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Seth MacFarlane teams up with Scorsese to save cartoons

Photos: Kenji Fitzgerald/Brigette Lacombe

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has teamed up with a seemingly unlikely collaborator — Oscar-winning movie legend Martin Scorsese — to save some cartoons. 

The Seth MacFarlane Foundation and Scorsese's The Film Foundation are funding The Film Foundation's first-ever restoration of a "curated selection of historically significant animated shorts" from the 1920s through the 1940s.

Included will be nine films from animation legend George Fleischer, the creator of icon Betty Boop, among many other characters.

A program of the restorations, titled Back from the Ink: Restored Animated Shorts, will premiere during Turner Classic Movies' 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival at its Hollywood Boulevard location on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. PT, with an in-person introduction by MacFarlane.

Seven shorts directed by Dave Fleischer will be screened, including Koko's Tattoo from 1928; 1935's Little Nobody; The Little Stranger and Greedy Humpty Dumpty from 1936; and 1937's Peeping Penguins.

Also screening will be a 1939 Terrytoon production called The Three Bears and 1944's Two-Gun Rusty from animator George Pal

Oddly, the former came to a new audience a few years back thanks to the Spaghet meme.

"I'm so grateful to Seth MacFarlane for his enthusiasm and his support on these restorations," said Scorsese in an announcement.

"What an astonishing experience, to see these remarkable pictures that I experienced for the first time as a child brought back to their full glory," the filmmaker added. "The films now seem as fresh as they did when they were newly made."

MacFarlane expressed, "The work Martin Scorsese and his Film Foundation have been doing is essential cinematic preservation. I'm honored to partner with them in restoring their first-ever collection of storied animation."

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Netflix reveals 'The Witcher' will end after a just-announced fifth season

Hemsworth (center) and cast at a Season 4 table read -- Courtesy Netflix

Netflix announced Thursday that the fourth season of The Witcher is now underway, and the streamer has renewed the sword and sorcery series for a fifth — but that will be it. 

The new seasons of the show will feature Liam Hemsworth succeeding original star and fan of the source material Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. He departed the show after rumblings of creative differences behind the scenes began to surface. 

Cavill had told The Hollywood Reporter that he'd stay with the series "as long as we can keep telling great stories which honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work," as seen in his beloved books and related games — of which Cavill counted himself a devoted fanboy.

As for The Witcher's new direction, the streaming service says seasons 4 and 5 will be shot back to back, "and will be the final chapter in Geralt’s story," centered on the author's books Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow and Lady of the Lake.

The final seasons will offer "an epic and satisfying conclusion," producer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich insists.  

Netflix teases of the penultimate installment: "After the shocking, Continent-altering events that close out season three, the new season follows Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri who are faced with traversing the war-ravaged Continent and its many demons apart from each other."

The streamer adds, "If they can embrace and lead the groups of misfits they find themselves in, they have a chance of surviving the baptism of fire and finding one another again." 


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Trailer using AI to cast Henry Cavill and Margot Robbie in new James Bond movie goes viral

Good Morning America

Henry Cavill is James Bond and Margot Robbie the femme fatale in a new trailer that has attracted more than 2.6 million viewers on YouTube since it dropped Saturday.

The problem is, it's fake. 

Its creator, KH Studio, says it was made "solely for artistic and entertainment purposes"; a cinephile can see from which movies certain scenes were cribbed — including previous James Bond adventures Quantum of Solace and No Time to Die, and the spy adventure Cavill actually was in, 2015's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

But the creator also used AI to turn Cavill into the hero that many fans want him to play and to make the Barbie star break bad.

Sure, it's not perfect — Robbie's lip-synch is way off for one of her on-camera lines — but it still got some fans psyched. 

Indeed, fan-made trailers are nothing new, but this one shows the audience is out there. 

"Hopefully this shows the studio people want henry cavill as james bond," one commented.

In real life, Aaron Taylor-Johnson was reportedly approached to play Bond, and Cavill recently commented about the apparently ongoing search while promoting his reunion with director Guy Ritchie, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

"All I've got to go off is the rumors," he confessed to The Rich Eisen Show. "Maybe I'm too old now. Maybe I'm not. It's up to [producers] Barbara Broccoli and Mike Wilson, and we'll see what their plans are."

