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‘Teletubbies’ Tinky-Winky Actor Simon Shelton Dies at 52

‘Teletubbies’ Tinky-Winky Actor Simon Shelton Dies at 52
Actor Simon Shelton, known for voicing Tinky-Winky in the BBC children’s show “Teletubbies,” died on Jan. 17. He was 52.

His niece, Emily Atack, confirmed the news on Instagram.

“My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes has been taken from us all so suddenly. The kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet. Loved by all who knew him, and will be forever. X,” she wrote.

The British actor took over the role of the purple Teletubby from 1998 to 2001, after original actor Dave Thompson was fired in 1997. Shelton also played the Dark Knight in the children’s game show “Incredible Games.”

Teletubbies” was an educational television show for young children that focused on four creatures with televisions on their abdomens who played each day in Teletubbyland. In its heyday, the program reached one billion children in more than 120 countries in 45 languages.

In 1999, conservative televangelist Jerry Falwell spoke out against the show, and Shelton
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Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Races Toward $20 Million Opening

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Races Toward $20 Million Opening
Fox’s launch of “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is poised to end the three-week box office reign of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” with about $20 million at about 3,800 North American locations.

The action thriller has already opened impressively in four markets overseas, starting with South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan taking in $15 million during its first weekend. The movie’s original release date was delayed for nearly a year in order to allow star Dylan O’Brien to recover from injuries sustained during shooting.

O’Brien stars in the dystopian trilogy as Thomas. The 2014 original opened with $32.5 million and grossed $102 million in U.S. receipts, and 2015 follow-up “The Scorch Trials” opened with $30 million and tallied $82 million in domestic box office. Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster also star. Wes Ball directed all three films.

The finale sees a group of escapees attempting to break into the legendary Last City in order to save their friends. Most international
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Anne Hathaway's 'Barbie' Movie Moves to 2020

Anne Hathaway's 'Barbie' Movie Moves to 2020
Sony is moving the Anne Hathaway-starring, long-in-the-works Barbie project to 2020.

The fish-out-of-water tale, directed by Australian director Alethea Jones, will now premiere on May 8, 2020, kicking off the summer that year, after moving from the original launch date of Aug. 8, 2018, Sony announced Tuesday.

Amy Pascal, Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing the project based on the classic Barbie mythology and putting a contemporary spin on the toy, with an emphasis on feminism and identity.

The script, now to receive more work, portrays a woman that slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit into...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Ursula K. Le Guin, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 88

  • The Wrap
Ursula K. Le Guin, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 88
Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin has died, her agent told TheWrap Tuesday. She was 88.

Le Guin died at her home in Portland, Oregon, on Monday. Her son told The New York Times she had been in poor health for months. Her agent had no further statement at this time.

Le Guin has sold millions of copies of her books, which have been translated into 40 languages, many of which have been in print for the better half of a century. Le Guin...
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Missing Plane Thriller 'Manifest' Scores NBC Pilot Order

Missing Plane Thriller 'Manifest' Scores NBC Pilot Order
NBC is moving closer to finding its version of Lost.

The network has handed out a formal pilot order to Manifest, a thriller written by Jeff Rake (The Mysteries of Laura) and described as a high-concept mystery thriller in which a plane disappears from radar and returns years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea.

Manifest landed at NBC in August with a sizable put-pilot commitment. The Robert Zemeckis- and Jack Rapke-exec produced drama follows what happens after the plane's passengers return: No time has passed for those on the plane, but for their loved ones at...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Oscars: ‘The Shape of Water’ Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations

  • The Wrap
Oscars: ‘The Shape of Water’ Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations
The film academy’s best fit is “The Shape of Water.” Guillermo del Toro’s whimsical period romance about a custodial worker and fish-man hybrid who fall in love stacked 13 Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, more than any other film this year. Those nods included Best Picture, Best Director for Del Toro, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, and Best Supporting actor and actress for Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer, respectively. It also landed a healthy mix of below-the-line categories like Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design and Sound Mixing. Also Read: Oscars Nominate First Female Cinematographer: Rachel Morrison for 'Mudbound' Trailing behind was Christopher...
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Oscars: 'Wonder Woman,' James Franco, Steven Spielberg Among Noteworthy Snubs

Oscars: 'Wonder Woman,' James Franco, Steven Spielberg Among Noteworthy Snubs
While a number of Oscar hopefuls are cheering after their names were read during Tuesday morning's nominations announcement, other individuals and films considered to be contenders found themselves out in the cold.

Wonder Woman was completely shut out by the Academy, even in the technical categories, despite being one of the highest-grossing films of the year and receiving acclaim from a number of critics groups and awards organizations. Also shut out despite receiving early-season awards attention and Golden Globe, SAG Awards and Critics' Choice nominations was Battle of the Sexes, about the historic tennis match between Billie Jean King and...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Oscars: Greta Gerwig Becomes Fifth Woman Ever Nominated for Best Director

Oscars: Greta Gerwig Becomes Fifth Woman Ever Nominated for Best Director
Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman ever nominated for a best director Oscar on Tuesday morning.

