Friday, March 31, 2017

Hayden Christensen to Emerge From Hibernation for '40 Years of Star Wars' Panel

The Force is still with Hayden Christensen, even if he doesn't share it with fans very often.

Christensen, now 35, played Anakin Skywalker through his transformation into Darth Vader in the second and third prequels, "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones" in 2002, and "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" in 2005.

Then he kinda disappeared. He still had credits in smaller films, but he was frozen in carbonite fell off the radar for a while, only seeming to re-emerge recently to film the action thriller "First Kill" with Bruce Willis.

Now, the official Star Wars site says Christensen will return to Star Wars Celebration Orlando for the first time since 2002 for the special "40 Years of Star Wars" panel on April 13. The event is meant to gather Star Wars creators and stars from throughout the saga. Christensen will meet fans and sign autographs at the show, which will also feature panelists Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor/Darth Sidious), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm president), Dave Filoni (executive producer, Star Wars Rebels), and more.

This tease from Lucasfilm's announcement suggests fans can expect more surprises:

"Never before have this many involved in bringing Star Wars to life — from the original trilogy to the prequels to the current Star Wars Rebels animated series — joined together in one place to discuss a galaxy far, far away. Plenty of surprises are in store so fans will not want to miss this very important kick-off to Celebration."

It's kind of amazing to think that "Star Wars" is turning 40 this year, but it's good to see Hayden Christensen return to the fold to celebrate that milestone. Star Wars Celebration Orlando is being held April 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida.


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'Walking Dead' Season 7 Finale Spoilers: You'll Love Who Saves a Main Character

This is probably why Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) said he punched the air and did a little jig when reading a certain moment in "The Walking Dead" Season 7 finale script.

Episode 16, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," airs from 9 to 10:25 p.m. on Sunday, April 2 on AMC. The Spoiling Dead Fans shared their usual source spoilers, but they added a disclaimer that they heard there may be re-edits for the finale. That said, TSDFs is usually spot on with spoilers, so take these with a tiny grain of salt but not much more.


We've been warned of "betrayal" in the season finale, and it's reportedly from Jadis and the Scavengers. (Side note: Apparently Jadis shoots and injures Rick, but also asks Michonne if she'd care if Jadis had sex with Rick. Not sure of the order of those -- probably sex talk first. But either way? Nasty.) Turns out, the Scavengers were working with Negan all along. They turn on Rick when Negan shows up, so it looks like the war ahead will be against the Saviors and the Scavengers.

That leads to a very dark scene that will give fans Season 6 finale/Season 7 premiere flashbacks, but it's saved by a major hero moment from ... Shiva! Yes! Yeah, our favorite tiger saves Carl, but that's OK. Other heroes also jump in, including Carol (who is always down to swoop in at the last second to save the day) and Team Kingdom, along with Maggie and Team Hilltop.

Here's that scoop from TSDF's Q&A with their source:

Is there another "line-up" like in the first episode of the season?

"This one is the mini line-up like what the graphic novel readers are already familiar with. But it's only Rick and Carl. Negan says he's going to kill Carl then let Lucille take Rick's hands. Rick tells Negan that he can do it right in front of him and then take his hands, but the Saviors are still going to die. Negan takes that to be "permission" to kill Carl, so he raises the bat to crunch Carl ("you just said I could do it") when Shiva shows up and pounces on a nearby Savior, turning him into tiger chow, causing Negan to immediately stop. Good kitty!!

Chaos erupts as a full-blown battle begins. The Kingdomers (including Carol and Morgan) storm in guns blazing, taking down Saviors and Scavengers. Maggie and the Hilltoppers also show up at the last second, much to Negan's disgust. He's quite surprised by the tiger and the fact that Maggie is alive."

That is going to be quite a scene, leaving the finale on a high note:

How does the episode end?

"The Saviors and Scavengers retreat after a nice ass whooping from Team Family, Kingdom, and Hilltop. The episode ends with a bit of a nod to Glenn. In a small time jump, it has Maggie talking off-screen showing all the groups now together with the leaders of each group talking to the crowd, discussing the war they're about to embark upon (we just see them talking, no sound but Maggie's voice): "To suffer and stand, to grieve, to give, to love, to live. To fight for each other. Glenn made the decision, Rick. I was just following his lead." In the final shot of Maggie's hand, we see Hershel's watch with a glint of sunshine reflecting on it."

Glenn! Hershel! Beautiful.

Sadly, on the death front we do lose Sasha this episode, as she does take the suicide pills Eugene gave her. She wanted to use the moment to take out Negan, but that does not work. But we should see her fade in and out of consciousness, having flashbacks and visions with Abraham and Maggie. It'll get deep and poetic, and should hopefully do justice to her journey.

There's a lot more that (reportedly) happens, so check out TSDF's rundown or just watch and see for yourself.

"The Walking Dead" Season 8 should premiere in October, as usual.

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'IT' Trailer Breaks 24-Hour Viewing Record, Because We're All Masochists

Apparently no one wanted to get any sleep this week. But we did want to float down here in the Derry, Maine sewers with Pennywise, and watch poor Georgie smack his head on that barrier. (Admit it, you laughed.)

According to Collider, the creepy first trailer for Stephen King's "IT" earned more than 197 million views around the world in its first 24 hours online, which easily topped the previous record of 139 million for the first trailer for "The Fate of the Furious." And that was just in the first 24 hours after the trailer arrived on March 29. After 36 hours, the world watched "IT" 246 million times.

What did people think? The reactions seem mixed; some people were upset at not being freaked out enough. Yes, we are a crazy species. For the record, as of mid-afternoon on March 31, the official Warner Bros. Pictures trailer has 262,392 thumbs up, and 12,575 thumbs down.

This strong level of interest in "IT" does suggest good things for the plan to do two movies -- the first following the kids as Pennywise is introduced, and then a sequel to follow the Losers Club as adults.

"IT," starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, opens September 8. Watch, or rewatch, the trailer here.

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'Grey's Anatomy' Season 13 Finale Has a 'Shocking,' Horrifying Event

"Grey's Anatomy" fans "should be worried about everybody" at Grey Sloan when it comes to the Season 13 finale. The ABC show just aired arguably its most emotional episode of the season in "Be Still, My Soul," but it sounds like the emotional roller coaster is far from over.

A fan asked Entertainment Weekly for scoop on the Episode 24 season ender:

Do you know anything about the Grey's Anatomy finale? — Colin
It is not going to be a quiet affair. "It's an event," Kelly McCreary [Dr. Maggie Pierce] tells me. "It's a great big event that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats. It really is shocking. There were so many gasps of horror and surprise at the table read. It was delicious. It was just so much fun." Should we be worried about the docs of Grey Sloan? "You should be worried about everybody," McCreary adds. "It is an event that affects everyone in the hospital."

Gasps of horror! That sounds terrifying. And a bit confusing, since Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt) had told TVLine during PaleyFest that this finale won't be centered around a big catastrophic event. He did, however, stick with the theme of making it sound like some kind of horror thriller: "It's pretty dramatic and pretty intense. It's pretty dark and very good."

So maybe the "event" won't be like a plane crash or something blowing up, on that level of a catastrophe, but something will happen that affects everyone.

