James Earl Jones signals retirement from voicing Darth Vader after 45 years
For the past 45 years, actor James Earl Jones has lent his booming, villainous bass to the “Star Wars” franchise, embodying the Dark Side as the voice of Darth Vader. >> Read more trending newsAccording to Vanity Fair, however, 91-year-old Jones has signed off on the use by young filmmakers of archival voice recordings to help maintain the character’s continuity as time passes. Specifically, the archived recordings will allow next-gen “Star Wars” creators to use “artificial intelligence synthetic speech technology to recreate Jones’ younger voice from his previous films for future Lucasfilm projects,” Variety reported. Meanwhile, the production company’s Matthew Wood told Vanity Fair that Jones “wished to keep Vader alive.”(Note: Actor David Prowse appeared on-screen as the hulking, black-clad villain.) In turn, the company has partnered with Respeecher, a Ukrainian startup that “uses AI technology to craft new conversations from revitalized old voice recordings,” Variety reported.wftv.com
Broadway theater renamed in honor of James Earl Jones
NEW YORK — (AP) — The newly restored Cort Theatre on Broadway has been renamed after James Earl Jones, becoming the second theater on the Great White Way named after a Black artist. One requirement of the so-called New Deal for Broadway was that the Shubert, Nederlander and Jujamcyn theater chains have at least one of their theaters named after a Black artist. I think about Black kids, white and Asian kids, all kinds of kids, standing up outside of that theater and looking up and saying, ‘That’s it: The James Earl Jones Theatre. The James Earl Jones Theatre has a wider stage and a trap room underneath — making musicals now an option — and a new upstairs rehearsal space that matches the stage's footprint. New wider seats actually mean the interior lost four seats from its just-over-1,000 seats — but it promises to offer a more comfortable experience.wftv.com
Broadway theater to be renamed in honor of James Earl Jones
NEW YORK — (AP) — The newly restored Cort Theatre on Broadway will formally be renamed after James Earl Jones on Monday, becoming the second theater on the Great White Way named after a Black artist. You can’t think of an artist that has served America more,” director Kenny Leon told The Associated Press ahead of the ceremony. One requirement of the so-called New Deal for Broadway was that the Shubert, Nederlander and Jujamcyn theater chains have at least one of their theaters named after a Black artist. I think about Black kids, white and Asian kids, all kinds of kids, standing up outside of that theater and looking up and saying, ‘That’s it: The James Earl Jones Theatre. The James Earl Jones Theatre will have a wider stage and a trap room underneath — making musicals now an option — and a new upstairs rehearsal space that matches the stage's footprint.wftv.com
James Earl Jones confirmed as voice of Darth Vader for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’
Familiar voice: James Earl Jones reprised his role as the voice of Darth Vader in the Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi." (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)It’s time to return to the Dark Side -- James Earl Jones is back as the voice of Darth Vader. >> Read more trending newsJones, 91, officially reprised his role as the voice of the villainous Darth Vader in the Disney+ episode of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Deadline reported. ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: James Earl Jones Confirmed As Voice Of Darth Vader https://t.co/C7TfvzjtWx — Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) June 1, 2022Jones first appeared in the episode during a holo-conference with Reva the Inquisitor, played by Moses Ingram, according to the entertainment outlet. “Obi-Wan Kenobi” sees the return of Ewan McGregor as the younger Obi-Wan, according to Deadline.wftv.com
Broadway theater will be renamed after James Earl Jones
Theater-James Earl Jones FILE - James Earl Jones accepts the special Tony award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre at the 71st annual Tony Awards in New York on June 11, 2017. The Shubert Organization-owned Cort Theatre on Broadway will be renamed after James Earl Jones. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File) (Michael Zorn)NEW YORK — (AP) — The Shubert Organization's Cort Theatre on Broadway will be renamed after James Earl Jones, fulfilling a promise by the theater giant to honor a Black artist in such a way. The James Earl Jones Theatre renaming is “in recognition of Mr. Jones’ lifetime of immense contributions to Broadway and the entire artistic community,” according to a statement by the Shuberts. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.”Jones has appeared in 21 Broadway productions, including two at the Cort Theatre.wftv.com
Yaphet Kotto of 'Live and Let Die,' 'Alien,' dies at 81
FILE - Actor Yaphet Kotto appears on his wedding day in Baltimore, Md. Kotto, the commanding actor of the James Bond film Live and Let Die and as Lt. Al Giardello on the 90's NBC police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street, died Monday, March 15, 2021 at age 81. Kottos wife, Tessie Sinahon, announced his death Monday in a Facebook post. (AP Photo/John Gillis, File)NEW YORK – Yaphet Kotto, the commanding actor who brought tough magnetism and stately gravitas to films including the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” and “Alien," has died. Kotto’s wife, Tessie Sinahon, announced his death Monday in a Facebook post.
