Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 06/02/2023
Running Time: 140
Rated: PG
Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Daniel Kaluuya and Oscar Isaac.
Crew: Directors: Joaquin Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson. Producers: Avi Arad, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Amy Pascal, Alonzo Ruvalcaba and Christina Steinberg. Executive Producers: Brian Michael Bendis, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Aditya Sood and Rebecca Karch Tomlinson. Screenwriters: Phil Lord Christopher Miller and Dave Callaham. Cinematographer:
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

There is so much going on in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." That may explain why the computer-animated superhero movie has three directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, TV's "Voltron: Legendary Defender," Kemp Power, "One Night in Miami" and "Soul" and Justin K. Thompson, "The Angry Birds Movie"). At 140 minutes long, it's almost too much of a good thing.

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" is the sequel to the Oscar winning "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." While it is action-packed and a striking and vibrantly animated movie, it may in fact test your patience.

I was surprised to see a few kids roaming down the aisles during a Thursday evening preview screening. To be fair, there were a number of teens and adults sporting their "Spider-Man" gear, locked in, and thoroughly enjoying the movie.

In “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Miles Morales (the terrific Shameik Moore, "Wu Tang: An American Saga") is back as the loveable web-slinger, Spider-Man. He's a distracted high school senior living in Brooklyn, New York with his police officer father Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry, ("Causeway" and TV's "Atlanta") and his easy going mother Rio Morales (Luna Lauren Velez, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts") who is a nurse. Miles has them worried because he's not being responsible in school. Consequently, he's always grounded.

Miles is surprised when his close friend Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld, TV's "Dickinson"), drops by. She was the last person to see Peter Parker, (Jake Johnson, "Self-Reliance") before his horrible death. Gwen and her father George (Shea Whigham, TV's "Perry Mason") haven't always agreed completely on things. He is also unaware that she is Spider-Gwen, but that is slowly revealed.

Gwen is part of an interdimensional "Spider-Team" that's led by Miguel O' Hara (Oscar Isaac, TV's "Moon Knight"). Miles wants to be part of that universe.
In the Spider-Verse, these various Spider iterations are time jumpers and can appear in other universes, providing they have the power to do so, or are sent there by someone else.

One of the film's villains is a character known as Dr. Jonathan Ohnn /"The Spot" (Jason Schwartzman, "Astroid City"). He's a part of Mile's past. Miles is soon encountering all sorts of multiverse mayhem. Another evildoer is Adrian Toomes/aka The Vulture (Jorma Taccone, TV's “MacGruber").

There are several other characters too like Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman (Issa Rae, TV's "A Black Lady Sketch Show"), a pregnant, motorcycle riding Spider-Society member. There's also Pavitr Prabhakar/Spider-Man India (Karan Soni, TV's "Miracle Workers"). His claim to fame is that his superpowers were obtained through magic rather than a spider bite. Hobart “Hobie Brown,” aka, Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya, "Nope"), is a feisty chap and Margo Kess/Spider-Byte (Amandla Stenberg, "My Animal"), is a computer expert. Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider (Andy Samberg, "Self-Reliance") looks a lot like Peter Parker. Even Donald Glover (TV's "Atlanta") turns up in the mix.

Visually, "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" dazzles. In fact, the animation is beautifully rendered. At times, the characters appear like portrait drawings or in sketch form.

That said, there are just so many moving parts, that it often becomes a chore to keep it all in check.

Here's to hoping the third "Spider-Verse" will be much slimmer and trimmer.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.


Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American...

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 06/02/2023
The Boogeyman

Rated: PG
Opens: 05/26/2023
The Little Mermaid

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 05/26/2023
About My Father

Rated: R
Opens: 05/26/2023

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 05/19/2023
Fast X

Rated: R
Opens: 05/19/2023
White Men Can't Jump


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...

