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The Old Guard.png

Casting and Industry News: LaKeith Stanfield, Ewan and Ethan, and Et Tu, Barry Jenkins?

By Jen Maravegias | Film | August 31, 2021 |

By Jen Maravegias | Film | August 31, 2021 |


The Old Guard.png

Apple TV+ continues to add to the pile of exclusive movies that means I’ll eventually cave and subscribe to that streaming service. I’ve done so well avoiding it so far!! On top of Antoine Fuqua/Will Smith’s Emancipation, Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and The Tragedy of MacBeth starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, last week two new films were announced.

First up, Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke are teaming up with director Rodrigo García (In Treatment) for Raymond and Ray. This film about two half-brothers who reunite at their father’s funeral doesn’t sound like something I’m interested in based on the logline: “Somehow, they still each have a sense of humor, and their father’s funeral is a chance for them to reinvent themselves. There’s anger, there’s pain, there’s folly, there might be love, and there’s definitely grave-digging.” However, when you throw Hawke and McGregor together in there with a team of producers that includes Alphonso Cuarón and Bonnie Curtis (Saving Private Ryan), I’m going to give it a hard MAYBE. Also, it’s an excellent excuse to link to this portrait of Ethan Hawke by Francois Berthier, which is just outstanding. Remember when Ethan was just that cute, mopey kid from Dead Poets Society, 32 years ago? Sigh.

Also announced on Apple TV+, LaKeith Stanfield will star in an adaptation of Victor LaValle’s novel “The Changeling.” Since his breakout role in Atlanta, LaKeith has made a name for himself as an actor and snagged an Academy Award nomination. But he has also caused a number of recent internet kerfluffles over his (now deleted) anti-vax social media posts, and that one time he moderated a Clubhouse room where a lot of anti-Semitic hate speech was broadcast. Oh, and also a video of a freestyle rap he posted that involved homophobic slurs back in 2018. He is, for sure, not The Best. But the project sounds interesting. The GoodReads synopsis breaks it down as “One man’s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgivable act of violence…”

OK, Apple. I’m interested.

Over on Netflix, which I DO subscribe to (whew), it was announced last week that they’re producing a sequel to the very popular 2020 Charlize Theron film The Old Guard. Most of us all liked that one around here. Some of us were begging for a sequel (sequels? Series?) as soon as the credits rolled. So high fives to Netflix for listening to us!

Victoria Mahoney, who was the second unit director on Rise of Skywalker, will take over directing duties for the sequel. KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Veronica Ngo, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are all returning with Charlize for this sequel. No word yet on when we’ll get to watch it. In case you need a refresher on who The Old Guard is, Netflix has you covered

Finally, and I mean like I’m done, stick a fork in me, Barry Jenkins has been tapped to direct the PREQUEL to Disney’s 2019 The Lion King. I don’t know why we need this one. But, on why he feels the need to make a movie about talking lions after helming award-winners like Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins said “… Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love, and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true.” The Disney Machine swallows the best of us eventually, I guess. Anyway, it’s going to be about the relationship between Mufasa and Scar. So, you know, drama. Aaron Pierre (who worked with Jenkins on The Underground Railroad) will voice Mufasa and Waves’ Kelvin Harrison Jr. will voice Scar. The rest of the voice cast has not yet been announced. Someone will watch it, I’m sure.

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Image sources (in order of posting): YouTube, Variety