The Lady Bird helmer was the only woman nominated in the otherwise all-male field made up of Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Jordan Peele (Get Out).

Gerwig's nomination comes after she landed a Directors Guild nomination and a best director nomination from the Critics' Choice Awards for her feature directorial debut. The National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics also named her best director for her work on the film.

...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Lari White, Country Singer and ‘Cast Away’ Actress, Dies at 52 After Cancer Battle (Report)

  • The Wrap
Lari White, Country Singer and ‘Cast Away’ Actress, Dies at 52 After Cancer Battle (Report)
Lari White, the country singer whose hits included “Now I Know” and “That’s My Baby,” died on Tuesday following a battle with cancer, Rolling Stone reports. She was 52.

In addition to her singing career, White was also an actress whose credits included the 2000 Tom Hanks film “Cast Away” and 2004’s “No Regrets.”

White told fans of her cancer battle in November, saying that she had been diagnosed with advanced peritoneal cancer.

“Since then a series of complications including pain management, pneumonia and a bowel obstruction requiring emergency surgery has kept me in...
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Oscars: ‘Mudbound’s’ Rachel Morrison Makes History as First Female Cinematographer Nominee

Oscars: ‘Mudbound’s’ Rachel Morrison Makes History as First Female Cinematographer Nominee
After 90 long years, another glass ceiling has finally been broken at the Motion Picture Academy.

“Mudbound” cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history Tuesday by becoming the first female director of photography to receive an Oscar nomination. The recognition comes on the heels of a similar milestone with the American Society of Cinematographers, which nominated Morrison’s “Mudbound” work earlier this month.

“I’m glad that people are recognizing the craft of it and not making decisions based on tokenism; Rachel’s work is on the screen,” “Mudbound” director Dee Rees said on a recent episode of Variety‘s “Playback” podcast. “Go to Sandi Sissel, go to Ellen Kuras, go to Rachel Morrison — women have been making interesting images for a long time.”

Morrison won the New York Film Critics Circle’s cinematography prize in December. She was also nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award along with recognition from the Chicago and North Carolina film critics organizations.

“Mudbound” was also
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact

Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact
Starz is taking a big step in its plan to expand internationally, striking a deal with Bell Media to launch the first Starz-branded service in Canada.

Bell Media’s The Movie Network Encore is to be rebranded next year, likely with Starz in the moniker although Bell Media did not get specific. The channel will also be made available as a standalone app for streaming.

As part of the deal, Starz parent Lionsgate has also set a theatrical pay TV output deal with Bell Media covering future releases. Lionsgate’s existing movie output pact in Canada is with Entertainment One.

“We’re delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout,” said Starz president-ceo Chris Albrecht. “Bell Media is one of North America’s elite content companies, and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base, and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Why Russia Shortened 'Paddington 2' Release Delay Last-Minute

Russia's culture ministry over the weekend gave in to pressure from exhibitors in the country and a public outcry, allowing Paddington 2, previously pushed back to Feb. 1, to be released on Saturday, just two days after the original release date.

The ministry's decision last week to issue the movie an exhibition license for a Feb. 1 release date as opposed to Jan. 18, announced just 24 hours before the movie was scheduled to open, caused a huge controversy.

Technically, the ministry has, for two years, the authority to move foreign releases to avoid collisions with major homemade movies,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Laura Linney to Make London Stage Debut in ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’

Laura Linney to Make London Stage Debut in ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’
Laura Linney will make her London theater debut in June in “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” the stage play adapted from the Elizabeth Strout novel of the same name. Theater veteran Richard Eyre will direct, having previously worked with Linney on a Broadway adaptation of “The Crucible” and in the 2008 movie “The Other Man.”

Film and TV star Linney, who can currently be seen in Netflix series “Ozark,” will star in a limited three-week run of the play at the new 900-seat Bridge Theater. Rona Munro is adapting “My Name Is Lucy Barton” as a dramatic monologue.

The play will follow Linney as Lucy Barton, who after an operation wakes to find her estranged mother at the end of her bed, bringing back memories of her early life in the country, her subsequent escape to New York and the two women’s complex relationship.

Linney made her Broadway debut in “Six Degrees of Separation” and has also
See full article at Variety - TV News »

2018 Oscar nominations reactions slugfest: ‘No mystery about this anymore’ regarding Best Picture [Watch]

“I’ve been saying for weeks now — I said it before the Producers Guild; I said it after the Producers Guild; I even said it after SAG. I’m saying it again: ‘The Shape of Water’ is and always was the Best Picture frontrunner, so etch it in stone. There’s no mystery about this anymore,” Zach Laws concludes at the start of a slugfest (watch above). He joins fellow Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow, Kevin Jacobsen and Charles Bright shortly after Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday.

