Marvin Gaye Biopic ‘What’s Going On’ Is Moving Forward, Warner Bros Acquires Rights

The upcoming biopic ‘What’s Going On‘ of iconic soul singer Marvin Gaye is moving forward in a big way.

It was just announced that Warner Bros has landed the rights to the film, which is being directed/produced by Allen Hughes, who is best known for directing Dead Presidents and Menace II Society with his brother, Albert.

Additionally. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are set to be involved as producers.

The studio acquired a script by poet-playwright Marcus Gardley (he wrote the musical The Color Purple for WB) and the singer’s estate and Motown are part of the deal so there will be rights to use all of Gaye’s signature songs. This finally will bring to the screen the singer’s story, after many previous attempts by different filmmakers stalled or fell short of the rights needed.

Safe to say, Hughes is ridiculously excited to direct this project. It’s a dream come true for him.

This is so personal for me. When I made my first film with my brother, we were fortunate to get ‘What’s Going On’ into the trailer for Menace 2 Society, and it was a game changer in elevating the marketing of that film. Every film of mine but the period film From Hell had some Marvin Gaye in it, and I’ve just always connected to him.

The budget for this flick is expected to be over $80 million, so he’ll have a lot of cash to play around with.

Now they just need to find their lead actor. You got any suggestions?

Tiffany Haddish Set To Star As Olympic Icon Florence Griffith Joyner In Upcoming Biopic

We’ve been telling you that Tiffany Haddish has made the transition from “that funny girl” to “oh wow, she can actually act!”

The 41-year-old actress started off by landing supporting roles in a handful of comedy films, and now after years of hard work, she’s landing serious movie roles.

It was announced this week that Haddish will star in an upcoming Florence Griffith Joyner biopic. Florence was perhaps best known by her nickname, Flo-Jo.

Haddish will play Flo-Jo, in a feature that tells the story of the Olympian’s remarkable life and untimely death, showcasing her historic feats, but also her enduring impact on the entire world of sports and in the communities that needed her help and inspiration the most.

Flo-Jo was a 3x Olympic Gold-winning track and field star, and Haddish has revealed she was one of her heroes growing up.

I am looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told. My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.

Haddish will also produce the film. No word on when production is expected to begin, but we’ll keep you posted.

Who knows, Haddish could be looking at some awards for this performance.

Michelle Williams Signs On To Play Peggy Lee In Upcoming Biopic

Back in 2011, Michelle Williams played Marilyn Monroe in the film My Week with Marilyn. She won a Golden Globe award for her performance in the film.

And now, 10 years later, she’s ready to take on another entertainment icon.

It was just announced that Williams will play Peggy Lee in the upcoming biopic ‘Fever‘ from director Todd Haynes. MGM is in talks to back the film, with Marc Platt and Reese Witherspoon producing. Doug Wright is writing the screenplay.

And get this, Billie Eilish, is also trying to get on board as an executive producer. Eilish has cited Lee as an inspiration and admired her for her perfect songwriting structure. 

Born Norma Deloris Egstrom in 1920, Peggy Lee is today likely best known for her sultry version of the song ‘Fever,’ which became a sensation after she recorded it in 1958. She began singing professionally at 16, and recorded her first number one hit, ‘Somebody Else Is Taking My Place,’ at 22. 

Her career — including an Oscar-nominated performance in 1955’s ‘Pete Kelly’s Blues’ and several roles in the 1955 Disney animated feature ‘Lady and the Tramp’ — spanned into the 1990s. She died in 2002.

Haynes has tried to get this project made before. He was set to direct it back in 2014, and Witherspoon was attached to star, which probably explains why she’s a producer on this current project.

No word on when filming is expected to begin, but we’ll keep you posted.

Check Out The First Image Of Dennis Quaid As Ronald Reagan In Upcoming Biopic

A Ronald Regan biopic will be coming soon to a theater near you, and Dennis Quaid will be playing the former president.

The movie, which was directed by Sean McNamara, was adapted from conservative author Paul Kengor’s book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism.

It follows Reagan as a child, as a young man coming up in Hollywood (played by Wizards of Waverly Place alum David Henrie), and eventually as president, into the later years of his life. Reagan’s role as Screen Actors Guild president and the fight he led against Communism in the industry will also feature in the movie.

Entertainment Weekly talked to Quaid about being offered the role, and he admits that he was shocked at first.

I didn’t understand why they were offering me Ronald Reagan because I just didn’t see it. I admired him so much, and so I had a chill of fear go down my spine when I was offered it. That’s usually kind of a sign that maybe I should do it, because it’s out of my comfort zone.

Given that we’re in such a turbulent political climate, some people are worried about releasing a film like this right now, but the filmmakers promise that it’s not a partisan film.

The way the film is set up, it’s not Democrats-are-good, Republicans-are-bad or vice versa. it’s more about: There was totalitarianism in the world and Americans together helped to end that. My hope is that it’s a movie that doesn’t divide, but unifies.

It’s set to hit theaters in early 2022.

Biopic On Tampa Bay Rays Breakout Star Randy Arozarena Currently In Development

We all know the Los Angeles Dodgers won the world series, but one of the biggest stars coming out of the playoffs was Tampa Bay Rays player Randy Arozarena.

The breakout star, who came from Cuba to fuel the Rays’ playoff run, has a truly inspiring story.

He escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat, landed in Mexico, and started a new life there before making his way to the U.S. and eventually, his major league debut in 2017. Arozarena currently holds the MLB record for most home runs in a single postseason with 10. In his rookie postseason, Arozarena broke Barry Bonds’ record for most home runs as well as Derek Jeter’s record for most hits by a rookie. He was also named MVP of the ALCS.

