Hudlin Entertainment


Icon and Rocket, outside of Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Done for MECCAcon. By Jason Reeves and colors by Luis Guerrero. Courtesy Maia Crown Williams.

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A Cultural Paradox: Students Run From History While Movies Dig Deeper Into The Past

by Michael Cieply

Here’s a cultural paradox: Even as American universities and their students are fleeing history at a frightful rate, movies, at least of the sort that contend for awards, are digging ever deeper into nooks and crannies of the past.

On the academic front, the Harvard scholar Niall Ferguson has described some trends that should depress anyone who would rather study history than repeat it. Accepting an award from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni late last year, Ferguson, in remarks entitled The Decline and Fall of History, noted that the study of history is collapsing at U. S. colleges “faster than Gibbon’s Roman Empire.” The most recent available data shows the number of history undergraduate degrees to be dropping at roughly 10 percent a year, with even steeper declines in the most prestigious colleges. Overall, the percentage of degrees awarded in history and the social sciences dropped from 18 percent of the total in 1971 to 9 percent in 2014. In addition, said Ferguson, the count of history majors kept by the American Historical Association shows that the number of degrees in that discipline will be even lower by 2018.

But the movies are another story. Anyone who follows film has been struck by the long list of titles that have been mining the past, often in search of overlooked stories that seem to delight or instruct in ways that, presumably, academic history does not. Last year brought Hidden Figures, about forgotten African-American women who contributed to the space race, and Hacksaw Ridge, about a heroic conscientious objector during World War II. The list of prominent historical dramas on Oscar rolls in the past five years is too long, and familiar, to repeat. 12 Years A Slave, The Revenant, Argo, Bridge of Spies, The Imitation Game and a dozen others have either won the film world’s top prizes or came close.

By early fall, as Prof. Ferguson and his colleagues’ peer anxiously at the empty seats in their lecture halls, film festivals and guild screening rooms will again ring with debate about the reliability and import of history-based dramas like Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, about that city’s 1967 riot; or Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul, about Queen Victoria and her relationship with an Indian clerk; or Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall, about the young Thurgood Marshall’s role in a racially charged rape case.

In their weaker moments, some of those films will commit the cardinal sin of anachronism. As described by Ferguson, that is “an impulse to judge the past by the moral standards of the present—and indeed to efface its traces, in a kind of modern-day iconoclasm, when those are deemed offensive.”
But the better movies will attempt what the study of history has always done—that is, to challenge easy assumptions by bowing to the often messy facts. Thus, for instance, Marshall, set for release by Open Road Films on Oct. 13, will probe the uncomfortable realities in a 1940 court case that found a black butler, Joseph Spell, played here by Sterling K. Brown, testifying that his white employer, Eleanor Strubing, portrayed by Kate Hudson OOPS SPOILER. NOT SHARING.

History, and the movies, will tell.

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This is from a website called Awards Circuit. I don’t know their process or sources, I’m just sharing:

2018 Oscar Predictions – BEST PICTURE

It’s super early so we’re not going to pretend that we know what will or will not be good. Lots of iconic directors heading to our theaters including Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Todd Haynes, and George Clooney. We’re also looking out for newbies, diversity, and anything that can mirror that outstanding surprise we saw this year with “Moonlight” winning Best Picture.


  1. “Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project” (Focus Features)
    Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, JoAnne Sellar
  2. “Suburbicon” (Paramount Pictures)
    George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Joel Silver, Teddy Schwarzman
  3. “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)
    Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
  4. “Mudbound” (Netflix)
    Carl Effenson, Sally Jo Effenson, Cassian Elwes, Charles King, Christopher Lemole, Kim Roth, Tim Zajaros
  5. “Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Robert Graf
  6. “Downsizing” (Paramount Pictures)
    Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne
  7. “The Post” (20th Century Fox)
    Kristie Macosko Krieger, Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg
  8. “Marshall” (Open Road Films)
    Paula Wagner, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Jun Dong
  9. “The Current War” (The Weinstein Company)
    Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk, Steven Zaillian
  10. “Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.)
    Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan

2018 Oscar Predictions – BEST ACTOR (UPDATED – MAy 1, 2017)

Always a competitive race for the men, this year looks to be no different with some heavyweights in the mix with very high profile projects on the horizon.  The most notable is Gary Oldman, finally going for his own trophy with Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” and Daniel Day-Lewis, looking to join the company of Katherine Hepburn, with the untitled project from Paul Thomas Anderson.  Hugh Jackman has much promise playing P.T. Barnum while Chadwick Boseman takes on Marshall Thurgood.  Other notable men playing historic figures include Benedict Cumberbatch, Liam Neeson, John Boyega, and Ali Fazal.  The list of intriguing projects on the horizon include those from Armie Hammer (already a Sundance favorite), Oscar Isaac, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Fassbender, and double doses of Matt Damon, Idris Elba, and Colin Farrell.  Lots more to consider as we travel down the road.


  1. Gary Oldman
    “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)
  2. Daniel Day-Lewis
    “Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project” (Focus Features)
  3. Hugh Jackman
    “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
  4. Chadwick Boseman
    “Marshall” (Open Road Films)
  5. Idris Elba
    “The Mountain Between Us” (20th Century Fox)

2018 Oscar Predictions – BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (UPDATED – MAY 1, 2017)

Supporting Actors can emerge from any nook or cranny of a picture, which this can be very difficult when looking this far out.  Overdue veterans like Michael Shannon (“The Current War”), Ed Harris (“Mother!”), and Bruce Dern (“Chappaquiddick”) could be in play this year.  We could be in store for some unexpected players to pop up with notices like Mark Hamill (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and/or Zac Efron (“The Greatest Showman”). If Sylvester Stallone’s nomination in “Creed” taught us anything, it is you can get a nomination for anything, at any point in your career, no matter what proceeded before it. We already have some contenders with buzz like Jason Mitchell (“Mudbound”). Can that carry to the end of the year?


  1. Woody Harrelson
    “The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate)
  2. Michael Shannon
    “The Current War” (The Weinstein Company)
  3. Steve Carell
    “Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  4. Jason Mitchell
    “Mudbound” (Netflix)
  5. Sterling K. Brown
    “Marshall” (Open Road)
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‘Showtime At The Apollo’: Fox Orders Weekly Series For Next Season; Steve Harvey Hosts

by Erik Pedersen

Fox is returning to the iconic Harlem theater. The network said today it has ordered Showtime At The Apollo as a weekly series to premiere during the 2017-2018 season. Steve Harvey, who led Fox’s Apollo specials that launched in December and launched his career at the storied hall, will return as host.

Twenty-year-old Santrel Irvin of Daytona Beach, Fla. performs as the first contestant during Showtime at the Apollo on Tour amateur night at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. Irvin edged Gospel rap singer Samuel O’Banner to win the $1,000 grand prize Sunday night, March 28, 2004. (AP Photo/Daytona Beach News-Journal, Craig Litten)

The series will feature elements from the Apollo’s legendary Amateur Night, the live talent competition now in its 82nd year that provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform in front of an audience famous as one of entertainment’s most boisterous and brutally honest. Those amateurs who don’t win them over must endure the wrath of the notorious crowd.

“We all had such a blast on the two specials that aired earlier this season that we thought it really deserved being a weekly event,” Harvey said. “But our mission is a little different this time around: Instead of just putting on a great show, we’re going to do that and find the next great comic and the next big music star. That’s what the Apollo is all about. My roots are on that stage, and I can’t wait to be there every week, looking for great talent. Who said you can’t go back home again?”

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 4: TV personality, comedian, radio show host and best-selling author Steve Harvey pictured at the AOL’s Build to discuss the upcoming season of “Steve Harvey” in New York City, September 4 ,2015 Credit:Pluvious/RTN/MediaPunch/IPX

When Fox announced its Showtime At The Apollo specials in October, it didn’t mention it as a potential series. But competition series are on the rise again, and now Fox – whose signature singing show American Idol wrapped last season – is back in the game.

The series will be executive produced by Jim Roush and Chris Wagner for the Roush-Wagner Company. Reginald Hudlin and James McKinlay also will executive produce and serve as showrunners. Don Weiner will executive produce and direct. Jonelle Procope will serve as an executive producer for the Apollo Theater, and Michael Antinoro will serve as an executive producer for IMG.

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