Entertainment News

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black says he's recovering from "serious head injury"

(L-R) Black, Daley -- Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Without specifying how he was hurt, Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has revealed via Instagram he "sustained a serious head injury" that "put me out of commission."

"Showing little improvement, my doctors ordered me to shut off my brain in hopes of it healing," he continued. "This has been a challenging, frightening time for a creative type who depends on what's in his skull to work, care and love. And now I understand the road back will be long."

Black explained his husband, British Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley, whisked him away to the Greek Islands to recover and "to make me shut off."

Black, who produced the Emmy-nominated drama Under the Banner of Heaven, continued, "I can already feel this trip is a step in the right direction, and I finally feel safe sharing a bit again."

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James Earl Jones reportedly putting Darth Vader's voice into the hands of tech wizards

John Atashian/Getty Images -- Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi's description of Darth Vader being "more machine now than man" is coming true.

According to an article in Vanity Fair, James Earl Jones has signed off on Lucasfilm using the AI tech from a company called Respeecher to imitate his menacing voice for the black helmeted Dark Lord of the Sith from now on.

It's the same company that provided the voice for a 30-something Luke Skywalker, digitally de-aging 71-year-old Mark Hamill's voice for Luke's appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

Jones, 91, reportedly gave his blessing to the Ukrainian company's team up with Lucasfilm's Emmy-winning sound designer Matthew Wood, with the former using "machine learning" to recreate Jones' Vader voice for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+.

"He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character. So how do we move forward?" Wood commented to the magazine.

Likening the legendary actor to a "benevolent godfather," Jones guided Wood and his team as a very serious deadline fast approached: Respeecher is based in Ukraine, and the collaboration happened feverishly between its designers and Wood, even as the threat of Russian shelling grew.

Wood explained to Vanity Fair, the Respeecher team’s attitude was: "Let's work, let's work in the face of this adversity, let’s persevere.'"

Jones and his family were reportedly pleased with the results.

Lucasfilm is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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"You keep her alive, and you set everything right": HBO releases chilling teaser to 'The Last of Us'

HBO

On Monday, HBO released a teaser to its anticipated series adaptation of the hit video game The Last of Us.

September 26 is known as Outbreak Day to fans of the PlayStation hit: According to the game, it's the day people began being infected by a deadly disease caused by the cordyceps fungus, which turns the infected into shambling, zombie-like predators.

The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal stars as Joel and fellow Game of Thrones vet Bella Ramsay plays Ellie; as in the game, Joel is tasked with protecting the young woman at all costs.

The teaser, set to "Alone and Forsaken" by Hank Williams, gives some creepy peeks at the post-apocalyptic world in which they live.

There are shades of the COVID-19 pandemic in the footage -- something the PlayStation hit couldn't predict in 2013, when the first game came out. Tattered signs warning passersby of the symptoms of infection seem eerily prescient as Joel makes his way through deserted streets.

The smuggler is charged with leading Ellie out of a dangerous quarantine zone and across a post-apocalyptic United States. "You keep her alive, and you set everything right," someone urges him in voiceover.

Ellie is immune to the disease and may be the key to reversing the plague.

Also starring Nick Offerman, Gabriel Luna and Anna Torv -- as well as Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, who respectively voiced Ellie and Joel in the game and its sequel -- The Last of Us is set to debut in 2023.

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KiKi Layne not worrying about getting cut from 'Don't Worry Darling'

Kiki Layne and Florence Pugh - Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

KiKi Layne has posted to Instagram that she's not sweating being mostly cut from Olivia Wilde's talked-about movie Don't Worry Darling.

Apparently, the If Beale Street Could Talk star was in good company: Tony and Grammy Award winner Ari'el Stachel's scenes also ended up on the cutting room floor. But the pair ended up together.

"The best thing about #DontWorryDarling is that I was lucky enough to meet @arielstachel," Layne Instagrammed on Sunday, along with a video of the new couple on set together.

"They cut us from most of the movie, but we thriving in real life," she continued, adding "Love you Ari," heart emoji, along with the cheeky #GotMyCheck#GotMyMan#EverythingHappensforaReason.

Satchel replied, "My love. You are a queen and your talent shines so bright. I was thirsty then and I'm thirsty now." He also returned the favor with a post of his own.

