Entertainment

'Willow' TV series announced at Disney+ from 'Crazy Rich Asians' director Jon M. Chu

Lucasfilm(LOS ANGELES) -- The 1988 fantasy film Willow is getting the TV series treatment at Disney , with Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu directing.

The Oscar-nominated movie, based on a story from Star Wars creator George Lucas, starred Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, a farmer who sets out on a mission to protect a prophecy-fulfilling baby from an evil queen.

Ron Howard, who directed the original film, returns as executive producer for the series alongside Chu and Bob Dolman, who wrote the original film's screenplay and returns as a consulting producer. Davis also returns to star in the series.

"Growing up in the '80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me," Chu said in a press release. "The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic."

Chu, who directed Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, added that getting to work with the likes of Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, and Howard is "bigger than a dream come true" and called it a "bucket-list moment."

"[Showrunners] Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can't wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us," Chu concluded.

Howard clarified that this series "isn't a nostalgic throwback, it's a creative lean-forward" while Kennedy added that it will take what fans know and love about the original film "into new and exciting directions."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Carson Blackwelder
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Charlize Theron and Gabrielle Union honor Regina King for "changing the world" with her "once-in-a-lifetime talent"

ABC/ Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress and director Regina King was among the many astonishing women honored during the 2020 Glamour Women of the Year awards, which this year took place virtually, and is now available to view on YouTube.

Fellow actress Charlize Theron praised King for "changing the world" with her standout roles in Hollywood. 

"She knows who she is and it comes through in her work," Theron said in the film. "The change brought to so many stories, but especially to those stories we don’t hear too often -- the stories of Black women. I’m so proud to know that I get to share those stories with my girls one day."

"Regina, I am just so happy for you," added Theron. "You’re changing the world. I hope you know that."

Actress Holly Robinson Peete said it "didn't shock" her "at all" when King became the first African-American woman director to have an entry at the Venice Film Festival for her directorial feature film debut, One Night in Miami.

"She's carved out her own path in this industry and used her platform to demand more representation for women of color and women in general," said Peete.

Out of King's many television and film roles, Gabrielle Union recalled being impacted by King's role in the popular '80s sitcom 277 during her teenage years. 

"For me, the [role] that stands out the most was the one I needed the most, which was 227,” Union said. "Just playing a normal Black teenager when there weren’t normal Black teenagers on TV."

"She is a once-in-a-lifetime talent," added Union.

King appeared in the video to discuss her transition from actress to the director's seat, which she said was fueled by her desire to "work with the entire crew on a much deeper level."

But, King said, her "journey is just beginning."

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rumer Willis reveals she lost her virginity to a man that "took advantage" of her

D Dipasupil/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Rumer Willis is hoping that, by sharing how she lost her virginity, she will help more women make more informed decisions and not succumb to pressure.

Appearing on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith on Tuesday, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alum opened up about losing her virginity when she was a teenager.

"When I lost my virginity when I was 18, I was more concerned with the shame that I was feeling at not having done it," Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis admitted.  

Because of the shame she felt, the 32-year-old admitted that she that she allowed an "older" man to take her virginity, but declined to name anyone.

"I was not abused or it wasn’t rape, but I didn’t say yes.  I wasn't gung ho about it," Willis furthered, adding that she "also didn’t say no. I just let it happen."

The actress then brought up consent, saying that it the man had a "responsibility" to ensure that she was comfortable.

But, because her partner at the time "didn’t check-in" with her, Willis believes the man simply "took advantage" of her.

"No means no, but what if you can’t say no," she concluded.

The interview was filmed pre-pandemic.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Dominic West in talks to play Prince Charles on final seasons of 'The Crown'

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar/Hearst UK(LOS ANGELES) -- The Crown may have found its final Prince Charles.

Variety reports Dominic West is in talks to take on the royal role in seasons five and six of the Netflix drama. He’ll take over the role previously played by Josh O’Connor.

Elizabeth Debicki has already been cast as Princess Diana for The Crown’s final two seasons.

West has previously starred on shows like The Wire and The Affair. He’s been in the headlines recently after photos were snapped of him getting cozy with his The Pursuit of Love co-star Lily James.

After rumors of an affair swirled, West and his wife of 10 years, Catherine FitzGerald, put on a united front for photographers last week, saying their marriage “is strong” and they are still “very much together.”

