Entertainment

'Interview with the Vampire' TV series coming to AMC

Francois Duhamel/Sygma via Getty Images

Sink your fangs into this: Interview with the Vampire is coming to the small screen.

An eight-episode series based on the 1976 Anne Rice novel has been ordered by AMC. The book, of course, was previously turned into the hit 1994 film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

News of the series comes after AMC purchased the rights to 18 of Rice’s books last year. The network is looking to adapt the books -- which include the Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series -- into a franchise headed by Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul producer Mark Johnson.

Perry Mason showrunner Rolin Jones will serve as creator, showrunner and writer of the Interview with the Vampire series.

“The challenge of adapting for television the groundbreaking and immensely compelling work of Anne Rice is both intimidating and exhilarating,” Johnson said in a statement. “...I strongly believe that with AMC and Rolin Jones we are equipped to meet this challenge and to thrill and entertain both the loyal Anne Rice fan and the viewer who is just now discovering her work.”

The series will debut on AMC and streaming service AMC+ in 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lily Collins starring in live-action Polly Pocket movie directed by Lena Dunham

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Your favorite tiny doll is coming to the big screen.

A live action Polly Pocket movie is in the works with Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins set to star and Lena Dunham on board to write and direct, Variety reports. The film’s storyline will reportedly center on a young girl and a pocket-sized woman who form a friendship.

“As a child who was obsessed with Polly Pocket, this is a real dream come true and I can’t wait to bring these tiny toys to the big screen,” Collins said in a statement.

“Polly Pocket was responsible for countless hours of childhood escapism for me -- Polly gave me a tiny world of magic and autonomy to narrate, so it’s pretty poetic to be tackling these same ideas now as a director...,” Dunham added. “I’m so thrilled to bring to bear both my love of this historic property and also my deep-seated belief that young women need smart playful films that speak to them without condescension.”

Dunham’s Good Thing Going production company will produce the movie along with Mattel Films and MGM.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson to receive honorary Oscars

Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullman will all receive honorary Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday.

Glover will be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition of his philanthropic efforts, while Jackson, May and Ullman will each receive honorary Oscar statuettes for their contributions to the industry.

“We are thrilled to present this year’s Governors Awards to four honorees who have had a profound impact on both film and society,” Academy President David Rubin says in a statement. “Sam Jackson is a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide, while Elaine May’s bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers.”

Rubin continues, “Liv Ullmann’s bravery and emotional transparency has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals, and Danny Glover’s decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.”

The four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 12th Governors Awards on Saturday, January 15, 2022, in Los Angeles. This will be the first Oscar presented to each honoree.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch 'The Harder They Fall' teaser; OWN, Onyx Collective & Hulu partner for 'The Hair Tales'; & more

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has unveiled the first teaser-trailer for their highly anticipated all-Black Western, The Harder They Fall.

The star-studded feature, which includes Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King, Zazie Beetz and Delroy Lindo, follows Majors as outlaw Nat Love, a man set on revenge after he learns that the man who killed his parents is being released from prison. Nat then reunites with his old gang to track down his enemy.

The Harder They Fall will be the directorial debut of singer-songwriter Jeymes Samuel. It will also be produced by rapper Jay-Z, who will write and produce original music for the film with Samuel. The Harder They Fall is expected to launch on Netflix sometime this fall.

In other news, OWN, Onyx Collection and Hulu are partnering to produce the original docu-series The Hair Tales. Created and narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela Angela Davis, the series shares the "personal tales of phenomenal Black women" and their complex relationship with their hair. The forthcoming series, which will be available on both OWN and Hulu as a part of Disney's recently announced Onyx Collective, is also co-executive produced by Ross, Davis, Tara Duncan, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg and Oprah Winfrey. The Hair Tales begins production later this year for a 2022 premiere.

Finally, AMC Networks' streaming service, ALLBLK, has greenlit West Philly, Baby, a new drama series inspired by Colman Domingo's stage play Dot, Deadline has learned. Written, directed, and produced by Domingo, the series follows "the journey of a Philadelphia family forced to grapple with their matriarch’s declining memory amid uncovering long held family secrets." Production of West Philly, Baby is set to begin in early 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Scarlett Johansson producing 'Tower of Terror' film for Disney

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Scarlett Johansson is bringing a classic Disney theme park ride to the big screen.

The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the actress is attached to produce Tower of Terror, based on the thrill ride of the same name. While the plot of the film is currently being held under wraps, the script is being penned by Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley. It's unclear if Johansson will be acting in the film as well.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride first opened in 1994 at Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Florida and takes riders on a heart-stopping freefall in a haunted elevator. It was previously made into a 1997 TV movie starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst.

