Sunday, June 25, 2017

Box Office: 'Transformers' Crashes With Franchise's Lowest Opening Ever

By Seth Kelley

LOS ANGELES, June 25 (Variety.com) -- It seems the "Transformers" franchise is rusty.

As of Sunday morning "Transformers: The Last Knight," the fifth installment directed by Michael Bay, looks to bring in $69.1 million from 4,069 domestic locations during its five-day opening weekend. That's a franchise low for the sequel from Paramount and Hasbro, behind the first in the modern series, which earned $70.5 million in 2007. "The Last Knight" carries an estimated $217 million production budget.

This makes "Transformers: The Last Knight" the latest summer blockbuster to bank on overseas ticket sales to have a shot at turning a profit. In China, the big-budget action sequel made $41 million in its opening day alone. The projected international cume through Sunday is $196.2 million, powered by $123.4 million in China.

"The Last Knight" comes at a time when Paramount could have used an all-around hit, following recent misses "Baywatch" and "Ghost in the Shell." While the latest "Transformers" movie has been advertised as "the final chapter" and Bay's last go-around, the franchise will continue — Paramount has at least two more movies slated, including a spinoff that could star Hailee Steinfeld. The franchise has historically been massively profitable and seen solid multiples for the studio. Together, the first four earned over $1.3 billion domestically and well over $3.5 billion worldwide.

The latest take on the series centers on an alliance between Bumblebee, Cade Yeager — who Mark Wahlberg also played in 2014's "Age of Extinction" — and roles played by franchise newcomers Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock. Together, the team works together to save the world. Audiences have earned the film a B+ CinemaScore, while critics have mostly dismissed it — it currently holds a 15% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Last Knight" was uncontested at the box office this weekend, but a few indie releases showed traction. Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled" remake from Focus Features played at four theaters this weekend, and should gross $240,545 with a strong per screen average before it expands to over 500 locations next weekend.

"We're thrilled by this opening," said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features' distribution president. "This is Focus' third collaboration with Sofia and she's created an entertaining, atmospheric thriller featuring strong female representation in front of and behind the camera."

And Kumail Nanjiani's critically adored romantic comedy "The Big Sick" should earn $435,000 during its opening weekend in five locations — that would give the Lionsgate and Amazon Studios release the highest per screen average of any film that has opened this year so far.

"Kumail and Emily's true story provided audiences of all ages a much-needed alternative to the summer blockbusters," said Bob Berney, Amazon Studios' distribution chief.

Otherwise, "Wonder Woman" continues to post impressive numbers, and holds onto second place during its fourth weekend in theaters. This weekend, it should earn an additional $25.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $318.4 million. Earlier this week, the film became the highest-grossing live-action movie to be directed by a woman — a major distinction for Patty Jenkins.

Disney and Pixar's "Cars 3" also looks to earn $25.2 million domestically during its second weekend. Some estimates have the film slightly lower, just below $25 million. The family film, which won last weekend's box office, is expected to pass the $100 million mark in North America by Monday.

"Transformers: The Last Knight's" performance is a tough break for the summer box office's bottom line domestically. For the past two years, this weekend has seen monster grosses for "Jurassic World" and "Finding Dory." Now, attention is turned toward a trio of releases next weekend, as the box office hopes for a shot in the arm from "Despicable Me 3," "Baby Driver," and "The House."



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15 Things You Never Knew About John Carpenter's 'The Thing'

Can you believe it's been 35 years since "The Thing" first terrorized moviegoers?

The film didn't make a huge splash when it first debuted, but over the years it's developed a massive fanbase and come to be regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. To celebrate this big anniversary, here are 15 interesting facts you might not know about John Carpenter's masterpiece.
1. While he's worked with Carpenter many times over the years, Kurt Russell wasn't the first choice to play MacReady. Both Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte turned down the role. Several actors were also considered for the part of Childs, including Isaac Hayes and Carl Weathers.

2. Carpenter considers "The Thing" to be the first part of his "Apocalypse Trilogy," which also includes 1987's "Prince of Darkness" and 1994's "In the Mouth of Madness."
3. Legendary makeup and effects artist Stan Winston (of "Alien" and "Jurassic Park" fame) had a hand in the movie. Winston was brought on board late in production after original makeup artist Rob Bottin had to be hospitalized do to the stress of the project. That's why Winston receives a "thank you" mention in the end credits.

4. Carpenter cut production costs by using the same set for both the US and Norwegian camps in the film. The Norwegian scenes were filmed after the set was destroyed for the big finale sequence.5. Though it's never mentioned in the film, Carpenter and Russell worked out a back-story for the MacReady character. They envisioned MacReady as a disaffected, alcoholic Vietnam vet/chopper pilot, who is reluctant to be thrust back into a leadership role.

6. If MacReady's shocked reaction after throwing a stick of dynamite seems surprisingly authentic, it's because Kurt Russell wasn't actually acting. He misjudged the strength of the blast after throwing the dynamite and was knocked backwards. Carpenter elected to use that take in the final film.7. Editor Todd Ramsay was concerned that audiences might react poorly to the film's dark, ambiguous ending (above), so he and Carpenter filmed an alternate ending where MacReady is rescued and a blood test confirms his humanity. However, Carpenter elected to leave that scene out of all test screenings, and to this day the alternate ending has yet to be released.

8. The only female performance in the entire movie comes courtesy of Carpenter's then-wife Adrienne Barbeau, who provided the voice of MacReady's computer in an uncredited role.
9. "The Thing" hit theaters the exact same day as "Blade Runner." Interestingly, both films suffered similar fates, receiving middling reviews and doing poorly at the box office. Eventually, they attracted massive followings on home video and became modern classics.

10. There's an alternate cut of the film designed for TV broadcast. Aside from toning down the violence and language, this version also adds voiceover narration and a new ending, where the Thing again transforms into a dog and escapes the ruins of the camp.
11. Prior to the release of the 2011 prequel (above), there were multiple attempts at green-lighting a sequel to the original film. The Sci Fi Channel announced a TV mini-series continuation in 2003, though it apparently never got past the writing stage and was quietly forgotten.

12. Carpenter himself revealed his ideas for a sequel in a 2004 interview with Empire Magazine. He envisioned "The Thing 2" picking up right where the original left off, with MacReady and Childs struggling to survive the deadly Antarctic climate until a rescue team arrived. Carpenter even planned on having Kurt Russell and Keith David reprise their roles, with frostbite injuries being used to disguise their older ages.13. In the film, T.K. Carter's Nauls (left) mysteriously vanishes during the climax and is never heard from again. Alan Dean Foster's novelization explains that disappearance, as it includes a scene from an earlier screenplay draft where Nauls is cornered by the Thing and kills himself rather than be assimilated.