Season four of The Crown debuts on Netflix November 15.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Melissa Benoist is absolutely in love with being a mom

Phillip Chin/Getty Images for Warner Brothers Television(LOS ANGELES) -- After welcoming her first child last month, actress Melissa Benoist adorably opened up about being a first time mom and how much she adores motherhood.

Speaking to California Congresswoman Karen Bass via Instagram Live over the weekend, the Supergirl star gushed about her newborn son, Huxley Wood.

"He’s the best," Benoist cooed. "I am loving being a parent. I love being a mom. He’s such a sweetheart!"

While the 32-year-old admits that her son brings her joy each day, she does admit that she does get choked up from time to time.

"He’s already so big and every day I’m, like, crying because he’s gained half an ounce," laughed Benoist. 

Despite that her son is growing like a weed, the Glee alum proudly announced that she has found the perfect Halloween outfit for her little one.

Proudly declaring she found a "cute Halloween onesie," Benoist admitted to Bass that her son’s first Halloween is a little bittersweet.

Not only will she not be able to show off her son's adorable getup in person to friends and family, Benoist sighed that "It’s a bummer we’re not gonna get any trick-or-treaters."

Despite the letdown, Benoist affirmed that "it’s for a good reason" that children are changing their Halloween traditions this year in order to keep their family and loved ones safe from possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Benoist welcomed Huxley alongside husband and fellow Supergirl costar Chris Wood last month.  The two shared the announcement of their son's birth a few weeks after his arrival, with the actress gushing on September 25, "This little boy is everything."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"It was a disaster": Emma Roberts on her mom accidentally revealing her pregnancy

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night, Emma Roberts revealed her reaction to her mom accidentally revealing her pregnancy.

Roberts says she was trying to keep her pregnancy “low-key,” but her mom, Kelly Cunningham, spilled the beans while responding to fans’ comments on Instagram.

"It was a disaster," Roberts said. "And I found it all out on a plane. So, I couldn't get to her. Like, I couldn't call her or attack her. I could just iMessage with her and DM her and ask her to please stop."

When Roberts called her out, her mom couldn’t understand why she was so upset.

"When I said to her, 'Mom, you revealed my pregnancy,' she goes, 'Emma, you announced it,'" the American Horror Story actress said. "I said, 'No, I didn't. That was a tabloid.' She's like, 'Oh, that wasn't clear.'"

Roberts says afterward that she and her mom “kind of laughed” about it and “kind got into a fight,” with Roberts actually blocking her mom on Instagram at one point.

“It's been an Instagram war with my mother that I never saw coming,” she said. “It's a good story to tell the baby."

Roberts is expecting a baby boy with boyfriend Garrett Hedlund.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Dawson’s Creek' is heading to Netflix -- minus its iconic theme song

Columbia/TriStar International Television(LOS ANGELES) -- The beloved teen drama Dawson's Creek is all set to make its Netflix debut in November, but not with its familiar theme song.

"Dawson's Creek -- one of television's most beloved coming-of-age stories -- is coming to Netflix in The US on November 1," Netflix announced in a tweet on Monday, adding, "and before you ask, the episodes won't have the original theme song (sorry)."

Paula Cole's hit "I Don't Want to Wait," served as the show's theme song for its entire six season run, but replaced the home video and streaming release with Canadian musician Jann Arden’s “Run Like Mad” due to rights issues.

As Dawson's executive producer, Paul Stupin, told the Huffington Post around the time of the show's streaming debut in 2012, it was done as cost-saving measure

When Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first two seasons of Dawson’s Creek on DVD in 2003, it paid Paula Cole a fee for the song.  However, Stupin explained that Sony, disappointed with the sales from those first two seasons, cut the DVD budget for the remaining four seasons. Securing additional licenses for recorded music was among the first things to go

Cole, in a separate Huffpost essay, wrote, “Everyone keeps asking me, ‘Why won’t you let them have the song?' Of course I would consider it! I’m right here! Come talk to me, Sony. Let’s negotiate! I’m an independent artist open for business! But I won’t give my music for free and I don’t think any artist should give their music for free unless it’s helping out another independent artist -- and then you renegotiate once the project is successful."