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After the success of 'Anyone but You', is Hollywood back in love with romantic comedies?

Sony Pictures

After audiences fell in love with the Sydney Sweeney/Glen Powell romantic comedy Anyone but You and the success of the Lindsay Lohan film Irish Wish, The Hollywood Reporter says studios are swiping right on the genre once again.

Anyone But You writer-director Will Gluck tells the trade, "There's been no dearth of rom-coms in the last 10 years. They’ve just all been on ... on Netflix and Hulu and Amazon."

He continues, "I think the quality has probably been just the same as in theaters. The problem is we do not laugh at home. You do not laugh when you're watching at your house. You do not laugh when you’re watching on a phone."

Gluck adds, "When you're in a theater with other people around you -- this is my theory based on nothing -- I just feel that you’ve given yourself up to want to enjoy something ... I think a big part of our movie was how people felt watching it with others in a theater."

Gluck may say his theory is "based on nothing," but the people are proof: Anyone but You spawned a viral trend of audiences singing and dancing to the final credits song, Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten."

Richard LaGravenese, who directed the upcoming romantic Netflix movie A Family Affair starring Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron, offers, "I don’t know if it's maybe just from the pandemic ... [that people are] leaning toward more fun, aspirational stories, fantasy stories, stories that you can just have a good time in."

As the saying goes, everybody loves a happy ending.

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After another Trump diss, Jimmy Kimmel says he's thinking about hosting the Oscars again

Disney/Frank Micelotta

On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, Jimmy revealed he may host the Oscars for a fifth time.

If he does, he has former President Donald Trump to thank.

The former president became a punchline during Kimmel's last stint as Academy Awards host, thanks to Kimmel reading Trump's mid-show pan of Jimmy's job as host.

On Wednesday, for apparently no specific reason, the former commander-in-chief went after Kimmel's "horrendous performance" again, insisting Kimmel's wife and producers "begged" Jimmy not to read the Truth Social post on air.

Trump also claimed the show ended with Kimmel suffering a "CLASSIC CHOKE" when revealing the winner of the Best Picture trophy.

Kimmel went on to fact-check Trump's Truth Social post point by point, including the fact that it was Al Pacino, not Kimmel, who read Oppenheimer's name after a bit of a stumble. "I didn't even touch the envelope," Jimmy said, laughing.

Reading the conclusion, which said Kimmel will go down in history "AS THE WORST EVER HOST OF THE VAUNTED ACADEMY AWARDS," Jimmy countered saying, "That must be why they asked me to host again next year -- which I wasn't going to do, but now I might."

Kimmel couldn't believe that Trump was "the only person still talking about this joke" from five weeks ago, adding, "My parents don't even care anymore" that he hosted the show.

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Mariska Hargitay halts 'SVU' filming to help lost child who confused her for police officer

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Mariska Hargitay isn't a cop, but she plays one on TV. Her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit character Olivia Benson recently came to the aid of a lost, little girl who thought she was the real deal.

People reports that on April 10, while shooting SVU at New York City's Anne Loftus Playground in Fort Tryon Park, Hargitay halted production of the show for 20 minutes after a lost, little girl spotted her badge and approached her. According to the magazine, the child did not notice the film crew or her scene partner, Ice-T.

Hargitay, who is a parent to three children with husband Peter Hermann, was able to reunite the daughter with her mother, the witness told the magazine, which published photos of the incident and the happy reunion.

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Quentin Tarantino reportedly not making 'The Movie Critic' his final film

ABC/Randy Holmes

Although he's repeatedly said he was calling it a career with his tenth film, The Movie Critic, Deadline reveals Quentin Tarantino has dropped the project, which was set to start shooting in 2025.

Tarantino's 1970s-set project was to feature Brad Pitt reprising the role that won him his first Oscar: stuntman Cliff Booth from the writer-director's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.

However, after a rewrite, the trade says Tarantino "simply decided" to shelve the project.

The director and Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction screenwriter previously told Deadline The Movie Critic was to be "based on a guy who really lived, but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag ... He wrote about mainstream movies."

He explained, "I think he was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle [Robert DeNiro's Taxi Driver character] might be if he were a film critic."

As for why the 61-year-old is seemingly sticking to his plan to retire from movie directing at 10 films — when, for example, 93-year-old Clint Eastwood just shot Juror #2 — Tarantino told Playboy back in 2012 he'd rather go out on top.