This season is already starting to get intense, and we know more big things are ahead. Next is Episode 19, "What's Inside," which will feature the grieving Maggie taking on a big case and Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) making a mistake treating one of Grey Sloan's own. Then we have the Meredith/Riggs plane trip -- with a mid-flight crisis, of course -- in "In the Air Tonight." And we are expecting Matthew Morrison's Dr. Paul Stadler to show up at least in Episode 23, but possibly in the final four episodes, in the role we still suspect is Jo's mysterious estranged husband.

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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How 'My Best Friend's Wedding' Originally Ended Julia Roberts' Story

Say a little prayer that the makers of "My Best Friend's Wedding" changed the ending of the movie at the last minute.

Director P.J. Hogan revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the classic 1997 romantic comedy had a completely different ending — that nobody liked.

The final version ends with Julianne (Julia Roberts) giving up on her quest to ruin the wedding of best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) and bride Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). At the reception, she is surprised when gay pal George (Rupert Everett) shows up to dance with her.

Originally, Hogan said that Julianne meets a new man in the final scene, played by John Corbett. But test audiences hate it. "They wanted her dead," he admitted, for her vicious actions toward Kimmy earlier in the movie.

To make Julianne more empathetic to the audience — while still giving the studio a happy ending for Roberts — Hogan and team expanded the character of George.

"Every time Julianne talked to him, she'd explain why she was doing these terrible things," he noted. "He's her conscience throughout."

They ended up shooting a new ending eight months after production wrapped. Roberts had to wear a wig over a new pixie cut.

"It would have been such a downer of an ending if George hadn't shown up," Hogan said. "That one scene somehow gave the audience permission to forgive Julianne. Those last five minutes really made the whole movie work."

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'Annabelle: Creation' Trailer Will Keep You Up at Night

This is one game of hide-and-seek that may just kill you.

New Line released a teaser trailer for "Annabelle: Creation," the prequel/follow-up in the seriously scary "The Conjuring" universe. In the first "Annabelle," the titular possessed doll wreaks havoc in the life of a young mother, who calls in demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren for help.

In the prequel, Annabelle's origins are explored. The movie tells the story of a dollmaker and his wife, who are grieving for their dead daughter. They welcome a nun and several orphan girls into their home, but they soon become the target of the demonic doll.

"Annabelle" could also spawn a sequel down the road, since the last we saw of the doll was inside a glass case in the Warrens' house. Dolls never die!

"Annabelle: Creation" opens in theaters August 11.

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Orlando Bloom Pops Up in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' TV Spot

Ahoy, prepare for a father/son reunion in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

A new TV spot for the fifth installment in the franchise shows a glimpse of Orlando Bloom's sea-shackled Will Turner, who is serving time as Davy Jones, reuniting with son Henry (Brenton Thwaites). The movie is going back to its roots, with the ghostly Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) out to kill all pirates — but especially Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who wronged him in the past.

To stop Salazar, Jack teams up with Henry to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon — and that leads Henry to see his long-lost father once again.

Last we saw Will, he'd been sentenced to 10 years in succeeding Davy Jones as captain of the Flying Dutchman, which takes dead souls across the sea into the great beyond. The ship only docks once a decade, and the last image of "At World's End" was of Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and their young son waiting for Will's turner. Why he's still helming the Flying Dutchman is unclear.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" opens in theaters May 26.

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Rainn Wilson Cast as Classic Villain in 'Star Trek: Discovery'

6th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HAITI RISING Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization - ArrivalsRainn Wilson is going from "The Office" to outer space.

CBS All-Access announced the actor is joining the cast of "Star Trek: Discovery" as space pirate Harry Mudd, an iconic villain from the first season of the original 1960s series.

Mudd is described as as a "charismatic conman and intergalactic criminal" who smuggles stolen goods and uses counterfeit currency. In the original series, Mudd was played the late Roger C. Carmel and first appeared in the sixth episode of season 1. He later popped up in the animated series and novels.

Wilson is a self-avowed fan of "Star Trek." In 2015, he tweeted a link to the "Star Trek: Beyond" trailer and gushed:

Since "The Office" left the air in 2013, Wilson has done numerous TV and movie projects, including starring in Fox's short-lived "Backstrom" and appearing in Showtime's "Roadies."

"Star Trek: Discovery" will stream on CBS All-Access some time later this year.

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James Van Der Beek Laughs Through 'Dawson's Creek'-Centric Interview

James Van Der Beek was a pretty good sport when two British TV hosts couldn't stop talking about "Dawson's Creek."

On yesterday's show, co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby of ITV's "This Morning" began the segment with a clip from the '90s series, and a rundown of what the other stars have been up to.

Van Der Beek was a bit thrown by the retro intro. The now-40-year old -- who was there to talk about his new British sitcom, "Carters Get Rich" -- noted, "I have been on television the last 20 years, just wanted to let you know."

When asked if he thought he'd still be discussing the show so many years later, he laughed. "No. I could not have imagined I'd be sitting across from a picture from 20 years ago," he said, pointing to the photo of himself and the rest of the "Creek" crew on the screen behind him.

The hosts continued to dwell on all things "Dawson," and Van Der Beek, who admitted he never watched his own show, finally gave in, saying he's very grateful for the series that launched his career: "It changed my life. It was a huge opportunity," he said. "I learned how to be on camera. I learned how to deal with celebrity. I learned how to deal with all kinds of things. It was a huge, huge break."

He then invited them to ask him any lingering questions about the WB show, but they agreed to focus on his new project instead.

The duo promised that next time he's on, they'll drop all the "Dawson's Creek" stuff, but as they were such big fans, they couldn't resist for his very first visit. Willoughby said, "We're all very excited about it. 'Dawson's Creek' was a part of my childhood."

Among the TV shows the actor has starred on since "Dawson's Creek": "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," and "CSI: Cyber."

[Via Huffington Post]

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Mandy Moore Shares Adorable #FBF Photo With Justin Timberlake

'American Gods' Opening Titles: Astronauts, Neon Cowboys and S&M Centaurs

The opening title sequence for "American Gods" is here and it's glorious. The adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel debuts on Starz on April 30 and this opening gives us a small taste of what to expect.

Among the gods glimpsed are Jesus, Buddha, and Ganesha, as well as drugs, lots of drugs.

Co-showrunners and executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green said via press release, "Is it strange to want action figures from a main title sequence? Crucified astronauts, neon cowboys and S&M centaurs, we bow to Elastic [they created the titles] and their spectacular vision. A totem of godly visions we didn't know we needed to worship until they showed us the light with this clarion call to the 'American Gods.'"

The series stars Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Orlando Jones, Gillian Anderson, Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Tucker and Cloris Leachman.

Watch the clip below or on Starz.

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Yes, Colin Firth is Back in 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle'

The first footage from "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" was screened yesterday at CinemaCon to appreciative cheers, revealing that yes, Colin Firth is definitely back.

Audiences also got a glimpse of Channing Tatum and his lethally sharp lasso and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) driving a nifty new spy car that's equipped with missiles.

