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News & Cast Updates(News section last updated August 30, 2019)
Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo Lead ‘Panama’ Action Film From Daniel Adams – Toronto(8/30/19) Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman and Frank Grillo are set as leads in the action film, Panama, directed by Daniel Adams, who also co-wrote the screenplay with William R. Barber. The pic, which is inspired by true events, is being produced Michelle Chydzik Sowa and Michelle Reihel.
Set in wild 1989 Panama, the plot follows James Becker (Grillo), a rugged, decorated ex-marine, who is sent undercover by his former commander Stark (Freeman) to execute a high-value deal with untrustworthy adversaries. While navigating through the chaos of the local civil war, Becker must fight assassins, court femmes fatales and negotiate with the enemy in order to complete his mission. With Stark always by his side, Becker perseveres against all odds in hopes of making it home alive.
Filming is slated to commence in November. Highland Film Group will handle worldwide sales, which will launch at the Toronto International Film Festival. Barber serves as executive producer.
Grillo’s upcoming project slate includes Screen Gems’ Black and Blue with Naomie Harris, the Lionsgate sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, and Boss Level with Mel Gibson and Naomi Watts.
Freeman, who won an Oscar for his performance in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, can be seen starring in Angel Has Fallen, the third film in the Olympus Has Fallen trilogy, which is currently sitting at number 1 on the domestic box office chart. Next, he’ll also appear in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard as well as George Gallo’s The Comeback Trail with Robert De Niro.
Adams’ directorial credits include The Lightkeepers starring Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Dern, Mamie Gummer and Blythe Danner, The Golden Boys starring Dern and David Carradine, and most recently An L.A. Minute with Gabriel Byrne and Kiersey Clemons.
Freeman is repped by CAA; Grillo by CAA and Management 360; Adams by Claire Best & Associates.
Dishing with Digest - 4/19/19 - Kin Shriner(4/19/19) GH’s Kin Shriner Traces His Soap Roots (Listen / download).
Kin Shriner looks back on 40-plus years as GH’s Scott Baldwin, his roles on other soaps, his daytime pals, favorite memories and so much more with Digest’s Stephanie Sloane and Mara Levinsky. We also debate the pros and cons of ripped-from-the-headlines stories.
Morgan Freeman Joins Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson In ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Sequel(3/12/19) Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) has signed on for The Hitman’s Bodyguard sequel from Lionsgate and Millennium Films. Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek are set to reprise their roles with Patrick Hughes is returning to direct from a screenplay by Tom O’Connor.
The latest installment, which is slated to begin filming this month, will follow Michael Bryce (Reynolds) who joins Darius (Jackson) and his wife Sonia (Hayek) on a mission along the Amalfi Coast.
The 2017 original grossed close to $80M domestic for Lionsgate and more than $180M worldwide.
Freeman was last seen on the big screen in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and up next stars in the Lionsgate Olympus Has Fallen sequel Angel Has Fallen. He also serves as the host of National Geographic Channel’s The Story of God which follows Freeman as he travels to cities deemed the world’s holiest, and speak with religious leaders, scientists, historians, and archaeologists.
Freeman is repped by CAA.
Nat Geo Moves Forward With Season 3 of ‘The Story of God’ Following Investigation Into Morgan Freeman Misconduct Claims(9/1/18) National Geographic will proceed with a third season of its Emmy-nominated series, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, one of the Fox-owned cable network’s top-rated shows.
The future of the popular series came into question in May in the wake of a report in which eight women came forward to accuse the Oscar-winning actor of inappropriate behavior. None of the allegations pertained to Freeman’s work on The Story of God.
Nevertheless, Nat Geo at the time paused pre-production on Season 3, which had been greenlighted in January, with its parent company Fox launching an investigation.
“The results of this investigation revealed no incidents of concern during any of our work with Mr. Freeman,” Nat Geo said today in a statement to Deadline. “We have now made the decision to move forward with the production of season three of The Story of God. This series has expanded our understanding of religion and culture around the world and has touched many of our fans, and along with Morgan and the team at Revelations Entertainment, we look forward to resuming pre-production this September. As a company, we take all issues of harassment very seriously and we’re confidently assured by the results of the investigation. The new season will premiere globally on National Geographic Channels in 2019.”
The third season of the series will again follow Freeman on an international journey as he discovers the power of religion and how it touches all of our lives. Freeman will travel to some of the world’s holiest sites and speak with religious leaders, scientists, historians and archaeologists to try to shed light on questions about the puzzle of the divine laws. Each episode will focus on a different topic about the divine to help shed light on the questions that inspired mankind.
In the first two seasons, Freeman traveled to Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, India’s Bodhi Tree, Mayan temples in Guatemala, the pyramids of Egypt, New Mexico to observe ancient Navajo rituals and the banks of the Ganges River.
As part of the series’ Season 3 renewal, National Geographic also signed an exclusive first-look partnership deal with Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment to expand the series franchise by developing more nonfiction content.
The news of The Story Of God‘s third season going forward was revealed earlier today by Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, in an internal memo.