He told his followers, "This woman did phenomenal work and I was thirsty the second I met her," calling meeting her the "best part" of working on the movie.

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Kevin Feige explains why T’Challa was not recast in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Marvel Studios

When it was announced that another Black Panther movie was to come after the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the titular superhero aka T'Challa in the 2018 hit film, Marvel fans wondered how another story could be told without him.

Some even wondered if the franchise would continue with a different actor taking on the role; it was later revealed that T'Challa would not be recast in the film.

In a new interview with Empire, Marvel boss Kevin Feige explained the reason for the decision.

“It just felt like it was much too soon,” Feige said. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window...as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”

Coogler, the writer and director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, worked alongside Feige to create a story that honored Boseman. When it came to crafting it, Feige said that the conversations focused on figuring out “how could the legacy of Chadwick – and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideals – continue?”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in theaters on November 11.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

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Taylor Hale makes historic 'Big Brother 24' win

CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

History was made when Taylor Hale was crowned the winner of Big Brother season 24 on Sunday night.

The 27-year-old current reigning Miss Michigan USA is the first Black woman to win the non-celebrity format of the game. In 2019, singer and television personality Tamar Braxton won the second season of the celebrity edition of the show, making her the first Black woman to win any format of American Big Brother.

This marks the second time a Black woman has sat in the final two chairs in the history of the regular format of the show. It first happened 20 years ago to the day of Hale’s win, when Big Brother legend Danielle Reyes lost season 3 in a 9-1 vote to first place finisher Lisa Donahue.

Hale beat out this season’s second-place finisher Monte Taylor in an 8-1 vote. In her passionate final speech to the jury, she said that she has come to understand that she is not a shield but a sword.

“I am not a victim; I am a victor. And if there is one word that is going to describe the entire season, it is resiliency,” Hale said. “If you are to ask yourself who the most resilient person of this season has been, it is me.”

In addition to winning the season, Hale became the first person to win both the game and the fan-voted America’s Favorite Player award. She wins $50,000 and a cruise trip for two along with her $750,000 grand prize. Because of both wins, Hale cemented herself as the player to have won the most money in the history of American Big Brother.

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John Cena now a Guinness World Record holder thanks to his 650th Make-A-Wish visit

John Cena in 2015; Noam Galai/Getty Images

Sure, he was a champion in the wrestling ring and has starred in blockbuster movies like Fast 9 and hit shows like Peacemaker, but John Cena is now officially a world record holder, for a great reason.

Guinness Book of World Records has certified that Cena has set the all-time record for most visits with patients in the Make-A-Wish charity, which grants once-in-a-lifetime requests for critically ill people aged 2-18. 

With 650 visits under his belt, Cena's giving back has officially made him a different kind of champion. 

Cena, who made his first Make-A-Wish visit in 2002, remains the most-requested celebrity, according to the organization.

For the record, it wasn't even close: In the 42-year history of the charity, the second-place finisher only managed 200 visits, according to Guinness.

As reported back in June, Cena traveled to Europe to meet with a young special needs fan whose family fled war-torn Ukraine. The star found out Misha Rohozhyn's mother told the non-verbal young man they had to leave the country to meet Cena, in an effort to comfort him. Even though it wasn't an official "wish" with the charity, the star made the fantasy happen for real.

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Betty White memorabilia auction smashes expectations, raising more than $4 million

Vincent Sandoval/WireImage

It was never in doubt what an icon the late Betty White was, but in case you needed any more proof, an auction of items from her life and career smashed all expectations. 

Julien's Auctions says the three-day event raised more than four million bucks, nearly seven times the $600,000 pre-auction estimate. What's more, every item up for grabs was sold. 

According to the auction house, the biggest seller was a director's chair from The Golden Girls, which sold for $76,800 -- some 76 times its original estimate. 

Other big-ticket items were scripts for the pilot and final episode of the beloved sitcom signed by the cast -- those went for $57,600 and $51,200, respectively. 

A lavender dress worn by White in the show sold for $32,000 -- fifty-three times its original estimate. 

Other items that hit the block were an oil painting of the Emmy winner, which sold for more than $43,000, and a sapphire and diamond ring White wore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The ring sold for 35 times its original estimate, and went home with the winning bidder for $32,000.  

