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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- The forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul, has tapped some heavy hitters for the cast.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess and Mary J. Blige have all been added to the film.

They join previously announced cast members Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Marc Maron, Tate Donovan and newcomer Skye Dakota Turner.

Whitaker has been cast as Franklin's father, The Reverend C.L. Franklin, while McDonald will play Aretha's mother. Wayans will play Ted White, Franklin's abusive first husband, whom she married at 19. Blige will play legendary singer Dinah Washington, while Burgess will play The Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, known as "The King of Gospel Music."

Turner, who played young Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, will star as young Aretha. 

As previously noted, the biopic stars Hudson as Aretha and will follow the singer's rise to superstardom, from her childhood singing gospel in her father's church to her emergence as one of the most powerful and influential voices in soul and R&B. The movie will also examine Franklin's impact on the civil rights and women's movements.

The film, penned by screenwriter and producer Callie Khouri, will be directed by Liesl [LEE-suhl] Tommy, who in 2016 became the first black woman ever to receive a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play, for Eclipsed.

Respect will also include a variety of Aretha's most famous songs, including her classic rendition of Otis Redding's "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and "Think."

A release date for Respect has yet to be announced.

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Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- "Thanks to Jeep for keeping me alive."

Those words came from grateful actor Daniel Logan -- who played young bounty hunter-to-be Boba Fett in Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones, and voiced him on the small screen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- following a nasty rollover wreck in Tustin, California on Friday.

One of Logan's friends took photos of the scene of the accident. The pics show Logan's grey Jeep Grand Cherokee resting on the driver's side, windows smashed, and the 32-year-old actor bloodied from scrapes, sitting shaken on the curb.

"So glad the Force was with him," noted the friend, who added, in reference to Boba's warrior race, "[Y]ou can't keep a Mandalorian down."

In a subsequent video recorded Saturday, Logan addresses the camera, wearing a neck brace, thanking fans for the words of support. "And a special big thank you to Jeep for keeping me alive," he said. "And also to the Tustin Police Department and Fire Department department...You guys took such good care of me..."

He added to fans, "Like Boba Fett, there'll be another bounty ahead, don't worry."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix has released the final trailer for the third season of The Crown, and in it, we see Oscar-winner Olivia Colman under strain as Queen Elizabeth II.

Season three sees the Queen's kingdom rapidly changing, from the Cold War through the Space Age, and into the challenges of the late '60s and '70s.

A cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changin'" illustrates that point.

As Colman replaces Claire Foy as Elizabeth, Helena Bonham Carter now plays Princess Margaret, replacing Vanessa Kirby in the role.

"This country was great when I took the throne," Elizabeth laments to Margaret. "All that's happened on my watch is the place has fallen apart."

Margaret responds cooly, "It's only fallen apart if we say it has. That's the thing about the monarchy: We paper over the cracks."

"We have all made sacrifices," Elizabeth states at the trailer's close. "It is not a choice. It is a duty."

This season also stars Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne; Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles; Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon; Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten.

Emma Corrin has been cast as Princess Diana, but she won't be introduced until season four.

The Crown Season 3 launches globally on Sunday, November 17.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Clay Enos/Nikos Tavernise - Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (LOS ANGELES) -- While fans were rightly confused last year when Warner Bros. announced plans to make a standalone Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix AND a second Suicide Squad movie, apparently Suicide Squad star Jared Leto was livid.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leto was "alienated and upset" that Todd Phillips' darker take on the comic villain was given the go-ahead with another actor.  And although Leto's former rep denied it, the Oscar- winning actor and 30 Seconds To Mars frontman reportedly lobbied both his acting agency and his music manager to pressure Warner Bros. to pull the plug on the Joker movie.

Fast forward to the present: Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix has become a smash, and Leto isn't involved in the Suicide Squad sequel.

Not helping his case, arguably, was fan reaction to Leto's, um, "interesting" take on the character, as well as long-simmering bad blood between Leto and the sequel's writer-director James Gunn.

There was also the matter of the used condoms and live rats Leto sent to his Suicide Squad co-stars -- as part of getting into "character" -- for the role. 

Leto also isn't involved in 2020's Birds Of Prey, the stand-alone adventure starring his Suicide Squad co-star Margot Robbie as Joker's ex-girlfriend, Harley Quinn.

