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  1. Sherry Lansing Got Mike Myers to Rewrite 'Wayne's World 2' With Fake Threats

    Behind every movie there is conflict, but probably not often on the same scale as an issue that arose before 1993's "Wayne's World 2" started shooting.

    In "Leading Lady," a new biography on actress-turned-studio head Sherry Lansing, author Stephen Galloway details the chaos that went down after Lansing discovered the sequel's script was based on the 1949 comedy "Passport to Pimlico" yet no one had purchased the necessary rights. It was too late to acquire them, so the situation got ugly, especially for the sequel's writer and star, Mike Myers.

    To avoid delays and eliminate the problem, Lansing decided Myers would have to do a complete rewrite. She didn't exactly break the news gently, though, as the book recounts. According to John Goldwyn, a production chief at the time, she told Myers a made-up story about how the legal team was working on "figuring out how ... [to] take every single thing" from him. Apparently, she scared into the fetal position, which, let's be honest, we'd have ended up in, too.

    According to "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels, who produced the film, Myers had thought the rights issue was sorted out, so it's hard not to feel bad for him. However, in Lansing's defense, the misunderstanding caused big problems. Production was so close that set building had already begun, making some of the work a waste of time and money.

    "It was just so difficult, there was so many changes," director Stephen Surjik told the Regina Leader-Post in March 2017.

    Luckily, though, Myers was able to rewrite the movie to Lansing's satisfaction, and the studio never followed through on her threats. Whatever you think of her methods, there is no denying the efficacy.

    [via: THR]

  2. 'Beauty and the Beast' Star Dan Stevens Talks Sequel With More of the Beast

    'Permission' Premiere - 2017 Tribeca Film FestivalWith "Beauty and the Beast" earning more than $1 billion at the global box office, it's no surprise that sequel speculation has begun. Star Dan Stevens doesn't know if a follow-up will happen, but if so, he wants to see more of his surly, horned character, the Beast.

    Stevens chatted about sequel possibilities during a recent interview with Variety and he described the idea as "odd."

    "I'm not sure what turn that would take," he told the publication.

    That said, he shared that he's "open to offers" nonetheless. In particular, he'd like a chance to play the Beast again, not just his human counterpart.

    "I'd kind of like to bring the Beast back," Stevens said.

    The problem with that, of course, is that "Beauty and the Beast" ended with the Beast transforming back into his princely self. After the curse broke, he returned to his human form and got his happily ever after with Belle (Emma Watson). It doesn't really make sense for him to regress, even if it would make for an unexpected twist.

    Whatever happens, Stevens has something to remember his character and the film by: The Beast's horns are currently mounted on plaques in his home. Strange, but kind of cool, right?

    [via: Variety]

  3. Baby Has the Time of Her Life in 'Dirty Dancing' Remake Teaser

    Nobody puts Abigail Breslin in a corner!

    ABC unveiled the first teaser for its reboot of "Dirty Dancing," which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Abigail Breslin stars as shy, unsure Baby, who falls for bad boy dancer Johnny (Colt Prattes).

    Even though this remake puts a "fresh twist" on the classic story, the teaser has many classic scenes from the original, including Baby and Johnny dancing on a log and the two performing the famous lift. You can't have "Dirty Dancing" without the lift! And of course, Johnny declares, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." The "fresh twist" includes more back story on the characters, a look at what happens to Baby and Johnny once the summer is over, and more Lisa!

    The remake features a star-studded cast, including Debra Messing (Marjorie Houseman), Bruce Greenwood (Dr. Jake Houseman), Nicole Scherzinger (Penny Rivera), Sarah Hyland (Lisa Houseman), Tony Roberts (Max Kellerman), Katey Sagal (Vivian Pressman), Billy Dee Williams (Tito) and J. Quinton Johnson (Marco).

    "Dirty Dancing" airs May 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

  4. Exclusive: Two Gorgeous Disney Prints From Mondo's 'Never Grow Up' Show

    There are few things we love more than art prints released from Mondo and Cyclops Print Works but one of those things is Disney. So the fact that these powerhouses are teaming up for another art show is something worth celebrating with end-of-your-day-at-Disneyland fireworks. And the fact that we get to debut two pieces from that art show -- exclusively for you guys -- well, that makes us even happier.

    "Never Grow Up," a collaboration between our friends at Mondo, Cyclops Print Works, and Oh My Disney, opens in Austin this Friday. (Quite frankly, if there aren't people already lined up down the street by now, I'd be surprised. You should have seen the line ahead of the last Disney/Mondo collaboration back at SXSW a few years ago.) Per the official press release: The opening night reception will be held Friday, April 28 from 3:00 - 10:00pm, followed by a special "Mondo Clubhouse" Kids Party on Saturday, April 29, from 10am - Noon featuring Disney-inspired treats, face painting, photo booth, and other fun activities! Following these events, the show will run during regular gallery hours through May 13. Mondo Gallery is located at 4115 Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX.

    The two pieces Moviefone is debuting today are astounding -- one is by Nico Delort and is themed to the climactic final confrontation in "The Little Mermaid" (big monster Ursula is barely represented in officially licensed merchandise so this is a big thrill) and the other is a lovely piece by Tegan White (who has become one of my favorite artists in recent years) themed to "The Fox and the Hound." And this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the artists that Mondo and Cyclops Print Works have corralled for this new show. It's going to be huge.Mondo X Cyclops Print Works Print #15: The Little Mermaid by Nico Delort

    Mondo X Cyclops Print Works Print #10: The Fox and the Hound by Tegan White

  5. 'Hell or High Water' Trio Reuniting for Netflix Period Epic

    Screening Of CBS Films' 'Hell Or High Water' - Red CarpetChris Pine and Ben Foster are not waiting until hell nor high water to reunite with director David Mackenzie.

    Pine and Foster starred in the Oscar-nominated "Hell or High Water," under Mackenzie's eyes. Now, they may be in for a reunion, as all three are in talks for a Netflix period epic called "Outlaw King."

    The film tells the story of Robert the Bruce (aka Robert I), the King of Scots who led his country to freedom from England in the early 14th century. Pine would play Robert, while Foster would be the king's right-hand man, James Douglas.

    In "Hell or High Water," the actors played brothers who engage in a series of bank heists around Texas to stop their ranch from being foreclosed. While "Outlaw King" would be set in a very different time and place, it sounds like it also focuses on mavericks willing to break rules to achieve independence. And with the accolades that "Hell or High Water" received, it's little wonder that the three men would want to team up to try to recapture that magic.

