By Bill Vaughan
After leading teams to four NBA championships, superstar LeBron James looks to apply his winning ways to the release of the animated/live-action movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” from director Malcom D. Lee (“Girls Trip,” “Night School”) and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Maverick Carter (“The Shop”).
This update to 1996’s “Space Jam” with Michael Jordan will bring back the Looney Tunes cast, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, for another game with high-stakes in play.
James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the “Avengers” films, “Hotel Rwanda”), Khris Davis (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” TV’s “Atlanta”), Sonequa Martin-Green (TV’s “The Walking Dead,” “Star Trek: Discovery”), newcomer Cedric Joe, and Zendaya (upcoming “Dune,” “Malcolm & Marie”).
Pro ballers Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Nneka Ogwumike and Diana Taurasi are also featured in the film with a soundtrack by Kris Bowers (“Greenbook,” Netflix’s “Bridgerton”).
“Space Jam: A New Legacy” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be released in theaters nationwide on July 16 and will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.
OFFICIAL: Former President Barack Obama continues to flex hipness with the release of his annual lists of music in the family rotation and reading recommendations.
Of course, his faves are represented via tracks by Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Chicago, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Drake and Ella Fitzgerald. Newbies include Jazmine Sullivan, Migos, Michael Kiwanuka, H.E.R. featuring Lil Baby, Kékélé, and that Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak Silk Sonic joint “Leave The Door Open.”
Fresh to this writer are Arooj Aftab, Wye Oak and Brother Sundance. Appreciated the drop of “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayers Ubiquity. Peep his entire 2021 lists at barackobama.medium.com.
Meanwhile, the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground is co-developing “Blackout,” a film and TV event taking place during a hot summer night power outage in New York from the perspective of 12 teens.
The six prolific authors writing the stories include Angie Thomas (“The Hate U Give”), Nicola Yoon (“Everything, Everything”), Dhonielle Clayton (“Tiny Pretty Things”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“Allegedly”), Nic Stone (“Dear Martin”) and Ashley Woodfolk (“The Beauty that Remains”).
GOOD TIMES: Grammy-winning producer and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rodgers (CHIC’s “Le Freak,” Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”) is the voice of The Groovemaster and curator of The DiscOasis, described as “a glittering roller-disco paradise for the soul, growing within the beauty of the South Coast Botanic Garden.”
The timed-entry, 90–120-minute theatrical journey that unites art, light, disco, dance, live performance, roller skating and good times with DJs, and special guests to be announced soon, opens July 16, and runs through Sept. 6. Visit thediscoasis.com for more.
FROM STAGE TO SCREEN: As the results of a deal struck with Skydance and Concord, Jennifer Lopez will develop TV shows and films based on Broadway musicals including “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma,” ”Hello Dolly,” “Dreamgirls,” “Hair,” and more, including “Bye Bye Birdie” which she was slated to star in for a NBC live holiday production.
TASTY QUIP: “I think the internet is terrible. I think one thing we have with the ‘now’ culture is that with these iPhones, we can do everything now. I want my rap just like this, the same beat, etc. When we were growing up, we would think how can I do this? How can I do this; how can I do something different? And I think that’s the missing component in the modern era. Which left room for an old man like me. And for that, I’m grateful!” – Grammy winner FANTASTIC NEGRITO on Joe Bonamassa’s podcast “Live From Nerdville”
CLIPPETTES: Tina Turner’s 1989 smash album “Foreign Affair” is being re-released this week as a four-CD/DVD deluxe package including B-sides, remixes, a 1990 concert performance and more …
Trevor Noah hits Costa Mesa July 16 for a sold-out stand-up comedy show at The Pacific Amphitheatre; as singer Christina Aguilera begins a two-night engagement with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl …
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is teaming with ABC to develop a hip hop competition show. “Unrapped” will have celebrity contestants coached by iconic mentors to go head-to-head in rap battles …
Jazz/funk reedman Kamasi Washington blows July 18 at the Hollywood Bowl with Earl Sweatshirt opening …
After opening in June for a limited 40-day run, NeueHouse, by popular demand is extending “Andy Warhol: Photo Factory,” a groundbreaking exhibition of ultra-rare photographs by the pop icon through July 30. For tickets, visit: awphotofactory.splashthat.com …
R&B singers Donell Jones, Dave Hollister and Carl Thomas have united to form a supergroup called The Chi after their sweet home Chicago …
Skylight Treehouse and the L.A. Public Library present reggae star Ziggy Marley reading his new picture book “My Dog Romeo” virtually on July 19 from 11 a.m. to noon. Sign up for the free session at www.crowdcast.io/e/treehouse-marley/register …
Cedric The Entertainer (“The Neighborhood”) has been named host of the “73rd Primetime Emmy Awards” to be held at the Microsoft Theater and broadcast live on CBS Sept. 19. Reginald Hudlin will return as an executive producer …
HBO’s late-night talk show series “Pause With Sam Jay” has been renewed for a second season. Meanwhile, they may have jumped the gun by canceling “Lovecraft Country” which nabbed 18 Emmy nominations. The producers should put some energy into mounting a feature film instead, but those actors have gotten hella busy.
