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Actor who played Elton John in 'Rocketman' gets Grammy nod for singing his songs

Taron Egerton as Elton John - Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- In his career, Elton John has won five Grammys and a Grammy Legend Award.  Now, the guy who played him in the biopic Rocketman has gotten his very own Grammy nomination.

Taron Egerton is nominated in the category of Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for the Rocketman soundtrack, which features his takes on Elton classics like "Your Song," "Crocodile Rock," "Bennie & the Jets" and, of course, "Rocket Man." It also features Taron's duet with Elton, "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," written by Elton and Bernie Taupin especially for the film.

"I didn't see that coming!  Bloody hell!" Taron wrote on Instagram, next to a screenshot of the nominations list.

The Rocketman soundtrack is the only album in the category credited to just one person.  Most of the other nominees -- which include the soundtracks to The Lion King, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse -- are credited to Various Artists. 

The final nominee in the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category -- the soundtrack to A Star Is Born -- is credited to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

It's worth noting that last year, Oscar-winner Rami Malek wasn't nominated for the soundtrack of Bohemian Rhapsody, because even though he played Freddie Mercury in the movie, he didn't do his own singing.

Grammy winners will be revealed on Sunday, January 26, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS.

 

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jussie Smollett countersues city of Chicago for "maliciously prosecuting him in bad faith"

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett has filed a counter lawsuit against the city of Chicago.

The lawsuit, filed by Smollett's attorneys in the Northern District of Illinois on Tuesday, claims that the city "maliciously" prosecuted Smollett "in bad faith" and filed criminal charges against him "without probable cause."

On Jan. 29, Smollett told police he was attacked near his Chicago apartment by two masked men who poured an "unknown chemical substance on him" and wrapped a rope around his neck. Police questioned two brothers in connection to the alleged attack, who told authorities Smollett allegedly paid them to help stage the crime.

Smollett was later indicted by a grand jury on 16 counts including felony disorderly conduct in relation to filing a false report. Those charges were ultimately dropped in favor of an "alternative resolution" that involved him performing community service and forfeiting the remainder of his $10,000 bond to Cook County.

Smollett's counter lawsuit was filed in response to a lawsuit the city filed against him in April, requesting $130,000 in civil penalties, damages and attorney's fees and costs arising from Smollett's "false statements."

Smollett's attorneys denied that Smollett orchestrated and planned a fake attack and admonished the police department for continuing to imply that Smollett was guilty after the charges were dropped, according to the court documents.

The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and that Smollett be awarded compensatory and punitive damages, the amount of which will be determined at trial.

A representative for the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

“The City stands by its original complaint and will continue to pursue this litigation. The judge in this case has already ruled in our favor once and we fully expect to be successful in defeating these counterclaims,” a spokesperson for the Chicago Law Department told ABC News in a statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"He was a dog like no other": See Harrison Ford, and Buck, in the first trailer for 'The Call of the Wild'

Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- A grizzled Harrison Ford plays John Thornton in the latest cinematic adaptation of Jack London's classic book, The Call of the Wild.

Ford narrates the trailer, spinning the story of Buck, a big-hearted Saint Bernard mix who's kidnapped from his blissful life in California and forced to live and work in the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

As in the book, Buck escapes his abusive captors and undertakes the adventure of a lifetime -- in this version, with the help of some digital wizardry to bring him to life.

"He was a dog like no other," says Ford's character, who comes to care for the determined dog. "He'd been spoiled, and he'd suffered -- but he could not be broken."

The Call of the Wild, which also stars Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan and Bradley Whitford, opens February 21. 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Todd Phillips developing sequel to billion-dollar-grossing 'Joker'

L-R - Phoenix, Phillips/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- The Hollywood Reporter says that Todd Phillips is working on a sequel to Joker, and Warner Bros. is looking  toward having the filmmaker develop more DC Comics-based origin stories.

While the studio has a sequel option in place for star Joaquin Phoenix, there's no news yet on his participation as yet.

The Joker sequel should come as no surprise: it's already the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time globally, with over a billion dollars gross earnings since its release, as well as the most profitable DC film ever made.

With The Batman underway with writer-director Matt Reeves, a follow-up to the blockbuster Wonder Woman from director Patty Jenkins in production, and director James Wan developing, and possibly directing a sequel to his WB hit Aquaman, it's likely Phillips will explore more DC villains, the trade speculates.

By the way, THR reports Phillips' Joker payday could be 100 million bucks.  That's because instead of taking a director's salary on the film, he chose a bigger portion of the profits, called "back end" in the industry. When your movie crosses the billion dollar mark, that "backend" means somebody's backing up the Brinks trucks for you.

