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Lupita Nyong’o Award-Winning Children’s Book “Sulwe” Becomes Animated Musical on Netflix

by Betti Halsell

Netflix announced a new animated musical production that focuses on different shades of beauty. The movie, “Sulwe” is coming to life from its original paperback form. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o created the children’s book to bring awareness to the judgment of skin color happening an early age and to “encourage children to love the skin they are in and see the beauty that radiates from within.”

The bestselling children’s book by Nyong’o includes illustrations by Vashti Harrison, the story is about a young child who has skin that is darker than anyone else’s. According to Deadline, the book begins with “Sulwe was born the color of midnight,” the reader follows Sulwe’s adventure to self discovery and finding her own beauty. 

Rendering information from Entertainment Weekly, the story follows a 5-year-old Kenyen girl struggling to love the skin she’s in, she wants to be like her friends at school and family at home who are lighter-skinned. The young girl is swept into an adventure in the night skies, which helps her see the beauty in darker shades. Sulwe in Swahili means “star.” 

This book is an ode Nyong’o personal challenge of seeing her own beauty within her shade of skin, the publication captured her struggle. However, this book-turned-movie speaks volumes about the change that is happening on a larger scale. Nyong’o’s voice harmonizes with the illustrations; creating a unique perspective. 

A statement found on Kirkus reviews stated Nyong’o shared with Netflix, she said, “The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart. Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love.” The book is looking to foster the journey to self beauty for young minds. 

There is a revolutionary change with each turn of the page, “Sulwe” carries a message with gentleness; designing a safe space for all ages to self-reflect. The subject of colorism can be easily talked about in a family setting; either by reading the book or watching the movie, these are the conversations that every household needs to have with the future generation. 

The picture book was released in 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, making its way to New York’s Times Bestseller list. Nyong’o will be working with Netflix to produce an animated musical based on her original tale of the story. Emphasizing information from the news source listed above, “Sulwe” is an award-winning book; It received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children Last year and Nyong’o also is recorded reading the book, which is available on Netflix’s “Bookmarks.” The musical will sure to reach thousands of young hearts that share a similar story. 

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Remakes Of These Whitney Houston Movies Are Currently In The Works

Whitney Houston’s legacy continues to inspire millions around the globe many years after her sudden passing. The work of the legendary singer/songwriter did not just make a tremendous impact on the music industry; Houston also significantly contributed to some award-winning films that we still cherish and love today. So much so that creators strive to bring some of that greatness back to our screens. From The Bodyguard to The Preacher’s Wife, these are Whitney Houston’s iconic movies that are getting the remake treatment.

THE BODYGUARD

Whitney Houston movie remakes

Warner Bros. has enlisted playwright Matthew López (The Inheritance) to write the script for the remake of the iconic Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard.

As reported by Variety, the reimagining of the drama will be inspired by the 1992 classic, which starred Houston and Kevin Costner. The original film grossed over $400 million at the worldwide box office. In addition, it has the bestselling movie soundtrack that features several award-winning songs.

WAITING TO EXHALE

ABC Has a Waiting to Exhale TV Reboot in the Works - E! Online

ABC har ordered a TV reboot of the iconic 1995 film with Lee Daniels (Empire) producing. According to Deadline, it will be inspired by the original movie and introduce a new group of four friends – the daughters of the original characters. The TV adaptation will be written by Atticka Locke (When They See Us) and Tembi Locke (Never Have I Ever). Anthony Hemingway (Genius: Aretha) will direct.

The original film’s cast featured Houston as Savannah, Angela Bassett as Bernadine, Lela Rochone as Robin, and Loretta Devine as Robin. Directed by Forest Whitaker, the film was a box office hit.

THE PREACHER’S WIFE

Whitney Houston movie remakes

A present-day reimagining of The Preacher’s Wife is in the works with Anthony Hemingway (GeniusAmerican Crime Story) directing. Angela Basset and Courtney B. Vance (who starred in the original movie) will develop the remake under their production company.

Penny Marshall’s 1996 classic starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Vance, was itself a remake of The Bishop’s Wife, which premiered in 1947 and is based on the novel of the same name by Robert Nathan.

I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Whitney Houston movie remakes

Although this title is not quite a movie reboot, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is another biopic centered around Houston’s career and music.

Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), the musical feature will star Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker) as Whitney Houston and Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) as Bobby Brown.

The biopic will release the film in theaters on December 23, 2022.

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Watch: Penny is All Grown Up in ‘The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’ Trailer

Disney+ has released the first trailer for its highly anticipated animated series reboot. The streaming platform is bringing back The Proud Family  20 years later, with the original cast reprising their roles.

The show will continue to tell the story of Penny Proud and her family – parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings, and grandma Suga Mama.

Returning voices include Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, JoMarie Payton as Suga Mama, Cedric the Entertainer as Uncle Bobby, Carlos Mencia as Felix Boulevardez, Maria Canals-Barrera as Sunset Boulevardez, Alvaro Gutierrez as Papi, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer, and Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez.

Joining the cast are Keke Palmer as young activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins and Asante Blackk as Penny’s boyfriend Kareem.

The returning series will also feature guest voice-overs from stars such as Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Tiffany Haddish, and Cedric the Entertainer among others.

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder premieres Feb. 23 on Disney+. Check out the trailer below.

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Mary J Blige’s Most Memorable roles: From Guest Appearances to an Oscar Nomination

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Mary J Blige has been a music icon for many years now. With 13 studio albums and many awards, she has made her name known across the globe. Today, however, her portfolio includes not only music-related accolades. The R&B queen is making significant strides in the television and film industry. One of the biggest of them was her 2018 Oscar nomination for supporting actress for her role in Netflix’s Mudbound. And this is just the beginning!

Here are Blige’s most memorable television and movie roles thus far.

I Can Do All Bad By Myself (2009)

Mary J Blige Acting Timeline

Tyler Perry gave Blige her first feature film role. She played an inspiring singing bartender at the nightclub. Before this, the singer/songwriter only had cameos on television. I Can Do All Bad By Myself also starred Taraji P. Henson.

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