  6. Chris Pratt: 'Infinity War' Team-Up of 'Guardians' & 'Avengers' Is 'Really Freaking Cool'

    Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' - Red CarpetMarvel's "Avengers: Infinity War" will give fans exactly what they want from a meeting of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

    That's what Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord) promised to the Toronto Sun, while promoting "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2":

    "It's exactly what the fans want. I've heard over and over from people, 'When are the Guardians going to meet up with the Avengers?' I was never sure how that would happen or if that would happen, but then they announced ['Avengers: Infinity War'] and called us and told us it was happening. We've shot most of it — my stuff — and I can tell you, the fans are not going to be disappointed. It's going to be really freaking cool."

    Yesssssss. "Guardians 2" is getting some really freaking cool reviews at this point, and hopefully fans like it as much as the critics. Pratt previously hyped the "Guardians" sequel as the "biggest spectacle movie of all time." The Toronto paper reminded him of that quote, and he added this extra tease:

    "Well, so far, 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' is still is the biggest spectacle movie of all time — that is all time up until now. But 'Avengers [Infinity War]' is going to be a pretty big spectacle. I think you're talking 40 heroes — that is a huge spectacle."

    Marvel shared some behind-the-scenes looks at "Infinity War" -- featuring Pratt, Tom Holland (Spider-Man), and Robert Downey. Jr. (Iron Man) back in February toward the start of production.

    "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" opens Friday, May 5. "Avengers: Infinity War" opens May 4, 2018. Then "Avengers 4" will show up in 2019, and we don't know the official title yet because it would spoil what comes before it.

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  7. The 'Avengers 4' Title Is Too Much of a Spoiler to Reveal

    The truth is out there when it comes to the title of the fourth "Avengers" movie, but Marvel is not ready to share it with the class.

    There was a time when Marvel just called the next two "Avengers" movies "Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1" and "Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2." Then they revealed that the first movie would just be "Avengers: Infinity War" on its own, with the artist formerly known as Part 2 just holding onto "Untitled Avengers 4" for now.

    CinemaBlend talked to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige during press day for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (which opens May 5) and asked about the title secrecy:

    CinemaBlend: When I talked with [directors] Joe and Anthony Russo last year, I guess a couple months ago, they mentioned... we don't know the name of Avengers 4, that they're not going to announce it, it's going to be a minute. I'm curious if the reason for that is because it's a spoiler.

    Kevin Feige: Yeah, for sure.

    Any guesses about what happens, and the spoiler of the title?

    CinemaBlend followed-up with a question about Josh Brolin's Thanos, the big bad of "Infinity War":

    CinemaBlend: Will Thanos be in both movies? Or is his story complete by the end of Infinity War?

    Kevin Feige: They're two very different movies. That's all I'll say.

    Feige also recently told Collider that "Infinity War" and "Avengers 4" are no longer being filmed simultaneously; instead, "Infinity War" is in produciton now and "Avengers 4" won't start until August. Here's why, from Feige to Collider:

    "We're doing them one right after another... It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie."

    "Avengers: Infinity War" opens in theaters on May 4, 2018; "Untitled Avengers 4" is scheduled for release on May 3, 2019.

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  8. Here Are Release Dates for 'Deadpool 2,' 'Avatar' Sequels, More 'X-Men' Movies

    Break out your blockbuster calendar, 'cause 20th Century Fox just booked your life for the next few years.

    The studio spent the weekend announcing release dates for several upcoming films, including four -- yes, four -- "Avatar" sequels; "Deadpool 2"; the "X-Men" sequel "Dark Phoenix" with Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, the "X-Men" spinoff "New Mutants," Steven Spielberg's Pentagon Papers film with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks; Bryan Singer's "Bohemian Rhapsody"; and Steve McQueen's heist film "Widows."

    Schedule yourself accordingly:

    • "New Mutants": April 13, 2018
    • "Deadpool 2": June 1, 2018
    • "Dark Phoenix": Nov. 2., 2018
    • "Widows": Nov. 16, 2018
    • Steven Spielberg's untitled Washington Post/Pentagon Papers film: Dec. 22, 2017.
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody": Dec. 25, 2018


    Dates for James Cameron's FOUR "Avatar" sequels were announced on Facebook:

    • "Avatar 2": December 18, 2020
    • "Avatar 3": December 17, 2021
    • "Avatar 4": December 20, 2024
    • "Avatar 5": December 19, 2025

    Some previously announced films were also moved around on the schedule:

    • "Murder on the Orient Express" was moved from Nov. 22, 2017 to Nov. 10, 2017.

    • Jennifer Lawrence's "The Red Sparrow" was moved from Nov. 10, 2017 to March 2, 2018

    • "The Predator" was moved from Feb. 9, 2018 to Aug. 3., 2018.

    • Fox also pushed The Predator from February 2018 to August 3, 2018.

    [via: The Hollywood Reporter, io9]

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  9. What's New on TV, Netflix, Digital, and DVD/Blu-ray This Week: April 24-30

    At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's new on Netflix and TV, we've got you covered.

    New on DVD and Blu-ray

    "La La Land"
    The Oscar-winning (just not Best Picture) musical arrives on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, and On Demand this Tuesday, April 25. The 4K and Blu-ray come with so many bonuses: audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz; song selection; "Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos"; and the featurettes "Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway," "La La Land's Great Party," "Ryan Gosling: Piano Student," "Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project," "La La Land's Love Letter to Los Angeles," "The Music of La La Land," "John Legend's Acting Debut," "The Look of Love: Designing La La Land," "Ryan and Emma: Third Time's the Charm," and "Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream." The DVD comes with the audio commentary, song selection, and three of those featurettes.

    "The Girl With All the Gifts"
    In this critically acclaimed dystopian zombie apocalypse thriller, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine star in a story of society's breakdown after the outbreak of an unprecedented plague. A scientist and a teacher find a young girl who seems to be immune to the plague, leading them on a journey to save humanity. The DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital arrive April 25. All formats of the home release include the special featurette "Unwrap the Secret World of The Girl with All the Gifts."

    Watch this exclusive clip from the bonus feature, with director Colm McCarthey talking about working with Glenn Close, and vice versa:"Catfight"
    Sandra Oh and Anne Heche play old friends from college who unexpectedly reunite many years later at a fancy cocktail party, in very different places in life. Their reunion quickly turns caustic in a bloody fight that will change both of their lives. The dark comedy arrives on DVD April 25, co-starring Dylan Baker, Tituss Burgess, Craig Bierko, and Amy Hill. Special features include commentary with writer/director Onur Tukel and Anne Heche; "Violent Femmes: The Fight Choreography of Catfight"; deleted scenes; and art slideshow; and the trailer.

