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Film & Television

‘Watchmen’ Episode 1 Draws 1.5 Million Viewers

by Kimberly Jones

The premiere of Watchmen on HBO Sunday night proved to be ratings gold for the network
drawing 1.5 million viewers to the series premiere.

The DC comic turned superhero drama follows Detective Angela Abar played by Emmy award-winning actress Regina King through an alternative version of America in 2019. Set in Tulsa Oklahoma, Detective Abar along with other members of law enforcement are all living and working undercover. The series is focused on the relationship and tension between citizens and law enforcement along with the threats from a white supremacist terrorist group called Seventh Calvary.

The opening scenes alone captivated audiences with images of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street
Massacre of 1921, which destroyed a black neighborhood and economy resulting in anywhere from 100 to 300 deaths. The premiere episode focused on the massacre at the beginning, which gave viewers a much-needed lesson in black American history and how those events led to the Watchmen version of America in 2019.

Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof had no intentions for the television series to mimic the comic series. Lindelof, a huge fan of the original series created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, did not want Watchmen to come off as a reboot but rather a remix of the original. In addition to Regina King, the series also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Louis Gossett Jr.

Catch Watchmen Sunday nights on HBO.

Film

The Matrix 4: Laurence Fishburne Won’t Be Back as Morpheus

Laurence Fishburne has confirmed that he won’t be reprising his iconic role as Morpheus. The 59-year-old actor revealed that he “has not been invited” to return.

According to The Wrap, Fishburne told New York Magazine that he was never approached about joining the upcoming Lana Wachowski’s sequel. “I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great,” Fishburne commented. “It is probably the role that I’ll be best remembered for, which is great; it’s not the only thing I’ll be remembered for, which is better,” He concluded.

As a reminder, Fishburne first portrayed Morpheus, the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar, in the original 1999 film alongside Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. The two are set to return for The Matrix 4 (working title) with Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Joining the movie, which details are currently under wraps, are also Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Jessica Henwick.

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Film & Television

Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is the World’s Highest-Paid Male Actor

Forbes magazine named Dwayne Johnson, AKA the Rock, the highest-paid male actor for the second year in a row.

The former wrestler turned Hollywood superstar reportedly earned $87.5m between June 2019 and June 2020, including the $23.5m he made for Netflix’s upcoming thriller Red Notice.

Johnson’s Red Notice co-star Ryan Reynolds came second on the list highest-paid male actor’s list with earnings of $71.5m. Among his movie deals were $20m, also for Red Notice, and $20m for Six Underground, another Netflix film.

Coming in third place is actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, who earned $58m, while Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel came in fourth and fifth place respectively.

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Film & Television

‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reboot In the Works

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is making a return with Bel-Air! The one-hour project is based on Morgan Cooper’s record-breaking fan film (more than 7.5 million views to date) that reimagines the classic 1990s sitcom based on Will Smith’s journey from the streets of Philadelphia to his uncle’s mansion in Bel-Air as a drama. Per Deadline, Bel-Air  “will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions, and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”

Cooper will direct and co-executive produce Bel-Air. Showrunner Chris Collins (The Man in the High Castle, The Wire) will co-write, executive produce.

The project is being developed by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television and is currently being pitched to multiple streamers, including NBC’s Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon.

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