RZA Signs On To Direct Two Upcoming Films, Including ‘Genghis Khan’ Biopic

Wu-Tang Clan head, the RZA, will officially make his directorial debut this Friday (November 2) with the release of martial arts/action flick, The Man With the Iron Fists. But, he’s not stopping there. He already has two other films lined up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, RZA is set to helm John Milius’ biopic on Genghis Khan, the historic leader of Mongol Empire in the early 1200s; and an action thriller called No Man’s Land. The Genghis Khan biopic has apparently been in the works for years, with Milius originally slated to direct. He is,however, credited as the writer and executive producer. The story will be told from the point of view of Khan’s son and grandson, and will be shot in China next year. Meanwhile, No Man’s Land takes place on one night and will focus on “a man who steals a powerful criminal’s diamond that soon proves to be far more valuable than initially thought. With the help of a dancer, he attempts to stay alive and cash in on the jewel.”

Cee Lo Green Accused of Sexual Battery

Cee Lo Green, R&B singer and star of NBC’s “The Voice,”has been accused of sexual battery, according to a report from TMZ. The incident is said to have occurred at a downtown restaurant in Los Angeles, and the LAPD are reportedly investigating. Details about exactly what took place have yet to be revealed but Green tells TMZ he did nothing wrong and he hasn’t been to the restaurant in question for over three months. “Nothing ever happened there or anywhere else,” Green allegedly told TMZ. No charges have been formally filed against the “Crazy” singer. Read it at The Grio.

Open Letter About Nina Simone Doesn’t Mince Words

Aaron Overfield, the website content manager of NinaSimone.com, delivers a scathing criticism of Cynthia Mort (who’s leading the upcoming Nina Simone biopic),an appeal to the public to put discussions of Zoe Saldana’s“blackness” behind them, and a “talk-to-the-hand” rebuke to anyone who espouses the “don’t judge/wait and see/shut up about it” stance on the casting issue. Says Overfield: The most frustrating people are the ones who imply everyone should just shut up and “wait and see” or “leave them alone.” That kind of attitude and oppression is not in the spirit of Nina Simone whatsoever. Quite the opposite. Nina was vocal, defiant, a warrior, an activist. She would not have simply shut up and sat down. She would’ve shown up at the studio with a shotgun to speak with Ms. Mort and slapped the makeup off Zoe. So let’s get that straight first. We’re going to talk about this and those of us with strong, impassioned opinions are going to express them. He goes on to state that, though the film’s production can’t be stopped, its more problematic notions should continue to be highlighted. Among those is the “straightfacing” of an out gay male, Clifton Henderson, who has been previously reported to be written as Nina’s love interest in Mort’s script: It is also the first instance of Cynthia’s script exploiting a marginalized identity by essentially putting “straightface” on an out gay man. This is rather curious since Mort herself is a lesbian and you’d wonder how she’d feel being rewritten as a heterosexual woman under the guise of someone else’s “artistic license.” Would Cynthia Mort be pleased with someone rewriting her own history to the point where her sexuality becomes a trivialized inconvenience? I guess someone would have to ask her that. I won’t bother.

Read it at Clutch.

Macy Gray Remakes “Talking Book

Musicians often cover songs made famous by another singer, but it’s rare for a Grammy Award-winning singer to re-record another artist’s entire album. Macy Gray’s latest album, “Talking Book,” is a remake ofStevie Wonder’s album by the same name, some 40 years later. Gray worked on the album with producer Hal Wilner, who came up with the idea to approach such uncharted territory. “We were talking about ideas for cover songs and [Wilner] goes, ‘You know, what you should do is a whole album. Everyone remakes movies, but no one remakes albums,’” Gray said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought that was a wild idea so I was like, ‘Yes!’ I picked Talking Book ‘cause that’s one of my favorite records and I know it inside out.” The fact that 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of “Talking Book,” which includes such classic songs as “You Are the Sunshine Of My Life” and “Superstition,” was just “the craziest coincidence,” says Gray. Read it at The Grio.

KEVIN GARNETT’S INTENSITY WAS IN MIDSEASON FORM LAST NIGHT

ImageIf you thought old age might calm down Kevin Garnett, you were wrong. He’s getting worse, and his famed intensity often has him acting stupid. Take last night for instance.Ray Allen and the Celtics were exchanging barbs all summer after Jesus left New England to take less money and live on South Beach. What originally started as a reported beef between Allen and Rajon Rondo escalated into Allen versus the entire team, with KG in the center of it. The man spent three years of his prime languishing in a basketball cemetery in Minnesota, all because his loyalty was too great. He couldn’t walk away. Allen walked away this summer, and no one in Celtic Nation felt more betrayed than Garnett. When Allen entered last night’s opening Miami/Boston tilt for the first time, he went over to Boston’s bench to say hello to much of the group, including Doc Rivers. A classic PR move on his part? Of course. But still, Garnett knew he was coming, didn’t bother to acknowledge him, and Jesus was left to dap up his shoulder. READ MORE…