Entertainment News

Scarlett Johansson says she spent "about 10 years just waiting" for the 'Black Widow' movie

Marvel Studios/Jay Maidment

After spending a decade waiting for Marvel hero Natasha Romanoff to star in her own movie, Scarlett Johansson was finally promoted from supporting cast to starring role in the upcoming Black Widow movie.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, the actress reveals she had been waiting for Marvel boss Kevin Feige to green-light a solo film since The Avengers rocked the box office in 2012.

"I have a memory -- because we were all drinking a lot of red wine, this maybe is a real memory or a red wine memory, I'm not sure, but I think Kevin Feige remembers it too -- we were celebrating the press tour of the first Avengers movie," the Oscar nominee recalled.

"We were all having a good old time and Feige and I sat across from each other at a table and he broached it and we started just talking about what it could be [and] the possibility of a standalone," Johansson continued. 

Finally, the good news came, of which the Jojo Rabbit star remarked, "I was waiting on the phone for about 10 years just waiting for Kevin Feige. Just hold music for 10 years."

Johansson, 36, noted that she is glad the project took time to come into fruition and admitted, had the ball started rolling then, the standalone film "would have been a very different movie than the one that we're making now."

Black Widow takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War -- as Black Widow sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame.

Johansson says she's appreciates how Natasha's story ended, adding, "It made so much sense that she would sacrifice herself not just for the greater good of humanity but actually for her friends."

Black Widow backflips into theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access on July 9.

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


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'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' taking a summer hiatus

Comedy Central

Comedy Central announced Tuesday that Trevor Noah's The Daily Show will go on a summer hiatus beginning on Friday, before returning with "a brand new look and feel" on September 13.

The cable channel added that the show will continue to produce exclusive brand content across its digital, social and podcast platforms the entire summer.

The announcement comes after Noah teased a “few surprises” in store when he and his team finally return to the studio, according to a press release from the network.

In a "For Your Consideration" conversation with Arsenio Hall, Noah said, “As for going back to the studio, I have a few surprises as to what that will look like.  I’m working on a few things with the team, and we’re really excited because I want it to be intentional.  People always say, ‘When are you going back?’  I’m never going back, I’m only moving forward.”

The Daily Show is the last of the nightly shows to return to the studio.  Noah has been hosting the show from his New York City apartment.


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"Dave" star GaTa talks last season's revealing episode and becoming "an overnight mental health advocate"

Matthias Clamer/FX

What have Lil Dicky and his friends been up to the past year?  Season two of the hit FXX comedy Dave premieres tonight.

The comedy stars Dave Burd a.k.a. Lil Dicky, who plays a fictionalized version of himself -- a neurotic suburban man in his late 20s who tries to become one of the best rappers of all time.  Dicky's real-life hype man, Davionte “GaTa” Ganter, who plays himself in the series, tells ABC Audio that he feels blessed after last year’s impactful episode in which he revealed his own real-life struggle with bipolar disorder.

"I'm getting called upon daily," he explains.  "It’s kind of like I turned into an overnight mental health advocate. And it feels good just to be able to speak use my platform for something positive.”

GaTa says his level of fame has skyrocketed so much in the past year, he’s getting recognized everywhere -- even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's strange, though, because the show must really be so, so, so, on that level to where people can recognize me through the mask, hear my voice," he says.  "I have been out in different scenarios where somebody had just turned around and just hear my voice and recognize me while I got the mask on... It's just a great feeling."

GaTa says he was so inspired by the show’s success, he was seriously about to get a Lil Dicky tattoo on his face, but was talked out of it.

"[Lil Dicky] had to quickly remind me, like, yo, you're an actor, bro," he recalls.  "You don't want to just tattoo your face up.  Your face is the money, you understand. So he slowed me down and made me make the right decision." 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Project Runway designer Michael Costello says Chrissy Teigen's cyberbullying still leaves him feeling suicidal

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Rhonda's Kiss

A day after Chrissy Teigen posted a lengthy apology to her "targets" of cyberbullying, one of them has come forward to say her messages to him still have him suicidal.

In a heart-wrenching post on Instagram, designer and Project Runway alum Michael Costello posted, "I didn't want to do this, but...I need to heal and in order for me to do that I must reveal what I've been going through....I still am traumatized, depressed, and have thoughts of suicide."

Like Courtney Stodden did before him, Costello had the receipts to prove Teigen's comments.

Costello explained he had been slandered online in 2014 by a "former disgruntled employee" who posted doctored messages to make it look like he'd used the "N-word."

In response, Teigen bashed Costello online, as did fans of Beyonce, who Costello once dressed.

Instagram eventually agreed the controversial posts were fraudulent, and deleted them, he explained to her.

"Good luck with that lmao hope that story keeps your already dead career going," was her reply, according to texts Costello posted.

