ABC Entertainment News

COVID controversy: LA testing site briefly shut down to shoot 'She's All That' remake

COVID controversy: LA testing site briefly shut down to shoot 'She's All That' remake

Union Station -- iStock/4kodiac(LOS ANGELES) -- An already overbooked COVID-19 testing site at Los Angeles' Union Station was briefly shuttered Monday to make way for a film shoot amid a spike in cases there -- and after that sparked outrage, nobody seems to know how it happened. 

After news broke that the testing would be halted for the She's All That remake shoot, in turn canceling over 500 scheduled appointments, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to Twitter to do damage control. 

"Working with @LAFD@Curative & @MetroLosAngeles, my team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday," Garcetti tweeted. "The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily."

So how'd it happen?  For its part, a representative for FilmLA, which handles film permitting for the city, claimed to ABC News, "Prior to this issue being brought to our attention, neither FilmLA nor the locations team for the production company had prior knowledge of a COVID-19 testing center operating on-site."

The rep also noted that their office didn't know who decided to shut testing down, but "production reps for the film offered to work with station representatives to restore access to the testing site [Tuesday]."

The news that the site had been shut down drew outrage both from residents and the local press, with most placing the blame on Garcetti's shoulders. The activist group the People's City Council posted a round-up of negative headlines, calling the situation an "embarrassment" and the mayor unfit to serve in office.

The remake, titled He's All That, will be a gender-swapped version of the 1999 movie, about a nerdy high school girl who transforms into a hottie, mostly by removing her glasses.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Ice-T implores Americans to take COVID-19 seriously after father-in-law becomes dependent on oxygen

Ice-T implores Americans to take COVID-19 seriously after father-in-law becomes dependent on oxygen

Virginia Sherwood/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Ice-T is hoping to convince more followers to mask up and take COVID-19 seriously after his father-in-law, 63-year-old Steve Austin, battled the infectious virus and is now permanently on oxygen.  

The Law & Order: SVU star revealed on Twitter that Austin was among the crowd of people who believed the fallacy that masks provide no protection against COVID-19.

"My father-in-law ‘Coco’s dad’ was a serious ‘No Masker’ COVID hit him," Ice-T explained on Sunday. "Pneumonia in both lungs.. 40 days in ICU close to death.. Now he’s on Oxygen indefinitely."

The actor also attested that the virus has made Austin "a Believer now" and warned fans via the hashtag, "#COVIDisNotAGame."

He added in a followup tweet that Austin was "close to death" and slammed those who thought his father-in-law's health ordeal was made up for attention.

T's wife, Coco, first alerted fans about her father's diagnosis over the summer, explaining via Instagram that he was in the ICU after he "developed Covid pneumonia in both lungs, and from there couldn't breathe and needed to be put on [an] oxygen machine."

Coco elaborated in a subsequent August update that her father's lungs were severely damaged by COVID-19 and that he had lost 30 pounds during his month-long hospitalization. 

"He said being in the hospital for a month was like jail.. No windows No visitors and laying in one spot and not being able to walk around was getting to him," she described. "He also adds you could hear people moan in pain during the night."

As for why Coco, in tandem with Ice-T, provided an unflinching look at Austin's COVID-battle, they hope to convince more people that the virus is not a hoax.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Meadow Walker honors her late father on seventh anniversary of his death

Meadow Walker honors her late father on seventh anniversary of his death

L-R - Similce Diesel, Meadow Walker -- Michael Kovac/Getty Images for DreamWorks Animation(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been seven years since The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker unexpectedly died in a car crash at age 40. His daughter, Meadow Walker, took to Instagram yesterday to mark the solemn date and celebrate her dad's life.

Meadow, who is now 22, shared a sweet photo on Monday of her much younger self cuddled against her father's chest for a nap.  

"A silly day to remember in sadness," she noted in the caption. "Today’s a celebration of the love and happiness you brought to the world."

"Here’s a photo of my best bud & I napping," she signed off with.

Friends of her family immediately flooded the comment section with memories of the late actor and words of encouragement for the young woman.