White's wedding ring from her marriage to husband Allen Ludden fetched $25,600.

Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien's Auctions, noted, "This auction represented a collection unlike anything we have ever seen before which brought in record-breaking results, and thousands of Betty's most loyal fans from all over the world.

Calling White an "American pop culture legend," he said Julien's was "honored" to host the "three-day celebration" of her life and career. 

Betty White died December 31, 2021, just 17 days before her 100th birthday.

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In Brief: 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Oscar-winner dies, and more

Louise Fletcher, best known for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Nurse Ratched in director Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, died Friday at her home in France, a rep for the actress tells Variety. She was 88. On TV, Fletcher played family matriarch Peggy “Grammy” Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless, and also had recurring roles shows like on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and ER. Most recently, Fletcher appeared in the 2013 feature A Perfect Man, alongside Liev Schreiber and Jeanne Tripplehorn...

Peacock has canceled the Queer As Folk reboot after one season, co-creator Stephen Dunn revealed on Saturday. The third iteration of the originally British series, executive-produced by trans writer Jaclyn Moore, centered on a group of LGBTQ+ friends in New Orleans both before and after a homophobic attack. The series starred Grey’s Anatomy's Devin Way, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Fin Argus, Big Sky's Jesse James Keitel, CG, Hacks' Johnny Sibilly and Special's Ryan O’Connell, along with guest stars including Kim Cattrall, Juliette Lewis and Ed Begley Jr...

Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves took to Twitter on Sunday to announce the show will return for its 25th season. “A big thank you to all our house guests for an absolutely incredible summer. I know, I’m going to miss watching the show too,” Moonves said, before revealing, “We are coming back for our 25th season of the show." The announcement came on the heels of Sunday's history-making season 24 finale that saw Taylor Hale became the first Black woman to win the reality competition. Tamar Braxton won Celebrity Big Brother season 2. Big Brother's 25th season kicks off next summer...

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'Don't Worry Darling' tops the box office with $19.2 million

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The psychological drama Don't Worry Darling scored the best opening of any new release in more than a month, topping the weekend box office with an estimated $19.2 million. The Olivia Wilde-directed film -- starring Wilde, Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll and Chris Pine -- delivered a total of $30 million worldwide, despite -- or perhaps in part because of -- the high-profile pre-release squabbling between Wilde and some of her cast.

The Woman King dropped from first to second place in its second week of release, grabbing an estimated $11.1 million, bringing its domestic tally to $35 million.

And the theatrical re-release of Avatar took third with an $10 million. It remains the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and the fourth highest-grossing domestically.

The horror flick Barbarian dropped to fourth place with an estimated $4.8 million. Its three-week North American total currently stands at $28.4 million.

Rounding out the top five is the Mia Goth horror film Pearl, earning an estimated $6.6 million.

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Netflix's Tudum teases new and returning series and movies, including 'The Crown', 'You' and 'Emily in Paris'

Netflix

Netflix revealed a new slate of shows and movies -- and news about returning favorites -- at its annual TUDUM showcase Saturday.

The event kicked off with a new trailer for Enola Holmes 2, starring Millie Bobby Brown. She returns as the titular character who, after solving her first case, continues to follow in the footsteps of her famous brother, Sherlock -- played once again by Henry Cavill -- now with her own agency, only to find life as a female detective-for-hire is harder than it looks.

Other highlights also included teaser trailers for returning favorites Emily in Paris, debuting December 21; Manifest's fourth and final season; the second installment of Shadow and Bone; Vikings: Valhala season two; and Dead to Me's third and final season, launching November 17.

Additionally, the streamer debuted trailers for the Bridgerton spinoff, Queen Charlotte, starring India Amarteifio as the young Charlotte and Corey Mylchreest as the young King George; a first-look trailer and October 13 release date for its upcoming horror thriller The Watcher; plus clips of the Addams Family spinoff Wednesday, premiering November 23.

The showcase also featured new clips of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery; Jason Momoa's Slumberland; Jennifer Lopez's action film The Mother; The School for Good and Evil; and Gal Gadot's Heart of Stone. There was also a behind-the scenes teaser for Extraction 2, the sequel to the 2020 Chris Hemsworth action thriller.