    "Agatha Christie's The Witness for the Prosecution"
    Acorn TV and BBC One's very dark, but very exceptional, adaptation of Agatha Christie's short story arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on April 25. The story is set in London just after World War I, with Kim Cattrall as the rich, glamorous victim, Billy Howle as the accused, Toby Jones as his solicitor, and Andrea Riseborough as the accused's girlfriend. This is from the same team that made the 2015 adaptation "And Then There Were None," which was also brilliant.

    New Video on Demand, Rental Streaming, and Digital

    "Fifty Shades Darker Unrated"
    Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) wants Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) back in this sequel to "Fifty Shades of Grey," available for Digital HD download April 25, and then May 9 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand. There's also a "Fifty Shades Darker Unrated Edition" with about 13 extra minutes of footage not seen in theaters. The Unrated Edition comes with more than 30 minutes of bonus content, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast interviews, and a look at what's ahead in "Fifty Shades Freed."

    "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, and Alexis Bledel star in Hulu's highly anticipated adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel. The story follows a totalitarian society in what used to be the U.S., with fertile young women forced to be "Handmaids" in sexual servitude in an attempt to repopulate the world. The first episode arrives April 26.

    "Catastrophe" (Amazon)The third season of Amazon's original comedy starts April 28. Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan) "have faced down unexpected pregnancy and abrupt parenthood, but can they survive an unexplained receipt for the morning after pill? With their relationship on shaky ground, they attempt to weather unemployment, mortgages, children who bite, Brexit, jealous coworkers, drunken mistakes, friends in rehab, disastrous job interviews, insane family, and, of course, keeping the children alive."

    New on Netflix

    This is a topical week for Netflix, with the originals "Casting JonBenet," "Dear White People," and "Rodney King" all arriving April 28.

    "Dear White People"
    YouTubers already have strong feelings about this series, even before seeing it (shocking), down-voting it just based on the trailer and premise. "Based on the acclaimed indie film, this series satirizes 'post-racial' America as students of color navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college." Click the link for the trailer.

    "Casting JonBenet"
    Two decades after the 1996 death of 6-year-old pageant princess JonBenet Ramsey, director Kitty Green returns to audition local Boulder, Colorado actors, unpacking how each remembers and relates to the ill-fated Ramsey family. This production blurs the lines between documentary and drama in its own off-putting, tragic way. It also arrives on Netflix April 28.

    "Rodney King"
    Spike Lee filmed Roger Guenveur Smith in this one-man show taking viewers back to 1991, to the beating of Rodney King, and the 1992 L.A. riots. Don't go into this expecting a movie or a documentary, it's a one-man spoken-word portrait.

    "Small Crimes" (Netflix Original)Nikolaj Coster-Waldau leaves Jaime Lannister far behind in this new Netflix crime drama about a disgraced former cop looking for redemption after serving time for the attempted murder of a District Attorney. "An embarrassment to his parents and abandoned by his ex-wife, it seems as if things can't get much worse. But then Joe finds himself trapped in the mess he left behind -- in the cross fire between a crooked sheriff, the vengeful DA, and a mafia kingpin who knows too much." It's on Netflix April 28.

    "The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared" (Netflix Original)
    In lighter news, this wonderfully titled black comedy was a hit in its native Sweden, and you can stream it April 25 on Netflix. "In need of money, an eccentric ex-spy and his younger octogenarian partner embark on an international quest for a valuable Soviet soda formula."

    TV Worth Watching

    "American Gods" (Sunday on Starz at 9 p.m.)
    Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) starts recruiting for his war against the new gods when this intriguing new Starz series premieres April 30. The eight-episode first season starts with "The Bone Orchard." The mythological story, based on the award-winning novel by Neil Gaiman, co-stars Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Pablo Schreiber, and Kristin Chenoweth -- with Gillian Anderson as Media, the goddess of TV, taking the form of Hollywood icons.

    Let the trailer try to explain things in its own cryptic way:"Bates Motel" (Monday on A&E at 10 p.m.)
    This is it! The Season 5 finale, also the "Bates Motel" series finale, is called "The Cord," with the very simple synopsis, "Norman comes home." Following the finale at 11, A&E has scheduled "Bates Motel: The Checkout" for a half-hour, before "The Cord" airs again.

    "Genius" (Tuesday on National Geographic at 9 p.m.)
    The life of 20th Century icon Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn) is explored in this first-ever scripted series from National Geographic. The 10-episode season, based on the Walter Isaacson book "Einstein: His Life and Universe," premieres April 25, with the first episode directed by Ron Howard.

    "Great News" (Tuesday on NBC at 9 p.m.)
    What happens when your mom gets a job as an intern -- at the TV station where you work? It happens to frustrated cable news producer Katie (Briga Heelan) when her mom Carol (Andrea Martin) starts interning at "The Breakdown." This new comedy series, starting April 25, co-stars John Michael Higgins, Nicole Richie, Horatio Sanz, and Adam Campbell.

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  10. Here's Why 'Fate of the Furious' Can Only Be Stopped by 'Guardians of the Galaxy' at the Box Office

    The "Fast and Furious" franchise may be starting to run out of gas after eight installments, but it still had a few laps left in it this weekend. Even after losing 60 percent of its business from last week's debut, and even with five new wide releases opening, "Fate of the Furious" still motored to an easy victory this weekend, with an estimated $38.7 million.

    If anything, "Fate" won again, not because it was so beloved, but because the battle was so bitter among the also-rans and the non-threat of new releases. Here's why none of them could pull ahead of the pack for a clear win, or even a serious challenge to "Fate."

    1. The Crowded Field
    Five new wide releases is really too many for the multiplex to handle, especially with three holdover blockbusters ("Fate," "The Boss Baby," and "Beauty and the Beast") already sucking up much of the oxygen. It's no wonder that these new movies all but cannibalized each other, or that none of them was able to open higher than fourth place. That was Disney's "Born in China," which sold an estimated $5.1 million in tickets and averaged $3,413 per screen.

    That's a just-okay average, but it's way better than its four new rivals, none of which managed even a $2,000 per-screen average. Which means that most of the new films spent the weekend playing to largely empty theaters.

    2. Wide Releases, Disappointing Movies
    "Unforgettable" was widely expected to be the top new movie, since it was opening on the most screens. Even so, its theater count was just 2,417. They couldn't really have booked many more. The top three movies had more than 11,000 screens already taken. Add "Going in Style" and "Smurfs: The Lost Village," and you'll see that the top five holdovers were hogging an average of 3,423 screens each.

