The Last Word: Gary Coleman Goes Gangsta, R. Kelly Goes To Trial, and Timbaland Goes To Celine Dion!

What’s the word folks? It’s that time again, so I won’t dwell too much.   Thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost someone and those searching for people still missing in that tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis, as well as those who got injured. Shout outs to Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds for […]

What’s the word folks? It’s that time again, so I won’t dwell too much.


Thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost someone and those

searching for people still missing in that tragic bridge collapse in

Minneapolis, as well as those who got injured. Shout outs to Eddie Murphy

and Tracey Edmonds for getting engaged, Nicole Richie and Good

Charlotte frontman Joel Madden on their pending arrival, and those who

attended and participated in this year’s Comic-Con. Although I like to

get the inside scoop, I want to be blown away by all the action my

favorite comic book character gets into when the movie comes to theaters. Guess I’m old fashioned like that.


Last but definitely not least, I gotta send a shout to one third of my

sounding boards. My man Lee, who is celebrating his birthday and

wedding anniversary this weekend, and my buddy Ant (a.k.a. Fearless

Leader) for the 11th hour critique.And now….The Last Word for the week ending Aug. 3, 2007.


1. R. Kelly Trial Date Set…Finally!


After five years and various hit records since he was charged with 14

counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself having

sex with an underage girl, R. Kelly is finally getting his day in a

Chicago courtroom.


The Chicago Tribune reports that things will get rolling for the

crooner’s trial when jury selection begins Sept. 17. If convicted,

Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, could face up to 15

years in prison.


Now that trial is about to get underway, you can be sure that bets will

be placed to see whether the singer gets a captive audience behind bars

or walks away and lives to sing and creep another day. No doubt, it

will turn into a first-class media circus as everyone from MTV to your

cousin, and a couple of mine, will be on hand to give the latest

developments and sell the standard, “I was at the R. Kelly Trial.

Where Were You?” t-shirts.


I wonder what would happen if Kellz ends up with a female judge? Would he still be a flirt? Just a thought.2. John Singleton To Helm Black Panther and Luke Cage FilmsWith films like Boyz In the Hood and a producer credit on Terrance

Howard’s Hustle and Flow, John Singleton has become a man known for

bringing engaging hood drama to the big screen. Now the

director is joining the ranks of Sam Raimi, Christopher Nolan, and Bryan

Singer as he puts his stamp on two comic book heroes.

reports that Singleton is cornering the Black superhero market, as he

takes the reigns for movie adaptations of Marvel Comics heroes Luke

Cage and the Black Panther. The question is which film will he do first?”I really

wanted to do both of those pictures,” Singleton told

“I’ve always been a fan of Marvel comics, so it depends. I can do Cage or Black Panther.” For those not in the know, Black

Panther was created by Marvel icon Stan Lee in 1966. The character,

who’s given name is T’Challa, is considered to be the first modern Black

superhero. Luke Cage, the first African-American superhero to have an

eponymous comic book series, was created by writer Archie Goodwin and artist John Romita, Sr.While Black Panther is the newest feature on Singleton’s plate,

the director’s name has been attached to Luke Cage for a good minute.

Singer/actor/rapper Tyrese Gibson’s name has been mentioned as a

leading contender, despite the fact that no other stars have been

confirmed for the lead role. With this in mind, it could be said that Luke Cage would be the

first film to come out, but Singleton seems to be caught up in

Hollywood red tape in terms of getting the project off the ground. “If

you put a Black face on it, they think it’s a Black thing; but yet we

have all these movies that have come up, and whenever they put any Black

people in it, they make all this money,” the filmmaker said. “That’s

the thing that’s holding Luke Cage up. They think it’s a small

superhero movie.” Let’s hope one of these heroes makes it to

the theater. If the wait gets too long, we may have to settle for the

eagerly-awaited feature debut of the Brown Hornet. 3. Timbaland Gets Down With Celine DionTimbaland

has made no secret of his boredom with the current state of urban

music. In order to liven things up, he’s been keeping company with

Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, as well as hitting the studio with

‘80s fixtures Duran Duran and Madonna for their upcoming albums.