Netflix also announced the release dates for The Crown's fifth season, debuting on November 9; Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher’s Your Place or Mine, arriving February 10; Noah Centineo’s retitled Netflix series The Recruit, coming December 16; and 1989, arriving November 17. Part one of You season four will premiere on February 10, while its part two will be released a month later, on March 10.













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Rihanna to headline Super Bowl 57 halftime show

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Rihanna will headline the Super Bowl 57 halftime show.

The singer herself confirmed the news Late Sunday afternoon ET by posting an image on her social media of her tattooed right hand and arm holding a football aloft -- the same photo promoter Roc Nation first posted to their Twitter, with the caption "Let’s GO - @Rihanna @NFL #SBLVII @AppleMusic @NFLonFOX." 

"Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment," said Roc Nation founder and chair Jay-Z in a statement via the NFL, announcing the news.

The halftime show is a co-production of Roc Nation, Apple Music and the NFL, the first time all three have teamed up for the event. 

"Over the coming months, fans can expect to see exclusive details and sneak peeks leading up to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show by following @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter," the NFL statement promises. 

Super Bowl LVII is scheduled to take place February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

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'Jurassic World: Dominion' crosses $1 billion worldwide

Universal Pictures

Its pace may have been more brontosaurus than velociraptor, but the finish line was crossed nonetheless: Universal Pictures is celebrating because Jurassic World: Dominion crossed the $1 billion line at the global box office.

The film, which opened June 10, had the second-biggest debut of the year with a $145 million take, but it continued to slowly and steadily perform as the summer rolled on.

Variety points out that Dominion's bottom line was particularly padded by moviegoers in China, where the pandemic era's only other $2 billion movies -- Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick -- weren't permitted to screen.

Jurassic World: Dominion, which united Jurassic World cast members, including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with Jurassic Park's stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, is now streaming an extended cut on Peacock.

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Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin reconcile a month after she filed for divorce

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The marriage of Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin is apparently getting a reboot.

Just a month after the 54-year-old model and entrepreneur split from the 76-year-old Rocky icon, Page Six reports the couple has patched things up.

"They decided to meet back up at home, where they talked and were able to work out their differences," a rep tells the publication.

The pair, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, agreed, "that is in the best interests of each of them individually, and more importantly collectively as a family, to resolve all issues attendant to the dissolution of their marriage in a dignified, amicable and private manner out-of-court," according to the rep.

As reported a month ago, the split was already getting ugly, with Flavin accusing Stallone of cutting assets loose prior to a divorce.

Now, however, "they are both extremely happy," the source tells the publication, which noted Flavin had legally filed an abatement -- or an official pause -- of the divorce proceedings.

On Monday, Sly posted a picture of the pair holding hands -- as well as a throwback photo with their daughters Sophia, 26, Sistine, 24, and Scarlet, 20 -- which the rep explains was a hint that things were on the rebound in their relationship.

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Director reveals Jon Hamm took big salary cut to make 'Fletch' happen

Miramax

(Note Language) Director Greg Mottola reveals that Jon Hamm wanted to make Fletch happen so badly, he opened up his wallet.

Mottola told the website Uproxx that the Mad Man Emmy winner dumped 60% of his salary from their new movie, Confess, Fletch, to secure financing for three extra days of filming for the new comedy.

The Superbad director noted the modestly budgeted movie is currently suffering from "zero marketing" in spite of a respectable 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The marketing budget was not the only place the movie's producer, Miramax, came up short, Mottola says: They wouldn't budge on a 27-day shoot.

They tried looking for a producing partner, Mottola said, but, "Everyone said, 'I don't know that this kind of comedy works in this day and age.' They just had a kind of like, 'Who's Fletch? I don’t think anyone cares anymore [attitude].'"

"So, basically, what we did is Jon gave back 60% of his salary to the budget. I gave back some of my salary, not as much as Jon because he's richer than me and I've got three kids," the director joked.

"And we bought three more days of shooting ... 30 days in Boston and one day in Rome. And we said, 'F*** it, we're insane, we're dumb. We’re going to make this movie,'" Mottola said.

He added, "So, we finished it and Bill shopped it around to a lot of different people, studios and streamers ... and nobody wanted it." The director called that "depressing."

Confess, Fletch, based on Gregory Mcdonald's 1976 novel of the same name, is in theaters and is available on demand.

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