Entertainment Headlines

The Golden Lion Award -- TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images(ITALY) -- As many parts of the world recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the mayor of hard-hit Venice, Italy insists the city's famed film festival is still happening this September. 

Variety reports Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, has given the green light to the annual event, which is scheduled to start September 2 and run through September 12. 

The festival, which showcases offerings from Hollywood and around the world, usually dovetails with the international exhibition Biennale of Architecture, but this year, the latter event was postponed until 2021 for logistical reasons. 

While the Venice Film Festival is still on the schedule, its organizers will likely see a problem shared by awards shows on this side of the world: fewer films in the running, thanks to shooting delays caused by the pandemic. 

Incidentally, Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast and crew of the next Mission: Impossible film left Venice for Rome a few months ago as the virus began spreading.  Ultimately, they left Rome as well, and shooting on the film was suspended. 

Italy, which once claimed more reported COVID-19 infections than nearly any other nation, has recently seen is infections decline.  It now has a reported 230,158 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University -- the sixth-highest reported per-nation infection total.

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


ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Rebel Wilson is proving that once she sets a goal for herself, she sticks to it no matter how ambitious it is.

The Pitch Perfect star on Monday posted a snap of her wearing gym clothes and shared an inspirational message to fans about never giving up.

"Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it," Wilson encouraged. "Try and give a little bit of effort each day...I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress...but good things are coming your way."

The 40-year-old then revealed that she is determined to achieve the bold weight loss goal she set for herself at the start of the year.

She admitted, "I’ll be honest with you guys - with my “Year of Health” mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s," which is about 165 pounds.

Rebel's New Year's ambitions didn't stop at fitness goals, she laid out several objectives for her to accomplish by 2021. "Career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year," she added.

The Australian actress admits, however, that she was well aware of how demanding her journey would be.  "Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs," she maintained, concluding on a positive note that she will accomplish both because she is "working hard."

Wilson also challenged fans to tell her their 2020 resolutions, with many commenting that her post motivated them to work on accomplishing their goals.

In addition, fellow Pitch Perfect alum Skylar Astin humorously noted, "I'm buying whatever you're selling.  Beautiful Rebs!"

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


ABC/Nicole Wilder(TEXAS) -- Matthew McConaughey is making sure that Texas' smaller hospitals are well prepared to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the Dallas Buyers Club Oscar-winner and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, delivered over 110,000 masks to hospitals across the state.  "Thanks to @lincoln for donating 110 thousand masks," the 50-year-old captioned a photo of him and his wife driving a large white truck that's hauling a sizable load of brown boxes filled with the critical personal protective equipment.  

The two were also wearing face masks in the shot, which they wore during their trek across the state.  The actor was sure to share to  fans on where he intends to bring the much-needed PPE.

"Me and @camilamcconaughey hitting the road to get em to rural hospitals in need across Texas," McConaughey shared.  

This isn't the first time the two stepped up during the public health emergency. Back in April, the McConaugheys teamed up with Bethenny Frankel to donate over 80,000 protective masks to health care workers on the front lines in Texas and Louisiana.

"Louisiana and Texas are in their hearts and prayers as they show support for those police officers, fire fighters and healthcare workers who so desperately need this aid," Frankel wrote at the time while profusely thanking the two for their assistance.

As of Tuesday, Texas has over 56,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 1,500 deaths according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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


Credit: Daniel McFadden / Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) -- Focus Features and Universal Pictures have announced that Jon Stewart's political comedy Irresistible, slated for a theatrical release this coming Friday, will premiere at home on demand June 26th instead.

The film, written and directed by the former Daily Show host, stars Steve Carell as the Democrats' top strategist, who believes the key to winning back America's heartland lies with a retired Marine colonel, played by Chris Cooper. However, the strategy backfires when Carell's Republican counterpart, played by Rose Byrne, enters the picture.  

Topher GraceNatasha LyonneMackenzie DavisCJ Wilson, and Will Sasso also star.

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


Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Huffington Post(NEW YORK) -- New name, who's this? It hasn't even been a month since Elon Musk and Grimes welcomed their baby boy and they've already had to alter his name.

The couple originally named their newborn X Æ A-12, however, that violated California state law which states that only the 26 letters from the alphabet are allowed to be used, prompting the duo to change the name to X Æ A-Xii.