Attempting to explain Leto's reaction, The Hollywood Reporter quotes an insider as saying, "How do you play the Joker you established following [Phoenix]? It kind of ends [Leto's] Joker run."

The second Suicide Squad film, titled The Suicide Squad, comes out August 6, 2021.

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Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images(LYON, FRANCE) -- Not only does Francis Ford Coppola support his fellow film-making legend Martin Scorsese's opinion that superhero movies "aren't cinema," he's now gone even further, calling them "despicable."

According to The Guardian, the Godfather series director declared, "When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he's right, because we expect to learn something from cinema; we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration."

"I don't know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again," said the 80-year-old filmmaker to journalists after receiving Lyon's Prix Lumiere award for his contribution to cinema.

"Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."

Coppola's next film is his long-in-development opus Megalopolis, which he described as is his "most ambitious" ever. 

As he did when Scorsese made his Marvel movie fan-riling comments, Guardians of the Galaxy series director James Gunn took to Instagram to rebut Coppola.

"Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them 'despicable,' Gunn wrote.

"Some of our great-grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same," he continued. "I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, 'I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!'"

Gunn added, "Superheroes are simply today's gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. Like westerns and gangster movies...not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that's okay."

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



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Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney(NEW YORK) -- We assume that Katherine Schwarzenegger is many things to her new hubby Chris Pratt -- but a chef is not one of them.

The Marvel movie star took to Instagram to take a good-natured jab at Katherine's cooking skills -- or lack thereof -- complete with a photo of what appears to be a charcoal briquette on a plate. 

"Proud of my darling for trying to cook tonight. Did it go well? No. No it did not. Not at all," Pratt noted.

"To quote Rocky Balboa, 'It's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get up...'"

Pratt added, "As you can tell from the lump of coal in the center of the plate, this bagel bite never stood a chance. I honestly simply cannot imagine what went wrong here. Pretty simple. Microwave. 2 minutes. Maybe she thought it said 2 hours."

The actor added sweetly, "I want to commend her for her effort. This is a big step babe. Proud of you."



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Adam Christopher /NBCUniversal(NEW YORK) -- Sometimes parents just need a moment to themselves -- even celebrity parents.  Case in point: Eva Mendes.

The mother of two posted a hilarious selfie on her Instagram Sunday of her hiding underneath the covers in an attempt to camouflage herself and escape her daughters.  

"Sunday. Still in bed. Trying to hide from my kids. (not having success)" She hilariously captions before poking fun at her flawless appearance.  "And no, I didn’t wash my makeup off last night. I know , I know so bad,  yadda yadda."  

Eva goes on to remind parents that it's okay to take a breather now and again.  "To all you mamas out there, hope you find a moment to sneak away from the madness today even for a few minutes," she encourages.

Eva is the mother of three-year-old Amanda and five-year-old Esmeralda.  With two toddlers to keep tabs on, on top of husband Ryan Gosling, it's obvious her hands are pretty full.

Mendes recently opened up on The Kelly Clarkson Show about parenting his two girls and admitted that she and Gosling can be "very controlling."  

When describing their parenting style, she said she is guilty of being a bulldozing AND helicopter parent at times.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.  


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ABC(NEW YORK) --  Alec Baldwin was Jimmy Fallon's guest on a special Sunday night edition of NBC's The Tonight Show, and revealed the "Jedi mind trick" Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels used to get him to reprise his impersonation of President Donald Trump, despite vowing never to do it again.

Baldwin says it begins with Michaels calling him up the day before the show. "And he's like, [mimicking Lorne's voice] 'Well, I don't think you understand.' And I go, 'what don't I understand? I've been thinking about it like all summer, every day that's all I think about.'"

"Unconsciously, Lorne starts with one powerful premise, which is, 'I hired you, didn't I? My judgement is flawless. I gave you your biggest job, right?'" Baldwin continues. "And you're kinda like, 'Yeah, he's got a point.'"

Adds Baldwin, "So I came and I did it, and I'm going to do it a few times."

Alec also told Fallon that the impression gets a mixed reaction from people he meets on the street.

"Most people will walk up to me and go, 'Thank you,'" he explains. "Or, it's like a bunch of construction workers and they're like, 'There he is, that a****** Alec Baldwin.'"

