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‘Sesame Street’ Reminds Everyone Bert and Ernie Are Not Gay or Straight Because They’re Friggin’ Puppets

  • The Wrap
‘Sesame Street’ Reminds Everyone Bert and Ernie Are Not Gay or Straight Because They’re Friggin’ Puppets
Updated 1:38 p.m. PT: Frank Oz shot down former “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman’s remarks about Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation in his own statement, tweeted Tuesday.

“It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay,” Oz, a longtime Muppets veteran and Bert’s creator, wrote. “It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”

It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.

— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam
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Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding to Star in Paul Feig’s ‘Last Christmas’

Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding to Star in Paul Feig’s ‘Last Christmas’
Emilia Clarke and “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding will star in Paul Feig’s next film “Last Christmas,” Universal Pictures announced on Tuesday.

The film will see Golding and Feig reunite after the two collaborated on the thriller “A Simple Favor,” which opened in theaters this past weekend. While project details are being kept under wraps, “Last Christmas” is a holiday romance set in London, with the screenplay written by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings.

Feig will produce through his Feigco Entertainment banner, alongside Thompson, Jessie Henderson, and David Livingstone. Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers will oversee the project for Universal.

Clarke, who appeared in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” this past summer, will return for the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” next year. Golding, who has found mainstream success over
See full article at The Wrap »

A24 Picks up British Horror Dress Film ‘In Fabric’

A24 Picks up British Horror Dress Film ‘In Fabric’
A24 announced on Tuesday that it has acquired North American rights to Peter Strickland’s acclaimed new horror flick “In Fabric.”

The film, which debuted as part of the Midnight Madness program in the Toronto International Film Festival, will make its U.S. premiere Thursday as part of Opening Night of Fantastic Fest.

Directed and written by Strickland, “In Fabric” is about a woman who buys a cursed gown from a strangely sinister department store outside of London, continues in the vein of the British filmmaker’s earlier psychological work.

A24 plans to release the film domestically in 2019.

“Peter Strickland is one of the most exciting and original filmmakers working today. He has a unique talent for making horror films that burrow deep into the back of your mind, films that
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Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt Are All In For the ‘Mad About You’ Reboot

Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt Are All In For the ‘Mad About You’ Reboot
Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser are still mad about each other, because the duo met just last week to discuss the potential “Mad About You” reboot. And the former on-camera couple are all in.

During the Emmys red carpet Monday, “Mad About You” creator and star Reiser told Variety that he discussed resurrecting the popular NBC sitcom with Hunt just last Tuesday.

“For a long time we discussed never doing it, and then we said, ‘You know what, it could be actually fun.’ And we’ve kind of actually said sure,” Reiser told Marc Malkin. “And now the studio needs
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Pharrell Williams Joins Illumination’s Animated Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ As Narrator

  • Deadline
Pharrell Williams Joins Illumination’s Animated Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ As Narrator
Exclusive: Pharrell Williams, whose Oscar-nominated song “Happy” helped turn Despicable Me 2 into a monster hit in 2013, has rejoined with Illumination and Universal Pictures. Williams has come aboard to be the narrator of the animated The Grinch. Grammy nominee Tyler, the Creator has written an original song — “I Am The Grinch” — and will perform it for the film. Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman has written the film’s score, and Tyler, the Creator and Elfman collaborated on a re-imagined version of the classic Grinch theme “You’re A Mean One.”

The Grammy-winning Williams previously composed the score and original songs for all three films in the Despicable Me series and has been important in Illumination racking up three of the eight top-grossing animated films of all time, with Illumination’s films grossing more than $5.8 billion worldwide in the company’s 11-year run.

Benedict Cumberbatch voices the title role of The Grinch,
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Eddie Murphy, Tim Story Team For New Line Comedy Inspired By ‘Grumpy Old Men’

  • Deadline
Eddie Murphy, Tim Story Team For New Line Comedy Inspired By ‘Grumpy Old Men’
Exclusive: New Line has attached Eddie Murphy to star, and Tim Story to direct and produce, an untitled comedy inspired by the hit Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon comedy Grumpy Old Men. John Davis is producing through his Davis Entertainment banner. He produced the original.

