Entertainment News

'Top Gun: Maverick' is the Best Film of the year, according to National Board of Review

Paramount Pictures

As if being the highest grossing movie of the year — and Tom Cruise's career — wasn't enough, Top Gun: Maverick is aces with the National Board of Review.

The New York City-based collection of film professionals, academics and movie enthusiasts this year have named Maverick its Best Film.

Founded in 1909, the organization's picks have in many cases turned into Oscar nominees, and its choices for the Best Actor and Actress this year will likely be no different: Colin Farrell for the drama The Banshees of Inisherin and Michelle Yeoh for the lauded, low-budget multiverse adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once.

In the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, the board chose Farrell's pal and former In Bruges co-star Brendan Gleeson for Inisherin and Janelle Monáe for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Previous Oscar winner Steven Spielberg was tapped by the board as Best Director for his autobiographical film The Fabelmans, while Danielle Deadwyler's moving performance in Till earned her one of the National Board's two Breakthrough Performance honors.

Other winners included the Robert Downey Jr.-starring film about his late filmmaker father, Sr., which earned the organization's Best Documentary honor. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On snagged the Best Animated Feature honor.

The full list of winners can be found on the National Board of Review's website.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


James Gunn on DC heroes' cinematic fates: "We know we are not going to make every person happy"

Warner Bros. Discovery

In a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday, James Gunn responded to a widely covered Hollywood Reporter story about his and partner Peter Safran's reported "blueprint" for getting Warner Bros. Discovery's DC Comics-based universe back on track.

The trade put forth that a third Wonder Woman film from director Patty Jenkins had been scrapped. While the 2017 original starring Gal Gadot was a hit, its 2020 follow-up, Wonder Woman 1984, was decidedly not, both with critics and at the box office.

The trade also hinted a sequel to 2013's Man of Steel, including a much-hyped return of Henry Cavill as Superman, might not take flight after all. Its ties to the disappointing receipts for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam — which teased Cavill's return — were cited.

Guardians of the Galaxy veteran Gunn began by saying of the story, "... some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven't decided yet whether it's true or not."

He continues, "Peter & I chose to helm DC Studios knowing we were coming into a fractious environment, both in the stories being told & in the audience itself & there would be an unavoidable transitional period...But, in the end, the drawbacks of that...were dwarfed by the creative possibilities & the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far & to help rectify what has not."

Gunn added, "We know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY & in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will Smith giving followers free Apple TV+ to watch 'Emancipation'

L-R - Fuqua and Smith on set/Apple TV+

On his Instagram Thursday, Will Smith let his followers know he's hooking them up with a free Apple TV+ subscription, just so they can catch up with his new Antoine Fuqua-directed drama, Emancipation.

"I went to Apple and I said, 'Yo, my people need to have Apple TV so they can watch the film,'" Will said, adding the company granted two months of access to the streaming service for free.

And if you happen to already have the streaming service, Smith says, "Well, your aunt doesn't." So he suggests tagging three people who don't have access: "And if you got tagged, tag three more people who you think need it."

You can also go to apple.co/willgift to redeem the offer, the star explains, or follow the link in his Insta bio.

Emancipation hits Apple TV+ on Friday.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reese Witherspoon's Tracy Flick will be back in Paramount+ sequel to 'Election'

ABC

Reese Witherspoon will once again play determined Tracy Flick, this time in a sequel to the 1999 comedy Election.

The Hollywood Reporter notes director Alexander Payne is also returning, co-writing the adaptation of Tom Perrotta's follow-up novel Tracy Flick Can't Win.

The book follows the one-time high school try-hard, now an adult; the A-type personality, willing to do anything to win a high school election in the original story, is now applying her particular set of skills as an assistant high school principal looking to make a name for herself.

Witherspoon starred alongside Matthew Broderick in the original, which was based on Perrotta's 1998 novel Election; Broderick played a popular teacher who comes undone as he desperately tries to take the ambitious high schooler down on her quest for power.

THR reports Witherspoon is producing the film through her hitmaking Hello Sunshine production company and that the sequel is bound for Paramount+.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jerrod Carmichael to host the 2023 Golden Globes

NBC/Will Heath

Jerrod Carmichael has signed on to host the 2023 Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Thursday that the comedian will host the awards show ceremony, which will be held January 10 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

"We're so excited to have Jerrod Carmichael host the historic 80th Golden Globe Awards," HFPA President Helen Hoehne said in a statement. "His comedic talents have entertained and thrilled audiences while providing thought-provoking moments that are so important in the times we live. Jerrod is the kind of talent this show calls for to kick off the awards season."

