50 Plus 2018 Films Produced, Directed By Or Featuring Black Talent In Prominent Roles Part 2

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50 Plus 2018 Films Produced, Directed By Or Featuring Black Talent In Prominent Roles Part 2
Posted by Wilson Morales

January 12, 2018

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Part 3

Uncle Drew

Release Date: June 29, 2018
Studio: Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate)
Director: Charles Stone III
Starring: Kyrie Irving, LilRel Howery, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber, Erica Ashv, Erica Ash, Lisa Leslie, Nick Kroll

After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one.

The Purge: The Island

Release Date: July 4, 2018
Studio:Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Pictures
Director: Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands)
Screenwriter: James DeMonaco
Cast: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Mo McRae, Joivan Wade, Luna Velez, Steve Harris, Patch Darragh and Mugga

After overseeing three Purge movies, filmmaker and franchise creator James DeMonaco has handed the director’s chair to Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands) for the fourth installment of the franchise about an America where citizens are allowed to commit virtually any crime on a designated night of the year. This chapter will serve as a prequel, focusing on the events that lead up to the inaugural Purge event where, for a 12-hour period, all crime is legal.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Release Date: July 6, 2018
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios
Director: Peyton Reed
Screenwriters: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Paul Rudd
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Michael Douglas, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Randall Park

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father.

As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Fishburne will play Dr. Bill Foster, who in the comics is an assistant to both Tony Stark and Hank Pym and who eventually takes on Pym’s Giant Man abilities and becomes known as Black Goliath.

Alita: Battle Angel

Release Date: July 20, 2018
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriters: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson

Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (“Avatar”) and Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”) create a groundbreaking new heroine in “Alita: Battle Angel,” an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment. Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first.

As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.

This is Mahershala Ali’s first role since he won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance as Juan in Moonlight. On Oscar night, he had revealed that he has two parts in Alita.

Mission: Impossible 6

Release Date: July 27, 2018
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Henry Cavill, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan

Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt for the new film and hopes to delve into an emotional journey for Ethan unlike anything in the previous five movies.

Ving Rhames will reprise his role as Luther Stickell, Ethan Hunt’s oldest friend, continuing his streak as the only original cast member to appear in every film, outside of the face of the franchise, Tom Cruise.

Bassett will portray the new C.I.A. director, taking over for Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), who took over the IMF at the end of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

The Equalizer 2

Release Date: August 10, 2018
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director:Antoine Fuqua
Screenwriter: Richard Wenk
Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman, Ashton Sanders

In the first film, Denzel Washington starred as Robert McCall, a former black ops commando who has faked his death to live a quiet life in Boston. When he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to rescue a young girl, Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), he finds himself face to face with ultra-violent Russian gangsters. As he serves vengeance against those who brutalize the helpless, McCall’s desire for justice is reawakened. If someone has a problem, the odds are stacked against them, and they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Release Date: September 2018
Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment
Director: Michael Matthews
Screenwriter: Sean Drummond
Starring: Vuyo Dabula, Hamilton Dhlamini, Zethu Dlomo, Kenneth Nkosi, Mduduzi Mabaso, Aubrey Poolo, Lizwi Vilakazi, Warren Masemola, Dean Fourie, Anthony Oseyemi, Brendon Daniels and Jerry Mofokeng. Introducing Toka Mtabane, Vuyo Novokoza, Ntsika Tiyo, Sibusiso Bottoman, Abongile Sithole, and Qhawe Soroshi.

Near the colonial town of Marseilles in the rugged Eastern Cape of South Africa, a group of rebellious friends dubbed the Five Fingers use well-placed eggs and slingshots to drive off the oppressive police force. But when the cops seize quick-tempered Tau’s childhood love, Lerato, he goes from throwing eggs to shooting bullets. Scared of capture or worse, Tau flees, returning 20 years later to a town, and friends, transformed by the violence caused that day. With the crooked cops now replaced by a caustic gang, Tau must marshal what remains of the Fingers to once again defend their home.

Alpha

Release Date: September 14, 2018
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director:Albert Hughes
Screenwriter: Dan Wiedenhaupt
Starring:Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, Natassia Malthe, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Priya Rajaratnam, Mercedes de la Zerda, Jens Hultén

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age. Europe, 20,000 years ago. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and left for dead. Awakening to find himself broken and alone — he must learn to survive and navigate the harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.

Best known as one of the Hughes Brothers, Albert and Allen directed films such as Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, as The Book of Eli). This is Albert’s first feature on his own.

The Darkest Minds

Release Date: September 14, 2018
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director:Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Gwendoline Christie, Mandy Moore, Patrick Gibson, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech, Lidya Jewett

Based on the YA novel “The Darkest Minds” (2012) by Alexandra Bracken. Set in an alternate America where a pandemic has killed most people under 20-years-old. The film is the story of teens with superpowers who are taken from their families and placed inside internment camps.”

Stenberg plays Ruby Daly, “a 16-year-old with telekinetic powers who escapes her camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.Christie will play, “a bounty hunter of fugitive teens who takes immense pleasure in her vicious job.”

