The actor recently joked on twitter that he was leaving the show and fans went into a meltdown
‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett has described how he got a little more than he bargained for when he joked on twitter that he might be leaving the hit show. Earlier this month Smollett had posted a cryptic tweet which hinted that his character Jamal Lyon might be leaving the show and fans were so unhappy that creator Lee Daniels even received death threats.
Jussie Smollett caused trouble with fans on twitter when he hinted he may be leaving ‘Empire’.
"I was thinking like my little core group of amazing fans would be like, ‘What?' But it just went so much further. Like there were calls about it and Lee (Daniels) was getting death threats about it," Smollett told Fox at a cast event on Friday (May 20).
Continue reading: 'Empire's' Jussie Smollett Will Think Twice Before He Prank Tweets Again
Daniels was defending his 'Empire' star Terrence Howard last year when he made reference to the long-standing, and false, rumours.
Film and TV director Lee Daniels has settled the defamation lawsuit brought by Sean Penn, with an apology for insinuating that the actor physically abused his ex-wife Madonna and with a donation to the charity Penn founded.
The 55 year old actor issued a $10 million defamation suit against Daniels, the co-creator of smash TV drama ‘Empire’, last September after the director had leapt to the defence of the series’ star Terrence Howard after he’d received intense criticism after admitting striking his ex-wife.
Sean Penn launched the lawsuit last September
Jussie Smollett, Ilene Chaiken , Lee Daniels - Human Rights Campaign 2016 Los Angeles Gala Dinner Inside at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 19th March 2016
Trai Byers, Lee Daniels, Bryshere Gray , Jussie Smollett - 33rd annual PaleyFest Los Angeles - 'Empire' at Dolby Theatre at Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 11th March 2016
She submitted the legal document to support her ex-husband in his defamation lawsuit against 'Empire' co-creator Lee Daniels.
Madonna has denied that her ex-husband Sean Penn ever struck her during their short-lived marriage in the 1980s, as she offered up evidence on his behalf of his defamation case against the co-creator of the hit TV show ‘Empire.
Lee Daniels, who helped create the hit Fox show, gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter in September this year defending cast member Terrence Howard, who had come in for criticism after he had admitted hitting his wife. Daniels had said that Howard “ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn,” but because he is black, “he’s some fucking demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
Sean Penn with former girlfriend Charlize Theron in May 2015
Continue reading: Madonna Submits Court Declaration That Sean Penn Never Assaulted Her
Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, Lee Daniels, Ta'Rhonda Jones, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday , Terrence Howard - 'Empire' Curated Collection Unveiling at Saks Fifth Avenue at Saks Fifth Avenue - New York, New York, United States - Saturday 12th September 2015
Lee Daniels - Celebrities attend 2015 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour - FOX All-Star Party at Soho House. at Soho House - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 7th August 2015
Former lead singer of The Cheetah Girls Adrienne Bailon was among the many celebrity arrivals at the 2014 Fresh Air Fund Gala which took place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York. She was certainly an eye-catching arrival with her sheer-panelled red dress and long hair slicked back.
Stars from various current and upcoming TV series all arrived at the special FOX Network Upfront presentation held at The Beacon Theater in New York. Among them were 'Gotham' stars Cory Michael Smith and Camren Bicondova.
The space thriller was the night's biggest winner, taking home seven gongs in total
On the same day as the nominations for this year's Academy Awards ceremony were revealed, the latest instalment of the ongoing awards season went by at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, where the 19th annual Critic's Choice Awards honoured the cast and crew of some of last's year's biggest and best films.
Gravity soared to success at the Critic's Choice Awards
The big winner on the night was the space thriller Gravity, which soared to success with seven wins by the end of the night. Among it's credits the film earned Alfonso Cuarón the award for Best Director and the award for Best Editing, shared with co-editor Mark Sanger. The film also earned Sandra Bullock the award for Best Actress In An Action Movie and was crowned as crowned the Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie. The film also scored recognition for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Score.