14. In 2002, Black Label Games published a video game sequel to "The Thing" in the form of a third-person shooter for the PC, Playstation 2, and Xbox. The game stars a new character named Captain J.F. Blake, who leads a team to investigate the ruins of the U.S. camp and battles new manifestations of the alien virus.15. The game (which Carpenter considers to be in-canon with the film) reveals that MacReady alone survived the events of the film, while Childs perished from exposure. MacReady appears in the game's climax, where he shows up in his helicopter to provide assistance to Blake.



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Saturday, June 24, 2017

22 Things You Never Knew About 'Blade Runner'

Given how vastly influential "Blade Runner" has been over the 35 years since its release (on June 25, 1982), it's hard to remember that the movie wasn't a hit. Neither critics nor audiences were certain what to make of Ridley Scott's visionary adaptation of a mind-bending Philip K. Dick novel; nor were they used to seeing Harrison Ford get his ass kicked.

Still, "Blade Runner" was a milestone, one that created the template for how movies would visually depict the urban future, introduced Dick's brain-twisting storytelling to movie audiences (making possible the likes of "Total Recall" and "Minority Report"), and offered early career boosts to such actors as Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, and Edward James Olmos. Now, with a sequel on the horizon (October's "Blade Runner 2049"), it's worth going back to learn how Scott, Ford, and the rest of the "Blade Runner" team overcame personal differences and pre-CGI effects challenges to create a lasting vision of the future.
1. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" drew Hollywood interest when it was published in 1968. At one time, Martin Scorsese hoped to direct it. It would take 14 years before Dick would see a screenplay that didn't make him want to punch the screenwriter in the face.

2. Hampton Fancher, who wrote a Dick-approved script, got the title from William S. Burroughs' book "Blade Runner: A Movie," an adaptation of Alan E. Nourse's novel "The Bladerunner." Neither book had anything to do with Dick's story, but Ridley Scott liked the name so much he optioned the film rights just to keep the title.
3. Scott had already turned down the project once; instead, the "Alien" director had been developing a version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic "Dune." When that fell through, he returned to "Blade Runner."

4. Harrison Ford wasn't the first or second choice to play replicant-hunting detective Rick Deckard. Initially, Fancher wrote the part with Hollywood legend and film noir veteran Robert Mitchum in mind. Scott spent months meeting with Dustin Hoffman, but the actor ultimately declined.
5. Many other stars were on the short list, including Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who'd eventually play the lead in the Dick-derived "Total Recall"). Ford got the part on the recommendation of Steven Spielberg, who'd just finished directing him in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

6. The movie's striking visuals, which have influenced so many movies made since, drew inspiration in turn from Fritz Lang's silent classic "Metropolis" (another futuristic nightmare where the wealthy live in towers while the workers live below), French comic-book artist Moebius, and "Nighthawks" painter Edward Hopper.
7. For antagonist Roy Batty, Scott cast Rutger Hauer without ever having met him; he simply knew he wanted the Dutch actor after having seen him in several Paul Verhoeven movies.

8. The eerie, atmospheric, layered, neon-lit look of the film was created in-camera, using a technique called multipass exposures. A scene would be shot with the camera guided by a computer; then the film would be rewound and re-exposed as the computer guided the camera along an identical path, but with new lighting or new visual elements introduced. Some scenes used as many as 16 passes.
9. Ford and Scott have both acknowledged that they clashed often on set. Scott has chalked this up to his own inexperience as a feature film director ("Blade Runner" was his third movie), dealing with a leading man who was a 15-year Hollywood veteran with several landmark movies on his résumé. For his part, Ford grumbled about having to shoot 50 straight nights in the rain.

10. What really irked Ford, though, was recording the voiceover narration, which was forced on the filmmakers by panicky producers after test-screening audiences found the movie confusing.
11. Ford thought the voiceover dialogue, meant to evoke the classic film noir movies that had been inspirations for "Blade Runner," dumbed down the film, and he called recording the narration a "f***ing nightmare."

12. Dick was just 53 when he died of a stroke in March 1982, three months before the first film based on his work was released. But he got to see about 20 minutes of "Blade Runner" and praised the sets, effects, and Hauer's appearance as exactly what he'd had in mind.
13. Today, the "spinners," the flying cars (above), would probably be created digitally, but for "Blade Runner," Scott's production crew built life-size spinners that weighed several tons each. To simulate flight, they were hoisted by cranes. The constant rain effects helped hide the cables.

14. If the footage at the very end of the movie, with its helicopter shots of an idyllic countryside, look familiar, that's because they're leftover second-unit footage from "The Shining," which Scott obtained from Stanley Kubrick.
15. Producer Alan Ladd, Jr. picked June 25 as the release date for "Blade Runner" because the 25th of the month had proved lucky at the box office for two of his previous sci-fi releases, "Star Wars" and "Alien."

16. "Blade Runner" cost at least $23 million to make; some sources say $28 million. It made back just $27.6 million in North America.
Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar17. The release date turned out to be not so lucky after all, since it came at the tail of a month-long sci-fi glut that included "The Road Warrior," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," and "The Thing."

18. The Academy nominated "Blade Runner" for two Oscars, for art direction and visual effects. Incredibly, it lost both, the former to "Gandhi," the latter to "E.T."
19. There have been at least seven different cuts of "Blade Runner" put forth before the public over the years. The three best known versions start with the initial domestic cut, with the voiceovers and countryside ending. Then there was the 1992 "Director's Cut," with the voiceover and countryside footage removed, for a more ambiguous telling of the story. Despite the name, however, Scott has said his involvement in this release was minimal. He eventually oversaw a fully restored print of the film cut to his liking, the 2007 "Final Cut," which includes some violent scenes previously shown only to international audiences, as well as the full-length unicorn dream sequence that suggests Gaff (Olmos) believes Deckard to be a replicant.

20. The Domestic Cut and Director's Cut left it up to the viewer to decide whether Deckard was himself a replicant or a natural-born human. Ford himself believed Deckard to be human, but in 2007, Scott said he'd always considered Deckard to be a replicant.
21. In a 2001 online chat with fans, Hauer called "Blade Runner" his favorite among his own films. As he put it, "'Blade Runner' needs no explanation. It just IZZ. All of the best. There is nothing like it. To be part of a real MASTERPIECE which changed the world's thinking. It's awesome."

22. Scott and Fancher spent years trying to develop a sequel or prequel to "Blade Runner." After several abortive attempts, we're finally getting one this October. Directed by "Arrival's" Denis Villeneuve, "Blade Runner 2049" will be set 30 years later, with Ryan Gosling in the lead role and an appearance by Ford.



