The Obama White House is heading to the big screen via a high-concept workplace comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Universal Pictures has optioned From the Corner of the Oval, a book proposal by Beck Dorey-Stein, a former White House stenographer.
The movie option comes after Random House Publishing Group division Spiegel & Grau preemptively picked up the proposal in a seven-figure two-book deal. The book is expected to be published in 2018.
Producing the feature will be Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, who produced the Oscar-winning drama Spotlight, as well as the company’s Nicole Clemens and Ashley Zalta. Aevitas Creative Management will also produce.
The book doesn’t promise a revealing look inside the inner workings of the Obama administration, but focuses more on the White House as a workplace and on the relationships between the staffers.
From the Corner of the Oval follows a young woman living in Washington D.C. who is at an all-time career low when, through a twist of fate, she goes from serving cocktails to lobbyists to being hired as a stenographer in the Obama White House. The ultimate fish out of water, she stumbles into an elite world and finds herself navigating a series of misadventures in life and love.
Erik Baiers, executive vp of production, and Elizabeth Haggard, director of story Development, will oversee the project for Universal.
Dorey-Stein is repped by Becky Sweren at Aevitas.
article first posted by The Hollywood Reporter
John Davis, One of the Real Voices of Milli Vanilli, has Died from COVID at Age 66
What We Know:
John’s daughter Jasmine broke the news on his Facebook page Monday evening. “Unfortunately my dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus,” she stated under a video of him singing. She also said through John’s “laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music,” he positively impacted many people.
John’s voice became popular in the late 80s when German R&B Group Milli Vanilli, composed of singers Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, released their debut album Girl You Know It’s True in the United States. He came across Milli Vanilli’s producer, Frank Farian, after moving to Germany and working as a studio singer and bass player in the late 70s. Farian eventually asked him to join the group as a backup singer after firing Charles Shaw; Farian believed Shaw was telling people the truth about the duo’s vocal secret.
The hit song, “Girl You Know It’s True,” which John did a soft rap for, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed there for 200 weeks. The band’s popularity led them to recognition at the 1989 Grammys, where they won the award for Best New Artist.
Eventually, Farian, Pilatus, and Morvan revealed to the public that the duo used other people’s vocals for their album. The announcement resulted in the Grammys rescinding their award in 1990. After the revelation, Farian re-created the group with John and the other backup singers and called it the Real Milli Vanilli; it also included the original Milli Vanilli frontliner, Brad Howell.
The Real Milli Vanilli released The Moment of Truth, originally made as Milli Vanilli’s second album, in 1991. The record came out in Brazil, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. In addition, it made Germany’s Top 20 that year, with one of its singles, “Keep on Running,” climbing to No. 4 in the country’s charts.
Alongside his recognition with the two music groups, John issued two solo albums: Joker in 1980, and Still Be Loving You, recorded with Farian, in 1990.
Morvan took to Twitter to express his feelings about John’s death. He thanked John for all the love he spread, and also said how much fun the two shared “with the help of music.” The two stayed close friends after the musical scandal.
R.I.P BROTHER @JohnDavisRMV
CAN’T BELIEVE IT, THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE YOU’VE SPREAD THROUGH OUT THE YEARS, FROM THE EDGE OF THE STAGE. YOU AND I HAD A GREAT RUN, IT WAS FUN TO CELEBRATE LIFE WITH THE HELP OF MUSIC. PEACE ONE LOVE
YOUR VOICE WILL LIVE ON. PLAY IT LOUD EVERYBODY. pic.twitter.com/tlvSEiYoS4
— Fab Morvan (@fabmorvan) May 24, 2021
Milli Vanilli’s official Twitter account shared their condolences as well. The tweet emphasizes the importance of John’s contribution to the band’s fame.
It’s a sad day….. RIP John. We wouldn’t be who we are without you….. 🙏 https://t.co/RihUnDjPdL
— Milli Vanilli (@MilliVanilli) May 25, 2021
Moreover, Jasmine went on to create another Facebook post with a link to a GoFundMe page. In the link, she writes that the Davis family cannot manage funeral expenses, but would like to help John experience “one last performance” with those he loved. She explained that any donations would help the cause. As of Friday, €17,319 had been raised, exceeding the petition’s €13,500 goal.
Black News Alerts honor John’s impact on pop culture, especially as it went unseen for so long. We send our thoughts and prayers to John’s family and hope he rests in peace.
Lil Jon Is Getting a Home Renovation Show on HGTV
The artist is set to release a new series titled Lil Jon Wants to Do What?
What We Know:
- The premise of the show will have Lil Jon providing “skeptical homeowners with unconventional renovation ideas that seem impossible to execute.” The shooting begins in Atlanta this month. HGTV has stated that Lil Jon and co-host Anitra push homeowners out of their comfort zones with ingenious renovations and ideas. Lil Jon has expressed that he doesn’t follow design trends and that he’d rather be a trendsetter.
- Lil Jon’s co-host Anitra Mecadon from the DIY Network. Mecadon has designed edgy restaurants, boutiques, and galleries for 10 years in Atlanta. She has a background in art and theatre, as well as having a degree in interior design. On Mega Dens, Anitra designs and builds rec room sanctuaries.