Grimes, born Claire Elise Boucher, confirmed the news and explained the change in a series of Instagram comments on Sunday.

After a curious fan asked if she renamed her son, the 32-year-old responded with the new spelling which simply changed the number 12 into the Roman version of the number before adding, "Roman numerals. Looks better TBH."

Although California law only mentions letters from the alphabet being used, she confirmed that "One dash is allowed."

Although the spelling of the moniker has changed, the pronunciation remains the same. During his time as a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan ExperienceMusk walked through how to say his son's name. 

He explained that the X is pronounced like the letter and "the AE is like pronounced 'ash,'" then A-12. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 


iStock/brightstarsBy: STEPHEN IERVOLINO, ABC News

(GEORGIA) -- With Georgia successfully becoming one of the first states to open for business following the COVID-19 lockdowns, Gov. Brian P. Kemp issued a "best practices" guide for film and TV crews working in the Peach State. 

Georgia has become a massive hub for Hollywood productions, with everything from the Marvel movies to MacGyver and The Walking Dead shooting there -- some 391 productions in all in 2019, Deadline reports

Governor Kemp's guide seeks to cut down on possible means of transmission of coronavirus -- or any easily communicable disease -- on sets, which are usually notorious for their close quarters and shared equipment. 

To that end, the guide includes rules that mandate cast and crew members getting temperature checks, wearing masks, utilizing social distancing, and the reduction of background extras in scenes. 

Location scouting and casting should be done using video conference technology as much as possible, the guide stipulates; also, the sharing of costumes, mics, and camera equipment would be discouraged, and plastic barriers would be used between performers during rehearsals.

In addition, cast and crew members are encouraged to take their own transportation to and from set; multi-person vans are usually the norm.

Plus, mealtimes should be staggered, and instead of the usual buffet-style craft services trucks seen on sets, take-out food is recommended.

Overseeing these rules will be a designated Occupational Risk Prevention specialist on set.

In a statement, Kemp noted, in part, "The Georgia Film Office has maintained their close work with industry executives to develop these outlines for how productions can help protect cast and crew members."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Sharp-eyed fans' attention to detail while watching Back to the Future Part II on Netflix has gotten major attention from the streaming service. 

Apparently, Netflix had been running a censored version of the film without realizing it. The cut, which the fan noticed, included a sloppy deletion of Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly discovering family nemesis Biff had smuggled a French girly magazine inside the cover of that troublesome Gray's Sports Almanac

Now the movie's screenwriter, Bob Gale, is sounding off, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "Apparently, this was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover.  I asked that the studio destroy this version."

Gale added, "FYI, Netflix does not edit films -- they only run the versions that are supplied to them.  So they're blameless. You can direct your ire at Universal, but I think they will be a lot more careful in the future -- and with 'the future.'"

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Mary J. Blige is sharing her thoughts on the deeper meaning behind her new crime thriller Body Cam.

In the film, Blige plays Renee, a bereaved police officer who learns of police corruption in her department when she begins to hunt down a supernatural killer. Blige tells ABC Audio that even though she's a big horror movie fan, she was more impressed by the film's gritty storyline.

"The corruption of the cop system and how they cover up the murders of our people being slain and killed every single day," she says. "That's a real topic. And that's one of the things that drew me."

"And the fact that there's so many corrupt cops that the good cops like Renee don't get a chance," Blige adds. 

Although having her character uncover police corruption was a stand out moment for the actress-singer, Blige says it was just as important for the film to be relatable.

"Of course, the grieving mother and the mothers that suffer when their children are gunned down, just taking a jog," she says, referring to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in February by a white former police officer while jogging. "Or, just for just walking home."

Still, if the film's storyline isn't enough, Blige has something else to offer: her new single "Can't Be Life" in the end credits.

"And I was like, 'Wow, what a perfect song to end this with, because it can't be life," she says. "This can't be life [when] our people being just killed and murdered... and we don't have a police system that can help us."

"So it's time to move to a higher vibration and try to do something different," she says.

Body Cam is now available for digital purchase from Paramount Pictures.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(LOS ANGELES) -- A special episode of the Apple TV workplace comedy series Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, is now live -- and has so far raised $600,000 for COVID-19-related charities.

The cast donated half of that money, and show co-creator and star Rob McElhenney and his wife, Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Kaitlin Olsen, matched the sum.