Now Hollywood wants to make a movie about his life. Wonderfilm Media is in development on the film. The script is being written by Brad Gann, who wrote the 2006 sports drama, Invincible.

No word on when this film might start casting, but we imagine the script is still in the very early stages of development, so don’t expect to see this film until at least 2022.

In the meantime, check out some highlights of Arozarena…

Dave Franco Talks About Playing Vanilla Ice In Upcoming Biopic

You may have heard reports saying Dave Franco was set to play Vanilla Ice in an upcoming biopic. For months, those reports were nothing more than rumors, but now we have official confirmation.

During an interview with Insider, Franco confirmed that he will be playing the rapper in the upcoming biopic, To The Extreme.

We have been in development for a while, but we are inching closer and closer to preproduction. With [‘The Disaster Artist’], people expected us to make a broad comedy where we make fun of [‘The Room ‘director] Tommy Wiseau, but the more real we played it, the funnier and heartfelt it was — that’s the tone we want for this one as well.

The script for this movie made The Black List in 2018, which is an annual survey of the most liked unproduced scripts of the year, voted on by studio and production company execs.

The description for the biopic reads:

From a high school dropout selling cars in Dallas to having the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts with ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ a young Vanilla Ice struggles with stardom, extortion attempts and selling out as he makes music history.

No word on when filming will begin on this project, due to the ongoing pandemic, but Franco is hopeful it’ll be soon.

In the meantime, he’s been talking to Mr. Ice on the phone a lot…

Rob is such a sweet and intelligent guy, and he’s been super helpful in the process of getting all the details correct and making us privy to information the public doesn’t know. Just talking to him, I can’t help but think about the rabbit holes I’m going to go down to get ready for the role.

Zachary Levi Set To Star As NFL Legend Kurt Warner In ‘American Underdog’ Biopic

Zachary Levi first shot to fame on the NBC series ‘Chuck‘ which was criminally underrated. Following the series, Levi has transitioned to the land of features, and just last year he starred in the huge superhero flick Shazam!

Now, the 39-year-old actor is getting ready to take on another big project. It’s being reported that Levi will star as NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner in the biopic, ‘American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story

Lionsgate is the studio behind this flick, and production is expected to start later this year, obviously a bit dependent on the current pandemic.

Levi released a statement on the role:

Kurt’s story is one of relentless faith — in his own abilities but even more so in a higher power. When I read Kurt’s story, I identified with the quiet strength he found to persevere – that’s something I think anybody can recognize in their own lives. This is the kind of underdog story that sports movies are all about, and the fact that it’s true makes it even more special. I’m thrilled to be part of bringing his story to audiences.

No word on a potential release date, but if filming does begin later this year, it’s possible this film gets released in the fall of 2021.

We’ll keep you posted.

Whitney Houston Biopic In The Works From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Screenwriter

Whitney Houston had a wild life, so it’s no surprise to learn that Hollywood is turning it into a feature film.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten is reportedly writing the script for the biopic. He’s the writer behind the recent Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic.

As of right now, they’re working with the titleI Wanna Dance With Somebody‘ and it’ll be a joint production between the Whitney Houston Estate, Primary Wave, and Clive Davis.

Stella Meghie, who helmed the recent romantic drama The Photograph starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, is in negotiations to direct.

No word on who might play Houston in this biopic, but you know there are several actresses wanting the role. If done right, it’ll be an awards season contender. McCarten has a track record for writing Oscar worthy films.

As mentioned above, he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, as well as the 2014 Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything. Both male leads in those films (Rami Malek and Eddie Redmayne) won the award for Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

So yeah, the odds are looking good for this movie. Agents are probably allllll over this.

Timothee Chalamet Is Reportedly In Talks To Star In Upcoming Bob Dylan Biopic

One of the hottest young actors in Hollywood is about to get even hotter. Multiple sources have confirmed that Timothee Chalamet is in talks to play Bob Dylan in a biopic on the folk singer’s life.

The film, which is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, is rocking with the title ‘Going Electric‘ at this moment. James Mangold, the director behind Ford v Ferrari, is expected to direct this biopic.

Going Electric will center around the pivotal moment when Dylan decided to make the leap from folk music to rock and roll, and the influence of his work.

Sources say Chalamet really wants this role. He’s already taking guitar lessons, so it will look natural when he’s playing on camera.

And the best news of all? Dylan is supportive of this project. He’s reportedly in close contact with Mangold and the production team to create an accurate retelling.

I have to say, I’m super excited about this. I’m not typically a huge biopic fan, but I am a huge fan of both Bob Dylan and Chalamet, so I’d love to see this happen.

Zac Efron Set To Star In Comedy Biopic ‘King of the Jungle’ About John McAfee

Remember the 2011 hit ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love‘? The romantic comedy starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Emma Stone was a hit with critics and the general audience, making nearly $150 million at the box office.

The directors behind the film, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, are teaming up again for the upcoming comedy biopic King of the Jungle.

The film will follow the life of eccentric tech entrepreneur John McAfee.

King of the Jungle will tell the wild true story of rogue tech magnate McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software, who cashed in his fortune, left civilization and moved to the jungle in Belize. There, he set up a compound of guns, sex and madness run in Colonel Kurtz (the insane army officer in Apocalypse Now) fashion.

Zac Efron is set to star in the movie as Wired journalist Ari Furman, who believes he’s accepting a standard assignment to interview McAfee, “but once Furman arrives in Belize, however, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia as he becomes a person of interest in the murder of a neighbor.”

Sounds insane, and I am all about it. I can’t see this movie not being entertaining as hell.

Filming is expected to begin in early 2020.