    The five new releases were able to book only half that many, averaging 1,768 screens each. Even if "Unforgettable" had enjoyed as high a per-screen average as "Fate" ($8,936), it still couldn't have grossed more than $21.6 million.

    3. Female Audiences Stayed Away From Theaters
    "Unforgettable" was also supposed to serve as counter-programming to "Fate," the idea being that the female-driven thriller would attract women put off by all the testosterone of the action sequel. Unfortunately, nearly everyone else had the same idea.

    Historical epic/wartime romance "The Promise" was also best suited for female viewers, and so was found-footage sci-fi/horror film "Phoenix Forgotten." Even "Free Fire," a crime caper marked by wall-to-wall macho gunplay, had as its biggest star the feisty Brie Larson. Of course, it's possible that, rather than let any of these movies compete for their ticket dollars, female viewers just went to see "Beauty and the Beast" again.

    4. Rotten Tomatoes Scores
    To the extent that these movies, particularly "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," were depending on older viewers, they needed to earn strong reviews. Judging by their aggregate scores on Rotten Tomatoes, they did not. But the dismal 25 percent fresh rating for "Unforgettable" and the weak 45 percent score for "Promise" don't really tell the whole story.

    Remember, RT is a measure of consensus opinion, not of what critics thought of a particular movie's strengths and weaknesses. It counts all reviews as either positive or negative; it has no way of accounting for nuance or middling reviews. This polarization effect really hurt "Unforgettable" and "Promise."

    For "Unforgettable," positive and negative reviews were divided largely along gender lines. Male critics dismissed it, while female critics appreciated its camp value and the willingness of its female writer and female director to explore the issue of domestic violence against women. But since male critics far outnumber female critics, the consensus score measured by RT was overwhelmingly negative.

    For "The Promise," the first mainstream, big-budget Hollywood movie to address the Armenian genocide of 1915, critics were divided between those who felt its well-meaning take on history made up for its listlessness as a drama, and those who did not. The appreciation of the film as a flawed-but-noble work is the sort of half-hearted endorsement that RT scores are not built to acknowledge.

    5. Audiences Didn't Want Whatever "Free Fire" Was Selling
    Male critics seemed to have missed the satirical intent of "Unforgettable." Critics also seemed to miss the satire of "Free Fire," with some panning the film for its over-the-top, non-stop gun violence. Of course, that's the whole point of the movie, as it was with the similarly satirical "Shoot 'Em Up" 10 years ago. No wonder both movies were tough sells.

    6. The Trolling Problem
    32321©joseharo.RAFEven 102 years after the systematic massacre of the Armenians, the Turkish government and many Turkish nationalists still won't acknowledge the genocide as a historical fact. Indeed, there's evidence that such denial was behind the apparent trolling attack on the IMDb scores for "The Promise" that began within moments of the film's premiere screening last fall at the Toronto Film Festival. The movie received tens of thousands of downvotes from people outside of Canada who clearly could not have seen the movie yet.

    It's not clear to what extent such trolling -- and such artificially low scores at audience-polling sites like IMDb -- discourage opening-weekend moviegoers. (Or encourage them, as in the case of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," which received a suspiciously large number of high scores early on from apparent DC Comics partisans.) But with a number of movies having been affected over the past year or so -- most notoriously, "Ghostbusters" -- Hollywood is acknowledging that there's a problem here, one that could be having an impact at the box office.

    7. Lack of Star Power
    None of these movies had much. Katherine Heigl is certainly not the box office draw she was at the height of her rom-com successes of a few years ago. "Free Fire's" Larson is still unproven, even after the very modest success this spring of "Kong: Skull Island," whose true draw was the big gorilla.

    As for "The Promise," Christian Bale isn't a box office draw when he's not driving the Batmobile. His co-star Oscar Isaac may be the Internet's boyfriend, but the dashing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" flier has never opened a movie on his own. "Phoenix" had a cast of unknowns. And apparently, nobody in any of these movies had the box office appeal of the adorable pandas in "Born in China."

    8. Timing
    Was late April the right time to release any of these movies? It worked for "Born in China," in part because this weekend was Earth Day, and in part because Disney has been releasing nature documentaries on Earth Day weekend for nearly a decade, priming a ready audience to expect them at this time of year.

    On the other hand, "The Promise" might have done better in the fall, when an awards-season campaign for Isaac or Bale could have boosted the film's profile. But its makers chose this weekend because it marks the anniversary of the beginning of the genocide.

    9. Everyone's Saving Their Money for Baby Groot
    The other reason not to release a film at the end of April is that moviegoers are holding onto their money until the summer movie season starts with the May 5th release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." No wonder this weekend saw total box office receipts fall 36 percent from a week ago. In fact, it was the second least lucrative weekend of 2017 so far. (Look for next weekend, the last weekend in April, to be similarly bleak.)

    Even with "Fate" and other hit movies still playing, even with five new wide releases, there was not a compelling draw at the multiplex this weekend. Forget fast cars, baby pandas, and Katherine Heigl finally letting her psycho flag fly; we're all holding out for the talking raccoon and the ass-kicking sapling.

  11. 'Fate of the Furious' Stays on Top; 'Unforgettable,' 'The Promise' Bomb

    LOS ANGELES ( - "The Fate of the Furious" is racing to defend its title at the top of the box office, while a number of new releases including "The Promise" and "Unforgettable" are being left in the dust.

    Universal's eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise proved to be a global box office titan when it opened last weekend to a record-shattering $532.5 million. This time around looks to tell mostly the same story -- while domestic grosses slipped 61% from its first to second weekend, the movie is still easily topping the box office with $38.7 million from 4,329 locations.

    But slipping domestic earnings (and lower U.S. grosses than "Furious 7," which pulled over $250 million in its first two weekends versus "Fate's" current sum of $163.6 million) are majorly overshadowed by the movie's international appeal. A bankable, diverse cast including Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron is leading the film, directed by F. Gary Gray, to a two-frame global total of $744.8 million and worldwide sum of $908.4 million.

    While studios wait for summer season to commence, there are no surprise hits to come of this weekend's releases. Warner Bros.' "Unforgettable" seems to have slipped audiences' minds, earning $4.8 million in its first weekend from 2,417 theaters.

    "It just didn't resonate with the intended audience," said Jeff Goldstein, the president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Goldstein stressed that the movie was made for a moderate price, and the marketing was "targeted and appropriate" for the audience.

    The directorial debut of Denise Di Novi stars Katherine Heigl as a scorned ex-wife, and Rosario Dawson as a woman who is newly engaged to the same man. In his review for Variety, critic Peter Debruge lauded Heigl's "terrific" performance, and wrote that her casting "savvily exploits the actress's prickly reputation within the industry."

