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‘Teletubbies’ Tinky-Winky Actor Simon Shelton Dies at 52

‘Teletubbies’ Tinky-Winky Actor Simon Shelton Dies at 52
Actor Simon Shelton, known for voicing Tinky-Winky in the BBC children’s show “Teletubbies,” died on Jan. 17. He was 52.

His niece, Emily Atack, confirmed the news on Instagram.

“My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes has been taken from us all so suddenly. The kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet. Loved by all who knew him, and will be forever. X,” she wrote.

The British actor took over the role of the purple Teletubby from 1998 to 2001, after original actor Dave Thompson was fired in 1997. Shelton also played the Dark Knight in the children’s game show “Incredible Games.”

Teletubbies” was an educational television show for young children that focused on four creatures with televisions on their abdomens who played each day in Teletubbyland. In its heyday, the program reached one billion children in more than 120 countries in 45 languages.

In 1999, conservative televangelist Jerry Falwell spoke out against the show, and Shelton
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Races Toward $20 Million Opening

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Races Toward $20 Million Opening
Fox’s launch of “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is poised to end the three-week box office reign of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” with about $20 million at about 3,800 North American locations.

The action thriller has already opened impressively in four markets overseas, starting with South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan taking in $15 million during its first weekend. The movie’s original release date was delayed for nearly a year in order to allow star Dylan O’Brien to recover from injuries sustained during shooting.

O’Brien stars in the dystopian trilogy as Thomas. The 2014 original opened with $32.5 million and grossed $102 million in U.S. receipts, and 2015 follow-up “The Scorch Trials” opened with $30 million and tallied $82 million in domestic box office. Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster also star. Wes Ball directed all three films.

The finale sees a group of escapees attempting to break into the legendary Last City in order to save their friends. Most international
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Anne Hathaway's 'Barbie' Movie Moves to 2020

Anne Hathaway's 'Barbie' Movie Moves to 2020
Sony is moving the Anne Hathaway-starring, long-in-the-works Barbie project to 2020.

The fish-out-of-water tale, directed by Australian director Alethea Jones, will now premiere on May 8, 2020, kicking off the summer that year, after moving from the original launch date of Aug. 8, 2018, Sony announced Tuesday.

Amy Pascal, Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing the project based on the classic Barbie mythology and putting a contemporary spin on the toy, with an emphasis on feminism and identity.

The script, now to receive more work, portrays a woman that slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit into...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Ursula K. Le Guin, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 88

  • The Wrap
Ursula K. Le Guin, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 88
Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin has died, her agent told TheWrap Tuesday. She was 88.

Le Guin died at her home in Portland, Oregon, on Monday. Her son told The New York Times she had been in poor health for months. Her agent had no further statement at this time.

Le Guin has sold millions of copies of her books, which have been translated into 40 languages, many of which have been in print for the better half of a century. Le Guin...
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Missing Plane Thriller 'Manifest' Scores NBC Pilot Order

Missing Plane Thriller 'Manifest' Scores NBC Pilot Order
NBC is moving closer to finding its version of Lost.

The network has handed out a formal pilot order to Manifest, a thriller written by Jeff Rake (The Mysteries of Laura) and described as a high-concept mystery thriller in which a plane disappears from radar and returns years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea.

Manifest landed at NBC in August with a sizable put-pilot commitment. The Robert Zemeckis- and Jack Rapke-exec produced drama follows what happens after the plane's passengers return: No time has passed for those on the plane, but for their loved ones at...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Oscars: ‘The Shape of Water’ Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations

  • The Wrap
Oscars: ‘The Shape of Water’ Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations
The film academy’s best fit is “The Shape of Water.” Guillermo del Toro’s whimsical period romance about a custodial worker and fish-man hybrid who fall in love stacked 13 Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, more than any other film this year. Those nods included Best Picture, Best Director for Del Toro, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, and Best Supporting actor and actress for Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer, respectively. It also landed a healthy mix of below-the-line categories like Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design and Sound Mixing. Also Read: Oscars Nominate First Female Cinematographer: Rachel Morrison for 'Mudbound' Trailing behind was Christopher...
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Oscars: 'Wonder Woman,' James Franco, Steven Spielberg Among Noteworthy Snubs

Oscars: 'Wonder Woman,' James Franco, Steven Spielberg Among Noteworthy Snubs
While a number of Oscar hopefuls are cheering after their names were read during Tuesday morning's nominations announcement, other individuals and films considered to be contenders found themselves out in the cold.

