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In brief: 'Top Gun: Maverick' returning to theaters, 'Tell Me Lies' gets a season 2, and more

ABC Audio has confirmed that the year's biggest movie, Top Gun: Maverick, will return to theaters for a special engagement, starting December 2, and running through December 15. The movie, which has already grossed nearly $1.5 billion, and boasts a 99% fan score on Rotten Tomatoes, comes to streaming for free for  Paramount+ subscribers on December 22...

Hulu has announced its romantic drama Tell Me Lies will be back for season 2. The series stars Grace Van Patten and Jackson White as college students whose on campus relationship leads to, "an addictive entanglement that will permanently alter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them." The series, which also stars Catherine Missal, Spencer House, Sonia Mena, and Branden Cook, just wrapped up its 10-episode freshman season last month...

In a reversal of a widely-criticized decision from last year's ceremony, Variety reports that this year's Oscars telecast will see all 23 categories announced on air. Last year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences sought to streamline the broadcast by eliminating the categories of makeup and hairstyling, original score, film editing, documentary short, production design, animated short, live action short and sound from the televised show. Jimmy Kimmel returns as host for the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023, live on ABC from Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Step into the fantastical world of 'Willow' on Disney+ today

Courtesy of Disney+

CIt’s time to re-enter the fantastical world of Willow. The late 80s George Lucas/Ron Howard fantasy film is reborn as a series, launching today on Disney+. It stars Ruby Cruz and Dempsey Bryk, who play the children of Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley’s characters from the film.

So, what's it about? Cruz tells ABC Audio the series is about a quest that begins when her brother is kidnapped.

"I lead a quest to go find him," she explains. "We are definite ragtag team of misfits who have no idea what's coming because we're sort of embarking into the unknown... And I have all the false confidence in the world that I can find it and I'm faced with harsh realities."

While Cruz didn't know much about the movie before getting the role, she's now "seen it a million times."

"It's so special and full of heart and just such a unique sort of, they take fantasy to a whole different, I don't know, like it's very contemporary as well as very fantastical," she says. 

Jon Kasdan, son of Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan, created the show and shares that one of his main goals was to keep the things that made the movie great, which he attributes to a "combination of real humor and looseness with things that were genuinely scary and threatening."

Pair that legacy with the fact that Willow came from the mind of George Lucas and he's not worried about being overshadowed by other fantasy series.

"The truth is that George’s world is so unique, so specific to George and what he's created, that it's almost a genre unto itself. And I really feel like we're working in the Lucasverse more than we're working in any kind of fantasy universe that's been seen before," he says.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Wednesday' breaks 'Stranger Things'' debut week record for Netflix

Netflix/Matthias Clamer

Netflix has another hit show on its hands: Wednesday, the Addams Family-adjacent series starring Jenna Ortega in the title role, managed to break the streaming service's record previously set during the debut of the fourth season of Stranger Things.

The Tim Burton-directed series, which also stars Gwendoline Christie, Luis Guzmán and Catherine Zeta-Jones, debuted in the #1 spot on the streamer's English-language TV chart with 341.23M hours viewed from November 21-27.

By comparison, Stranger Things Season 4 debut week scored 335.01 million hours during its debut week of May 30-June 5.

Netflix says more than 50 million households have checked out Wednesday and notes the series was #1 in 83 countries -- tied with Stranger Things' fourth season.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Baz Luhrmann wants to release a concert cut of 'Elvis'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Fans of Baz Luhrmann’s movie Elvis may one day have more of it to love. The director tells Indiewire that he hopes to release a concert cut featuring all the musical performances star Austin Butler shot for the film.

“It’s a directors’ assembly. It’s not a cut,” he says. “There’s a whole lot of material that adds up to four hours, but I have gone on record now to say not today, not tomorrow, but at some point I would do [it].”

Luhrmann says Austin shot full concerts for the film noting, “it was an out of body experience to watch him do those full concerts, so one day I will cut those full concerts together.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Keke Palmer, Steve Martin and Martin Short, and Austin Butler hosting 'SNL' in December

Hulu/Craig Blankenhorn

Saturday Night Live has announced its first hosts and musical guests for the month of December.

It had previously been announced that Nope star Keke Palmer would kick things off on December 3 with returning musical guest SZA.

However, December 10th's show will see two former SNL legends returning as co-hosts to Studio 8H: Only Murders in the Building co-stars Steve Martin and Martin Short. The musical guest for that show will be Brandi Carlile, also making her second appearance.