Actress and fellow Furious series star Nathalie Emmanuel expressed to Meadow, "We miss him so much. Of all the things he gave to the world....... You are the most beautiful of them all!"

"We love you Meadow! We love you and miss your father everyday," wrote Tyrese "Uncle Ty" Gibson, another Furious alum. "Prayers love and light to you angel..... I know none of this has been easy especially days like this."

Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013, when Meadow was just 15.  

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'Saved by the Bell' reboot removes jokes about Selena Gomez's kidney transplant

'Saved by the Bell' reboot removes jokes about Selena Gomez's kidney transplant

Peacock(LOS ANGELES) -- Following significant backlash, the Saved by the Bell reboot has removed the controversial scenes that poked fun at Selena Gomez's kidney transplant.  

TMZ is reporting that the Peacock streaming service edited the controversial episode by scrubbing all traces of the kidney jokes that many found offensive.  The updated episode is now streaming.

The now-deleted scenes were featured in the sixth episode of the reboot, where two characters argued over who donated a kidney to the "Wolves" singer.  The teenage girls wrongfully claimed it was either Justin Bieber's mother or Demi Lovato, neither of whom did. 

The volatile exchange was then followed by a scene that included graffiti that read "Does Selena Gomez even have kidneys?" spray-painted in bold black letters above the hallway lockers.

Gomez, who was diagnosed with lupus -- an autoimmune disease -- announced in 2017 that her best friend Francia Raisa saved her life by donating her kidney. 

Raisa criticized the Saved by the Bell reboot on Sunday, joining the leagues of fans demanding an apology for mocking Gomez's personal health struggles.

While fans demanded the Peacock series to apologize, Raisa said the show insulted all organ donors, telling ABC News, "We need people to become donors and I worry that continuing to dismiss them and minimize their contributions will have a negative impact."

Gomez has yet to personally respond to the controversy.  Instead, she has been using her time promoting her photo shoot for Vogue Mexico and teasing new products coming to her Rare Beauty makeup line.

NBC Universal, Peacock and the show's executive producers have since apologized, saying, "It was never our intention to make light of Selena's health. We have been in touch with her team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'The Disney Holiday Singalong' brings screen stars and Broadway talent together for heartwarming show of unity

'The Disney Holiday Singalong' brings screen stars and Broadway talent together for heartwarming show of unity

ABC(NEW YORK) -- ABC kicked off the holiday season with a dazzling display of star power for The Disney Holiday Singalong.  Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who was seated comfortably in a giant leather chair in front of a roaring fire, Monday night's festivities united recording artists, actors, celebrities and Broadway talent alike to remind everyone watching at home that, even though Christmas will look different this year, the holiday spirit remains unchanged.  

Monday night's message also centered on the importance of family and kindness, as demonstrated by singers teaming with their siblings or young children for their performances.   

Highlights of the night included performances from Chloe x Halle, BTS, Pink and her nine-year-old daughter Willow, Adam Lambert, Leslie Odom Jr. and many others that helped ring in the holiday season.

Kicking off the official singalong was Hollywood power couple Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, who attempted a vocal warmup for the audience watching at home that, unfortunately, went awry.  The camera shattered when the outspoken diva went rogue with the high notes.

R&B duo Chloe x Halle took over with their ultra-harmonized rendition of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from Disney's Frozen. The sisters joined hands as they danced around a winter wonderland, highlighted by white Christmas trees and snow flurries gently swirling around them.  

Another memorable performance came all the way from South Korea, when BTS teamed up with the official star of the Christmas season, Santa Claus himself, to help them perform "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." The K-pop group had a blast channeling the joy and wonder of the holidays by surrounding themselves with shiny presents and twinkling lights.  The band also shared several hearty laughs throughout the song.

With Santa busy in South Korea, Pink invited her young daughter Willow to help deliver a magical and heartwarming rendition of "The Christmas Song."  Pink's eyes filled with pride as her daughter showed off her impressive vocal talents and, at the end, happily waved over her three-year-old son, Jameson, to wave goodbye to the audience and close out their family performance.

