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Cher & Miley Cyrus tapped for Backstreet Boys’ horror flick

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EXCLUSIVE: Backstreet Boys dish on Cher and Miley Cyrus joining new film, working together and BSB/*NSYNC cruise – exclusive by Leena Tailor (Twitter: @LeenaNZ)

Cher and Miley Cyrus are the latest pop-stars tapped to joined Backstreet Boy Nick Carter’s zombie horror “Dead 7”.

In what’s shaping up to be the so-bizarre-it’s-hilarious TV flick of 2016, Nick and wife Lauren’s team are in talks with reps of both artists to join the crowd-funded film.

“There’s a possibility that Cher could be in the movie as the main villain,” Lauren tells Moviehole. “It’s not for sure but there’s talk. Miley Cyrus we’re reaching out to as well.”

Being produced by The Asylum (the guys who brought us Sharknado and Z Nation), the movie will commence filming in Los Angeles, and possibly Alaska, next month and Cher and Miley would join an ever-growing celebrity roll call.

With bandmates AJ McLean and Howie Dorough and actor Devon Sawa already signed up, Nick is also dispelling ancient boy band myths by hiring Joey Fatone from *NSYNC.

“The wish-list of people I want is music-based and I want it to be a unique mix,” says Nick, who has also reached out via Twitter to Sisqó, One Direction’s Niall Horan and his favourite Spice Girl Mel B.

“I want people to see the pictures and go, ‘This is so weird – I can’t believe I would see Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Joey Fatone, Sisqó and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in a movie. I’m going to reach out to Jordan [Knight] from the New Kids as well.”

Written by Nick, who will co-direct as well as play reluctant hero Jack, the story takes place in a futuristic small town in the Wild West, where seven renegades sweep in to fight a zombie plague.

“I mean, if you look at boy bands fighting zombies – it’s going to be funny in itself,” he said, asked how much the film will reflect The Asylum’s signature absurdity.

The project was born from the 35-year-old singer’s 2013 Indiegogo campaign for a different script, titled Evil Blessings. Backstreet Boys fans helped him surpass his fundraising goal of $85,000, raking in more than $150k in one month. With a wad of extra funds, he contemplated developing a bigger project, but stuck with Evil Blessings – until its director passed away, prompting script changes that lead the singer to declare there was too much “bad juju” on the movie.

“I put that one to bed and started working on Dead West [now Dead 7], another screenplay I had, which was more zombie, western-based. It was a much better script and I’m glad we went back to it. Lauren was a fan of it too.

“Now, after 176 [Backstreet Boys] shows, I finally have some time off and can move forward with it.”

So what does a boy bander know about making movies?

“He’s a giant horror movie fan and a very talented individual,” says co-producer David Garber.

Adds The Asylum’s David Rimawi, “He was fairly clear that he doesn’t know a ton about actually producing the movie from scratch and that’s what he’s looking for us to do.”

A long-time horror and sci-fi nut, the film isn’t Nick’s first foray into acting and directing. As well as starring in the The Hollow and Kill Speed, he wrote, directed and starred in short film The Pendant in 2010 and has cameoed on television shows including 90210 and 8 Simple Rules.

Citing Quentin Tarantino as his greatest inspiration, he hopes Dead 7 – which will air on SyFy next year – will achieve the “quirkiness” of Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn.

“I’m a huge fan of western movies and grew up watching Pale Rider and For a Few Dollars More with my dad – all the old spaghetti westerns. Then I’m a science-fiction person as well, so we’ve made this movie post-apocalyptic, but we’re still going to have the horse element of the western.

“It’s a zombie, western, futuristic horror movie.”

Wife Lauren – who studied at Hollywood’s Howard Fine Acting Studio – plays one of the “dead seven” renegades, describing her character akin to Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Being told what to do by her husband is nothing new, she jokes.

“He’s very bossy.

“No, it’s fine. I like working with him. We like spending time together so it’s cool to mix the two worlds.”

Meanwhile, AJ won’t be standing for any bossing around by his bandmate.

“He ain’t telling me sh**,” laughs the 37-year-old, who is preparing to drop his second solo record, launch a clothing line and continue work with his new foundation Live Together.

“I had one stipulation with doing the movie – that I had to be a villain. I can’t be a good guy. That was the only way I’d do it and he was like, ‘Perfect.’

“So I get to be one of the two main villains and rumour is we’ll be doing our own stunts.

“It’s a good thing that we just finished a two-and-a-half-year tour, so I’ve got time before the next album to break bones and get bruises.”

As for 38-year-old Fatone, who just wrapped filming My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the *NSYNCer hopes the film will finally prove that the two boy bands were never at war.

“Nick called me five different times saying, ‘Hey, you wanna do the film?’, ‘Read the script,’ ‘You wanna do it?’, ‘Do it!’

“For us we can’t lose because we’re having fun. We’re not taking it seriously or pretending to be method actors. It’s just fun.”

Speaking of fun, once Dead 7 wraps, the Backstreet Boys will start gearing up for their fan cruise next May, so does this collaboration mean we might see a BSB/*NSYNC cruise down the line?

“We’ve actually talked about it,” says AJ. “I’ve talked about it with Lance [Bass] a couple of times and I think it’d be fun.”

“You never know,” adds Joey. “Lance has mentioned it to me as well. Maybe we’ll do a mash-up…”

Which begs the questions – with boy banders on a boat, is there a potential for a Dead 7/ Sharknado crossover?

Says Rimawi, “If you know anything about The Asylum, we’re whores for a good idea so if it works we’re going to beat it to death and make it happen!”

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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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