The final show of the year will be on December 17, with Elvis lead Austin Butler as guest host and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs making their second appearance as musical guest.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hugh Jackman reveals the moment he wanted to return as Wolverine in 'Deadpool 3'

Noam Galai/Getty Images for Netflix

Fans are still reeling at the fact that they'll finally see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine opposite Hugh's real-life pal Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool in the upcoming third adventure of the snarky mercenary.

In a chat with Deadline, Jackman recalls the moment he decided to finally pick the claws back up following his 2017 Oscar-nominated swansong Logan.

Jackman recalls, "Well, I was 20 minutes into watching Deadpool and I had just announced, literally, a few weeks before that Logan was going to be my last, which I fully intended. And then I was like, 'Uh-oh.'"

Hugh explains some of his decision may have stemmed from a "hangover" from his intense character Florian in the acclaimed drama The Son. The Tony winner explains, "I was just driving out to the beach. It was mid-August, I first week off in eight, nine months, 10 months [from The Music Man on Broadway]. And it came to me like, 'I really want to do that.' And that was it."

He adds, "As soon as I arrived at the beach, I rang Ryan just to see what the hell was going on. And then here we are. It was so quick."

Jackman jests, "And trust me, there's not a morning I don't wake up where Ryan Reynolds is outside my house with posters saying, 'Please.' He's constantly asking me about it. And I was like, 'Dude, I'm done. I'm done, I'm done, I'm done, I'm done, I'm done.'"

"So then when he rang me [back], he was like, 'Are you serious?'...," Jackman adds, "I'm a terrible poker player. All this time I was saying I was done, I really meant it. But...somewhere deep down, this idea was obviously lurking and brewing."

Deadpool 3, both heroes' first foray into the MCU, hits theaters November 8, 2024.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Adam Sandler reads his daughters' speech for his Lifetime Achievement honor at the Gotham Awards

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Gotham Film & Media Institute

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Adam Sandler was on hand in New York City at the annual Gotham Awards Monday night, but his teen daughters Sadie and Sunny were not. Yet they managed to bring the house down nonetheless.

Sandler explained they wrote his acceptance speech for one of the night's two Performer Tribute Awards and dictated he must perform it in the "goofy Southern accent" he "always" does.

Addressing the "well-dressed dignitaries, highly educated hipsters and various other plus-ones of the Gotham Awards," the pair explained, "while daddy is with you tonight, we're doing everything we're not allowed to do when daddy is home, like...laugh out loud at Ben Stiller movies."

Sandler then said, "The last time daddy caught us chuckling away at the Meet the Parents trilogy, he immediately stormed into the room he calls 'The Screaming Room,' which we just call 'the shower,' and bellowed out the phrase, 'Only the Sandman makes people laugh. F*** every other comedian.'"

The speech continued, with Sandler cracking up as he read it, "It means a lot to him seeing that most of the awards on his trophy shelf are shaped like popcorn buckets, blimps, or fake mini-Oscars that say 'Father of the Year', which he sadly purchased himself while wandering in a self-pitying fog through the head shops of Times Square."

The pair looked back at his career, explaining it was "formed by two guiding principles: people in prison need movies too and TBS needs content to show between all them f***ing basketball games."

They also said Sandler refers to 1999's Big Daddy as "the movie that paid for this f***ing house and your grandma's house and your other f***ing grandma's house, Rob Schneider's f***ing house, and your braces, and Rob Schneider's f***ng braces."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Fans turn 'Andor' into a '70s show


With the just-wrapped Disney+ series Andor getting some of the best press since The Mandalorian, it's no surprise it is already getting some spoofy love.

The comedy group Auralnauts have posted a take on the series as if it aired on TV during the 1970s. "Before there was hope in the galaxy, there was Andor," a dramatic, Knight Rider-like intro begins, leading into typically period-cheesy music and title effects overlaying the show's action.

As its creators describe, "It's 1975. A New Hope won't be released for another two years, and George Lucas is mostly known as the American Graffiti guy. You just finished watching the latest episode of Barney Miller. And now, we bring you tonight's TV movie premiere. Get ready to travel to a far away galaxy that existed a long, long time ago. It's the science fiction spectacular...ANDOR. Every Thursday night, only on ABC."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Will Smith addresses Oscars slap in first late-night TV interview, talks 'Emancipation'

Comedy Central/Matt Wilson

Will Smith appeared on late-night television Monday for the first time since he infamously slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in March.