Minions: The Rise Of Gru Title: Minions: The Rise Of Gru
Year Released: 2022
Running Time: 87
Production Company: Universal Pictures/Home Entertainment
Director: Kyle Balda
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


The biggest global animated franchise in history adds an all-new laugh-out-loud gru-vy movie is Illumination’s "Minions: The Rise Of Gru."

It’s available to own with over 60 minutes of despicably entertaining bonus features on Digital Aug. 30 and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 6, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Now with even more frolic and fun from the world’s most irresistible Minions, fans get a chance to learn the comedy-filled origin story of how Gru and the Minions became the world’s most villainous team! Jam-packed with exclusive bonus content, this Collector’s Edition includes two all-new mini movies, hilarious outtakes, a how-to draw (& animate) lesson with co-director Brad Ableson and tons of activities the whole family can enjoy.

Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. When the infamous supervillain group, the Vicious 6, ousts their leader, Gru attempts to join their ranks but soon finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. With Gru on the run, the Minions attempt to learn martial arts to help save him, and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends. Packed with the franchise’s signature subversive humor, "Minions: The Rise Of Gru" features more thrilling action than any "Despicable Me" film ever before.

The film is written and directed by Kyle Balda ("Minions," "Despicable Me 3," "The Lorax"), co-directed by Brad Ableson (“Minions Holiday Special”) and Jonathan del Val ("The Secret Life of Pets 2"), and co-written by Matthew Fogel ("The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part") and Brian Lynch ("Minions, The Secret Life of Pets"), starring Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Andrews, and Alan Arkin. The original score was created by Heitor Pereira.

With the purchase of "Minions Rise of Gru" on disc or digital, fans are eligible to earn points towards digital movies via the Universal All-Access Rewards program. Members can redeem their points for digital movies, swag and more! For registration and details please visit www.MyUniversalRewards.com.


"Post Modern Minions" (Mini Movie)-- Experience one Minion’s rise and fall as an artistic genius when he sneaks into a 1970’s post-modern art gallery with a fellow Minion and unintentionally creates an explosive new art form that is declared by a snooty art critic as the greatest art he’s ever seen. When the critic moves onto the next new artist, our Minion tries everything to get back in the spotlight, which accidentally leads to his next unexpected career.

"Minions And Monsters" (Mini Movie) -- Follow a newbie Minion as he joins three more experienced Minions in playing a 1970’s fantasy role-playing game. After struggling to gain the skills needed to master the game, the newbie unexpectedly rises to the occasion and saves the day, earning him the magical crown and the appreciation of his buddies.

Gru-vy Animation-- Join Steve Carell and the directors as they take us through the animation process. From Concept Art, through Storyboards and on to the Final Film, with every Gru-vy step in between explained in fun and fascinating detail.

The '70s- Fashion, Food & Funk-- A behind the scenes look at the 1970’s through the lens of "Minions: The Rise of Gru." From fashion to music, cultural phenomenon and back – the cast and filmmakers are bringing the 1970’s to a whole new generation.

Minion Martial Arts-- In this 1970s inspired martial arts movie throwback, we hear from the film’s directors about their inspiration, how they created authenticity in animation, the role the many martial artists in the cast played to bring it to life and how you teach a Minion to fight.

How To Draw (& Animate) With Brad Ableson-- Co-director Brad Ableson shows us how to draw all of our favorite characters.

Lair Flair: Make Your Own Minion Hideout-- The Minions aren’t the only ones who can build a secret lair — now you can, too. (And yours doesn’t have to be built under Gru’s bed).

Super Style Shop-- The Minion uniform of overalls and goggles is timeless. Simple yet functional. But sometimes Minions have a casual day out and can abandon their work attire for something more fashionable. Here’s how you can create fresh new fashion for your Minions.

<b> The Black Phone</B> Title: The Black Phone
Year Released: 2022
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal/Blumhouse
Director: Scott Derrickson
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Without a doubt, the horror film "The Black Phone" will rank high on my Top 20 Movies List for 2022. The film, which stars a wickedly entertaining Ethan Hawke is directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson who collaborated with Hawke on 2012's "Sinister."