In the 1983 comedy, two lifelong neighbors who’ve been feuding since childhood find their dislike for one another exacerbated by the presence of a new neighbor who leaves each of them smitten. Ann-Margret played the neighbor and Donald Petrie directed it. They haven’t gotten as far as figuring out who’ll play opposite Murphy, but I have heard Samuel L. Jackson’s name as an inspired idea. He and Story just wrapped Shaft.

Story will produce through his The Story Company banner, and The Story Company’s Sharla Sumpter Bridgett is also producing. Story has directed eight studio features and he became the first
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Here’s Why Captain Marvel Punched That Old Lady in the Trailer

  • The Wrap
Here’s Why Captain Marvel Punched That Old Lady in the Trailer
The first trailer for “Captain Marvel” hints at a whole lot of things, from the origin story of Carol Danvers as a superhero, to the fact that she doesn’t remember her life on Earth. It also is pretty vague about the threats she faces when she gets here.

One shot from the trailer gives a sense of what Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is up against, and at least part of the reason she’s returned to Earth, though. It’s the one that makes Carol look a little rough — when she blasts an elderly woman in the face while riding a train.

If you’re a fan of the Marvel comics on which “Captain Marvel” is based, you probably have an idea why Captain Marvel would punch a seemingly innocent human. If not, you need to know about one of the biggest,
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TV Review: A Lackluster Emmys Production, With Wonderfully Surprising Winners

  • Variety
TV Review: A Lackluster Emmys Production, With Wonderfully Surprising Winners
The greatest surprise at this year's Emmys may have been two of the most powerful forces in television battling to a draw.

With a last-minute twist - "Game of Thrones" returning from a year of ineligibility to claim the Best Drama Series crown over competition including defending champion "The Handmaid's Tale” HBO knuckled its way into retaining its longstanding title as the winningest TV platform. But it shared the title with Netflix, which once again missed out on top drama or comedy honors but which picked up 23 wins - exactly as many as the longtime Emmy top dog.

It represented an odd anticlimax for a TV industry in flux, one so at odds with itself that it tended to throw off surprise wins like often-welcome sparks of inspiration. After an expected early run of comedy wins for Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" ultimately the first streaming series to have won the Best Comedy prize - the awards tended to grow more unruly.
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Emmys 2018: Oscars Director Glenn Weiss Pops the Question to Girlfriend Jan Svendsen

  • The Wrap
Emmys 2018: Oscars Director Glenn Weiss Pops the Question to Girlfriend Jan Svendsen
Wedding bells are in the air!

During his acceptance speech for Outstanding Directing of a Variety Special for “The Oscars,” Glenn Weiss proposed to his girlfriend Jan Svendsen.

“Do you know why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend?” the director said. “Because I want to call you my wife.” The crowd inside the Microsoft Theater immediately started cheering, and Svendsen started shaking her head “yes.”

“This is the ring that my dad put on my mom’s finger 67 years ago,” he continued. “And to my sisters and brothers, I didn’t swipe it. Dad knows I have it, okay? I want to put this ring that my mom wore on your finger in front of all these people and in front of my mom and your parents watching from above. Will you marry me?”

More to come…
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Amy Sherman-Palladino Wins Emmys for Writing, Directing a Comedy Series

Amy Sherman-Palladino Wins Emmys for Writing, Directing a Comedy Series
Mrs. Maisel apparently isn’t the only one who’s marvelous.

Amy Sherman-Palladino picked up back-to-back Emmys Monday night when she won the trophies for Writing for a Comedy Series and Directing for a Comedy Series for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

“My panic room’s going to be so pretty!,” she quipped, a statuette in each hand, after she danced out on stage to accept her second award in just a few minutes’ time.

The wins were just two of the Amazon series’ 14 nominations; star Rachel Brosnahan walked away with the Lead Actress in a Comedy category win a few moments later.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Netflix Lands ‘Bodyguard,’ Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes Hit U.K. Drama

  • Variety
Netflix Lands ‘Bodyguard,’ Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes Hit U.K. Drama
Bodyguard” is going global with Netflix. It has set ratings alight in the U.K., where it airs on the BBC and is the biggest new drama series for a decade, and will now launch internationally on the Svod platform.