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Friday, June 23, 2017

'Grey's Anatomy' Star Reveals the Show Had Three Terrible Previous Titles 

"Grey's Anatomy" is such a perfect, obvious title, you'd almost think they started with that, and then figured out the rest of the show from there. Instead, Kate Walsh (Dr. Addison Montgomery) told Buzzfeed the show cycled through three previous titles, including one that she really thought was "bullsh*t." (She's not wrong.)

The topic came up when Buzzfeed asked Walsh about her role in "13 Reasons Why," wondering if she expected the Netflix series to take off the way it did. (Short answer: No.) The site also asked if it was similar at all to when "Grey's Anatomy" really took off. Here's her answer to that:

"With 'Grey's,' I remember because I came in at Episode 8, at that time the morale was really low. They kept changing the name of the show. It was 'Doctors' and then 'Surgeons' and then 'Complications' and I was like, 'What a bullsh*t show title!' 'Grey's Anatomy' is the perfect title. To keep our morale up they started showing us episodes at Friday lunches that were already edited. And I was like, 'This is a really good show' and I was so excited to be a part of it. I was supposed to do a pilot for another sitcom on ABC, and it didn't end up getting picked up and then they called me to be a series regular on 'Grey's' and the world changed. It was stunning right? It was really phenomenal. And that Super Bowl episode! That was what put us into the stratosphere."

It's hard to imagine the show with any other title -- or to think of the morale being so low. But it's clear they had no idea "Grey's" would still be around now, going strong into Season 14 this fall.

Walsh had more to say on her role as Addison, saying her character's big entrance at the end of Season 1 changed her life.

"I got more calls and attention from that 60-second scene than anything in my career before. Isn't that funny? Shonda [Rhimes] is a genius. Everyone hated me, but at that time there was no Twitter. There were chat rooms, but I never really went on them. I kind of liked being the Wicked Witch from the East. Or the wicked bitch. Shonda's really gifted at flipping every character that's seemingly awful. It's a great lesson in how to have compassion for people that you initially hate."

Addison ended up leading the first "Grey's" spinoff, "Private Practice," with the second spinoff coming soon, following Seattle firefighters.

FYI, Walsh also said she hasn't kept up with "Grey's," but when she learned they were killing off Addison's ex Derek (Patrick Dempsey), she was so surprised that she tuned in just for that episode.

"Grey's Anatomy" Season 14 premieres this fall on ABC.

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ABC Cancels 'Downward Dog,' But Creator 'Not Giving Up' on New Home

But ... look at how sad you've made them, ABC!

"Downward Dog" fans are now trying to use social media to save the freshman series, which was just canceled after one eight-episode season. There's also hope that if a big crowd tunes in to watch the final two episodes this Tuesday, ABC will either change its mind, or another network/streaming service will swoop in to save the day.

Allison Tolman stars in the quirky comedy series, which is told from the point of view of her dog Martin. Samm Hodges co-created the show with Michael Killen (Hodges also voices Martin) and he shared the cancellation news in a letter on Twitter, expressing his surprise, but also hope:


So far, six episodes have aired, so episodes seven and eight will be airing on Tuesday, June 27. Fans -- including ABC star Karen David ("Once Upon a Time," "Galavant") -- are now reacting on Twitter, hoping to somehow keep the show alive:

What exactly went wrong on ABC? According to Deadline:

"ABC was faced with making a renewal decision on Downward Dog, from Legendary TV and ABC TV Studios, as the options on the cast were to expire next week. Downward Dog, which became the first broadcast comedy series to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, had been relatively steady in the ratings though it slipped to series lows of 3.1 million viewers and a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating (Live+same day) this week, which didn't help its cause. [...]

But in the end, the show proved too expensive to produce (the single-camera comedy films in Pittsburgh) for a summer run, and scheduling it in-season was virtually impossible because ABC's comedy deck is stacked with seven returning series that have full-season orders. There is only one new half-hour series slated to debut in the fall, The Mayor, with two more, Alex, Inc., and Splitting Up Together, on tap for midseason."

ABC just moved "Still Star-Crossed" to Saturdays in what was viewed as a pre-cancellation move. The network has yet to officially announce anything, but we'll stay tuned for details on the future of "Downward Dog."

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'The Vampire Diaries': This Deleted Steroline Scene Has Fans Crying Again

It's hard to believe they dared to delete a Stefan/Caroline scene from "The Vampire Diaries" series finale. But they did -- they being The CW, which just posted the 1-minute, 44-second deleted scene on YouTube, including this beautiful exchange from the newlyweds:

Stefan (Paul Wesley): "I bet this isn't how you were expecting to spend our wedding night."
Caroline (Candice King): "In case things get chaotic later, I love you Mr. Salvatore."
Stefan: "And I love you, Mrs. Forbes-hyphen-Salvatore."
Caroline: "We didn't even talk about that!"
Stefan: "Come on. I know who I married."

THE FEELS. The clip also features Damon (Ian Somerhalder) getting impatient with Stefan, and he's so good at that:

The series finale aired in March, but "The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season" just came out on DVD last week, including deleted scenes, so that's probably why this scene is only coming out now. Tonight (June 23) also marks the finale of TVD spinoff "The Originals" Season 4.

Of course, fans shared impassioned comments under the video, wishing this scene had been included, or that Steroline got better treatment, or not caring about Steroline because they're more into Klaroline -- which could still happen -- or still upset about a lack of a Delena proposal scene. Etc. Oh, how we missed this fandom!

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Mark Ruffalo & Robert Downey Jr. Bond in New 'Infinity War' Set Selfie

Jason Momoa & Peter Dinklage Had the Most Badass 'Game of Thrones' Reunion

John Cho Explores Love and Loss in 'Columbus' Trailer

That #StarringJohnCho meme from last year highlighted what a great leading man John Cho can make. And he has the opportunity to prove it on screen in "Columbus."

The Sundance darling has its first trailer, which sends Cho's Jin to the titular Indiana town when his father, an architect, falls ill. He meets an architecture lover (Haley Lu Richardson) who helps him explore the town's unique and stunning structures (which are real!). The end up bonding over their difficult relationships with his dad and her addict mom.

He's stuck in limbo, waiting for his dad to either die or recover, and she's drifting, avoiding talk of college and the future.

It's a beautiful movie, judging by the trailer, from a first-time Korean director known as Kogonada, a former Criterion video essayist, and cinematographer Elisha Christian.

"Columbus" also stars Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, and Michelle Forbes and opens in theaters August 4.



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George R.R. Martin's 'Nightflyers' Getting Made Into Syfy Pilot

67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press RoomSpace is dark and full of terrors! Syfy has ordered a pilot based on "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin's novella "Nightflyers."

The network revealed in May it was developing the novella into a possible series and Martin himself noted it would be base on the 1987 film adaptation. Now the project has gotten the greenlight to shoot a pilot off of a script by Jeff Buhler. Martin will not be a producer or consultant on the series.

