Entertainment News: Short Cuts: News on Nicole Ari Parker, Will Smith and More!

Entertainment News: Short Cuts: News on Nicole Ari Parker, Will Smith and More!

Published August 31, 2007

Posted Aug. 31, 2007 -- Actress Nicole Ari Parker ("Soul Food") is set to play the separated wife of Eddie Murphy in the upcoming comedy, "Nowhereland."

In the movie, Murphy is Evan, a man whose fascination with their 6-year-old daughter's imaginary world helps him solve his work problems.   

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Comedic actor DeRay Davis also joins the cast as Evan's longtime friend, a therapist who believes that all Evan needs to overcome his troubles is a good cry. Ronny Cox will play the no-nonsense capital fund group boss who suspects Evan of insider trading but looks the other way as long as the money keeps rolling in. Thomas Haden Church ("Spider-Man 3") also stars as Murphy's ruthless co-worker.

Look for Parker to appear next in the Martin Lawrence starrer "The Better Man," due in theaters in February.

Smith Puts New Spin on Superhero

Will Smith plays a decidedly different kind of action star in an upcoming movie. Try a drunken, homeless superhero? In the tentatively titled comedy "John Hancock," Smith is a down-and-out hero trying to get it together, director Peter Berg told VH1.com.

"We're halfway through it right now," explained director Peter Berg this week, giving us some exclusive details on the film. "Will Smith plays an alcoholic, suicidal superhero [whose actions are] destroying the city of Los Angeles, and he's trying to rehabilitate his image."

According to sources, the star won't don a cape or tights for the role -- unfortunately.  "He wears, for the most part, a pair of old ratty surf shorts, an old 1958 Philadelphia Eagles hat, a T-shirt and flip-flops," said Berg, promising he'll make the character seem very real."

The flick, slated for release next summer, also stars Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman.

Thompson to Shed Pounds for Obama

"SNL" cast member Kenan Thompson is just 60 pounds away from playing presidential hopeful Barack Obama on the new season of the show. He's done well portraying such heavyset African Americans as the Rev. Al Sharpton, Don King and even Aretha Franklin. But at a reported 260 pounds, Thompson's got a lot of cardio to do to pull off Obama.

"It's going to be a real political year and I'd hate for the show to have to seek somebody out to play Obama when they have me sitting there," Thompson said.

Book Retailer Decides to Carry O.J.'s Book

Barnes & Noble has changed its position on O.J. Simpson's pseudo-confessional "If I Did It," stating that it will now sell the book in its stores after initially saying it wouldn't carry it, citing low customer demand. After online orders proved that the book was in fact very much in demand, the chain decided to stock it, but said that it would not promote it in any way.

Written by BET-Staff

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