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Beasts of No Nation Nearly Killed Idris Elba and Cary Fukunaga

1 hour ago

Idris Elba and Cary Fukunaga, the very handsome men behind Neflix's upcoming Beasts of No Nation, are on the cover of Variety together this month, sharing slightly less physical contact than fans may have wanted. But inside the issue, they share something else: harrowing tales of almost dying during the film's shoot in Ghana. For Elba, his brush with death came when he absentmindedly leaned against the wrong tree, and nearly plummeted off a cliff. "I remember slipping and catching onto this big branch that was sticking up, and I literally was like, 'Whoa!'" he tells the mag. "It was a moment where I was like, 'This is the real deal.'" Not to be outdone, Fukunaga chose a more subtle path toward meeting his maker. Namely, malaria: "It’s like someone gave you a sleeping pill, along with a pounding headache and a hot-and-cold fever." He also lost »


- Nate Jones

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How Superhero Shows Escaped Their Awkward Phase and Became a Force on TV

1 hour ago

Live-action superheroes have been a part of TV history since the very beginning, but they've had a rocky road along the way. Sure, there have been memorable hits like The Incredible Hulk and Arrow, but boy, have there been some stinkers (we shudder to think about Spider-Man's dollar-store costume in his 1970s series). In this week's episode of "Vulture's Secret History of Television," we revisit the highs and lows of televised caped-crusading. Tune in Wednesdays for more episodes, and check out our past installments on topics like "lesbian-kiss episodes" and crossovers. »

- Ryan McGee,Margaret Lyons,Abraham Riesman

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Why Apple Making TV Shows Is a Bad Idea

1 hour ago

If you’re excited by the news that Apple is potentially considering joining Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other digital entities by producing original movies and TV programming, ask yourself this: What would the perfect Apple-produced TV show look like? Would it be a smart, emotionally tempered program about the effects of technology in modern life, like AMC’s Humans meets Black Mirror? Or a rollicking, addictive swords-and-beheadings drama like Game of Thrones? Or a grisly horror rampage like The Walking Dead, or a bonkers potboiler like Scandal? If Apple is, indeed, looking to get into the original-content business — this Variety report points to “preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood” — it’s worth wondering just what kind of content Apple would be looking to produce. This is Apple, after all, not some streaming-video service you’ve only vaguely heard of. We know all too well what a quintessential »


- Adam Sternbergh

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Glenn Head’s Chicago Is a Titillating, Brutal Comics Memoir

2 hours ago

There’s always something pornographic about a good memoir. Even if there’s no actual sex in the tale, we’re still drawn to the forbidden thrill of seeing behind closed doors and witnessing parts of the human experience we’re not supposed to discuss in polite society. We crave the sweet release of seeing someone else be as shitty and stupid as we fear we might be. In his breathtaking new semiautobiographical graphic novel, Chicago, Glenn Head is the best kind of emotional-smut peddler, offering a mouthwatering medley of humiliations, obsessions, jealousies, and poor decisions.The basic structure of the story is as familiar as its execution is surprising: A New Jersey teenager named Glen (note the single n, a warning against interpreting the story as strictly nonfictional) leaves his one-horse New Jersey town in the late 1970s, drops out of art school to pursue his dreams of being a cartoonist, »

- Abraham Riesman

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Gary Busey Rode a Horse Onto Jimmy Kimmel’s Show to Announce That He’s Going to Crush Dancing With the Stars

7 hours ago

It has unfortunately taken Dancing With the Stars 21 seasons to bag their best star. But no fear, Gary Busey is finally here — majestic horse, sequins, hat, and all (obviously, because he is the king of reality shows). He just wants you to know that yes, he is already your favorite contestant; yes, he will win all of your votes; and yes, as sure as Kanye is about a 2020 presidency, Gary Busey is confident he'll soon become the king of dance. He joins previously announced celebs Chaka Khan and Nick Carter, but none of them matter anymore because Gary Busey. You can see him September 14 on ABC. »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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T-Pain Sure Stunned Tons of People With This Auto-Tune-less National Anthem Performance

9 hours ago

In case you forgot, T-Pain has an actual human voice and can actually sing. Well, he has done it again.T-Pain notably explained to NPR last year that "people felt like I was using [auto-tune] to sound good ... but I was just using it to sound different" — even though his natural voice is a divine gift. It might even be that angelic voice, taken from the likes of Fergie and Jesus, that John C. Reilly prophesied would come almost a decade ago to save us all. (Case in point: These dulcet, soulful pipes and interesting pitch options may or may not have inspired the Dodgers to win this game — nice, T-Pain! Never change. Keep using your voice for good.) »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Report: The Concussion Filmmakers Tried Not to Piss Off the NFL

10 hours ago

Those affiliated with Sony's Will Smith–starring Concussion went to meticulous lengths to avoid angering the NFL throughout the football-centric film's production and marketing run-up, according to a report from the New York Times. The movie, directed by Peter Landesman, is based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian forensic pathologist who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy in professional football players. The movie hopes to be true and fair to Omalu's life — as well as that of the league's. In a comprehensive review of dozens of past emails from last year's Sony hack, the Times discovered that Smith was to be positioned as a supporter of the sport; the film was to be marketed as a whistle-blower story (more about the man, less about the sport and its dangers), unflattering details involving the league were to be cut, and the long-term effects of the game were to »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Amazon Prime Becomes Commuting Hero, Launches Offline Viewing for iOS, Android Devices

12 hours ago

If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can now download TV episodes and movies onto your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone — gratis — for future mobile viewing. Well, at no extra charge at least. THR reports that the streaming service has launched offline viewing because it wants its customers to be able to consume content more easily. "There's no doubt that the way people watch entertainment is changing — anytime, anywhere viewing is important and we are excited to provide our Prime members with offline viewing capabilities on iOS and Android platforms starting today," Amazon's Michael Paull, VP of digital video, said in a statement. "We are proud to be the first and only online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing — on vacation, in a car, at the beach, on a plane, wherever our Prime members want to watch they can, regardless of internet connection." You're a real »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard Made a Sick Punk Album With Her Thunderbitch Side Project

16 hours ago

Earlier this summer, Alabama Shakes front woman Brittany Howard told Vulture that "there's no way to be original," in reference to the myriad influences on her band's latest album, Sound & Color. While that may be true, if there's any way to keep things fresh, it's to never stop moving forward via constant creation. In Howard's case, that means starting a side project, which she did three years ago with members of Fly Golden Eagle and Clear Plastic Masks. Together they form Thunderbitch, and today they released a self-titled album, which is streaming now on their site. If you've grown fond of the blues rock Howard tends to make with Alabama Shakes, don't worry, that's still there ("Very Best Friend"), but overall, this is Howard's attempt at making a punk album — her Joan Jett moment, if you will. (There's even a song called "I Just Wanna Rock n Roll.") Blistering »


- Dee Lockett

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Game of Thrones Has Reportedly Found Its Euron Greyjoy

16 hours ago

According to an eagle-eyed source for Watchers on the Wall, Danish actor Pilou Asbæk has been cast in the role we all assume is Euron Greyjoy, the swaggering sex-pirate uncle of Theon and Yara. Asbæk, a veteran of Borgen and The Borgias, was spotted filming A Feast for Crows' pivotal Kingsmoot scene in Northern Ireland this week, alongside Gemma Whelan and an actor who appeared to be playing a role similar to Aeron Greyjoy in the books. As suspected, Victarion Greyjoy was nowhere to be seen; he's likely joined Arianne and Quentyn Martell in book-only purgatory. And now the race to figure out who Ian McShane is playing narrows down to two: Will he be Randyll Tarly or Septon Meribald? Either way, we can't wait to hear him curse once more. »


- Nate Jones

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden Are Taking Sides in the Upcoming Late-Night War

17 hours ago

"Nothing would be more boring than a late-night war," Stephen Colbert told Jerry Seinfeld this summer — but, like a German diplomat in the summer of 1914, it turns out he was lying! Next week, Colbert's Late Show will go head-to-head with Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, with an awe-inspiring list of guests that includes George Clooney, Kendrick Lamar, and Jeb Bush. Now today, Variety reports Fallon's own guest list for that week includes Donald Trump, a former NBC employee who is quite possibly the most attention-grabbing person in America right now. As a counterattack, Colbert this afternoon announced yet another guest for his first week: the vice-president of the United States, "Diamond" Joe Biden. It's clear this war won't end until one of these two books Taylor Swift, at which point the universe will eat itself. »


- Nate Jones

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9 Best New Songs of the Week

18 hours ago

Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?" 2015 Bieber is so sweetly sad. This was already apparent from his great, wrenching Skrillex-and-Diplo collab “Where Are Ü Now,” but now, after his tearstained Vma performance this weekend, we have the meme to prove it. His new single “What Do You Mean?” is also quintessential Sad Bieber — he sings it as though he’s muttering into his shoelaces rather than into the eyes of the girl who’s confusing him so, and yet it still somehow works as a slice of beautifully breezy, late-summer pop. Why does Bieber cry? Why does Mona »


- Vulture Editors

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Kermit and Denise From Marketing Have Actually Been Canoodling for Months

18 hours ago

The plushiest couple in Tinseltown, Miss Piggy and Kermit, called it quits last month, shaking the very firmament upon which we first imprinted our concept of love. The ensuing aftermath has been hard to watch. While they both asked us to respect their privacy, Kermit quickly announced that he had found a rebound: Denise, a pig who works in marketing at ABC. People reports that it has the first photos of Denise, but some sleuthing on our part has unearthed evidence that Kermit and Denise have actually been together for months.Yes, tenderhearts, you heard that right. Three months ago, Disney itself debuted photos from the pilot, including some of Kermit's "new pig girlfriend Denise," who "really steals the show." These photos suggest that the two have been flaunting their new relationship in front of Miss Piggy for well over half a year. This explains Miss Piggy's icy reception »


- E. Alex Jung

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96 Covers Kelly Clarkson’s Performed Live, Ranked

18 hours ago

Kelly Clarkson started her career performing songs based on what her American Idol fans wanted to hear, and it's a tradition she's made a point to keep alive in her own way as she's progressed. For more than a decade, Clarkson has peppered her shows with fan requests for covers, these days submitted in advance via Twitter. She's reimagined songs based on her deep well of musical knowledge across decades, ranging from the blues, country, jazz, rock, soul, musical theater, and just about any hybrid you can think of.  It's risky business, and she doesn't always nail it, but somehow, when she starts a song off-key or fails to reach a high note, we end up appreciating her just for trying. Clarkson's live cover-song stride peaked in 2012, during her Stronger and Summer tours, but during her current American run, which culminates later this month, Kelly has tackled some of her »


- Lauretta Charlton,Dee Lockett,E. Alex Jung

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What’s Leaving HBO Now: September 2015

19 hours ago

At the beginning of each month, HBO announces which films will be leaving its library. We collect the full list of titles here, so that you can plan the most effective viewing strategy for the rest of the month.Here’s a handy mnemonic for remembering all the films leaving HBO Now this month, set to the tune of Carly Simon's "Let the River Run": We're coming to the end,Running off of streaming,Leaving HBO,Your favorite movies. Let the TV run. Let all the dreamers, Take a day off. Soon, to be off HBO … Edge of Tomorrow, The Counselor, And Inside Man, And Girl, Interrupted will be gone. It's Pleasantville and Contact,Save the Last Dance,Oh, my heart is aching! We're coming to the end,Running off of streaming,Leaving HBO,Your favorite movies. We the great and smallYeah, Moulin, Rouge!That Awkward Moment. HeadTo the darkening dawn. »


- Jackson McHenry

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Vulture Is Hosting Two Panels at New York Comic-Con!

20 hours ago

New York Comic-Con kicks off October 8, and for the second year in a row, Vulture is a part of it! Last year's Nycc saw Jada Yuan interview Jack Antonoff, and Abraham Riesman led a discussion on female fandom; and this year we're back with two new events that will give Vulture fans an inside look at the pop culture they adore. On October 8, Riesman will return to the Comic-Con stage to lead a panel discussion on the twisted history of Harley Quinn, and on October 9, Jesse David Fox will sit down with Seth Meyers to discuss Meyers's rise from Chicago improviser to late-night host. Tickets for Friday are sold out, but you can still buy passes for Thursday at the Nycc web site. »


- Vulture Editors

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Michael Shannon Flip-Flops on Flipper Flap, Fesses Fib

21 hours ago

Two weeks ago, Michael Shannon told Vulture a humorous anecdote about getting stuck in a bathroom on the set of Batman v Superman: "I was in my costume, and I couldn’t use my fingers because in the sequel I have flippers instead of hands. So I had these wax flippers on my fingers, and I couldn’t open the door, and I could hear Zack [Snyder] being like, 'Where’s Shannon? Where the fuck is he?' and the whole crew was standing around. I was like, knocking on the door with my flippers, 'Let me out of here!'" A hilarious story, and one that was widely aggregated because of the apparent revelation that Shannon's General Zod would indeed return for the Man of Steel sequel (and also because of the flipper thing). But now Shannon tells The Daily Beast that he made the whole thing up as a joke, »


- Nate Jones

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Muppets Promo: Scandal’s Huck and Quinn Go Gonzo on Little Gonzo

21 hours ago

Oh, what a world! The Muppets' entrée into the fall television schedule on ABC offers a plethora of muppet-human possibilities. We have Kerry Washington snapping selfies with Kermit, Liam Hemsworth macking on Miss Piggy, and Fozzie rapping N.W.A. So who better to pair up Gonzo with than the most depraved pair on ABC, Scandal's Huck and Quinn (Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes)? With Gonzo, they've met their match. Yeah, use the drill! Use it!! »


- E. Alex Jung

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Christina Applegate’s Greatest Acting Challenge: Playing the Lifetime Version of Meryl Streep

22 hours ago

Who's the front-runner to play Meryl Streep in Meryl, the Lifetime-movie version of the great American actress? Christina Applegate! The comedienne tackles her greatest acting challenge yet, disappearing into La Streep's various iconic roles, as the French lieutenant's woman, a Kramer pitted against another Kramer, and a sister plagued with doubt. Give this woman an Oscar or a Webby or whatever. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Miley Cyrus, the Weeknd, and Demi Lovato Are This Season’s First SNL Musical Guests

22 hours ago

We already knew that Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer, and Tracy Morgan would be the first three hosts of SNL's 41st season next month, and now we know the musical guests who will accompany them on the famed stage. In the October 3 season premiere, Cyrus will be joined by her biggest fan, Miley Cyrus; Schumer will be joined by the Weeknd, finally living up to his name; and Tracy Morgan's undoubtedly emotional return to the SNL studio will be soundtracked by the soothing hymns of Demi Lovato. Pretty cool! »


- Nate Jones

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