Robeson

Paul RobesonStatus:  Development Status Unknown as of April 24, 2017
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  Not Available
Studio:  Four Stars International/Equinox Films
Director:  Vondie Curtis-Hall
Cast:  David Harewood (Paul Robeson), Louis Gossett, Jr. (W.E.B. Dubois), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Eslanda Goode Robeson).

Details:  Variety reports that Vondie Curtis-Hall will direct the upcoming Paul Robeson biopic with shooting set for early 2014.

“Robeson” has been in development since early 2013 with South African director Darrell Roodt attached to helm and David Harewood on board to play the lead. Roodt is no longer attached and producers have opted to read other actors for the role.

Robeson, born in 1898, was a singer, actor and orator from the 1920s through the 1950s best known for his  acting in “Othello” and his singing of “Ol’ Man River.” Robeson’s political activism brought him to the attention of Senator Joseph McCarthy, leading to the revocation of his passport for eight years despite his contributions as an entertainer to the Allied forces during WWII. (Source: Variety).

Toussaint

Status:  Development Status – Script as of 9/17/17
Release Date:  TBA
Genre:  Biography
Rating:  Not Available
Studio:  Louverture Films
Director:  Danny Glover
Cast: TBA
Story:  Haitian revolution hero Toussaint L’Ouverture led one of the few successful slave uprisings in history. The slaves defeated French, Spanish and British armies and established the first independent Black republic, naming L’Ouverture president for life. He was captured and imprisoned by the French and died a year later.

Details:  As reported in The Guardian, on July 27, 2012, for more than 30 years, Glover has been trying to make a biopic about the leader of the Haitian revolution. True, the story of L’Ouverture has been told before, notably in a play by CLR James that was staged in London’s West End in 1936 starring Paul Robeson, and more recently in a French TV series starring Haitian actor, Jimmy Jean-Louis.  But Glover believes his treatment will be the first to “have the epic scale these events require.”

But when will we see this directorial debut?  In 2006, Glover assembled a cast including Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mos Def, and planned to shoot his film in South Africa and Venezuela, thanks to $18m from one of Glover’s heroes, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Six years on, filming has not started. “We’ll get the film done,” says Glover. “We came so close so many times, you could almost taste it, man. We came that close and we’re going to do it.” (Source: Shadow and Act).