Entertainment News

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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Michael J. Fox, Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright and more make 2024's 'TIME' 100

Jeffrey Wright - Disney/Randy Holmes

On Wednesday, TIME revealed its 2024 TIME 100, its annual list "of the 100 most influential people in the world," and the world of entertainment was well represented.

As is tradition, each of the heralded personalities for the year is singled out by a colleague who sings their praises.

Ryan Reynolds, for example, salutes Michael J. Fox for his dedication to fighting Parkinson's, which Fox suffers from and which Ryan's late father had. "It’d be kinda lazy to simply regard him as a movie star who shaped the lives of people all over the planet," Reynolds says of the Back to the Future star and fellow Canadian. "He’s the sum of these beautiful parts. And so many more."

Ryan's wife, Blake Lively, touts Oscar-nominated Barbie star America Ferrera as "everything," explaining her breakout speech in that blockbuster introduced the world to the "friend ... role model ... ally" and "sister" her friends already had.

Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer said American Fiction Best Actor nominee Jeffrey Wright is "influencing a new generation of actors to go further," and Lenny Kravitz hailed Rustin's Oscar nominee Colman Domingo as a "brother" to him who "does everything with such grace, humility, and gratitude."

Elsewhere, Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro gave animation legend Hayao Miyazaki his flowers; Academy Award winner Daniel Kaluuya praised actor and director Dev Patel, and Amy Poehler hailed her former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph, among others.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Crazy Rich Asians' is Broadway bound with Jon M. Chu to direct

Warber Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures — the division that translated movies including Beetlejuice and Elf into Broadway musicals — will be doing the same with its 2018 hit Crazy Rich Asians.

ABC Audio has confirmed that the blockbuster's director, Jon M. Chu, is aboard for the adaptation, which would mark his Broadway debut.

That said, Chu has a fitting resume: The director called the shots on the staged musical-turned 2021 musical film In The Heights, and he's also behind a big-screen version of the Broadway smash Wicked, which coincidentally stars his former Crazy Rich Asians leading lady Michelle Yeoh.

Based on the movie, which was adapted from Kevin Kwan's 2013 bestselling book trilogy, Crazy Rich Asians "takes a fun, engaging and hilarious look at what can happen when young love collides with old money."

The film version starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Yeoh, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina and Ken Jeong, and went on to make more than $237 million worldwide.

The Broadway version will be written by award-winning Japanese playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and will feature music by Tony nominee Helen Park and lyrics by Tony-nominated Broadway vet Amanda Green and Los Angeles-based Singaporean record producer and songwriter Tat Tong.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Margaret Qualley reportedly exits Hulu's Amanda Knox series

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

About a month after news broke that Poor Things' Margaret Qualley was to executive produce and star in a Hulu project about Amanda Knox, Deadline reports the twice Emmy-nominated actress has exited the project. Scheduling reasons were to blame, the trade says.

Knox, an American studying abroad, spent almost four years in an Italian prison following a wrongful conviction for the 2007 murder of her roommate in their apartment in Italy. The eight-episode project, detailing Knox's "16-year odyssey to set herself free," will now be recast, per the trade, which notes shooting will still get underway in the fall.

Knox's story was previously chronicled in the 2011 Lifetime original film Trial in Italy. The 2021 film Stillwater, starring Matt DamonAbigail Breslin and Camille Cottin, centered on a similar but fictional scenario, with Damon's blue-collar dad stopping at nothing to clear his daughter's name.

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'Under the Bridge' stars Lily Gladstone and Riley Keough on Hulu's powerful true crime drama

Darko Sikman/Hulu

The brutal murder of a teen girl shocked a peaceful enclave of Victoria Island, British Columbia, Canada in 1997. Reena Virk was the victim of bullying by her classmates, the murder trial got worldwide attention, and now the story is the basis of the Hulu limited series Under the Bridge, premiering today, April 17.

Recent Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone, who plays one of the police officers investigating the murder, tells ABC Audio that this is an important story to tell.

"Reena Virk's story is so central to so many conversations, in Canada particularly," she explains. "And I know that she's been at the heart of a lot of anti-bullying efforts and education and curriculum, which is really the end goal."

Unlike most true crime series, notes Gladstone, Under the Bridge focuses on the victims, as it should.

"The sensationalism that can emerge around true crime tends to focus almost a celebrity worship on the perpetrators, and in that we lose not just compassion for who the victims were, but we lose the opportunity to have the conversation about what systems are in place that make this kind of crime way too common," she says.

Riley Keough plays a journalist writing a story about lost and missing teen girls of the area. Her character is based on Rebecca Godfrey, who would write the best-selling true crime book on which the series is based, and Keough thinks that though the incident took place over 25 years ago, it feels like it could happen today.

"You know, things for women are evolving and hopefully going in the right direction, but there are still many, many missing women, murdered women, women who are abused, bullied women," she shares. "You know, this is certainly still an issue."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: Pamela Anderson reportedly in Liam Neeson 'Naked Gun' reboot, and more

Pamela Anderson has been tapped to star opposite Liam Neeson in Paramount Pictures' Naked Gun reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new movie is based on the Naked Gun film franchise and the TV series Police Squad! which starred Leslie Nielson as bumbling detective Frank Drebin. The new project, from Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers filmmakers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, along with Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer and Seth MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door, is set for a July 18, 2025, release ...

The Screen Actors Guild Awards has set February 23 as the date for its 2025 ceremony, which will stream live on Netflix. Submissions for nomination consideration will open on August 29 and will close on November 1. Nominations will be announced on January 8 ...

Steve Buscemi has joined the cast of Netflix's Wednesday for the show's second season, sources tell Variety. All that's known about season 2 at this point is that Jenna Ortega will return as the titular character. Wednesday ranks as one of Netflix's most-watched shows ever, and won four Emmys ...

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"You're watching what the entire culture was like": Mayim Bialik on 'Quiet on Set' series

Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb

On a new installment of her podcast The Breakdown, former child star Mayim Bialik welcomed former colleagues Jenna von Oy, with whom she starred on Blossom, and Christy Carlson Romano from Even Stevens to discuss the bombshell documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

Bialik expressed, "Of course it touched me personally. ... You're watching what the entire culture was like. This is not what happened because 'Nickelodeon this-that.'" 

Carlson Romano, who has become an advocate for child actors, said she deliberately didn't watch the Investigation Discovery series. She said the company approached her, but she turned them down. "These are outsiders," she said of the filmmakers, labeling them "trauma tourists."

She added of the documentary's alleged victims, "Every child who managed to get in through that front door had to say yes to everything. ... And I think that they're the perfect landscape to be vulnerable."

Von Oy said, "It dug a very deep hole in my heart to hear about people I knew who ... supported a person that they heard a confession from," referencing former dialogue coach Brian Peck, who was found guilty of sexual abuse of Nickelodeon star Drake Bell. During his trial, a handful of famous actors sat on his side of the courtroom; some wrote letters of support for Peck.

"I'm unsure if there's a way to have hope when the system is designed to gain the maximum compliance from children who are performers," Bialik said. 

Carlson Romano commented, "I think we're all kind of living with a little bit of survivor's guilt. That could have been any one of us, and we all kind of need to grieve together I think at this point and sort of come together to try to figure out what now."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Netflix's '3 Body Problem' 3-peats at #1

Netflix

Netflix's epic sci-fi adaptation 3 Body Problem has spent a fitting three weeks atop the streaming service's English language list. 

Netflix just released its weekly rankings, and the show, about aliens' not-so-friendly first contact with Earth, was tops again from April 8 to April 14, with 4.8 million views in that time. The series has 35,500,000 hours viewed worldwide since its debut on March 21, the streamer says.

Coming in second was a new offering, the docuseries Unlocked: A Jail Experiment; it snagged 3.9 million views, with an impressive 21 million hours watched in just its first week on the platform, per Netflix.

The Gentlemen series hung tough just behind in third place, with 3.7 million views, while Bad Dinosaurs came in fourth with 3.1 million views.

The limited British drama series Baby Reindeer rounded out the top five with 2.6 million on the English TV chart.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Warner Bros. turning nature series 'Meerkat Manor' into an animated movie

Courtesy OSF

In a clever — and cuddly — bit of corporate synergy, Warner Bros. Discovery has announced the beloved Animal Planet docuseres Meerkat Manor is becoming a movie for Warner Bros. Pictures Animation.

