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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’

  • The Wrap
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
See full article at The Wrap »

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
See full article at Deadline »

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.
See full article at Variety »

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 »

Glenn Weiss and Fiancee Jan Celebrate Surprise Emmys Engagement on ‘Kimmel’

Glenn Weiss and Fiancee Jan Celebrate Surprise Emmys Engagement on ‘Kimmel’
One the best moments from the 70th annual Primetime Emmys was Emmy winner Glenn Weiss’ surprise proposal to his then-girlfriend Jan Friendlander Svendsen during his acceptance speech, and the magic continued on Tuesday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

“We tracked the lovebirds down,” Kimmel began. “Joining us now, the newly-engaged Glenn Weiss and Jan Friedlander Svendsen.”

The camera cut to a shot of the couple wearing pajamas in bed while toasting glasses of champagne, with Weiss’ Emmy on the bedside table.

“Glenn, no offense, but I never guessed the Emmy-winner I’d be most interested in talking to after the show would be you,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ken Jeong to Star in Australian Sci-Fi Movie ‘Occupation: Rainfall’

Ken Jeong to Star in Australian Sci-Fi Movie ‘Occupation: Rainfall’
Crazy Rich Asians” star Ken Jeong is starring in “Occupation: Rainfall,” the sequel to the 2018 Australian science-fiction movie “Occupation.”

Jeong will begin shooting in early October in Australian locations including the Hunter Valley and the Gold Coast. Other cast members include Temuera Morrison (“Aquaman”), Dan Ewing, Stephany Jacobsen, Aaron Jeffery, Zac Garred, Izzy Stephens, Trystan Go, Lawrence Makoare, Vince Colosimo and Tamala Shelton.

Director Luke Sparke returns to helm the sequel with Monster Pictures on board as distributors across Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re building a whole new world with ‘Occupation: Rainfall’ and to have Ken join the film alongside our awesome returning cast members is mind blowing,” Sparke said.”I’ve admired his work and his successes for years and can’t wait to see what brings to the project when he arrives here to shoot in October.”

“Occupation: Rainfall” picks up two years into the intergalactic invasion of earth,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.”

Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value of $5.81 million through Sunday for 1,315 national ad airings on 46 networks. (Spend figures are based on estimates generated from Sept. 10-16. Estimates may be updated after the chart is posted as new information becomes available.) Universal prioritized spend across networks including NBC, Nick and USA Network, and during specific programming such as NFL Football, SpongeBob SquarePants and Big Brother.

Just behind “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” in second place: Columbia Pictures’ “White Boy Rick,” which saw 847 national ad airings across 35 networks, with an estimated media value of $5.33 million.

TV ad placements for Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor” (Emv: $4.82 million
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Writers Guild Members Re-Elect Patric Verrone to Board Seat

Former Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone has been re-elected to a board seat along with incumbents Patti Carr and Jonathan Fernandez.

Ashley Gable, Betsy Thomas, Deric A. Hughes, David Slack and Travis Donnelly were also elected. Carr was the top vote-getter with 1,667, followed by Gable, Thomas, Hughes, Slack, Fernandez, Verrone, and Donnelly (972).

Eric Heisserer (927), Dante W. Harper (916), Spiro Skentzos (856), Deborah Amelon (751), VJ Boyd (661) also ran. A total of 2,475 valid ballots were cast. The ballot count was supervised by Votenet Solutions.

“This vote represents the largest turnout in Guild Board election history, due in no small part to an outstanding group of candidates,” said WGA West president David A. Goodman. “I’m thrilled to welcome the new Board members, and I’m very gratified to see, more than ever, writers engaging to strengthen our union.”

The seats are for two-year terms. The president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and eight
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film News Roundup: Disney Promotes Marketing Execs Martha Morrison, Ryan Stankevich

In today’s film news roundup, Disney announces key promotions in film marketing, Film Independent announces more than two dozen grants and Alamo Drafthouse will celebrate the VHS format.

Marketing Promotions

Walt Disney Studios has promoted Ryan Stankevich and Martha Morrison to the posts of senior vice president of marketing.

Studio marketing president Asad Ayaz made the announcement Tuesday. 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 also handle Disney’s other live action film projects and lead global campaigns and strategy for Disney’s entire theatrical slate.