According to THR, Firth returns as Harry, but he's now sporting an eyepatch. (How very Nick Fury.) Egerton had already teased the return of his Oscar-winning costar last year:

We also learn that Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) are going up against an underworld organization whose members are unidentifiable, having removed their fingerprints and filed down their teeth.

Joining the spy series for the second-go-round are Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Elton John.

The sequel opens September 29.

The official poster was released yesterday, with Egerton holding what looks like Indiana Jones's bullwhip.

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Jeremy Renner Won't Be In 'Mission: Impossible 6'

It's hard to juggle two or three major franchises, which means Jeremy Renner's commitment to Marvel is nixing his return to "Mission: Impossible," according to Showbiz411.

Renner is shooting "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" back-to-back and there's just no room for the Tom Cruise spy franchise at this point.

This is likely why Henry Cavill (who's got his own mega-franchise commitment) was announced for the sixth "Mission" film, which will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

Renner played William Brandt in 2015's "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" and 2011's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol."

The two-time Oscar nominee also has "Wind River," the new film from "Hell or High Water" director Taylor Sheridan coming out this August.

As for that sequel to "The Bourne Legacy"? It's probably not happening.

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Jon Favreau Wants Beyoncé for Nala in 'The Lion King'

BeyonceJon Favreau wants to add some royalty to his "Lion King" remake: Variety reports his top choice to play Nala is Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé.

The Grammy winner dropped out of Coachella because of her pregnancy, but a voice-acting role is a lot less demanding than headlining a musical festival. Sources tell Variety that Disney and Favreau will "do whatever it takes to accommodate her schedule."

Already on board: Donald Glover is voicing Simba while James Earl Jones reprises his role as Simba's father, Mufasa.

Moira Kelly of "The Cutting Edge" fame voiced Nala in the 1994 original and its two sequels. Gabrielle Union voices Nala in the TV series "The Lion Guard."

This would be Beyonce's first film role since voicing Queen Tara in the 2013 animated fairy tale "Epic."

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'Deep Blue Sea' Is the Guilty Pleasure You Need Right Now: Podcast

LL Cool J in DEEP BLUE SEA"Deep Blue Sea" has everything: shape-changing genius sharks, maddeningly convoluted plot points, comic relief from LL Cool J, water-related puns, and more shockingly brutal deaths than all six seasons of "Game of Thrones" combined. OK, that last one's a stretch, but you get the point.

This week, the CAN'T WAIT! crew dives into Renny Harlin's 1999 aquatic misstep classic, which stars a bunch of people whose careers were likely stifled by the movie's severe lack of box office success. (Except for Samuel L. Jackson, whose death in the movie made him a star all over again.) Topics discussed include cartoon-like CG sharks, the egregious misappropriation of science, favorite death scenes, and uncovering the real hero of the movie (spoiler alert: it's not the bird).

Next week, we'll be discussing 1998's genre-confused witch tale, "Practical Magic," starring Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Stockard Channing, and Diane Wiest.

Listen to CAN'T WAIT! A Movie Lover's Podcast Episode 18: 'Deep Blue Sea'Total runtime: 58:09

Subscribe to the CAN'T WAIT! podcast:

Have thoughts/feelings/feedback about the podcast? Have a movie you really, really want us to watch and talk about? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #CANTWAIT.

CAN'T WAIT! A Movie Lover's Podcast by Moviefone celebrates Hollywood's guiltiest pleasures by taking a fresh look at critically ignored movies and giving them a second chance at life. Join Moviefone editors Tim Hayne, Rachel Horner, Phil Pirrello, and Tony Maccio as they extol the virtues and expose the failings (with love!) of nostalgic movies.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

ABC Plans to Build a Boy Band on New Singing Competition Series

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowIs it 2001 again?

It sure feels like it. ABC has ordered "Boy Bands," a new reality series that will feature aspiring stars competing for five openings in a music group, Variety reports. The singers will all sing for a spot -- not to mention the Hollywood Records contract it comes with -- over the course of the show's 10-episode season.

Viewers will weigh in by voting, and a group of celebrity judges will be the so-called "architects" of the band. The judges will not only evaluate the contestants, they'll serve as mentors. So far, ABC hasn't found its host or judges, but Variety's sources say the network is looking to bring in members of notable boy bands and girl bands.

The judging panel is intended to be made up of a mix of old favorites and more recent hit-makers. We can definitely picture a panel with boy banders past -- namely, former *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys stars. This seems like a great opportunity for ABC to tap into millennial nostalgia, while also throwing in some more current stars.

Look for "Boy Banders" on ABC this summer. Until we know more, bye bye bye.

[via: Variety]

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New 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Trailer: Humanity Falls by the Wayside

The time for peace and humanity has passed.

Apes and humans are back to battling one another in the latest "War for the Planet of the Apes" trailer, released Thursday by 20th Century Fox. The preview reunites viewers with Caesar (played by Andy Serkis) and the apes, who seem to be minding their own business when humans seek them out with the goal of destroying them once and for all. Of course, that means the war between man and ape is back on -- just as the film's title suggests.

From what we've seen so far, Caesar and the apes have a formidable foe to contend with. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson), a ruthless military leader, shows no qualms when it comes to wiping out the rival species. He's definitely not messing around.

"There are times when it is necessary to abandon our humanity to save humanity," he says.

This war is going to be brutal.

"War for the Planet of the Apes" hits theaters on July 14.

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New 'War Machine' Trailer: Brad Pitt Gives Interesting Pep Talks

The conflict in the Middle East isn't over, but it's been going on long enough that Hollywood is offering yet another look at it.

Netflix released the latest "War Machine" trailer on Thursday, giving us more of Brad Pitt as Gen. Dan McMahon. Although his character is fictional, he was reportedly inspired by a real-life four-star general who became embroiled in a very public political controversy while leading troops in Afghanistan. The film shows his rise and fall.

We don't see much of the brewing scandal in the trailer, but it does provide a nice introduction to the character and the historical context. The United States is eight years into its operations in Afghanistan, and they need someone to "clean up the mess." Gen. McMahon is given the job, which turns out to be harder than he seems to have anticipated.

The trailer shows the general as he assumes the position, and an interesting challenge comes early on; we see the character explaining why killing the civilian population is bad for building, protecting, and supporting it. Apparently that doesn't go without saying.

"War Machine" is described as "part reality, part savage parody," and the film is based on late journalist Michael Hastings's book "The Operatores: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan."

The war film hits Netflix on May 26.

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Chris Pine Compares 'Wonder Woman' Love Story to 'Casablanca'

Anticipation over "Wonder Woman" has been building, and Chris Pine's description of the film's love story should help ratchet it up even further.

The actor, who plays Captain Steve Trevor (not to be confused with Marvel's Captain America), divulged some interesting tidbits on Wednesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, as THR reports. He highlighted his character's romantic relationship with Gal Gadot's Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman), comparing it to one of Hollywood's most iconic love stories.

"It has a 'Casablanca' feel which I don't think we've seen in this universe before," Pine said.

CinemaCon attendees got a glimpse of what he was talking about when they were able to watch footage from the film. In it, his character tries to describe marriage to Diana while explaining why they can't share the bed he's made for her. As you can imagine, it's a strange concept for a woman who was sculpted from clay by her mother and brought to life by Zeus.