The film's executive producers are Caroline Hawkins and Clare Birks of Oxford Scientific Films, who created the original series that debuted in 2005, and followed the trials and tribulations of the Whiskers family of the titular mammals.

As it did with its Oscar-winning 2006 film Happy Feet, the studio will use photoreal animation to bring the creatures in the Meerkat Manor movie to life.

"It’s 20 years since we experimented with a wildlife soap opera in a London basement, and now here we are. What greater evidence could there be of the enduring appeal of meerkats?" Hawkins said.

She added, "I am sure they would be thrilled at attaining stardom in Hollywood!"

Co-producers Seth Green and Tracy Falco agreed, saying, "Meerkats have been secondary characters in animated feature films and it's time they get the star treatment they've deserved."

They added, "We believe that the heartwarming and entertaining story of Meerkat Manor, replete with all the drama, emotion and humor of the human experience, will resonate with audiences of all ages."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


It's official: Taylor Swift's boyfriend has a TV job

Kansas City Star / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

After reports that he was in talks for the job, Travis Kelce has landed it. Taylor Swift's other half is the new host of Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity? — a spin-off of the popular game show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? — which will stream on Prime Video.

The show will feature a contestant who will get help from a group of celebrities in answering 11 questions on subjects taken from an elementary school curriculum, with a $100,000 prize hanging in the balance. For the final question, which will be on a sixth-grade level, the contestant will pick one celebrity to talk through the answer before making their final decision.

“I grew up loving game shows, and I’m excited to be following in the footsteps of so many TV icons by hosting my very first one with Are you Smarter than a Celebrity," the Kansas City Chiefs tight end said in a statement. "The original show is a great success, so to be bringing a new format with everyone’s favorite celebrities to the screen, will definitely be entertaining."

He adds, "I’m just happy to be on the hosting side of the equation here and excited to see how these famous faces keep up.”

No word yet on when the show will premiere, or how it might fit into Kelce's training or playing schedule — or into Taylor's recording and touring schedule.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ridley Scott reminisces about 'Alien''s iconic "chestburster" scene

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In a sit-down organized by Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes, Ridley Scott, the director of 1979's sci-fi classic Alien, and Alien: Romulus director Fede Álvarez discussed the reaction to the original film's most memorable scene.

Scott, who produced the forthcoming Romulus, broke down the iconic scene that shows John Hurt unwillingly giving birth — through his sternum — to the movie's acid-bleeding xenomorph, and what the first audiences thought of it. 

"There's an eruption in the theater of outrage. Of outrage!" Scott recalled. "People were incensed that it was so violent."

On set, it was also a stunner. Famously, Scott didn't warn the cast about the gag to record their genuine shock. And it worked: actress Veronica Cartwright passed out soon after a 3-foot-long spurt of blood shot across her face.

Scott even revealed that after the film came out, he got a phone call from legendary director Stanley Kubrick, which he at first assumed was a prank. 

Kubrick had but one question for Scott, the filmmaker remembers: "How the hell did you get that thing to come out of his chest?"

After breaking down the special effect, Kubrick replied, "Got it, thank you," then "he hung up," Scott laughs.

Also on Tuesday, Scott revealed that Alien is returning to select theaters starting April 26, in honor of its 45th anniversary. 

It's a good warm-up for Álvarez's Romulus, which stars Cailee SpaenyIsabela Merced and Spike Fearn. That movie opens in theaters August 16. 


Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Hemsworth, Brian Tyree Henry announce 'Transformers One' trailer will debut in space

Paramount Pictures

AThe voice stars of the animated prequel film Transformers One, Chris Hemsworth and Brian Tyree Henry, have announced an out-of-this-world debut for the movie's trailer.

In an Instagram post Tuesday, the Marvel movie veterans revealed the trailer will launch -- literally -- in space.

The film has Hemsworth and Henry voicing, respectively, the robots Orion Pax and Henry D-16; the prequel shows how they "went from brothers-in-arms to become sworn enemies, Optimus Prime and Megatron."

Paramount Pictures explains that on Thursday, April 16 at 9 a.m. ET there will be a live-streamed countdown, and a spacecraft will be launched. "After one hour, the craft will reach its peak at 125,000 feet above the Earth, revealing the trailer with a custom introduction video" from the pair, the announcement said.