Added Cole, "I think giving one’s art for free to giant corporations hurts artists and musicians and society across the board.”

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Courteney Cox says she and fiancé Johnny McDaid haven't seen each other March

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- COVID-19 has strained many facets of people's lives, including relationships.  For actress Courteney Cox, she says the pandemic challenged her and fiancé Johnny McDaid because they haven't seen each other in over 200 days.

The Friends alum appeared on the Vinyl Supper podcast Monday, where she revealed to host Foy Vance that she and McDaid have been living on two separate continents for over half a year.

"I haven't seen John in that many days, he left when the country shut down, or at least when California did," Cox explained.  

McDaid is a singer from Northern Ireland and, unfortunately, couldn't return to the U.S. before international travel was restricted.

Cox admitted that it took some time adjusting to lockdown, detailing, "At first I was like, 'Wow what do I do with myself,'" before channeling her creativity in the kitchen.

"I cook every day, I’ve learned to cook so much more," the actress smiled.  "I’ve perfected it."

Still, things have never sat quite right with the Cougar Town alum because she's missing such an important person in her life.

Cox also dove into her current living arrangement, adding that she's been hunkering down with her daughter Coco and two other friends.

"They were gonna quarantine with me, which is great because if I can't be with John," the actress expressed, adding, "I don't want to just be by myself with Coco. I'm a little chicken!"

Still, that doesn't mean the actress isn't taking the pandemic seriously and opened up about her friend's harrowing battle with the coronavirus, which nearly killed him.

Thankfully, he completely recovered.

"That was one of the scariest things. I wouldn't even understand COVID-19 had it not been right here," Cox admitted of her friend Kevin, adding that watching him fight for his life "was scary."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reese Witherspoon announces 'Legally Blonde' reunion

Tracy Bennett/MGM Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Hope you've been practicing your bend and snap because the cast of Legally Blonde is back. 

On Monday, Reese Witherspoon, who played the lead role of Elle Woods in the rom-com, announced that the cast is reuniting "for old times sake."

"You guys!! It’s a Legally Blonde Reunion," she tweeted along with a teaser clip. "We laughed, we cried and we may or may not have done the bend & snap for old times sake!"

"PS: Don’t you want to see if Elle & Warner finally make up?" she added. 

The reunion promo shows Witherspoon and her former co-stars Luke Wilson, Holland Taylor, Jennifer Coolidge, Selma Blair, Ali Larter, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach, laughing in a video group chat as flashes of scenes from the movie pan across the screen. 

Legally Blonde follows sorority girl Elle Woods as she tries to win back her ex-boyfriend by pursuing a degree from Harvard Law School. In the process, she overcomes many stereotypes about blondes and emerges as a successful lawyer. 

The film was released almost two decades ago in 2001, with the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, following in 2003. And, as of this year, a third installment penned by Mindy Kaling is in the works.

The Legally Blonde reunion special airs tonight at 6:15 ET on Hello Sunshine's YouTube page.

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

You guys!! It’s a Legally Blonde Reunion. 🎀 We laughed, we cried and we may or may not have done the bend & snap for old times sake! 💅🏽 Join me and the #LegallyBlonde cast tomorrow on the @hellosunshine YouTube channel! PS: Don’t you want to see if Elle & Warner finally make up? pic.twitter.com/dNsHg0F5Nl

— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) October 19, 2020

Robert Redford’s son dies of cancer at age 58

Jeremy Montemagni/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- James Redford, the son of actor Robert Redford, died on Friday at the age of 58.

James’ wife, Kyle, shared the news Friday on Twitter, along with a montage of photos of her husband and their family.

“James died today. We’re heartbroken," she wrote.  "He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. As his wife of 32 yrs, I’m most grateful for the two spectacular children we raised together.”

“I don’t know what we would’ve done w/o them over the past 2 yrs,” she added.

Kyle told The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday that James died from bile-duct cancer in his liver.  The disease had returned two years ago and that the cancer was discovered last November while he was awaiting a liver transplant.

James, a filmmaker and activist, received two liver transplants in 1993.

Following the surgeries, he founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, a nonprofit that aims to educate on the importance organ and tissue donation.

Robert Redford's rep, Cindi Berger, tells People the actor "is mourning with his family during this difficult time and asks for privacy."