While it sounds like their relationship will get plenty of screen time, rest assured that we'll get plenty of opportunities to see Wonder Woman being the badass heroine that she is. The Amazon princess is on a mission to find the God of War Ares and destroy him. All's fair in love and war, and we get to see both.

"Wonder Woman" opens in theaters on June 2.

[via: THR]

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'Zookeeper's Wife' Director Niki Caro Has Many Photos of Jessica Chastain Cuddling Animals

Zookeeper's WifeNiki Caro is a filmmaking chameleon. The New Zealand director can go from folklorish historical drama "Whale Rider" to the Disney sports movie "McFarland, USA" (which, if you haven't seen, is totally awesome). Before she embarks on what can easily be considered her most anticipated movie, a live-action remake of Disney's animated classic "Mulan" (the one without musical numbers), she has another type of movie to release -- a harrowing, true life World War II story called "The Zookeeper's Wife."

In "The Zookeeper's Wife," Jessica Chastain plays the titular character, Antonina Żabińska, a woman in Poland who, after the Nazis invade, uses her beloved Warsaw zoo to hide Jewish refugees right underneath the Germans' noses. (Her husband, Jan, became a full-on freedom fighter.) It's not the easiest movie to watch (there was a woman in my screening who can only be described as wailing) but it is incredibly compelling, anchored by a typically wonderful performance by Chastain.

It's one of those stories from the war that you never hear about (unless you'd read the best-selling book the movie is based on), and so just experiencing it is incredibly edifying and unique. But be warned: you'll probably wail, too.

I got a chance to chat with Caro on the phone about what drew her to the movie, balancing the horrors of the war with the audience's threshold for misery, and how many animals Jessica Chastain held during the course of production.

Moviefone: How did you come upon this project? Were you a fan of the book?

Niki Caro: It came upon me, as a script. Like just about everybody in the world I had never heard of it and I couldn't believe it. As a filmmaker I couldn't believe that it hadn't been made into a movie before and totally thrilled that I was the one who was going to be able to do it.

What about the story spoke to you?

It was the Żabińskas radical humanity that spoke to me, first and foremost. It was the fact that this Polish Christian couple did what they did for no other reason than it was the right thing to do, spoke to a kind of humanity and decency that was really very inspiring to me.

It seems like a good movie to come out now.

No sh*t. Seven years ago, when I began, it was a historical drama. And now it's totally contemporary. That horrifies me but it just means that the movie is very relevant for now.

Jessica Chastain was on the movie nearly as long. What was that collaboration like?

Beautiful. I love her. She's so deeply impressive as a human being and kind of a peerless actress. It was nothing but a joy to collaborate with her on a movie that is so profoundly and consciously female. It was a great experience.

[I tell her the story about the wailing woman.] Was there a trial-and-error thing in terms of how much you were going to explicitly show versus how much you were going to hold back?

No. I think filmmaking, for me, is very instinctive. I hate sentimentality so I tend to be really unsentimental, sometimes at my peril. I think when you're unsentimental and truthful that is where the material can be very, very moving and emotional, when it doesn't manipulate the audience but opens the door for the audience to connect and feel. That's when you get people howling in the cinema. I think that's where you can create stories that can stay with people, so that it's not a movie that is consumed and forgotten but one that I hope stays with people and I hope stands the test of time.

Now, a really serious question: How many animals did Jessica Chastain hold in this movie?

Somebody suggested that we could make a calendar of her holding animals. I said that I actually have all of those images in my phone. I could literally make a calendar of Jessica Chastain cuddling the animals from "The Zookeeper's Wife." There were many. But she loved to cuddle them and they loved her right back. She was very respectful of all the animals, of waiting for them to allow her into their space. She's a genuine animal whisperer, and I say that with no cynicism whatsoever. She has this otherworldly connection with these creatures, which is very rare.

It was just exciting to see so many real animals in a movie.

Yeah, it's beautiful, and the connection between them is genuine. It's a very unusual and special part of this story. She's very connected to Antonina in that way. They're very similar.

Did you do additional research for the story or was it all taken from the source material?

We spent time at the Warsaw Zoo, we spent time with Antonina's daughter Theresa, who is the little blonde girl in the movie, all grown up. In fact, she's in our movie, in the cocktail party scene. In fact, Jessica serves her some snacks. And, of course, you know all the deep research that we did into the Warsaw ghetto and all of those incredibly intense details of that time in history.

"The Zookeeper's Wife" is out everywhere this Friday.

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'Fast 8' Press Tour Is Separating The Rock & Vin Diesel 'as Much as Possible'

FILES-ENTERTAINMENT-US-FILM-OFFBEATThe Feud of the Furious is not yet in park.

"Fast 8," aka "The Fate of the Furious," opens April 14th, and the cast is now revving up the promotion tour. The movie had a CinemaCon presentation on March 29, and Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson was conspicuously absent, even though he was at CinemaCon earlier to promote "Jumanji" and "Baywatch."

Apparently the official reason for The Rock's absence was that he had to get back to the set of "Ballers" in Miami. But The Hollywood Reporter's sources suggest it's more about the lingering bad blood between The Rock and the always rumored subject of his infamous Instagram rant, Vin Diesel.

US-ENTERTAINMENT-CINEMACONSources told THR the actors are being kept from one another as the team continues its press tour. They said the CinemaCon panel scheduling could've easily been accommodated to include The Rock. As an insider put it, "They're keeping them separated as much as possible."

The panel included a screening of the movie; and here's a reaction from Collider:

You must recall what The Rock wrote on Instagram last August:

"This is my final week of shooting #FastAndFurious8. There's no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. UNIVERSAL has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing and I love 'em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling - you're right. Bottom line is it'll play great for the movie and fits this Hobbs character that's embedded in my DNA extremely well. The producer in me is happy about this part😉. Final week on FAST 8 and I'll finish strong. #IcemanCometh #F8 #ZeroToleranceForCandyAsses"

Production sources told TMZ that was about Vin Diesel. TMZ added these details in the same August week the rant was posted:

"We're told The Rock has butted heads with Vin during the production, in part because V.D. is a producer and has made decisions that didn't sit well with the former wrestling champ. Our sources say The Rock and Vin had a meeting on the Atlanta set mid-day Tuesday ... partly because tensions were running so high it was almost impossible to shoot scenes. We do not know if they resolved their issues. As we reported, almost the entire cast is angry at Rock for causing a stir just a week and a half before filming ends."

The Rock was later asked about his candy asses comments, and said this to the L.A. Times:

"I was very clear with what I said. I've been in the game a long time," he said with a knowing smile. "Would Universal have preferred that didn't happen? Sure, we talked about it. The irony is after that and as they do their tracking and all their analysis, the interest shot through the roof to a whole other level."

Both actors are said to be contractually obligated to appear at the upcoming New York premiere of "Fate of the Furious" on April 8.

[via: Lainey Gossip, THR]

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Joss Whedon to Write/Direct Batgirl Standalone Movie for DC: Report

SKOREA-ENTERTAINMENT-MOVIE-AVENGERSShiny! Joss Whedon is reportedly crossing the superhero aisle from Marvel to DC to direct -- and write, and produce -- an as-yet-untitled Batgirl movie.