    "Unforgettable" joins a string of so-so to disappointing releases from Warner Bros. so far this year, including "Chips" and "Fist Fight." At least the Heigl movie had a low production budget ( about $12 million) to minimize losses.

    "The Promise," too, couldn't follow through, despite a social media push from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, the Kardashian sisters and Cher. The movie, from Open Road Films on behalf of Survival Pictures, looks to round out the weekend with about $4.1 million from 2,251 locations -- barely cracking the top ten for the weekend.

    While "The Promise" could be considered a massive disappointment for its $90 million price tag, the film's backers hoped it would raise awareness more than earn money. Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale make up the central love triangle in the movie directed by Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda"). The film is set during the Armenian Genocide, and bankrolled by the late businessman Kirk Kerkorian who wanted to bring visibility to the systematic extermination to 1.5 million Armenians at the order of the Ottoman empire in 1915 -- a politically fraught subject that Turkey continues to deny happened. All proceeds made from the movie will be donated to charity.

    "We certainly hoped for a better box office result," said Open Road's president of marketing Jonathan Helfgot, adding that the film's mission was not purely box office-related. "It was about bring the world's attention to this issue," he said. "And looking at the amount of conversation ... it's undeniable that there's been more focus and attention in the past two weeks than the past hundred years since the atrocity took place."

    Disney's latest animal documentary "Born in China," a co-production between Disneynature and Shanghai Media Group, is making $5.1 million from 1,508 theaters. Narrated by John Krasinski, the docu earned more than previous films "Monkey Kingdom" ($4.6 Million) and "Bears" ($4.8 Million), and is the highest grossing Disneynature opening since 2012's Chimpanzee ($10.7 million).

    Cinelou's "Phoenix Forgotten" opened at 1,592 theaters to an estimated $2 million this weekend. A24's "Free Fire" raked in only $1 million from 1,070 spots in its first weekend.

    In its fourth frame, Fox's "The Boss Baby" will bottle up $12.8 million from 3,697 locations, putting it in second place behind "Fate." Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" should hold onto third with $10 million from 3,315 theaters.

    Warner Bros.' "Going in Style" should slide into fourth with $5 million from 3,038 spots. The heist comedy starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin is targeting an older demo, and saw only a 20% decline in ticket sales from its second to third weekend. "Born in China" looks to round out the top five.

  12. Director James Gray Breaks Down the Final Shot in 'The Lost City of Z'

    If you saw director James Gray's thrilling "The Lost City of Z" this weekend, then you were undoubtedly blown away by the film's true-life story of obsession and Amazonian exploration and the finely calibrated performances of the cast (led by an impeccable Charlie Hunnam and Sienna Miller). But what might be the most dazzling thing about a movie almost exclusively filled with dazzling things is the final shot of the film.

    (Spoiler warning, obviously.)

    In the final moments of the film, Miller, who plays the wife of presumed-dead explorer Percy Fawcett, walks down the stairs of the stuffy Royal Geographic Society, and, as we glimpse in a hallway mirror, we're staring into the Amazonian jungle that took the life of her husband and child. It's a staggering shot, as subtle as it is complex, and when we sat down with Gray a few weeks ago to talk about the film, a large majority of that conversation was centered on this incredible shot.

    You've had two movies back-to-back with amazing final shots. Can you talk about the shot and how you did it and the reasoning behind it?

    In the case of "The Immigrant," that final shot, which I quite like, was always in the script. It was there from the beginning because it was a story about codependence. It's a love story that's never consummated thankfully and the worst people ever connecting but not connecting and I thought there you couldn't kill one of them off. So how do you put two people in the same frame walking away from each other?

    But this ending I struggled with. I knew I wanted to end it on her. But I couldn't figure out a way to express that his obsession became her tragedy. So I struggled. You can't just cut in the Royal Geographic Society with the compass and all that. I thought about how we're going to deal with this. And the inspiration came from a weird source. I was watching an excellent movie, "The Boston Strangler," with Tony Curtis. And there's all this stuff at the end with Henry Fonda, and it's a psychoanalysis and he's talking about, "I don't know what I was doing, I was in a house." And it cuts to him in the house with Henry Fonda. I thought, Well that's interesting. He's combining two different spaces and all that. So right before filming I had scouted this Victorian house and there was this mirror so I thought she could walk off into the jungle, literally.

    It was a very strange set because we had this Victorian house in Belfast and we created this long corridor. It was very funny to see these greens people coming in with huge palm trees and you're in the middle of Northern Ireland. It's very weird. I can't imagine what the neighbors thought. Then there was a visual effect at the end with the mountain and the sky because otherwise it looked too much like a greenhouse.

    It was all about coming up, if I can use a pretentious term, a visual objective correlative for the narrative idea that the obsession was going to swallow her up. It was the literal visual correlative to that idea. I quite like the way it came out. It was a weirdly difficult shot to do because it involved correctly placing her in the mirror and getting the camera move right. Because she comes down and the camera booms down and there's something very counter-intuitive for the camera operator, because the camera has to move away from her and at a speed she isn't walking. It's harder than you'd think. Weirdly, the motion of the person always dictates the motion of the camera. I think that's take 24 that's in the movie.

    Did it take some explaining?

    I think, at first, she thought I was insane. But then I think she realized what it was. I remember I was playing Tosca, a piece from Tosca, it was a very grand thing. Music, it's an old quote of Stanislavski's, is the most direct path to the human heart. So you play that, and she got it. That whole day, which was shot the same day as the scene in the room with the compass, and her work was magnificent that day. She was so uncertain and wary and troubled, and I loved that it was a trance that she had to be in. She had that widow's catastrophe about her. It was a very strange day.

    "The Lost City of Z" is now playing everywhere.

  13. 'Super Mario Bros.' Is a Dumpster Fire That's Been Burning Since 1993: Podcast

    Super Mario Bros. 1993Let's get this out of the way: "Super Mario Bros." is a nonsensical, ugly, terribly written, horribly acted mess of a movie. Yet, we endured all 104 minutes of it because a job's a job and the movie-watching public needs to be warned.

    Yes, the CAN'T WAIT! crew plunged into to the deep end of the 1993 comedy/sci-fi/fantasy "movie" thanks to a decidedly misled whim of one Mr. Tony Maccio, who seems to think that nostalgia > competent filmmaking. While he is objectively wrong, he sticks to his guns. Questions asked in this week's episode include: "What the hell is even going on?" "Why did you make us watch this?" and "How do we create a device that removes this movie from our brains?" We also talk about the movie's redeeming quality. Yes, that's "quality" not "qualities." It only has one, and even that's up for debate.