Vin Dielsel's latest turn as the formidable Richard B. Riddick has shot to the top of the US box office in it's opening weekend
The third instalment of the 'Riddick' series, this time called Riddick, has shot to the top of the US Box Office on it's opening weekend with estimated takings of $18.7 million. In what has been a relatively disappointing weekend in terms of box office earnings, Vin Diesel's latest turn as the formidable ex-con Richard B. Riddick out-muscled it's nearest performer by around $10 mil. and managed to bring in less than $10 mil. from overseas markets such as the UK and Hong Kong.
David Twohy (L), Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff and Jordi Molla (R) attend the premiere of Riddick
After three weekends on top, "The Butler" has been bumped by a Vin Diesel sci-fi flick.
It was a tense fight, but this weekend’s box office goes to the Vin Diesel sci-fi action Riddick, meaning Lee Daniels’ The Butler has finished its three-week run. Riddick made $18.7 making it the first weekend box office winner of Hollywood’s fall season (estimates according to Hollywood.com). The Butler made around $8.9million and was closely followed in the box office chart by Instructions Not Included, We’re The Millers and Planes.
The Labor Day box office has given us a winner: 'The Butler' sweeps the board but One Direction's 'This Is Us' puts up a strong fight.
The first shaky reports of the Labor Day holiday box office taking couldn't decide whether Lee Daniel's The Butler or Morgan Spurlock's One Direction documentary This Is Us had sold the most movie tickets across the weekend, so neck and neck they were for a while.
Initially, it did look as though the 1D concert documentary would race ahead, with a predicted $21 million in takings. However, the boyband movie performed well, raking in $18 million but not well enough to overtake The Butler's massive earnings of $20 million. Not only did the two films collectively help made this year's Labor Day the highest earning ever, with $156 million, compared to 2007's $148 million, reports THR, but the weekend also helped contribute to a record breaking summer where an incredible $4.7 billion was taken thanks to a wide array of film to entice filmgoers.
One Direction's 'This Is Us' were beaten to the title of Labor Day's most watched movie, but which film "swept" the board.
This year's Labor Day box office takings marked a record year for Hollywood, with an estimated $156 million paid to see movies across the national holiday weekend. One film "steamed" ahead over the weekend to give all other contenders the "brush" off by "sweeping" in $20 million over the four day holiday. Ok, enough of the cleaning puns; if you hadn't guessed, Lee Daniels' The Butler was the highest earning movie of the weekend, advancing its existing domestic earnings to a total of $79.3 million, according to THR.
'The Butler' is turning into a true success story.
Forest Whitaker [L] and Cuba Gooding Jr [R] In 'The Butler
Officially titled Lee Daniels' The Butler owing to a legal battle, the movie stars Forest Whitaker as a long-serving member of the White House team. Despite early Oscars talk, the movie appeared to have taken a knock with several mediocre reviews, though it battled to a box-office win in its first week.
Continue reading: 'The Butler' Serves Up $17 Million Box-Office To Remain No.1
Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' has well and truly cleaned up in its first weekend, having earned $25 million at the box office.
The Butler has outperformed all of its rivals upon its first weekend, having been released on 16th August to much nodding from critics and $25 million (£15.9m) earned. The film showcases an all-star cast, who portray a period of dramatic social upheaval in America, set around the life of the not-entirely-fictional butler, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker).
A Shot From The Movie Showing The Kennedys Meeting The Whitehouse's Staff.
Gaines serves as a butler in the White House for 34 years and eight presidents and uses his unique position to witness important presidential discussions of national civil rights issues as the historical events play out. The movie charts such landmark events as Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, the Vietnam war, the Nixon resignation, Obama's presidential campaign and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Gaines' character is based upon the life of Eugene Allen who worked in the White House from 1952 to 1986.
Continue reading: 'The Butler' Gives Competitors The Brush-Off In First Weekend Success
'Lee Daniels' The Butler' has headed to the top of the US Weekend Box Office following its release on Friday (16th). 'Kick-Ass 2', following an onslaught of negative reviews, has achieved 4th place, whilst 'Jobs' has placed at 7th.
Lee Daniels' The Butler has defeated other newcomers Kick-Ass 2 and Jobs in the US Weekend Box Office. The Butler has headed straight to number one whilst Kick-Ass 2 and Jobs have respectively gained 4th and 7th place.