Variety posted the news, saying Whedon was "nearing a deal" on the DC Extended Universe project, so it's not 100 percent official yet. They added that the new project only originated in the past month.

Warner Bros. and DC just had a big presence at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, talking about upcoming DCEU movies "Wonder Woman," "Justice League," and "Aquaman." A Batman solo movie, "The Batman," is also in the works, along with "Gotham City Sirens," bringing back Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn from "Suicide Squad," along with DC's other leading bad girls. And Batgirl? No idea yet.

Here's the DC Comics bio for Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon:

"A prodigy ahead of her time? Check. Fought toe-to-toe with Gotham's most unsavory? Double-check. Bailed out the Dark Knight on countless occasions? Capital C check.

Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, a confident young woman as committed to justice as her father, Gotham City's top cop Commissioner Gordon. But when her overprotective Dad forbids her from joining the force, her admiration of Batman leads her to rebel the way crime-fighting rebels do in Gotham City: by picking up the mantle of the Bat.

An exceptional fighter and detective, Batgirl is also unparalleled in her computer skills. With a Utility Belt filled with Batarangs and her own Batcycle to speed her across the city, she pursues justice regardless of whether others—including Batman—wish her to. But Gotham's criminals are a ruthless and maniacal lot, and every moment she risks her neck means dancing closer to death."

Whedon created the "Buffy" universe, "Dollhouse," and "Firefly," and most recently wrote and directed "The Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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New 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Promo Sends Kings & Queens on a 'Long Walk'

King Jon Snow.
Queen Daenerys Targaryen.
Queen Cersei Lannister.
The Night's King?

Who will "Sit Down" -- and stay down -- on the Iron Throne in "Game of Thrones" Season 7?

We know Cersei (Lena Headey) is on the Iron Throne at the end of Season 6, but Dany (Emilia Clarke) was seen crossing the Narrow Sea with her army in the same finale, with plans to take that throne. Meanwhile, Jon (Kit Harington) was just crowned the King in the North, and -- north of The Wall -- the Night's King and his fellow White Walkers are gearing up for The Great War ending all of mankind. So maybe consider holding off on buying real estate in the Seven Kingdoms until all of this is settled.

HBO just released an official new promo, titled "Long Walk," but set to a version of the James track "Sit Down."

This "Long Walk" of our leading royals does not qualify as a full Season 7 trailer, so we're still waiting for that massive thing to show up. "Game of Thrones" Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 on HBO.

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Chris Evans: Jenny Slate Is 'My Favorite Human, She's the Best'

Ladies, find someone who gushes about you the way Chris Evans gushes about his ex-girlfriend Jenny Slate. The two co-star in "Gifted," which opens April 7th, and both have been opening up a bit about each other as people, as well as exes.

Jenny Slate recently had beautiful things to say about Evans, basically blaming their split on the Marvel hero operating at a different speed, with zero privacy and millions of obsessive fans. It was too much for her, but he won't be Captain America forever, so there's hope for the future.

Here's a piece of her expansive interview with Vulture:

As they got to know each other, she learned he's still close with people from his childhood, and his best friend is a woman. "What's the same about us is not just that we're from Massachusetts, which was such a delight, but Chris is truly one of the kindest people I've ever met, to the point where sometimes I would look at him and it would kind of break my heart," she says. "He's really vulnerable, and he's really straightforward. He's like primary colors. He has beautiful, big, strong emotions, and he's really sure of them. It's just wonderful to be around. His heart is probably golden-colored, if you could paint it."

There's a lot more, and Evans probably read it all, appreciating not only her compliments but the way she expressed her entire spectrum of emotions.

About a week after Slate's interview, he returned the praise to People:

"She's my favorite human. She's the best. I've never ever ever met someone in my life who has a mastery of the English language the way she does. She'll give you one sentence and there's no fat to it. You're like, 'You just chose such an unbelievable collection of words that beautifully articulate what you say.' It's like an art form talking with her, because the visuals associated with her expression are just so colorful. She's so vulnerable, so honest, so interested in other people more than herself, she's incredibly compassionate, there's just nothing to not love about her."

OK. Well ... not to be a tween shipper, but GET BACK TOGETHER RIGHT NOW. Yeah, a lot of fans seemed a little too happy when they broke up, imagining Cap was now free to date them, but be honest -- are you really better for Chris Evans than someone who called him "primary colors" with a gold-painted heart?

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'Once Upon a Time' Season 6: Finally, Some Good News for Snow & Charming  

Our fairy tale heroes, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), are currently stuck in the "Ladyhawke" zone on "Once Upon a Time" Season 6. When one is awake, the other is asleep. But it sounds like good things are finally ahead for the cursed couple, especially in the Sunday, April 16 episode, which has the hopeful title "Awake."

Here's TVLine's new scoop in answer to a fan question:

Anything you can tell us about Once Upon a Time's Snowing? —Kat
"More romance and adventure are coming" for the marrieds, Once co-creator Adam Horowitz assures — despite the fact that they thus far are still trading Zzzzzs as part of the sleeping curse. Episode 17, titled (ahem) "Awake" and airing in mid-April, is a "big Snow/Charming episode, where we flash back to another chapter of their past which we haven't seen in full. We think it is, as befitting the couple that started the show, an incredibly romantic story showing just how powerful their love is."

We know their love is powerful, but what will be powerful enough to break the curse and get them both awake at the same time?

Entertainment Weekly previously revealed that the big musical episode includes a sing-off between the Evil Queen and the Charmings. The site said there will be seven songs in that hour. Episode 20 is called "The Song in Your Heart," and that is reportedly the musical.

OUAT airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Next up is "A Wondrous Place," which airs April 2.

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Don't Believe the Rumors About 'Justice League' Running Time

'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Lose It Over Idea of Mr. Schue as Jo's Abusive Husband

Will Shuester may need detention for his upcoming behavior on "Grey's Anatomy." A few days ago, the news came out that "Glee" alum Mattthew Morrison would be joining "Grey's" Season 13 as Dr. Paul Stadler. Photos showed him with Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) in Episode 23.

All of that pointed directly to Morrison booking the role of Dr. Jo Wilson's (Camilla Luddington) abusive husband, from whom she fled. It was previously reported that "Grey's" was casting a new doc for the final four episodes of this season, with a possible return in Season 14. TVLine said they were seeking "a Caucasian actor in his mid 40s to play a new doctor who is 'appealing, charismatic and charming' — in other words, a total freakin' catch. The twist? He's has a 'manipulative, scary dark side.'"

That was always expected to be Jo's hubby. We don't even know Jo's real name, but it's possible her last name is still Stadler, if Morrison's character is indeed her husband. It also fits to have Alex in the picture, since it would be a very Alex thing to do to track him down to get a divorce in motion -- or just to confront the guy for what he did -- so Jolex can get married and begin their lives together.

Fans reacted to the news of the beloved "Glee" alum playing an abuser; one viewer summed up the general response with "IM F*CKING SCREAMING JO'S HUSBAND IS WILL SCHUESTER." Here are more reactions:

"Grey's Anatomy" is airing Season 13, Episode 18 tonight (Thursday, March 30). There are 24 episodes to this season, so we won't meet Morrison's new doctor for a while.