"The Black Phone" is based on the 2004 short story by Stephen King's son, Joe Hill and is set during the 1970s in a suburban, Colorado town. Hawke plays against type as an evil, masked child serial killer known as "The Grabber."

Although "The Black Phone" pays homage to classic horror films like "It" and "Halloween," there is a refreshing and distinctive vibe to it that is far from predictable and every bit of eerie.

"The Grabber" (Hawke) is on the prowl for young boys. He drives a black van with the logo “Abracadabra” on it and goes to schools and parks, hoping to lure his next victim with his magic tricks. This lunatic dresses in garish clothing and carries around black balloons and some kind of spray that makes kids unconscious after he grabs and tosses them inside the van.

Meanwhile, Finney Shaw (Mason Thames, "Evel") and his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw, "The Mitchells vs. The Machines" and "A Christmas Wish"), are good, smart kids. Not only do they have to fear "The Grabber," but also their abusive and alcoholic father Terrence (Jeremy Davies, TV's "The Rookie" and "FBI"). Their dad hasn't been the same since their mother died. Now, he finds more comfort in drinking. He is easily agitated by most everything Finney and Gwen do around the house and often yells at them for no good reason. He's quick to use his belt too.

Gwen has a special gift. Not only can she sound off a slew of profanities with the best adult, but she also has these very realistic and vivid dreams that often come true. It's too bad Finney isn't as brave as she is because he's constantly bullied at school.

When Finney's baseball friend Bruce (Tristan Pravong, "Forever and a Day") is the first to go missing, Gwen has a bad feeling. It gets worse as more neighborhood boys disappear including Robin (newcomer, Miguel Cazarez Mora) a karate kid who rescued Finney from getting a beat down and who became his best friend.

Then while walking home, Finney runs into "The Grabber.” He asks Finney if he wants to see a magic trick. Finney starts talking to the guy. No Finney. Don't talk to strangers. Run. Within seconds, “The Grabber” covers him in balloons and throws him in the van.

When Finney awakes, he is in a dark basement with a locked door and barred window. A black dial-up wall phone that is not connected, somehow rings and soon Finney is talking with the "ghosts" of the previous victims. Although they weren't successful, they offer various tips for Finney on how to escape from "The Grabber."

However, all of Finney's attempts at escaping—and he mightily tries nearly everything--initially fail. He’s convinced he’ll never get away even as two of the city's top detectives, Miller (Troy Rudeseal, "Halloween Kills") and Wright (E. Roger Mitchell, "A Jazzman's Blues") are working around the clock to find “The Grabber.” Fortunately, they get a big asset from Gwen who has had a vivid dream that may lead directly to the house where Finney is.

Nearly every minute of this movie is suspenseful. The last 40 minutes are particularly exciting, and the jump-scares are well earned including a head-splitting scene involving a humorous James Ransome ("It Chapter Two") who plays Max, the brother of "The Grabber."

Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw will get my "Critics Choice Awards" vote for best young actors because they are excellent. However, it is Hawke's ghastly performance that will make you never want to talk to strangers.
(Highly Recommended).

Meat Me Halfway Title: Meat Me Halfway
Year Released: 2021
Running Time: 80
Production Company: Reducetarian Productions
Director: Brian Kateman
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


“Meat Me Halfway” is a new eye-opening documentary directed and written by Brian Kateman, founder and leader of the Reducetarian Organization. Kateman’s movement takes a guided and practical approach to addressing the harmful effects that eating meat has on people and the planet.

In case you are wondering what "Reducetarianism" is, well, it’s a concept that Kateman--a former vegetarian--crafted that encourages people to not avoid meat entirely, but simply reduce their consumption of it. Kateman believes this a more realistic approach rather than brow-beating people into becoming a strict vegetarian or vegan.