The Butler has made $25 million in its opening weekend and has gained critical praise. The historical epic is inspired by the true story of Cecil Gaines, a black butler who whilst serving at the White House, saw the offices of eight presidents. His life and family form a touchstone for the audience when addressing such historical events as the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Black Power in the US.
Critical opinion is favorable to Whitaker and co., but Lee Daniels can't seem to catch a break.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler will only see its US-wide release tomorrow (August 16), but the film, telling the story of a White House butler, who saw eight presidents come and go during his residency, is already being praised across the internet and back.
The Butler might be patchy, but it's not bad, say critics.
For once, everyone seems to agree what’s so great about the film. The story of Cecil Gains is captivating in many ways, not least of all for its portrayal of the civil rights movement, but for Forest Whitaker in the title role, who steals the show.
Stallone makes surprising announcements about the third Expendables romp, and we get more details on films about Princess Diana, Steve Jobs and the White House butler. But the Muppets are the Most Wanted...
The big news this week was that Harrison Ford will join the Expendables for their third film adventure. Sylvester Stallone tweeted the announcement, then went on to mention that Bruce Willis won't be around this time, apparently because he asked for too much money. Stallone was also caught on camera poking fun at Arnold Schwarzenegger's "big ego". Before they re-team for the next Expendables movie, they're costarring in the prison-break thriller Escape Plan. Watch Sly talking about Arnie at Comic Con here.
The next big superhero blockbuster will be Thor: The Dark World, and we got a more detailed look at the film in a new trailer this week. Pretty much everyone is back, including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Stellan Skarsgard. The movie looks like a huge-scale action adventure with a sense of humour about it. It opens in October. Watch the trailer for Thor: The Dark World here.
Lee Daniels' The Butler gathered high profile crowds at Ziegfield Theater this week.
Lee Daniels has earned his reputation as the director of difficult, socially loaded pictures and his latest, The Butler, is no exception to the rule. The film, based on a true story, details the life of Eugene Allen, a butler, who worked in cotton fields, before being employed by the White House for 34 years and serving during several presidential administration. In the script, Allen has been renamed to Cecil Gaines and the number of presidents, as well as some other details, has been changed, but the film still maintains historical accuracy. The film offers an intimate perspective of the dramatic twists of African-American history in the 20th century.
Check out our extended clips and pictures below
Hollywood and the film industry seem more confident in taking on the issue of slavery in a cinematic context. Last year saw Django Unchained and Lincoln prove popular, and this year will see more films of that ilk, including Lee Daniels' The Butler, which enjoyed its premiere last night (Monday, Aug 5) in New York.
Whitaker is The Butler
The film follows Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) – an African-American White House butler who, due to his close proximity, was privy to many of the political events that helped shaped contemporary America. The film is based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen.
Continue reading: Lee Daniel's 'The Butler' Is A Clear Oscar Contender [Stills + Clips]
Mariah Carey appeared alongside Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker on the red carpet sporting an adorned arm injury.
'The Butler' looks set to be one of the most memorable movies of the year with an all-star cast that glittered on the red carpet at the New York premiere last night (August 5th 2013).
Sparkling the brightest was Oprah Winfrey in a pretty pink sequined gown with her hair in full afro form, alongside her onscreen husband Forest Whitaker who plays the title role, and her real partner Stedman Graham. Nursing a dislocated shoulder in a funky studded sling was Mariah Carey, who has not been letting her injury get in the way of anything she does at the moment as this wasn't the first time she has stepped out in a quirky bling sling. Some of the presidents from the movie also showed up, including Liev Schreiber who played Lyndon B. Johnson and James Marsden who was John F. Kennedy, as well as First Ladies Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.
Forest Whitaker plays the title character in 'The Butler'
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to make for himself a respectable career despite his underprivileged upbringing and cotton farm roots. Starting out as a regular kitchen worker, Cecil soon proves himself to be extremely proficient and works his way up to be the head butler for eight different US presidents. Some of them prove to be discriminatory, treating Cecil with little respect and holding massively differing views to him, but he always remains polite and does everything within his power to care for his employers while keeping any top secret information that he might hear firmly to himself. Meanwhile, he struggles at home with his son; a Black Panther with aggressive views on racial equality who is less than grateful to have a father working for the people that he believes are causing racial oppression.
