Ice Cube Will Star In ‘A Christmas Carol’ Imagining ‘Humbug’ As Scrooge & Here …

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ice Cube to Play Scrooge in ‘Christmas Carol’ Reboot ‘Humbug’.

Ice Cube will play Ebenezer Scrooge, the cantankerous holiday hater from A Christmas Carol, in Humbug, a contemporary retelling of the Charles Dickens classic directed by Tim Story, Deadline reports.

The rapper-turned-actor, whose early work in pioneering LA rap outfit NWA was recently immortalised in the blockbuster hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton, will portray a rich real-estate mogul who receives a festive visit from a trio of moralistic spirits representing Christmases past, present and future.Throughout his acting career, Ice Cube has stuck to primarily doing either well received drama’s – (Boyz n the Hood) or comedies, ranging from dismal (Ride Along) to relatively great (Barbershop, 21 Jump Street).

The film, which is called Humbug and has been set up at studio Universal following a bidding war for Todd R Jones and Earl Richey Jones’s screenplay, will see Cube reunite with his director on Barbershop and Ride Along, Tim Story. The oldest surviving film version is 1901’s Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost, but the story has been filmed at least once a decade in the 114 years since, bar the 1960s. Humbug marks another collaboration between Ice Cube and Story, who recently wrapped Ride Along 2, the sequel to their 2014 comedy hit with Kevin Hart expected to open January 15th, 2016. Story and Cube’s working relationship, however, goes back to 2002’s Barbershop; and while the rapper is currently filming the third movie in that franchise, Malcolm D. Dre were heavily involved as producers, paying close attention to the details that allowed the film to bring late-Eighties and early-Nineties Compton to life. “You had to see why we did the music,” Ice Cube told Rolling Stone. “You know, not just ‘we were young, angry niggas out of South Central,’ but why did we make those kind of records?

We were living in the middle of dope dealing, gangbanging, police brutality, fucking Reaganomics, and there was nowhere to escape.” errence Howard is standing in front of a mirror inside his extra-deluxe, penthouse-level Chicago apartment, looking at himself looking back. You could say he sees himself as he is today, dressed in a silky long-sleeve loungewear top with a scarf circling his neck, like right out of the Hollywood handbook for dapper flamboyants.

Or as what he has most recently become, a television-land megastar, for how convincingly he plays super-badass hip-hop-record mogul Lucious Lyon on Fox’s Empire, this year’s most unexpected hit show. Or even as certain others see him, including some ex-wives, as a man given to outbursts of stunning violence and domestic abuse, allegations of which are, in part, what led him to take the Empire role in the first place. “Since they see me as a bad guy,” he says his thinking went, “I’m gonna play a bad guy.” “Today, for me, has been about searching out who I am,” he says. “We’ve got all these different faces that want to come out — there’s at least four just in this moment, with a possible expansion to 432 — but which one do you let out? You love him, because the only person that’s gonna be there no matter what happens in your life is that little motherfucker.” Howard has never forgotten those words, and they’ve helped him through some pretty desperate moments.

At one time, he was going to be a big movie star, having built his reputation on films like Crash (2005) and Hustle & Flow (2005) and his bank account with movies like Iron Man (2008), for which he was paid $3.5 million, more than any other member of the cast, including star Robert Downey Jr. He soon found himself reduced to $40,000 a movie. “When all that stuff went down about me, you’re not in any bargaining position,” he says. “You’re shunned. He wrote forward and backward, with both his right and left hands, sometimes using symbols he made up that look foreign, if not alien, to keep his ideas secret until they could be patented. They bear a similarity to building blocks but the shapes are infinitely more complex, in two dimensions and three, tied together by copper wire or held in place by magnets. Some of the objects are as small as mice, others as big as fire hydrants; some are hanging, some free-standing, a few larger ones lit from the inside with LED twinkle stars.

He loves them just as much as he loves himself and his infant son, Qirin, who is sleeping nearby and will one day inherit U.S. patent 20150079872 A1 (“Systems and methods for enhanced building-block applications”), among others. Taking a seat not far from Qirin, he says, “Anything you do against yourself is an attack against the people you care about.” (Later on, he will admit to “sneaking a cigarette here and there.”) Pak is here, too, tending to the child. There’s nothing worse than being a broke movie star.” “The suburbs,” Howard says, “as soon as they free up my money.” He goes on, “It’s always been a hard road for me. A few weeks later, it comes out that he and Pak had separated in mid-2014, with her filing for divorce earlier this year, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and a month from now, their divorce will be final. All of this, in varying degrees, from the moment he first got noticed in 1999’s The Best Man, after having already spent nearly a dec-ade breaking into Hollywood.

In brief, as an actor, he’s a lulu — and not difficult at all, if you ask him. “Well,” he says, “I was difficult, but only because I would not conform. Then the movie comes out, I get all these accolades, and now the producers are like, ‘Oh, you made the movie.’ But now they’ve set it up that Terrence is difficult, and so that has followed me.” When show creator Lee Daniels first started casting Empire, he had Wesley Snipes in mind for Lucious. Because Lucious has a very base understanding of life — kill or be killed — I keep him down at a very low frequency.” It’s all about money, sex, power and, of course, family. It was one of network television’s top-five scripted shows last season, starting off its 12-episode run with 10 million viewers and finishing up with 21 million. As for Howard’s success as Lucious, he’s playing it cool. “I’m just trying to pay my bills,” he says. “I’m looking forward to this show running its course.

