Black Panther Sequels Are for Black Directors Says Girls Trip Producer

Should any of the upcoming Black Panther sequels or spin-offs be directed by a white director? One well-known producer doesn’t think so. The subject of diversity in Hollywood is a popular one right now. And movies such as Wonder Woman and Black Panther have become cultural phenomenons. The DC adventure was directed by a woman, with a female superhero in the lead. And the Marvel solo outing had a predominately black cast and filmmaker at the helm. Producer William Packer doesn’t think that should change.

Will Packer isn’t shy about voicing his opinions when it comes to future installments in the Black Panther franchise. Perhaps his comments are controversial, others will feel he’s dead on with his assumption. The man is responsible for giving us hits like Straight Outta Compton and Girls Trip. In a recent interview, Packer was asked if a white director, perhaps even J.J. Abrams, should step into the world of Wakanda for a future movie. Packer is quick to respond.

“Nah. You gotta keep it with Coogler. Only way you switch it up with Cooler is if he doesn’t want to do it. That’s the only way. If he doesn’t want to do it, you gotta get another melanin-infused brother, let me tell you that right now.”

Next, the interviewer straight up asks ‘if a white dude’ should ever do a Black Panther movie. Packer just shakes his head no, before offering this.

“This is the one time where it hurts you to be a white director in Hollywood.”

Packer has a strong point, and the argument can be made either way about how right or wrong this idea is. Black Panther‘s first initial outing on the big screen was actually in Captain America: Civil War, which was directed by white filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo. They helped set up and establish the world of Wakanda and its Prince T’Challa, giving him his origin story. The two Russo Brothers are also behind Black Panther‘s next appearance in the Marvel movie universe, as they are bringing a big portion of the standalone movie’s cast back for Infinity War. So it’s not like white directors are being excluded from using T’Challa and his pals.

Black Panther is one of the most popular standalone movies in the MCU, and may even surpass The Avengers as Marvel’s biggest franchise outing here in a couple of weeks. Marvel boss Kevin Fiege has already stated that he wants to bring original director Ryan Coogler back for Black Panther 2. It’s also known that some of the secondary characters, like Shuri, could ge their own movie at some point. Shuri may even take over for Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man at some point. So should Iron Man 4 also have a black director if Shuri suits up?

Sure, why not. As long as the filmmaker behind the camera is talented, it really shouldn’t matter who they are at this point, right? TMZ was the first to report this latest Black Panther news.


How Hulk Fits Into Infinity War

Mark Ruffalo has revealed how Hulk and Bruce Banner fit into Infinity War. At the beginning of the upcoming Avengers movie, the heroes are going to be divided and scattered in places pretty far-reaching. However, once Banner makes his return to Earth, he’s going to be the one who warns his fellow heroes about Thanos and tries to impress upon them just how dangerous the Mad Titan actually is.

When last we left Bruce Banner, following the events of Thor: Ragnarok, he was aboard the ship somewhere in space with Thor, Loki and the rest of the Asgardians. As revealed in one of the post-credits scenes, Thanos’ ship finds them and, while we still have yet to see how it all goes down, things aren’t looking good for those aboard Thor’s ship and that gives Banner a first-hand view of how destructive Thanos can be. Here’s what he had to say about how he fits into Avengers: Infinity War.

“Banner knows probably more about Thanos than anybody. He’s really trying to impress on everybody how dangerous he is. It’s a little bit of a Chicken Little. He comes in screaming, ‘Bloody murder!’ He’s seen what damage [Thanos] can cause and how powerful he is. The entire group is in disarray, so there’s also getting caught up on what’s happened here. He’s trying to get them to transcend their differences and impress upon them how much danger they’re actually facing…The Hulk is also mightily impressed by Thanos.”

There’s not much in the universe that can scare Hulk, but Thanos can do the trick. Bruce Banner hasn’t been on Earth since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron when he rode off into space. After arriving on Sakaar, he was Hulk for a few years straight, until Thor managed to turn him back into Banner. That clearly had an impact on him, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok. In Infinity War, the lines between Banner and his big, green alter ego are going to continue to blur a bit, which could make things interesting for his teammates in the movie.

