Lupita is going to a galaxy far, far away…

Showbiz update: Lupita is going to a galaxy far, far away and Maria Sharapova is to meet fans in Selfridges in June. Plus find out who has bagged the role of Whitney Houston in the late singer’s upcoming biopic. Jenny Priestley brings us this week’s latest.

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Who’s playing Whitney?

Yaya DaCosta is to play Whitney Houston in the forthcoming lifetime movie about her life. I told you a couple of weeks ago about the film which is being directed by Angela Bassett. Now it’s been announced that the former America’s Next Top Model contestant has won the coveted role. She also had a role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The film is expected to deal with Whitney’s early days in the music industry as well as her relationship with Bobby Brown.

Could Denzel Washington be set to star in a remake of The Magnificent Seven? Apparently MGM want the Oscar winner to reteam with director Antoine Fuqua on the project. Nothing’s official yet though.

Naomi Watts and Daniel Dae Kim have joined the cast of Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent. Watts will be playing the pivotal role of Evelyn, leader of the ‘factionless’. They joins Shailene Woodley and Theo James who will be back as Tris and Four. New members of the cast also include Octavia Spencer and Suki Waterhouse.

Last week I had bad news for Will Smith fans, this week good news. Will’s in talks to play a doctor in a new film about NFL players who suffer concussions. The story follows Dr Bennet Omalu who first discovered how life-threatening concussions are in professional athletes. It depends on whether Will signs on the dotted line.

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Meet Sharapova at Selfridges, Oxford Street

New French Open tennis champion Maria Sharapova will be at Selfridges on London’s Oxford Street on 19 June to meet fans. She’ll be there to promote her new collaboration with froyo makers, Pinkberry. More details are on Selfridges.

Sheridan Smith is to be joined by an all-star cast in a new BBC drama about cancer. Sheridan will star as Lisa Lynch in The C Word, an adaptation of Lynch’s book about her battle with the disease. Paul Nicholls, Haydn Gwynne and Michael Moloney will also star in the drama which begins filming this month.

Lupita lands Star Wars role

As expected, Lupita Nyong’o has joined the cast of Star Wars Episode VII. No word yet on her role though.

Robert Downey Jr is to produce a new TV drama about rehab in the 1980s. He’s not expected to star in the drama but is producing it alongside his wife Susan. The show is expected to be set in a colourful Venice Beach rehab/therapeutic community.

Actress Maria Bello is to release a book next year based on her weekly column for the New York Times. Miracles and Madness weaves together “stories of family, love, sex and faith, chronicling the lessons of her life with honesty and courage,” according to the press release. In her newspaper column, Bello has written about coming out to her 12-year-old son and her relationship with activist Claire Munn. The book should be out in early 2015.

For more showbiz gossip follow @JennyPriestley on Twitter.

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