Coming To America II just made a big money windfall. But you’re saying it hasn’t been in the movies yet, so how could this be? In an epic deal, Paramount Pictures sold the movie to Amazon. Remember, this is a highly anticipated movie shot at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Comedienne/Actress Luenell visited me last year and gave us all the scoop on the filming the movie. Well now Murphy, whose company is co-producing, and Paramount have decided not to take the chance on the uncertainty with the pandemic. And so as not to lose any of the buzz, the film will have a streaming premiere. The original 1988 Coming To America took in $288 million worldwide. I’m hearing the purchase price by Amazon was $125 million. Coming To America II begins streaming on December 18th.
Broadway shows will continue to be on hold until next summer. You know I love shows on the Great White Way, but apparently officials have gotten together to consider all the ramifications of reopening. There will be no shows at least until next summer 2021.
There are three movies coming out on the life of the legendary Entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. Davis died in 1990 after a battle with throat cancer. Davis began his career as a child star. As an adult he became a singer, actor, comedian, impressionist, talk show host and famed night club entertainer. Davis also was a charter member of Frank Sinatra’s cool club known as The Rat Pack along with Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. As far as the three movies go, first Lena Waithe producing an adaption of Sammy Davis, Jr.: My Father, a 1996 book by his daughter Tracey Davis. The film will follow the book and focus on the father-daughter relationship. The movie is still in preproduction. Next up is Lionel Richie, who is co-producing a script based on Davis’ 1965 memoir Yes I Can. Richie was a friend of and worked with Davis on various projects. Richie and his partners have secured movie rights and the approval of Davis’ estate. Their film will focus on the barriers Davis broke down that entertainers today walk through a little easier. No word yet on a release date. The third untitled movie is being directed by Janet Mock of Pose and will star Jeremy Pope as Davis. That film, which is intended to stream on Netflix, will focus on the interracial love affair Davis had with legendary Actress Kim Novak, which nearly cost Davis his career and his life.
A friend of the late Singer/Songwriter Prince has written a book and is confirming the drug use of the superstar. Neal Karlen is a journalist and is writing about his friendship with Prince over the decades in a new book called This Thing Called Life. The title comes from a Prince song. Among Karlen’s revelations are that the Purple One actually overdosed on a private plane about a week before his death. He was revived and taken to a hospital. Karlen writes Prince took painkillers like they were candy. Karlen also covers the other side of the very private singer. Did you know Prince was a big fan of some of TV’s most enduring shows? The musical icon’s list included The Jeffersons, Happy Days and Barnaby Jones. Yes! Barnaby Jones, the Buddy Ebsen private eye TV drama from the 1970’s was a favorite of the man that wrote songs like When Doves Cry, Raspberry Beret and I Wanna Be Your Lover.
Speaking of music icons, Stevie Wonder has left the Motown label after almost 60 years. Berry Gordy signed 11-year old Wonder to the Motown label in 1961. Gordy sold the label in 1988. Wonder’s stay at Motown gives him the famed label’s record for the longest run, among other records he’s broken. Well now Stevie Wonder, who battled the health challenges of a kidney transplant, is back with a new label and new music. He’s prepping an EP called Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate, and says his next full length album will be Through The Eyes Of Wonder. No release date has been confirmed yet. Wonder’s new projects are a result of his new partnership with Republic Records for the creation of What The Fuss Records. Wonder’s label is named after his last single on Motown, which feature En Vogue and Prince. Republic Records and Motown are both owned by Universal, so Wonder is not far from the label that launched his career.
Jamie Foxx has a new film coming to Disney Plus. The animated feature is called Soul. It’s about a musician who finds his soul. Foxx provides the voice of the musician. Soul is coming to Disney Plus on Christmas Day.
Issa Rae is hosting SNL. Rae joins a very small club considering the show has been on 45 years. That club is the elite group of African American women who have hosted Saturday Night Live including Cecily Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Tiffany Haddish, who won an Emmy for her hosting stint. Rae takes the stage this Saturday night at 11:30p on NBC with musical guest Justin Bieber.
Singer/Songwriter Solange Knowles is on the digital cover of Harper’s Bazaar with a series of essay and poems focused on the whirlwind year that is 2020.
Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris is on the cover of the November issue of Elle magazine.
Congratulations to Singer/Actress Kelly Rowland and her husband Tim Witherspoon. The former Destiny’s Child member now solo artist confirmed her pregnancy with her second child with her cover shoot for Women’s Health magazine.
Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union is on the cover of Marie Claire’s digital October issue and she’s talking the Supreme Court, her new action series L.A.’s Finest with Jessica Alba and America’s Got Talent (Union and NBC recently settled).
Lizzo is on the cover of the October issue of Vogue talking hope, justice and the upcoming election.
If you would like more info please email me at PattyJackson@iHeartMedia.com or check me out with my midday reports at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm during the day.