    Next week, we'll be discussing Tim's pick, 1987's "Overboard," a delightful romp of a rom-com starring Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, which features a scheme that, if executed in real-life, would probably result in kidnapping charges, multiple arrests, and childhoods being spent in foster care.

    Listen to CAN'T WAIT! A Movie Lover's Podcast Episode 20: 'Super Mario Bros.'Total runtime: 49:48

    Subscribe to the CAN'T WAIT! podcast:

    Have thoughts/feelings/feedback about the podcast? Have a movie you really, really want us to watch and talk about? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #CANTWAIT.

    CAN'T WAIT! A Movie Lover's Podcast by Moviefone celebrates Hollywood's guiltiest pleasures by taking a fresh look at critically ignored movies and giving them a second chance at life. Join Moviefone editors Tim Hayne, Rachel Horner, Phil Pirrello, and Tony Maccio as they extol the virtues and expose the failings (with love!) of nostalgic movies.

  14. Listen to David Hasselhoff's Awesome Disco Rap From the 'Guardians 2' Soundtrack

    The "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" soundtrack is out today, but you may not be ready for the closing song, David Hasselhoff's "Guardians Inferno." That kind of fabulous disco cheese is too pure for this world. It also goes on for nearly two minutes before The Hoff even starts to rap/sing about Groot.

    Here's "Guardians Inferno" performed by The Sneepers, featuring David Hasselhoff:If only we could time-travel back to a 1980s roller rink and skate to this masterpiece.

    In case you're curious, io9 wrote down the lyrics:

    "Getting down and dirty with a procyon lotor

    Got no people skills but he's good with motors

    That weird thing by his side an infantilized sequoia

    The two of them walk by, people say "Oh Boy-a"

    They ask me why I'm bringin'

    A baby into battle

    "Thats really irresponsible"

    And getting them rattled

    I say "Give me a break

    Get off my back dammit"

    I didn't learn parenting

    My daddy was a planet

    In these times of hardship

    Just remember:

    We are Groot"

    "Guardians" director James Gunn co-wrote the song, and promoted it on Instagram:

    "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" will be released in theaters next Friday, May 5.

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  15. Sean Bean Names His Favorite Movie Death (And You'll Probably Agree)

    Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Jupiter Ascending' - ArrivalsSean Bean is a human spoiler. If he shows up in a movie, there is a very good chance his character will die. He's said to have the highest death-per-film ratio of any actor. It has become his Thing. So it's interesting to hear him pick a personal favorite death scene. And he chose wisely.

    Entertainment Weekly asked him about his role as the flawed, conflicted, desperate Boromir in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." Boromir dies toward the end of the film, taking arrows in pretty much every part of his body as a way of protecting his hobbit buddies, Merry and Pippin.

    "It's my favorite death scene, and I've done a few," Bean told EW with a laugh. "You couldn't ask for a more heroic death."

    Bean told EW that he, Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), director Peter Jackson, and co-writer Fran Walsh came up with Boromir's parting line to Aragorn -- "My brother, my captain, my king" -- the night before shooting, over beers and a bottle of wine.

    In 2014, WatchMojo made a video of the Top 10 Sean Bean Deaths, and guess where they put Boromir? Yep. Same spot the star put it. His "Game of Thrones" death as Ned Stark was No. 2. Some fans may put Ned at No. 1 themselves, but at least Boromir had a more noble end.Sean Bean's new movie "Drone" comes out May 26th. Pray for him.

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  16. 'Fantastic Beasts 2' Casts Newt Scamander's Brother: Report

    Eddie Redmayne, meet your new brother!

    The sequel to "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" starts filming this summer, and Variety reports British actor Callum Turner, 27, will play Newt's bro. There were no further details on the role, other than that the "War & Peace," "Green Room," "Victor Frankenstein," and "Assassin's Creed" star was in talks for the role.

    Burberry AW14 Menswear Show - ArrivalsRedmayne will return in "Fantastic Beasts 2" (we don't know if it'll get a new title beyond that), along with Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, in the next story set decades before the "Harry Potter" films.

    Author J.K. Rowling wrote the first "Fantastic Beasts" script and she also wrote this sequel, and David Yates will return as director. The second film will move the story from New York to Paris and the U.K. According to Pottermore, the sequel "takes the story deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes must decide on their allegiances." This will be the second of five planned films in the "Fantastic Beasts" series.

    "Fantastic Beasts 2" -- also starring Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, and Zoë Kravitz -- is currently scheduled for release November 16, 2018.

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  17. Miley Cyrus Has Secret Role in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

    iHeartRadio Music Awards - ShowMiley Cyrus went from "Party in the U.S.A." to a party in the galaxy!

    The singer reportedly has a cameo in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" as the voice of Mainframe. Lifestyle blogger Sarah Ruhlman first shared the news on Twitter:

    Fun fact from the @JamesGunn @Kevfeige interview happening now! @MileyCyrus is the voice of Mainframe. #GotGVol2Event #GotGVol2

    — Sarah Ruhlman (@SarahScoop) April 20, 2017

    Mainframe is an alternate universe version of Vision, played by Paul Bettany in "The Avengers" films. In the future of "Guardians of the Galaxy," Vision evolves to be the operating system of an entire planet.

    Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, seemed to confirm the news to The Huffington Post, saying, "I heard that she's uncredited and a voice somewhere."

    This also falls in line with some teasing banter between director James Gunn and Marvel boss Kevin Feige, who debated revealing the identity of Mainframe. "I blew it, I told one person," Gunn said. Feige responded, "It'll get out."

    That it did.

  18. Nathan Fillion Shares 'Cut Scene' From 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

    Nathan Fillion took to Instagram to lament that his cameo was cut from "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2." In the pic, he's garbed kinda like "Star Trek" villain Khan and very seriously piloting a spaceship.

    From a scene you won't see in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Is the movie still spectacular without it? Yes.

    A post shared by Nathan Fillion (@natefillion) on

    But hold on. This morning, director James Gunn responded via Twitter, saying, "For the record, that was never a scene in the movie - that's simply Nathan Fillion clowning around on set."

    For the record, that was never a scene in the movie - that's simply @NathanFillion clowning around on set.

    — James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 21, 2017

    So what's the real story? Where did the "Firefly" star get that outfit? And that wig?

    According to SlashFilm, there was supposed to be a cameo with Fillion playing Simon Williams, AKA "Wonder Man," a part-time superhero, part-time Hollywood star. The scene would have taken place at a film festival for the actor, with the actor dressed for "Arkon," a "Conan the Barbarian"-type movie that appears to be what he's wearing in the Instagram photo. For what it's worth, Arkon is a real Marvel character, but one that's yet to appear in the MCU.