“The division between Hulk and Banner is starting to blur a little bit. You have a Hulk that can actually express himself without being angry.”

Much of what we’re going to see and how it’s going to unfold in Avengers: Infinity War remains a mystery. We’ve still yet to see a full-length trailer and the movie is just six weeks from release. Though, we know one is coming soon. Marvel wants to keep many of the surprises intact until audiences around the world get to witness the event for themselves on April 27. Considering that the hype for this movie has been building amongst fans for months now, Infinity War is poised to break box office records as is. So there’s no real need for Marvel Studios to spoil what’s coming. But we now know at least a bit of what we’re going to see from Mark Ruffalo this time around. This news comes to us courtesy of


Death Star Gets a Theme Song in Star Wars Bad Lip Reading Video

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The latest Bad Lip Reading video has arrived, and once again, the gang is taking on one of their favorite subjects. Yes, they have done yet another Star Wars video. And this time, they’ve given the Death Star an epic new theme song.

Related: Empire Strikes Back Bad Lip Reading Video Turns Hoth Into a Rap Battle

Grand Moff Tarkin shares a musical moment with Princess Leia aboard the Death Star. And it’s pretty weird. We also get Obi-Wan Kenobi making his most iconic declaration, ‘That’s no moon!’ Only with a slight tweak. And Saw Gerrera even shows up for a few second.

It appears that the Bad Lip Reading team is attempting to pull off an entire Star Wars musical at the rate they’re going. They have already released Yoda singing about Seagulls. And the attack on Hoth got turned into an epic song and dance number called Hostiles on the Hill. They also did ‘Not the Future’ from Return of the Jedi.

Aside from the song and dance numbers these guys have attempted to pull off in the Star Wars universe, there have also been hilarious Bad Lip Reading videos for the entire original trilogy. And they did one for The Force Awakens, with Mark Hamill stepping into do a spot on Harrison Ford as Han Solo impersonation.

The Last Jedi hits digital platforms and VOD this week, with the Blu-ray and DVD right around the corner. So we can only dream that a full Bad Lip Reading of the divisive sequel will be coming soon. In the meantime, we have this lovely serenade between Tarkin and Leia to keep us occupied and obsessively listening.

Up Next


‘The Fix’: Robin Tunney To Topline ABC Drama Pilot, Adam Rayner To Co-Star

Former The Mentalist star Robin Tunney is returning to television as the lead of ABC drama pilot The Fix. Set as one of the central roles opposite Tunney is another former TV series lead, Tyrant‘s Adam Rayner.

Described as part legal thriller, part confessional and part revenge fantasy, The Fix is written by Marcia Clark, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain and directed by Larysa Kondracki. After losing the biggest case of her career and being shredded by the media, former prosecutor Maya Travis (Tunney) has left Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural Oregon. Eight years after her devastating defeat, the murderer strikes again, forcing Maya to return to L.A. to confront him one more time.

When the jury found Oscar-award winning actor Sevvy Johnson innocent of a double murder, the case’s leading prosecutor Maya (Tunney) was crushed by the shocking verdict. She left the profession – and Los Angeles -retreating to a quieter life on a horse ranch with her partner. When, eight years later, news breaks that Sevvy Johnson’s girlfriend has been brutally murdered, Maya makes the decision to return to LA to face her past, seek justice… and win redemption.

Rayner will play Andre who was Maya’s second chair during the Sevvy Johnson trial. There is an undeniable charge between Andre and Maya. When Maya left town after the trial, Andre remained on the job and got married. However, when Sevvy’s girlfriend is found murdered, Andre pays Maya a visit, and asks her to return.

The duo join previously cast Merrin Dungey as CJ (Christine Jane) Bernstein, Breckin Meyer as DA Charles Wiest, Mouzam Makkar as Loni Cho, Scott Cohen as “Ezra Wolf,” Marc Blucas as Riv and Alex Saxon as Gabriel Johnson.

