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oprah and epps

Oprah Winfrey to Play Richard Pryor’s Grandma in Biopic

*Now we have an official reason why Oprah Winfrey was in the middle (literally) of the announcement that Mike Epps will play Richard Pryor in the upcoming Lee Daniels-directed biopic.

It’s because she’s also in the cast.

Per “Entertainment Tonight”:

ET can exclusively confirm that Oprah, 60, will be playing Richard Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Carter, in Lee Daniels’ highly anticipated biopic on the legendary comedian.

Hence, Oprah’s Instagram:

Guess she didn’t want her casting news to overshadow Mike’s.

shy tuttle beyonce

Tennessee Uses Beyonce to Recruit Top Football Prospect

Shy Tuttle

Shy Tuttle

*Beyonce hasn’t even made the rumored split from her husband official, and already the University of Tennessee has her moving on to its top football prospect Shy Tuttle …at least in a photoshopped image sent to the athlete.

The school is going all out in its attempt to lure the defensive tackle, who also holds offers from fellow SEC schools Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

The No. 31 recruit in the ESPN’s top 300 tweeted this recruiting poster from the Vols – with Bey photoshopped alongside Tuttle on a fake Rolling Stone cover.

 

donald glover stage

Donald Glover Voices Black Spider-Man on Disney XD Series (Clip)

Donald Glover of Childish Gambino performs at Bud Light stage during 2014 Lollapalooza Day Three at Grant Park on August 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois

Donald Glover of Childish Gambino performs at Bud Light stage during 2014 Lollapalooza Day Three at Grant Park on August 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois

*Donald Glover is getting to live out a childhood dream.

The “Community” star will voice his all-time favorite superhero Spider-Man in the new season of Disney XD’s animated series “Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.”

…Sort of.

Glover will lend his voice to the character of Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man in a parallel world.

peter parker miles morales

Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell), the usual Spider-Man, left, meets his counterpart from another dimension, Miles Morales (Donald Glover), in an episode of ‘Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.’

In the episode, Morales is just starting out as a superhero when he runs into Parker, who’s on the hunt for the Green Goblin.

“He meets someone who is his hero, and that comes across completely in Donald’s performance,” said Stephen Wacker, vice president of Marvel Television’s animation division. “He’s got a real warmth that suits the character really, really well.”

“That’s the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody. Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don’t know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you’re always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show.”

Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell), the usual Spider-Man, left, meets his counterpart from another dimension, Miles Morales (Donald Glover), in an episode of 'Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.'

Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell), the usual Spider-Man, left, meets his counterpart from another dimension, Miles Morales (Donald Glover), in an episode of ‘Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.’

The casting could in theory lead to Glover playing Morales in a movie or TV adaptation. The actor is hopeful: “I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don’t look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he’s such an icon – you have to do something with him.”

“Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors” premieres on Sunday (9 a.m. ET/PT), with the Donald Glover episodes set to air at some point next year.

Watch a preview below:

angela bassett emmys

Angela Bassett on Whitney Biopic Backlash: ‘Controversy Can Be Good’

Actress Angela Bassett attends the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

Actress Angela Bassett attends the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

*Angela Bassett, who came up short in her bid for an Emmy Monday night, was asked on the red carpet about the controversy surrounding the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, which she is directing for Lifetime.

As previously reported, Whitney’s mother Cissy is not happy with the production, saying producers have moved forward despite objections from the family. “No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby. …I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn’t know her.”

However, Bassett is adamant the controversy will be good for business, telling Billboard.com, “Controversy can be good. It can pique your interest.”

She added of her work on the project, “It felt like it was flowing from the beginning. Except me with the learning curve, you know. Coming from one side of the camera to the other.”

Yaya DaCosta stars as the late singer in the film, titled “I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story.”

Bassett received an Emmy nomination for her role in “American Horror Story: Coven,” but lost Monday night to her cast mate Kathy Bates.

mary j blige

Mary J. Blige Hijacks DJ Booth at London Club (Watch)

Mary J. Blige attends the 5th Annual Kiehl's LifeRide for amfAR Finale Celebration on August 12, 2014 in New York City

Mary J. Blige attends the 5th Annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR Finale Celebration on August 12, 2014 in New York City

*Mary J. Blige stunned folks at a London nightclub on Sunday by hitting up the DJ booth, grabbing the mic and reportedly performing an impromptu set.

The singer was partying at Boujis in the West End with her husband Kendu Isaacs and a group of friends when she made her way into the booth.

Club owner Carlo Carello tweeted a video of Blige wrapping up her gig in the booth along with the caption, “Not every day does Mary J. Blige get on the mic… Great to have Mary J at Boujis Sunday.”

Watch below:

duale

American Douglas McAuthur McCain Killed Fighting for ISIS

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Twitter)

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Twitter)

*The war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed another American life — but this time, one fighting on behalf of the jihadist group.

Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American citizen from San Diego who’d traveled to Turkey in May, was slain during a fight between two Syrian factions while fighting for ISIS, reports Mediate. NBC News confirmed that he was found with an American passport on his body after his death.

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Facebook)

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Facebook)

According to people who knew McCain, he was known as a “normal guy, who was social, open-minded, like to smile always, and always wanted to be a good Muslim,” but had somehow become radicalized for an unknown reason, after a yearlong hiatus off social media.

When McCain’s Twitter account sprung back into activity on May 13, the messages again spoke of Islam.

“I reverted to Islam 10 years ago and I must say In sha Allah I will never look back the best thing that ever happen to me,” he posted. McCain then appeared to strike up online friendships with several self-proclaimed jihadis.

McCain, 33, has a Facebook page in which he refers to himself as Duale ThaslaveofAllah.

He says in his Twitter bio that “It’s Islam over everything.”

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Facebook)

Douglas McAuthur McCain (Facebook)

On April 3, McCain retweeted the full English translation of the speech of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani — the spokesman for ISIS.

Soon after, it appears that McCain’s travels took him to Turkey, a common jihadi route into Syria. Three people told NBC News that they met McCain -– who they referred to as Duale –- three months ago in in the Istanbul neighborhood of Sultanahmet. Two said they met him at the Burger King, where they ate and talked about the NBA.

A woman who said she was McCain’s aunt confirmed his death.

“According to an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the body and travel document, McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle,” NBC said.