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‘Transformers’ Spinoffs Have 7 Writers, All White Males

24 minutes ago

Paramount Pictures has a perception problem on its hands, with many Hollywood insiders disappointed that the studio and its “Transformers” brain trust led by Michael Bay and Akiva Goldsman have hired seven writers to expand the blockbuster franchise, all of whom are white males. In March, Oscar winner Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”) was hand-picked by his college buddy Bay to incubate ideas for the “Transformers” movie universe and oversee the process of hiring writers and assigning scripts. On May 20, TheWrap reported that Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”), Zak Penn (“Pacific Rim 2”), Jeff Pinkner (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and Art. »


- Jeff Sneider

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Iggy Azalea ‘Great Escape Tour’ Cancellation Finally Confirmed

42 minutes ago

Rapper Iggy Azalea has formally cancelled her North American tour, according to an email sent to Ticketmaster customers. “The Iggy Azalea Great Escape Tour scheduled for this fall has been cancelled and refunds are available at point of purchase,” the mass note from the ticketing hub read, according to media reports. “There will be a new tour planned around Iggy’s new record to be released in 2016 and we apologize for any inconvenience.” Reps for Azalea have not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment. TheWrap was first to report major turmoil behind the scenes of the effort, which was set to roll out earlier. »


- Matt Donnelly

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Cameron Crowe Says ‘Aloha’ to Horrible Reviews: 10 Critics Who Slammed Bradley Cooper-Emma Stone Rom-Com

1 hour ago

Cameron Crowe‘s “Aloha” is expected to get very few greetings from ticket buyers at the box office this weekend, and the already disappointing numbers Sony is expecting may dwindle due to terrible reviews from critics. The Hawaii-set romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray has a mere 15 percent approval rating from 94 reviews counted, so far, on Rotten Tomatoes. TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde was among those chiming in with negative thoughts, and cited “Aloha” as another disappointment from the “Almost Famous” filmmaker who went on to whiff most recently with “We Bought a Zoo” and “Elizabethtown. »


- Greg Gilman

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‘Ray Donovan’ Season 3 Teaser Promises ‘A Great Adventure’ – And Yes, Dead Bodies (Video)

2 hours ago

Showtime released a Season 3 teaser for summer series “Ray Donovan” on Friday, promising “a great adventure,” backyard barbecues and blood — lots of blood. The clip opens and closes with ominous quotes from Elliott Gould‘s Ezra Goodman character. “Tip the country on its side, and everything that falls loose, lands in L.A.,” he states at the beginning — not entirely untrue, if you’ve spent any amount of time in our great city. Also Read: 23 Summer TV Shows We Can't Wait to Watch Soon Liev Schreiber‘s titular character does all the talking. “Been 25 years of my life being told what to do, »


- Tony Maglio

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‘Saved by the Bell’ Star Dustin Diamond at Stabbing Trial: ‘I Figured It Would Take the Fight Out of the People’

2 hours ago

Former “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond testified during his trial on Friday that he didn’t intentionally stab anybody during a Christmas Day altercation in a Wisconsin bar, saying that he only pulled his knife because he “figured it would take the fight out of the people,”  the Associated Press reported. The 38-year-old actor, best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the ’90s teen sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” told a court in Wisconsin that patrons had been harassing him and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, prior to the fight, and that he “felt like we were being set. »


- Tim Kenneally

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‘500 Questions': How Host Richard Quest Almost Missed Out on the Game Show Hosting Job

2 hours ago

Had “500 Questions” host Richard Quest not taken a second look at a vague email, he likely would not have been hosting the week-long game show event that kickstarted ABC’s summer slate. The email asked him for his agent’s information. Since he does not have one, however, he let it marinate in his inbox for a few days before realizing that producer “Warner Horizon” is a corporate cousin of his homebase at CNN. He fired off a response to fulfill a corporate duty, and inadvertently set in motion the path that led him to the Adam-and-Adam of 21st century primetime, »


- Mikey Glazer

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‘Return to Amish’ Season 2 Premiere Clip Shows Jeremiah and Abe at Odds (Exclusive Video)

3 hours ago

Jeremiah and Abe have a heated face off in a new clip from Sunday’s season premiere of the TLC reality series “Return to Amish.” In the clip, Jeremiah challenges Abe about his relationship with his family by saying that his father prioritizes church over Abe, who is also whipped by his wife. “You’re letting him push your ass around, the same way your wife does,” Jeremiah says. “She controls you, Abe.” Also Read: Inside TLC's '19 Kids & Counting' Disaster: Why Network Is Facing Another Molestation Scandal “Return to Amish” revisits the cast of the original series “Breaking Amish” as they settle back. »


