Casting News: More POCs Coming to TV, a Bruce Lee biopic in the Works

The title says it all. A lot of people are in a lot of things now that Hollywood has declared diversity the New Best Thing. Because life wasn’t diverse before, apparently. Let’s just get into who’s going to be seen in what and what we can expect from that Bruce Lee biopic.

Nickelodeon wants K-pop: The K-Pop craze has been slowly taking over America, and even though Psy hit bit with “Gangnam Style,” I’d say that the moment Nickelodeon wanted a K-pop themed show is the  moment K-Pop really became a part of mainstream American culture.

Make It Pop, produced by none other than Nick Cannon’s production company Ncredible Entertainment, features Megan Lee, Erika Tham and Louriza Tronco as three girls who want to create their own K-Pop band. The show will also feature original songs and performances in each and every episode. It appears the musical is now the new way forward for TV shows, what with Glee and Empire. The show also helps round out Nickelodeon’s expanding diverse slate of shows, including teen novela-based shows like Every Witch Way, based on the Latin American show Grachi

The new Bruce Lee biopic: Janet Yang, best known for The Joy Luck Club, Lawrence Grey and Ben Everard have come together with Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon to create the new biography of the martial arts legend and philosopher. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shannon says that there hasn’t been a film that has focused on her father’s writings, philosophy (which extended into his martial arts teachings, like having “no way” as The Way), and his mastery of martial arts. “There have been projects out there involving my father, but they’ve lacked a complete understanding of his philosophies and artistry,” she said to the website. I’d agree with her, even though that ’90s biopic was pretty good for what it was.

Okay, from here on out, most of the rest of these entries will be line-items. There’s just too much here to give full paragraphs to. This is a good problem to have, since that means MINORITIES ARE IN DEMAND! WHOO!

• Audrey Magazine gives you a look at some Asian actors you can see on your TV screen later on this year. I’m excited about the prospect of Brian Tee and Daniel Henney, personally.

• Larenz Tate wrote on his Instagram page that he’s going to be a part of the NBC pilot Game of Silence. 
•  Dulé Hill is going to join Laverne Cox on the CBS pilot Doubt. Also cast in the pilot is Alpha House actor Kobi Libii.
In the new iteration of Power RangersPower Rangers Dino Charge, has finally cast a black woman as the Pink Ranger. Camille Hyde is the one we can credit with breaking the Pink Ranger glass ceiling. Even though I grew up with Power Rangers, I can’t say I will be watching this on a regular basis on account of me being a grown person now. But if I do catch an episode, it’ll most likely be to see what Hyde’s doing (and to check up on the other POCs in the cast, Brennan Mejia and Yoshi Sudarso).
• Shaft is getting rebooted. The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider states that he think Shaft could be hero America needs while it sorts itself out at the crossroads of police brutality, gun culture, stereotyping, and the deaths of unarmed black men. Perhaps he’s right.
• Sleepy Hollow‘s Jill Marie Jones is continuing her sci-fi/horror streak with a role in Ash Vs. Evil Dead, coming to STARZ. 
 Barbershop 3 is happening. Did we ask for this? Do we need this? In any event, Malcolm D. Lee is directing.
• Whoopi Goldberg has been cast in the ABC pilot Delores and Jermaine, also starring comedian Jermaine Fowler. Goldberg will play Jermaine’s grandmother Delores, with whom he comes to live with after being kicked out of the house.
• Morris Chestnut will be solving crimes in the currently untitled Fox drama pilot about a gifted pathologist named Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., who happily solves crimes in Miami with his cynical female partner. Some might say this could be vying for the Sleepy Hollow spot in case it gets cancelled, but I think it’s more likely to take the Backstrom spot, since it’s all but cancelled anyway. Also, the fact that Fox is investing in more black-led shows means that they’re also keen on keeping Sleepy Hollow as long as they can. They want to get that black money, and even though Empire is a huge draw, Fox needs to keep their black-led show portfolio full. You can read more on my thoughts on Sleepy Hollow in my Sleepy Hollow tag.
 • Wesley Snipes nearly made it onto Empire as Lucious Lyon, but NBC has snapped him up instead. He’ll star in a pilot for the network called Endgame, a thriller about a former sniper-now-security expert who becomes embroiled in a conspiracy set in fast-paced Las Vegas. Snipes will play Johnson, mind behind the conspiracy the main character (Philip Winchester) is caught up in.
Lucien Laviscount has been cast in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens for Fox. I’m ready to learn more about him, since I haven’t seen One Night in Istanbul.
• Paula Patton is coming to ABC in the drama pilot Runner. The show is based on the Turkish show Son and follows a woman (Patton) who thinks she’s living the perfect life until she realizes she’s a part of a huge plot involving drug cartels and the illegal gun trade between America and Mexico. Also cast in the show is Adam Rodriguez as the lead male character Troy, a cartel member who has ties to Patton’s character and is the only person who can help her find her missing husband.
• Effie Brown will produce Flyy Girl for Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films. The film is base on the book trilogy by Omar Tyree and tells the story of a businesswoman who realizes she must redefine what success means to her.
 Meagan Good is coming to Fox in the pilot Minority Report, the TV adaptation of the popular ’90s Tom Cruise movie and based on the Philip K. Dick novel. This show will be set 10 years after the culmination of events in the film. Good will play the detective who is haunted by her memories, and she’ll solve crimes with a male Precog who can still see visions. Again, the fact that Fox is angling more towards black-led shows means Sleepy Hollow has a more-than-fair shot at not only coming back, but coming back with a severe (yes, severe) focus on the black leads. Ichabod’s sadness about Katrina will be cut down a lot, I can bet you. My prediction is that Minority Report will take the spot that will be vacated by Glee. 
  Boris Kodjoe and his wife Nicole Ari Parker are coming to TV in their own daytime talk show, in which they’ll expound more on the issues of the day, parenting, love and relationships, and whatever else interests them. I hope this succeeds, and I’ll watch the first episode, but they read as boring people. Like Meredith Viera.
  Phylicia Rashad has joined the CBS pilot For Justice, directed by Ava DuVernay. The show is based on James Patterson’s first novel set during the Civil Rights era. I’m not sure if this adaptation will be set in the ’70s like the book, but Rashad will play a lesbian character named Georgina Howe who works in the Washington D.C. Civil Rights Division. I’m assuming. I’m a little confused, so you can read these articles and figure it out.
• If you love hearing Jussie Smollett sing on Empire, you can have fun listening to him on a full album! He’s now signed a record deal with Columbia Records.  
PHEW! What do you think about this smorgasbord of news?

 

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