Incidentally, THR also notes Phillips opted for a similar deal with The Hangover. Made for a modest budget, like Joker was, the 2009 comedy raked in $467.5 million worldwide, which also spelled a sweet payout for Phillips.  All told, the three Hangover movies grossed $1.42 billion.

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Say what? 'Harriet' screenwriter says studio exec wanted Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman

Glen Wilson/Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) -- Before Cynthia Erivo landed the coveted role in the historical drama Harriet -- based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman -- the film's screenwriter says one studio exec had the nerve, or the ignorance, to suggest Julia Roberts should portray the historical figure.

To avoid any confusion, yes, Julia Roberts is still a white woman.

In a recent Focus Features Q&A session with Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen, Allen revealed the jarring 1994 conversation which he says reflected "the climate in Hollywood" some 25 years ago.

“I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,'” Allen explained. “When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'"

Thankfully, other studio execs did know the difference, and went against casting Roberts in the role. Since that encounter, Allen says business and profitability of diverse narratives has totally changed.

“When 12 Years a Slave became a hit and did a couple hundred million dollars worldwide, I told my agent, ‘You can’t say this kind of story won’t make money now,’" Allen said. "Then Black Panther really blew the doors open."

Clearly, black Twitter wasn't having it.

"I can't believe this is real," one person tweeted.

"Serious question: how often are black actors cast to play white people? Like, did anyone think of Morgan Freeman as Mr. Rogers?," another shared.

"The worst part is I bet that white studio exec never gave it another thought until this went public yesterday," said another fan. "Now he’s sweating, and he should be."

Harriet is in theaters now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: 'Star Trek' to boldly go on with Chris Pine and crew, for 'Legion' creator Noah Hawley

Chris Pine in "Star Trek: Beyond" - Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Paramount has announced a new Star Trek movie, with Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley set to write and direct, according to Deadline

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana are also expected to return.  The film will would serve as the fourth installment of the franchise J.J. Abrams revamped in 2009. 

An earlier version, that would have reunited Pine's Captain James T. Kirk with his father, played by Chris Hemsworth, was shelved when negotiations with the two actors fell apart. 

It should be noted that the upcoming film is also separate from the R-rated "Pulp Fiction in space" Trek project to which Quentin Tarantino has been attached for two years.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Henry Cavill not ready to give up playing Superman

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Despite reports that Henry Cavill won't return as Superman in any future Warner Bros. movies, he insists his run as the Man of Steel is not over yet.

 

The cape is in the closet,” Cavill tells Men’s Health in its December cover story. “It’s still mine."

I’ve not given up the role," he continues . "There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honest of the character I wasn’t to get into."

"I want to reflect the comic books. That’s important to me," adds Cavill.  "There’s a lot of justice to be done for Superman. The status is: You’ll see.

In the issue, Cavill also recalls being turned down for the role of James Bond in 2006's Casino Royale because of his weight.

"Looking a little chubby there, Henry," Cavill recalls director Martin Campbell telling him at the audition.

"I didn’t know how to train or diet," he admits. "And I’m glad Martin said something, because I respond well to truth. It helps me get better.” And added, “It’s terrifying going into auditions. You put your hand in a dark hole and just hope that something comes out. It’s not like being fast or strong, or being good at football. Sometimes the acting is just bad.”

Cavill will next be seen in The Witcher, premiering December 21 on Netflix.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kristen Bell hilariously steals the show as she and Idina Menzel celebrate their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Walt Disney Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- With Disney's Frozen 2 skating into theaters this Friday, the actresses behind the iconic sister duo Elsa and Anna have something else to celebrate: their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, who play Elsa and Anna respectively, were honored with the Walk's 2681st and 2682nd stars on Tuesday.  However, it was Kristen's speech that might have stolen the show.

Her acceptance speech was riddled with her on brand dirty humor. "I'm so grateful to be accepting this award on these hallowed streets where Pretty Women sold her body for money.  It's really a dream," She begins before mentioning that her "husband always jokes I was born with a horseshoe up my a**" because "I am suspiciously lucky."

Bell also adorably recounted what it was like to first hear her on-screen sister sing.  

"When I heard Idina sing for the first time and I felt a newness that I'd never felt before.  Like a baby who had just experienced rain for the first time," She then turned to a chuckling Menzel and complimented slyly, "Did you know that's what it feels like when people hear you sing for the first time?  It's the truth." 

The ceremony also doubled as a mini Frozen reunion because Josh Gad, who voices the affable Olaf, was on hand to honor Menzel.  He was joined by Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer for The Walt Disney Studios.

Good Place creator Michael Schur, alongside actress Jackie Tohn, honored Bell during the ceremony.

