The British-born Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been working so steadily as an actor in both the UK and America that you might not realize just how many things you’ve seen her in over the years, even before her breakout, one-two punch of leading roles in the 2013 period drama Belle and 2014’s music industry love story Beyond the Lights, both of which were directed by women—something that continues to mean a great deal to the actress. In fact, throughout her years in television and film, Mbatha-Raw has always sought out films with strong female characters at the center and/or works helmed by female filmmakers and scripted by female screenwriters.

After parts in such works as Concussion, Free State of Jones and The Wachowskis’ insane Jupiter Ascending, she took on more recent substantial supporting parts in films like A Wrinkle In Time and Miss Sloane, as well as the ensemble cast of Netflix’s The Cloverfield Paradox. Her latest film, Fast Color, was an audience and critical favorite at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and is finally making it to theaters thanks to the Lionsgate imprint Codeblack Films. Directed by Julia Hart (and co-written by Hart and Jordan Horowitz). The movie focuses on Ruth, who is constantly on the run from those who wish to examine and experiment on her because she has abilities. In order to keep her family (including a young daughter) safe, she left home years ago but finds herself coming back to the family farm when she has no where else to hide. It turns out that her mother (Lorraine Toussaint) and daughter (Saniyya Sidney) also have powers, and the three must figure out how to proceed as the world comes closing in. As it turns out, this family may be the key to helping save a world that is slowly dying around them, if the paranoid folks chasing them don’t destroy these very special women.

/Film spoke with Mbatha-Raw recently to discuss the fundamental differences between Fast Color and every other film about people with special powers, how a pair of kick-ass combat boots helped her find her character, and how working in a Jim Henson-created universe is a bit of dream job for her. Fast Color is in theaters now.

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The Dark Crystal Prequel Series - Age of Resistance

Netflix is reviving a cult favorite for many children of the 1980s in the form of the prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The series serves as a follow-up to Jim Henson’s dark fantasy adventure The Dark Crystal from 1982, which featured some extremely impressive and immersive puppet work and production design. But don’t worry if you’ve never seen the original movie – this series is set long before the events of The Dark Crystal, telling a new epic story.

Netflix has revealed the first photos from the Dark Crystal series, which show a loyal recreation of the Gelfling characters from the first movie. Plus, the voice cast has also been announced, including Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) in the lead roles, with voices like Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, Simon Pegg, Natalie Dormer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw filling out the cast.

Get the full Dark Crystal prequel series voice cast and see the first photos below. Read More »

Birds of Prey Cast

Warner Bros. is on the lookout for their Birds of Prey cast, and they’re considering several exciting actresses for parts. A new report indicates Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Justina Machado and more have all tested for parts. Janelle Monae has also been mentioned, although it remains unclear if she tested for a part or not. More on the potential Birds of Prey cast below.

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fabled trailer

Once upon a time, Jennifer Morrison starred as the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. Now, she directs a feminist revisionist take on fairy tales in the fantasy anthology series Fabled.

The Fabled trailer promotes the first episode of the new anthology series, directed by Morrison and starring Zosia Mamet and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as two young women who dream big and witness even bigger, magical miracles.

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Gugu Mbatha-Raw interview

English actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw isn’t a household name yet, but I feel like it’s only a matter of time. She’s already headlined a quiet romantic drama (Beyond the Lights), a sci-fi thriller (The Cloverfield Paradox), and what might be the best episode of the anthology series Black Mirror (season 3’s “San Junipero”).

In Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, Mbatha-Raw plays a scientist and mother of two, a grounding force in a narrative that eventually travels to far-off worlds and wholly unfamiliar places. I spoke with the actress at the movie’s press junket last week, where we talked about working with director Ava DuVernay, her on-screen bond with actor Chris Pine, what she thought about The Cloverfield Paradox going straight to Netflix, and more. Read More »

a wrinkle in time early buzz

A Wrinkle in Time has a lot of expectations riding on it. It is Ava Duvernay‘s ambitious passion project, the first non-documentary feature film that the director has tackled since Selma won acclaim and awards love four years ago. It’s an adaptation of a beloved children’s fantasy novel by Madeleine L’Engle. It has a black lead actress (Storm Reid) in a piece of colorblind casting that differs from the novel. And it’s starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine.

So, does A Wrinkle in Time live up to those expectations? Not quite.

The social media embargo for Duvernay’s Disney film has lifted, and reactions are mixed at best and pessimistic at worst. Formal reviews don’t drop until March 7 — two days before the film’s release — but a few people who attended the premiere shared their opinions on the science-fiction movie.

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the cloverfield paradox viewers

The Cloverfield Paradox reportedly drew in five million viewers in its first week after the surprise Netflix release of the science-fiction sequel.

That’s light years away from Netflix’s biggest success yet, Bright, which garnered 11 million U.S. viewers in its first three days of release.

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Cloverfield crossover

Just in case you’re not burned out on Cloverfield news, here’s something new. Bad Robot big cheese J.J. Abrams took part in a Facebook Q&A for The Cloverfield Project and revealed that he once considered a Cloverfield crossover that would tie all the movies together and reunite past characters.

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netflix the cloverfield paradox deal

It was the stunt that stole the show during the Super Bowl: Netflix dropped a surprise trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox, revealing that the J.J. Abrams-produced movie would be streaming immediately that night. It was an unprecedented piece of marketing, but what about the deal that made it happen?

There had been rumblings in the weeks prior that Netflix and Paramount were in negotiations over the troubled project, but we didn’t know what those talks entailed. Until now.

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Cloverfield Paradox early buzz

Netflix and the Cloverfield franchise pulled off a huge surprise last night, first dropping the long-awaited trailer for the third film in the series before handing us another shocker: the movie would be available to stream immediately after the Super Bowl.

It’s a clever marketing scheme that holds true to the “disruptive” nature of both the Cloverfield franchise and the streaming service. Viewers would have no choice but to go into the movie fresh, with no positive or negative reviews to taint their movie-watching experience. It’s a bold experiment — but did it work? And was the movie at the center of it all, now titled The Cloverfield Paradox, worth the trouble?

Here’s what the critics who stayed up late on Sunday night to check out the movie had to say.

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