Issa Rae Fronts New Female-Led Film

Photo Source: Kathy Hutchins

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Issa Rae is about to act the meaning of “treat others the way you wish to be treated,” as she’ll play a character who has lost her sense of empathy and will be forced to look deep into her past. A guarded, no-nonsense woman who has closed herself off to friends and friendliness is going to wake up as her 12-year-old carefree self. Her newfound old life forces her to re-examine the way she interacts with her employees and the people in her life. Teen actor Marsai Martin of “Black-ish” fame, who came up with the idea and will executive produce, will play the younger version of Rae’s character. Kim Coleman, who has started assembling the cast, will continue to do so until filming begins. Writer-director Tina Gordon Chism will round out the female-driven film when it goes into production in mid-June in Atlanta.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are teaming up on their next blockbuster. In addition to Margot Robbie and Zoë Bell, the actors have signed on for Quentin Tarantino’s new period drama, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Before #MeToo and Time’s Up, the project had been overseen by the Weinstein Company, Tarantino’s former studio home, with brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein on board as producers. It was still in its concept phase, and after a fraught bidding war, the pitch was claimed by Sony Pictures. The project will follow an actor who found momentary fame in the age of Westerns, but in the shadow of the Manson murders and the rise of the hippie movement, he soon finds his place in Hollywood is shrinking. The star and his stunt double devise a plan to break back into the world of fame and fortune. The film, revolving around the counterculture movement of the mid-’60s and early ’70s, has already begun casting with frequent Tarantino collaborator Victoria Thomas. Production is slated to begin, with Tarantino at the helm, around June 18. Los Angeles will host the Hollywood-set film.

Hulu is revisiting junior high with its new series, “PEN15.” The middle school–inspired project will follow two 13-year-old girls, played by adult actors and co-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, as they try to navigate the complexities of puberty and popularity. While the lead actors are well above the age of adulthood, their co-stars will be actual 13-year-olds. The project, cast by Melissa DeLizia, is still stocking up on young actors to fill out the ensemble around the two leads. Although it will feature young teens, the series won’t exactly be family-friendly and is geared toward adults. Production is expected to begin in June, likely in Los Angeles.

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