For those excited to scope out the Walk's newest additions, you can find Menzel's and Bell's stars near Hollywood’s historic Pantages Theatre at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard, which is close to the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'The Voice' recap: Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson each lose an artist

Trae Patton/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Tuesday’s episode of The Voice, the 13 artists who performed on Monday learned that Cali Wilson, from Team Blake Shelton, and Max Boyle, from Kelly Clarkson’s team, were sent home.

Wilson and Boyle were eliminated at the end of the one-hour results show. They lost an "Instant Save" vote to Joana Martinez, from Team Gwen Stefani.

There are now 11 artists remaining in the competition.

Prior to the vote, Wilson, Boyle and Martinez sang for an opportunity to be saved by the viewers. Wilson performed “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac; Boyle covered Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”; and Martinez tackled Alicia Keys’ “Superwoman.”

The results show also featured Gwen joining her team for a group performance of Lizzo’s “Good As Hell,” and Kelly leading her team in version of The Cranberries’ “Linger.”

The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 


'Tis the AMC-eason: Network rolls out full slate of holiday classics

Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)(LOS ANGELES) -- While a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright, those in the know know that holiday movies are the perfect compliment to the Christmas season. 

With that in mind, AMC has announced that, like you on Thanksgiving, it's stuffing itself to the gills -- but with a full slate of holiday movies starting November 25.

Things kick off with an All-Day National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Marathon, starting on November 25 at 9 a.m.

That's followed by a full compliment of Claymation classics, with AMC's Rankin-Bass Christmas Weekend. Starting Saturday, November 30 at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time through Sunday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, the network is rolling out The Year Without a Santa Claus, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Jack Frost, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, "and many more."

Other holiday hits include Jon Favreau's Will Ferrell comedy, Elf, the Vince Vaughn movies Fred Claus and Four Christmases, as well as Miracle on 34th Street and the reality show the Great Christmas Light Fight.

Here's the full schedule:  

Tuesday, 11/26: Christmas with the Kranks - 5:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., Elf - 7:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 11/27: Fred Claus - 4:30 p.m., Four Christmases - 7:00 p.m., Fred Claus - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, 11/28: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - 4:30 p.m., Great Christmas Light Fight - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, 11/29: Kung Fu Panda - 5:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., The Polar Express - 7:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.

Saturday 11/30: The Year Without a Santa Claus - 5:45 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., Elf - 7:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, 12/1: 6:00 p.m. - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s
Christmas Vacation - 8:15 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 10:30 p.m.

Monday, 12/2: Planes, Trains & Automobiles - 5:00 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 7:00 p.m., Fred Claus - 9:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 11:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/3: Fred Claus - 5:30 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday, 12/4: The Polar Express - 6:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., Elf - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, 12/5: Elf - 6:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 8:00 p.m., Miracle on 34th Street - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, 12/6: Four Christmases - 6:00 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 8:00 p.m., Fred Claus - 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, 12/7: Christmas with the Kranks - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.

Sunday, 12/8: The Polar Express - 4:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., Elf - 6:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Monday, 12/9: Miracles from Heaven - 4:30 p.m., Miracle on 34th Street - 7:00 p.m., & 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/10: The Polar Express - 6:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., Elf - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 12/11: Elf - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 10:15 p.m.

Thursday 12/12: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 5:45 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 8:00 p.m., Fred Claus - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, 12/13: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - 4:30 p.m., The Polar Express - 7:00 p.m., How Murray Saved Christmas - 9:00 p.m., The Year Without a Santa Claus - 10:00 p.m., Frosty’s Winter Wonderland - 11:15 p.m.

Saturday, 12/14: The Polar Express - 5:00 p.m, Elf - 7:00 p.m & 9:00 p.m., Ice Age - 11:00 p.m

Sunday, 12/15: Mrs. Doubtfire - 4:00 p.m. & 11:30 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 7:00 p.m. & 9:15 p.m.

Monday, 12/16: Fred Claus - 5:30 p.m., Elf - 8:00 p.m., Love the Coopers - 10:05 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/17: Elf - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m, Miracle on 34th Street - 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday, 12/18: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 5:45 p.m., Elf - 8:00 p.m., Mrs. Doubtfire - 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, 12/19: Elf - 6:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 8:00 p.m., Love the Coopers - 10:00 p.m.

Friday, 12/20: Four Christmases - 6:00 p.m., Elf - 8:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, 12/21: Christmas with the Kranks - 4:00 p.m. & 10:15 p.m., Elf - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 12/22: Ernest Saves Christmas - 4:30 p.m., Fred Claus - 6:30 p.m., Four Christmases - 9:00 p.m., The Polar Express - 11:00 p.m.

Monday, 12/23: Four Christmases - 6:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 8:00 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.

Tuesday, 12/24: The Polar Express - 5:00 p.m., Elf - 7:00 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - 9:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 11:15 p.m.