"But it's all a spoof, we don't mean anything bad," Baldwin said, before adding with a hearty laugh, "That's the funniest thing I've heard all year."

Baldwin was promoting his upcoming film, Motherless Brooklyn, opening nationwide November 1.

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(NEW YORK) -- It wasn't the big weekend Disney had predicted for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, but the film still managed to topple Joker with an estimated $36 million haul. The sequel to 2014's Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, reprising their roles from the first film, delivered almost half the $69.4 million the studio had predicted.

Overseas, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil brought in an estimated $117 million, bringing its worldwide totals to $153 million.  Disney is the parent company of ABC Audio.

This weekend's other major release, Zombieland: Double Tap, finished on the higher end of expectations, earning an estimated $26.7 million for a third place finish.  The sequel to the surprise 2009 horror zombie apocalypse cult hit, featuring the original cast Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone, topped the $24.7 million debut of its predecessor.

Joker, in its third week of release, slipped to second place with an estimated $29.2 million haul.  The film added an estimated $77.8 million overseas, for a global total that of $737 million.

In fourth place was the animated adaptation of The Addams Family, collecting an estimated $16.05 in its second week of release.

Rounding out the top five was Gemini Man, grabbing an estimated $8.5 million in its second week of release.

In limited release, the horror film The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, opened strong with an estimated $419,764 from eight theaters.  Likewise, Jojo Rabbit, the World War II satire written, directed and starring Taika Waititi [TIE-ka Wah-TEET-ee], along with Scarlett Johansson, had an impressive opening weekend, with an estimated $350,000 from just five locations.  It led all other newcomers with a $70,000 per theater average.

Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, $36 million
2. Joker, $29.2 million
3. Zombieland 2: Double Tap, $26.7 million
4. The Addams Family, $16.05 million
5. Gemini Man, $8.5 million
6. Abominable, $3.5 million
7. Downton Abbey, $3.08 million
8. Judy, $2.55 million
9. Hustlers, $2.05 million
10. It: Chapter Two, $1.5 million

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Brian Dowling/© 2019 CTMG, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Despite China delaying the release Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, reportedly over its depiction of Bruce Lee, the filmmaker has refused the country's demand to recut the movie.

The movie had been approved for release in China this coming Friday, but regulators have suddenly changed their minds.

The film has been "indefinitely put on hold," sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. No explanation was given to Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind the film, as to why, but the insiders say it was in response to a complaint from Lee's daughter Shannon over the depiction of her late father.

The movie includes a scene in which Brad Pitt's stuntman Cliff Booth, laughs in the face of Lee, played by Mike Moh, over a comment by Lee saying that he could have "crippled" Muhammad Ali -- referred to as Cassius Clay in the film -- in a fight.  The two then get into a "friendly" contest of who can knock the other down three times without hitting the face.  Neither side wins, but Pitt appears to have an edge near the end, after throwing Lee into the side of a classic car.

According to THR, Tarantino “is taking a take-it-or-leave-it stance in the wake of Chinese regulators pulling the film from the schedule a week before its release in the country October 25.”

The film, which co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who's a huge star in China thanks to 1997's Titanic, has earned $366 million to date and would likely have topped the $400 million mark after opening in China.

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JenAphotographer/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney are married, tying the knot in a Saturday ceremony in Rhode Island.

People reports that the ceremony was well attended by Hollywood elite, including Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, Ashley Olsen, Kris Jenner and Adele.  In all, 150 guests celebrated with the happy couple.

However, the guest list isn't what's making the news -- it's the food the happy couple served up during their fantastic reception.

Beyond the trays of smoked fish and beef roasting on open fire spits, there were also two food trucks in attendance: Boston's Baddest Burger and Sandwich Company. 

The owner of Boston's Baddest Burger Food Truck revealed he had no idea he was catering the event for such a famous client.  Kevin Tortorella told People that he was told days before the reception to go to a "specific address in Rhode Island."  He soon learned he wasn't working a regular gig.

"When I got there, the roads were sidelined with paparazzi and that’s when I started to be clued in," he added.

The trucks rolled up around 11 p.m. and parked outside the reception, which was held at the famous mansion, Belcourt of Newport.