The remotely shot episode was quite the effort for its stars, McElhenney tells ABC Audio. "There was only one camera angle in every scene. So once...we were all set, we would get 15 takes because it was so easy. ...[B]ut everything leading up to it and then everything after that point was an absolute nightmare."

Mac adds, "So to me, just this figuring out a new way in which we could do something was just as exciting as making the episode itself. It was both really fun and really awful. And I and I would love to do it again."

The episode also gave McElhenney a chance to tweak certain celebs in quarantine, via his at-times egomanical Mythic Quest character, Ian.

"That's born out of me, looking at Twitter and at Instagram ...and seeing rich people complaining about the fact that they had to clean a toilet. And I'm like, 'Guys, you got to shut up...Everybody cleans their own toilet. Oh, boo hoo.' You know, you don't have your maid coming over to make you a PB&J sandwich? OK. Make your own PB&J sandwich, and certainly don't complain about it! So we thought, well, we got to satirize that."  

Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet also stars F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, David Hornsby, Jo Ennis, and Ashly Burch.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBy: KATE HODGSON, AARON KATERSKY, and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(BOSTON) -- Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared via video conference before a federal judge in Boston today to plead guilty to conspiracy charges that stem from the so-called Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scheme.

Loughlin, in a black high-collar long-sleeve shirt, appeared on screen with her attorney from what appeared to be a living room with an armoire in the background. Giannulli, in a black jacket and tie and white shirt, appeared with his attorney on a separate screen.

“Guilty,” Loughlin answered, when the court clerk asked how she pleaded.

Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen noted Loughlin faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The government agreed she should serve two months and her husband five months. The judge did not make an immediate decision whether to accept or reject the terms of the plea deal. 

Judge Nathaniel Gorton scheduled a sentencing hearing Friday, August 21 at 11 a.m. ET for Giannulli, 2:30 p.m. ET for Loughlin. 

Loughlin and Giannulli paid scheme mastermind Rick Singer $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing crew recruits.  Neither girl had ever rowed competitively.  They both initially pleaded not guilty to related fraud charges, claiming in part that their payments were charitable.

Had the case gone to trial, Rosen said prosecutors would have used recorded telephone calls, documents, emails and witness testimony to prove the couple’s guilt.  “They conspired with Rick Singer and others to commit wire fraud,” Rosen said.

Giannulli emailed Singer a doctored photo of daughter Olivia Jade on a rowing machine to cast her as an experienced coxswain and made purported charitable payments “To facilitate his daughter’s fraudulent admission to USC,” Rosen said, also noting that in 2017, the couple repeated the scam to falsely present their other daughter as an experienced coxswain.

Asked whether she disagreed with anything Rosen said the government would be able to prove, Loughlin answered, “No, your honor.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Noel Vasquez/FilmMagicBy: STEPHEN IERVOLINO, ABC News

(NEW ZEALAND) -- Like many movies, Oscar winning filmmaker James Cameron's forthcoming Avatar sequels hit a major snag when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered production.  But now his longtime producing partner insists work will resume next week. 

In an Instagram post showing off some of the movie's extensive physical sets, Jon Landau stated, "Our Avatar sets are ready...Couldn't be more excited to be headed back to New Zealand next week."

Indeed, the shooting location of the four sequels was key to getting back to work.  The island nation -- which took early, methodical steps to limit COVID-19's spread -- currently has just 1,504 confirmed cases of the disease in its population of under five million people, with only 21 reported deaths.

Avatar 2 is slated for a Dec. 17, 2021 opening, while the third, fourth, and fifth films in the series are scheduled to roll out in 2023, 2025, and 2027, respectively.

The movies are being shot concurrently. The casts include returning stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Giovanni Ribisi; series newcomers include Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, and Dileep Rao.

The movies will be released by 20th Century Studios, which is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Melinda Sue Gordon/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.By: STEPHEN IERVOLINO, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Warner Bros. and Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan seem to be banking on movie theaters being open following the COVID-19 shutdowns, based on the just-released trailer for his anticipated action film, Tenet

The extended preview for the film promises that, unlike other movies have gone to streaming services to avoid the shuttered cinemas, Nolan's movie is "COMING TO THEATERS."

Following last December's teaser for Tenet -- starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and frequent Nolan collaborator Michael Caine -- the new trailer finally reveals what the hush-hush plot is about.