Leslie Odom Jr. married the Halloween and Christmas spirits when tackling "What's This" from The Nightmare before Christmas.  His Broadway chops shined and made the ultra-energetic song all the more entertaining as the Hamilton star's voice crackled and popped with excitement, allowing him to effortlessly channel the animated Jack Skellington.

While some performers chose to highlight the jubilation of Christmas, others like Adam Lambert and Andrea Bocelli embodied the warmth of the holiday season with their intimate performances of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Silent Night," respectively.

The most emotional performance, however, came from Broadway itself, when those who are part of Disney's impressive array of musicals came together in a show of unity to deliver an inspiring and modified version of Frozen's "Let It Go."  The group took over the New Amsterdam Theatre, located in the heart of Times Square, to promise Broadway's glorious return and encourage the audience to "fill this world with light and love."

Also helping to ring the Christmas cheer was perennial holiday favorite Michael Bublé performing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," Scandal star Kerry Washington, who belted out "Joy to the World" from her illuminated gazebo, Ciara and her children Sienna and Future rocking out to "Rocking around the Christmas Tree," Derek and Julianne Hough dancing up a storm to some holiday classics, and Katy Perry performing a medley of "Cozy Little Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Seacrest closed out the celebration by asking the audience to support Feed America, saying those who wish to donate can do so by visiting disney.com/feedthelove. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Felicity Huffman books first post-prison acting gig with ABC baseball comedy

Felicity Huffman books first post-prison acting gig with ABC baseball comedy

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Former Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman will return to ABC with her first acting role since being released from prison after serving time for her part in the Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scandal. 

Deadline reports Huffman will play a widow who takes over her husband's minor league baseball team in the untitled comedy series. It's based on the real-life owners of the Sacramento River Cats, a AAA team that became the minor league's most valuable team after Susan Savage inherited the team from her late husband.

Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison and served 11 after pleading guilty in the scandal.  Also sentenced to prison after pleading guilty were actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli.

Zack Gottsagen, the actor with Down syndrome who starred alongside Shia LaBeouf in The Peanut Butter Falcon, will also star as Huffman's baseball-obsessed son, says Deadline.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Celebrity Chef David Chang wins 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire''s top prize for restaurant workers hurt by COVID-19

Celebrity Chef David Chang wins 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire''s top prize for restaurant workers hurt by COVID-19

ABC/John Fleenor(LOS ANGELES) -- Celebrity chef, restaurateur, and Ugly Delicious host David Chang snagged the top prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on ABC Sunday night -- but it's restaurant workers who will benefit. 

Chang's jackpot will be donated to the Southern Smoke Foundation, which is dedicated to helping restaurant workers in need -- and thanks to the pandemic shutdowns, that's no small number. 

On the million-dollar question, Chang called upon ESPN personality Mina Kimes for help; she correctly advised him how to answer this: "Which U.S. president was the first to have electricity in the White House?" 

"No celebrity in the 20 years that this show has been on has ever won the million dollars," host Jimmy Kimmel warned before Chang pulled the trigger with the right answer Kimes gave: Benjamin Harrison.

In response, the charity tweeted its gratitude to Kimes and Chang, noting, "This is going to change so many peoples' lives for the better!" along with the hashtag, "#takingcareofourown."

 

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Star Wars' newest villain, 'The Mandalorian' star Giancarlo Eposito,

Star Wars' newest villain, 'The Mandalorian' star Giancarlo Eposito, "really adored" Darth Vader

Disney+(NEW YORK) -- Over the weekend, Star Wars fans lost David Prowse, the towering former bodybuilder who filled the unmistakable black suit of Darth Vader in the original trilogy. He was 85. 

Standing 6'6' in his prime, and even taller thanks to Vader's hissing helmet, Prowse's presence sent shivers down the spines of millions of moviegoers when he first appeared in the opening moments of 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope.

One of those moviegoers was Giancarlo Esposito, who, years later, has been passed the torch of Star Wars villainy, thanks to his role as the calculating Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian

Moff Gideon's black on black armor is reminiscent of Vader's, which was amazing, says Epsosito, who recently earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in the Disney+ series' first season finale.