"The grief is immeasurable with the loss of a child," Berger adds. "Jamie was a loving son, husband and father. His legacy lives on through his children, art, filmmaking and devoted passion to conservation and the environment."

In 2005, James and his father founded The Redford Center, a non-profit focusing on producing films and providing grants to filmmakers who direct films dealing with the environment and provide solutions to climate change.

James was Robert’s third child with his ex-wife Lola Van Wagenen.  They had four children together -- Scott, who died just two months after birth in 1959 from sudden infant death syndrome; daughter Shauna, 59, James, and Amy, who'll turn 50 on Thursday.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Carole Baskin comes out as bisexual

ABC/Frank Ockenfels(LOS ANGELES) -- Former Dancing with the Stars contestant and Tiger King star Carole Baskin opened up about her sexuality on Monday.

Speaking to Pink News, the Big Cat Rescue owner revealed that she is bisexual and admitted that she's been holding onto that secret for over 30 years.

"I have always considered myself to be bisexual, even though I've never had a wife. I could just as easily have a wife as a husband, as far as the way I feel about us," Baskin revealed.  "I just don't see us as being different genders or different colors or different anything."

The 59-year-old Netflix personality added that she felt conflicted about her sexuality and gender when she was a child, noting that she was a proud tomboy.

"I was always very male-oriented in the things I did," Baskin remarked. "I never had any mothering instincts or anything, you know, I never played with dolls. And so I always thought that there was something off there, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on."

The big cat activist also slammed her arch nemesis Joe Exotic, who is openly gay, in the interview and attested her contempt for him isn't related to his or her sexual orientation.

"This man is just a deviant in the way he treats human life and animal life," she noted.  "I think he's an embarrassment to the human community."

Later in the interview, Baskin revealed that she was shocked by how she was portrayed in Tiger King, adding that her phone "started ringing... every two minutes for three months straight with people screaming at me how much they hated me."

Despite that Baskin says she remains committed to saving wild tigers because they are facing extinction.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Zendaya announces 2 new episodes of 'Euphoria'

Eddy Chen/HBO (LOS ANGELES) -- Christmas came early for Euphoria fans. 

On Monday, it was announced that the HBO series would release two new episodes of the successful series and Zendaya, who recently won the Emmy for Best Actress for her titular role as Rue in the teen drama, shared the exciting news with her followers on social media. 

"We really missed them," she wrote. "Two special Euphoria episodes coming soon. First one December 6th on @hbo."

The two episodes will act as a bridge between the Season 1, which ended in August 2019, and Season 2, which has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The first of the new episodes, titled "Trouble Don't Always Last," follows Rue as she celebrates Christmas in the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and relapsing. The second has yet to receive an airdate.

The special Euphoria episode airs on HBO on December 6 at 9 p.m. ET and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jeff Bridges has been diagnosed with cancer

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor Jeff Bridges announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

In two separate announcements via his official Twitter, The Big Lebowski actor didn't mince words about the seriousness of his diagnosis, but assured fans that they shouldn't feel alarmed.  

"As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light," Bridges, 70, started with a nod to one of his signature characters.  "I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma."

The Academy Award winner remained in good spirits despite the shocking news, telling concerned followers, "Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good."

Bridges confirmed that he started treatment immediately and he will "keep you posted on my recovery."

In a follow-up tweet, the Crazy Heart star extended his sincerest gratitude to all who have reached out and rallied around him.

"I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes," Bridges nodded.

However, instead of continuing the focus on his upcoming health battle, the actor instead turned his attention toward something he finds equally as important -- the upcoming election.

"While I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together," he closed before linking the official vote.org website to help ensure as many people as possible participate in the November 3 election.

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the body's immune system by growing in lymphocytes, which are cells that fight infections.  Mayo Clinic reports that lymphocytes are most commonly found in the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Dancing with the Stars' season 29 recap: Vernon Davis sent home while four tie in first place

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- With both the pressure and emotions running high on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars, it was a fight to the finish to make it into this season's top ten.  Unfortunately for football star Vernon Davis, who gave his all for his Cha Cha and again showcased his vast improvement over last week, he was sent home.

Vernon found himself sent to the bottom two with Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who was coming off from last week's highest score of the season -- 29/30.  All three judges expressed frustration that they had to choose between the two and Judge Bruno Tonioli had the toughest decision of all because he had to act as the night's tie-breaking vote.  He ultimately chose to keep Weir.