The drama starring Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and Keeley Hawes (“The Missing”) is made by ITV-owned shingle World Productions. Madden plays David Budd, a war veteran-turned-cop, assigned to protect a senior politician, Julia Montague, played by Hawes.

The opening episode on flagship channel BBC One won a 40.9% share and generated a huge consolidated viewing figure of 10.4 million. In the coveted 16-34 demographic, it won 1.2 million viewers. That made it the biggest drama launch on any network in recent memory in Britain.

Viewers have stuck with the series. The most recent installment, the fifth, went out Sunday and garnered an overnight rating of 8 million and a 38.2% peak share. Those
See full article at Variety »

‘Grey’s Anatomy': Teddy Altman Is Back in New Season 15 Photos

  • The Wrap
With the Season 15 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” just around the corner — September 27, mark your calendars! — ABC has released new photos from the two-part episode and we are here for it. Scroll on for a breakdown of the new photos.

Here’s a first look at Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) in the upcoming season. At the end of Season 14, Amelia had taken a teen mom — who happens to be the mother of Dr. Owen Hunt’s newly adopted baby — who struggles with drug addiction under her wing.

Speaking of Owen — it looks like he’s taking on the single dad role in stride. Here he is bringing in his foster son to Grey Sloan Memorial, who seems to make quick friends with Mer.

And it looks like shortly after Meredith encounters Owen in the hospital, Teddy arrives! Things might get awkward, considering Teddy dropped the bombshell last season that
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Michael Rapaport Fumes Over Ernie and Bert Sexuality Debate: ‘You Sick F—s, You!’ (Video)

  • The Wrap
Michael Rapaport Fumes Over Ernie and Bert Sexuality Debate: ‘You Sick F—s, You!’ (Video)
The debate over whether beloved “Sesame Street” characters Ernie and Bert are actually a gay couple got Michael Rapaport totally hot on Tuesday. Hot under the collar, anyway.

“Atypical” star, author and podcaster Rapaport fired up his social media on Tuesday to weigh in on the debate, saying that Twitter interest in the topic was being fueled by “grown-ass, sick lunatics.”

He also wondered why people are “friend-shaming” the long-running “Sesame Street” characters.

Also Read: 'Sesame Street' Reminds Everyone Bert and Ernie Are Not Gay or Straight Because They're Friggin' Puppets

The speculation was reignited anew on Tuesday, thanks to an interview with former “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman.

“And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were,” Saltzman said of the puppets’ sexual orientation, suggesting they are a gay couple. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.
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Box Office: ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ to Lead Quiet Weekend

Timing really is everything.

That seems especially true for Universal Pictures’ “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” as a mid-teens launch looks to be enough to top the domestic box office. After “The Meg” and “Crazy Rich Asians” led a roaringly successful August, the rest of September looks muted with just a few wide releases on the horizon.

Universal and Amblin Entertainment’s “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” hopes to earn between $18 million and $20 million when it launches in 3,500 North American locations. Studio insiders are cautiously anticipating the lower part of that range, though some estimates show it could make over $25 million. Based on the 1973 children’s book by John Bellairs, the fantasy film follows 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), who goes to live with his uncle (Jack Black) in an old house that has a mysterious ticking heart. Cate Blanchett plays a witch who lives next door.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pakistan Chooses ‘Cake’ for the Oscars

Pakistan Chooses ‘Cake’ for the Oscars
“Cake,” by first time feature director Asim Abbasi, has been named as Pakistan’s contender for the Oscars foreign-language category. It was released in its home territory to critical acclaim and box office success in March 2018.

Set amidst the affluent section of Karachi society, the film follows a family scattered all over the world that comes together when their aged parents fall ill. The film stars Pakistani superstars Aamina Shaikh and Sanam Saeed.

The selection was made by the Pakistan Academy Selection Committee, led by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, two-time Oscar winner for “A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness” and “Saving Face,” both in the documentary short subject category.