"Directors don't get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end," he maintained, adding, "I don't want that bad, out-of-touch comedy in my filmography."

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'Transformers One' trailer debuts in space

Paramount Pictures

Our first look at Transformers One is here, and it's out of this world — literally.

The film, the first-ever fully CG-animated Transformers movie, debuted in space Thursday morning before dropping online.

"Before he was Optimus Prime, he was Orion Pax. Before he was Megatron, he was D-16," onscreen text reads. "Every transformer has an origin."

Transformers One is billed as "the untold origin story of Optimus Prime and Megatron, better known as sworn enemies, but once were friends bonded like brothers who changed the fate of Cybertron forever," according to a synopsis.

The film features a stacked voice cast, including Chris Hemsworth, Brian Tyree Henry, Scarlett Johansson, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, Laurence Fishburne and Jon Hamm.

Transformers One lands in theaters on earth on September 20.

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Michael Douglas wanted to have a "serious death scene" in 'Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania'

Marvel Studios

Michael Douglas, who played Dr. Hank Pym in Marvel's Ant-Man movies, asked to have his character killed off in the third installment, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

The 79-year-old actor had told The Hollywood Reporter in February of 2023 that he would return for a fourth installment "as long as I could die."

However, while promoting his Apple TV+ series Franklin during a recent episode of ABC's The View, Douglas clarified his statement, saying, "This actually was my request for the third one."

"I said I'd like to have a serious [death], with all these great special effects," he continued. "There's got to be some fantastic way where I can shrink to an ant size and explode, whatever it is. I want to use all those effects."

Added Douglas, "But, that was on the last one. Now, I don't think I'm going to show up."

Douglas made his first appearance as Pym in the 2015's Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd as the guy who took on Pym's mantle as the titular shrinking superhero. Douglas went on to star in 2018's Ant-Man and The Wasp, as well as 2023's Quantumania.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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In Brief: Apple TV+ renews 'For All Mankind' plus a spin-off, and more

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves actor Justice Smith and The Holdovers breakout star Dominic Sessa have been tapped to join Barbie actress Ariana Greenblatt in Now You See Me 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Original cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Morgan Freeman are expected to reprise their roles as thieving illusionists, per the outlet. Plot details are being kept under wraps ...

Apple TV+ announced it has renewed the space drama For All Mankind for a fifth season, as well as a new spin-off series, Star City. For All Mankind explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended. Star City is described as "a propulsive, paranoid thriller that takes us back to the key moment in the alt-history retelling of the space race — when the Soviet Union became the first nation to put a man on the moon," which explores the story from "behind the Iron Curtain, showing the lives of the cosmonauts, the engineers and the intelligence officers embedded among them in the Soviet space program, and the risks they all took to propel humanity forward" ...

Following the premiere of his new HBO series The Sympathizer, Park Chan-wook has revealed his next project, a series adaptation of his 2003 movie Oldboy, according to Entertainment Weekly. "The series will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes, and visceral style that made the film a classic,” Lionsgate Television executive Scott Herbst said in a statement obtained by the outlet. A previous English-language remake of Oldboy, directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin, was released in 2013 ...


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Ewan McGregor has a boomer moment trying to plug new film 'Bleeding Love' with daughter Clara

Randy Holmes/Disney via Getty Images

Most parents have been schooled on using social media by their tech savvy children, and evidently Ewan McGregor is one of them.

The actor on Wednesday tried to promote his and his 28-year-old daughter Clara's new movie, Bleeding Love, however, he had some trouble synching her video to his on Instagram.

"My Name's Ewan, and my daughter Clara and I are unable to record our conversation here to encourage you to go see our new film Bleeding Love, which is just out in the cinemas in Britain now," began the selfie-style video message posted to Clara's Insta.

What follows is a fast-forward, back-and-forth chat between the pair — set to a remix of that anthem of things going wrong, the theme to Curb Your Enthusiasm — as they try to get on the same page with the post, to no avail.

Instead, it cuts back to Ewan mid-message, abruptly continuing, "— and available on video on demand now. We think you might like it, and it's a lovely film, and we hope you enjoy it."

The Star Wars star adds, "That's all I have to say, and I wish you all the best."