"I was so excited to wear a cape!" the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul vet enthused to ABC Audio. "You know, when I was a kid and watching Star Wars ... people with capes had a little bit of aristocratic power and were also able to really bring the characterization through the costume," he explained.

"My references were Darth Vader, who I really adored in the earlier movies just because of his powerful presence, and James Earl Jones' [voice] and that incredible costume, which is just so far out. A throwback to old times, or is it really throw forward to contemporary times?" 

A new episode of The Mandalorian drops Friday on Disney+.  Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
RIP

RIP "Jeans Guy" -- Errant 'Mandalorian' crew member is deleted

Disney+(LOS ANGELES) -- Gone, but not forgotten. That's the fate of "Jeans Guy," the name fans had given to a crew member who accidentally appeared in a frame of a recent episode of the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian: as we expected, he has been digitally deleted.

The crew member appeared in the background of a shootout between director/co-star Carl Weathers' episode of the series, "The Siege," and spawned immediate fandom in the form of mock action figures and potential cosplay.

Alas, he's no more -- at least officially. As of this weekend, he no longer appears in the show, thanks to some digital wizardry from the folks at Lucasfilm. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
The Jerky Boys are back, and just when we can use a laugh

The Jerky Boys are back, and just when we can use a laugh

ABC News/Steve Iervolino(NEW YORK) -- After nearly 25 years, Johnny Brennan and his prank phone call alter egos Frank Rizzo, Sol Rosenberg and countless others are back, in a new self-titled Jerky Boys album. 

And it's not a minute too soon, the multi-platinum prankster and voiceover star tells ABC Audio. "You know, the crap going on, you know, all that unrest, you know, and the Jerky Boys -- it's just at the perfect time," Brennan says.

He explains, "You don't know how many thousands of emails I got over the years -- or people coming up to me and just saying -- 'Johnny, you have no idea how your work and the Jerky Boys got me through some really rough times.' And I really appreciate that."

Johnny is a regular on Family Guy, playing Mort Goldberg. He was hired by longtime Jerkys fan and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, which has only broadened the Jerkys fan base, Johnny B explains.

"It's funny, a lot of the younger ones now they're getting in through Family Guy, so they come in the back door kind of thing," says Brennan, "and a lot of them just grow up with parents that love to share the Jerky Boys with them. And so it's...just very cool."

He adds, "It really blows me away to see how the people have really loved this project, and I firmly believe it's because of the characters. You know, the characters are so endearing."

On the new album, Johnny occasionally plies his handiwork on a very deserving target: telephone scammers trying to bilk people out of their Social Security information, and also overseas customer service operators. "People have been asking me to get those guys for years," Brennan says with a laugh. 

The fifth Jerky Boys album is now available.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

... Continue Reading
Anne Hathaway shrugs off 'The Witches' comparisons to Anjelica Huston

Anne Hathaway shrugs off 'The Witches' comparisons to Anjelica Huston

Warner Bros./HBO Max(LOS ANGELES) -- Anne Hathaway, who starred in the 2020 remake of The Witches, says she isn't upset by her performance being constantly compared to Anjelica Huston's, who played the Grand High Witch in the 1990 version of the movie.  

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph's Stellar magazine, the 38-year-old revealed how she kept herself from becoming emotionally invested in the constant comparisons.

"I just keep reminding myself that there have been, like, six Batmen and four Jokers and seven James Bonds," the 38-year-old Oscar-winner said. "We seem to get a little more into comparisons when it’s two women and we seem to get a little more excited when it’s two men."

"Anjelica’s performance is flawless and it’s iconic and it’s just right for the film she’s in. My hope is that my performance is just right for the film that I’m in," added Hathaway, who believes "each performance can be celebrated for what it is."

The Ocean's 8 actress continued that her version of The Witches is drastically different than the 1990 version, which called for her to make the character her own.

"When [director Robert Zemeckis] showed me that ear-splitting grin with the fangs, I thought: 'Oh, this isn’t something that you can get out of your head. This is terrifying,'" confessed Hathaway, who said she remedied that by making the character more comedic than scary to teach children that they can "laugh at evil."