If I make a decent amount of money from it, I’ll retire.” He seems to be wanting a simpler life, the kind you find in Winnetka, one free of the temptations of Hollywood. “The problem with this business,” he says, “you lose yourself.” Another problem Howard has is his temper. He’s said to have knocked at least two of his women around, most recently ex-wife Michelle Ghent, who after a 2013 trip to Costa Rica with Howard was photographed with a black eye. That time in 2001 when he was arrested for slugging his first wife (who he married in 1989, divorced in 2003 remarried in 2005, and divorced again in 2007), which led to a guilty plea for disorderly conduct?

When Howard and a couple were waiting in line to be seated, they got into an argument that didn’t end until Howard knocked the man to the ground and hit the woman. One of the oddest things is how the 2005 restaurant incident echoes what happened with his father, Tyrone, then a 21-year-old unemployed laborer, at that Cleveland department store in 1971.

The crime made national news and became known as the “Santa Line Slaying.” “I was standing next to my father, watching,” Howard says. “Then stuff happened so quickly — blood was on the coats, on our jackets — and then my dad’s on a table and then my dad is gone to prison.” Leaning into the softness of the sofa, he continues, “My daddy taught me, ‘Never take the vertebrae out of your back or the bass out of your throat. Everything is just frequencies.” He picks up one of his intricate plastic what-is-its and holds it to his eyes. “Like with these things,” he says. “In those four years where I was shunned and walked away from everything, look at what I’ve created. Tesla!” He shakes his head at the miracle of it all, his eyes opening wide, a smile beginning to trace itself, like he’s expecting applause or an award. And that he is about to change the world. “This is the last century that our children will ever have been taught that one times one is one,” he says. “They won’t have to grow up in ignorance. He marched up to the table and said to the man, “I don’t know if she’s your wife or girlfriend, but she’s absolutely stunning.” She said, “That’s very bold of you.” He said, “Well, only a tiger can approach a tiger.” Three weeks later, they were married. “Isn’t that crazy?” she says today. “And we have an amazing connection.

Never, never. “And then every minute that he has free, it’s to do this.” She gestures at some of Howard’s thingamajigs, tilting her head questioningly. “I help him, cutting, drawing and putting things together. In their ghetto Cleveland neighborhood, Tyrone Howard was known as No Nation, for his mixed-race look, and Terrence was called High Yellow, for the color of his skin.

Raised to turn the other cheek, he would not fight back, until an uncle saw him get a severe beat-down at the age of 13 and taught him how to box, Rocky-style. After that, he was good to go. “I was the pretty boy, so people didn’t think I could defend myself, but it didn’t end up being a good day for them.” He first took an interest in sex in grade school. “In the ghetto, things happen a lot quicker,” he says.

He says he cut the wires off his dad’s electric razor, attached one end to the fuse box in the basement and pressed the other to his skin. “I did that every day for five months and then I felt the slightest little twitch inside,” he says. He had a job at Pan Am as a reservation agent, which allowed him to fly to L.A. for auditions on the cheap, where he could hand out a résumé that was full of sham acting distinctions. By and large, it’s been a trip out of poverty that seems pretty outlandish, but whether it’s apocryphal or just the way he explains himself to himself or all true, it’s exactly how he says it happened, for better or for worse.

But Howard says he told them he’d take a $1 million pay cut if they auditioned Downey and hired him. (Marvel Studios disputes Howard’s version of Downey’s hiring and the alleged salary cut, saying Howard played no part in getting Downey the job.) “Robert was so thankful and dadadadada,” says Howard. Come time to make Iron Man 2, however, the producers went to Howard’s agent, told him they were cutting Howard’s part down and wanted a salary reduction. It’s just my nature.” Then again, it’s also in his nature to say things like, “I don’t talk about my ex-wife because I don’t talk about negative things,” and later on to call out to Pak, “Hey, honey, where’s the blackmail CD?” Pak rummages around and comes up with it. It starts off with her calling him “a fucking twat.” She then goes on a rampage, threatening to sell tabloids some “fucking shitty tapes” of him having phone sex and dancing naked if he doesn’t give her the money she says she is due and barking, “You’re a fucking sociopath.

I’m so sick of the shit that you’ve put me through.” It goes on for almost 13 endless, weird, brain-frying minutes, with Howard keeping his cool throughout, both on the recording and in the present moment. It’s what has allowed Howard to go to court and ask that their 2012 divorce settlement — it gives Ghent a big part of his Empire salary — be dismissed, which in mid-August a judge will do, finding that Howard was “coerced” into the settlement. Shut the fuck up!” (Ghent’s lawyers declined comment; however, a press release following the decision called the court’s process “skewed” and said their client “is currently evaluating her legal options.”) Afterward, Howard sets himself down on the sofa and looks like he’s gulping for air. He once said about himself, “The sooner people declare me insane, the sooner I’ll be free.” So has he ever been to a shrink? “Back in the Nineties or something.

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