As for who topped the scoreboard, dancers brought their A game Monday night because of the narrowing competition, which resulted with the season's first four-way tie at the top. 

One Day at a Time star Justina Machado, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and Cheer's head coach Monica Aldama all dazzled the judges and earned the night's high score, a 27 out of 30.

Machado's beautiful and empowering Viennese Waltz to Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman" served as a message to women everywhere to embrace their body and live their life.  The judges were impressed to see a newer, gentler side side of the bold dancer and commended her reliability to always give 110% on the ballroom floor.

McLean, who dedicated his Samba to pro dance partner Cheryl Burke, delighted the judges with his sexy and breezy routine to J Balvin's "Mi Gente" while Aldama's triumphant rumba to Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" earned high praise from the judges' table and, also, her highest score of the season.

Bristowe, who struggled to learn the Samba during rehearsals, earned valuable critique from the judges about the areas she needs to improve after finishing her spicy routine to Justin Bieber's "Sorry."  Her hard work paid off in the end, allowing her to also collect straight nines.

Another breakout dance came from Catfish host Nev Shulman, who was just one point shy of joining the four way tie at the top.  His expressive and vivacious jazz routine to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations" was decidedly the most entertaining dance of the night.

As for the night's most emotional moments, The Real host Jeannie Mai and Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause both tugged at the heartstrings when opening up about their families. 

Mai recounted the harrowing tale of her grandparents fleeing post-war Vietnam with their children to start a new life in America while Stause revealed that she lost both of her parents to cancer in the span of the year.

While the two executed phenomenal dances, they both fought through tears on the ballroom floor.

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday to celebrate all things spooky and Halloween, October 26, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Here are the current standings:

First Place: (tie)
Justina Machado, One Day at a Time star, with Sasha Farber -- 27/30
AJ McLean, member of Backstreet Boys, with Cheryl Burke -- 27/30
Monica Aldama, head coach on Netflix's CHEER, with Val Chmerkovskiy -- 27/30
Kaitlyn Bristowe, former star of The Bachelorette, with Artem Chigvintsev -- 27/20

Nev Schulman, host of Catfish, with Jenna Johnson -- 26/30
Jeannie Mai, host of The Real, with Brandon Armstrong  -- 25/30
Nelly, Grammy Award-winning rapper, with Daniella Karagach -- 24/30
Chrishell Stause, Netflix's Selling Sunset star, with Gleb Savchenko -- 24/30
Johnny Weir, Olympic figure skater, with Britt Stewart -- 22/30

Lowest score:
Skai Jackson, Disney Channel star, with Alan Bersten -- 18/30

 

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Viola Davis discusses the challenge of becoming 'Ma Rainey' and the gift of working with Chadwick Boseman

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Viola Davis says she took on a role she "didn't think [she] could play" when she transformed into the buxom, outspoken Blues singer Ma, in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

In a preview event for the upcoming Netflix film, Davis says she decided to play the titular character because of its immense challenge.

"I didn't see myself as that age, that character, there's just a lot of things I didn't see myself as," Davis, 55, said, noting that she actually "sees [herself] as 28."

"It's like I stopped at the age that I actually saw the play, until I realized, 'Viola, now you are that age,'" she laughs.

Set in the 1920s, the film, based on August Wilson's 1984 stage production, centers on Ma, a legendary Blues singer who struggles with her white agent and producer over control of her music amid racial tensions in the music industry. It also follows Chadwick Boseman's character of Levee, an ambitious trumpet player in Ma's band.

"Well, not to compete with Chadwick's mother, but Chadwick is my baby," Davis says of the late actor, adding that she also played his mother in the James Brown biopic Get Up.

"Chadwick was just an artist," Davis continued. "That's just who he was. I don't know if people know the exact impact of that statement."

According to Davis, Chadwick was a pleasure to watch on set because he knew the importance of both "demanding" respect as a talent, while making sure to show up as a skilled and prepared actor.

"For someone so young, it was incredible to watch," Davis said. "That level of not mistaking your presence for the event. That's what [it was like] working with Chadwick all the time. The beauty of it."

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom launches December 18 on Netflix.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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