The space drama is set on a ship named the Nightflyer. Eight scientists and a telepath travel to the edge of the solar system in hope of contacting alien life. In the novella, they are eliminated one by one, and everyone begins to turn on each other as they scramble to survive.

"We are looking forward to diving deeper into George R.R. Martin's chilling world of 'Nightflyers,'" said Bill McGoldrick, executive vice president of scripted development for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. "The script that Jeff delivered encapsulates this classic sci-fi horror story and adapts it to a platform where we can truly explore the depths of madness."



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First Look at Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan in Hervé Villechaize Movie

23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red CarpetHervé Villechaize, the dwarf actor best known for "Fantasy Island" and "The Man With the Golden Gun," returns to life in the form of Peter Dinklage in this first image from HBO's upcoming movie "My Dinner With Hervé."

In the photo, Dinklage sports a flowery shirt, with Jamie Dornan ("Fifty Shades of Grey") in the background. Dornan plays journalist Danny Tate, a character based Sacha Gervasi, who co-wrote the screenplay and is directing.

Gervasi interviewed Villechaize just a week before the actor committed suicide. Dinklage has described the interview as "a suicide note" and has been developing this passion project for years.

The movie follows Danny Tate on a wild night in Hollywood during which he forms a friendship with Villechaize that has "life-changing consequences for both."



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'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' to Introduce Dazzler — Is Taylor Swift Playing Her?

Will Taylor Swift dazzle us all in "X-Men: Dark Phoenix"?

The character of Dazzler will appear in the next "X-Men" movie, according to Entertainment Weekly. The mutant pop star can convert sound into light and energy beams, and her existence was teased by Sophie Turner while promoting "X-Men: Apocalypse."

Turner, who plays Jean Grey (who will turn into the Dark Phoenix in the upcoming film), posted an image from a deleted scene that depicts Dazzler's latest album:

Note the reference to Swift's album "1989." Around the same time, "Apocalypse" writer (and "Dark Phoenix director) Simon Kinberg posted an image of himself, Turner, and James McAvoy with Swift at one of her concerts.

So, naturally, speculation arose that Swift might make a cameo as Dazzler. But EW says the role is a small one and that there is no plan to cast the singer.

Guess we'll just have to shake it off.



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Alexis Bledel Returning For 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2

Ofglen lives! Alexis Bledel will return to "The Handmaid's Tale" in season 2 as a series regular.

The actress starred in half of the first season of the acclaimed Hulu drama based on Margaret Atwood's book. Her character, Ofglen, was mutilated as punishment for engaging in a same-sex romance.

The last time she appeared was in episode 5, when she steals a guard's car and kills him by running over him. She was hauled off by other guards, and her fate remained unknown to Offred (Elisabeth Moss).

Perhaps she and Offred, who was taken away by security in the season 1 finale, meet in some kind of prison. Or the Mayday resistance found a way to free her and she heads to Canada. Or — our favorite — she's sentenced to life in the Colonies, where she meets Offred's mom (who is a major figure in the book but has yet to appear in the show).

Bledel's return does seem to indicate that there won't be another "Gilmore Girls" revival, at least in the near future.



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Alexis Bledel Returning For 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2

Ofglen lives! Alexis Bledel will return to "The Handmaid's Tale" in season 2 as a series regular.

The actress starred in half of the first season of the acclaimed Hulu drama based on Margaret Atwood's book. Her character, Ofglen, was mutilated as punishment for engaging in a same-sex romance.

The last time she appeared was in episode 5, when she steals a guard's car and kills him by running over him. She was hauled off by other guards, and her fate remained unknown to Offred (Elisabeth Moss).

Perhaps she and Offred, who was taken away by security in the season 1 finale, meet in some kind of prison. Or the Mayday resistance found a way to free her and she heads to Canada. Or — our favorite — she's sentenced to life in the Colonies, where she meets Offred's mom (who is a major figure in the book but has yet to appear in the show).

Bledel's return does seem to indicate that there won't be another "Gilmore Girls" revival, at least in the near future.



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'Star Trek: Discovery' Boldly Breaks Prime Franchise Directive

Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham; Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY coming to CBS All Access. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs. © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.As all "Star Trek" fans know, franchise creator Gene Roddenberry had a strict -- if often frustrating -- rule that Starfleet crew members could never be in any significant conflict with each other. The only way around it: To have someone possessed by an alien force or to catch some strain of "space madness."

Now EW reports that the new series "Star Trek: Discovery" will break that long-held rule. In other words: Battle stations! Look for some intriguing new conflicts on the series, which debuts September 24.

"We're trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions," co-showrunner Aaron Harbert told EW. "People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We're still going to argue in the future."

"The rules of Starfleet remain the same," says the show's other showrunner, Gretchen J. Berg. "But while we're human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect."

But they're not completely throwing out Roddenberry's utopian vision of the future. "The thing we're taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts," Harberts said. "So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it's about how they find a solution and work through their problems."

Another big change from previous series: It will be "more heavily serialized," meaning less stand-alone, self-contained eps and more big story arcs.

The first episode of "Star Trek: Discovery" will debut Sunday, Sept. 24 on CBS, then will move to the CBS.

The show stars Jason Isaacs as Gabriel Lorca, Captain of the Discovery; Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou; Sonequa Martin-Green as her First Officer, Michael Burnham; James Frain as Vulcan Sarek (father to Spock); and Rainn Wilson as charismatic con-man Harry Mudd.



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How 'Will & Grace' Revival Will Deal With That Finale Time-Jump

How will the "Will & Grace" revival address the 20-year time jump in the show's 2006 series finale when it hasn't been 20 years since the show wrapped?

Talking to E!Online, series co-creator David Kohan said that fans who've been scratching their heads over when exactly the series will be set should "keep scratching."

Co-creator Max Mutchnick was more forthcoming, saying, "We just come out of a story camp that lasted about three months... almost more than anything, more time went into figuring out how are we going to reintroduce the show and what were the rules going to be and how were we going to address that finale."

So, no, the show won't be set in 2026. Explains Mutchnick, "They are very much living in that apartment in 2017 in the month of September, on the 28th of September at 9:00. [When the revival airs on NBC]. That's when you're going to meet up with them again and they are going to explain to you exactly what happened so you know the rules moving forward and you won't feel like anything is left open."

The two creators are also not too concerned about the show's "legacy," only with not repeating themselves.

Says Mutchnick, "I'm not concentrating on the legacy part at all. I think I can speak for Dave on that, too. We are writers who are going to a writing room every day and trying to write the best episodes of this comedy that we can. The only thing that we have to watch out for these days is repeating ourselves, you know, or borrowing from material that we had forgotten because there are 197 episodes of story and we just don't want to step on our own work. But we're not really thinking about the legacy per se because that's not our job, to talk about the legacy."