- The show will debut this summer and do tapings around Lil Jon’s hometown. One of Lil Jon’s ideas is building a fully decked-out speakeasy. He is the second rapper to get a home design. Vanilla Ice had a show about renovations in 2012.
- Home renovation shows are becoming increasingly popular, which highlights home flippers, contractors, and designers. Celebrities have made appearances on Celebrity IOU as well. Celebrity IOU is a show where A-list celebrities surprise people that have left a huge impact on their lives with renovations inside their homes. Jan Latman, president of HGTV, expressed that she was enthusiastic and excited for the show’s release.
Lil Jon is a Grammy award winner and recently turned 50 in January.
Comedian Paul Mooney Has Died at The Age of 79
Paul Mooney, the “Godfather of Comedy” famous for working with Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, died Wednesday morning at the age of 79 in his Oakland home at around 5:30 a.m. According to sources, Mooney suffered a heart attack.
What We Know:
Mooney’s publicist, Cassandra Williams, confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter. In addition, Mooney’s official Twitter account released the information on social media.
Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks🙏🏾
— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) May 19, 2021
Mooney was born Paul Gladney on August 4, 1941, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He created the stage name “Paul Mooney” after being inspired by Scarface actor Paul Muni. He started his entertainment career by working as a circus ringmaster, then broke into comedy after watching Lenny Bruce live.
Mooney met his longtime comedic partner Richard Pryor for the first time in 1968. However, the encounter ended with Mooney throwing Pryor out of his apartment when Pryor suggested an orgy. Despite the sour first impressions, the two became close friends and collaborators; the two co-wrote episodes of Sanford & Son before pioneering The Richard Pryor Show, a short-lived and controversial variety show. Mooney proceeded to assist Pryor in writing some sketches for some of Pryor’s Grammy-winning comedy albums like …Is It Something I Said? and Live on the Sunset Strip. Furthermore, he was also one of the writers of Pryor’s autobiographical movie, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.
Pryor and Mooney’s relationship was so close that Pryor insisted Mooney write all his sketches for his 1975 appearance on Saturday Night Live. The classic SNL skit, “Word Association,” was created by Mooney.
Besides his culturally impactful partnership with Pryor, Mooney cultivated his behind-the-scenes and on-screen. He was a major writer for many influential Black sitcoms, such as Good Times, In Living Color, Pryor’s Place, and the Real Husbands of Hollywood. In addition, he starred in several films; his most notable roles include Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story, Marvin in Bustin’ Loose, President of the NAACP in Hollywood Shuffle, and Junebug in Bamboozled.
Mooney continued his legacy by helping comedian Dave Chapelle create his notorious Chapelle’s Show. Throughout the show’s two-season run, Mooney worked as a writer and actor. He is most remembered on the series for playing Negrodamus, a Black version of philosopher Nostradamus. As Negrodamus, Mooney would provide “answers to life’s most unsolved mysteries.” One that many viewers recollect is when Negrodamus answered why White people love Wayne Brady.
Furthermore, Chappelle describes Mooney’s craftsmanship as very passionate. He told Vulture that one does not mess with Mooney and his ideas.
“You don’t f*ck with his writing, his material, his sketches … and you certainly don’t tell him what to do! Trust me, I’ve learned,” said Chappelle. Fortunately, Mooney’s firmness in his work has resulted in many classic skecthes, films, and recordings.
After news of Mooney’s death came out, several celebrities fled to social media to pay their respects. Director Ava DuVernay called Mooney “a comedy giant.” She emphasized his fearlessness about discussing feelings and experiences many found difficult to express. Actress Viola Davis described him as “funny and poignant,” and showed gratitude for seeing him live.
Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I recall listening to his RACE album in college and how formative it was. Yeah, the jokes. But more so, the freedom. He spoke freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences others found difficult to express. May he be truly free now. Rest, sir.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 19, 2021
Awww…. RIP comedy legend Paul Mooney! You were both funny and poignant. So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it 💗💗💗 pic.twitter.com/cr6MqY3UXA
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 19, 2021
Mooney’s daughter, Spring, took to Twitter to disclose her feelings about her father’s death. She asked for “time” as her “best friend just died.” She emphasized how much she loved her father, and how she feels broken. Paul’s other children have yet to make public announcements.
Give me a moment !!! My best friend just died and my world is forever SHOOK !!! I really can’t put into words right now my feelings .. know that I LOVE THIS MAN AND I AM BROKEN 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/XIXO36ug1i
— Spring Mooney (@MooneySpring) May 19, 2021
Paul Mooney’s work can be categorized as honest. He implied multiple times comedy needed people who spoke the truth on certain topics. At times, he himself felt shocked at his sincerity in his humor. Paul told NPR in 2006 that when people would tell him they were surprised by his words, he agreed. “It comes from somewhere other than me,” declared Paul.
Mooney leaves behind his four children: Shane, Dwayne, Daryl, and Spring. We send our thoughts and prayers to Mooney’s family, friends, and fanbase as they mourn the loss of a comedic and cultural genius.
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