This story of loyalty and unconditional dedication is based on the true story of Eugene Allen; a butler who similarly lived through years of racial inequality before finally seeing, in his retirement, the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. His story was documented in the article 'A Butler Well Served by This Election' written by Wil Haygood. 'The Butler' has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount') and will be released in the US on August 16th 2013.
While the legal battle rages on, Daniels has made a personal appeal.
Bad things happen when Warner Bros. gets crossed regarding copyright, that much is a given, but director Lee Daniels isn’t letting the company intimidate him. While the case against his movie The Butler is slowly getting dragged through the lawyer machine (because of a nearly century-old Disney short by the same name) Daniels is taking his appeal directly to the top. In a heartfelt email, obtained by Deadline, Lee pleads his case with Warner Bros Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara in an attempt to secure the right to screen his own film. And that’s how you know Warner has more expensive lawyers than the Winestein company.
Daniels is also known for directing The Paperboy and Precious.
“There are so few depictions of strong black families in our cinematic history and it was of paramount importance to make this movie about a family who endured and survived unimaginable discrimination in their quest for the American Dream,” reads one particularly powerful passage from the letter “Through the eyes of this loving and hard-working African American family, the film tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement from the sit-ins and the Freedom Riders, to Selma, Martin Luther King’s assassination, and the election of the first Black President. THE BUTLER is not only a story about a black family and black history; it is a universal story about family and OUR history.”
'The Butler' boasts a superb supporting cast including Robin Williams, John Cusack, Alan Rickman and Cuba Gooding Jr.
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online. It has always been assumed that Harvey Weinstein believes the film is one of his better chances of tasting Oscars success this season and the trailer certainly appears to confirm that. It stars Whitaker as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler. It's over-the-top, patriotic and, well, Oscar bait.
In the mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady, the historical biopic is set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. As well as Whitaker returning to a leading role, 'The Butler' boasts one of the more spectacular casts of the year, including Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson). David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Watch 'The Butler' Trailer!
Speaking to Indiewire last year, Daniels hinted that his movie might be a little too focused on awards, "I'm trying to keep it [The Butler] PG13 which is not easy for me. It's very un-Precious and un-Paperboy... I can't go into my bag of tricks on this one [...] I felt like I directed the film in handcuffs and a muzzle," he said.
Continue reading: Forest Whitaker As 'The Butler' Could Be A Recipe For Success [Trailer]
Cecil Gains is a devoted White House butler who grew up on a simple cotton farm where he and other black workers were not treated with any respect by their white counterparts. From a simple kitchen worker, he rises to be top butler to eight different presidents over the course of more than 30 years. Sworn to secrecy over the goings on at the White House, he serves the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson with all the care that he has in spite of their differing policies and the suppression of his race across the country. He rejects his freedom fighter son's distaste at Cecil's job and never once wavers in his respect for his government. He merely stands back, silver platter in hand and watches the progression of racial equality until the day the country's first black president is finally inaugurated.
This is a story about loyalty and commitment based on the article by Wil Haygood, 'A Butler Well Served by This Election', about Eugene Allen; a real butler who showed his devotion to his job over the course of three decades while he and his fellow black civilians went from being the underdogs to top dog as he lives to see the election of President Barack Obama. It has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount'), and has an incredible all-star ensemble cast. 'The Butler' is set to his theatres in the US on August 16th 2013.
Lee Daniels is clearly vying for Oscars glory with 'The Butler.'
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online and Harvey Weinstein's ambitions of taking this film all the way to the Oscars couldn't be more apparent. Whitaker stars as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler.
The movie is clearly Oscar bait. Firstly, it's a typical Weinstein movie in the same mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady and secondly it's set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. Oh, and there's a pretty strong cast with plenty of Oscar winners and several up-and-coming stars. Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson), David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie in recent memory: a swampy thriller packed with desperate characters hiding grisly secrets. Daniels and his cast dive headlong into this garish world, refusing to blink as they take us to the fringes of human behaviour. It's so marvellously audacious that we feel like we need a shower after watching it.