Kohan adds, "It doesn't feel like a brand new thing. It feels very much like a continuation, as if the show was going on, it just hadn't aired for the last 10 years, you know what I mean? It doesn't feel like, OK, well here we are with a completely new concept."

So just as in the promo that was released last month, it appears nothing much has changed for Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Karen (Megan Mullally) and Jack (Sean Hayes) in 11 years.

Kohan says he was thrilled to hear how excited fans were to have the show back: "It's very encouraging. The way I read it is that it's like people miss an old friend that they haven't seen in a while. And we want to be able to reintroduce them to an old friend that they like, that's comforting to that. And I feel like that's the goal of this."

"Will & Grace" returns with 12 episodes beginning September 28.



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Alden Ehrenreich Reportedly the First to 'Voice Concerns' About Direction of Han Solo Movie

Alden EhrenreichIf you're looking for someone to blame in the ousting of original Han Solo movie directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it's not just producer Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

That is, according to new reports that the original person to voice concerns about the direction and tone of the film was none other than lead actor Alden Ehrenreich, who's taking his duties as young Han Solo very seriously.

According to StarWarsnewsnet, "Ehrenreich had concerns with the production as filming progressed. He started to worry that Lord & Miller's screwball comedy angle was starting to interfere with what the character of Han Solo is really about –- even if this was a younger, more reckless take on the character than the one we met in that cantina on Tatooine. One source described it as being oddly comparable to Jim Carrey's performance in 'Ace Ventura' at times. Ehrenreich let his concerns be known to one of the producers, who then told Kennedy about it, which led to her decision to look over the existing footage."

Apparently, old guard "Star Wars" figures Kennedy and Kasdan "really, really like Ehrenreich's take on Han," but objected to some of the scenes as being too "zany."

Lord and Miller have yet to publicly comment on the whole situation, but a telling tweet from Lord might indicate when things started to get tense on set as, we assume, the directing duo was asked to tone things down.

As you may have heard, the much-less zany Ron Howard is now taking over directing duties.

When talking about his original audition for the role, Ehrenreich (who was hired after Lord and Miller) told Interview," I had an audition process that went on for a long time, and I got to spend a lot of time with the guys who are directing the film. Getting to be around them and being around the world a little bit has been the main experience so far..."

As far as playing Han Solo, he said it was a dream come true: "I remember pretending to be the characters in the movies when I was a little kid. The last three movies I've done, I played a cowboy, then I played a soldier, and now I play Han Solo. So the little kid in me is having a real joyride."

Earlier this month, Donald Glover, who plays Lando Calrissian, seemed to be enjoying the artistic freedom on the set, saying, "This is probably one of my favorite experiences ever. For working under, like, a huge conglomerate, it's actually been quite an enjoyable, artistic thing. I get to play him in a way that I think is honest and true and cool."

Despite the shake-up, the movie still has a release date of May 25, 2018.



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Ron Howard is 'Beyond Grateful to Add My Voice to the Star Wars Universe'

Ron HowardAfter the official announcement that Ron Howard is taking over directing duties on the Han Solo movie, the "Apollo 13" director tweeted that he's always been a big "Star Wars" fan and that he's "beyond grateful" to be working in the "Star Wars" universe.

He also said (very graciously) that he hopes to add to the "great work" already done by just-fired co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

In speaking at the Cannes Lions fest, Howard elaborated on the prestigious new gig, joking that it was a "little opportunity that came my way."

Deadline reports that he was among the first to hear about George Lucas's groundbreaking movie while on the set of "American Graffiti." (As everyone has pointed out, a movie that costarred the future Han Solo, Harrison Ford.)

"I've been around the 'Star Wars' universe from the beginning," Howard told the crowd, saying he asked Lucas in 1972 on the "American Graffiti" set, "'Do you know what you think your next film might be?' And he said, 'Yeah, I want to do a science fiction movie, but a really fun one like 'Flash Gordon' with the effects of Stanley Kubrick's '2001.' I thought, 'That sounds like a kind of crazy idea.'"

He and his wife Cheryl saw "Star Wars" the day it opened, saying they were "so moved by the movie. It was all the things you dream you're going to experience in the movies." He added that despite standing in line for two hours to see it, they immediately got back in line and waited another 90 minutes to see it again.

"So many people involved with the 'Star Wars' franchise are friends, so it's gratifying to be able to lend my voice to the universe — coming in when it's already been in production and there is a great amount of work done," Howard said.

For what it's worth, neither Lord nor Miller have tweeted anything since the news broke.



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Johnny Depp Gets Secret Service Attention for Assassination Joke

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp knew a joke about assassination was going to be "horrible" and "in the press," then went ahead and made the joke anyway.

At the Glastonbury Fest in the UK, where Depp was introducing his 2004 movie "The Libertine," he addressed the crowd asking, "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?" Of course, the answer to that is "John Wilkes Booth, 1865," but since Depp was already trashing Trump to the crowd, it's clear he wasn't talking about Abraham Lincoln.

And it's not just Twitter reacting to what he said: The Secret Service is aware of Depp's comments. Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN. "For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities," a statement from the Secret Service reads.

Depp, who's made headlines in the last year for his financial troubles and messy divorce, first brought up Trump to the crowd, asking, "Can we bring Trump here?"

The crowd booed and yelled," No!"

Depp added, "I think he needs help.... This is going to be in the press, and it will be horrible," he said. He paused briefly and said, "But I like that you're all a part of it."

He then went on to ask, "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?" The remark was met with cheers and whistles.

Depp then said, "I want to clarify. I'm not an actor. I lie for a living." (Last year, Depp played Trump in a "Funny or Die" spoof called "Presents Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie.")

Depp (or his publicist) has yet to comment on the whole thing.

Of course, he's hardly the first celeb to public knock Trump, but, like Kathy Griffin, he's now got the attention of the Secret Service.



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Who's Getting Stars on the Walk of Fame? Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Hamill and Snoop Dogg

Jennifer LawrenceThe Hollywood Chamber of Commerce just announced who's getting stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. Among the list: Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Hamill, Snoop Dogg, Zoe Saldana and Minnie Mouse!

It's hard to believe some of these people don't already have stars, but they've now just got one more year to wait. A few awards are being handed out posthumously, including "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who died in 2006 after a sting-ray attack; and comedian Bernie Mac, who passed away in 2008 after complications from pneumonia.

Two major TV creators are being honored as well: Shonda Rhimes, who created "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," and "Scandal"; and Ryan Murphy, who's given us "American Horror Story," "Glee," "American Crime Story" and "Nip/Tuck"

Among the older generation being honored for the first time are 84-year-old British singer-actress Petula Clark; Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, who's now 89; and French singer Charles Aznavour, who's 93.