- Reid Nakamura

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The ‘Shark Tank’ Effect: Why Biz-Focused Reality TV Is Booming

3 hours ago

Even as many wonder whether reality TV is beginning to run its course, unscripted business shows are experiencing an unprecedented boom. Fueled by an interest in entrepreneurship sparked by the recent economic crisis, an emerging millennial workforce that wants to work for itself and the meteoric rise of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” reality finance-centric dramas are quickly becoming a hot commodity. “There appears to be some sort of a gold rush when it comes to business reality TV,” Jim Ackerman, CNBC’s senior VP of primetime alternative, told TheWrap. “When you talk about your livelihood, there are always major stakes »


- Itay Hod

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Bill Cosby Loses Appeal to Dismiss Sexual Battery Lawsuit

3 hours ago

Bill Cosby has hit a legal setback in the seemingly ever-growing scandal surrounding him. The former “The Cosby Show” star, who lately has been besieged by allegations of sexual assault by dozens of women, has lost an appeal to have a lawsuit filed by one one of his alleged victims dismissed. On Wednesday, the California Court of Appeal rejected Cosby’s petition to have a lawsuit filed by Judy Huth dismissed. Also Read: Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Prompt Statute of Limitations Extension in Nevada Cosby filed the petition after the Los Angeles County Superior Court rejected his effort to get Huth’s complaint dismissed. »


- Tim Kenneally

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‘Munchkin’ Writer Will Widger to Adapt ‘Lumberjanes’ Comic for 20th Century Fox (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

20th Century Fox has tapped Will Widger to write a live-action adaptation of “Lumberjanes,” the Boom! Studios comic about five young female friends who battle supernatural forces at summer camp, TheWrap has learned. “Lumberjanes” was created by three women — Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, while Brooke A. Allen serves as illustrator. The story follows a group of girls spending the summer at a scout camp, where they encounter strange creatures and other supernatural phenomena. Originally planned as a limited eight-part series, the comic quickly became an ongoing series following strong sales and critical acclaim. “Lumberjanes” was recently nominated. »


- Jeff Sneider

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Netflix’s Rashida Jones-Produced ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ Trailer Offers Shocking Look at Amateur Porn (Video)

4 hours ago

“Every day, a new girl turns 18,” says talent agent Riley in the trailer for “Hot Girls Wanted.” The “talent” Riley scouts are 18-to-21-year-old “teenyboppers,” whom he introduces to the amateur porn industry. The stunning documentary reveals the dark side of the subgenre, detailing how barely-legal women are recruited into uncomfortable and compromising situations. These women, lured by fast money and the promise of freedom through Craig’s List ads, are groomed into performers who very recently had been high school cheerleaders or were considered Daddy’s little girl. As stated in the trailer, the shelf life of an amateur »


- Kathy Zerbib

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‘Gemma Bovery’ Review: Literary Comedy Puts a Feminist Spin on an Old Classic

4 hours ago

We’re used to directors working with the same actors more than once, but it’s much more rare to connect a performer with an author whose work is being adapted to the screen, unless that author is William Shakespeare. The last example that comes to mind is Richard Benjamin, starring in the back-to-back Philip Roth movies “Goodbye, Columbus” and “Portnoy’s Complaint” during the Nixon era. While Benjamin was the ideal manifestation of a certain brand of Roth hero, actress Gemma Arterton steps up as another complex and bewitching Posy Simmonds heroine in “Gemma Bovery.” It’s a complex relationship between author, »


- Alonso Duralde

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Catherine Hardwicke in Talks to Direct ‘Love Letters to the Dead’ for Fox 2000

4 hours ago

Seven years after directing the first film in the billion-dollar-grossing “Twilight” franchise, Catherine Hardwicke is in talks to direct another Ya phenomenon, Ava Dellaira’s “Love Letters to the Dead” for Fox 2000 and Temple Hill Entertainment, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap. Dellaira adapted her own debut novel, which was published in April 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers. The story follows a teenage girl named Laurel who’s assigned to write a letter to a dead person for her English class. She chooses her late sister’s favorite musician, Kurt Cobain, who also died. »


- Jeff Sneider

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‘Empire’ Sets Season 2 Premiere Date