Here is Nat Geo’s full statement:
Through production on critically acclaimed series “The Story of God” and “The Story of Us,” we have valued a longstanding relationship with Morgan Freeman. When we learned of recent allegations surrounding Mr. Freeman completely unrelated to our work with him, as a precaution we paused production on our new season in order to complete a thorough investigation led by our parent company Fox, executed through an independent investigator. The results of this investigation revealed no incidents of concern during any of our work with Mr. Freeman. We have now made the decision to move forward with the production of season three of “The Story of God.” This series has expanded our understanding of religion and culture around the world and has touched many of our fans, and along with Morgan and the team at Revelations Entertainment, we look forward to resuming pre-production this September. As a company, we take all issues of harassment very seriously and we’re confidently assured by the results of the investigation. The new season will premiere globally on National Geographic Channels in 2019.
Morgan Freeman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shailene Woodley To Be Feted At France’s Deauville Film Fest(8/24/18) Morgan Freeman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shailene Woodley and director Jacques Audiard are among those set to be honored at the Deauville Film Festival (Aug 31 – Sept 9) later this month in France.
Oscar-winner Freeman will receive a career homage while Sex And The City star Parker will get Deauville’s Talent prize. Cannes Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard, who will be at the festival with Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly to introduce their Western The Sisters Brothers, will receive an honorary award.
Parker will join Kate Beckinsale and Jason Clarke as honorees for the festival’s Talent prize. Elle Fanning and Shailene Woodley will receive this year’s Rising Star award while writer John Grisham is getting the event’s literary prize.
Freeman’s honor comes just months after CNN ran a story in which eight women accused him of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment. The Oscar-winning actor has denied all charges and has threatened to sue the network.
Deauville, which focuses on U.S. movies and talent, also revealed its Competition lineup today, with movies including Bart Layton’s heist drama American Animals, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s police violence drama Monsters And Men, A.J. Edward’s Friday’s Child, Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle, Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, and Jennifer Fox’s The Tale.
The event will wrap with Chris Weitz’s Operation Finale with Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley in attendance. Fest jury is headed by actress Sandrine Kiberlain with jury member comprising directors Stephane Brize, Xavier Legrand and Pierre Salvadori; actresses Leila Bekhti, Sabine Azema and Sara Giraudeau, singer Alex Beaupain and novelist Leila Slimani.
GH’s Kin Shriner Guest Hosts New Game App(8/21/18) GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Kin Shriner (Scott) @kinshriner Opens a New Window. reunites with former PORT CHARLES co-star Michael Dietz (ex –Joe et al) to guest-host the latter’s popular new phone game, FAST FACTS, this Wednesday, 8/22, at 3:15 EST/1:15 PST, just after the east coast airing of Wednesday’s GH episode. Dietz, who is currently the CCO of Ripkord.tv, says, “There are so many ways to utilize this new platform, and I am so happy that we can do this with my dear friend, Kin. I think it will be great fun for our regular gamers, and especially for soap fans who want to check it out!” To get in on the action, download the free app at http://www.ripkord.tv for a chance at $300! And to read more about Dietz’s new venture, check out next week’s issue of Soap Opera Digest.
Morgan Freeman Demands CNN Retract and Apologize for Sexual Harassment Allegations Story(5/29/18) Days after offering contrition to women who “felt uncomfortable or disrespected” by his behavior in the past, Morgan Freeman is calling for an apology of his own.
The actor and Madam Secretary executive producer is looking into legal action against CNN, which on May 24 published a report of Freeman’s alleged harassment of eight women. The behavior reportedly included unwanted touching and offensive public comments about women’s clothing or bodies.
A letter Freeman’s attorneys sent to the cable news network Monday characterized the story, reported by CNN’s Chloe Melas and An Phung, as “journalistic malpractice” that included “falsehoods” and “malicious intent.”
The letter calls for CNN to retract the story and issue a public apology to Freeman, who has lost work — including his role as the voice of Visa — as a result of the allegations.
Among other criticisms, the letter alleges that Melas, who also was a source in the story after encountering what she described as “inappropriate behavior” on Freeman’s part during a press junket for his film Going in Style, misinterpreted Freeman’s comment about a story told by co-star Michael Caine. In the CNN story, Melas said that Morgan said “I wish I was there” in regard to her then-six-months-pregnant body. Freeman’s lawyers say the comment was directed at an anecdote Caine had just shared, not at Melas. (Melas maintains that Freeman also said she was “ripe,” and that the observations made her so uncomfortable that she reported them to her supervisors and CNN’s human resources department.)
A CNN spokesperson issued the following statement to TVLine:
The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman’s lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman’s own public statements in the aftermath of the story. CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue.
The New York Times‘ Sopan Deb tweeted Freeman’s lawyers’ letter Tuesday; you can read it in its entirety here.
Soon after CNN’s story was published on May 24, Freeman issued a statement saying, “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
Then, on May 26, he released a second statement in which he said he was “devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports” and that “it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.”
