Rumorville: Amber Riley Will Star in the Musical Series ‘Dream’ + More to Watch

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Welcome to Rumorville! Here you can learn about casting news that’s about to break in Hollywood. These speculations might be only rumors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow the trail all the way to the audition room.

Amber Riley is fulfilling new dreams at NBC. The “Glee” star is reportedly aiming to return to network television with the in-the-works music-driven comedy series “Dream.” Riley will also co-executive produce the show, which is in development at the network. Coming from writer-producer Lisa Muse Bryant (“Black-ish”), producer Neil Meron (who also produced “The Wiz Live!,” which Riley starred in), and Universal TV, “Dream” will follow former teen mom Dream Morgan who turns her life upside down to pursue her dream of becoming a singer after her son graduates from college. No further casting has been announced, but if the project does make it to series, look maybe to another recent NBC musical series: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” cast by Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer (who also cast Riley in “Glee”) for a possible CD option.

“New Money”
Gabrielle Union and her I’ll Have Another Productions banner are looking to bring in the dough at Showtime. The multihyphenate and the cabler are developing the comedy series “New Money,” a project brought to Union by journalists Jemele Hill and Kelley Carter of Lodge Freeway Media and centered around “Black women who have solidified their careers, achieved financial independence and moved past the awkwardness and money struggles of their twenties.” Patrik-Ian Polk (“P-Valley,” “Being Mary Jane”) will write and executive produce the project alongside Union, Hill, and Carter. The show will join one of several high-profile projects currently in development at I’ll Have Another, including “Afro.Punks” at HBO Max, “500 Words or Less” at Amazon Studios, “Tips” at Spectrum, and a queer relationship drama at Freeform.

“Forty Acres”
“Luke Cage” creator Cheo Hodari is reuniting with Netflix for a feature film adaptation of the Dwayne Alexander Smith novel “Forty Acres.” Now in early development, the film, like the book, will follow “a civil rights attorney who must fight for survival when he’s invited to join an elite Black organization with a mind-blowing secret.” Hodari will write, and James Lassiter, Jay-Z, and Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan will produce. On the feature project side, Hodari has been busy currently writing “Diary of a Trap God,” based on the Gucci Mane autobiography, and a sequel to the 2005 feature “Four Brothers” for Paramount. Netflix regulars Julie Schubert and Laray Mayfield were the casting directors for “Luke Cage,” so we may see one or both of them return to collaborate with Hodari again.

“Finding Forrester”
A major feature film is potentially heading to the small screen. First reported by Deadline, NBC is developing “Finding Forrester,” a drama series based on the 2000 Gus Van Sant movie. The adaptation will come from “The Chi” co-executive producers TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson, director Tim Story, NBA star Stephen Curry, and his Unanimous Media, as well as Sony Pictures Television. The film follows a gifted young Black writer and basketball player (Rob Brown) who lands a scholarship to a prestigious high school and befriends a reclusive Scottish writer (played by the late Sean Connery). The TV adaptation, which will be written by Brady and Newson, will follow “the unique bond between two gifted black writers: a homeless 16-year-old orphan who leverages his basketball skills to hustle his way into an ultra-competitive elite boarding school and a reclusive lesbian author whose career was ruined by a public scandal.” No casting or casting team has been announced, but “The Chi” casting director Carmen Cuba may be the first place to look for clues.

“Darkwing Duck”
At Disney+, the streamer is looking to bring an animated classic back to life. First reported by Variety, a “Darkwing Duck” reboot is in early development at the studio executive produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, and Alex McAtee. The original “Darkwing Duck” was created by Tad Stones and ran for three seasons from 1991–92. No writer is attached yet.

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