33 years later, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall return to Zamunda
NEW YORK – When Eddie Murphy made the original “Coming to America,” he was, almost indisputably, the funniest man in America. “Now I take nothing for granted and appreciate everything.”Thirty-three years after “Coming to America,” Murphy and Hall have returned to Zamunda. At the barbershop, where Murphy and Hall also reprise their characters, the conversation bounces from Teslas to transgender people. Before making “Black Panther,” Murphy has said Ryan Coogler approached him about a “Coming to America” sequel. Ruth E. Carter designed the costumes of both “Black Panther” and “Coming 2 America.” Both were shot in Atlanta.
‘Coming 2 America,’ starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, starts streaming Friday on Amazon Prime
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES— Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are back in Queens as Prince Akeem and Semmi in “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the 1988 film, which is now coming straight to your living room Friday on Amazon Prime Video. Set to becoming the King of Zamunda, Murphy’s character returns to the U.S. to find a son he’s never met. The latter album includes songs by African artists including Nasty C, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, DJ Arafat and more. The big-voiced Grammy-winning singer self-produced “Baby, I’m Hollywood!” – which is a mix of soul music, piano ballads and funk sounds.
Dave Prowse, actor who played Darth Vader, dies at 85
The British actor, Prowse who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85 on Saturday, according to an announcement by his agent Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, FILE)LONDON – Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of arch-villain Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. Prowse died Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday. Prowse donned Darth Vader's black armor and helmet for “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi" (1983). He was a regular at “Star Wars” fan events but was banned from official conventions by Lucas in 2010 after the pair fell out.
'Coming 2 America' to launch on Amazon Prime in March
“Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy, has landed on a date to come to audiences. The film which reunites Murphy and Arsenio Hall will debut on Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2021, Amazon Studios said Friday. Originally a Paramount Pictures theatrical release, the studio sold the film to the streamer last month but had yet to finalize a date. “Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in a statement. “We know audiences around the world will fall in love with this hilarious, joyful movie that will surely become a timeless favorite.”James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos will also be reprising their roles alongside new additions like Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan and KiKi Layne.
Barry Jenkins to direct 'Lion King' follow-up
NEW YORK – The Walt Disney Co. will make a follow-up to the 2019 live-action “The Lion King,” with Barry Jenkins, the director of the Oscar-winning “Moonlight” and the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” set to direct. The new “Lion King” grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide, so a sequel was perhaps always likely. Less expected was a “Lion King” with Jenkins directing. The film, Disney said, will explore the mythology of “The Lion King,” including Mufasa's origin story. Disney didn't announce any further plot details or casting on the new “Lion King” project, which was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
Batter Up! Baseball, soundtrack of summer, is back - sort of
The Los Angeles Dodgers play the Los Angeles Angels at sunset during the fifth inning of a preseason baseball game, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. Rather than keeping players and club personnel sealed in a bubble environment, baseball teams will fly around the country, raising more health concerns. Fans won't be permitted at Nationals Park or at Dodger Stadium when Los Angeles plays San Francisco - or at any field. Going to be 2020 coronavirus baseball, Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole said. Its that sound, its the summer sound.___AP Baseball Writers Ronald Blum and Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Joe Reedy contributed to this report.
Baseball plans game at Field of Dreams, but will they come?
Visitors play on the field at the Field of Dreams movie site, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Dyersville, Iowa. Small town Iowa, baseball is still a big thing here, he said. The Field of Dreams site is open to visitors, who at no charge can run the bases and see if they can smack a ball into cornstalks that now stand about a foot tall. For Go the Distance Baseball, the company that now owns the Field of Dream site and plans to build a complex of youth baseball and softball fields, the talk of playing a game began five years ago. We understand the best choice for Major League Baseball in 2020 comes first.___Follow Scott McFetridge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/smcfetridge