Entertainment News

Kevin Feige explains why T’Challa was not recast in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Marvel Studios

When it was announced that another Black Panther movie was to come after the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the titular superhero aka T'Challa in the 2018 hit film, Marvel fans wondered how another story could be told without him.

Some even wondered if the franchise would continue with a different actor taking on the role; it was later revealed that T'Challa would not be recast in the film.

In a new interview with Empire, Marvel boss Kevin Feige explained the reason for the decision.

“It just felt like it was much too soon,” Feige said. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window...as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”

Coogler, the writer and director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, worked alongside Feige to create a story that honored Boseman. When it came to crafting it, Feige said that the conversations focused on figuring out “how could the legacy of Chadwick – and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideals – continue?”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in theaters on November 11.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

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Taylor Hale makes historic 'Big Brother 24' win

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History was made when Taylor Hale was crowned the winner of Big Brother season 24 on Sunday night.

The 27-year-old current reigning Miss Michigan USA is the first Black woman to win the non-celebrity format of the game. In 2019, singer and television personality Tamar Braxton won the second season of the celebrity edition of the show, making her the first Black woman to win any format of American Big Brother.

This marks the second time a Black woman has sat in the final two chairs in the history of the regular format of the show. It first happened 20 years ago to the day of Hale’s win, when Big Brother legend Danielle Reyes lost season 3 in a 9-1 vote to first place finisher Lisa Donahue.

Hale beat out this season’s second-place finisher Monte Taylor in an 8-1 vote. In her passionate final speech to the jury, she said that she has come to understand that she is not a shield but a sword.

“I am not a victim; I am a victor. And if there is one word that is going to describe the entire season, it is resiliency,” Hale said. “If you are to ask yourself who the most resilient person of this season has been, it is me.”

In addition to winning the season, Hale became the first person to win both the game and the fan-voted America’s Favorite Player award. She wins $50,000 and a cruise trip for two along with her $750,000 grand prize. Because of both wins, Hale cemented herself as the player to have won the most money in the history of American Big Brother.

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John Cena now a Guinness World Record holder thanks to his 650th Make-A-Wish visit

John Cena in 2015; Noam Galai/Getty Images

Sure, he was a champion in the wrestling ring and has starred in blockbuster movies like Fast 9 and hit shows like Peacemaker, but John Cena is now officially a world record holder, for a great reason.

Guinness Book of World Records has certified that Cena has set the all-time record for most visits with patients in the Make-A-Wish charity, which grants once-in-a-lifetime requests for critically ill people aged 2-18. 

With 650 visits under his belt, Cena's giving back has officially made him a different kind of champion. 

Cena, who made his first Make-A-Wish visit in 2002, remains the most-requested celebrity, according to the organization.

For the record, it wasn't even close: In the 42-year history of the charity, the second-place finisher only managed 200 visits, according to Guinness.

As reported back in June, Cena traveled to Europe to meet with a young special needs fan whose family fled war-torn Ukraine. The star found out Misha Rohozhyn's mother told the non-verbal young man they had to leave the country to meet Cena, in an effort to comfort him. Even though it wasn't an official "wish" with the charity, the star made the fantasy happen for real.

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Betty White memorabilia auction smashes expectations, raising more than $4 million

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It was never in doubt what an icon the late Betty White was, but in case you needed any more proof, an auction of items from her life and career smashed all expectations. 

Julien's Auctions says the three-day event raised more than four million bucks, nearly seven times the $600,000 pre-auction estimate. What's more, every item up for grabs was sold. 

According to the auction house, the biggest seller was a director's chair from The Golden Girls, which sold for $76,800 -- some 76 times its original estimate. 

Other big-ticket items were scripts for the pilot and final episode of the beloved sitcom signed by the cast -- those went for $57,600 and $51,200, respectively. 

A lavender dress worn by White in the show sold for $32,000 -- fifty-three times its original estimate. 

Other items that hit the block were an oil painting of the Emmy winner, which sold for more than $43,000, and a sapphire and diamond ring White wore on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The ring sold for 35 times its original estimate, and went home with the winning bidder for $32,000.  

White's wedding ring from her marriage to husband Allen Ludden fetched $25,600.

Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien's Auctions, noted, "This auction represented a collection unlike anything we have ever seen before which brought in record-breaking results, and thousands of Betty's most loyal fans from all over the world.

