Showbiz News, Monday, 6/29 – Disney Planning Diehard Remakes with Samuel L. Jackson

Monday, June 29, 2020

MONDAY NIGHT TV:

THE BACHELOR: THE GREATEST SEASONS – EVER! (8p ET, ABC) — New. JoJo shares how she handled the romantic challenge of falling in love with two people. Plus, Wells and his fiancee Sarah Hyland talk about his rise as a Bachelor Nation favorite.

THE TITAN GAMES (8p ET, NBC) — New.

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (8p ET, CW) — New.

THE WALL (9p ET, NBC) — New.

PENN AND TELLER: FOOL US (9p ET, CW) — New.

CANNONBALL (10p ET, NBC) — Set to premiere next week (July 9) on USA, NBC is doing a special preview of this new reality competition. Hosted by WWE superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Cannonball features contestants facing-off in a variety of water obstacles to win $10,000.

Showbiz News and Gossip

ONE YEAR AGO AT THE BOX OFFICE 
Toy Story 4 won the box office for the second weekend.
… Five years ago Jurassic World was the No. 1 film.
… Ten years ago Toy Story 3 was on top.
… Twenty years ago Me, Myself & Irene was the top movie.

THE MOST-WATCHED MOVIES AT HOME OVER THE WEEKEND 
Ahead of next week’s Fourth of July weekend, film studios have been dropping some of the better titles of the summer. On the VOD and iTunes charts, Jon Stewart’s Irresistible has knocked King of Staten Island off the top spot after two weekends. Stewart’s film, which stars Steve Carell and Rose Byrne, has not gotten great reviews.

… Amazon Prime doesn’t provide charts, but My Spy is the top family film on the service, after skipping a theatrical release for Prime Video.

… The big movie over the weekend on Netflix was Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams’ Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga. While critics haven’t been kind in their reviews, the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is at 82 percent.

GHOSTBUSTERS HEADING TO THEATERS AND DRIVE-INS 
If it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, we’d have been getting our Ghostbusters fix in July from the release of Afterlife, but we’ll now need to wait until next March to find out if the fourth installment in the franchise will be better than the 2016 reboot. The ongoing health crisis has decimated Hollywood’s release schedule. As a result, re-releases of older titles have been battling for supremacy at the box office, with Jurassic Park recently becoming the number one movie in America almost three decades after it was first released.

… Now Ghostbusters — the 1984 original — will hit theaters and drive-ins again soon.

TWO NEW ROBERT PATTINSON MOVIES WILL NOW RELEASE IN AUGUST 
Batman’s latest reboot was just weeks into shooting before it was shut down due to the growing concerns surrounding the global health crisis, and as a result has become one of the countless high-profile projects to be hit with a delay. However, those desperate to see Robert Pattinson star on their screens again won’t have to wait too long, with the actor appearing in two movies that are set to arrive in August.

… The first is Waiting for the Barbarians, which is heading straight to digital despite boasting Pattinson, Johnny Depp and Academy Award winner Mark Rylance among the cast. The movie originally premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, but reviews have been mixed, and even with a star-studded ensemble, the current circumstances mean there’s little point in pursuing a theatrical release.

… The other is one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year, with Pattinson taking a key supporting role in Christopher Nolan’s mega-budget Tenet. Nolan seems adamant that his $225 million espionage thriller be the first major studio release of the post-coronavirus schedule, but after originally being slated for mid-July, it’s since been pushed back twice and will now arrive in the second week of August instead.

THERE’S GOING TO BE A NEW FEMALE-LED PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 
With Hollywood completely out of ideas…. Watch now for Margot Robbie who is setting sail with help from her Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson.  Hodson will write a new, female-led Pirates of the Caribbean for Disney, with Robbie set to star. While plot details are being kept in Davey Jones’ locker, the project, in early development, is not intended to be a spinoff of the long-running franchise that had pirate Jack Sparrow at its center, but rather a new, original story.

… The new project is said to be separate from the already announced reboot of the popular franchise.

JOHN BOYEGA REACTS TO MARRIAGE PROPOSAL ON TWITTER 
Star Wars actor John Boyega recently found himself in quite a situation when folks mistakenly thought that the actor had accepted the marriage proposal of a fan on Twitter. Apparently, a Star Wars fan was so entranced by the actor that she decided to share a video of herself proposing to him.