There's also the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter; and former Sex Pistol guitarist, Steve Jones, who hosts the L.A.-based radio show Jonesy's Jukebox.

Congrats to the whole class of 2018!

MOTION PICTURES
Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Goldblum, F. Gary Gray, Mark Hamill, Jennifer Lawrence, Gina Lollobrigida, Minnie Mouse, Nick Nolte and Zoe Saldana

TELEVISION
Anthony Anderson, Gillian Anderson, Lynda Carter, Simon Cowell, RuPaul Charles, Taraji P. Henson, Eric McCormack, Ryan Murphy, Niecy Nash, Mandy Patinkin, Shonda Rhimes and posthumously Steve Irwin.

MUSIC
Mary J. Blige, Sir Richard Branson, Petula Clark, Harry Connick Jr., Ice T, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

RADIO
Steve Jones

LIVE THEATER / PERFORMANCE
Charles Aznavour, Lin-Manuel Miranda and posthumously Bernie Mac.

Dates for the ceremonies have not been scheduled yet.

[Via ABC7.com]



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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Al Yankovic Had the Best Reaction to Walk of Fame News

What are the odds? Lin-Manuel Miranda and Al Yankovic were having lunch together when they both learned they'll be getting stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.

They both shared happy-surprised photos to Twitter and Miranda updated his Twitter banner picture to this delightful photo.

Congrats, guys! Miranda will be getting his star for "Live Theater/Performance" and Yankovic for Music.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

'Preacher' Season 2: EP Confirms More Comic Book Canon, New Twists

PREACHER Season 2 preview"Preacher's" Jesse Cutler, Tulip, and Cassidy have finally hit the road together in the horror-comedy's second season, just as they were when they were first introduced in the Vertigo comic book. But executive producer Sam Catlin reminds you: even when things feel familiar to die-hard fans, the series promises a fresh twist around every corner.

A veteran of the "Breaking Bad" writers room who teamed with actor Seth Rogen and his longtime screenwriting partner Evan Goldberg ("Superbad," "Pineapple Express," "This Is the End") to develop the comics series first launched by writer Garth Ennis and the late artist Steve Dillon, Catlin tells Moviefone that -- after a first season that played much like a prequel to established mythology -- while the show's leaning closer to its roots -- fan-favorite the Saint of Killers has arrived, and Herr Star is close behind -- there are plenty of unexpected surprises on the road ahead as the characters start to feel more and more like the TV incarnation's own.

Moviefone: What were the creative lessons from the first season that you wanted to carry over into Season 2?

Sam Catlin: I just felt like there were certain things that we kind of discovered that only our show could sort of pull of, and we wanted to just do more of that. There's so much great TV out there, interesting TV, but there are certain things that we realized that only our show could get away with. So we tried to do more of that, in terms of the violence, and the comedy, and the perversity, and stuff like that.

I think we're excited by the fact that Jesse's sort of drive is an external one, and not sort of an internal one, a philosophical one. He's looking for God, not in himself, and not in the stars, but he's down the road somewhere and I'm going to find him. And sort of giving him a real external drive was really exciting and liberating for us as writers.

From the start, Season 2 is going to skew a little closer to what the comic book is, but you guys are still going to color outside the lines. So tell me about knowing that you've got this road map that you can follow, but you're making the show your own, you're making different creative choices and doing what you're able do for TV.

I think -- and Garth [Ennis] will tell you this -- you couldn't shoot the comic books as a TV show. And it's not even just a question of how much money it would cost you to be in the south of France and ancient Ireland from episode to episode. It's not just that -- it's just that we would actually run out of story pretty quickly.

So what we want to do is we always want to make "Preacher" feel like "Preacher," and we delve a little deeper into some of these, what look like little pit stops on the road in the comic book become whole episodes, or several episodes, or stuff like that.

We meet Herr Starr. How did Herr Starr become Herr Starr? What is this place, the Grail? How did the Grail start? The Saint of Killers -- what's in it for him? Why is he going after Jesse? What's his reward if he gets him? Stuff like that. So, hopefully, it feels like the show, in the sense of, it's a road show about a guy looking for God, and anything can happen, and has all these different genres, and we know all these characters. There'll be new characters – there just have to be. We're not going to leave any of the great set pieces, or the great characters, on the shelf for very long.

Give me some characters that you were excited making a little bit bigger. The Saint of Killers is one, I expect ...

The Saint of Killers -- having him in our world with Jesse and Tulip and Cassidy is very exciting. I think we'll probably spend some time and learn a little bit, we'll introduce the Grail, and some of its components -- very excited about that!

We're going to tease a little bit more about what happened to Jesse after his father was killed, and where he ended up after that, and how that sort of informs his search for God. We're going to learn a little bit more about Tulip back in the day, and when she and Jesse were sort of outlaws together, and what sort of drove them apart, and where she ended up as a result of their breakup.

And we're going to learn more about Cassidy in terms of, we're going to start to understand some of the wreckage that he left behind, and bridges that he burnt, and how will he try to make amends to people that he betrayed in the past, and how will that end up making things much, much worse as a result.

So, yeah, we get to sort of expand the world in a lot of different ways. We're getting much more in terms of, we're starting to pull more and more of these characters into the world, which is exciting.

Tone is the trick on any television show. You guys are standing right on that barbed wire fence with your mix of violence and comedy, and how you're able to portray it. Working with the network to know how far you can go, deciding amongst yourselves creatively how far is too far, and going over the edge when it can be fun. How do you work through those things?

The tone of the show -- it's a tricky tone. We're just borrowing and stealing from all these movies, and things that we like, that all work independently, but we're trying to put them all in the Monty Python, and Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarantino, and trying to put them all into one world where they don't sort of capsize each other. That's definitely part of the trick.

But I feel like the show can sustain more than I thought it could, in terms of its absurdity and all of that, in Season 1 for sure. In terms of the network, we definitely had more fretful calls from the network this year, but really, fewer. Whatever people are picturing in terms of handwringing, and you can't do that, I think everyone signed up for Garth's "Preacher," and that's what they're getting. American culture is so bereft and decayed at this point, that I think network executives have rightly just thrown up their hands and given up!

I love the show's use of music, often to a great comedic effect but still always with an awesome song. That's got to be a very tricky thing, too, to find those great pieces of music that are also commenting on the scene or enhancing a scene. So tell me a little bit about that aspect of it.

Yeah, that's the work of us and our music supervisors. Yeah, a lot of the fun is finding that right song. For "Come on Eileen," that was going to be something else. It didn't wear well over time. Then we were sort of running out of time because the actors had to learn the song.