Morgan Freeman “Devastated” Over Allegations, Says “I Did Not Assault Women” In New Statement(5/26/18) Morgan Freeman has put out a second statement in the wake of a report Thursday in which eight women came forward to accuse the Oscar-winning actor of inappropriate behavior.
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports,” he said about the accusations that came in a report from CNN. The allegations included unwanted touching and inappropriate comments including asking a woman if she was wearing underwear.
He added tonight: “I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”
On Thursday, Freeman issued a shorter statement: “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy, he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
In the wake of the reports, Visa cut ties with Freeman who had been the longtime voice behind the company’s ad campaigns. SAG-AFTRA, which presented him with its lifetime achievement honor this year at the SAG Awards, said it was reviewing possible “corrective actions.”
Here’s his full statement tonight:
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.
All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.
I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way.
Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.
But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”
— Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman: SAG Reviewing Possible “Corrective Actions” Against Its Lifetime Achievement Honoree(5/25/18) With sexual harassment allegations coming to light from multiple women against 80 year-old actor Morgan Freeman, the Screen Actors Guild is reviewing what actions, if any, it will take against the actor who they honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award in January of this year. The award is is SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor.
Here is the union’s statement:
“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to insure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry.
“Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment.
“Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
The Oscar winner was the 54th recipient of the award this past January. Rita Moreno, who has known Freeman for decades going back to their work together on the PBS kids program Electric Company, presented Freeman with the award calling him “a national treasure.”
Freeman began acting at age 12, has appeared in nearly 100 films, which together have earned over $4.5 billion at the box office. His credits include Million Dollar Baby, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; Unforgiven, and The Shawshank Redemption, for which he received Best Actor nominations for a SAG Award and an Oscar. With one of the world’s most recognizable voices, Freeman was also the voice of two Oscar-winning documentaries: The March of the Penguins and The Long Way Home.
Morgan Freeman: VISA Pulls Marketing As Sexual Harassment Fallout Continues(5/24/18) Morgan Freeman and VISA have enjoyed a long relationship over years with the actor appearing in many of the credit card’s commercials as well as featured as a voiceover artist in its spots. After today, following allegations that surfaced from multiple women about sexual harassment and untoward behavior by the 80 year-old actor, VISA is stepping back.
In a just released statement from VISA, a spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman. At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”
This comes after Vancouver-based transit system TransLink backed away as well. It had been featuring a Morgan Freeman voiceover for a VISA ad campaign to promote TransLink’s VISA credit card and mobile payments on its buses and at its automated rapid transit system SkyTrain.
The transit system issued a statement earlier today, stating: “In light of information we’ve learned through news stories this morning of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a VISA ad campaign on the transit system,” the transit authority said this morning, in a statement.
The allegations, reported by CNN’s investigative team, also has also given pause to his union, SAG-AFTRA which award him with its highest honor in January with its Lifetime Achievement Award. They are now reviewing the situation but stated today: “Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment.”
The move by VISA is not without precedent in Corporate America. In the past, companies have stepped away from Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan after scandals hit; the same happened with Subway when its spokesman Jared Fogle was found with child porn.
So, it’s not unusual for companies to distance themselves when a spokesman is in the middle of a media firestorm of such a negative nature. Morgan Freeman, who apologized this AM “to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected” is just the latest.
Morgan Freeman apologizes after sexual harassment allegations(5/24/18) Legendary star Morgan Freeman has been named as an alleged sexual harasser who preyed on young producers, reporters and others.
The 80-year-old Oscar winner is being accused by at least eight women of sexually inappropriate behaviour, CNN has revealed.
In his decades-long career, Freeman has starred in Driving Miss Daisy, Shawshank Redemption, Se7en and Million Dollar Baby with pal Clint Eastwood.
In addition, he has become a popular voiceover actor. On Wednesday, he was named as the voice on Vancouver’s Translink but that decision has now been put on hold.
Freeman apologized Thursday afternoon, saying he was sorry for making women feel “uneasy.”
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement obtained by Variety.
“I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
One young production assistant told CNN she thought she’d snared the job of her dreams in Going In Style, starring Freeman, Sir Michael Caine and Alan Arkin.
It turned into months of harassment from Freeman lifting her skirt along with other bad behaviours. Arkin even told the star to stop, she says.
It was a similar story on the set of Now You See Me.
“He did comment on our bodies … We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that (were) fitted,” a production assistant told CNN.
At his production company, Revelations Entertainment, it was a similar story.
But because of Freeman’s iconic status in the film world at large and Hollywood in particular, the women never reported his hijinks.
Six former staffers at his production company claimed to have witnessed Freeman’s creepy behaviour.
“He looked me up and down,” one said, and then he asked her, “How do you feel about sexual harassment?”
“I was stunned,” she told CNN. “This is the person that I worked for, this is his company, I didn’t expect it at all … I said timidly, ‘I love it’ in a sarcastic way hoping to make light of the situation because I was so confused and then he turned to the guys on the crew … and he said, ‘See guys, this is how you do it.’”
Freeman also allegedly made unwanted advances to at least three entertainment reporters.
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