Interestingly, a user thought it would be funny to create a convincing duplicate of Boyega’s profile and accept the offer. When the actor logged into his account again, he was surprised to see that everyone was talking about the fact that he had gotten engaged. Of course, as you’d expect, he handled the situation with class.

… Fans of Boyega quickly caught on and decided to make fun of the situation, sending gifs and pictures of brides left at the altar. Luckily, the whole ordeal happened in a comedic manner and no one got hurt.

HAMILTON TRAILER NO. 2 
Disney+ has dropped on us a second full trailer for Hamilton. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton takes the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and delivers a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, Hamilton hits Disney+ this Friday (July 3). • NEW TRAILER

FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER IS LIKE A SIX-HOUR MARVEL MOVIE 
Anthony Mackie says the upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will feel similar to movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there has been one major difference in making the show — the budget. The mini-series is supposed to cost $150 million, which is a massive sum for a TV show. But that’s still less than half the $350 million price tag — not including advertising — of Avengers: Endgame.

… In an interview for Variety‘s Actors on Actors issue, Mackie revealed that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will look like a Marvel movie. Mackie said, “We’re shooting it exactly like a movie. Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show. So instead of a two-hour movie, [it’s] a six or eight-hour movie.”

… The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled to debut in August on Disney+.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON COULD RETURN FOR DISNEY’S DIE HARD REBOOT 
The ’80s and ’90s gave us three great — or in some cases good — Die Hard movies: Die Hard (1988); Die Hard 2 (1990); and Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995). Then came the 2000s and the the money grabs that were Live Free or Die Hard (2007); and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).

… Following its takeover of Fox, Disney is now in control of the rights to Die Hard and sources say discussions are happening about a soft reboot for the franchise, and they want Samuel L. Jackson to return as Zeus Carver via a cameo.

HBO MAX ANNOUNCES OVER 175 NEW MOVIES/TV SHOWS FOR JULY 
When HBO Max launched last month, DC fans hoped it would be the premiere place to go to watch all their favorite DC content. While the streaming service did have an impressive selection of films and TV shows available on launch, there were a lot of notable missing titles due to pre-existing licenses getting in the way. As time goes on, though, more DC properties will end up on the site. Case in point: this July will see a whole heap of superhero content go up on HBO Max.

… Next month HBO Max will have over 175 new movies and TV shows on its menu. The list includes an enormous amount of DC animated movies, mostly featuring Batman, the Justice League and Green Lantern. All of the Christopher Reeve Superman films will be up on HBO Max as of July, too.

DISNEY’S SPLASH MOUNTAIN WILL BE ‘COMPLETELY RE-IMAGINED’ 
Splash Mountain — one of Disney’s most popular rides — will be “completely reimagined.” The log flume ride — which is based on the controversial 1946 film Song of the South — isn’t going anywhere. Instead, it will be re-themed to star the characters from the 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first Black princess.

… Splash Mountain has been a mainstay at Disney parks since its creation in 1989. The new changes to the ride will be implemented at Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida.

… The move comes amid fans urging Disney to re-theme Splash Mountain because of the racial stereotypes from the film it is based upon. Song of the South — which is best known for the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah — has long been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African Americans as well as a romanticized view of the antebellum South. The film is so controversial that Disney has locked it away for decades — even keeping it off of Disney+.

HBO MAX RESTORES “GONE WITH THE WIND” WITH DISCLAIMER 
Gone With the Wind is back on HBO Max — with two additional videos that discuss the historical context of the classic film. WarnerMedia pulled the movie two weeks ago, citing the need to address its “racist depictions.”

… In the first video, Turner Classic Movies host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart discusses “why this 1939 epic drama should be viewed in its original form, contextualized and discussed.” The second is a one-hour video recording of a panel discussion, “The Complicated Legacy of Gone With the Wind,” from the TCM Classic Film Festival in April 2019, moderated by author and historian Donald Bogle.

ANTEBELLUM FINAL TRAILER 
A final trailer for the horror-thriller Antebellum, starring singer-actress Janelle Monáe, has been released. This trailer runs a full two minutes and explains this film better than any of the other three trailers before this.

… The synopsis only states an author “finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.” • VIDEO

ALEX TREBEK DONATES $500K TO COMBAT HOMELESS CRISIS 
Alex Trebek dug deep into his pockets again to help a homeless shelter get a new facility off the ground — more than doubling his previous donation for a very similar cause. The founder of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission says Alex handed over $500,000 of his own money to help the charity with a brand new homeless shelter they’re aiming to get built over the next year or so in the San Fernando Valley. This new initiative is mega — they’re calling it Hope Central — and it’ll be a 50,000-square-foot facility that’ll house homeless seniors in the area. The team is currently scouting properties and will break ground in 2021.