Night School

Release Date: September 28, 2018
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Screenwriter: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells and Matt Kellard, with additional script work by Nick Stoller
Starring: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Yvonne Orji, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Taran Killam, Rob Riggle, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Romany Malco, Bresha Webb, Al Madrigal and Ben Schwartz

Star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer, who partnered for the hit “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man” series, bring their signature style to “Night School.” Based on a story by Hart, the comedy follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

Rajskub will play Theresa, a hardworking mom with several kids who got pregnant in high school and is now trying to earn her GED., while Killam will play the school’s principal Stewart, who rules the school with an iron fist. Schwartz will play Hart’s best friend, an investment adviser who wants to give his pal a job but can’t until Hart passes his GED.

Widows

Release Date: November 16, 2018
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Steve McQueen
Screenwriter: Steve McQueen, Gillian Flynn
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Garret Dillahunt, Carrie Coon

Set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption, “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

“Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.

Creed 2

Release Date: November 21, 2018
Studio: MGM, New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.)
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Screenwriter: Sylvester Stallone & Cheo Hodari Coker
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson

Stallone will still be co-starring, reprising his Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated role of Rocky Balboa, with Michael B. Jordan returning to once again play Adonis Johnson. Stallone also co-wrote the script with Cheo Hodari Coker (Showrunner of Netflix’s Luke Cage).

According to realstylenetwork.com, production is set to begin in March, and very little details have emerged as to what the story will be about. The last they heard, the story would follow Adonis as he struggles with fame and attempts to become a champion. Dolph Lundgren was rumoured to also be returning to play Ivan Drago, last seen in Rocky IV, to manage his son as a potential opponent of Adonis. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Release Date: December 14, 2018
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey
Screenwriter: Phil Lord
Starring: Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry

From Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind “The LEGO Movie,” comes an animated Spider-Man feature starring Miles Morales. Shameik Moore will voice a version of Spidey based on the Miles Morales character, and Liev Schreiber will voice a mystery villain.

Henry will voice Miles’ detective father, Jefferson Davis, while Ali will voice the larger role of Miles’ uncle, Aaron Davis, who loves his nephew but operates on the wrong side of the law.

Ramsey directed Rise of the Guardians, based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood books, making him the first African-American to direct a big budget animated feature

The following are films that will be distributed by studios but have yet to be a given a release date

The Upside

Release Date: TBD
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Neil Burger
Screenwriter: Jon Hartmere
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies, Aja Naomi King

Written by Jon Hartmere, the English-language remake reinvents the French classic, “The Intouchables,” that took the world by storm and went on to gross over $400 million worldwide – making it the second highest grossing non-English language film of all time. “The Upside” chronicles the unexpected friendship between Phillip Lacasse (Cranston), a Park Avenue billionaire left paralyzed after a hang-gliding accident, and convicted felon Dell (Hart), recently released from prison and in need of a job and a fresh start. From worlds apart, Phillip and Dell form an unlikely bond, bridging their differences and gaining invaluable wisdom in the process, giving each man a renewed sense of passion for all of life’s possibilities.

With the Weinstein Co. are the verge of being sold due to Harvey Weinstein’s ouster from the company and the entertainment community, this film, which made its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, will have to be picked up by another studio if it wants to see the light of day.

The Hate U Give

Release Date: TBD
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Screenwriter: Audrey Wells, Tina Mabry
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, Common , Anthony Mackie, Kian Lawley

An adaptation of Angela Thomas’ debut YA novel, which was inspired by Black Lives Matter, the story follows a 16-year-old girl named Starr (Amandla Sternberg) who grew up in a poverty-stricken slum, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.

Regina Hall will play the mother to Amandla Stenberg’s character (Starr) with Russell Hornsby as Starr’s father. Lamar Johnson will play Seven, Starr’s older brother. Detroit’s Algee Smith will play Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil. Common will play Starr’s uncle who is a police officer. Rae will play April, the activist that helps Stenberg’s character find her voice and speak up.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Release Date: TBD
Studio: Annapurna Pictures
Director: Barry Jenkins
Screenwriter: Barry Jenkins, based on James Baldwin’s novel
Starring: Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, Diego Luna and Finn Wittrock

Based on the novel by James Baldwin, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” follows Tish (Layne), a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s (James) innocence while carrying their first born child. The movie is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families, and their lives.

Black Klansman

Release Date: TBD
Studio: Focus Features
Director: Spike Lee
Screenwriter: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Spike Lee, Kevin Willmont
Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Corey Hawkins, Topher Grace, Ryan Eggold, Robert John Burke, Ashlie Atkinson, Elise Hudson

Black Klansman is the story of one man who dared to challenge the Ku Klux Klan and thwart its attempts to take over the city.  Police Detective Ron Stallworth (Washington) was at the center of an undercover investigation that reached the heights of the organization. Stallworth miraculously gained status in their ranks – the shocking fact in this incredible story is Stallworth is an African American man.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Release Date: TBD
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Tyler Perry
Screenwriter: Tyler Perry
Starring: Tyler Perry, Cassie Davis, Patrice Lovely, Ciera Payton, David Otunga

A joyous family reunion becomes a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.

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