  19. Ryan Reynolds Reacts to Fan's Butt Tattoo: 'Oh. Dear. God.'

    Ryan ReynoldsNever underestimate how die-hard Ryan Reynolds fans are. After a fan tweeted that he'd get the "Deadpool" actor's name tattooed on his butt if Reynolds liked his tweet, the guy went ahead and did it.

    Dustin (aka @poolspidey) shared a picture of the nether-region tat and Reynolds response is worthy of Deadpool himself. "Oh god. Oh. Dear. God. What have you done!?" The actor tweeted. "Thankfully, all the letters in my name are silent."

    Oh god. Oh. Dear. God. What have you done!? Thankfully, all the letters in my name are silent.

    — Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) April 20, 2017

    Twitter uses responded with the following gifs:

    It took the actor nearly a month to see that the damage had been done, however, since the photo was tweeted out on March 26.

    @VancityReynolds your wish is my command

    — dustin (@poolspidey) March 26, 2017

    [Via EW]

  20. How Walt Disney Inspired 'Born in China'

    Disneynature's "Born in China," out this week, is the latest in a line of springy nature documentaries that Disney has been putting out every Earth Day, more or less, for the past few years. The latest film follows three families of animals in modern-day China (yes, there are pandas) and, as narrated by John Krasinski, personalizes the animals' struggles without ever turning them into cartoonish caricatures. It's more about emphasizing the depths of their lives than flattening them into two-dimensional facades. But what's amazing about these Disneynature films is that you can trace their fundamental, well, nature, to innovations that Walt Disney himself made back in the 1940's. It was Walt who created the nature documentary and whose fundamental respect for animals, his emphasis on conservation, his insistence that the material be entertaining, and his ability to turn creatures into compassionate screen icons, can be felt in these films today.

    So let's take it back ...

    As early as 1943, Walt was talking about using his skills to produce things strictly for educational means. He had been courted for educational films for a while (a year later, in 1944, Encyclopedia Britannica wanted to lock the visionary into a multi-picture deal), but wanted to do something that was as entertaining as it was educational. "We can't be boring," Walt said.

    By late 1944 Walt, an animal lover since growing up on a farm in Missouri, first laid out a plan for a series of short films, but by the end of 1944 made a trip to the New York Zoological Society with something grander, more ambitious in mind. He had first talked a husband-and-white photography team with taking footage of Alaska ("Everything that moved" was what Walt said). The process took a long time. Like, a long time. After Walt insisted that the documentarians focus on seals (and after he himself took a trip to Alaska in 1947), they finally had a movie in 1948. This was "Sea Island," the first of a Disney series called "True-Life Adventures."

    At 28 minutes, the movie was too long for a short and too short for a feature. RKO, who was distributing Walt's movies at the time, refused to release it, so Disney personally exhibited it in a theater in Pasadena. Audiences loved it and it won the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. Disney biographer Neal Gabler said that the film "in its own way proves just as revolutionary as his first sound animation or Snow White." Once again, Walt was introducing something to the movie-going public, something that they had never experienced before, never even thought about, but now that it was here, they couldn't get enough of it.

    The movies were troublesome and costly to produce (something that made Walt's brother, Roy O. Disney, who handled the finances for the studio, nervous), with a fraction of the footage shot making it into the final film, but they were transcendent, beautiful, and unlike anything else out there. Walt had followed through on his promise: With their bouncy soundtracks, anthropomorphized subjects, and gorgeous photography, these were not boring.

    Of the 14 films produced in the "True-Life Adventures" series, eight of them won Academy Awards. The films would inspire a line of books, a comic strip printed in newspapers nationwide each week, and a spin-off series called "True-Life Fantasies," which featured animal casts wedged into more traditional narrative frameworks (this was things like "Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar"). An early version of Disneyland had a different name for Adventureland -- True-Life Adventureland, which shows you how all-in the studio was about this material. In this version of the land, the Jungle Cruise would have you float by real-life animals instead of cartoon-y Audio-Animatronic versions and actually give you the ability to take home an exotic animal as a pet (ah, the '50s). The idea of animals in a Disney Park would come to fruition decades later, when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened as part of Walt Disney World in 1998. (You can also see echoes of the "True-Life Adventures" in elements of Frontierland and can see posters for the films hanging in the Smokejumpers Grill restaurant in Disney California Adventure.)

    Virtually every nature documentary that came after Walt's "True-Life Adventures" were inspired by the series and owes him a considerable debt. Everything from "March of the Penguins" to "Planet Earth" sprouted from these early films, in structure, narrative, and philosophy. Walt introduced audiences to a world that they could connect with, one without heavy-handed moralizing or sterile detachment. These stories were warm, relatable, and mind-blowing. Walt would later say of the films, "We did not succumb to the alluring temptations to make villains or saints of the creatures portrayed in our films. We have maintained a sensitive regard for the wisdom of nature's design and have attempted to hold a mirror to the out-of-doors rather than to interpret its functioning by man's standards."

    It's Walt's original vision that you can see course through "Born in China" -- and all of the Disneynature films. So many of his breakthroughs -- humanistic narration, painstaking photography, an easy-to-follow narrative -- are present, and it's hard to imagine "Born in China" (or any other modern nature documentary) without them. Walt was great at understanding what audiences wanted but also that they wouldn't just accept the same old thing. If he was going to make a documentary about animals, it had to be the best documentary about animals ... ever. The Disneynature team understands this and, with each film, pushes the medium a little bit forward. Walt would be proud.
  21. Clint Eastwood Making a Movie About the Paris Train Heroes

    Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone, Clint Eastwood, Alek SkarlatosClint Eastwood's next "based on a true story" movie will be about the three men who heroically thwarted a terrorist attack on a train bound for Paris in 2015, Deadline reports.

    The movie, "The 15:17 to Paris," will be based on the book of the same name penned by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone, who averted a mass tragedy by overpowering a man armed with an AK-47 on a train from Brussels to Paris.

    Stone was an airman first class in the U.S. Air Force, Skarlatos was a member of the Oregon National Guard, and Sadler a college student on his first trip to Europe. They -- along with two other passengers -- tackled the gunman after his rifle jammed.

    Stone was stabbed several times in the battle with the terrorist. All three men were named Knights of the Legion of Honour of France. In the U.S., Sadler was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Valor, Skarlatos received the Soldier's Medal (the highest award for actions not taken in combat) and Stone was awarded the Airman's Medal and the Purple Heart.