Another text from Teigen read, "racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch."

Costello claims Teigen and her stylist Monica Rose conspired to get others not to work with him.

He posted, "...I didn't see the point of living. There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood, who actually do have powers to close doors..."

He explained the trauma continued, so much so that he recently prepared suicide notes letters to his family.

There has been no public comment from Teigen regarding Costello's post. 

In other Costello-related news, singer Leona Lewis said she empathizes with the designer, but recalled how he "humiliated" her at a fashion event. 

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Cherry Lemonade' director discusses film's inspiration, Robin Thede & London Hughes to lead 'Perfect Strangers' reboot & more

Marie Fox

Starring This Is Us' Eris Baker in the lead role, Ford's live-action short film Cherry Lemonade follows a young girl learning to hold her own in a world that "sometimes contains violent men that may present themselves as protectors."

Ford tells ABC Audio that the film is reflective of her own experience because she "remembers the dangers" of her hometown and the importance of defending herself. She hopes the film serves as a representation of the "community and home [she] remembers in a way that champions its complexity and authenticity."

In other industry news, Robin Thede and London Hughes will lead the upcoming Perfect Strangers reboot on HBO Max, Deadline has learned. The original 1980s sitcom starred Mark Linn-Baker as Midwest native Larry Appleton and Bronson Pinchot as his distant cousin from Europe. In the new version, Thede and Hughes will respectively play Deja and Poppy, two women who discover they are half-sisters when they "both inherit a one-bedroom apartment above a trap yoga studio in Fort Greene, Brooklyn." A release date for the series has yet to be announced.

Finally, fresh off her co-starring role in Warner Bros.' In the Heights, Dascha Polanco has confirmed that she will star opposite Shanola Hampton in the NBC pilot Dangerous Moms. Based on the Spanish series Señoras del (h)Ampa, the show will follow four mothers "who accidentally kill the queen bee of their school's PTA during the demonstration of a new high-end food processor." Polanco will play Pia, the "impeccable nemesis of Monique," portrayed by Hampton. Additional casting has yet to be announced.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Rick and Morty' and 'Loki': Show creator explains how animated hit led to new Disney+ Marvel show

Marvel Studios

Tomorrow, Disney+ drops the second episode of its latest hit Marvel Cinematic Universe small-screen spin-off, Loki. 

If the series' absurdist streak seems familiar for fans of another time-and-space-spanning show, Rick and Morty, that's no accident. Loki's creator and head writer is Michael Waldron, a veteran of the beloved animated series.

All involved in the show, including Marvel Studios' president, are fans, which helped get the ball rolling. "Kevin Feige loves the show, so that certainly worked in my favor," Waldron tells ABC Audio.

Additionally, he snarks, "Marvel has a long history of success with Dan Harmon-poached talent." 

Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed four Marvel hits, including Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, worked with Rick and Morty co-creator Harmon on the NBC comedy Community.

Waldron adds that a time travel screenplay he wrote landed on the hot-script list in Hollywood known as the Black List, "and [all of that] was what got me in the door to start pitching." 

He says he had to adjust his approach from the toon to write for the God of Mischief, but star Tom Hiddleston made that easy. "I think maybe out the gate, I was trying to step on the gas of the comedy, perhaps too much," Waldron recalled with a laugh during a recent press conference. "I had to recalibrate and shift this thing to a more dramatic place."

Waldron adds, "That's the great thing about this character, is you don't have to write jokes. Loki is going to make regular exchanges funny and fun...So we just trusted Tom to do all the work." 

Meanwhile, season 5 of Rick and Morty starts June 20 on Adult Swim.

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

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Gone Girl', 'The Orville' actress Lisa Banes dies after June 4 scooter hit-and-run

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The Orville creator and star Seth MacFarlane took to social media to memorialize 65-year-old actress Lisa Banes, who died in New York City on Monday after suffering serious injuries in a scooter accident earlier this month. 

Calling her death a "tremendous loss," MacFarlane said of the performer, who also appeared in Gone Girl and many other films and TV shows, "I am deeply saddened at the news of Lisa Banes' passing. We had the good fortune to work with her on The Orville this past year." He added, "Her stage presence, magnetism, skill and talent were matched only by her unwavering kindness and graciousness toward all of us."

The New York Police Department tells ABC News that Banes was struck by a rider on an electric scooter while she tried to cross Amsterdam Avenue on 64th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The collision left the actress on the roadway with severe head trauma.

The scooter rider fled the scene after striking the actress, who was rushed to nearby Mount Sinai Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased on Monday.

No arrests have been made.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kevin Hart says the flaw of cancel culture is expecting everyone to "operate perfectly all the time"

ABC/Randy Holmes

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Kevin Hart admits he's made plenty of mistakes and knows he's not the only one -- which is why he says cancel culture is flawed.