After a hiatus of several decades, Pakistan resumed submitting films to the foreign language category in 2013 with “Zinda Bhaag.” The country is yet to secure a nomination in the category.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fox Gives Put Pilot Commitment to Comedy From ‘2 Broke Girls’ Writers

Fox has given out a put pilot order to a multi-cam comedy project from Michelle Nader and Morgan Murphy.

Titled “Danny Issues,” the show follows two flawed sisters who are reunited with their ne’er-do-well father after the loss of their mother, leading all three to realize that sometimes what they thought was the problem is actually the solution.

Nader and Murphy will serve as writers and executive producers on the project, with Danielle Stokdyk also executive producing. “Danny Issues” will be a co-production between Fox Broadcasting and Warner Bros. Television.

Nader and Murphy previously worked together on the CBS comedy series “2 Broke Girls.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cavalry Media Adds Cross Creek Exec Jason Seagraves as Development VP

Cavalry Media added to its growing development team, tapping Jason Seagraves as the burgeoning production outfit’s vice president development on Tuesday.

Seagraves, who comes from Cross Creek where he served as vice president of production and development, is Cavalry’s third executive hire this month, joining former Legendary Entertainment exec Jennifer Preston Bosari and Erin Conroy, former Wme literary agent, as vice presidents of development.

Seagraves will report to Dana Brunetti, Cavalry’s co-founder and chief content officer. Brunetti and co-founder and CEO Keegan Rosenberger announced the finance and production company’s formation in June.

Also Read: Dana Brunetti's New Production Outfit Hires Development Execs From Legendary Entertainment, Wme

“Jason is a talented production executive as well as an expert dealmaker,” Brunetti said in a statement. “His extensive background in every aspect of film and television production, from identifying and developing properties to financing and negotiating rights and talent deals,
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Disney Promotes Ryan Stankevich and Martha Morrison to Svp Global Marketing Posts

  • The Wrap
Walt Disney StudiosRyan Stankevich and Martha Morrison have each been promoted to Senior Vice President, Marketing, it was announced Tuesday by Studio Marketing President Asad Ayaz.

Stankevich will focus on titles from Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, while Morrison will oversee titles from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. They will each handle Disney’s other live action film projects.

In their new and expanded roles, Stankevich and Morrison will lead global campaigns and strategy for Disney’s entire theatrical slate, collaborating closely with all areas of the marketing organization.

Also Read: Disney Appoints Former Us Trade Rep Michael Froman to Board of Directors

“This is a truly amazing team and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together over the past several years,” said Ayaz in a statement. “Martha and Ryan are talented and fearless leaders who will set a bold course for our film campaigns,
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Can Tech Moguls’ Buying Spree Save Legacy Media Brands Like Time? ‘Depends on the Billionaire’

As Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, prepare to close their $190 million acquisition of Time Magazine, they joins an ever-expanding club of tech and other non-media billionaires who have decided to dabble in owning legacy media brands.

From Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post to Laurene Powell Jobs at The Atlantic to Patrick Soon-Shiong at the Los Angeles Times to Facebook veteran Chris Hughes at The New Republic, tech moguls have been trying their luck at one of America’s toughest businesses — with mixed success so far.

While some industry experts seem optimism for the new wave of investment in media outlets, others warned that billionaires who made their fortune outside of media may never be able to separate their personal interests from the coverage — or find a sustainable business model in a challenging industry despite their previous success.

“It depends on the billionaire,” Washington Post media
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Jack Black Calls Trump a ‘Piece of S—‘ at His Walk of Fame Ceremony

Jack Black Calls Trump a ‘Piece of S—‘ at His Walk of Fame Ceremony
Jack Black had a long list of thank you’s at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday. The actor also had a few choice words for the president.

“I love you all so much,” Black said in the closing sentiments of his acceptance speech. Before leaving the podium, he remarked: “Except for Donald Trump’s a piece of sh— ! Peace out, love you!”

Earlier in the ceremony, friends of Black, including “School of Rock” director Richard Linklater and writer Mike White, each gave speeches sharing fond memories and testaments to the quality of his character.

“He’s the most charitable sweetheart of a guy,” Linklater said. “But from what I know working with him, I just wanna say, he’s such a great guy to hang out with.”

White continued on this point, highlighting Black’s healthy relationship to fame.

“The bigger the legend you are,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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