It’s a smaller step, but nevertheless he says is an effective one since people would still be helping to save the environment from increased greenhouse gas emissions and climate change as well as safeguard their health.

However, as Kateman, who is based in New York City discovers during his investigative journey—which leads him to a pig slaughterhouse in Los Angeles and a “ethically raised/slaughter” animal farm in Georgia and several points in between--there are strong and varying viewpoints from meat lovers and vegetarians/vegans.

Kateman is often ridiculed--even by his own skeptical parents--and other meat-eaters for his stance of “eating less meat.” He also angers animal rights activists who believe his position is counterproductive to theirs.

“Meat Me Halfway” features several notable scholars, scientists, doctors, and writers sharing their views on climate change and the cost of eating healthy. Michele Simon who is the founder of the Plant Based Foods Association notes that “taste,” “price” and “convenience” are the three most powerful drivers of food choices. She states that marketing and the environment people live in shapes their everyday food choices.

That’s a big reason why Olympia Auset started SUPRMARKT, the first organic produce pop-up in South Los Angeles to provide fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits to her community. The lack of major grocery stores in black and brown communities is alarming and that needs to change adds Eric Adams, Borough President of Brooklyn New York. Auset and Adams maintain it's important to make healthy food accessible and affordable to everyone.

“Meat Me Halfway” lays it all out there but doesn’t take a stand in the end. Instead, the viewer is left to chew on all the information, draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions. It is a highly informative and well-done documentary.
(Highly Recommended).

"Meat Me Halfway" is available July 20 on VOD and streaming platforms.
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"
SOUL DOCTOR By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


Fathom Events and Lisa Simone--daughter of Nina Simone--will present the film "Soul Doctor," the Broadway movie-musical about the ‘rock star’ Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach, and his relationship with the music and civil rights icon Nina Simone.

The special nationwide screenings of "Soul Doctor" will take place in more than 600 select theaters for one night only on June 13. For tickets and information, please visit Fathom Events.

Additionally, audiences will be treated with a very special message at the beginning of the film's new theatrical release by Executive Producer Lisa Simone, who states, "Soul Doctor" is a testament to the healing power of music. It is medicine for the soul, plain and simple. The kinship between Nina Simone and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach demonstrates the influence we can have on each other when we look past our differences. Their impact on each other, and the world as we know it today, remains a beacon of what is possible when we follow our heart’s calling no matter the odds."

Lisa Simone is the Executive Producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award winning, and Academy Award and Grammy nominated Netflix documentary about her mother, "What Happened, Miss Simone? She is also the recipient of the National Theatre Award for Best Actress in a musical for the title role in Disney’s "Aida" and starred in the original cast of "Rent" on Broadway.

"Soul Doctor" tells the story of the beloved yet controversial father of popular Jewish music, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. A modern-day troubadour, Shlomo ignited the spirit of millions around the world with his soul-stirring melodies, transformative storytelling, and boundless love. After his childhood escape from Nazi Germany, the young Rabbi formed an unlikely friendship with musical icon and pioneer, Nina Simone, who introduced him to Soul and Gospel music, and a Jewish music and cultural revival was born. Fusing his roots with his new inspiration, Shlomo created a revolutionary musical sound, writing songs which continue to be the main body of Jewish musical standards. The "Jewish Gospel/Soul" experience he introduced to the synagogue worship remains the most popular of services across all denominations of Jewish practice.

Rabbi Carlebach’s anthem "Am Yisrael Chai" is sung by thousands of young people each year, in the procession to Auschwitz for March of the Living. The late Pope John Paul II often opened his stadium tour mass with Shlomo's song of unity "Brothers and Friends".

The movie "Soul Doctor" opens on the 10th anniversary of its Broadway premiere. The show was originally workshopped at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and subsequent productions in New Orleans, Miami, and Off Broadway, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Roundabout Theatre Company (which featured India Arie as Nina Simone), and New York Theatre Workshop. "Soul Doctor" was the feature presentation at the "Israel at 70" Festival in Jerusalem, where the production was filmed.