Speaking with The Sunday Times, the 41-year-old actor, who admitted to being "canceled, what, three or four times," made a case about why he was "never bothered" by it.

"When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don't understand," said Hart. "I don't expect perfection from my kids. I don't expect it from my wife, friends, employees. Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from [screwing] up. I don't know a kid who hasn’t [messed] up or done some dumb [stuff]."

The actor and standup comedian adds that cancel culture should only be invoked if someone does something "truly damaging. ...When you just talk about… nonsense? When you're talking, 'Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!' Shut the [heck] up! What are you talking about?"

Hart says comedy has suffered because comedians are too afraid of being cancelled: "You're thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the [rear.]"

"There’s an assumption it's always bad and, somehow, we forgot comedians are going for the laugh," says Hart. "I'm trying to make you laugh and if I did not make you laugh I failed. That's my consequence."

The Jumanji star was famously cancelled in 2018 after several offensive tweets he made regarding the LGBT community over a decade earlier resurfaced.  While Hart had previously apologized for the tweets, he stepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscars because of the growing backlash.

"I look back and cringe," he confessed. "I was just immature."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Beauty and the Beast' stars Luke Evans and Josh Gad reuniting for limited musical series for Disney+


Luke Evans will reunite with Josh Gad as, respectively, Gaston and LeFou in a limited-run small-screen prequel to their 2017 live-action hit film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

Disney+ announced that Frozen series star Gad will also serve as a writer and executive producer on the eight-episode streaming series, which will feature an original soundtrack from EGOT-winning composer and Disney veteran Alan Menken.

The stars will be joined by actress Briana Middleton, playing LeFou's stepsister, Tilly. Production will begin in the spring of 2022.

This news comes as the original film, the first animated feature to ever be nominated in the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, turns 30. That film went on to win Oscars for Menken's score and for its title song, written by Menken and Howard Ashman.

Its live-action counterpart also was a beast at the box office, raking in more than $1.2 billion worldwide.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic gets into the NFT game -- from behind bars


Now that the pandemic continues to diminish in much of the U.S., it's something of a full-circle moment that Joe Exotic -- the guy we all binged at the start of the pandemic with Netflix's Tiger King -- is making headlines again. 

Exotic, whose legal name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, isn't letting a thing like being behind bars stop him from getting into the NFT game. For the uninitiated, NFTs or non-fungible tokens, allow buyers to exercise sole ownership over a unique piece of digital media, such as individual songs, videos and images.

The colorful figure has announced an online auction of not only his personal property -- like his famous fringed leather jacket and his beloved Smith and Wesson revolver, both as seen in the show -- but also exclusive NFTs.

The auction begins June 18 via the auction site Mintable, where fans can bid on a host of NFTs, like digital renderings of Joe with that classic meme character, the Doge dog, or hugging various Pokemon, or, naturally, the big cats that made him famous -- or infamous, depending on your point of view.

Those who buy his physical props also get exclusive digital renderings of their items. You can also bid on digital versions of Joe's music, like the song "I Saw a Tiger," and other ditties.

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his murder-for-hire plot in which he targeted his nemesis and fellow big cat enthusiast, Carole Baskin.

A press release calls Joe Exotic "The first felon to foray into the blockchain world from prison," noting the NFT sales are part of a partnership with the cryptocurrency club MORE. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Allius Barnes promises a "really great moment between Vince and Ben" in the season finale of 'Cruel Summer'

Freeform/Bill Matlock

Allius Barnes says he'll be watching right along with the fans when his hit Freeform series Cruel Summer airs its season finale tonight.

Over the course of nine episodes that jumped between the years of 1993, 1994 and 1995, viewers were introduced to Barnes as Vince Fuller, one of Jeanette's best friends, who experiences his first relationship with his classmate Ben. Barnes tells ABC Audio that tonight's episode will leave his character Vince with some much needed closure.

"You see a really, really great moment between Vince and Ben," Barnes reveals. "I think a moment that was necessary for a long time, given the distance that was created between them back in the year '94 to '95 when you see them."

He continues, "And I think that's a moment that's definitely much requested...and asked for -- and people want to see how that plays out. So I'm excited for the world to see where that relationship goes."

While much can be said about his character ahead of tonight's episode, Barnes admits that he doesn't have much to say when it comes to the future of Kate and Jeannette, who are still very much at odds.

"I am really excited for the world to see these girls really tell their stories from their perspectives...in front of each other," Barnes says.  "And really, really, really see who's telling the truth."

The season finale of Cruel Summer, also starring Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia, airs tonight on Freeform at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Leslie Odom Jr. explains why he's thankful his father-in-law got a "second chance"


This Father's Day will be very special for Leslie Odom Jr.  The Hamilton star recently welcomed a baby boy, Able, with wife Nicolette Robinson. Secondly, he's reflecting about his father-in-law Stuart K. Robinson's gift of life: he survived a heart attack and was allowed to celebrate becoming a grandfather again.

