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Barry Jenkins was convinced to direct the new ‘Lion King’ film by the script.

The ‘Moonlight’ filmmaker is to helm the upcoming Disney movie – a follow-up to the 2019 remake of the 1994 animation ‘The Lion King’ – and he made the decision to take on the family flick after being blown away by the quality of Jeff Nathanson’s screenplay.

In a conversation with fellow filmmaker Chloe Zhao for Variety, Barry said: “I read the script and about 40 pages in, I turned to Lulu (Wang) and I said, ‘Holy s***, this is good.’

“And as I kept reading, I got further away from the side of my brain that said, ‘Oh, a filmmaker like you doesn’t make a film like this,’ and allowed myself to get to the place where these characters, this story, is amazing.”

Barry also revealed that he was inspired by Chloe – who turned her attention to Marvel Cinematic Universe movie ‘The Eternals’ after directing critically acclaimed drama ‘The Rider’ – to make a dramatic shift after directing the Oscar-winning ‘Moonlight’.

He explained: “What really pushed me across the line was James (Laxton), my DP, said, ‘You know what? There’s something really interesting in this mode of filmmaking that we haven’t done and that not many people have done.’

“That was when I went back to the powers that be and said, ‘I would love to do this, but I’ve got to be able to do what I do.’ And they said yes!

“And knowing that Chloe Zhao had gone from one of the most beautiful films of the century with ‘The Rider’ to making a Marvel movie, I was like, ‘Oh, s***. If she can do it, I can do it.’ “

Jenkins admits that the original ‘Lion King’ film was one of his favourite childhood movies but that love he had for the original made him wary of taking on the sequel.

He said: “‘Lion King’ was the ‘Baby Shark’ of my time.

“I’d seen it literally hundreds of times and I had this connection to it, and yet I was sceptical because, who am I to make a ‘Lion King’ movie? Not a ‘Lion King’ sequel! A ‘Lion King’ movie.”

The new movie is set to be a prequel to the events of the original story, focusing on King Mufasa’s origins.



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Paul Smith | Paul Smith’s team pulled off a ‘miracle’ getting collection ready amid pandemic

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Paul Smith says it’s “a miracle” his eponymous brand managed to create an entire Autumn/Winter 2021 collection amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 74-year-old fashion designer has hailed his team for managing to pull off the collection and show as an independent British firm.

He said: “As an independent British company – and I mean that, we are independent, as opposed to us having the backing of one of the big conglomerates – the fact we’ve put on a show and we’ve got an entire collection, it’s a real hats off to my team. They’ve done a miracle job. A real miracle. A lot of the brands haven’t been able to get anything together, they’re still working from sketches, they have tiny collections, if anything – so well done to us!”

Smith insisted he didn’t follow the trend of creating casual pieces fit for lockdown because he wanted to “excite people” with new pieces they can add to their wardrobes to jazz up their every day looks.

He told GQ: “I’ve intentionally not done that. It’s such an obvious thing. Due to lockdown, everyone’s doing sportswear, sportswear, sportswear – you know, hoodies, jogging bottoms, trainers, Birkenstocks … If you look at our e-commerce site now, which is around 45 per cent up on what it was last year, it’s nearly all casual clothing that’s selling, so I don’t need to show that. I need to show things that excite people, things that aren’t crazy and that you could easily add to your existing wardrobe, but aren’t just a hoodie or whatever.”

Smith is thankful to have a young team around him who are full of “energy”, as he admitted it’s been extremely “challenging” keeping his business going in these unprecedented times.

He added: “It’s an enormously challenging time. Business is really tough because nearly all of our shops are closed in Europe and then we’re also on restricted hours in some countries. Any company that says they’re not haemorrhaging money right now is not being truthful. Everyone’s going through complicated times, but, luckily, so far so good. We’re so full of positive spirits. I’ve got such a good young team around me – they have so much energy.”



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Adele | ‘It’s crazy how little I remember’: Adele marks 10th anniversary of 21

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Adele doesn’t “remember” much from the period in which she created ’21’.

The ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ hitmaker has marked the 10th anniversary of her seminal second studio album, and confessed that her memory of making the record and how she felt at the time is blurry.

She captioned the artwork on Instagram: “Well I never! Happy 10 years old friend! It’s crazy how little I remember of what it was like and how I felt a decade ago. But Thank You from the bottom of my heart for letting us into your lives and letting me be a soundtrack to some of it x (sic)”

The 2011 LP – which featured hit singles such as ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’ – was written after the 32-year-old singer’s separation from her then-partner.

Adele is rumoured to be releasing her hotly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s ’25’ next month.

And the ’Skyfall’ hitmaker has once again poured her “heart and soul” into the new record and found music “like therapy” after the end of her marriage to Simon Konecki in 2019.

A source said previously: “Adele is pouring her heart and soul into this record, including how she feels post-divorce

“She’s been a fan of Raphael since she was a teenager and loves his back catalogue. She wants her next album to be full of soul, with a more eclectic sound.”

The Grammy-winner’s close pal, Alan Carr, recently teased that the album sounds “so amazing”.

The 44-year-old comedian – who got Adele to officiate his Los Angeles wedding to Paul Drayton in 2018 – spilled: “I’ve heard some tracks on it.

“Oh my gosh, it’s so amazing. It’s so amazing.

“I said to her, I said, ‘That voice is like an old friend.’ It’s like an old friend. Because there are some people [on] the charts who sound a bit like Adele and you go, ‘Oh they sound [like] Adele,’ and then when you hear Adele’s voice again you go, ‘Oh no, there’s only one. There’s only one Adele.’”



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Ralph Fiennes | Ralph Fiennes: The Dig script left me in tears

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Ralph Fiennes was “in tears” when he read ‘The Dig’ script for the first time.

The 58-year-old actor portrays archaeologist Basil Brown – who discovered discovered and excavated a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon burial ship in Suffolk in 1939 – in the new movie and he was attracted to the film because of the unique platonic relationship between his character and Carey Mulligan’s Edith Pretty, the terminally ill owner of the excavation site.

He said: “I was in tears when I finished reading it because the relationship between Edith and Basil was so obviously not about that. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen a similar relationship portrayed on film.”

And Ralph was horrified to learn that an earlier draft of the script featured a romantic moment between the two.

Director Simon Stone admitted: “There was a kiss in a much earlier draft.”

Ralph exclaimed: “I don’t remember that! And I think I read the script earlier than Simon did, so it must’ve happened between my version and yours.”

The veteran actor could hear a tone of his own parents in some of the dialogue from his kindly character.

He said: “I can hear my mum saying similar things. You know? ‘You learn through failure. It’s painful, but you learn.’ ”

Ralph has won praise for his Suffolk accent in the movie, which he credits to his dialect coach Charlie Haylock, but he admitted that on one night, he treated pals in a pub to the delivery of a Shakespeare soliloquy in his character’s voice “out of playfulness”.

He told The Times Saturday Review: “The thing is that there was no Standard English before the 18th century.

“Everyone spoke in their own accents. I had heard that from Peter Hall, who used to say, ‘There was no beautiful English in Elizabethan theatre!’

“So, yes, out of playfulness I did, ‘To be or not to be that is the question whether ’tis nobler . . . to sleep no more.’ Yes. You could say I was showing off a bit.”



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