Now, Mr. Mosely

is adding adult contemporary chart topper Celine Dion to his growing

list of musical clients. The pair is currently working on Dion’s new album, which is slated to hit stores in the Fall. According

to, the Canadian diva will mesh her powerful vocals with Hip-Hop, R&B,and rock songs penned by R. Kelly, Ne-Yo and other artists. While

he has a knack for reinventing a singer’s sound, it will be interesting

to see if Timbaland can do for Dion what he did with the late great

Aaliyah and Timberlake. More importantly, will Celine’s faithful take a liking to her new musical direction?”Celine’s

fans definitely aren’t into Hip-Hop and R&B, so I don’t know how

they will receive this new album,” Justin Dumont, music director of

Flow 93.5 FM in Toronto, told “We could all be shocked. It’s a

really big stretch for her, and it could completely backfire. But she

and Timbaland are such incredible professionals. I couldn’t imagine them releasing something that was bad.” No

matter what happens, it will be interesting to hear the results. Maybe

we’ll even get a couple of remixes out of this with Missy Elliott or

Jay-Z. Now how would that sound? Jigga hooking up with Dion? Don’t be

surprised if she ends up being R&B’s new golden girl. Think about it.4. Gary Coleman’s Disorderly Conduct Attracts the Law


Gary Coleman catch a break? It seems every time you hear about the

former Diff’rent Strokes star, he’s getting into a “Whatchu talkin’

bout?” moment that attracts attention from the law.  

Case in point, Coleman was recently busted in Utah for disorderly

conduct, after two women saw him in a heated argument with a woman in a

parking lot.


According to Capt. Cliff Argyle, the 39-year-old celebrity and the

unidentified woman were in his car discussing their relationship when

two people saw him hit the steering wheel with his hands. “Mr. Coleman was very excited and loud. At one point he exited

his vehicle, waving his arms, yelling and screaming,” Argyle told the

Associated Press. “Vehicles were unable to exit the parking lot because

of Mr. Coleman’s actions.”


Despite Coleman’s disposition, Argyle said the actor did cooperate with

officers who were called to the scene. The disorderly conduct citation

is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $750

fine, the AP reports.


Looks like another

case of “When Former Child Stars Go Wild.” Between this and the time he

pleaded no contest in 1999 to disturbing the peace after punching an

autograph-seeker, Coleman could use a few anger management sessions. Or

at least turn his aggression into a brief career in rap. He’s got enough legal history to have some street cred, so why not throw him in there with all the other so-called “gangstas.” 

5. El Cantante Director Eyes Wesley Snipes for Thelonius Monk Movie Role 

Wesley Snipes may have Mo’ Betta Blues from all the IRS drama he’s been

having lately, but at least one person feels the actor could make a

strong comeback with the right movie role. reports that film director Leon Ichaso is eyeing Snipes for

the lead role in his planned biopic of jazz legend Thelonious Monk.

According to the filmmaker, the actor shares similar qualities with



“Wesley Snipes is aware of the project. I think he’s kept the same

innocence that Thelonious had and something very specific about the

face. He looks like him,” Ichaso said at a recent press junket.

“Thelonious has almost like an ebony-etched kind of a face and an

innocence, and I think that would be a fit for Wesley.”


If Snipes decides to go out for the role, it would mark the first the

actor has played a jazz musician on the big screen since his Mo’ Betta Blues

days with Denzel Washington. Snipes could definitely use the break

since he hasn’t been seen on the big screen since Blade: Trinity. As

talented as the brother is, he could very well take the Jamie Foxx

route and parlay the role into an Oscar.


Now is a good time to come back, Wesley. Get that money right so you

can make more money. But it wouldn’t be an official comeback without

Snipes’ “signature” love scene. In the meantime, you can check out

Ichaso’s current film, El Cantante. The biopic, which stars Marc

Anthony as salsa pioneer Hector Lavoe and Jennifer Lopez as Lavoe’s

wife, is in theaters now.