Wonder Woman was completely shut out by the Academy, even in the technical categories, despite being one of the highest-grossing films of the year and receiving acclaim from a number of critics groups and awards organizations. Also shut out despite receiving early-season awards attention and Golden Globe, SAG Awards and Critics' Choice nominations was Battle of the Sexes, about the historic tennis match between Billie Jean King and...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Oscars: Greta Gerwig Becomes Fifth Woman Ever Nominated for Best Director

Oscars: Greta Gerwig Becomes Fifth Woman Ever Nominated for Best Director
Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman ever nominated for a best director Oscar on Tuesday morning.

The Lady Bird helmer was the only woman nominated in the otherwise all-male field made up of Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Jordan Peele (Get Out).

Gerwig's nomination comes after she landed a Directors Guild nomination and a best director nomination from the Critics' Choice Awards for her feature directorial debut. The National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics also named her best director for her work on the film.

...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Connie Sawyer, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘Pineapple Express’ Actress, Dies at 105

Connie Sawyer, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘Pineapple Express’ Actress, Dies at 105
Actress Connie Sawyer passed away at age 105 over the weekend, multiple outlets report. She was the oldest working member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy.

Among Sawyer’s many roles are as James Franco’s godmother in “Pineapple Express” and as a member of one of the couples interviewed in the documentary portion of “When Harry Met Sally…

She died peacefully in Woodland Hills, California, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House, a community for retired entertainers. A representative for Sawyer did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
See full article at The Wrap »

John Cena in Talks to Star in ‘Duke Nukem’ Movie

John Cena in Talks to Star in ‘Duke Nukem’ Movie
John Cena is in talks to star in Paramount’s “Duke Nukem” movie, a big-screen version of the long-running video game franchise.

The project is set up at Paramount-based Platinum Dunes, which is operated by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller. No director or writer is attached yet.

Duke Nukem first appeared in the 1991 eponymous video game, developed by Apogee Software, as a muscular cigar-chomping man who always wears Ray-Bans and sports a flat-top haircut as he fights aliens to save planet Earth by using enormous physical strength and his expertise in firearms. He’s appeared in 19 video games as the title character, most recently in “Duke Nukem 3D: World Tour.”

Platinum Dunes franchises include “The Purge,” “Ouija,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” It’s a producer on John Krasinski’s horror movie “A Quiet Place,” opening April 6.

Cena made his name as a WWE star before starting another career as a movie actor more than
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Mighty Ducks' Television Series in Development

'The Mighty Ducks' Television Series in Development
The Mighty Ducks may take the ice again as a television series about Disney's underdog Minnesota hockey team is currently in development.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that while the live-action series is still a long way from firing knucklepucks, screenwriter Steven Brill – who penned 1992's The Mighty Ducks and the sequels D2 and D3 – and producer Jordan Kerner have concocted a new story about the ragtag youth hockey team.

As there is not yet a script for the project, it's unclear if Emilio Estevez's Gordon Bombay or any
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Lari White, Country Singer and ‘Cast Away’ Actress, Dies at 52 After Cancer Battle (Report)

Lari White, Country Singer and ‘Cast Away’ Actress, Dies at 52 After Cancer Battle (Report)
Lari White, the country singer whose hits included “Now I Know” and “That’s My Baby,” died on Tuesday following a battle with cancer, Rolling Stone reports. She was 52.

In addition to her singing career, White was also an actress whose credits included the 2000 Tom Hanks film “Cast Away” and 2004’s “No Regrets.”

White told fans of her cancer battle in November, saying that she had been diagnosed with advanced peritoneal cancer.

“Since then a series of complications including pain management, pneumonia and a bowel obstruction requiring emergency surgery has kept me in...
See full article at The Wrap »

Oscars: ‘Mudbound’s’ Rachel Morrison Makes History as First Female Cinematographer Nominee

Oscars: ‘Mudbound’s’ Rachel Morrison Makes History as First Female Cinematographer Nominee
After 90 long years, another glass ceiling has finally been broken at the Motion Picture Academy.

“Mudbound” cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history Tuesday by becoming the first female director of photography to receive an Oscar nomination. The recognition comes on the heels of a similar milestone with the American Society of Cinematographers, which nominated Morrison’s “Mudbound” work earlier this month.

“I’m glad that people are recognizing the craft of it and not making decisions based on tokenism; Rachel’s work is on the screen,” “Mudbound” director Dee Rees said on a recent episode of Variety‘s “Playback” podcast. “Go to Sandi Sissel, go to Ellen Kuras, go to Rachel Morrison — women have been making interesting images for a long time.”

Morrison won the New York Film Critics Circle’s cinematography prize in December. She was also nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award along with recognition from the Chicago and North Carolina film critics organizations.

“Mudbound” was also
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact

Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact
Starz is taking a big step in its plan to expand internationally, striking a deal with Bell Media to launch the first Starz-branded service in Canada.

Bell Media’s The Movie Network Encore is to be rebranded next year, likely with Starz in the moniker although Bell Media did not get specific. The channel will also be made available as a standalone app for streaming.