As for whether or not Hathaway feared that fans would not enjoy seeing her play such a vile character, the Oscar winner shrugged, "I haven’t felt fear surrounding being labelled for a very long time" but admitted that she "was afraid of being boxed in as an actress" when she was a lot younger.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Laverne Cox shaken after alleged attack:

Laverne Cox shaken after alleged attack: "It’s not safe if you’re a trans person"

ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- Orange Is the New Black alum Laverne Cox and a friend were involved in an attack over the weekend.

Taking to Instagram on Saturday, the actress and transgender rights activist said the incident "triggered" her because it brought back the harassment and bullying she faced throughout the years.

Cox, who declined to identify her friend, said they were on a socially distanced walk in Los Angeles' Griffith Park to "catch up" on Saturday.

"[I'm] just walking through the park, talking with my friend and then we pass this guy, and the guy very aggressively asks for the time," recounts the Bad Hair star, who adds she didn't entertain the stranger and continued walking because "that's the New Yorker in me."

Her friend, however, did answer the man, who then allegedly asked them "guy or girl?"

Cox claims the man began physically assaulting her friend after being told to leave.  But, by the time the actress grabbed her phone to call 911, she claims the attacker fled the scene.

"It just happened really quickly," the 48-year-old sighed while fighting back tears.  "It’s not safe in the world. I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth. It’s not safe if you’re a trans person."

Cox, who claims she and her friend are "fine," spoke directly to trans individuals suffering from harassment and trauma, saying, "It’s not your fault that there are people who are not cool with you existing in the world."

"We have a right to walk in the park," the actress furthered. "It’s not your fault if something like this happens to you. If you can, travel with friends. It’s great to be safe out there. Be careful. I love you."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Chrissy Teigen urges to

Chrissy Teigen urges to "normalize formula" after opening up about breastfeeding struggles

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Chrissy Teigen is hoping that, by opening up about her breastfeeding struggles, she can help break down the stigma regarding breast milk versus formula.

In a lengthy Twitter discussion, the Bring the Funny host called to "normalize formula."

"Normalize breastfeeding is such a huge, wonderful thing. but I absolutely felt way more shame having to use formula because of lack of milk from depression and whatnot," Teigen continued in a followup tweet. She also pointed out that pushing breastfeeding can have unintended consequences on a new mom's confidence.

"People have surrogates, people have trouble breastfeeding and all you hear as a new, anxious mom is how breast is best," the Cravings author wroteadding that no matter what side of the argument a parent is on, "Your baby is gonna be BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, AND OKAY."

Teigen then explained that, when her children were infants, she used to spend a great deal of time pumping on the "highest mode," and "it drove me mad to the point I could only get an ounce. an ounce!"

"The stress of it, combined with the guilt that you cannot do nature's most natural thing for your own baby is too much," the 35-year-old model implored. "I dunno why this is my crusade now. I just remember the sadness I felt and want you to know you are doing it right if your baby is fed, mama."

This isn't the first time Teigen has advocated for mothers. She recently defended Meghan Markle from critics after the duchess opened up about her miscarriage, weeks after Teigen suffered her own pregnancy loss.  

Teigen is the mom of Luna and Miles -- four and two, respectively -- whom she shares with husband John Legend.  

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Michael B. Jordan, Viola Davis and others honor Chadwick Boseman on what would've been his 44th birthday

Michael B. Jordan, Viola Davis and others honor Chadwick Boseman on what would've been his 44th birthday

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Hail to the king! Michael B. Jordan, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and others paid tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman on Sunday, which would have been the actor's 44th birthday.

Boseman passed away in August following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

"Continue watching over us King. Happy Birthday. Miss you," Boseman's Black Panther co-star and close friend Jordan captioned a photo on Instagram of the two of them hugging each other.

"Deeply loved, sorely missed. #ChadwickBoseman," Nyong'o wrote alongside a shot of the two dressed in formal attire.

"Happy birthday in Heaven, Chadwick! You are still so alive to me!! I love you," Davis -- who stars opposite Boseman in his posthumously released film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, captioned a gif on Instagram of the actor being showered in confetti.