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Should 'Game of Thrones' Fans Worry About New 'Peaky Blinders' Casting?

When "Game of Thrones" stars book movie roles, it's usually understood that they'll film during a couple of months of the HBO show's off-season. But TV roles? Most shows take several months to shoot, especially network series in the U.S. that can include 22-24 episodes, filming for most of the year. So when a GoT star books a new TV role it's understandable to think that might bode ill for the GoT character.

However, that may not be the case for new "Peaky Blinders" star Aidan Gillen. He plays Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger in "Game of Thrones," and Deadline recently revealed that he had joined the cast of "Peaky Blinders" Season 4, which just began shooting in Liverpool, England. There's no word yet on his character, or if he could continue into Season 5, which is already official.

The good news is that, if "Peaky" Season 4 just started filming in March, and it's only expected to shoot for about four months, it shouldn't conflict with "Game of Thrones" Season 8 filming at all. GoT Season 7 finished filming in February and isn't expected to start Season 8 filming until September.

That said, if "Peaky" Season 5 follows the filming schedule of its third season, and Gillen is still on the show, that could pose a conflict. According to the Birmingham Mail of the U.K., Season 3 started filming in the fall of 2015 and took four months to film, finishing at the end of January. If Season 5 does the same, it's hard to see how Gillen could also film the final season of "Game of Thrones."

But we'll have to wait and see on that. U.S. viewers can watch "Peaky Blinders" on Netflix, and Season 4 is expected to drop sometime in late 2017. "Game of Thrones" Season 7, which last showed Littlefinger at Winterfell with Jon Snow and Sansa Stark, premieres July 16 on HBO.

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Chris Pine Is Disappointed You Won't See His 'Hard Work' in 'Wonder Woman'

US-ENTERTAINMENT-CINEMACONChris Pine is starting 2017 on a "clean slate" with a newly shaved head and plenty of excitement for his role in "Wonder Woman" -- even if his really "hard work" will never be seen.

Pine was with the Warner Bros. crew at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Wednesday, teasing his role as Steve Trevor opposite Gal Gadot's Diana Prince in director Patty Jenkins's "Wonder Woman." It's a DC Comics movie, and all superhero movie characters look buff, so you could understand why Pine thought he should look the same. However, he joked to Entertainment Tonight that that was "a major mistake":

"I got in incredible shape for this film. I was also wearing about 75 pounds of clothing. Patty has a fetish, you just like a lot of clothing. You like down coats, winter sweaters. What I realized is that I made a major mistake, I got in great shape and they just put clothes over all my hard work."

Hey, we're perfectly happy for him to show off his "hard work."

Pine previously told Men's Fitness about bulking up for "Wonder Woman" and what he did not want to do:

"You've got Thor, you've got Captain America. These guys are eating 5,000, 7,000 calories, waking up just to eat food, eating 15 meals a day. For your liver, I don't think that's healthy." Instead of traditional weightlifting, Pine told Men's Fitness his personal trainer had him swinging clubbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and steel to get in shape.

Fully clothed or not, Pine told ET he fell in love with the story of "Wonder Woman," which has love at its center:

"I think what Patty did so intelligently, was she married all these different genres and the beating heart of this film is a real love story, which I don't think we've seen in the superhero canon recently. I think it hearkens back to what Patty loved in the first Superman, and it's just a classic love story and a classic story done well."

"Wonder Woman" opens June 2nd.

[Via: ET]

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'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Finale Is 'Incredibly Bittersweet' & 'Heartbreaking'

All's fair in love and war, and we should see a bit of both in "The Walking Dead" Season 7 finale.

Season 7 is putting itself out of its misery ending this Sunday, April 2 with an emotional supersized finale. We should expect some death. According to AMC's synopsis for Episode 16, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life":

"The stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; the group enacts an intricate plan."

We know the plan is to use the guns Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) just got from Oceanside and use them to take down Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors, with help from any members of the Scavengers, Hilltop, Kingdom, and Oceanside who are willing to jump in. (Plus Dwight.)

Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene Rhee) teased what's ahead to Harper's Bazaar:

"You're certainly in for a lot of emotion," she says after having a quick rhetorical debate with herself over whether or not to go as far as calling the finale "poetic." Eventually, she lands on describing it as "incredibly bittersweet, beautiful, and heartbreaking."

Greg Nicotero directed the Season 7 finale, and recently told Entertainment Weekly:

"I think it's one of the best scripts that we've ever produced, just in terms of pure character arc. And it really sums up the trajectory of the second half of the season perfectly. A lot of the questions, and a lot of the things that we spent time cultivating over the first half of the season and the second half of the season, definitely come to a head."

Nicotero had previously told of the finale:

"It's an amazing script. It was written by Scott [Gimple] and Angela [Kang] and Matt Negrete. How can you get along with those three? It's everything that you would ever want. It's thrilling. It's emotional. It's powerful. Everything that's -- when our show fires on all cylinders, you can't stop it."

The two photos shown above are from Episode 16, including Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Negan. Keep an eye on what's behind them, as it may be important.

After this episode, TWD will be done until Season 8 starts in October. They should begin filming for Season 8 in early May, as usual.

"The Walking Dead" finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Watch Kristen Bell and James Corden's Duet Fail to Get Off the Ground

Love lifts us up, but stage wires don't always do such a good job of it.

Kristen Bell and James Corden recently teamed up to perform the duet "Up Where We Belong" on "The Late Late Show," and their performance was full of some interesting aerial "issues." As they sang the hit originally recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, they were both suspended in the air, but the coordination needed some work. Instead of hanging at the same level, they constantly passed by one another, grumbling about the problems as they went.

Corden described it as an "absolute disaster," but it actually made for a pretty cute and comedic performance. The song has been performed plenty of times before, but this is definitely the first time we've heard the singers complaining between verses and watched them try to grab onto each other in midair.

Watch their full duet below.

"The Late Late Show with James Corden" airs weeknights at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT.

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Michael Phelps Joins Shark Week 2017's Golden Programming

Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XXIIIMichael Phelps is such a dominant swimmer that now he'll exclusively be racing sharks. Okay, that's not true, but he will be joining Shark Week this year.

Discovery has announced that the longtime Olympics standout will appear in the opening night of Shark Week 2017, as Deadline reports. The network hasn't revealed what exactly his role will be, though, so for all we know, he will be racing sharks. That certainly would take things to "another level," as Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav promised during an upfront presentation in New York City on Wednesday.

"When you think about world-class swimmers, I think two things come to mind. Sharks. And Michael Phelps," Zaslav said. "And Michael Phelps will be part of Shark Week on opening night, where he'll be aligning with the sharks and we're going to have a lot of fun with him."

The week of shark-centric programming hits Discovery every summer, educating the public about the oceanic creatures, not to mention probably scaring thousands of beach goers out of the water. This year, Shark Week begins on July 23, and we can't wait to see what Discovery and Phelps have in store for us.