SCI-FI MOVIE WILL STAR ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT ROBOT NAMED ERICA 
A lot of people are wondering how safe it will be for Hollywood to get back to work in the age of the coronavirus, especially since we’re still very much in the first wave and the number of cases in the United States has been rising. An upcoming sci-fi production will make things slightly safer for the cast and crew, because one of the lead roles will be taken by a robot, who has been created to simulate method acting through artificial intelligence.

… The Hollywood Reporter had the news on the movie starring the robot actress, named Erica. The movie is called b, and it’s a full fledged $70 million production that will be the first to use an artificially intelligent robot as an actor.

… The premise: A scientist discovers dangers associated with a program he created to perfect human DNA, so he decides to help the artificially intelligent woman he designed to escape. Erica was created by Japanese scientists as part of their general studies in robotics. In order to prepare her for this movie, they had to teach her to act by meshing the principles of method acting with artificial intelligence. … The hope is that the film be shot in Europe in summer 2021.

WHEN JUSTICE LEAGUE’S ALTERNATE VERSION WILL ARRIVE ON HBO MAX 
When HBO Max launched, it came with news that blew the collective minds of superhero film fans. After years of campaigning, Justice League’s Snyder Cut is finally becoming a reality on the streaming service. Upwards of $30 million are being allotted for Snyder to complete his edit and the extensive visual effects to make his vision into a reality. We know the movie is arriving sometime in 2021, but now an HBO Max exec has teased a more specific timeframe.

… A bigwig with HBO Max’s parent company says the streaming service will deliver it to fans from “early to mid-2021.”

JURASSIC PARK DOING WELL IN THEATERS 
After a brief break, Jurassic Park is once again the top draw at the box office, pulling in $517,600 at 230 cinemas over the past weekend, narrowly edging out Jaws, which made $516,300 at 187 screens.

It’s the first time that Jurassic Park has been number one at the domestic box office since June 1993. Overall drive-ins are responsible for most of the box office. Out of 1,100 open theaters, about 300 are drive-in screens, and 160 of the top 201 grossing cinemas were drive-in movies. Other movies from the catalog that are hitting cinemas again are Back to the Future (which made $131,000 this past weekend), E.T. ($126,000) and The Goonies ($110,850).

RELEASE SCREAM 5 IN 2021 
Scream 5 is a go; casting is underway; and the film will be released next year. There was initially some confusion about whether this new Scream movie was a reboot or a continuation, but it was confirmed to be the latter when David Arquette signed up to reprise his role as Woodsboro sheriff Dewey Riley. To date, he’s the only original cast member to officially join the project, but we know that Neve Campbell is in talks to return as Sidney Prescott, too. Presumably, Courtney Cox has also been approached to return as Gale Weathers.

HENRY CAVILL WAS INSPIRED BY WORKING WITH TOM CRUISE 
Henry Cavill is doing many of his own stunts on Netflix’s The Witcher, and he gives credit to Tom Cruise. Cavill says, “For me, when it comes to stunts, I’ve always enjoyed doing the physical stuff. Working with Tom Cruise [on Mission: Impossible – Fallout] really helped — or maybe, in the eyes of the producers, made worse my enjoyment for stunts. I really want to do [the stunts] now, and I think it’s an essential piece to the character.”

MARTHA STEWART LANDS NEW SHOWS ON FOOD NETWORK AND HGTV 
Food Network not only announced that Martha Stewart is returning to the judges’ table on Chopped, but that she’ll also host an untitled holiday-themed series. Stewart will also host outdoor projects show Martha Knows Best for HGTV.

ULTRA RARE POKEMON CARD EXPECTED TO FETCH UP TO $100,000 
An extremely rare Pokemon card, thought to be one of only seven ever produced, is up for auction online and experts said it could sell for up to $100,000. The Pokemon Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer card, being sold by Heritage Auctions, is billed by the auction house as the “holy grail” of collectible cards and its condition was rated a perfect 10 by experts. The card is one of seven that were distributed to winners of regional tournaments in Japan in 1999, granting them entry into the finals in Tokyo. The auction ends July 8.