The central conceit apparently has to do with the power to reverse the flow of time.  Just as Nolan's imagination saw skyscrapers splitting open like flower petals and physics-bending fight scenes in InceptionTenet's use of time as a weapon lends itself to some mind-bending visuals, like a gunfight in reverse.

"You're not shooting the bullet, you're catching it," an associate tells Washington's character at a firing range.

Tenet is still officially set for a July 17 release, but it remains to be seen if Nolan and Warner Bros.' wishes will come true.


Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photos: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; NetflixBy MEGAN STONE, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) With actor Nicolas Cage tapped to play the infamous Joe Exotic in a movie inspired by Netflix's hit show Tiger King, fans of the true crime series are now wondering who will play Exotic's arch nemesis: Carole Baskin.

A tentative answer came on Thursday when actress Tara Reid confirmed to US Weekly that she is currently in talks for the coveted role.

"We’re definitely in major conversations and working out the things — the offers and this and that so, let’s see what happens," she dished to the magazine. "I would love to play this character. It’d be amazing."

While casting for the part is still underway, the Sharknado alum stated that she intends to spend time with Baskin should she land the role.

"I would definitely want to spend a week with her — not to ask her anything, to see how she eats, s****, see how she plays, see if she talks to people.  It’d be more for me to study, just to get her vibe," the 44-year-old revealed. "I think she is a complex character and I know I’d nail it."

Baskin, who is the current CEO of Big Cat Rescue, became a household name for her appearance in Netflix's bizarre series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.  Mainly, fans are convinced she murdered her millionaire ex-husband due to an offhanded remark she muttered about the likelihood of tigers eating a human.

"Just cover them in sardine oil or something they want to eat, should do the trick," she famously said on camera.

As for Exotic, born Joseph Schreibvogel, he was found guilty for hatching a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin and is currently serving a 22-year sentence.  The former Oklahoma zoo owner maintains his innocence.

The Tiger King movie's release date is currently unknown.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(LOS ANGELES) -- Mission: Impossible 7 will have a new bad guy when it starts production in the summer, according to Deadline. 

Esai Morales will replace X-Men series star Nicholas Hoult, who was cast as the villain earlier this year.

The latest Mission: Impossible, starring Tom Cruise in his seventh go-round as super spy Ethan Hunt, was just about to start shooting before the COVID-19 pandemic forced production to shut down, which put Hoult in conflict with another commitment. 

Brooklyn-born Morales has appeared on the big and small screen over the years, from 1987's La Bamba, to a recurring role on NCIS: Los Angeles, and a four-year run on How To Get Away With Murder.

The seventh installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, which has grossed over $3.57 billion worldwide, is slated for a November 2021 release.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(LOS ANGELES) -- The sixth annual Red Nose Day special looked a little different this year with digital noses, but its objective remained the same: raise awareness and funds to help end child poverty.  Hosted by This Is Us stars Mandy Moore and Justin Hartley, a variety of singers, actors and comedians teamed up to raise money for children and spread a message of unity in the face of COVID-19.

Joining the two hour fundraising telecast with special performances were artists such as Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, OneRepublic, James Taylor and more.

James Taylor performed a comforting rendition of the popular throwback tune "As Easy as Rolling off a Log" while Gwen and Shelton teamed up to perform their recent chart-topping hit "Nobody But You."

Other artists, like Trainor and Five Seconds of Summer, aimed to raise the audience's spirits by performing uplifting tunes "Better When I'm Dancin'" and "Best Years," respectively.

However, comedian and actor Steve Martin stole the show with his lively and hilarious performance of "I Can Play the Banjo" with the Steep Canyon Rangers, where he and band banjoist Graham Sharp held a one-sided duel over who was more skilled at the instrument. The bluegrass tune was filled with comedy, with Martin trying to sabotage Sharp while reminding the band that he was the star of their segment.

Another memorable skit came from Bryan Cranston, who played a deceased grandpa holding a Zoom conference from heaven with his living grandson, that shared a message for children frustrated by their parents' homeschooling methods to be patient and kind.

Other celebrities like Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Garner and Stephen Merchant made impassioned pleas for donations while highlighting children from underserved areas in the country and over the world who greatly benefit from the Red Nose fund.

The donations collected during the telecast will help provide food, shelter and healthcare for at-risk children.  The amount raised has not yet been released.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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