With music by Shlomo Carlebach, lyrics by David Schechter, script and direction by Daniel Wise, and choreographed by Abdur Rahim Jackson (Alvin Ailey, Beyonce "Halo" music video and Superbowl Show), the film stars Tony Award nominee Josh Young (Broadway's "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita") as Shlomo, Nya (star of the recent "Cleopatra" and the Broadway revival of "Caroline or Change") as Nina Simone and Emily Padgett (star of Broadway's "Side Show, Rock of Ages," "Bright Star" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") as Ruth.

The cast also includes Charlotte Moore ("Les Miz," ALW's "Wizard of Oz"), C.J. Tyson ("Wicked"), Rebecca Kritzer ("In the Heights"), Marvin Meital, Yovel Moss, Allison Poccia, Lital Shalit, Toni Elizabeth White, Luke Wygodny ("Once"), Jordan Zell, and Marc Zell and original Broadway cast members: Richard Cerato and Abdur-Rahim Jackson (who also choreographs).

Music direction is by Haim Tukatchinski with musical arrangements by Seth Farber, Brian Koonin and Bashiri Johnson. Film editing is by Or Benzrehim and surround sound by Ronen Nagal.

Dr. Naomi King, civil rights activist & sister-in-law of MLK, remarked: "Any person watching this movie, it’ll shake 'em, move 'em and change 'em to help make this a better world!" Susannah Heschel, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth and daughter of Civil Rights icon Rabbi A.J. Heschel, said "Soul Doctor" the Movie is a tribute to Nina Simone's enormous influence. By inspiring and encouraging Shlomo Carlebach, Nina contributed to the extraordinary revival of Jewish music and spirit immortalized by Shlomo."

Of the stage musical, The New York Times raved, "Inspiring and absorbing! A joyous Leaping Roar!," and The Wall Street Journal claimed it is "exhilarating! riveting! Hilarious!" Time Out New York said, "a spectacular cross between "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Hair," and "The Examiner" exclaimed, "A certifiable hit…Genius! Five stars." The London Financial Times noted, "While libraries have been written about the similarities of historical struggle between jews and African-Americans. I have never seen them put across more eloquently than in Soul Doctor."

"Soul Doctor's writer/director Danny Wise said, “The unique achievement of the film is how the award-winning post-production team was able to create a genuinely cinematic experience while maintaining the energy of the live performance; it's exhilarating to see the movie audiences singing and clapping to the music - dancing in the aisles at the end!"

A special introduction to the movie was filmed exclusively for the Fathom audiences by Lisa Simone along with "Call, Clap & Sing Bootcamp" where famed percussion master Bashiri Johnson teaching audience how to Call, Step, Clap, and Sing.

"Soul Doctor" concludes with a historical epilogue showing rare footage, bringing to life Simone, Carlebach, and other characters, created by Colombian-born filmmaker Nicole Fernandez and Somondoco Films.

"Soul Doctor" is produced by original Broadway producer/conceiver Jeremy Chess, along with Jerome Levy and Chandra McQueen. Lisa Simone is the Executive Producer.

Tickets for Soul Doctor are on sale through the Fathom Events website and participating theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations, visit fathomevents.com (participating theaters are subject to change). Visit your local theater website for the most up-to-date information related to their health-and safety measures.

ABOUT FATHOM EVENTS: Fathom Events is a recognized leader in the entertainment industry as one of the top distributors of content to movie theaters in North America. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L), Fathom operates the largest cinema distribution network, delivering a wide variety of programming and experiences to cinema audiences in all the top U.S. markets and to more than 45 countries. For more information, visit FathomEvents.com.

Editor's Note: Information used in this report provided by Fathom Events Publicity and Oprana Marketing and Media Relations.



Advance tickets for Disney's "The Little Mermaid," the live-action reimagining of the studio's animated musical classic, are now available for purchase at Fandango or wherever tickets are sold. This includes tickets for "Disney's The Little Mermaid Early Access Screening" taking place on May 24 in IMAX and Premium Large Format theaters nationwide.