Boseman's Avengers: Infinity Wars and Avengers: Endgame co-star Mark Ruffalo shared an Instagram video of Chadwick warmly being serenaded with "Happy Birthday" by his Endgame crew and co-stars on set. "Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today, @ChadwickBoseman," Ruffalo wrote. "Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment."

"Happy birthday my friend. I know the angels are celebrating on high with you today. Miss you every day," Josh Gad captioned a photo of him posing with Boseman.

Common tweeted, "Chadwick Boseman would have turned 44 years old today. Happy Birthday King. God Bless You. Thank you for using your gift to bring light to this world. RIP."

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'The Croods: A New Age' tops weak Thanksgiving holiday weekend with $14.22 million

'The Croods: A New Age' tops weak Thanksgiving holiday weekend with $14.22 million

tifonimages/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Croods: A New Age, the animated sequel to 2013's The Croods, beat expectations and topped the box office with an estimated $9.71 million for the three-day weekend -- eclipsing Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which delivered $9.35 million in its first three days of release.

The Croods: A New Age delivered an estimated $14.22 million since opening on Wednesday -- a nice haul in this age of COVID-19, but also the lowest Thanksgiving weekend haul in modern history.

Overseas, the film, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman -- reprising their roles from the first film -- along with new cast members Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran, earned an estimated $20 million, for a haul of around $35 million worldwide.

Freaky, the comedy-horror film starring Vince Vaughn, landed in second place with an estimated $770,000.

The family comedy The War with Grandpa -- starring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken -- finished third with an estimated with $643,936, bringing its total to a healthy $17.2 million.

Let Him Go, the suspense drama starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, brought in an estimated $453,000 for a fourth place finish, bringing its cumulative total to $8.7 million in its fourth week of release.

The horror flick Come Play rounds out the top five, delivering $387,000 between Friday and Sunday, for a total of $8.7 million here in the states.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'Star Wars' original Darth Vader, David Prowse, dead at 85

'Star Wars' original Darth Vader, David Prowse, dead at 85

Dave Prowse in 2013; THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP via Getty Images(LONDON) -- David Prowse, the British bodybuilder-turned-actor who wore the menacing black suit of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died.  He was 85.

Prowse's managers confirmed the news via Twitter, writing in part, "It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away."

Standing 6'7" in his prime, Prowse parlayed his physical stature into a film career, with a role as a bodyguard in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 cult classic A Clockwork Orange, which caught the eye of Star Wars creator George Lucas when he needed to fill the menacing boots of his Dark Lord of the Sith.  James Earl Jones famously provided Vader's unmistakable baritone growl after production, which came as a surprise to Prowse, who thought his arguably far less menacing pipes would be used onscreen.

Prowse appeared in numerous television shows and movies, including Doctor Who and as Frankenstein's monster in several Hammer horror films.  A champion weightlifter, he used his experience to train celebrities such as Christopher Reeve for 1978's Superman and Carey Elwes in The Princess Bride.

Prowse was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2000 for services to charity for starring in a series of road safety ads for children in the '70s, and he continued to be a presence at science fiction conventions and the like until his retirement in 2016.

On Twitter, his onscreen son, Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, remembered Prowse as, "a kind man & much more than Darth Vader." Hamill added, "He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

... Continue Reading
Whitney Cummings, Keke Palmer and more take a comedic look at credit card fine print in new contest

Whitney Cummings, Keke Palmer and more take a comedic look at credit card fine print in new contest

Photo Courtesy Affirm(NEW YORK) -- Comedian and producer Whitney Cummings, actress Keke Palmer, and stand-up Hasan Minhaj are poking fun at fine print, as part of a million dollar contest that invites consumers to, as well. 

The company Affirm, which bills itself as a "transparent alternative" to the usual credit cards, is putting up a million dollars -- 100 prizes of $10,000 each -- for people who can give the funniest, most dramatic, or creative readings of the usually indecipherable fine print on everything from credit card agreements to labels on food and beauty products.

According to the company, judges are looking for, "the best fine print reading submissions based on the inclusion of a fine print 'gotcha,'" stressing, "originality, creativity, quality, and entertainment value."