It's a sort of nostalgic song. It's a sort of peppy song. It's a song that you shouldn't really enjoy, but you do, but you secretly do. So yeah, finding that right song is a lot of fun.

As you said, I'm sure at the beginning you thought, "How long can we sustain this with the material that we have to draw from?" I get the sense that you feel like you're pretty confident there's a lot of stories for you to tell, digging into the different corners of this world. Tell me about getting from there to here and realizing, "Oh, this is richer than I initially might have thought."

Oh, for sure. For this season, I won't say, but we were going to have like this season be two halves, and we were going to end up with one arc, and then move on to a whole other world for the second half. Then we kept pushing it off. It's like, "Well, maybe we can get to that world for the last four episodes." Then maybe just the last two.

Then we realized, there's so much story with this world that we're just with these characters that we're just bringing in, and we don't want to shortchange this other world that we're really excited about getting to. So yeah, it's exactly what you say: sometimes it's just a couple of issues in a comic book of places that Jesse winds up, but they're whole worlds for us on a TV show that we can really delve into.

Seth and Evan have known each other forever, worked together forever, and now you guys are a trinity.

Wait, no one's asked this! Is the question, who's who? Evan is Tulip. No, Evan is Cassidy! Evan is Cassidy. I'm probably Jesse because I'm the sort of the grim, distraught one. I guess that means Seth is Tulip. He's Tulip.

To have found your creative vibe together -- and you guys have your fingerprints on this in a lot of different ways, like getting behind the camera to direct -- how is that creative partnership experience now this deep into it all?

Oh God, it could have been a disaster. It really could have been a disaster. But they're great. It has all the elements of a failure to it, in a sense that you're bringing Seth and Evan, movie stars with a passion project of this thing that they've been loving for so long, and then bring it to me. They don't know me. I'm just some TV hack that they brought in. So it could have been fraught, and it just hasn't been.

I feel like, really from the beginning, we've wanted to make the same show. We talked about the same show. I think we see the show in the same way. There'll be times like, "Oh, that doesn't make sense." But in terms of the overall vision of the show, there's never been any arguments, really.

How often do you check in with Garth, either with a question or just to talk through ideas?

When was the last time I talked to him? Maybe a month or so ago. He'll just send an email saying, "The Saint wouldn't have that type of ammo." It's weird, because I know he really likes the show and is behind the show, but the details that he insists on when he insists on them, it's like, "Absolutely! Whatever you say, we're going to do that."

But I love Garth. He's also been a great collaborator. There's another thing that could have gone horrendously wrong, which is, my character, that's not the story. And he's been so gracious and generous with his magnum opus with us. He's just trusted us. I don't know why. Maybe it's just the cash, the simple money. It's a money grab for him, that greedy Irish immigrant! So yeah, keep watching it so we can enrich Garth Ennis.



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Ryan Seacrest Thinks Hosting ABC's 'American Idol' Is 'Doable'; It Sounds Exhausting

102.7 KIIS FM's 2017 Wango Tango - ShowThe so-called "hardest working man in Hollywood" just can't seem to stop adding to his workload.

Ryan Seacrest is reportedly in negotiations to host ABC's "American Idol" reboot, and he apparently isn't fazed by how many more hours of work and travel the gig would add to his already packed schedule. He recently discussed the logistics with Variety, calling it "doable." That may be the case, but it sounds intensely exhausting.

Hosting "Idol" would require Seacrest to be in Los Angeles to film live evening episodes. Then, he'd have to get back to New York City, where he now lives, co-hosts "Live with Kelly and Ryan," and also does his radio shows, "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" and "American Top 40 With Ryan Seacrest." Juggling it all would mean a lot of redeyes so he could be ready to join Kelly Ripa for their morning talk show.

Seacrest is certainly aware of the logistical challenges and how much travel would be required.

"That is one of the things I'm looking at, just on my globe, just what time the show ends and what time I start the next day in New York," he said.

That he thinks it would be worth it proves just how much he loves "Idol." For his sake, we hope he's good at sleeping on planes.

[via: Variety]



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Shondaland's 'Still Star-Crossed' Gets Demoted to Saturdays

ABC's 'Still Star-Crossed' - Season OneWhat's written in the stars for "Still Star-Crossed" isn't looking so good.

The new ABC period drama hasn't made its mark so far like other Shondaland hits, and after three low-rated episodes, the network has decided to move it from Mondays to Saturdays starting July 8. That doesn't bode well for the future of the series; it will lose its "Bachelorette" lead-in, and "Still-Star-Crossed is already only averaging 1.95 million viewers per episode in live-plus-same day Nielsen ratings, as reported by Variety.

A period drama, "Still Star-Crossed" centers on the Montague and Capulet families after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The story is based on Melinda Taub's novel of the same name, which was published in 2013. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have caught on, and it may soon suffer a fate similar to that of the Shakespearean lovers.

Only time will tell what lies ahead for "Still Star-Crossed," but we don't expect its new time slot to help its quest for better ratings.

[via: Variety]



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'The House' Unscripted Live

What's better than two comedic giants answering your questions -- and making up a few of their own? Doing it live!

"The House" stars Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell hit the stage in Moviefone's first ever Unscripted Live, where no topic is off the table, including illegal bird sales, fan lunches for one, and Harry Potter sorting hat results. #TeamRavenclaw

"The House," starring Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman, Michaela Watkins, Ryan Simpkins, and Jessie Ennis, hits theaters June 30th.



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Freeform Abandons 'Greek' Reunion Movie Plans: Report

ABC Family's 'Greek' - Season FourAlas, the holiday gift "Greek" fans were hoping for is not coming -- at least not courtesy of Freeform.

The network announced in 2016 it was developing a two-hour holiday movie that would pick up five years after the events of the ABC Family series' finale. Now, however, those plans have been scrapped, according to TVLine. While Freeform opted not to reveal why it dropped the project, "Greek" creator Sean Smith told TVLine it was a money issue.

The series ran on ABC Family (now known as Freeform) from 2007 to 2011, centering on sorority and fraternity life at the fictional Cyrus-Rhodes University. The show ended with several of the characters graduating, so a reunion would have been a perfect place to pick up. Fans would have gotten to see the gang return to campus, plus had a chance to find out where their lives took them after college.

With this new development, our hopes of seeing the Cyprus-Rhodes crew at their five-year reunion have certainly taken a hit, but they haven't been completely dashed. Smith and his fellow executive producers Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan reportedly plan to shop the mini-revival around. We're crossing our fingers that we'll get to see Casey (Spencer Grammer), Cappie (Scott Michael Foster), Rusty (Jacob Zachar), and co. together again yet.

[via: TVLine]



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First 'Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later' Trailer Brings Us More Camp Firewood Insanity

It's time for more crazy Camp Firewood antics.