Considering Lawrence earned her adoring fans in part due to her quirky food obsession -- chili pizza sandwich, anyone? -- the wedding menu is definitely on brand for the Oscar winner.

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romrodinka/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Hilary Duff opened up about the challenges of parenting and admitted that she is not the perfect mother.  In fact, her son's homework is her biggest weakness.

The Younger star revealed in an Instagram post that she struggles to help her third grade son, Luca, with his assignments for a very interesting reason.

"I stopped going to “real” school in 3rd grade so I’m actually doomed," Duff sheepishly explained. "I am left scratching my head alll the time looking at his homework and I’m terrified for next year!"

She also let it slip that her son's homework began testing her when he was in second grade.

However, not everything is gloom and doom for Duff.  She pointed out the silver lining when writing, “Singapore math is the s**t….also learned a lot about tick birds this week."  

Thankfully, Duff wasn't mommy shamed for her admission.  Instead, the comment section turned into a public forum of frustrated parents airing their grievances over their elementary school students' homework.  Fans mostly directed their frustrations at math homework.

Parents griping about math isn't a new phenomenon.  Common Core was first introduced in 2009 and quickly became the butt of many jokes made by stressed parents.  

The notion was even used for an extremely relatable scene in 2018's Incredibles II where one of the main characters, Bob, attempts to help his son with math homework and famously sputters, "Why would they change math?  Math is math!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/rarrarorro(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda, 81, was arrested by police with a group of about a dozen protesters Friday after being warned repeatedly to leave the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Inspired by young climate activists like 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, Fonda recently told ABC News that every Friday while she's in the nation's capital, she'll attend "Fire Drill Friday," a weekly event featuring scientists, celebrities and activists addressing the various facets and impacts of climate change.

Fonda, who has a long career in activism, told ABC News in an earlier interview about her planned effort, "11 o'clock every Friday morning come get arrested with me, or choose not to -- it doesn't matter."

The actress reportedly decided to leave her home and move to Washington for four months, because she wanted to "make a commitment to" the issue of climate change.

"Fire Drill Friday" is a reference to Thunberg saying during a speech at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January, "I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is."

In an interview with ABC News Deputy Political director MaryAlice Parks for an episode of of ABC News Live's The Briefing Room, Fonda said that it's the kids who are leading the charge when it comes to fighting climate change.

"And so, grandmas unite," she said. "I want to stand with them and raise up...their message. This is serious...this is a crisis unlike anything that has ever faced humankind."

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- While there are enough of them to make their own ensemble movie cast, don't expect to see Angelina Jolie's kids on the big screen.

The Oscar-winner and Maleficent series star explains to People that Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 11, have no plans to join the family business.

In fact, they turned down her offer to have them appear in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Jolie tells the magazine, revealing, "I tried. Nobody was interested!"

Although Vivienne played young Aurora in the 2014 original, she wasn't ready for her close-up this time around.

"None of my kids want to be actors," Jolie says. "[They’re into] business, humanitarian affairs, things like that."

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is now in theaters from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Jake Giles Netter(NEW YORK) -- In the new Lifetime movie Patsy & Loretta premiering this weekend, Broadway darlings Megan Hilty and Jessie Mueller star as two of country music’s most beloved stars: Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

Instead of being rivals, the two singers formed a close bond as they took on the male-dominated music industry of the 1960s together, until Patsy’s tragic death in a 1963 plane crash at age 30.  

Hilty, who plays Patsy, says it was “daunting” stepping into such an iconic singer’s shoes, but she was drawn to the film’s portrayal of female friendship.

“It’s written beautifully and it's about two female friends in a positive way,” she tells ABC Audio.

She adds, “You know, so many people like to make movies and TV shows about women who are in fierce competition and tearing each other apart any chance they get. And I really desperately wanted to be a part of something that celebrated what true female friendship looks like.”

Hilty, who rose to fame in the Broadway show Wicked and starred on the TV show Smash, and Mueller, a Tony award-winner for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, also perform the songs for the movie’s soundtrack.  Hilty takes on Patsy’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “Come on In (And Make Yourself at Home),” among others.

The soundtrack comes out Saturday, the same day Patsy & Loretta premieres on Lifetime at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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