Another film based on a Disney ride -- Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt -- is set to open July 30. Johansson's new film, Marvel's Black Widow, opens July 9.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jennifer Aniston says she's "in a really peaceful place"

Courtesy of People

How does Jennifer Aniston stay positive, despite living through such a stressful time?

"I meditate every day -- and sitting quietly, writing... That's enough," the actress tells People. "And any kind of yoga practice is my meditation."

"I just have faith in a bigger picture, I guess," she adds.  "And I believe in humanity, even though there's so much to discourage us from believing in it -- but I do." 

The Emmy winner also says she carves out time each day to watch the sunset, saying it is her "favorite moment" because it allows her to live in the moment.

"I wish we could freeze time in that magic hour because there's a lot of taking it all in, the appreciation of the day and what's happening," said Aniston. "It's so simple. There's no real markers for it, but there are just moments where you just feel ... ahhhh."

Since adopting those techniques, the 52-year-old actress asserted, "I'm in a really peaceful place."

As for what else she finds useful in allowing her to live life to the fullest, says Aniston, "I've really gotten a lot out of therapy. Just being a public person, there's a lot of amazing things that come with that. But there's also a lot of tough stuff, because we're only human, and we tend to walk around with bullseyes on our heads."

When elaborating her definition of bullseyes, the Friends alum explained, "Sometimes you can't help family members or people sending stuff over going, 'What is this? You're having a baby? Are you getting married?' It's like, 'Oh, good gosh, when and how many years will it take for you to ignore that silliness?'"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Don Cheadle shares "the fun" in being a part of Steven Soderbergh's twisty noir crime drama 'No Sudden Move'

Photo Credit: Claudette Barius

Don Cheadle loved the challenge of his latest film, the twisty noir crime drama No Sudden Move.

In the Steven Soderbergh-directed movie, Cheadle plays Curt Goynes, a small-time criminal hired to steal a document with two other petty thieves. However, their so-called simple theft turns complicated when other individuals become interested in taking the document for themselves.

"I think that's part of the fun of it," Cheadle tells ABC Audio. "That you don't really know who's after what and why, and what they're really trying to do. And you know that they'll throw anybody under the bus to get what they want."

Cheadle, who considers himself the film's "intended...protagonist," says having an unclear plot mixed with a real-life conspiracy made the period drama that much better.

"I like movies with characters that are not all good and not all bad and that we can have these heroes that you're not sure about," he says. "I think that's what makes it fun, that you're a part of the film. It's not just mapped out... And you don't have to do any work. An audience has to kind of be a part of this movie."

Cheadle also reveals that it was working with the late actor and spoken-word poet Craig “MuMs” Grant on the film that made the project most memorable.

"MuMs is great dude.. and a lot of fun to work with," Cheadle says of the actor, who died in March. "I hadn't worked with him before [but] had met him many, many years ago. And it was a kind of reunion. And I was saddened, as everyone was, when we heard the news of his passing."

No Sudden Move hits theaters July 1.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' star Joshua Bassett opens up about his sexuality

Disney Channel/Image Group LA

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett has confirmed that he’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Speculation about his sexuality swirled after he did an interview last month where he gushed about Harry Styles and said, “I guess this is also my coming out video.” In a new interview with GQ, Bassett says, “I wasn’t joking.”

After seeing the reaction to his “coming out” comment, Bassett shared a post on Instagram promoting love and acceptance.

"I stood behind every word that I said," the 20-year-old tells GQ, adding, "Even if there are consequences, I would much rather deal with consequences and live my truth than live in fear."

Bassett doesn’t clarify how he identifies, saying, “There are plenty of letters in the alphabet... Why bother rushing to a conclusion?...I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”

As for the rumors that Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” is about him, Bassett reveals he didn’t focus on the gossip because he became gravely ill two days after the song was released. He was hospitalized with septic shock and heart failure and doctors told him he had a 30% chance of survival. Bassett says he "didn't have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lisa Kudrow recalls being fired from 'Frasier,' days before being offered role on 'Friends'

JC Olivera/WireImage

Friends star Lisa Kudrow received some life-changing news, just days after being told she had been fired from a promising job on Frasier.

During her Wednesday appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the 57-year-old actress revealed she was cast as Roz Doyle in the popular NBC sitcom, directed by James Burrows.  However, Kudrow was canned just three days into filming the pilot episode in 1993. The role of Roz eventually went to Peri Gilpin.

"I wasn’t right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group," Kudrow explained, via People. "So that wasn’t working but I did think, 'Oh, I am not this guy’s cup of tea.'"

With her schedule suddenly freed up, Kudrow said she was allowed to audition for a role on the upcoming series Friends -- and found herself again auditioning in front of Burrows, the man who fired her not even a week prior.