Calling White an "American pop culture legend," he said Julien's was "honored" to host the "three-day celebration" of her life and career. 

Betty White died December 31, 2021, just 17 days before her 100th birthday.

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In Brief: 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Oscar-winner dies, and more

Louise Fletcher, best known for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Nurse Ratched in director Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, died Friday at her home in France, a rep for the actress tells Variety. She was 88. On TV, Fletcher played family matriarch Peggy “Grammy” Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless, and also had recurring roles shows like on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and ER. Most recently, Fletcher appeared in the 2013 feature A Perfect Man, alongside Liev Schreiber and Jeanne Tripplehorn...

Peacock has canceled the Queer As Folk reboot after one season, co-creator Stephen Dunn revealed on Saturday. The third iteration of the originally British series, executive-produced by trans writer Jaclyn Moore, centered on a group of LGBTQ+ friends in New Orleans both before and after a homophobic attack. The series starred Grey’s Anatomy's Devin Way, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Fin Argus, Big Sky's Jesse James Keitel, CG, Hacks' Johnny Sibilly and Special's Ryan O’Connell, along with guest stars including Kim Cattrall, Juliette Lewis and Ed Begley Jr...

Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves took to Twitter on Sunday to announce the show will return for its 25th season. “A big thank you to all our house guests for an absolutely incredible summer. I know, I’m going to miss watching the show too,” Moonves said, before revealing, “We are coming back for our 25th season of the show." The announcement came on the heels of Sunday's history-making season 24 finale that saw Taylor Hale became the first Black woman to win the reality competition. Tamar Braxton won Celebrity Big Brother season 2. Big Brother's 25th season kicks off next summer...

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'Don't Worry Darling' tops the box office with $19.2 million

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The psychological drama Don't Worry Darling scored the best opening of any new release in more than a month, topping the weekend box office with an estimated $19.2 million. The Olivia Wilde-directed film -- starring Wilde, Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll and Chris Pine -- delivered a total of $30 million worldwide, despite -- or perhaps in part because of -- the high-profile pre-release squabbling between Wilde and some of her cast.

The Woman King dropped from first to second place in its second week of release, grabbing an estimated $11.1 million, bringing its domestic tally to $35 million.

And the theatrical re-release of Avatar took third with an $10 million. It remains the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and the fourth highest-grossing domestically.

The horror flick Barbarian dropped to fourth place with an estimated $4.8 million. Its three-week North American total currently stands at $28.4 million.

Rounding out the top five is the Mia Goth horror film Pearl, earning an estimated $6.6 million.

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Netflix's Tudum teases new and returning series and movies, including 'The Crown', 'You' and 'Emily in Paris'

Netflix

Netflix revealed a new slate of shows and movies -- and news about returning favorites -- at its annual TUDUM showcase Saturday.

The event kicked off with a new trailer for Enola Holmes 2, starring Millie Bobby Brown. She returns as the titular character who, after solving her first case, continues to follow in the footsteps of her famous brother, Sherlock -- played once again by Henry Cavill -- now with her own agency, only to find life as a female detective-for-hire is harder than it looks.

Other highlights also included teaser trailers for returning favorites Emily in Paris, debuting December 21; Manifest's fourth and final season; the second installment of Shadow and Bone; Vikings: Valhala season two; and Dead to Me's third and final season, launching November 17.

Additionally, the streamer debuted trailers for the Bridgerton spinoff, Queen Charlotte, starring India Amarteifio as the young Charlotte and Corey Mylchreest as the young King George; a first-look trailer and October 13 release date for its upcoming horror thriller The Watcher; plus clips of the Addams Family spinoff Wednesday, premiering November 23.

The showcase also featured new clips of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery; Jason Momoa's Slumberland; Jennifer Lopez's action film The Mother; The School for Good and Evil; and Gal Gadot's Heart of Stone. There was also a behind-the scenes teaser for Extraction 2, the sequel to the 2020 Chris Hemsworth action thriller.

Netflix also announced the release dates for The Crown's fifth season, debuting on November 9; Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher’s Your Place or Mine, arriving February 10; Noah Centineo’s retitled Netflix series The Recruit, coming December 16; and 1989, arriving November 17. Part one of You season four will premiere on February 10, while its part two will be released a month later, on March 10.













