airplane!

And yes, there’s a girl – – Zamundan Mirembe, whose parents have disowned her for becoming a ‘groomer’ – – but knowing she won’t pass muster with the royals, LaVelle doesn’t initially give it a thought. LaVelle has to first stop chasing gold and stop trying to be someone he’s not (and it’s Mirembe that ends up being the voice of reason), and realize he’s already got plenty. Maybe she’s his calling… and maybe royalty isn’t? Yep, that old nugget.

A better match for the throne might be Akeem’s eldest daughter, Meeka, an intelligent born-leader whose theories (especially in relation to Akeem’s rival, General Izzi are concerned – she knows he’s up to no good, Akeem thinks otherwise) and suggestions for her future ‘King’ father are right on the money.

You can see where this is going….

Meantime,  Dave Chappelle is rumored to be reuniting with Murphy for the flick.

According to That Hashtag Show,  Murphy’s “Nutty Professor” co-star would play Baba, an old shaman from Zamunda that advises King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) and later Prince Akeem (Murphy), in the Craig Brewer-directed sequel.

Production kicks off on the film, which will also star Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley and John Amos, later this year.

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