John Ridley

Andre Bejamin

OutKast’s André Benjamin Debuts New Trailer For ‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’!

OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this revealing biopic from Academy Award-winning writer-director John Ridley (12 Years A Slave).

Covering a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-67 as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend.

Check out the trailer below:

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Did You Know ’12 Years A Slave’ Writer John Ridley Was A Stand-Up Comic Before Winning An Oscar?

Screenwriter John Ridley has won accolades for his speech at Sunday’s Academy Awards upon winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.” But when he accepted the statue, some sharp-eyed viewers were shocked to remember Ridley’s past career as a stand-up comedian.

Yes, until he made the pivot to screenwriting, Ridley was best known to the public as an observational comic. He was a staff writer for sitcoms such as “Martin,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The John Larroquette Show,” and in an act of digital foresight, created the Internet series “Undercover Brother” that would be adapted into a hit film in 2002 (which he also produced). And even while maintaining a steady film writing career (he wrote the screenplays for the dramas “U-Turn” and “Three Kings,” among others), he continued to work in TV comedy. According to IMDb, he created the sitcom “Barbershop” in 2006 and was the head writer for “The Wanda Sykes Show” until 2010.

So why did he stop doing comedy? He gave a hint in a 2002 interview with Spike Magazine, explaining that he started to see diminishing returns from stand-up comedy.

I did arrive at a point in my life where I realized I would not be a huge stand-up comic. I would do well but would have limited growth and by that time I was already writing for shows like “Martin” [with Martin Lawrence] and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” [with Will Smith], so I think I just decided to be a novelist.

The Oscar now in his possession seems to indicate that he did not make a mistake in walking away from comedy.
Source Huffington Post

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Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy Teams With Spike Lee & Lands New Dramatic Role- For HBO!

We just discovered that comedian Eddie Murphy is planning on landing a new role- for television! We hear that Murphy will playformer Maryor Marion Barry. The film will be directed by Spike Lee and will be televised on HBO, as part of their HBO Films.

According to The Hollywood Reporter;

HBO Films is developing an untitled television biopic centered on former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, whom Murphy would play should the project move forward, a source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.

Spike Lee is attached to direct with John Ridley to pen the script. Murphy, Lee and Ridley would all serve as executive producers as the Washington Post first reported.

Journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood have been tapped to consult, along with The Nine Lives of Marion Barry filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer. Jaffe and Sherwood penned a book published in 1994 entitled Dream City detailing politics in D.C.

Barry served as the D.C. mayor from 1979 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1999, and is currently a member of the D.C. City Council representing the city’s eighth ward. In January 1990, Barry was caught smoking crack cocaine at the Vista International Hotel in downtown and was arrested on drug charges, serving six months in prison.

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