The event will be streamed from @TransformersMovie social accounts, The Paramount Pictures YouTube channel and co-streamed by Hemsworth on Instagram.

"With this movie, the sky's the limit," says Hemsworth in Tuesday's tease. "I mean it literally really is, though," Henry adds.

Transformers One, which also features the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Jon Hamm, Laurence Fishburne, and Keegan-Michael Key, opens in theaters back on earth on September 13.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Henry Cavill expecting first child with girlfriend Natalie Viscuso

Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Henry Cavill is going to be a dad — no, make that a super dad.

The Man of Steel actor, 40, is expecting his first child with his girlfriend, Natalie Viscuso, Good Morning America confirmed.

Cavill first opened up about becoming a father while speaking to press at the premiere of his new movie, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, on Monday.

"I'm very excited about it," he told Access Hollywood on the red carpet. "Natalie and I are both very excited."

Speaking to E! News at the star-studded event, Cavill shared what a date night for him and Viscuso typically looks like.

"We're not shy of a kitchen dance party, I'll tell you that much. A bottle of wine goes down range. Obviously not now -- but previously," he said, alluding to her pregnancy.

Cavill and Viscuso made their public debut as a couple at the premiere of his film Enola Holmes 2 in October 2022.

Since then, she has joined him at the premieres of his Netflix series The Witcher in June and his film Argylle in January.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rachel Zegler, Kit Connor to team up for 'Romeo + Juliet' on Broadway

ABC - Netflix

West Side Story's Rachel Zegler and Heartstopper heartthrob Kit Connor will make their Broadway debuts in a modern twist on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

The pair cheekily hinted at the collab by posting the first initial of their respective characters' names, along with the location tag "Verona," the setting of the famous play.

Connor also posted the details to his Instagram of the "strictly limited engagement" of Romeo + Juliet, which will be directed by Tony winner Sam Gold and feature music by Grammy winner Jack Antonoff.

The announcement temporarily crashed the forthcoming play's official website.

Noting in the tagline, "The youth are f*****," this version of "Shakespeare's timeless tragedy now belongs to a new generation on the edge."

A description reads, "Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way."

Gold won a Tony for the musical Fun Home in 2015, but he also has experience with The Bard's work, including an adaptation of Othello in 2016 starring David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig. He then worked with Craig again, along with Preacher's Ruth Negga, for Macbeth in 2022. 

In a statement, Gold said of the new project, "With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting."

As reported, Romeo & Juliet will also be staged this summer on London's West End, starring Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nostalgia, online: Mini reunions of 'Scrubs' and 'Beverly Hills, 90210'

Braff and McGinley on the 'Scrubs' set in 2006 - Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

Fans of the TV shows Beverly Hills, 90210 and Scrubs were treated to a nostalgia hit on Monday, when some of the stars of the shows posted their respective hang out sessions.

Tori Spelling took to Instagram to share a photo of herself in between Beverly Hills, 90210 co-stars Brian Austin Green and Jason Priestley.

"It's a Donna sandwich. And, we are in Pittsburgh so don't hold the pickles," wrote the 90210 alum who played Donna Martin in the hit show. Green, who played David Silver, flanked Spelling on the left of the shot, and Priestley, who played Brandon Walsh, appears on the right.

Beverly Hills, 90210 aired for 10 seasons between October 1990 and May 2000 and spawned numerous spin-offs, including Melrose Place -- which itself is getting a new reboot -- and a 2019 effort, BH90210, which reunited the original cast, minus the late Luke Perry who died in March 2019

Not to be outdone, in an Instagram post from Zach Braff's friend Amanda Klootz, she's pictured with Braff, and his fellow Scrubs cast members John C. McGinley, Christa Miller, and Sarah Chalke.

"Impromptu pizza party with my Scrubs," wrote Miller, who appears on Apple TV+'s Shrinking, and was Emmy nominated as a music supervisor for Ted Lasso.

Scrubs ran for nine seasons from 2001 to 2010, and the cast have remained close over the years. Zach's Scrubs buddy Donald Faison, who was absent from the pic, has appeared in commercials with his friend, and co-hosts their podcast Fake Doctors.

Kloots' friendship with Braff goes back to 2014 when they starred in Bullets Over Broadway together in 2014 with Kloots' late husband, Nick Cordero, who died in 2020 after battling complications from COVID-19.

 

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