The film takes us into the steamy backwoods of central Florida in 1969, as Miami journalist Ward (McConaughey) returns home with his black colleague Yardley (Oyelowo), who sparks whispers of racism everywhere he goes. Staying with his editor dad (Glenn) and delivery boy brother Jack (Efron), Ward is investigating the case of death row inmate Hillary (Cusack), whose trashy fiancee Charlotte (Kidman) is filing an appeal. The 20-year-old Jack is instantly smitten with the overtly sexual Charlotte, who seems happy to seduce every man she meets. And as Ward, Yardley and Jack dig deeper into the case, they get several startling surprises.
Daniels keeps the film sweaty and snarky as he delves into the story's seriously dark corners. And the actors all go along with him. The always terrific Kidman really goes for broke here, prowling through each scene and oozing raw sexuality. It's no wonder she triggers Jack's lust, and Efron plays him with a delicate balance of intelligence and naivete, underscored of course with relentless horndog desire. None of the characters are as dumb as they look, and McConaughey, Oyelowo and especially Cusack revel in playing against expectations. Each actor packs every line with attitude and insinuation, creating fascinating chemistry along the way.
Continue reading: The Paperboy Review
Nicole Kidman's latest film, The Paperboy has caused controversy, as she refused to utter the N-word, after an instruction from the film's director to do so, reports The Los Angeles Times.
It's no secret that Lee Daniels sets out to "discombobulate" actors on set, but Kidman was having none of it, and flat out refused to say the N-Word for the upcoming movie. "I didn't feel like it was right for the character," she explained. "I have a son who's African American and I just didn't feel it was right. It wasn't right." That wasn't all Daniels did to throw his stars. "I thought when am I going to shoot the film if we're all doing our own hair and makeup?" explained Kidman after he indeed asked her to do her own makeup, which he thought "freaked her out at the beginning." He also "expected Zac Efron at catering." Fun.
The Paperboy, which also stars Matthew Mcconaughey and John Cusack, sees a reporter return to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate. Early reactions have been mixed, with the film scoring an unimpressive 6.5 on IMDB, and an even less impressive 45% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The film is due for limited release today (October 5th 2012).
The cast of upcoming movie 'The Paperboy' arrive at the 50th annual New York Film Festival for the Gala Tribute to Nicole Kidman; an honouree at the event which was held at the Lincoln Center.
Charlotte Bless is a busty, blonde, middle-aged woman who enchants most men she meets with her looks and sexual appeal. She has fallen emphatically in love with Hillary Van Wetter, an inmate on death row accused of murdering a sheriff with whom she is regularly in correspondence with, and plans to marry him once she finds a way of getting him released. She enlists the help of two newspaper reporters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crime and to gather evidence to prove his innocence. One of their main objections is that the judge who sentenced Wetter did not see the evidence that was presented before him in court. Whilst Charlotte is convinced that Wetter is not a bad person, young Jack Jansen is equally convinced that she doesn't really love Wetter and becomes deeply infatuated with her.
Continue: The Paperboy Trailer
Claireece Jones (Sidibe), known as Precious, is a troubled 16-year-old pregnant with her second child. Even though she's good at maths, she can't read or write, so she's sent to an alternative school to work with the inventive and caring Ms Rain (Patton). But as she talks with her social worker (Carey), the realities of her life at home with her cruel mother (Mo'Nique) become increasingly worrying. Can this new school offer her a chance to discover something good about herself and maybe begin to head in a positive direction?
Continue reading: Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire Review
Watch the trailer for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
His choco-licious cravings would make for comic gold if Forster were aiming for dark comedy. It really ain't much different from the classic line in Airplane! when that precocious little girl quips, "I like my coffee black, like my men!" But Forster chooses to play it straight and solemn, a hopelessly limiting choice. Without benefit of slapstick satire, Forster's glib presentation of interracial skin's allure feels ignorant and borderline offensive. The only thing missing is Halle Berry biting down on a vanilla wafer -- though she does beat her fat son for scarfing down chocolate bars ("I'll slap the black off of you!").
Continue reading: Monster's Ball Review
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and...
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to...
Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie...
Charlotte Bless is a busty, blonde, middle-aged woman who enchants most men she meets with...
Watch the trailer for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Precious is the...