4 hours ago

Fox hit drama “Empire” will return for an 18-episode second season on Wednesday, September 23. Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie on the show, broke the news on Twitter Friday morning. The official “Empire’s” writers’ Twitter quickly confirmed the news. See Video: 'Empire' Star Trai Byers Reveals Favorite Cookie Line During 'Wrapid Fire' As TheWrap previously reported, Season 2 of Empire will expand from 12 to 18 episodes, split into two cycles. Comedian Chris Rock, and singers Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz have signed on to guest-star on the show’s second season. Academy-Amward nominiee Gabourey Sidibe (“Becky”) and actress Ta’Rhonda Jones (“Porsha”) have been elevated to. »


- Itay Hod

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Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright Sign on for HBO’s Clarence Thomas Movie ‘Confirmation’

4 hours ago

HBO’s upcoming movie “Confirmation,” about the contentious confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, has added Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright to its cast. The HBO films project has also added “The Americans” actress Alison Wright. “Dreamgirls” and “Smash” alum Hudson has signed on to portray Angela Wright, who had worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and provided a statement in support of Thomas. Also Read: Wendell Pierce to Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington in HBO's 'Confirmation' Kinnear, meanwhile, will play Joe Biden, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1991 hearings on Thomas’ confirmation. »


- Tim Kenneally

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First ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Teaser Revs Up Bloody Anticipation (Video)

5 hours ago

Starz is ready to raise the dead once again, and the first teaser for “Ash vs Evil Dead” promises more bloody torture in store. The original films featured unlucky teenagers who descend upon a weekend retreat in a woodland cabin, only to accidentally raise an evil spirit hellbent on one thing: torturing and killing them one by one in increasingly sadistic ways. The Starz series will consist of a 10-episode first season premiering in the fall, and is currently in production in New Zealand. Also Read: 73 Summer TV Shows: TheWrap's Ultimate Viewing Guide (Photos) The cast is led by Bruce Campbell, »


- Linda Ge

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Top 9 Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

5 hours ago

Mary Meeker of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (Kpcb) has released her annual evaluation of the top trends in internet usage, proving times are changing, and companies could get left behind if they don’t catch up. Among the most interesting trends is a major boom in user-generated content, and evidence that teens are embracing visual social media like Snapchat and Instagram instead of Facebook and Twitter. Here are TheWrap’s 9 most interesting takeaways from the report: See photos: 45 Hollywood Social Media Stars: Periscope, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram Internet Users Are Creating Significantly More Content Kpcb Overall, content »

- Joe Otterson

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Watch ‘Kung Fury': A Crowdfunded Ode to Absurd ’80s Action (Video)

6 hours ago

Kung Fury” — a crowdfunded ode to the ’80s featuring Nazis, dinosaurs, vikings and a renegade time-traveling, kung-fu kicking cop after Hitler — is now available for your viewing pleasure. The comedy, which debuted at the Directors’ Fortnight during the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, is now on YouTube. The half-hour short film starring writer and director David Sandberg was funded through a Kickstarter campaign launched in December 2013. More than 17,000 people backed its $630,000 budget. See video: A Time-Traveling Renegade Cop Takes on Hitler in 'Kung Fury' Trailer Now over 2.4 million people have watched it, and reviews are glowing. “My favorite. »


- Greg Gilman

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Suge Knight Murder Case Delayed After He Hires New Lawyer

6 hours ago

Update, 10:13 am Pt: The Associated Press reports that Suge Knight’s murder trial has been delayed, due to a change in lawyers for the Death Row Records co-founder. Knight is now being represented by Thomas Mesereau, the attorney who defended Michael Jackson against child-molestation charges. As a result of the change in attorneys, a judge rescheduled Friday’s hearing on Knight’s motion to dismiss his murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges to July 7. Previously… Marion “Suge” Knight, the former rap mogul who allegedly hit two men with his car in January, is returning to court to try to get his murder charges dismissed. »


- Reid Nakamura

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James Marsden, Rosario Dawson and ‘Silicon Valley’s’ Thomas Middleditch to Star in Animated Film ‘Henchmen’

6 hours ago

James Marsden, Thomas Middleditch and Rosario Dawson will star in Bron Studios’ first animated feature film, “Henchmen,” the company announced on Friday. The star-studded voice cast also includes Alfred MolinaNathan Fillion, Jane Krakowski, Rob RiggleCraig Robinson and Will Sasso. Marsden will voice Hank, a fallen henchman who must become a hero and lead his team (Middleditch, Krakowski and Robinson) to prevent Baron Blackout (Molina) from taking over the world, and save his love interest (Dawson) in the process. Fillion, best known for ABC’s “Castle” will voice superhero Captain Superior. Also Read: Jack Black and James Marsden Answer »


- Reid Nakamura

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