Carmichael is best known for his sitcom The Carmichael Show and for his three HBO comedy specials — the most recent of which, 2022's Rothaniel, featured him coming out as gay and won him an Emmy.

The nominations for the 2023 Golden Globes will be announced December 12 by father-daughter duo George Lopez and Mayan Lopez.

It was announced in September that the Golden Globes would be returning to television in 2023 after being sidelined this year due to allegations of racism within the HFPA.

The 2022 ceremony was held as a private event in January after NBC refused to air the awards show following a 2021 report from the Los Angeles Times that found there were no Black members in the HFPA, an 87-person group of international journalists who decide the nominees, as well as the winners.

The HFPA promised "transformational changes" to the organization in the wake of the controversy, vowing to boost minority membership and representation and to have more transparency within the organization.

The 80th annual Golden Globes will take place January 10 beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, airing live on NBC and streaming live on Peacock.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pete Davidson makes ... something Instagram official with Eli Manning

ABC - Good Morning America

Pete Davidson, arguably Hollywood's biggest scorer, has coupled up with another superstar. But this time it's a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Davidson and Eli Manning just launched a joint Instagram account, an occasion marked — as Pete often does with new relationships — with a tattoo. The small New York Giants helmet was inked just to the right of Davidson's belly button, and both dudes happily showed it off for the social media service.

"Hello, Instagram. I have decided to come back, but only with a GOAT," Pete says in a video, before panning to Eli. "What's up! Your bed is so comfortable," Manning replies.

"Aw, thanks, man. We've been having a good time on my bed," Pete replies.

Another video sees Davidson and Manning answering whether they prefer the big spoon or the little spoon, which Manning misunderstands as a soup-related question. "I'd say big spoon ... because I like to eat a lot of food," the athlete responds, cracking Pete up. He clarifies, "No, like with your girl, when you snuggle," before covering his face laughing, exclaiming, "You're adorable, that's hilarious. That's so cute. You're such a nice guy."

The reason behind the team-up is anyone's guess, though the account, pete_eli10, notes neither had an Instagram account, so they started one together.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 3 scrapped by new Peter Safran-James Gunn DC Administration

"Wonder Woman 1984" - Warner Bros. Pictures

In one of their first big moves as new DC heads, James Gunn and Peter Safran have scrapped plans for Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 3, according to Deadline.

Sources tell the outlet that Jenkins -- who directed and co-wrote the previous two movies, released in 2017 and 2020 starring Gal Gadot -- recently submitted her treatment, which the bosses found "unsuitable" at this time.

No decision has been made about next steps, though one insider told the outlet that Jenkins could very well hand in another take on the superhero, but it’s not evident that will happen.

The news follows a Tuesday tweet in which Gadot wrote, "A few years ago it was announced that I was going to play Wonder Woman. I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity to play such an incredible, iconic character and more than anything I’m grateful for YOU.The fans. Can’t wait to share her next chapter with you."

While the first Wonder Woman was a box office hit, earning $820 million, Wonder Woman 1984 was roundly panned and made under $170M worldwide. In spite of that, Warner Bros. wasted no time in announcing Wonder Woman 3.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: Jake Gyllenhaal comes to Apple TV+ with 'Presumed Innocent', and more

Showtime's breakout drama series Yellowjackets will return for its second season March 26, 2023, the cabler revealed with a cryptic teaser on Wednesday. The series centers on a girls' high school soccer team forced to survive on their own in the wilderness after a plane crash. It also catches up with the survivors 25 years later. Yellowjackets stars Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress among the adult cast, with Lauren Ambrose and Simone Kessell joining as series regulars in season 2. Elijah Wood also boards the cast for a season-long guest arc. The younger cast includes Sophie Nélisse, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sophie Thatcher, Samantha Hanratty, Courtney Eaton and Liv Hewson...

In celebration of Disney’s highly anticipated Avatar sequel, The Way of Water, viewers will have several opportunities to experience the first film throughout the month of December across its unparalleled distribution platforms, including the broadcast premiere Sunday, December 11 at 7 p.m ET on ABC. Encore showings will air on FX Thursday, December 15 and Sunday, December 18 at 8 p.m. ET and on Freeform Monday, December 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Avatar is currently available to stream on Disney+. Avatar: The Way of Water, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Edie Falco and Kate Winslet, opens in theaters December 16. Disney is the parent company of ABC News...

Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to executive produce and star in the Apple TV+'s adaptation of Scott Turow’s bestseller Presumed Innocent, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The eight-episode limited series, from David E. Kelley, Castle Rock co-creator Dustin Thomason and J.J. Abrams, would star Gyllenhaal as Rusty Sabich, "a prosecutor whose world is upended when a close colleague is murdered -- and the evidence begins to point to Rusty himself," per THR. The role would be his first ongoing part in a TV series. Presumed Innocent was previously adapted for a 1990 feature film that starred Harrison Ford as Sabich, along with Bonnie Bedelia and Raul Julia...

Fox has pulled the plug on its country-themed series Monarch after one season, according to Deadline. The drama, which starred Anna Friel, Trace Adkins, Joshua Sasse and Beth Ditto with Susan Sarandon, ended with Tuesday night’s season finale. The show, which opened strong, struggled over its subsequent episodes...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In a poignant video, Celine Dion tells fans she's suffering from "rare neurological condition"

Gotham/GC Images

Celine Dion has been diagnosed with a neurological disease and will again postpone her planned tour.

Celine took to Instagram Thursday, saying she's "finally ready" to reveal she has been battling a serious, "rare" neurological condition called Stiff-Person Syndrome.

"I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to reach out to you," the superstar said in the emotional address. "I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it's been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through."

Dion noted the condition, which affects "something like one in a million people," has been, "causing all of the spasms that have been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to," she admitted, at times her emotions forcing her to pause.

"It hurts me to tell you," she expressed, noting, "I'm working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again..."

As a result, Celine won't be back on stage for her Courage tour in Europe in February as scheduled.

Celine called off her previous Resorts World Las Vegas residency in November 2021 due to "severe and persistent muscle spasms." She later announced in a video statement that she had to postpone her 2022 European tour until 2023. Earlier this month, there was a report that she was eyeing a May start to her Vegas residency.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Vanessa Bell Calloway dishes on new supernatural drama 'Wicked City'

Derek Blanks

The supernatural series Wicked City has arrived and things are bound to get witchy. 

The new ALLBLK drama cast includes accomplished actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, who tells ABC Audio the series "is about these young urban witches in Atlanta, and they're trying to navigate their way through their lives and their careers." 

"They're four witches that are really tight and then a fifth sister kind of joins the coven because she is sent there by her mother, actually, and she doesn't even know this world exists, she has no idea that she too possesses magical powers," she explains.

Over her career, Bell Calloway has appeared in numerous shows like This Is Us, Saints & Sinners, The Black Hamptons, Shameless, and more. So what drew her to the role in Wicked City

Aside from the fact that she's never played a witch on screen, Calloway says, "It was simply a no brainer because I think the project is fresh, it's new, and you never see a Black leads in a supernatural or spiritual type of spiritual realm, type of show."

"We're always girlfriends or the friends or the other person, but we're never the stars," she adds.

Bell Calloway also shares that being able to produce the series made the decision to join the cast an easy one. 

"I'm at the stage in my career that, yes, I still love to act, but I like to produce and I like to direct," the actress says. "And anytime you get a chance to be a part of a project that's in the inception, you know, just being formed and shaped. That's exciting." 

Catch new episodes of Wicked City, also starring Shaquita SmithMercedez McDowellChantal Maurice, and Chanel Mack, every Thursday on ALLBLK.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Issa Rae talks life after 'Insecure'

Presley Ann/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Issa Rae's breakthrough series Insecure came to an end nearly a year ago, but she's still hard at work, breaking barriers along the way. As The Hollywood Reporter's Equity in Entertainment honoree, she sat down with the publication to share some details about her life after the HBO show.

After six successful seasons, Issa says she "took time to decompress" — the whole month of January to be exact. She launched her Rap Sh!t this year, but with no role in the show, she says 2022 "has probably been the most relaxing — relaxing for my standards — year I’ve had in, like, 10 years."

Rap Sh!t, she adds, allowed her the opportunity to sit in her behind-the-scenes role as creator and writer, which sees her "just sitting on my ass and watching people be great while eating all day." Still, she felt the pressure to make sure that it was likable and completely different than Insecure.

Overall, the break post Insecure has given Issa the time to figure out "what I want my next three shows to be."

"I realized that maybe I’m not that great at multitasking and I need to carve out time to be able to continue to create, because that’s what makes me the happiest," she explains. "That’s what makes me the most excited."

She's also happy to see how far her Insecure cast has come in their individual careers. "It really does feel like, 'Oh, we’re really out here winning,'" she says. "I’m just really proud to see what everybody else is gravitating toward and to see them killing it.