Wednesday 12/25: All-Day National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation  Marathon - beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Thursday 12/26: Snow Day - 6:00 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 8:00 p.m., Four Christmases - 10:00 p.m., Christmas with the Kranks - 12:00 a.m., Four Christmases - 2:00 a.m., All I Want for Christmas - 4:00 a.m.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kimmel pokes fun of Scorsese's Marvel beef with trailer for superhero spoof 'Irish Man'

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- By now it's well known that Martin Scorsese doesn't think Marvel movies are "cinema," so in the interest of bridging the impasse between the legendary director and the blockbuster-minting studio, enter Jimmy Kimmel.

On Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the late-night host teased the "first ever collaboration" between Marvel Studios and The Irishman director, with the superhero spoof Irish Man.

The trailer supposes Robert De Niro's hit man character is given a magic ring, emblazoned with a shamrock, that lets him not only shoot powerful beams like Doctor Strange can, but also transforms him into Irish Man, a guy in a flying, green Iron Man suit, compliments of some crude CGI. 

Irish Man even gets the attention from Samuel L. Jackson, in hacked-up sequence from the first Marvel after-credits scene from 2008's Iron Man.  When Irish Man is recruited to be a part of the Avengers Initiative, De Niro's character replies, "I don't think so."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Hart to release docu-series 'Don't F**k This Up' on Netflix

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) Kevin Hart is giving fans unprecedented access to his life in the new Netflix docuseries, Don’t F**k This Up.

In an Instagram post Tuesday, Hart shared the announcement that his new personal doc would be hitting the streamer on December 27.

"I'm excited about it," he says in a video. "It's a look into my life for the past year and a half, which has been a hell of a roller coaster. Peaks, hills, valleys, ups, down. It as real, as raw, as transparent you can be. It's something that I think people need to see."

"Always looking for way to improve and progress and this documentary was one of those ways that I felt would be put in position to do just that,” he added.

According to Deadline, Hart's six-episode series will feature a close-up look at his life as he dealt with several highly-publicized hardships, including his reported affair and the 2019 Oscars-hosting controversy. It will also include interviews from his family and friends, and archival footage of his childhood.

The announcement comes after Hart's car accident on September 1, which resulted in a 10-day hospital stay and left him with serious back injuries.

Don't F**k This Up expands Hart's relationship with Netflix. This year, he released two comedy specials on the streaming giant: Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History Himself and Kevin Hart: Irresponsible.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Can they BE any more generous? Charity auction of 'Friends' props and memorabilia launching December 3

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (LOS ANGELES) -- Warner Bros. Television and Prop Store are joining forces for Giving Tuesday, putting props, costumes, and other one-of-a-kind items from Friends up for auction, for a good cause.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.

Bidding starts on Giving Day Tuesday, December 3, and runs through December 17, at PropStore.com/FRIENDS.
 
The 80 items that are up for grabs include the wood canoe and paddles owned by Matt LeBlanc's Joey Tribbiani and Matthew Perry's Chandler Bing; those are going for an estimated $4,000-$6,000.

Also hitting the block is a studio-authorized reproduction of the "Holiday Armadillo" costume worn by David Schwimmer's Ross Geller. That's estimated to go for anywhere from 10 thousand to 50 thousand bucks. 

Other items include a Hawaiian print dress worn by Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green, expected to fetch between $3,000-$5,000, and a "studio-edition authorized reproduction" of the apartment door picture frame seen throughout the series. That's estimated to fetch between two and three thousand bucks. 

Other lots are more moderately priced, including a wedding invitation for Courteney Cox's Monica and Perry's Chandler, expected to raise between $1,000-$1,500.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fox files to trademark "OK Boomer" for future show title

FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- If you have a millennial bugging you with the viral new ageism diss "OK, boomer," perhaps now you can sic the Fox TV legal department on them.

The TV network filed legal paperwork to trademark the phrase as the title of "a reality, comedy and/or game show." This news comes from a tweet by copyright lawyer Josh Gerben.

According to the attorney, "Prior to registration, Fox would have to 'prove use' of the trademark by showing it had broadcast at least 2 episodes of the show."

The "OK, boomer" meme originated on TikTok and since has launched a thousand memes, and has also been used by brands including Netflix and Planters peanuts. 

Elements of 20th Century Fox are owned by ABC News parent company Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


A Moment Like This - 'The Kelly Clarkson Show' renewed for second season

NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Kelly Clarkson's daytime chat show will be back for season two.

NBC has announced the syndicated talk show has been renewed through the 2020-21 season. "The Kelly Clarkson Show is connecting with viewers in a unique way and we are so happy to build on that momentum, bringing Kelly’s brand of humor, heart, and, of course, the incredible 'Kellyoke,' to stations for a second season," says Tracie Wilson, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs for NBCUniversal Television Distribution.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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