Netflix has released the first trailer for "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later," plus unveiled its fast-approaching premiere date. A follow-up to the 2001 cult film and its 2015 prequel series, "First Day of Camp," the new series again takes fans to the woods of Maine. This time, our return to Camp Firewood will be set in the '90s -- specifically 1991, 10 years after the ridiculous summer that saw staff have to save the camp from a government plot, toxic waste, and more.

Rest assured that further conflict lies ahead; as the preview shows, Beth (Janeane Garafolo) plans to sell the camp. There may be other government conspiracies, too, given that Michael Showalter will again play Ronald Reagan while Michael Ian Black and David Wain portray George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, respectively. The series also stars Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Marguerite Moreau, and many more returners as well as newbies.

Watch the trailer below, and be warned that it's NSFW.

"Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later" hits Netflix on Aug. 4.



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Fox Reveals Fall 2017 Premiere Dates

Fox just released the premiere dates for its fall 2017-2018 season, including new shows "The Orville," "The Gifted," and "Ghosted."

Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville" -- a sci-fi dramedy TVLine dubbed a "Star Trek spoof," very much like "Galaxy Quest" -- landed a nice post-NFL premiere date. Fans excited for "The Gifted," starring Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker and connected to the X-Men film series, will have to wait until October 2.

Here's the fall lineup:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 (immediately following NFL doubleheader)
8/7c "The Orville" (Special Series Premiere, Part 1)

SUNDAY, SEPT. 17 (immediately following NFL doubleheader)
8 pm "The Orville" (Special Series Premiere, Part 2)

TUESDAY, SEPT. 26
8 pm "Lethal Weapon"
9 pm "The Mick"
9:30 pm "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 27
8 pm "Empire"
9 pm "Star"

THURSDAY, SEPT. 28
8 pm "Gotham"
9 pm "The Orville" (Regular Time Period Premiere)

FRIDAY, SEPT. 29
8 pm "Hell's Kitchen"
9 pm "The Exorcist"

SUNDAY, OCT. 1
7:30 pm "Bob's Burgers"
8 pm "The Simpsons"
8:30 pm "Ghosted"
9 pm "Family Guy"
9:30 pm "The Last Man on Earth"

MONDAY, OCT. 2
8 pm "Lucifer "
9 pm "The Gifted"

Don't worry if you don't see your favorite renewed Fox show -- like "The X-Files" and "New Girl," as well as the new shows "The Resident," "LA to Vegas," and "9-1-1" as they arrive midseason.

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Netflix's 'To the Bone' Trailer Launches Fan Debate on 'Glamorizing Anorexia'

Netflix's new trailer for "To the Bone" has earned more 1 million views, but also fears that it might be the new "13 Reasons Why" when it comes to triggering vulnerable viewers.

"To the Bone" was written and directed by Marti Noxon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "unREAL") and stars Lily Collins as a young woman with anorexia nervosa. According to the synopsis, her character Ellen "spent the better part of her teenage years being shepherded through various recovery programs, only to find herself several pounds lighter every time. Determined to find a solution, her dysfunctional family agrees to send her to a group home for youths, which is led by a non-traditional doctor."

The film also stars Keanu Reeves as her doctor, Carrie Preston as her stepmother, and Lilly Taylor as her mother.

On one side, fans think this is a great opportunity to address eating disorders and mental illness, taboo topics that don't get a lot of play in well-watched forums, showing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. On the other side, fans are worried that this will further glamorize being skinny, triggering people with eating disorders, and just end up used as "thinspo" -- thin inspiration -- when that's not exactly the objective.

Netflix picked up "To the Bone" after its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. It will be available for streaming on July 14.

[via: Buzzfeed]

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Alexis Bledel Promoted to Series Regular for 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 

THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- "Offred" - Episode 101 - Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. Ofglen (Alexis Bledel), shown. (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)Step aside, Rory Gilmore, 'cause Hulu needs more from Emily/Oflen. Alexis Bledel was a guest star in "The Handmaid's Tale" Season 1, appearing in five episodes as Ofglen, who befriends Elisabeth Moss's main character, Offred.

Hulu just revealed that Bledel will return as a series regular in Season 2, which ... is that a spoiler? Ofglen's fate was left up in the air in Season 1, but if she's coming back as a series regular, that suggests good things.

The series is adapted from Margaret Atwood's dystopian classic, and it sounds like Season 2 will continue to find more inspiration from the book. "There's so many things that we haven't explored yet from the book — so many lines, you know?" Elisabeth Moss told EW. "So much text that we haven't gotten a chance to even say."

According to Hulu, "The Handmaid's Tale" had its most-viewed premiere of any series in its first week. Season 2 will go into production this fall and premiere 13 episodes on Hulu sometime in 2018.

Someone will inevitably wonder what this might mean for more "Gilmore Girls" episodes on Netflix, and it may not mean much, since it doesn't sound like there's a lot of movement on that front right now.

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'Star Trek: Discovery' Lead Responds to Critics Who Think Show Is Too Diverse

When "Star Trek: Discovery" was revealed to have a woman of color as the lead, with the show including diversity across its roles, it got the usual polarizing reaction. One side praised a change from the status quo to add more representation, and the other side rolled their eyes at what they saw as a forced PC agenda.

"The Walking Dead" alum Sonequa Martin-Green has the lead role of First Officer Michael Burnham, serving Michelle Yeoh's Captain Philippa Georgiou. "Discovery" will also feature the TV series's first openly gay character, a science officer played by Anthony Rapp.

Entertainment Weekly asked Martin-Green about critics who think the new show is just TOO diverse. Here's part of her response:

"Well, I would encourage them to key into the essence and spirit of Star Trek that has made it the legacy it is — and that's looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realizing you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one. That's something Star Trek has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it's been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades. I would encourage them to look past their opinions and social conditioning and key into what we're doing here — which is telling a story about humanity that will hopefully bring us all together.

[...] I'm incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of Star Trek that's from the eyes of a black woman that's never been done before, though obviously there's been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by Trek. I feel like we're taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that."

It's a beautiful inclusive statement recognizing the diversity that's been part of the show since "The Original Series" in the 1960s. However, all you have to do is read EW's comments to see that her words have basically reached the choir but not the mob with torches and pitchforks outside. They still see this as liberal feminist SJWs making "everything" about race and gender in a PC attempt to ruin the world. "White genocide"-fearing non-fans probably won't watch the CBS All Access drama no matter what, but it may please them to know that Jason Isaacs is also in the cast as Captain Gabriel Lorca, described as "a steely Federation Starship Captain who's considered a brilliant military tactician."

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Pictured: Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca."Star Trek: Discovery" will premiere Sunday, September 24, initially on CBS before (unfortunately) moving to the streaming-only service CBS All Access.

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