As part of the deal, Starz parent Lionsgate has also set a theatrical pay TV output deal with Bell Media covering future releases. Lionsgate’s existing movie output pact in Canada is with Entertainment One.

“We’re delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout,” said Starz president-ceo Chris Albrecht. “Bell Media is one of North America’s elite content companies, and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base, and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth
See full article at Variety - TV News »

A&E, Sundance Institute Partner on Documentary Film Grants (Exclusive)

The Sundance Institute and A&E are partnering on a new series of grants that will help documentary filmmakers develop their projects. Dubbed the “Brave Storytellers Award,” the program will give four directors $25,000 in seed funding, as well as mentorship from the staff of the Institute. The idea is to help them shape their documentaries at the earliest stages of their production.

“We want to develop the bench of documentary filmmakers,” said Molly Thompson, the founder and head of A&E IndieFilms. “These are basically fire-starter grants. They let people come in with an idea, and gives them a chance to shoot for a few days and see if they have enough to make a film.”

A&E IndieFilms is the feature documentary division of A&E Network. The channel has been very active in the space in recent years, fielding such acclaimed films as “City of Ghosts,” “Cartel Land,” “The Imposter,” and “Life Animated.” This year the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Slate Employees Vote to Unionize With Writers Guild of America, East

  • The Wrap
A majority of employees at Slate have voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East, Afl-Cio (Wgae) as their representative for bargaining, Wgae announced Tuesday. Slate’s management approved the vote, and the company is joining Vox Media, Vice, HuffPost, The Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Salon, all companies represented by Wgae. “Employees at Slate, one of the first and finest digital-native news organizations in the country, have made themselves heard, resounding in their decision to join the movement for collective bargaining across the industry,” said Wgae’s Executive Director, Lowell Peterson. “We look forward to working together to craft a contract...
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Country Music Stars React to Lari White’s Death: ‘My Heart Is Breaking’

  • The Wrap
Country Music Stars React to Lari White’s Death: ‘My Heart Is Breaking’
The country music world reacted to the news of Lari White’s Death on Tuesday, with Travis Tritt, Sawyer Brown and others sharing their thoughts on the “Now I Know” singer at age 52 following a battle with cancer. Songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, who co-penned the Faith Hill hit “The Kiss,” wrote that her “heart is breaking” at the news. “My heart is breaking as we all say goodbye to our truly bright light deep-soul sister,” wrote Chapman. Also Read: Lari White, Country Singer and 'Cast Away' Actress, Dies at 52 After Cancer Battle (Report) “I’m extremely saddened by the passing of my friend...
See full article at The Wrap »

WWE’s Enzo Amore ‘Fully and Unequivocally Denies’ Rape Accusation

Fired WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore (real name Eric Arndt) has broken his silence to “fully and unequivocally” deny Philomena Sheahan’s accusation that he raped her last year in a Phoenix, Arizona, hotel. “Over the last two days, Philomena Sheahan has made multiple public accusations against Eric Arndt (Enzo Amore with the WWE), including allegations of sexual misconduct concerning an October 2017 incident in Phoenix,” the pro wrestler’s attorney said in a statement. “Mr. Arndt fully and unequivocally denies those accusations. He is cooperating with the authorities in this matter and looks forward to having it resolved in a timely...
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Denzel Washington (‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’) earns his ninth Oscar nomination on the 30th anniversary of his first

Denzel Washington (‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’) earns his ninth Oscar nomination on the 30th anniversary of his first
Denzel Washington earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor Tuesday morning for his performance as the title legal savant in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” It’s a historic nomination for the veteran actor, and it comes at a meaningful time: it has been exactly 30 years since his very first nomination for “Cry Freedom” (1987).

Washington contended for Best Supporting Actor for that film, in which he played Steve Biko, a real-life South African anti-apartheid activist who was killed at age 30 after being held as a political prisoner. Since then the actor has racked up many more nominations, paving the way for a generation of black performers. That includes his current Oscar rival Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), who wasn’t even born yet when Washington was recognized for “Cry Freedom.”

Washington’s first Oscar victory came just two years later, Best Supporting Actor for “Glory” (1989). He was only the second black actor to claim that award,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Oscars Box Office: Can Best Picture Contenders Turn Nominations Into Big Bucks?

For A24, Fox Searchlight, and all the studios that have a film contending for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, the race is on to try and convert the new attention their movies have received into a big box office bump. “It’s time to strike while the iron is hot,” said comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “The biggest bump comes not after Oscar Sunday, but after the nominees are revealed and moviegoers head out to theaters to catch up. By the time Oscar Sunday rolls around, most films have run their course in theaters.” The films that have most to gain are...
See full article at The Wrap »
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