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Rihanna to headline Super Bowl 57 halftime show

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Rihanna will headline the Super Bowl 57 halftime show.

The singer herself confirmed the news Late Sunday afternoon ET by posting an image on her social media of her tattooed right hand and arm holding a football aloft -- the same photo promoter Roc Nation first posted to their Twitter, with the caption "Let’s GO - @Rihanna @NFL #SBLVII @AppleMusic @NFLonFOX." 

"Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment," said Roc Nation founder and chair Jay-Z in a statement via the NFL, announcing the news.

The halftime show is a co-production of Roc Nation, Apple Music and the NFL, the first time all three have teamed up for the event. 

"Over the coming months, fans can expect to see exclusive details and sneak peeks leading up to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show by following @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter," the NFL statement promises. 

Super Bowl LVII is scheduled to take place February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

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'Jurassic World: Dominion' crosses $1 billion worldwide

Universal Pictures

Its pace may have been more brontosaurus than velociraptor, but the finish line was crossed nonetheless: Universal Pictures is celebrating because Jurassic World: Dominion crossed the $1 billion line at the global box office.

The film, which opened June 10, had the second-biggest debut of the year with a $145 million take, but it continued to slowly and steadily perform as the summer rolled on.

Variety points out that Dominion's bottom line was particularly padded by moviegoers in China, where the pandemic era's only other $2 billion movies -- Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick -- weren't permitted to screen.

Jurassic World: Dominion, which united Jurassic World cast members, including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with Jurassic Park's stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, is now streaming an extended cut on Peacock.

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Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin reconcile a month after she filed for divorce

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The marriage of Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin is apparently getting a reboot.

Just a month after the 54-year-old model and entrepreneur split from the 76-year-old Rocky icon, Page Six reports the couple has patched things up.

"They decided to meet back up at home, where they talked and were able to work out their differences," a rep tells the publication.

The pair, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, agreed, "that is in the best interests of each of them individually, and more importantly collectively as a family, to resolve all issues attendant to the dissolution of their marriage in a dignified, amicable and private manner out-of-court," according to the rep.

As reported a month ago, the split was already getting ugly, with Flavin accusing Stallone of cutting assets loose prior to a divorce.

Now, however, "they are both extremely happy," the source tells the publication, which noted Flavin had legally filed an abatement -- or an official pause -- of the divorce proceedings.

On Monday, Sly posted a picture of the pair holding hands -- as well as a throwback photo with their daughters Sophia, 26, Sistine, 24, and Scarlet, 20 -- which the rep explains was a hint that things were on the rebound in their relationship.

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Director reveals Jon Hamm took big salary cut to make 'Fletch' happen

Miramax

(Note Language) Director Greg Mottola reveals that Jon Hamm wanted to make Fletch happen so badly, he opened up his wallet.

Mottola told the website Uproxx that the Mad Man Emmy winner dumped 60% of his salary from their new movie, Confess, Fletch, to secure financing for three extra days of filming for the new comedy.

The Superbad director noted the modestly budgeted movie is currently suffering from "zero marketing" in spite of a respectable 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The marketing budget was not the only place the movie's producer, Miramax, came up short, Mottola says: They wouldn't budge on a 27-day shoot.

They tried looking for a producing partner, Mottola said, but, "Everyone said, 'I don't know that this kind of comedy works in this day and age.' They just had a kind of like, 'Who's Fletch? I don’t think anyone cares anymore [attitude].'"

"So, basically, what we did is Jon gave back 60% of his salary to the budget. I gave back some of my salary, not as much as Jon because he's richer than me and I've got three kids," the director joked.

"And we bought three more days of shooting ... 30 days in Boston and one day in Rome. And we said, 'F*** it, we're insane, we're dumb. We’re going to make this movie,'" Mottola said.

He added, "So, we finished it and Bill shopped it around to a lot of different people, studios and streamers ... and nobody wanted it." The director called that "depressing."

Confess, Fletch, based on Gregory Mcdonald's 1976 novel of the same name, is in theaters and is available on demand.

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'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' star sentenced to life for mother's murder

Grantham in 2013 - Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Ryan Grantham, who as a young actor starred as Rodney James in 2010's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2020 shooting death of his mother, Barbara Waite.