A CHICKEN RUN SEQUEL IS COMING TO NETFLIX 
Chicken Run, the hugely successful clay animation movie, is finally getting a sequel 20 years later. It’ll be made by original creator Aardman Animations and released on Netflix, with production starting in 2021.

… Chicken Run, released in 2000, followed the story of chickens Ginger and Rocky as they hatched a plan to escape Tweedy’s farm where they were destined to be made into chicken pies. Chicken Run is the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film ever. It grossed more than $225 million worldwide, and starred the voices of Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson, Timothy Spall and Imelda Staunton.

… The sequel will follow Ginger and Rocky, who are now living happily in a “peaceful island sanctuary” with their flock. When their daughter Molly is born, however, they find out that back on the mainland, chickens are in trouble again.

MEGAN FOX SAYS SHE WAS NEVER PREYED UPON BY MICHAEL BAY 
 After a late-night clip from 2009 resurfaced and gained steam on social media over the weekend, where Megan Fox shared a story about being sexualized as a teenager for her role in Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II, the actress released a statement to clarify that she was never “assaulted or preyed upon in what I felt was a sexual manner.” In an Instagram post this week, Fox said that she was “around 15 or 16 years old” when she got an extra role in the film, where Bay had her dance under a waterfall during a club scene.

Several years later, when Fox auditioned for Bay’s Transformers, she said that the audition was at a studio parking lot with “several” other crew members and employees present. Although Fox was asked to provocatively hold tools and pose around Bay’s sports car, she “at no point” was asked to undress or do “anything” similar.

… Fox wrote on her Instagram: “While I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support, I do feel I need to clarify some of the details as they have been lost in the retelling of the events and cast a sinister shadow that doesn’t really, in my opinion, belong.” Fox reiterated her thanks for the support she’s received since the Jimmy Kimmel Live! clip resurfaced, and insisted that Bay’s behavior shouldn’t be equated to the more serious — or criminal — experiences that women face in Hollywood.

TINA FEY ASKS PLATFORMS TO PULL 30 ROCK EPISODES THAT SHOWED BLACKFACE 
Tina Fey, creator and star of the Emmy Award-winning series 30 Rock, has asked streaming services to remove several of the show’s episodes that feature White actors in blackface. Fey apologized for the episodes and the “pain they have caused,” according to a letter she wrote to streaming services.

… The episodes set to be pulled include Season 3, Episode 2; Season 5, Episode 4; Season 5, Episode 10 and Season 6, Episode 19. Two of them feature Jane Krakowski, who is white, in blackface, and Jon Hamm appears in blackface in another. Some of them have been pulled from Hulu and Amazon, and some of the episodes were still available for purchase on YouTube as of Tuesday.

MARVEL STUDIOS AND GHOSTBUSTERS STAR ERNIE HUDSON HAVE DISCUSSED POSSIBLE ROLE 
Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson revealed that he has reached out to Marvel Studios for a potential role on more than one occasion. He previously discussed the opportunity to portray T’Challa’s father King T’Chaka in 2018’s Black Panther. Hudson says that Marvel may have passed him over for that role because it wasn’t “big enough” for him, leaving the possibility of saving him for another MCU appearance in the future. Hudson says he continues to text the co-president at Marvel Studios, like, “Hey, I’m here and I’m available.”

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN OFFERS A NEW WINDS OF WINTER ESTIMATE 
Everyone in search of a pandemic-based silver lining can head to author and producer George R.R. Martin’s blog, where the creator of the Song of Ice & Fire book series offers new hope for its next installment. Progress continues on The Winds of Winter, Martin said on Tuesday, and he’s dared to offer a hopeful estimate — though, obviously, not a release date.

… Martin wrote: “The enforced isolation has helped me write.” He confirms a flurry of progress in the past week, adding up to five chapters for Winds of Winter, and he points to “long hours every day” and “steady progress” in putting the book together. Martin then mentions the cancellation of a New Zealand fan convention this year, which he admitted was, in some ways, a perfect development.

JIMMY KIMMEL APOLOGIZES FOR HIS ‘EMBARRASSING’ PAST USE OF BLACKFACE 
As expected, from a guy who calls everyone else out for things, Jimmy Kimmel released a statement finally addressing his past use of blackface sketches, saying he had been “reluctant” to discuss the topic and that it “was a mistake” to wait so long to apologize. Jimmy said: “There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke.”

… Kimmel is the latest TV star to face a racial reckoning in the wake of the police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

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