Every guest will receive a commemorative poster with special music offer to add to their collection. Now fans, communities and organizations can arrange group bookings and theater buy-outs by visiting: tickets.thelittlemermaid.com.

The "Part of Your World" single is available now at Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube Music and the visualizer video can be seen on YouTube. The brand new soundtrack for Disney's "The Little Mermaid" is available now to pre-add at Apple Music, for pre-order on vinyl at Disney Music Emporium and for pre-order on CD.

"The Little Mermaid" is the beloved story of Ariel, played by singer and actress Halle Bailey ("grown-ish"), who is a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure.

The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden from interacting with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life--and her father’s crown--in jeopardy.

"The Little Mermaid" also stars Jonah Hauer-King ("A Dog's Way Home") as Eric; Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs ("Hamilton") as the voice of Sebastian; Awkwafina ("Raya and the Last Dragon") as the voice of Scuttle; Jacob Tremblay ("Luca") as the voice of Flounder; Noma Dumezweni ("Mary Poppins Returns") as The Queen; Art Malik ("Homeland") as Sir Grimsby; with Oscar winner Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men") as King Triton; and two-time Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?" "Bridesmaids") as Ursula.

Audiences at this year's CinemaCon which was held in April at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, were treated to an extended trailer of "The Little Mermaid" and McCarthy discussed the amazing experience she had working on the movie.

"The Little Mermaid" is directed by Oscar nominee Rob Marshall ("Chicago," "Mary Poppins Returns") with a screenplay by two-time Oscar nominee David Magee ("Life of Pi," "Finding Neverland"). The songs feature music from multiple Academy Award winner Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin") and lyrics by Howard Ashman, and new lyrics by three-time Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Hamilton," "In the Heights").

The film is produced by two-time Emmy winner Marc Platt, ("Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," "Grease Live!"), Miranda, two-time Emmy winner John DeLuca, ("Tony Bennett: An American Classic"), and Rob Marshall, with Jeffrey Silver ("The Lion King") serving as executive producer.

Editor's Note: Information used in this report obtained from Disney publicity.

RIHANNA By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:


Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies recently announced that Rihanna will star as Smurfette in Untitled Smurfs Animated Film. Rihanna will also write and perform original music and serve as a producer for the film which is slated for release February 14, 2025. Rihanna also appeared on stage During Paramount Pictures CinemaCon Presentation on April 27.

"On behalf of our studio and our creative partners at LAFIG, we couldn’t be more excited to have found our Smurfette in one of the most beloved stars in the world," said Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito, President of Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation. "With Rihanna's singular creative appeal and musical talents, there is an enormous opportunity to elevate the cultural touchstone of The Smurfs universe in a way that's never been done before."

Based on the characters and works of Peyo, "Untitled Smurfs Animated Film" is directed by Chris Miller, co-directed by Matt Landon, and produced by Rihanna, Jay Brown, Tyran "Ty-Ty" Smith, and Ryan Harris.


Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA), a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Paramount Pictures has some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, and Paramount Players. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.


Nickelodeon, now in its 44th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.

ABOUT IMPS/ LAFIG (International Merchandising Promotions & Services):

IMPS, is the official licensors of the little blue-skinned characters "The Smurfs".

Over the years, IMPS (since 1984) have worked in close collaboration with their agents worldwide to develop successful licensed merchandising programs, retail- and co-branded promotions, publishing activities, broadcasting deals, theme parks, family entertainment centers, live shows, video games, online games, Smurf music … that have secured the everlasting success of the Smurfs. IMPS is run by Veronique Culliford, the daughter of Pierre Culliford, the creator of the Smurfs, who is better known under his pseudonym Peyo.

Nickelodeon is a part of Paramount's (Nasdaq: PARA, PARAA) global portfolio of multimedia entertainment brands.