TASTY QUIP: “[Bishop TD Jakes] is one of the most transformational leaders of our time who has made a huge impact on my life. We’re honored for him to join the @REVOLTTV family and use his gift to empower the culture.” – SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS on announcing his network will begin airing #KingdomCulture every Sunday beginning this week.
TC ON TV: July 16 – “Making The Cut” (Amazon): The return of fashion brand competition with judges Naomi Campbell, Winnie Harlow, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. “Schmigadoon!” (AppleTV+): A six-episode musical comedy series starring Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong (“SNL”). “Secret Celebrity Renovation” (CBS): Anthony Ramos “Icon: Music Through The Lens” (PBS): A new six-part series that exposes the eye-opening, thrilling world of live music photography. “Great Performances” (PBS): Sheila E. hosts “The Roots of Latin Jazz” revealing the unity between jazz music and Latin culture with Richard Bona, Anaadi, Tony Succar, Dr. Pablo Gil and the Raíces Jazz Orchestra. “Betty” (HBO): As the season comes to an end, what a surprise it has been to see former reality TV Chef Roblé Ali in a featured role. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC): Winston Duke, Gucci Mane
July 18 – “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz): The latest spinoff takes viewers back to the 90s and the South Jamaica, Queens early years of iconic series character Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis). With Joey Bada$$, London Brown, Omar Epps, Patina Miller and Quincy Brown. FYI: Starz has already upped for another season. “Serengeti” (Disc+): The Lupita Nyong’o narrated series returns offering unrivaled access to one of the most pristine and unspoiled corners of Africa. “To Tell The Truth” (ABC): D.L. Hughley, Lil Rel Howery
July 19 – “The Celebrity Dating Game” (ABC): Tyson Beckford and Carmen Electra
July 20 – “The Haves and The Have Nots” (OWN): Say goodbye to Tyler Perry’s first primetime drama after 8 seasons. “The Oval” (BET): And hello to a second season of his show that was the No. 1 show for Black viewers in all television ages 18-49 and 25-54.
July 22 – “Through Our Eyes” (HBO Max): Spotlights the perspectives of children as they experience some of the most challenging issues facing families today — homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement — in four 30-minute films designed for adults and as a co-viewing experience for kids ages 9 and older. The series is produced by Sesame Workshop, with each episode directed by award-winning and nominated filmmakers like Talleah Bridges McMahon (“Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise”) and Smriti Mundhra (“St. Louis Superman”). “Ultra City Smiths” (AMC): Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“My Name is Dolemite”) leads the voice cast of Kristen Bell, Luis Guzmán, Melissa Villaseñor and Tim Meadows for this stop-motion animation of baby dolls repurposed as a grown-up cast of characters.
TASTY QUIP: “What I’ve learned is it doesn’t work if you’re not happy with yourself. … That self love is a powerful thing because once you love yourself, it’s like ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ The whole thing turns to color and you’re Dorothy. As soon as you love yourself, it all goes to Technicolor.” – AVA DUVERNAY to OZY
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.