Damson Idris, 30, is the British-Nigerian actor who has been portraying Franklin Saint, the young drug lord who holds sway in FX’s ‘Snowfall’, currently in its fifth season. He recently sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, wherein he spoke about what he had to go through to get the role that got him noticed, as well as some of his dream projects.
The projects include a movie about the infamous Nigerian armed robber, Lawrence Anini, who held the nation’s attention captive in the 80s because of his Robin Hood-like modus operandi. Idris disclosed that he hopes to make a film about Anini, who was eventually killed by a firing squad in 1987. He has obtained the rights to Anini’s story and hopes to shoot the project in Nigeria.
Read more about Anini HERE.
‘Idris also fantasizes about starring in a biopic of fellow Nigerian Fela Kuti, the late activist, and Afrobeat pioneer.’
Idris also fantasizes about starring in a biopic of fellow Nigerian Fela Kuti, the late activist, and Afrobeat pioneer. “When I was growing up, my oldest brother, Jay, would be banging Fela Kuti throughout the house. I just loved how daring [Kuti] was. He would get onstage in just pants. He really embraced African culture and pushed Nigerian music to a global standpoint. And that’s what I like to do with my acting. I want to push the culture.”
The actor, whose profile continues to rise, also said: “I want to bring as much work to Nigeria as possible. I want to present Nigeria in a prestigious, elevated way.”
“I want to bring as much work to Nigeria as possible. I want to present Nigeria in a prestigious, elevated way.”
– By Mariam Abdullahi
Oscar voters react to Will Smith’s ‘Emancipation’ nomination with F-bombs
Per a report on The Hollywood Reporter, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be set to judge Smith’s first dramatic film less than a year after slapping comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Oscar Awards. With Apple announcing the release of Emancipation in December, the news outlet surveyed the Oscar voters to see if the now-notorious star was worthy of another Best Actor nomination. While some anonymous participants were open to considering Smith as a nominee, the majority of them completely shunned the one-time Oscar winner, with quotes ranging from “F—k him. So, no,” to “Would I vote for Will Smith? Right after I vote for Trump.”
One quote from producers branch member Lawrence David Foldes went as far as blacklisting Smith from the film industry. “I was surprised but not surprised learning of the release of Emancipation this year. Surprised because I believe that the industry should shun Smith, not embrace and boost his image,” said Foldes. “Would I vote for Smith? NO F-ING WAY. His shameful violent outburst and pathetic sniveling ‘acceptance’ diatribe witnessed by millions — and his blatant disrespect of the Academy — should preclude him from any consideration and reward from AMPAS members for life.”
Smith’s assault on Rock on the Oscars stage came after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia. Will Smith went on to receive the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard and issued a formal apology the following day but the backlash to the incident led to Smith resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In the months that followed the slap, Smith’s popularity plummeted and film projects were either put on hold or cancelled. He took to YouTube to respond to fan questions about neglecting to apologize to Rock in his Oscar speech. While he stated that he reached out directly to Rock, Smith said, “the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is he will reach out.”
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, ‘Emancipation’ stars Smith as a runaway slave evading hunters in the south as he seeks freedom in the north, eventually joining the Union army. The film is based on the true story of the slave who was the subject of a photo known as The Scourged Back, published in The Independent in May of 1863. The photo was known to be the undisputed truth about the brutality of American slavery.
‘Emancipation’ will premiere in theatres on Dec. 2 and stream on Apple TV on Dec. 9.
Morgan Freeman producing ‘War Is Coming’ from Nigerian filmmakers The Critics Company
Kaduna’s favourite filmmakers are set to debut a fantastical spectacle called ‘War is Coming’ – produced by Hollywood icon Morgan Freeman – which might just propel the gifted collective to global stardom.
By Maryam Abdullahi
Morgan Freeman and his producing partner Lori McCreary have produced ‘War Is Coming’, a short film from the Nigerian filmmaking collective called The Critics Company. Freeman and McCreary are producing through their Revelations Entertainment production banner.
‘War Is Coming’ follows the story of Óla, a brash teenager who discovers he is the reincarnation of a demigod, and spirals into his destiny, unprepared for the events that come as a result of this discovery.
The film will debut at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s +234 Connect Festival: A Celebration of Nigerian Creativity. It will also be released simultaneously via The Critics Company’s popular YouTube channel.
McCreary also said the Smithsonian’s National Museum was a natural way to premiere the film and introduce the world to the uniquely talented filmmakers in person.
A proof-of-concept of the same film was screened for a limited audience at the recently-concluded Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFest), in the hometown of The Critics Company, to roaring applause and a standing ovation.
The Critics Company is based in Kaduna, Nigeria. Formed in 2015, they have been driven by the desire to create “magical experiences” through film for themselves and their community as a whole. Their work has been featured on platforms including the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, and the Indie Film Festival. Ranging in age from 17 through 21 years old, they became social media sensations following the 2019 release of their sci-fi short ‘The Chase’, which was created using their mobile phones. From working on the set of ‘King of Boys’ and critically-acclaimed ‘Juju Stories’, to their own personal projects, The Critics Company is a collective to watch closely.
I’ve seen ‘Spawn’ movie concept suits – Jamie Foxx
A Spawn reboot may finally see the light of day, with actor Jamie Foxx saying that he has seen concept suits for the comic book character. He was asked in an interview if he has seen a costume for the film, leading to a surprising answer. “I’ve seen a lot of concepts,” he reveals. “Because Todd, what he does it, every single day he’s doodling and he’s fixing and he’s doing some things that, to me, I think is gonna be like way out when you see it. And how he crafts that cape and how that cape becomes almost like – I’ll say this – as big as the screen that you’re watching.”
A live-action Spawn reboot seems to have been talked about for decades since a sequel to the 1997 release was cancelled. Creator Todd McFarlane has teased the film on multiple occasions throughout the years, with actor Jamie Foxx recently sharing news that may mean the film is much closer to a release than anticipated.
MacFarlane has said he wants the reboot to be rated R, which would be reminiscent of the 2019 R-rated release ‘Joker’, which went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
Foxx thinks those working on the film are ready for their turn. “But it starts in a way that is so cool. And it’s not big budget, you know? And that’s what I love about it. It’s sort of like how when they did the Joker. And so, we’re just like, just getting this right, cooking it right, but staying in contact, keeping the energy going and when we lay it on you, there’s gonna be some moments where you go ‘oh man’.”
More developments are expected at New York Comic-Con in October. Regarding an announcement, McFarlane told CBR at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, “We were debating whether to make a big announcement because we’ve been adding pieces to it here at San Diego. So all the parties that were involved, we had the conversation: ‘Do we make the announcement here or do we wait and keep our gunpowder dry until New York Comic Con?’ And we eventually said we’ll do it at New York.”