[via: Deadline]

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Vin Diesel Gets Emotional Talking Paul Walker's Impact on 'The Fate of the Furious'

Fast & Furious 6 - World Premiere - Inside ArrivalsVin Diesel opened up about the impact of Paul Walker's death again, so you might want to have some tissues handy.

The "Fate of the Furious" star was at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Wednesday when the topic of his late friend and former co-star came up. Diesel had touching insight to share of the emotional subject, and he was visibly moved while discussing it, according to Variety.

Diesel, who has been forthcoming about how Walker inspires him in the past, highlighted how much continuing the franchise meant to them all, especially in light of a promise Walker had made.

"It was Paul Walker who promised eight," Diesel said Wednesday. "It played over and over again in my brain."

The cast and the rest of the Fast and the Furious team haven't disappointed. In fact, they're not stopping at eight. "The Fate of the Furious" is just the first in a new trilogy, so we're looking at a minimum of 10 of the car-centric action flicks.

"I always feel like he's looking down on us so we didn't want to let him down," Diesel said.

Fellow franchise star Tyrese Gibson echoed Diesel's sentiments, saying that they "move and operate in the memory of Paul Walker."

Walker, who died in a car accident on Nov. 30, 2013, was a staple in the series. Although he skipped the third movie, 2006's "Tokyo Drift," he appeared in each of the other installments through 2015's "Furious 7," which was in production when he died. "The Fate of the Furious" is the first in the franchise without Walker since his death, but Diesel made it clear that his friend isn't truly absent.

"Part of Paul's legacy lives through every frame that we shoot," he said.

You probably need those tissues right about now, right?

[via: Variety]

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'Nobodies' Is the Melissa McCarthy-Powered Meta-Comedy You Need Right Now

2017 Winter TCA - PortraitsAbout two decades ago, a group of six friends found one another while honing their comedy skills at the legendary improvisational troupe The Goundlings in Los Angeles. All of them found their creative niches in Hollywood, but one of them became a comedy superstar. And now she's trying to help elevate her pals from "Nobodies" into somebodies.

That's the story both behind the scenes and in front of the camera with TV Land's new series "Nobodies," produced by comedienne Melissa McCarthy and her writer/director/actor husband Ben Falcone, directed by their pal Michael McDonald ("MADtv") and starring their friends, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras, and Hugh Davidson, who, in a meta-turn play longtime friends of the power couple who hilariously struggle with just how to harness McCarthy's success to help enable their own showbiz ambitions.

In real life, Dorf, Ramras, and Davidson have enjoyed solid on-camera work and a lucrative career writing, producing and voice acting in TV animation (all three have worked on "The Looney Tunes Show" and "Mike Tyson Mysteries," among others) as their friends scaled to even more dizzying heights in film and television. But career strata aside, at the core they're all devoted friends who've been by each others' sides at every level of the Hollywood game who've finally found a clever way in to working together, as the group revealed to Moviefone in a freewheeling conversation.

Moviefone: I was curious: Is this is a little "Waiting for Godot" kind of thing? Is Melissa going to be a presence that's talked about but we don't see until some key moment?

Larry Dorf: She appears quicker than you think.

Melissa McCarthy: They didn't want me to, but I just kept showing up on set.

Hugh Davidson: Maybe a high school version of "Waiting for Godot," then she makes an appearance.

How much of an actual documentary is "Nobodies"? How much did you twist Melissa's arm to get you three on television?

McCarthy: It's a dream. We've all known each other for about 18 years. Wouldn't you say that's right? I bet it is 20 -- God almighty! Probably 20 years we have all been a part of The Groundlings and each other's lives. When three of your dear friends come with a really funny, great idea, and they can execute it, that's a crazy gift.

Tell me what it means to be able to execute it, to have friends come with you on something creative and say, "Hey, I think we can make that happen."

Ben Falcone: They brought it to me at a lunch, and I said, "I think it's a great idea." I believe what I told them is, "I'm happy to give it a try." Also, what was going to make the show was them playing themselves.

We didn't want to go and have a situation where they're going to be like, "OK, we're the writers, and then we'll go get so-and-so to play Hugh, and so-and-so to play Larry ..." Sometimes networks, or even if, for whatever the reasons might be, they're comfortable with somebody on their lists, and that wasn't something that I was interested in doing. I know they weren't as well, and Melissa wasn't.

We said, "Let's go some place that was going to let us do the show how it's supposed to be." So we went to TV Land, and they said yes. I'd never guaranteed. The short answer is, I wasn't like, "Hey guys, come on over, it's going to happen!" It was sort of like, "I'll try."

McCarthy: I think it's a challenging thing when you see how good something can be, and you know the people that can execute it, and then trying to link up with a partner that will let you actually execute the show that we all envision. The great thing is, we all saw the same thing in terms of tone.

It's very autobiographical. They're dipping into their own lives, and histories, and everything. To really get somebody to let us play it out that way is really exciting. We've all been doing this a lot time, and we all write. So to get to execute something in the humorous tone it was intended is like a dream.

For the leads, where do you end and your characters start? Where does the comedy version of you kick in?

Dorf: They're heightened versions of ourselves.

McCarthy: Are they? [Laughs]

Rachel Ramras: They're slightly heightened. What's a fun thing to do is, like, Hugh and I can describe everything that's funny about Larry as a source of comedy, and I bet Larry could do it about Hugh, and they could do it about me. You can sort of take your ego out of it and just mine yourself for as much comedy.

Davidson: I didn't know at all what was funny about me. I still kind of don't when I watch it.

McCarthy: That's why you're great.

Davidson: It looks like every day of our lives.

Falcone: What's funny about you is that you're an 85-year-old Texan in a 43-year-old body.

McCarthy: And you have been since you were in your twenties.

Davidson: It is weird. The whole thing's weird. To answer your question, it's all true.

I think if you live in L.A. long enough, you do have that experience where someone you know gets a rocket ride into some kind of success. To see it happen to your friends, what was that like for you? Did you sort of say, "Oh, maybe we can work together one day if the timing is right"?

Dorf: We've all worked together so much, from Groundlings. Ben and I have had a few pilots together, and the three of us have written, I don't know how many episodes of television --

Falcone: Animated.

Dorf: But at first, we were writing ...

Falcone: Qualify it!

Dorf: ... an animated show. I oversell and under-do. The part that's true is we were writing on a kids' animated show that no one watched, no one really cared about.

Davidson: I think children did. But no one that we knew.

Dorf: And that was right about the time "Bridesmaids" had come out. It seemed like all of our friends were nominated for an Oscar. We're all from the same place, and it's like, "But we're all the same. We're all from the Groundlings. We're the same as them!" So that was sort of the germ of the whole thing.

Ramras: I have to say, because I've been a TV fan, and a fan of things for so long. So I remember when Melissa got on "Gilmore Girls," my mom came to visit, and we got to go to the set. I have a picture of me and my mom in Rory's bedroom and it just felt like the neatest thing in the world. Then Kristen Wiig got on "Saturday Night Live," and I love Hugh Laurie. He hosted, and she sent me a picture of him from "Saturday Night Live." So I think I was also just a fan of my friends.

McCarthy: Rachel, you sort of are still a fan.

Ramras: Oh yeah. "That's Melissa McCarthy, right there!"