Keke and Hasan separately gave their takes on the contest; she reads her lengthy fine print from a seemingly endless scroll of paper, he recorded a segment stressing a sneaker store's silly return policy.

Cummings reads a credit card agreement, yelling at one point, "Who wrote this and why do you hate me?" Ashley Parker, and Taylor Perez will soon drop theirs.

Submissions will be accepted until December 10 at affirm.com/giftsnotgotchas.


 

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Jason Bateman, Timothee Chalamet, Kristen Wiig to host 'Saturday Night Live' in December

Jason Bateman, Timothee Chalamet, Kristen Wiig to host 'Saturday Night Live' in December

NBCUniversal(NEW YORK) -- Saturday Night Live has announced its hosts and musical guests for December, including the return of a former cast member. 

Ozark's Jason Bateman will do the honors on December 5, with the musical guest Morgan Wallen -- who had been previously bumped for violating COVID-19 guidelines when he posted a video of himself partying with female fans. He posted the news fans on social media, along with the wry caption, "Let’s try this again."

December 12 will see upcoming Dune star Timothee Chalamet taking the stage at Studio 8H, with musical guests Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

On December 19, former cast member Kristen Wiig returns as host, ahead of the Christmas Day debut of Wonder Woman, in which she plays Cheetah. Her musical guest is Dua Lipa.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Russo Bros. moves -- Sequel to Chris Hemsworth's Netflix hit 'Extraction'; peek at Tom Holland's 'Cherry'

Russo Bros. moves -- Sequel to Chris Hemsworth's Netflix hit 'Extraction'; peek at Tom Holland's 'Cherry'

L-R Anthony Russo, Joe Russo/ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- After helming the biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame, directors Joe and Anthony Russo are making new headlines.

Talk of a sequel to the Netflix hit Extraction began soon after the Joe Russo-penned movie drew big numbers for the streaming service after its April debut, but now it seems the follow-up to the Chris Hemsworth action film has a start date. 

Based on the Ande Parks book Ciudad, the movie had the Thor series star playing strung-out mercenary Tyler Rake, who takes a high-risk job rescuing the son of a crime boss from a rival.

In an interview with Hemsworth's Avengers series co-director, it appears things will get underway on the follow-up next spring.

Joe Russo tells Comicbook.com, "We're in the script phase right now but we're hoping to shoot that sometime next year. I'm super excited, Hemsworth's super excited, Netflix is excited so it's really just a function of getting the script done."

It's not clear yet if the action movie's director, Sam Hargrave, is set to return, and it's also unclear whether the movie will be a sequel or a prequel, as the fate of Hemsworth's character is left to a cliffhanger. 

Meanwhile, Vanity Fair has released images from the Russo Bros.' upcoming reunion with another Avengers series star, Spider-Man's Tom Holland. 

Based on the bestselling novel by the same name from author Nico Walker, Cherry has Holland playing a former Army medic who returns from Iraq with PTSD, who falls into opioid addiction and a life of crime. 

The movie will hit theaters on February 26, and then debut on AppleTV+ on March 12, 2021.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Bill Murray's brother Ed, inspiration for 'Caddyshack', has died

Bill Murray's brother Ed, inspiration for 'Caddyshack', has died

Michael Reaves/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ed Murray, the eldest of Bill Murray's five brothers and the inspiration for the Danny Noonan character in Caddyshack, has died. 

On his William Murray Golf Instagram page, Murray noted the passing "with the heaviest of hearts," calling his brother a "legend."

The memorial says, "It was Ed who introduced the Murray family to this wonderful game of golf -- by way of caddying at Indian Hills Country Club -- at the age of 10, no less. (They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.)"

The post added, "Ed was the recipient of the Evans Scholarship back in 1963, while attending Northwestern University -- a scholarship awarded to golf caddies -- a family storyline which served as inspiration for the Danny Noonan character in Caddyshack when Brian Doyle-Murray co-wrote that iconic screenplay."

The post goes on to note that, "Ed and all five Murray brothers are members of the Caddie Hall of Fame, as well -- something all the boys take pride in, as this game helped shape their lives."

Various sources give Ed Murray's age as either 75 or 76.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading