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S. J. Clarkson ("Jessica Jones") Early Fave To Helm Next ‘Star Trek’ For Paramount Pictures

S. J. Clarkson (
Paramount Pictures has begun propulsion power on the fourth Star Trek film initiated by Bad Robot. They haven’t set a director yet, but sources said that S.J. Clarkson has emerged as a front runner. The British director helmed early episodes of Marvel's Jessica Jones and The Defenders for Netflix, and her TV helming credits also include episodes of Vinyl, Dig and Orange Is the New Black.
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Katee Sackhoff to Play Astronaut in Netflix Straight-to-Series Drama 'Another Life'

Katee Sackhoff to Play Astronaut in Netflix Straight-to-Series Drama 'Another Life'
Katee Sackhoff is returning to space (and Netflix).

The Battlestar Galactica alum has been tapped to star in space drama Another Life, which has been ordered straight-to-series at Netflix.

The 10-episode drama revolves around astronaut Niko Breckenridge (Sackhoff), who leads a crew on a mission to explore the genesis of an alien artifact. As she and her young crew investigate, they face unimaginable danger on what might very well be a one-way mission.

The drama hails from Halfire Entertainment, marking the company's second series at Netflix following Alias Grace. Aaron Martin created the series...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Bill Cosby Found Guilty in Sexual Assault Retrial

  • Variety
Bill Cosby Found Guilty in Sexual Assault Retrial
A jury ruled against Bill Cosby in his sexual assault retrial on Thursday, finding him guilty for aggravated indecent assault in all three charges brought against him by Andrea Constand.

The panel of seven men and five women began deliberating on the case on Wednesday morning. The 80-year-old entertainer was accused by Constand, the former operations manager of the women’s basketball team at Temple University, of drugging and molesting her in January 2004.

Constand said she became close with Cosby, who was a major supporter of the university, and viewed him as a mentor. She alleged that he abused her trust, however, when he invited her to his home in Montgomery County and offered her three blue pills to help her relax.

She testified that she soon became incapacitated, and then felt his fingers inside of her, but “couldn’t fight him off.”

The charges were first brought to trial last June,
See full article at Variety »

Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie Join Dev Patel in ‘David Copperfield’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie Join Dev Patel in ‘David Copperfield’ (Exclusive)
Armando Iannucci’s new retelling of Charles Dickens’ “The Personal History of David Copperfield” is rounding out its cast.

Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie,”Dunkirk” breakout Aneurin Barnard, Ben Whishaw, Morfydd Clark, Anthony Welsh, and Rosalind Eleazar have all joined Dev Patel, who will play the title character. FilmNation could not be reached for comment.

The project will offer a modern take on Dickens’ title character as he navigates a chaotic world to find his elusive place within it. The original “David Copperfield” was first published in 1850 and describes the journey of the titular protagonist — who was modeled after Dickens himself, from impoverished childhood to becoming a successful author, thanks to perseverance and despite a lack of personal discipline.

Kevin Loader and Iannucci will produce the feature, which was developed with FilmNation. Iannucci is directing from a script he wrote with Simon Blackwell.

Iannucci and Blackwell previously collaborated with Tony Roche
See full article at Variety »

Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool 2' Tracking for Huge $150M Summer Debut

Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool 2' Tracking for Huge $150M Summer Debut
Ryan Reynold's Deadpool 2 is tracking for a huge $150 million opening in North America over the May 18-20 weekend.

That's ahead of the first film, which launched to $132.4 million in February 2016 on its way to earning $783 million at the worldwide box office in a sizable victory for Reynolds and 20th Century Fox. Deadpool stands as the top-grossing R-rated film of all time, not adjusted for inflation.

This time, the irreverent superhero is braving summer.

David Leitch directs the follow-up, which sees Deadpool form a team of mutants — the X-Force — to save a young mutant...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Can 'Avengers: Infinity War' Deliver a Record Opening Weekend?

Can 'Avengers: Infinity War' Deliver a Record Opening Weekend?
Following the record-breaking, $207.4 million opening for The Avengers in May of 2012, it took three years for another film to top the $200 million mark when Jurassic World debuted with $208.8 million in June 2015. Later that year Star Wars: The Force Awakens would go on to deliver the largest opening weekend ever, coming just shy of $250 million, en route to a domestic run topping $936 million. Since then, two more films have topped the $200 million mark over the course of their opening weekend in the recent releases of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Black Panther, and with the release of Avengers: Infinity War this weekend, it isn't so much a question of whether it will be the third film in the last five months to open over $200 million, but can it threaten Force Awakens's all-time record? Debuting in over 4,470 locations, Avengers: Infinity War will be the widest debut for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever,
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Disney Channel Orders ‘Star Wars Resistance’ Animated Series

Disney Channel Orders ‘Star Wars Resistance’ Animated Series
The anime-inspired series “Star Wars Resistance” will premiere on Disney Channel in the U.S. in the fall.

“Resistance” will also air on Disney XD and around the world after the fall debut. The show follows a young pilot named Kazudo Xiono who was recruited by the Resistance to spy on the increasing threat of the First Order. The time period explored in the series will be uncharted territory as the events occur prior to the 2015 blockbuster “The Force Awakens.”

In addition to new characters and ace pilots, the adventure will include beloved characters from the “Star Wars” franchise such as BB-8, Poe Dameron,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Box Office: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Blasts Off Overseas With Massive $39M

Box Office: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Blasts Off Overseas With Massive $39M
Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War blasted off overseas Wednesday with a mighty opening-day gross of $39 million from 21 markets.

The film, placing No. 1 everywhere, is already setting industry records in numerous territories. In South Korea, it landed the top opening day on of all time with $6.5 million, while it secured the second biggest opening day in Australia behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $6.7 million.

In France, Infinity War earned $3.9 million, the highest opening day in history for April and the largest ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe title. In the Philippines ($2.7...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Primetime Emmys: Michael Che and Colin Jost of ‘SNL’ to Host This Year’s Ceremony

Primetime Emmys: Michael Che and Colin Jost of ‘SNL’ to Host This Year’s Ceremony
Michael Che and Colin Jost will host the 2018 Emmys. The “Weekend Update” duo, who deliver the news on “Saturday Night Live,” will bring their comedy stylings to the awards telecast on September 17. They’ll succeed Stephen Colbert, who hosted last year’s event.

Jost has been a writer on “SNL” since 2005 and a “Weekend Update” co-anchor since 2014; he’s also one of the show’s head writers. He himself has been nominated for four Emmys. Che, too, has been co-anchoring “Weekend Update” since 2014 and was also named co-head writer late last year.

Last year’s awards were dominated by “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies.” Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced on Thursday, July 12.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Supernatural’ Director on Jensen Ackles’ Advice, Juggling Two Characters and That Fight Scene

‘Supernatural’ Director on Jensen Ackles’ Advice, Juggling Two Characters and That Fight Scene
Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Unfinished Business,” the 20th episode of the 13th season of “Supernatural.”

Richard Speight Jr. has directed episodes of “Supernatural” before — starting in season 11, through season 12 and now two more in season 13. And while he considers each one challenging in their own right, he admits he never could have taken on “Unfinished Business,” an episode in which he had to direct himself as an actor in two distinct roles, had he not already stepped behind the camera on the show.

“When you’re directing an episode that you’re not in,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Bill Cosby Found Guilty: Here’s Where His Civil Cases Stand

  • The Wrap
Bill Cosby Found Guilty: Here’s Where His Civil Cases Stand
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, once one of the most revered entertainers in the world, was found guilty Thursday by a jury near Philadelphia of thee counts of aggravated indecent assault against former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in January 2004.

The jury found the comedian guilty of all three counts — penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant — each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, though the sentences could be served concurrently.

But that’s not the end of the road for 80-year-old Cosby’s legal battles. In addition to sentencing, the comedian also faces a number of civil cases.

Also Read: Bill Cosby Found Guilty: What's Next for the Convicted Comedian?

Janice Dickinson

Cosby faces a defamation lawsuit by model Janice Dickinson, who says the comedian drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe, California, in 1982.

Dickinson, represented by Lisa Bloom, alleges she met with Cosby for dinner to talk about a possible job and get some advice on starting her singing career. According to Dickinson, Cosby offered her a glass of red wine, which she turned down. But Dickinson says that when she complained about menstrual cramps, Cosby offered her a pill, which she accepted. She said at one point she blacked out.

“The last thing I remember was blacking out and Cosby mounting me like the monster he was,” Dickinson told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield in December 2014.

Also Read: Hollywood Reacts to Bill Cosby Guilty Verdict: 'Justice Delivered'

She said she woke up the next morning knowing she had been raped because her vagina physically hurt.

Dickinson, who testified at Cosby’s retrial, is suing for defamation, saying that, after she came forward with her claims in 2014, Cosby’s team went “on the attack” against her with media statements branding her a liar.

Cosby’s attorneys have appealed the case.

On Thursday, soon after the guilty verdict on Cosby’s criminal case came down, Bloom tweeted: “What’s next? My defamation case on behalf of Janice Dickinson against Bill Cosby, which we’ve been fighting and Winning for 3+ years, goes on. Mr. Cosby, I’m looking forward to taking your deposition.”

What's next?

My defamation case on behalf of Janice Dickinson against Bill Cosby, which we've been fighting and Winning for 3+ years, goes on.

Mr. Cosby, I'm looking forward to taking your deposition.

— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) April 26, 2018

Chloe Goins

Cosby is also facing a lawsuit by former model Chloe Goins.

Goins alleges that the comedian slipped something into her drink when she attended a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008 and then abused her in a bedroom.

Goins says she blacked out that night, waking up naked in a bedroom as Cosby was licking her toes. She said that Cosby then pulled up his pants and left the room.

Cosby denied the allegation, insisting he was in New York the night in question.

Goins sued Cosby in 2015 but later dismissed her lawsuit in early 2016 without explanation.

However, the former model filed suit again in May 2016, adding Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as a defendant as well as Cosby. According to court documentation seen by TheWrap, the case is currently pending.

Also Read: Some Bill Cosby Accusers Say They Want 'Death' for Convicted Star (Report)

Judy Huth

Judy Huth says she was 15 when she met Cosby in 1974 at a Los Angeles park. According to a December 2014 court filing, Huth and her 16-year-old friend told Cosby how old they were, but that didn’t stop Cosby from inviting them to his tennis club and later to the Playboy Mansion, where Huth said he molested her in a bedroom suite.

Though the statute of limitations in Huth’s case expired, she was able to file in 2014 because she was a minor at the time of the alleged assault.

Cosby argued in a countersuit that Huth tried to sell her story to the tabloids a decade ago, which means she was aware of the psychological damages at the time and therefore the statute of limitations is over.

Huth’s attorney, Gloria Allred, told TheWrap on Thursday: “Judy Huth’s case is pending in La County Superior Court Santa Monica. We return to court next month on May 23, to provide the court an update on the outcome of the criminal case. Judy alleges in her lawsuit that she was 15 years old when she was the victim of sexual abuse by Bill Cosby at the Playboy Mansion.”

Defamation Lawsuit by Seven Women

Cosby is also facing a lawsuit in Massachusetts from seven other women, who are suing the comedian for defamation (Cosby has a home in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts). The women say Cosby sexually abused them decades ago and then defamed them when his agents, in their denial of the accusations, branded them liars.

The plaintiffs are Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie.

Cosby is seeking to have their suit dismissed.

A lawyer for Tamara Green told TheWrap on Thursday: “The case has been stayed (put on hold) pending the resolution of the criminal case.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Read original story Bill Cosby Found Guilty: Here’s Where His Civil Cases Stand At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

How Marvel Bounced Back From Bankruptcy to Become Hollywood’s Biggest Brand

  • The Wrap
Marvel Studios’ interconnected universe of films, now spanning 10 years and 19 individual projects, has earned $6 billion in domestic box office and nearly $15 billion worldwide, according to data from Box Office Mojo.

That ain’t bad considering that in 1996 Marvel mired in bankruptcy, and a decade later banked its nascent film franchise on a second-tier superhero called Iron Man.

“There was a lot of skepticism in the beginning,” Barton Crockett, a media and entertainment analyst at B. Riley Fbr, told TheWrap. “Who did these guys think they were trying to make movies out of characters people hadn’t heard of before? Who would want to see a movie about Iron Man? What’s amazed me is the ability to make these tertiary characters popular, and that really started right out the gate.”

Also Read: Marvel President Kevin Feige Explains Origin of McU's Post-Credit Scenes

“Iron Man,” which helped pull Robert Downey Jr. from the depths of a scandal-ridden career, went on to make $318.4 million domestically and $585.2 million worldwide.

In 1996, Marvel was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the comic book industry started to collapse in the ’90s. After tense legal battles and struggles to pay back creditors, the company was salvaged in 1997 and merged with Isaac Perlmutter’s Toy Biz.

The Israel-born toy manufacturer entrusted his business partner Avi Arad to help dig Marvel out of its slump. Arad wooed bankers and preached the value of Marvel’s characters, according to a 2012 Slate article on the studio’s rise.

Marvel also auctioned off the film rights to some of its most prized characters. Spider-Man went to Sony, the Hulk went to Paramount and 21st Century Fox bought the rights to Daredevil, the X-Men and Fantastic Four.

Also Read: Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked by Box Office (Photos)

By that time, Marvel Studios no longer had the film rights to its most bankable characters. So Arad & Co. found a “brilliant way to operate out of the licensing box” in which it had placed itself, Crockett said.

The company, with toy sales in its DNA, thought first: What character could sell the most toys? “Mr. Perlmutter didn’t expect to make much money off the movies, but he thought they’d make great advertisements for toys,” Ben Fritz wrote in his book “The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies.” “The question wasn’t who the kids would want to watch on the big screen, but which action figure would they want to play with. The answer was Iron Man.”

Under Kevin Feige, a young producer promoted to Marvel’s president of production in 2007, the company doubled down on its strategy. The following year, Paramount released “Iron Man” — the first in a series of blockbuster films from source material that few fathomed would find mainstream success.

Also Read: The Complete Timeline of Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies, From 'Iron Man' to 'Infinity War'

“It starts with the comics and us getting to rip pages out, put them on the walls and start to be inspired,” Feige told the press on the eve of Marvel’s latest film, “Avengers: Infinity War.” “It is always a guide point, a North Star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality are right from those books where it all started.”

The success of “Iron Man” caught the eye of Disney, which bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. The acquisition gave Marvel the platform and the pocketbook to chase the audacious multi-superhero, multi-film crossover project that’s coming to fruition with “Avengers: Infinity War” and its untitled “Avengers” sequel due next summer.

Perhaps the first real test of whether Marvel could actually pull off a universe films based on virtually unknown comic book characters was 2014’s “The Guardians of the Galaxy” — based on a long-dormant comic that few diehards even remembered.

When Djimon Hounsou’s Korath jokes that he doesn’t know who Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is, the character wasn’t alone. A talking raccoon? A sentient tree? Two oddly colored alien warriors and a half-man, half-celestial captain? Who were these characters that Disney, with a history of capitalizing on established IP, was willing to invest nearly $200 million in?

Since that film broke opening weekend records on its way to $773.3 million worldwide, Marvel has been able to make hits out of similarly unlikely characters like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

“It’s incredible. The whole idea is working,” Crockett said. “We’re approaching a weekend where a Marvel movie might very well have the biggest box office opening of all time, which is stunning when you consider where they came from.”

Read original story How Marvel Bounced Back From Bankruptcy to Become Hollywood’s Biggest Brand At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Two Women Accuse Tom Brokaw of Sexual Harassment During 1990s

Two women have accused former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment in a bombshell report by The Washington Post Thursday.

Former NBC correspondent Linda Vester and an unnamed former NBC News production assistant said that that Brokaw made unwanted advances toward them in the 1990s, when Brokaw was the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and the face of the network’s news department.

Vester said that Brokaw tried to force her to kiss him on two separate occasions, groped her in a NBC conference room and showed up at her hotel room uninvited.

Two friends of Vester corroborated to Variety that she told them about the encounters at the time, and she shared her journal entries from the time period with the news outlet. Brokaw has never before been publicly accused of sexual harassment in the past.

NBC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Through a network spokesperson, Brokaw denied the accusations to Variety.

“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” Brokaw said. “The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.”

Vester, who was 28 at the time of the supposed encounter, said she didn’t report Brokaw to the police or NBC’s human resources because she was scared it would end her career.

She has since left the network going on to work for Fox News through 2006.

More to come…

Read original story Two Women Accuse Tom Brokaw of Sexual Harassment During 1990s At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

NFL Draft 2018: Cleveland Browns Take Baker Mayfield With the First Pick

  • The Wrap
And with the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns picked …

Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the University of Oklahoma.

The 23-year-old — originally from Austin, Texas — had risen to the top of many NFL experts’ mock drafts as Draft Day approached, despite a number of controversies marking his college career.

Also Read: Amazon and NFL Renew Thursday Night Football Streaming Partnership

In February 2017, Mayfield was arrested in Arkansas for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing. He went on to post a lengthy apology letter on Twitter.

His antics on the field did not always go down well either, especially when Mayfield planted an Oklahoma Sooners flag on the Ohio State crest at midfield. Later in the 2017 season, he made a lewd gesture toward the Kansas bench, which resulted in a benching to start the following game.

Mayfield ended his college career on a high note, however, having completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards last season, with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Originally a walk-on player for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma after alleged scholarship issues and a lack of communication with coaches. He went on to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy.

Also Read: NFL Media Set to Move to New La Rams, Chargers Stadium in 2021

Allen Kee / ESPN Images

Despite also having the number one pick in last year’s draft, when they took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the Browns ended the 2017 season 0-16.

The “Bad Luck” Browns have taken 28 quarterbacks in the Draft since 1999. Past picks include Johnny Manziel (also picked from Texas A&M in 2015, who is already out of the league following his high profile partying and poor performance); Tim Couch (1999, but he got lumbered trying to lead an expansion team); Courtney Brown (2000, and injury-prone); William Green (domestic violence and substance abuse issues); Trent Richardson (2012, and subsequently one of the worst running backs in NFL history to get a significant number of carries); and Brady Quinn (2007, nice guy but terrible NFL career).

Also Read: NFL Star Julian Edelman Stopped Potential School Shooter After Instagram Threat

With the second overall pick, the New York Giants chose Saquon Barkley, running back from Penn State.

Next on the clock are were the New York Jets, who took Sam Darnold from USC, and then the Browns, again, when they picked Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

Each pick is read out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The 2018 NFL Draft airs live on ESPN from the Cowboys’ At&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

Read original story NFL Draft 2018: Cleveland Browns Take Baker Mayfield With the First Pick At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Harassment By Former NBC Anchor (Exclusive Video)

Linda Vester had a reputation for covering tough stories. As a war correspondent for NBC News in the ’90s, she spent three tours of duty in the Middle East and took two assignments in Africa.

But as it turned out, her biggest battle at work wasn’t in the field. She says it was as a victim of sexual harassment by Tom Brokaw, the legendary newsman who manned the anchor desk for “NBC Nightly News” for 22 years and hosted “Today” and “Meet the Press.”

In a series of interviews with Variety conducted over several months, Vester alleged that Brokaw physically
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Roles You Forgot the Cast of ‘The Avengers’ Played (Video)

Roles You Forgot the Cast of ‘The Avengers’ Played (Video)
The cast members of “Avengers: Infinity War” have become some of the biggest movie stars on the planet over the last 10 years of appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s almost hard to imagine that they once portrayed characters in films and TV who weren’t so heroic.

In this exclusive video for TheWrap, we gathered up a few of the choice roles you forgot the Avengers ever played. Some are more embarrassing looks or smaller roles before they were famous. Others are parts they squeezed between films that couldn’t be more different from their McU counterparts.

Take Robert Downey Jr. for instance. He had a busy rise and fall and second rise before he played Tony Stark. But you might’ve forgotten that he once was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” Rolling Stone ranked him dead last on their complete ranking of every cast member. And this clip of him inside a suitcase says a lot about how his stint there went.

Also Read: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Film Review: Suppose They Gave an Infinity War and Everybody Came?

Chris Pratt was a pudgy Andy Dwyer on “Parks and Recreation” before he got into superhero shape with “Zero Dark Thirty,” where you may have missed him as one of the Seal Team Six members responsible for hunting down Osama bin Laden.

You’d hardly recognize Chris Evans as Steve Rogers if you saw him in “The Iceman.” Or did you know that Josh Brolin, now playing the uber-powerful Thanos, once did his best George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s biopic?

Check out TheWrap’s quick video roundup above, also featuring early and obscure parts for Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

Read original story Roles You Forgot the Cast of ‘The Avengers’ Played (Video) At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Taron Egerton-Jamie Foxx’s Tights-Free ‘Robin Hood’ Closes CinemaCon

Taron Egerton-Jamie Foxx’s Tights-Free ‘Robin Hood’ Closes CinemaCon
Jamie Foxx had a clear message for the nation’s theater owners Thursday: his upcoming “Robin Hood” movie is plenty serious.

“There are no tights,” he asserted to the crowd at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. “This is grown-man business.”

“Robin Hood” was the final movie footage to be shown at the four-day CinemaCon as the final title of the 11th studio presentation. The trailer showed Taron Egerton as Robin Hood, a war-hardened crusader, and Foxx portraying Little John, a Moorish commander mounting an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown — along with stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

Eve Hewson stars as Maid Marian. “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan will portray Will Scarlett, the half-brother of Robin Hood, and Ben Mendelsohn portrays the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Egerton called Mendelsohn “everyone’s favorite villain,” adding that this particular portrayal is “reptilian.”

“Robin Hood” is opening
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Saudi Arabia’s First New Movie Theaters Welcome Women – But Only With Chaperones (For Now)

Saudi Arabia’s First New Movie Theaters Welcome Women – But Only With Chaperones (For Now)
Saudi Arabia’s first modern movie theater opened in a gala screening of “Black Panther” last Wednesday to an audience where men and women sat together freely, but it remains to be seen whether that will still be the case when the theater opens to the public this week — and whether other new cinemas will also be integrated.

“Things are moving so fast in the kingdom right now that the plans have changed three or four times,” John Fithian, president of the U.S.-based National Association of Theater Owners said this week at CinemaCon. “We’ve offered showtimes for prayer time and for purposes of Ramadan. We want to respect the country’s cultural values. We want to be responsible to the leadership and we want to be responsible to the people.”

AMC CEO Adam Aron, whose company opened that first new cinema in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, noted how many details of day-to-day-operations are still in flux even after last week’s gala premiere.

Also Read: At Glitzy Promo, Saudi Arabia Invites Hollywood to Join Its $80 Billion Leap Into Entertainment

“As recently as three weeks ago, all showings were going to be integrated,” he said on a CinemaCon panel. But then there was a twist in the plans, with the Saudi government calling for “bachelor”-only screenings and “family screenings” requiring women to be accompanied by a husband or male relative. For now, Aron said screenings of “Black Panther” at the Riyadh theater will be “family screenings only.”

“It’ll change again and again as the country tries to get it right,” said Aron. “If I can make a prediction — they are going to integrate theaters. That’s our working expectation. But it may take some time.”

Such are the growing pains of a country trying to start a fledgling entertainment industry in the midst of a major cultural shift. Several exhibition executives who spoke with TheWrap at CinemaCon said that such rule changes should be expected in the coming months and even years as the Saudis develop the infrastructure to bring the cinematic experience to Riyadh and beyond.

Also Read: MoviePass Owner's Shares Fall More Than 40 Percent After New Public Offering Announcement

“There’s two sides to this: the government and the culture at large,” said Hamid Hashemi, CEO of iPic, which aims to open its first theater in Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

“You go to a restaurant right now, and there’s a section for single men and a section for families. It’s a rule that has been in place for so long that it’s been ingrained in people’s minds,” he said. “It’s more than just the law. It’s one thing for the government to just come out and say, ‘You don’t have to segregate,’ and it’s another for the people to adapt to it. There are going to be men who aren’t going to let their daughter go to a movie if it’s not segregated.”

Also Read: 'A Quiet Place' Sequel in Development at Paramount Pictures

There’s also another big challenge faced by exhibitors: Once you build the theaters, who is going to work there? As part of the government’s Vision 2030 plan, Saudis are requiring the majority of movie theater jobs go to native-born citizens, a big change from industries like restaurants where up to 75 percent of jobs can go to expats. This is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to move his country’s economy off of the oil industry that has fueled its rise to power in the Middle East.

“If you want to get the country off of oil, first you have to get the workers off of oil,” said Hashemi. “But when there hasn’t been a movie theater industry there for decades, who knows how to run a movie theater? There’s going to be a learning curve for everyone involved in growing this business, and that includes companies having to do a lot of employee training.”

Many execs at CinemaCon believe that Saudi Arabia is committed to building the infrastructure, and dealing with the messy details later. The government is directly driving this speedy development, as its Public Investment Fund (Pif) is jointly operating AMC theaters in the country.

Vue Entertainment will be the next exhibitor to open a cinema in Riyadh, possibly as early as next month. AMC will be adding additional screens before the end of the year, and plans to show such Hollywood fare as Disney/Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and Warner Bros.’ “Rampage.”

IMAX, which already screens science documentaries at the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center in Khobar, is expected to be a major partner in the new cinemas. (Before the ban lifted, that museum-based screen was the only public cinema in Saudi Arabia.)

“Because of our presence with that screen, people in Saudi Arabia already know about us and what it’s like seeing films on such a big screen,” IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond said. “Plus there’s the fact that there are a lot of millennials in Saudi Arabia who have traveled to Bahrain and other neighboring countries and seen films on IMAX. So we know that there’s a big demand.”

Ultimately, those Saudi millennials are driving fast change as much as the crown prince. According to the country’s official statistics, more than two-thirds of the current population is under the age of 35. Not all of them agree with bin Salman’s plans. A Bloomberg report in January showed that some middle- and working-class Saudi’s are resentful of the new taxes and subsidy cuts that have come with his new economic strategy.

But the wealthy youth of the country have spent so much money traveling outside the country that their demand for modern entertainment experiences has been a key selling point for bin Salman’s pitch to Hollywood.

“There are thousands of rich, young Saudis going to Dubai to get their fix of the high life, and the government sees that as tens of billions in cash being left on the table, one exhibitor told TheWrap. “If they can bring that experience closer to home, whether it’s moviegoing or some other entertainment, that could go a long way to realigning their economy.”

Read original story Saudi Arabia’s First New Movie Theaters Welcome Women – But Only With Chaperones (For Now) At TheWrap
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TV News Roundup: Paramount Network Debuts Trailer for Kevin Costner Series ‘Yellowstone’ (Watch)

In today’s roundup, Paramount Network debuts the trailer for Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone,” while National Geographic releases behind-the-scenes video of “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight transforming into Max Jacob for “Genius: Picasso.”

First Looks

Paramount Network has dropped the official trailer for Kevin Costner‘s new series “Yellowstone,” which is set to premiere on Wednesday, June 20 at 9 p.m. Et/Pt. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, who penned both “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water,” the show boasts a cast that includes Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, and Danny Huston. Watch below.

National Geographic has released two behind-the-scenes videos of T.
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‘Grey’s Anatomy': Elizabeth Moss, Sarah Paulson and 9 More Stars You Forgot Appeared on the Show (Photos)

  • The Wrap
‘Grey’s Anatomy': Elizabeth Moss, Sarah Paulson and 9 More Stars You Forgot Appeared on the Show (Photos)
With news that Geena Davis will reprise her role on “Grey’s Anatomy” before the season’s over, TheWrap takes a look back at other stars with roles on the longstanding medical drama.

Kyle Chandler

Honestly, who could forget Coach Taylor’s appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” as bomb squad leader Dylan Young? Chandler appeared in Seasons 2 and 3 — he guested on “Grey’s” the same year that “Friday Night Lights” debuted on NBC.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Long before he was wielding a bat in the apocalypse, Jeffrey Dean Morgan played one of “Grey’s Anatomy”‘s most tragic and beloved figures. Denny Duquette was the love interest to Izzy Stevens (Katherine Heigl) in Season 2, and their relationship inspired the interns to perform a questionable procedure on Denny’s heart.

Scott Foley

Shondaland fans will recognize this face from another ABC drama. But before he played the sexy Jake Ballard on “Scandal,” Foley played Henry Burton, a dying patient without insurance who Teddy (Kim Raver) ends up marrying so he could have surgery.

Sarah Paulson

The “American Crime Story” star plays Meredith’s mother Dr. Ellis Grey in a flashback episode in Season 6, “The Time Warp.” The episode reveals more about Ellis’ relationship with Dr. Richard Webber.

Faye Dunaway

The “Network” star had a guest spot in Season 5 of “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Margaret Campbell, one of the original surgeons at the hospital who comes back to help with a surgery.

Demi Lovato

The pop star made an appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” during her “Sonny With A Chance” days as Hayley May in a guest role during Season 6.

Mandy Moore

Now one of the stars of “This Is Us,” Mandy Moore guest-starred in one of the most-talked about episodes in “Grey’s” history. She played a pregnant patient in the active shooter episodes in Season 6.

Elizabeth Moss

The “Mad Men” star had a guest role in Season 3 of “Grey’s” as Nina Rogerson, the daughter of a patient.

Zach Gilford

Kyle Chandler isn’t the only “Friday Night Lights” alum to make an appearance on the ABC medical drama. Zach Gilford popped up in Season 5 as a soldier trying to get in healthy enough condition to return to the field.

Leslie Odom, Jr.

The “Hamilton” star, Grammy winner and Tony nominee made an appearance on the silver screen way back in Season 5. He played P.J. Walling, a participant in a domino surgery.

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