Davidson: We've known all these people for 20 years, whatever it is. And Rachel, every once in a while, she's starstruck by Melissa. And I'm like, "Jesus Christ, we've known her for 100 years. What are you talking about?" I can see Rachel, like, somewhere in her mind --

Ramras: "Our friends are so talented."

Dorf: That was a big thing. Melissa, she is in an episode. Watching Melissa, acting with Melissa, because we've known Melissa for so long, it was a moment of like, "Oh my God. This is Melissa McCarthy!"

McCarthy: WHAT?

Dorf: But it's a thinking of like, "Well, this is why she is a movie star."

Ramras: While we were shooting that scene, Larry was just checking his phone.

Any of that's better than, "You've changed, man ..."

McCarthy: I'm waiting. One of these days I'm going to change.

Dorf: I'm going to be the first one to change.

Falcone: I was just going to say that.

Ramras: I can feel him morphing right now on this couch.

You have "friends" in Hollywood, and you have real friendships. So what's kept this group together? What specifically do you think has kept you bonded at everybody's various stages of success?

Davidson: Political viewpoints.

Dorf: We vote as a block.

Davidson: I think because we were at Groundlings together. Groundlings is like the forge. You're there, and you're there on a Wednesday night, late, for no money, because there's no money in it, unless you're having to teach. You're just all there, and you're bringing your own costumes in, and you borrow wigs from each other. So it's like we were all in a car wreck together a number of years ago. We survived that. Yeah, we were in some kind of traumatic situation.

Falcone: We've seen each other at our best and at our worst. I bombed ...

Ramras: Many times.

Falcone: I haven't bombed with Michael yet, but I bombed for Michael.

McCarthy: Michael was our director, and one of the first things he said is, "Get off the stage!" Something so foul, I can't say. And he goes, "Why do you want people to hate you?" And I said, "It's such a funny idea. He goes, "It's not. Go sit down." I thought it was a really original "office scene" -- which I've since seen every new student write the exact same scene that I thought I was being very original -- and he just told me to sit my unoriginal self down. That became our love affair.

McDonald: That was a very nice cleanup of what I really said.

Falcone: But if you bond together, as comedians, it's different than standup, where your friends watch you bomb. I had bombed with all these people, on stage, sweaty, very weird, you start to feel cold, but then you start to sweat. When you've done that, and then of course, we've had our share of successes as well.

McCarthy: It's the bombing. I think you're right. Bombing together.

Falcone: Also, it's unlike standup -- that's competitive. That's always competitive.

McDonald: I will say this: They're also all very talented and very funny.

McCarthy: Oh, Michael. Don't make it weird.

McDonald: When you know somebody's funny, that breeds respect.

Dorf: And if you had to rank us ... ?

McDonald: You're not going to come out well in this.

McCarthy: And your work ethic. I think there's something ... That's always back to Groundlings, but to me, I barely attended the year and a quarter I was technically paying for college. But Groundlings, I felt like you get in there, and you had to work really hard to get in there. You had to work your butt off just to keep your head above water with this type of caliber of people.

You knew everybody there was working really hard, and had everybody else's back. There's a camaraderie there that I had ever had before. It's like summer camp that lasted 18 years. It's like after that, you are really, truly, bonded for life.

For all of you, have you ever had an experience where you've name-checked a famous friend for career reasons, and maybe you regretted it, maybe you didn't, but you felt weird after you did it?

Ramras: We probably have.

Davidson: I think we've been tempted.

Ramras: Maybe we were tempted.

Davidson: I doubt we did it.

Falcone: I bet you schemed it and wanted to do it, and talked it through, and chickened out.

Davidson: If there's three people, then at least ...

Dorf: There's a conscience?

Davidson: Right. Someone out of the three is holding the conscience, and then that person is saying, "I think we shouldn't ... "

Dorf: And that's usually Hugh, in our triad.

McCarthy: I feel like, years ago, I had [an idea], and I just found it recently, a pile of papers. I came up with some show I did that I was going to pitch. By the way, I had no one to pitch it to because no one would see me, and I didn't have any way to get into an office. But I realized, it all kind of was in the balance based on Noah Wyle, who I did not know in any capacity. He told a story on, like, "The Tonight Show" that gave me an idea, and literally, I just found a huge pitch based on a gentleman that I don't know at all. I couldn't get into a room to even talk about the guy I didn't know, but boy, did I type it up, guys!

Davidson: And saved it.

Have you met him since?

McCarthy: No, I haven't. I just found it like two weeks ago.

If this show hits, he'll call and want a meeting.

McCarthy: "Woo, do I have an idea for you, Noah!"

What's the realest thing we see in the show? The realest situation where you're like, "Yeah, that actually is pretty much how it happened."

McDonald: Probably Larry being cheap.

Falcone: He's changing though.

Dorf: I am changing.

Falcone: He made strides. Melissa forcibly took the tip calculator out of his wallet. She cleans out his wallet.

McCarthy: I cleaned out Larry's wallet, because it literally was about six inches thick.

Dorf: It was a card, like credit card size, and it said, "tip computer" on it. And it told you how much to tip.

McCarthy: And I took it -- and then you took it back out of the garbage, didn't you?

Dorf: I had it for many years, yeah, but now I don't have it. I don't have it anymore.

McCarthy: I think there's a tremendous amount that is ripped right from real life. A tremendous amount. You just feel something when you're watching the show that you're like, there's a quality to it. First of all, I think the dynamic between these three, they have really been writing partners, and we've all been friends for so long. But so much of it dips into reality, and it's like, how much do you amp it or not? But there's a lot based in truth, and I think that's where they get the quality.

Falcone: They all love each other. They love each other in real life, and two of them love each other super special style.

McCarthy: Two of them are married.

Falcone: But I think that comes through in the episodes, that kind of chemistry. Mike can speak more to that, because he deals with the dynamic, and that's what they explored when they were all kind of writing it and coming up with the stories together. That to me is the main thing that's real.

McDonald: It's also, I think, some of the funnest stuff is ... Melissa and Ben are very prominent characters in the show, and they're very, very funny, and shiny bright objects, along with Kristen Wiig, and many, many other fun guest stars. But one of the things that I like just being is an observer, I've seen the show really all the way through, in my mind -- I've watched it unfold on camera, and one of my favorite things is seeing their real, true relationship get mined for what it is, which is a really messed-up, loving triad.

When the show succeeds, which one of these three people will be destroyed by its success?

McDonald: I think Larry. It's just the closest to the quick.

Tell me now that you got to have this experience, and hopefully will have it for seasons to come, what was the greatest thing looking back and making the show, about being able to work together as friends at this stage in your lives?

McCarthy: Oh my God, getting to do it together!

McDonald: We were just walking arm in arm away from a photoshoot. These three were behind us, and Hugh's here. We were just going, "Can you believe it? Can you believe it?" That's the thing I keep thinking of.

McCarthy: It's a surreal feeling. Even the times I was shooting, or the times I was just there watching, it's like, this is what we did anyway. So to get to do it, and get to have the support, and to get to do it on such a great level, it still makes my head spin.

"Nobodies" premieres tonight (March 29) on TV Land.

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