    We're guessing that Eastwood's movie will not include Skarlatos's subsequent stint on "Dancing With the Stars," where he finished third. But it might include the life-threatening attack on Stone in October 2015, when he was stabbed by a fellow passenger on a flight.

    In the photo above, Eastwood had just presented the three heroes (from left to right, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos) with a hero award at Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards on June 4, 2016.

  22. John Boyega: 'I Was Stopped Every Time I Flew to Los Angeles'

    John BoyegaBefore he found fame with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Brit John Boyega says he was stopped by airport security every time he flew to Los Angeles.

    Talking to the London Evening Standard, the actor said, "I used to fly back and forth when I was hustling and auditioning for things in LA. I'd get cheap flights and stay there for two weeks or whatever. And every time I was getting these random checks. Every. Single. Time."

    He says he can't remember which airline this was happening on, but that, "I called them out on it ... Like, 'This stuff ain't right.' They said it was a problem Stateside, they gave me a letter and it stopped. But before that it was consistent. I understand that [these things] are for our safety but when you fly a lot and it happens three or four times there's an element of, 'Okay, I'm still not a terrorist.'"

    Boyega is currently in London appearing in the play "Woyzeck" at the Old Vic theatre, set in 1980s Berlin. The play runs from

    of course he'll back as Finn in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," out this December.

  23. Cuba Gooding Sr, Soul Singer and Father of Cuba Gooding Jr, Found Dead

    Cuba Gooding Sr. and Cuba Gooding Jr.Sad news: Cuba Gooding Sr., soul singer and father to Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., was found dead in his car in Los Angeles on Thursday.

    ABC7 reports that the 72-year-old was found in a 2012 silver Jaguar in Woodland Hills. Paramedics attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Police are still investigating the cause of his death, but say there were no signs of foul play. According to ABC7, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said there were several bottles of alcohol and drug paraphernalia found in the vehicle. It appears he died either of natural causes or a drug overdose. They are awaiting a toxicology report.

    Cuba Gooding Sr., was the lead singer for the soul group The Main Ingredient, whose biggest hits were "Everybody Plays the Fool" and "Just Don't Want to be Lonely."

    Our condolences go out to the Gooding family.

  24. 'Fate of the Furious' Writer & Stars Address #JusticeforHan

    You may have noticed -- or even contributed to -- the hashtag #JusticeforHan after watching "The Fate of the Furious," and The Powers That Be have taken note.

    Fans were not happy to see the movie end with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) being welcomed into Dominic Toretto's (Vin Diesel) family when we know Shaw killed Dom's crew buddy Han (Sung Kang).

    Did they forget about him?

    The L.A. Times talked to the cast and filmmakers about it, and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz) is 100 percent with fans. "I know," she said "When [Deckard] was introduced, they didn't even think for us to give him any flack when he walked in. And we were like, 'Yo, dude, this guy killed one of our boys! You know it doesn't fly like that!'"

    So what happened? Here's where Rodriguez gets candid:

    "At the end of the day, you're talking about a Hollywood demographic blockbuster character overriding story. That's the battle that you have when you make movies this big. They were like, 'We know that the grand majority of the audience wants to see this guy be on your side, so that overrides the fact that he killed one of your guys.' I was like, 'I don't know if that's going to fly when we hit the Asian markets, but all right,'" she laughed. "I don't write this stuff. What can I tell you?"

    The guy who did write it is screenwriter/producer Chris Morgan, who hinted to answers ahead in the next two sequels.

    "Justice for Han ... justice for Han," he repeated to the L.A. Times, when discussing the fan hashtag. "I think you'll learn a lot more about it, and I don't know if that hashtag will be the appropriate one to put on it down the road. But I can tell you this: We will definitely be talking more about Han. Look, I am literally the biggest Han/Sung Kang fan in the world. But I would say this. From the initial conceit of Deckard [Shaw], I've never really thought of him as a bad guy. He was definitely against our team but he's a guy with a code who loves his family."

    It sounds like we might get more background on Shaw ahead. Jason Statham told the Times he's never been interested in playing some "villainous baddie that wants to blow up the world and steal all the money and the typical cliché villain type things." He added:

    "It was really important for me to get involved on a level where I could get behind the character. And you know, that whole episode has not fully detailed exactly what happened. I'm not going to say anything more than that! But [Chris Morgan] likes to annoy the fans and please the fans and get all these angry protests. So, more to come."

    Huh. And here's some bad news for fans still hoping that Han didn't die and is secretly alive out there: "He did die," Morgan confirmed, and the Times noted that he sounded apologetic.

    So if Han is staying dead, will what Shaw did be justified somehow? There's still time to turn this car around, now that the producers do understand how much fans still care about Han.

    The ninth and tenth "Fast" movies are scheduled for released on April 19, 2019, and April 2, 2021, respectively.

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  25. Joss Whedon Wants 'Somebody New' for Batgirl Movie

    It's early days for Joss Whedon and his Batgirl movie for DC, but if you're an up-and-coming actress, you may want to go to superheroic lengths to get the director's attention.

    Whedon talked to USA Today at the premiere of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and it sounds like he's not interested in casting an existing star for the role. He wants to create a new star through the role.

    "What I'm looking for in a Batgirl is probably somebody new. Somebody who is willing to go the distance. It is going to be hard. I want somebody who's going to get in the trenches with me."

    Whedon said something similar to Variety, confirming he doesn't have his eye on anybody at this point, but "I doubt it'll be a name":

    Who should play #Batgirl in Joss Whedon's upcoming movie? We asked @Joss Whedon #GotGVol2Premiere

    — Variety (@Variety) April 20, 2017

    He said he's not against movie stars, but the name "Batgirl" carries a lot of weight on its own, so it's not critical to get a big name, it's just critical to find exactly the right Batgirl.

    Whedon is reportedly writing and directing his Batgirl based on the Barbara Gordon of DC Comics's "New 52" re-launch, showing the Gotham girl haunted by her attack from the Joker.

    "I know what she looks like in the comic books," Whedon continued to USA Today. "We'll deviate if the right person is different. We haven't even begun the conversation, but it's about the spirit she exudes, not exactly what she looks like."

    USA Today suggested "Batman & Robin" star Alicia Silverstone in a cameo. Whedon replied, "It hasn't crossed my mind. I'm not against it, but I'm not looking for Easter eggs – I'm still trying to write a movie!" If he's looking for a completely fresh start -- as opposed to the more established stars cast in other major DCEU roles -- then maybe he won't want fans to be distracted by Easter egg nods to the past. We'll see.

    The Batgirl movie, still untitled at this point, is expected to also feature other characters from Gotham. No word yet on when shooting might start or its release date.

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