CBC reports the 22-year-old Canadian actor, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder in June, won't be eligible for parole for 14 years.

According to the CBC, Grantham shot his mother with a .22 rifle in the back of the head as she played piano in their home on March 31, 2020. The actor, who also appeared in Riverdale, recorded a confessional video and reportedly stocked up on weapons with the intention of going on a shooting and bombing spree but turned himself in to Vancouver cops instead.

The judge said Grantham was in a psychological "downward spiral" before the crime, smoking cannabis and watching violent content online. She also noted he has shown progress in a prison psychiatry program.

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The CIA now has its own podcast

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There are myriad podcasts out there about crimes, mysteries and unbelievable stories, and evidently, the CIA wants in.

The Central Intelligence Agency has just launched The Langley Files, an official podcast featuring past and present agents as well as "special guests" telling stories -- well, those "that they can" reveal -- in an effort to "demystify" the mysterious agency.

"At CIA, there are truths we can share, and stories we can tell," a voiceover says in a teaser recently uploaded to YouTube. "Stories of duties and dedication. Stories of ingenuity and mission. Stories beyond Hollywood scripts and shadowed whispers..."

According to the cast, "The mission of The Langley Files: A CIA Podcast is to educate and connect with the general public, sharing insight into the Agency's core mission, capabilities, and agility as an intelligence leader…and to share some interesting stories along the way!"

The first guest is CIA Director Bill Burns, who, along with hosts Dee and Walter, tries "to dispel some common misconceptions about the CIA."

Burns does a pretty good job off the bat, explaining he's no Jason Bourne: "...I'm most comfortable driving our 2013 Subaru Outback at posted speed limits and that, for me at least, the height of technological daring is when I can finally get the Roku remote to work at home," he says in the premiere episode.

There's also a practical aspect to the agency's decision to go -- sort of -- public: recruitment. Burns explains that the agency takes all kinds of people to make it work, and he hopes the podcast could help boost diversity within the CIA's ranks.

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Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here are some of the new titles available to stream this weekend:

Netflix
Dahmer:&nbsap;Learn the story of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, in the 10-part limited horror series

Lou: A mother teams up with a mysterious neighbor to save her kidnapped daughter, all while a massive storm rages in the new drama film.

Hulu
Reboot: This meta comedy series is all about how the dysfunctional cast of an early 2000s sitcom comes back together after decades apart.

The Kardashians:The famous family is back and ready to show off their biggest triumphs and their hardest struggles in season two.

Disney+
Dancing with the Stars: Catch up on the newest season where celebrities like Selma Blair and Wayne Brady compete for the Mirrorball trophy.

Andor: Return to a galaxy far, far away to witness the beginnings of the rebellion against the Empire in the new Star Wars-inspired TV series.

Happy streaming!

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Bryce Dallas Howard claims director Colin Trevorrow defended her about her weight in 'Jurassic World: Dominion'

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Actress and director Bryce Dallas Howard says Universal execs wanted her to lose weight before she starred again as Claire Dearing in the hit threequel Jurassic World: Dominion, but director Colin Trevorrow wasn't having it.

"...How do I say this…[I've] been asked to not use my natural body in cinema," Howard said in a video interview with U.K.'s Metro. "On the third movie, it was actually because there were so many women cast, it was something that Colin felt very strongly about in terms of protecting me…because the conversation came up again, 'We need to ask Bryce to lose weight.'"

Bryce says the director maintained, "There are lots of different kinds of women on this planet and there are lots of different kinds of women in our film.'"

She added, "I got to do so many stunts that wouldn't have been possible if I had been dieting. I'm really thrilled [at] all the action I got to do, and I got to do it with my body, she was at her maximum strength, and I hope it is just yet another indication of what's possible."

Recently, Howard explained she was paid "so much less" than her Jurassic World co-star Chris Pratt, who was coming into the franchise with Marvel movie blockbusters under his belt. But, she found support from her Jurassic family.

"...Chris and I have discussed it, and whenever there was an opportunity...like a game or a ride, he literally told me, 'You guys don't even have to do anything. I'm gonna do all the negotiating. We're gonna be paid the same, and you don't have to think about this, Bryce,'" Howard said.

Jurassic World: Dominion is now streaming on Peacock.

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