After landing roles on the upcoming films Barbie and Vengeance, Issa is looking for more ensemble work. She is also working toward getting a studio in South LA.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Martin Short's a real dummy with Steve Martin in promo for this weekend's 'SNL'

NBC/Rosalind O'Connor

When two Saturday Night Live legends are scheduled to host the show together, you'd be right to expect a funnier than usual promo. Such is the case, no pun intended, with Steve Martin and Martin Short's upcoming return to Studio 8H.

The spot starts with Martin casually pulling a rolling suitcase out of an elevator at 30 Rockefeller Center as he focuses on the cellphone in his hand, obliviously towing cables and knocking over chairs as he walks down the hall.

When Martin reaches the stage, still texting, he roughly yanks the case up the steps, only to reveal a tortured shout coming from within the luggage at each bump. He unlatches the case, revealing Short, comically shrunk to puppet size except his head.

Martin and Short are interrupted by a fanboying Michael Longfellow, who says he's a big fan. As Short tries to thank the new SNL star from inside the box, Martin kicks it closed, then orders a green tea, mistaking the young comic for an assistant — and clarifies his order even after Longfellow makes clear who he is.

Short is then shown perched on Martin's arm, like a ventriloquist dummy, with Martin puppeting his words; Short then gives a tune-in reminder, only to be dropped when Longfellow returns with Martin's tea.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Con Te Parti-D'Oh! 'The Simpsons' to make sweet music with the Bocellis in Disney+ Christmas short

Disney+

Italian opera superstar Andrea Bocelli, his 25-year-old son, Matteo, and 10-year-old daughter, Virginia, will soon play a very exclusive gig — in Springfield, on The Simpsons.

On December 15, Disney+ will drop Feliz Navidad, a short that will see Homer surprise Marge with the "ultimate gift," a private performance from the musical family members.

Incidentally, the release date coincides with Andrea, Matteo and Virginia Bocelli's release of the single that shares the name of the short, which their animated alter-egos will be singing.

The song can also be found on their new holiday album, A Family Christmas.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Legendary Times Square comedy club Carolines is closing

Getty Images

Carolines, the legendary New York City comedy club, has announced it will soon be shutting its doors.

In a Facebook post, it was announced that Caroline Hirsch, the namesake owner of the stand-up destination on Broadway, has decided against renewing her lease for 2023.

"After 30 wonderful years at our location in Times Square ... our final shows here will be on December 31," the post began.

"Carolines began 40 years ago in Chelsea and later moved to the South Street Seaport before calling Times Square home in 1992, when many New Yorkers and businesses had written off Times Square and NYC overall due to record high crime and a lack of proactive government solutions."

The post continued, "People thought we were crazy to invest in Times Square, only later to say that we were ahead of the curve when global brands like Disney, Nasdaq and national retailers and businesses came to the neighborhood. We are very proud to have played an integral role in its resurgence and brought much needed laughter to the neighborhood and the city."

Ironically, Carolines, which preceded the boom, will be leaving as crime in the city is rising, which critics blame on what they see as soft-on-crime policies.

The post continued, "We've had an incredible run these past 40 years, elevating comedy from the very beginning and we are so proud of the comedians that have graced our stages throughout the years with their considerable talents."

The post hinted that the Carolines brand will live on, though no details were provided.

The announcement concluded by thanking "the comedians, our incredibly talented staff and all of the comedy fans who have visited the club ... to help make Carolines the success it has been for the last four decades."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Michael be lying: Michael B. Jordan on what it took to keep his 'Wakanda Forever' cameo secret

Marvel Studios

(SPOILERS) Marvel fans know that characters who die rarely stay dead, yet Michael B. Jordan's appearance in the hit Black Panther: Wakanda Forever still managed to be a jaw-dropper.

Now that the cat — or panther — is out of the bag, Jordan explained to Extra what it took to keep the surprise quiet.

Jordan says with a laugh, "I had to lie to my family over here!"

He continued, "I had to lie to everybody out here … I had to just keep it under wraps."

In the film, his N’Jadaka/Erik "Killmonger" Stevens — who was killed by Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa in the original film — makes his surprise appearance from the Great Beyond after T'Challa's sister, Shuri, takes the mystical heart-shaped herb.

Doing so temporarily transports a person to the ancestral plane, where a relative guides you on a spiritual path. However, while Shuri was sure she'd see her brother or her mom, Queen Romanda, her heart is filled with vengeance, so she instead encounters the spirit of her villainous cousin, who was also seeking revenge. She keeps the disturbing revelation secret — like MBJ had to in real life.

Jordan added, "When you're dealing with Marvel and stuff like that, you know the routine. So you just gotta, you know, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny until the end of it, yeah."

Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has reigned at the top of the box office for the past four weeks. The film has made more than $733 million worldwide.

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

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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