"I was the only one of the six of us who had to go in and audition for Jimmy," Kudrow laughed.  "I had one extra audition just for James Burrows. I did it and he went, 'No notes.'"

"I left going, 'That either means she's beyond help and helpless, just like I always knew,' or 'Yeah, it's perfect. I have no notes,'" the Emmy winner said.

Kudrow, who of course won part, recalled struggling to mesh with her costars when filming the pilot because of her character's eccentric personality, saying, "Phoebe was not the character that was part of this group really, that easily. There was a struggle."

Things worked out in the end and Phoebe became the glue of the group, and Kudrow became a star.

Friends -- starring David SchwimmerCourteney CoxMatthew PerryJennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc -- aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey and more voice support for Britney Spears following bombshell hearing

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Celebrities like Justin TimberlakeMariah Carey and many others are expressing shock and outrage over the damning claims Britney Spears made during her explosive conservatorship hearing on Wednesday.

The "Toxic" singer publicly asked to end her 13-year conservatorship and leveled serious allegations against her conservators as well as her family. 

During Britney's passionate 30-minute testimony, marking the first time she's publicly addressed the legal matter, the Grammy winner detailed a list of grievances that include being forced to perform, not being able to make her own reproductive decisions and her therapist putting her on lithium "out of nowhere," which made her feel "drunk."

"I deserve to have a life," she expressed to California Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny. "I am traumatized. I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry it's insane. And I'm depressed. I cry every day."

Following the bombshell hearing, celebrities took to social media to publicly support Britney and condemn those who have allegedly wronged her.  

Justin Timberlake rallied his fanbase Wednesday and, in a three-part Twitter thread, called to have the conservatorship ended. 

"After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time. Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was… what’s happening to her is just not right," he wrote. "No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body."

"No one should EVER be held against their will… or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for," he continued, saying he and wife Jessica Biel "send our love, and our absolute support to Britney during this time. We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live."

Mariah Carey also voiced support for the distressed singer by tweeting, "We love your Britney!! Stay strong."

Here's what other celebs have to say about the conservatorship hearing:

Brandy: "Sending all my love and support to Britney Spears and her fans"

Halsey: "Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system. She deserves it more than anything. I admire her courage speaking up for herself today."

Khloe Kardashian: "No one should be treated like this. Stay strong Queen!! You deserve better"

Mandy Moore: "The abuse she has suffered at the hands of an institution meant to protect her is staggering, heartbreaking and shameful.  I applaud her bravery and transparency #FreeBritney"

Jameela Jamil: "It is the most bizarre theft of freedom that has happened right in front of our eyes for over a decade now, and I hope she finds assistance with organizing her life that she is comfortable with now."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "Britney deserves freedom. She deserves to reap the rewards of her years of hard work. Britney deserves to be happy."

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi: "F***ING FREE BRITNEY!  We are all here for you queen!"

Rose McGowan: "Britney Spears has every right to be angry. How would you feel if your life was stolen, dissected, mocked? I pray she gets to live your life on her terms. STOP CONTROLLING WOMEN"

Rosie O'Donnell: "Listen to the woman"

Meghan McCain: "How is what has been done to Britney Spears not a human rights crime? Isolation, controlling her capacity to reproduce without her consent, forcing her to work under inhumane conditions. If she were any other person the people who did this to her would be in jail."

Keke Palmer: "All of them need to go to jail!!!!! My girl was finally able to speak up against her conservatorship after they tried to make her fear damaging her “image” just to keep her quiet! How cruel to do that to someone that has only known performing their whole life. Then to contort the very thing she loved by making her do it on YOUR time. Money is the great root of all evil! But the light will always win, I’m so happy that Britney was able to tell the truth today and I’m ready to raise hell! FREEEEEE BRITNEYYYYY"

Chrishell Stause: "I will 1000% RIOT if Britney is not freed. We are SO PROUD of you @britneyspears! Listening to her call is equal parts heartbreaking and infuriating. #freebritneyNOW and then change the laws #FreeBritney"

Tinashe: "We love you SO MUCH"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Helen Mirren says 'When Nature Calls' is a documentary with "a comedic twist"

BBC

What happens to a nature documentary's leftover footage?  Well, thanks to the BBC, a new kind of show is heading to ABC Thursday night starring Helen Mirren.

Mirren spoke with ABC Audio about her new show When Nature Calls and says the idea for it came about when producers were going through leftover footage from several BBC nature documentaries.

"They put an incredible amount of effort, you know, weeks and weeks and weeks on a rock just to get a penguin doing something. And that's maybe a minute and a half of film that's in the actual [finished product,]" explains Mirren, 75. "We're going to be using that very high quality material, but then giving it a comedic twist."