That is why Leslie, 39, and Nicolette, 33, teamed with Bayer Aspirin and penned "Second Chance," a song honoring heart attack survivors that creatively uses Stuart's heartbeat as a rhythm.

Leslie told ABC Audio the song was therapeutic for the two to write, as they hadn't emotionally processed Stuart's heart attack because "it was all so sudden." Writing the lyrics, explained the Broadway star, allowed them "to go back and process... the trauma and our pain."

"Thank goodness we are living in Stu's second chance," the Tony-winner added. "There's been some major milestones that we just couldn't imagine not having him here for." 

Those milestones, Leslie shared, include "two grandchildren [and seeing] his daughter take Broadway for the very first time. Nobody saw Nicolette in Waitress more than me except Stu!"

Leslie also hopes those who hear "Second Chance" will take their health seriously and schedule regular screenings.

The Central Park star especially targets his message to men, adding, "Make sure that everything's okay not just for you but for the people around you, for the people you love." 

When speaking about treasuring the gift of life, Leslie touched upon the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer last August.

"I was so profoundly shaken with with Chadwick's passing... Such a towering figure of my generation gone so soon," expressed Leslie, noting how the actor was "just a few years older than I."  

"Second Chance" is out now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jessica Biel opens up about having "a secret COVID baby"


Jessica Biel is opening up about having baby number two. 

The actress, who already shares 6-year-old son Silas with Justin Timberlake, welcomed their second child, now 11-month old Phineas in July 2020. However, news of a second child took many by surprise, which the 7th Heaven alum said was not her intention. 

"I had, like, a secret COVID baby. It wasn't like it was supposed to be a secret. It was just COVID happened, and then I went to Montana with my family and never left," Biel explained while on Dax Shepard'Armchair Expert podcast. 

Now a family of four, the 39-year-old admitted that it's "super hard" but "amazing."

"Someone said to me, 'Two is like having a thousand.' And that's exactly what it feels like," Biel shared. "The balance of everything is very different and super hard. But I agree. I mean, it's amazing."

"It's so interesting. It's so funny. The conversations I'm having now with my 6-year-old is so cool. Like, he's a real person saying the funniest stuff and he's so sensitive and tender," she continued. "It's just so interesting to see that part of it happen and the little one is just cute as hell."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen explain why they vanished from the public eye

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sat down for a rare interview to discuss their fashion brand, The Row, which turns 15 this year.  The former actresses also touched upon their decision to retire from the public eye and how they found fulfillment in the fashion industry.

"We were raised to be discreet people," Mary-Kate told i-D magazine on Monday, who also warned that, because of their low-key lifestyle, they are "bit out of practice" when it comes to interviews.

The twins, now 35, largely steered away from discussing their life prior to launching The Row, but did discuss why neither wanted to be the face of their clothing brand.

"We really didn’t want to be in front of it. We didn’t necessarily even want to let people know it was us, in a way," admitted Ashley. "I think, to this day, you’ll see we really put the product first."

"We’re not chasing anything, we’re just being really honest with who we are and where we are with the brand," added Mary-Kate.

The two launched The Row when they were teenagers, with Ashley explaining, "We were 18 years old and I think what we did know was that we wanted to take that time to take a break from what we were previously doing and to explore things that interested us, and explore what life has to offer."

"We wanted to explore making something of ourselves," the fashion mogul added.

The twins attest they found fulfillment in switching careers and are looking ahead to the future.

"I think it’s been really important for us to stay in control and to do things at a time that feels right," said Ashley. "And I think that’s an interesting balance." 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lin-Manuel Miranda apologizes for how 'In the Heights' "fell short" in representing Afro-Latinx community

Warner Bros.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has broken his silence over the growing criticism over his latest movie musical In The Heights, which features a predominately Latinx cast.

Critics say the film didn't go far enough and accused it of "colorism" for failing to represent the Afro-Latinx community that is present in the movie's real-life setting of New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood.

On Monday, the Hamilton star issued a lengthy apology over the film's shortcomings and vowed to do better.

"I started writing In the Heights because I didn't feel seen.  And over the past 20 years all I wanted was for us -- ALL of us -- to feel seen," tweeted Miranda, 41. "It is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community didn't feel sufficiently represented... particularly among leading roles."

"I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback.  I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy," he continued.

"In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short," said Miranda. "I'm truly sorry.  I'm learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I'm listening."

The Tony Award-winner closed out his apology by vowing to "do better in my future projects" and be mindful of what he can do "to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community." 

In The Heights, directed by Jon M. Chu, was adapted from the Broadway musical that Miranda is said to have first penned in 1998, when he was a sophomore in college.

The film -- starring Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins and Olga Merediz -- earned a disappointing $11.4 million during its opening weekend.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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