Craft, Fain and Clark executive produce with Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks.

Tunney starred as Teresa Lisbon on CBS’ The Mentalist. She’ll next be seen in upcoming features Monster Party and Looking Glass. Tunney is repped by  CAA and attorney David Weber at Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Rayner played Barry Al-Fayeed on FX’s Tyrant. This marks his return to ABC where he co-starred on drama series Notorious.


Dave Franco & Abbi Jacobson Make Drama Debuts With Marja-Lewis Ryan’s ‘6 Balloons’ — SXSW

Well known for their turns in the comedic arena with projects like The Disaster Artist and Broad City, actors Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson got the opportunity to transition to drama with Marja-Lewis Ryan’s 6 Balloons, a prospect they found as terrifying as it was exciting. Based on the personal story of producer Samantha Housman, the film follows a woman (Jacobson) whose brother (Franco) relapses on heroin, while living with his six-month-old daughter.

“I think that her story unfortunately isn’t as uncommon as I want it to be. After a couple of years with the boom of the opioid crisis, I was like, ‘Wow, this story needs to be told.’ Because it’s very much in Abby’s character’s perspective,” Ryan told Deadline, appearing at SXSW today with Franco and Jacobson. “I just really started to think about, if the crisis is that big, there must be so many enablers. There must be so many people affected by it, not just the addict himself.”

Growing up in the upper-middle-class suburbs, Jacobson saw rampant drug abuse in her hometown, and wasn’t exactly leaping at any chance to depict these issues with a film. But when she read Ryan’s script, the project became undeniable. “I loved the different points of view that were addressed, and this is my first experience in this genre,” Ryan said. “I was excited that Dave was gonna be my partner in it because this was new for both of us. We kind of could lean on each other.”

“I knew that I was very lucky that [Ryan] even considered me for a role like this because I had never done anything like this,” Franco added. “I figured worst-case scenario, it just disappears; best-case scenario, it shows me in a slightly different light, and people can maybe start to see me in different roles.”

To hear more from Deadline’s conversation with Franco, Jacobson and 6 Balloons writer/director Marja-Lewis Ryan, click above.

The Deadline Studio at SXSW 2018 is presented by MoviePass.


Rachelle Lefevre To Topline Fox Legal Drama Pilot Produced By Danny Strong

EXCLUSIVE: Rachelle Lefevre (Mary Kills People) has been tapped as the lead in Fox’s drama pilot from Empire co-creator Danny Strong and feature writer David Elliot.

The untitled project (fka Infamy), a legal drama set in a wrongful conviction firm, hails from 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Danny Strong Productions. Penned by Elliot and directed by Patricia Riggen, it revolves around a legal team led by Madeline Scott (Lefevre), a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice. They reopen investigations, putting their own lives in danger to exonerate the innocent that were “proven” guilty.

Lefevre’s Madeline’s motivation comes from her infamous past; as a young adult she was found guilty and later exonerated in a high-profile case in which she became a tabloid sensation, household name and national celebrity.  While a hero and a victim to some, her bold and bullish tactics garner her some enemies— one of whom will do anything to see her go down for a crime we know she did not commit.

Elliot executive produces with Danny Strong Prods.’ Strong and Stacy Greenberg.

Lefevre is a series regular on the second season of the Lifetime series Mary Kills People and also appears on the Amazon anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. She will be repped by Gersh, Pearl Hanan Management and Meyer Downs.


Fantastic Beasts 2 Teaser Arrives, Full Trailer Coming Tomorrow

Today should be an exciting day for fans of the Harry Potter franchise. This morning Warner Bros. launched #WandsReady, a global social activation mobilizing Wizarding World fans to ready their wands in anticipation of the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will debut tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13th. Fans knew that the release was imminent with the release of a ton of official images from the movie over the last few weeks and now the wait is nearly over to see the very first footage from the highly anticipated sequel.