Speaking on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah about the on-stage altercation, which overshadowed his first Oscars win, Smith said he was in a daze upon returning to his seat. He said a frank conversation with his 9-year-old nephew brought a moment of clarity.

"He had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will, you know, and we are sitting in my kitchen and he is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, 'Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?'" Smith recalled to Noah.

Smith jokingly said it was as if his nephew was trying to "Oprah me" in that moment.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air veteran said he blew up that night because "a rage that had been bottled up for a really long time" finally came out, but he said he understands the pain he caused by letting it out.

After immense backlash, Smith resigned from the Academy, which later banned him from all events for the next decade. He has apologized to Rock, the Academy, his family and his fans numerous times as well.

As for what he learned from all of this, Smith said it's "that we just got to be nice to each other, man."

Smith is promoting his new film, the slave drama Emancipation, ahead of its release in early December.

As reported, in a chat with Entertainment Weekly, Smith feared that his actions could hurt the reaction to the Antoine Fuqua-directed film -- which ironically was once seen as an Oscar vehicle for the star.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nicole Kidman stuns Hugh Jackman, 'The Music Man' cast, with record $100K bid for his signed hat


Hugh Jackman auctioned off his signed Harold Hill hat for charity during The Music Man on Saturday night, but was stunned to see longtime friend Nicole Kidman standing tall as the highest bidder.

The audience at the Winter Garden Theatre erupted in shock and delight as Kidman announced a $100,000 bid to support Broadway Cares.

"I just want to be clear, this is not Australian dollars," Jackman joked.

The $100,000 bid translates to nearly $150K Australian dollars at current conversion rates.

After she strolled down the aisle to hug Jackman at the edge of the stage, he placed the straw hat on her head and she borrowed the auctioneer's microphone to share a message.

"I love you. I love Broadway. And I love what they do at Broadway Cares," she said, blowing kisses to the rest of the company on stage.

Jackman also took to Twitter after the performance to share a video of the big moment that left him "speechless."

Kidman's bid kicked off the final week of Red Bucket Fall fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit that raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the country.

"Broadway Cares is blessed with friends across Broadway. We have no greater champion than Hugh Jackman. This extraordinary gift from his pal Nicole is by far the largest donation for any one auction item ever," the organization wrote in an Instagram post with a video of the special moment.

According to the organization, Kidman's donation will cover 20,000 meals and 2,000 doctor visits this holiday season for those living with HIV/AIDS, struggling with COVID-19 or facing other life-threatening challenges.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In Brief: James Gunn on Warner Bros. Discovery's superhero plans, and more

In a tweeted replay to a follower, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise writer-director James Gunn confirmed he's "most definitely" going to be unifying the DC Comics bench, along with his Peacemaker producer Peter Safran, in their new jobs as caretakers of Warner Bros. Discovery's superhero properties. He even dropped an apparently official new name for the unified effort, the DCU -- as opposed to Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe known as the MCU. "[T]he DCU will be connected across film and TV (and animation)," according to the filmmaker.

Peacock has announced that Billy Eichner's gay rom-com Bros will begin streaming exclusively on the platform starting December 2, 2022. The comedy features an entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast, including Luke Macfarlane, Ts Madison, and Monica Raymund...

The Wrap has added Lena Dunham, Claire Foy, Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough to its annual WrapWomen's 2022 Power Women Summit. The event on December 14 in Santa Monica, California, is billed as "the largest annual gathering of women in media and entertainment." It will feature Doctor Strange sequel star Xochitl Gomez and The Edge of Seventeen's Haley Lu Richardson among other "changemakers" in the industry...

A very Grinch-like green creature is here to scare Christmas like never before in the new trailer to The Mean One. The horror spoof movie stars David Howard Thornton as the titular character, who haunts the town of Newville with a murder spree 20 years prior. However, when Krystle Martin's Cindy You-Know-Who returns to find closure for the killing of her parents when she was just a child, she finds the green one hasn't put his hatred for Christmas -- or his murderous ways - behind him. The movie opens December 9...

Clarence Gilyard Jr., the character actor who played the tech-talented terrorist Theo in Die Hard, and rode alongside Chuck Norris as Jimmy Trivette in Walker, Texas Ranger, has died. Variety reports the actor, who was an associate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was 66. Gilyard made numerous appearances as a regular on Matlock, and also rode behind Tom Cruise as Sundowner in the original Top Gun...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Brittany and Patrick Mahomes welcome baby no. 2

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Verizon

Brittany and Patrick Mahomes have welcomed their second child!