“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,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Late Life’ Baseball Documentary Heads for U.S. Release (Exclusive)

“Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story,” a documentary feature about the extraordinary Major League career of Taiwanese baseball player Chien-Ming Wang, will open in U.S. theaters this fall. The release, starting from New York on Oct. 26, is handled by specialty distributor Passion River Films.

Wang, played for the New York Yankees between 2005-2008, and was the team’s first-ever Taiwanese ballplayer. He carved a spot in the team’s history by winning 19 games in two consecutive seasons and finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2006. He was named to the Time 100 in 2007, before suffering a major foot injury in 2008.

Directed by Frank W. Chen, the film follows Wang’s multiple comeback attempts, his life between rehab programs, lonely stints away from home, and the inner struggles and weight he carried on his injured shoulders.

As a local hero gaining stardom overseas, Wang was dubbed the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Music Modernization Act Passes, Despite Music Industry Infighting

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act Tuesday evening, despite weeks — or, by some measures, years — of internal music industry turmoil that made the bill’s future seem highly uncertain.

Aimed at updating music copyright laws for the digital era, the Mma in the form it’s being passed will accomplish three key things: Making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972; allocating royalties for music producers; and updating licensing and royalty rules for streaming services to pay rights-holders in a more streamlined way. In short,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Loki, Scarlet Witch, More Marvel Characters to Get Standalone Shows on Disney Streaming Service

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to Disney’s upcoming streaming service — and we’re not just talking about all those movies the platform will be adding to its catalogue upon launch. Yes, Marvel TV series.

Disney has several standalone shows centering on Loki, Scarlet Witch and other McU characters in the early stages of development, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

And these limited series — created for the Svod — are expected to star the actors who play the superheroes on the big screen, with Tom Hiddleston expected to reprise his role as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen set to take on Scarlet Witch once more. Whether this means prequels or new stories set in the future of the McU will, of course, depend on what happens in “Avengers 4,” since a lot of these characters were, uh, removed from the plot by Thanos.

Also Read: Fall TV 2018:
See full article at The Wrap »

Loki, Scarlet Witch, Other Marvel Heroes to Get Own TV Series on Disney Streaming Service (Exclusive)

Disney is enlisting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the company prepares to launch its upcoming streaming service. The entertainment giant is in early development on an ambitious plan for a number of limited series centered on popular characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These series will likely include shows centered on Loki and the Scarlet Witch, along with other beloved superheroes who have yet to appear in their own standalone movies.

Marvel and Disney had no comment.

There’s an important distinction from other Marvel small screen efforts, however. The actors who portrayed these heroes and villains in the Avengers films and their spin-offs, such as Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, are expected to play them in the streaming shows. Moreover, though sources close to the production are staying mum on the cost of the programming, the budgets are expected to be hefty rivaling those of a major studio productions.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Can ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Become the Fall’s First Family Box Office Hit?

Can ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Become the Fall’s First Family Box Office Hit?
The second half of September will be a slow period for the box office, as studios are expecting that “Venom” and “A Star Is Born” will take up most of the audience interest when they arrive in October. That said, Universal and Amblin are sending in an interesting contender in the form of “The House With a Clock in its Walls,” the first PG-rated film from gory horror director Eli Roth.

Based on John Bellairs 1973 Ya novel of the same name, “Clock” is a film that takes several pages from the classic Amblin dark fantasy films of the 1980s, like “Gremlins” and “The Goonies,” designed to give kids a good scare. Compared to the other Halloween titles that will be on offer next month, the film’s fright factor sits somewhere between the sillier “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” and the very much not-for-kids “Halloween” sequel.

Also Read: 'The Predator
See full article at The Wrap »

Hear Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave Channel Shakespeare on Stirring New Song ‘The Gypsy Faerie Queen’

Hear Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave Channel Shakespeare on Stirring New Song ‘The Gypsy Faerie Queen’
Marianne Faithfull and Nick Cave channel William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on their enchanting new song, “The Gypsy Faerie Queen.” The track will appear on Faithfull’s upcoming album, Negative Capability, out November 2nd via BMG.

“The Gypsy Fairie Queen” finds Faithfull singing from the perspective of Puck, the famous sprite from the Shakespeare comedy. Faithfull’s vocals fall like a fog over the track, which begins as a sparse ballad, with Cave providing the piano. Soon, the song settles into a steady shuffle that crackles with
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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