That twist, she says, is "putting what maybe is in the animal's mind. We can maybe hear what the animal's saying to itself or to its partner." 

The Oscar-winning actress admits that, when the project was first pitched to her, she thought she needed to be completely serious and narrate in the same style as fellow Brit David Attenborough.

"I thought maybe it was a serious documentary about nature," Mirren reflects. "So I thought, 'Okay, this is my serious documentary voice.' But then of course, the minute they sent me the material, I realized... it's very, very comedic."

As it turns out, the Good Liar star is the perfect choice for the show's narrator, as she has befriended the local wildlife around her new home in Tahoe, Nevada.

"The chipmunks, the golden-mantleds, occasionally the bears, the coyotes...," Mirren smiles, "It's such a privilege just to be able to see them going about their business."

When Nature Calls airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave": Britney Spears' court hearing concludes

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Following Britney Spears' unprecedented appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court, nothing was settled, but Britney certainly got to speak her piece.

Britney's court-appointed counsel had requested that Britney be free to discuss any aspect of her conservatorship without interruption, and that she did, speaking for 30 minutes straight to Judge Brenda Penny.

After detailing her many grievances against her conservators and her family, she asked for the judge to end the "abusive" conservatorship, saying it was her "wish and her dream." 

An attorney for Britney's mother, Lynne Spears, said it was "very brave" of the pop star to speak out, and that her mother would like a plan of action to be put in place to address Britney's concerns.

What's next? More hearings to discuss that plan of action.

Here are a few of the things that Britney told the judge today:

"[My father] loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it."

"Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave.”

"Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a key role in punishing me — ma’am, they should be in jail."

"I'm depressed. I want changes and I want changes going forward. I deserve changes.”

"I have a IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to any more children."

"I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you. I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Britney Spears' dad responds to her accusations in court

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Following the bombshells Britney Spears dropped Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court while explaining why she wanted to end her conservatorship, an attorney for Jamie Spears, Britney's father, has responded.

Speaking non-stop for 30 minutes, Britney detailed a laundry list of grievances against her father, her family and her conservators, saying, "I just want my life back." 

She claimed, among other things, that she's been forbidden to get married and have a baby, has been forced to go on tour against her wishes, and has been threatened with various punishments if she didn't do as her conservators said.  Britney also said she wants to sue her family.

"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t feel like I can live a full life,” said Britney, and asked for the judge to end the conservatorship without her having to undergo a psychiatric examination.

In response, a lawyer for Mr. Spears read this statement in court: "He is sorry to hear his daughter in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Britney Spears unloads in court: “I'm so angry...After I told the whole world I was OK...it was a lie”

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Free Britney, indeed.

For the first time, Britney Spears has spoken about her conservatorship in open court, and what she said was a doozy: She's asking L.A. County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny to end the conservatorship without a psychiatric evaluation.

When the hearing got underway, a lawyer for Jodi Montgomery, who oversees the personal side of Britney's conservatorship, asked that any medical details or things that would infringe upon Britney's privacy or that of her children remain sealed.  But Britney interrupted and insisted everything should be public.

“They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life,” Britney said. “So I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen to what I have to say.”

She then read from a prepared statement, seemingly unloading years of anger and resentment.

“A lot has happened since two years ago, the last time I was in court,” she began. “I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.”  She then detailed things that she was forced to do, such as go on tour and change her medication.  "Not only did my family not do a g**damn thing, my dad was all for it,” she said.

“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I'm happy,” Britney said, claiming she'd been in denial. “If I said that enough, maybe I’d become happy. … I’m in shock. I’m traumatized. … I’m so angry it’s insane.”

“All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and for my boyfriend to drive me in his f****** car," she added.

In her long list of grievances against her family -- who she said she would like to sue -- Britney also said that she'd like to "progressively move forward" and "get married and have a baby."  However, she claims she was told that while in conservatorship, she can't do either.

She also revealed that she'd like to remove her IUD but, "They don't want me to have any more children."

"Basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good," she noted. "I deserve to have a life."

(Story developing...)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jerry Seinfeld making a Pop-Tart movie for Netflix

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

What’s the deal with Pop-Tarts?

Jerry Seinfeld is set to direct, produce and star in Unfrosted, a new Netflix comedy about the iconic breakfast pastries.

Variety reports the comedy is inspired by one of Seinfeld's stand-up bits where he talks about the origins of Pop-Tarts and his childhood love of them. He most recently did the routine in his 2020 comedy special, 23 Hours to Kill.

Seinfeld is also co-writing the project with Spike Feresten and Barry Marder, both of whom he previously worked with on the 2007 animated feature Bee Movie.

Production on Unfrosted is set to start in spring 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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