In a joint Instagram post shared Monday evening, the pair announced that they've welcomed a baby boy into their family, sharing a snapshot of their newborn from the chest down, in a brown and white onesie atop a blanket branded with "mahomes" all over it. 

"Patrick 'Bronze' Lavon Mahomes III," they captioned the post. "11/28/22 7lbs 8 oz."

Brittany and Patrick, both 27, began dating in 2011 and wed in March 2022. They are also parents to 21-month-old daughter Sterling.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Helena Bonham Carter speaks on "vindicated" Johnny Depp and rails against "witch hunt" of cancel culture

Bonham Carter and Depp in 2005 -- John Shearer/WireImage

Helena Bonham Carter is famous for speaking her mind and did so in a new interview with The Sunday Times. The former star of The Crown, who also starred in movies including Sweeney Todd with frequent collaborator Johnny Depp, vented to the publication about cancel culture.

"You can't ban people," the English actress stated. "I hate cancel culture. It has become quite hysterical and there’s a kind of witch-hunt and a lack of understanding."

She mentioned Depp has "been through it," adding that the godfather to her three children has been "completely vindicated" by his defamation victory against Amber Heard, who a jury decided falsely accused him of physical and sexual abuse in a Washington Post op-ed.

A U.K. court decreed Heard's accusations had merit in a previous case. That said, Bonham Carter noted of the Aquaman actress, "My view is that she got on that [#MeToo] pendulum. That's the problem with these things — that people will jump on the bandwagon because it's the trend and to be the poster girl for it."

The cancel culture situation also involved J.K. Rowling; Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in the filmed adaptations of the author's Harry Potter books. While the actress' Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson joined the online fray against Rowling over comments that some saw as "transphobic," Bonham Carter says the accusations against Rowling were "horrendous, a load of bollocks."

Carter says of Rowling, "I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She's allowed her opinion, particularly if she's suffered abuse..."

She expressed of her younger co-stars' comments, "I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation..."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Will Smith hopes his Oscars slap won't "penalize" everyone who worked on 'Emancipation'

Apple TV+

The slave drama Emancipation was thought to be an Oscar vehicle for Will Smith -- that is, until that infamous Academy Awards slap of Chris Rock, and the subsequent decade-long Academy ban for the King Richard Oscar winner.

In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, Smith acknowledged that his actions could hurt the reaction to Emancipation.

Will says, "The only discomfort my heart has around that is that so many people have done spectacular work on this film. My hope is that my team isn't penalized at all for my actions."

While praising the "spectacular" work of director Antoine Fuqua, cinematographer Robert Richardson and co-stars Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa, Will adds, "I definitely lose a couple winks of sleep every night thinking that I could have potentially penalized my team, but I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone gets seen in the light that they deserve."

The drama was inspired by the haunting image of "Whipped Peter," a slave who escaped the Deep South, only to return and fight for the freedom of his friends and family as a soldier in the Union Army.

Smith also adds, "I had seen the image of Whipped Peter as a child, but as his story started to come into focus, I was moved in all of the most beautiful ways. When you look at the brutality that he suffered, and then realizing that through that he was able to sustain faith, gratitude, and love in the face of those kinds of atrocities -- I knew that I wanted to learn from Peter."

Emancipation debuts in U.S. theaters on Dec. 2 and hits Apple TV+ a week later on Dec. 9.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hooray for Hollywood? Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and more live dangerously in the trailer to 'Babylon'

Paramount Pictures/Scott Garfield

If you thought America was a party in the Roaring '20s, wait 'til you get a load of what Hollywood was up to. That's the thrust of the new trailer to the star-packed Damien Chazelle film Babylon.

The Paramount Pictures movie from the Academy Award-winning La La Land director stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Tobey Maguire among others, and "traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood."

The trailer is a frenetic cocktail of, well, cocktails, glamour, jazz and cocaine. Indeed, it starts with the stars on the Paramount logo audibly being snorted up.

At the center of the party is Robbie's ingénue Nellie LaRoy, who is shown in the trailer on a chattering, coke-enthused rant of what she'll do when she's famous.

At the other end of the spectrum is Pitt's leading man Jack Conrad, who boasts to fading silent film star Enid St. Cloud (Jean Smart), "You know, when I first moved to LA, you know what the signs on all the doors read? 'No actors or dogs allowed.' I changed all that."

The movie also stars Diego Calva, Max Minghella, Spike Jonze, Flea, Samara Weaving, Olivia Wilde, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li. It opens December 23.

(Trailer contains uncensored profanity and brief nudity.)

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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