Bleeding Love has the pair playing father and daughter, "on a road trip to New Mexico to bring them closer together and sort out their strained relationship."

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'Yellowstone' again links up with Stagecoach fest

Paramount Network

On Wednesday, MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios and Paramount Network announced that the Dutton Ranch is coming back to the sold-out Stagecoach Festival.

The event runs from April 26-28 in Indio, California, and will feature some of the biggest names in country music, including Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Morgan Wallen.

For the second year in a row, Taylor Sheridan's neo-Western Yellowstone will have a presence there, and so will the Dutton family spin-off 1923. "Stagecoach attendees will be transported to the Montana ranch to kick back and relax in the shade Dutton-style all weekend long," the companies tease in a joint statement.

"Fans will have the opportunity to enjoy larger-than-life and brand-new photo moments from Yellowstone and 1923," as well as exclusive merch, and meet and greets with cast members.

This year there will also be limited-edition co-branded Yellowstone x Stagecoach swag for sale. 

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Scorsese's next moves: A Jesus film and Sinatra — with DiCaprio?

Disney/Chris Willard

Martin Scorsese is reportedly following up his Oscar-nominated epic Killers of the Flower Moon with two projects: one about Jesus and one about another deified figure, Frank Sinatra, that could star the legendary filmmaker's frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio.

While Scorsese's camp is mum, Variety reports the first project will be based on Shūsaku Endō's 1973 book Life of Jesus, and that Miles Teller and Scorsese's Silence Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield could star. 

Scorsese is reportedly self-funding the project, which the trade says will get underway later this year in Israel, Italy and Egypt — however, unrest between Israel and Gaza could "prove too great of a logistical challenge," the trade says.

As for the Sinatra film, Variety says that could prove to be a challenge on its own, as Tina Sinatra, Frank's daughter who controls the legend's estate, hasn't signed off on the project. That said, the film reportedly would have DiCaprio as the Chairman of the Board and another Oscar winner, Jennifer Lawrence, playing Ol' Blue Eyes' second wife, actress Ava Gardner.

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2024 Tribeca Festival lineup includes entries from Lily Gladstone, Brat Pack documentary and more

On Wednesday, the 2024 Tribeca Festival announced its features lineup, boasting more than 100 entries from 114 filmmakers hailing from 48 countries.

The annual event that was co-founded by Robert De Niro and his partner Jane Rosenthal runs from June 5 through June 16 in New York City. This year's entries include Andrew McCarthy's anticipated documentary Brats, starring his fellow former Brat Pack members Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and more.

Other films making their debut will be Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone starring in Jazzy, centering on her character from indie drama The Unknown Country; Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson's drama Daddio; and the medical thriller A Mistake, starring Elizabeth Banks.

The festival will also host animated films and documentaries, including The Cranes Call, "spotlighting war crimes investigators led by Amal and George Clooney," and a look into the life of the late musician and producer Tim Bergling, with Avicii: I'm Tim, featuring Chris Martin and David Guetta.

The full slate, as well as ticket info, can be found on the festival's website.

Rosenthal said in a statement, "Each year, the Tribeca Festival reflects our culture, capturing the essence of the present moment. We're thrilled to showcase our 23rd edition, delving into captivating explorations of artificial intelligence with Demis Hassabis, thought-provoking discussions on the future of democracy, and so much more."

She added, "Storytelling possesses a remarkable ability to bring us together, offering hope in these challenging times. We eagerly anticipate engaging with audiences on difficult yet timely subjects."

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Rachel Zegler and Kit Connor record tease for 'Romeo + Juliet'

ABC - Netflix

A day after it was announced that West Side Story's Rachel Zegler and Heartstopper lead Kit Connor will make their Broadway debuts in Romeo + Juliet — temporarily tanking the play's website in the process — they're apparently at it again. 

The pair posted to the production's Instagram a brief video greeting teasing their strictly limited engagement, which is being directed by Tony winner Sam Gold

"We are so excited to do our new production of Romeo and Juliet on Broadway," Connor, wearing a black tank top, says into a mirror, which Rachel is filming on her phone. 

Zegler, smiling in a low-cut white floral summer top, replies, "Sign up if you want first access to tickets!"

The production, which will feature music from Grammy winner Jack Antonoff, will be an updated version of The Bard's famous work about the star-crossed lovers. 

It debuts this fall.

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