Fans everywhere are encouraged to join together, through social media, as the adventure in the Wizarding World continues in Fantastic Beasts 2. Fans are encouraged either by posting a photo of themselves with their own wand with the hashtag, or by using the #WandsReady photo uploader on the official Fantastic Beasts website. The picture uploader from the official site will allow fans to create a personalized magical video to share on their social channels.

While the new teaser for Fantastic Beasts 2 doesn’t feature any footage from the movie, it certainly does ramp up the excitement level for the fans. A section of the Harry Potter fan community will have a blast taking part in the viral campaign that ends with the first official footage of the sequel dropping tomorrow. New pictures from the set have been released over the last few weeks and they feature the entire cast, but hardcore fans have been looking closely at Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) as they track down the villainous Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

Fantastic Beasts 2 has seen some controversy over the last handful of months over the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movement sparked late last year, and Depp has been accused of domestic abuse by his former wife, Amber Heard. The two released a joint statement that pretty much confirmed that the physical abuse happened, but J.K. Rowling has stood up for the couple’s privacy, noting that it has nothing to do with Fantastic Beasts 2. The decision has caused a pretty big rift in the Harry Potter fan community.

J.K. Rowling returned to pen the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts 2 and fans have been looking forward to finally seeing some footage from the long-awaited sequel. The good news is that while we have until November 16th to see the movie, the trailer will be released tomorrow, March 13th and should tide fans over for a bit. You can check out the #WandsReady teaser trailer and then head on over to the official Fantastic Beasts 2 website to get even more immersed into the Wizarding World to share with friends and family. Check out the #WandsReady trailer below, thanks to the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.

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Teen Chef Flynn McGarry Sees Life’s Work Celebrated & Portrayed In Earnest With ‘Chef Flynn’ — SXSW

As with many people, Chef Flynn director Cameron Yates first learned about teen chef Flynn McGarry through a New Yorker Profile. “There was a talk-of-the-town piece called ‘Prodigy’ about this kid who was foraging in his neighbor’s backyards and doing these crazy multiple-course tasting menus in his mother’s living room in Studio City, California,” Yates told Deadline, appearing at SXSW today with producer Laura Coxson and McGarry, his documentary subject. “I was fascinated and contacted him and his mother, and we met for the first time [in] 2013.”

Deemed a “child prodigy” by many—though McGarry wouldn’t use that term to describe himself—the chef made a name for himself at a young age, spearheading a $160-a-head dining club out of Los Angeles by age 12. Approached by Yates for a documentary on his life’s work years ago, it took time for Yates and his producer, Laura Coxson, to gain the chef’s trust. “At first, we were kind of hesitant to do any documentary. We became friends and knew each other for about a year until he actually started filming. I think that was a big thing for my whole family, just to make sure that we were comfortable with the person who was going to be able to show our lives,” McGarry explained. “People wanted to do reality shows and stuff that just didn’t feel comfortable, and then once you met Cameron and hit it off, we felt like, ‘Okay, we’re fine with this happening now.’”

A celebration of McGarry’s achievements at a young age, Chef Flynn is also a warts-and-all portrait of a boy coming of age, coming to terms with his ambitions in the context of his family life. For McGarry, it was important that the documentary would show all the highs and lows that came with his entrepreneurial efforts, demonstrating very clearly that, contrary to the opinions of internet speculators, none of his successes came easy. At every turn, McGarry’s triumphs were the product of the chef’s dedication to his craft, as well as his hard work.

“Personally, you don’t want bad things out there, but I think looking in from an outside perspective, if they would have just made a film that was like, ‘Look at how great this person is,’ it’s not true, and it’s also not showing the whole thing,” the chef reflected. “What we like about [the film] is for so long, people have had all their own idea of what everything has been, and this is behind the scenes, like, ‘No, this is what has actually been happening for the past six years.’”

To view Deadline’s conversation with Chef Flynn himself and the creatives behind the documentary, click above.

The Deadline Studio at SXSW 2018 is presented by MoviePass.

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