See ‘The Shape of Water’ leads 2018 Oscar nominations with 13

The Shape of Water” went into the nominations announcement with the Producers Guild Award and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” had under its belt the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble, which was generally seen as a slightly superior combination,
See full article at Gold Derby »

'Yardie': Film Review | Sundance 2018

'Yardie': Film Review | Sundance 2018
In his feature directing debut, Idris Elba shows a decent grasp of the fundaments of old-fashioned, novelistic storytelling. But for a movie that throbs with the reggae-inflected beats of a punchy soundtrack, Yardie is a rather listless gangland saga, lacking the muscularity that the genre demands. Adapted from Victor Headley's 1992 black British pulp novel, which became a U.K. publishing sensation, and laced with dialogue in thick Jamaican patois, the film might hold some charm for audiences nostalgic for the multi-culti mean streets of 1980s East London and the taste of Red Stripe lager. But it's a pedestrian effort that...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Highlight Communications Takes Control of German Mini-Major Constantin

Highlight Communications Takes Control of German Mini-Major Constantin
Swiss group Highlight Communications, together with Studhalter Investment, has taken control of German mini-major Constantin Medien, the producer of the Resident Evil franchise, bu buying a majority stake.

Hightlight and Studhalter said Tuesday evening that their bid for an additional 38.44 percent of Constantin shares was successful. Highlight already controlled just under 30 percent of Constantin.

Under German law, the successful takeover bid will now be followed by a two-week acceptance period, which runs until midnight on Feb. 5.  During this time, Constantin shareholders who have not yet accepted the takeover offer have the opportunity to tender their shares.

Highlight...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Gaumont Expands to Germany, Appoints Warner Bros. Executive (Exclusive)

Gaumont Expands to Germany, Appoints Warner Bros. Executive (Exclusive)
Gaumont, the venerable film and TV studio behind French comedy blockbuster “The Intouchables” and hit Netflix series “Narcos,” is set to expand in Germany with the launch of a new office in Cologne.

Scheduled for a July 1 launch, the German division will be headed by Sabine de Mardt, who previously served as head of film and fiction at Warner Bros. Intl. TV Production Deutschland. She will report to Christophe Riandee, vice CEO of Gaumont.

“As we have done in the U.S., we are now establishing Gaumont in Germany to produce local content in the local language,” said Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas, who described de Mardt as a “well-respected development, production and creative executive with a highly successful track record.”

“With today’s audiences around the globe now used to watching shows in the original language, we also anticipate strong demand for these programs from our overseas broadcast partners,” Dumas said, referring most notably
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Berlin Film Market: Korea’s ‘Monstrum’ Picked up by Finecut

Big-budget Korean creature movie, Monstrum” will get its rights sales launch next month through agency Finecut. The company will screen promotional footage at its booth at Berlin’s European Film Market.

The period fantasy action film is produced on an $11 million budget by Taewon Entertainment, which previously delivered hits “Operation Chromite” with Liam Neeson, “71 Into the Fire,” and “Iris.” Production is by Taewon’s Chung Taewon.

The story follows an unusual group, which includes an exiled soldier, his curiously skilled daughter and a royal messenger, formed to defend against a man-eating creature which is ravaging the Chosun capital.

“Directed by Huh Jong-ho (“Countdown”,) the film has a cast which includes star Kim Myung-min (“A Day,” “Pandora”,) up-and-coming actor Choi Woo-shik (“Okja,” “Train to Busan”,) and Lee Hye-ri, a member of the K-pop group Girl’s Day, making her feature film debut.

Special effects are by Korean VFX firm Mofac. Completion will be later this year, ahead of a wide
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Protests Against Viacom Bollywood Epic in India Turn Violent Ahead of Release

Viacom’s Bollywood epic Padmaavat continues to spark controversy as it gears up for a worldwide release on Thursday, with Paramount handling its international release.

India’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that all Indian states have to show the film after it was cleared for release by the country’s censor board, over-ruling a plea filed by some states, such as Rajasthan, which had opposed the film’s release.

Padmaavat is co-produced by Viacom’s India film unit, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, in association with Bhansali Productions, the banner of the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Padmaavat revolves...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

2018 Oscar nominations slugfest: Are the acting nominees too safe and predictable? [Watch]

2018 Oscar nominations slugfest: Are the acting nominees too safe and predictable? [Watch]
“It is one of the high-holy days for us Oscar lovers,” declares senior editor Rob Licuria during our 2018 Oscar nominations slugfest. Licuria is joined by contributing writers Andrew Carden, Tony Ruiz and Amanda Spears to dish the highs and lows of the Oscar nominees in the four acting races, focusing on which inclusions we loved the most, and which snubs we thought were inexcusable. Watch the video slugfest above.

See 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

Our favorite acting nominees ranged from first-timers Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), to Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) returning to the Oscars with his third nod and Daniel Kaluuya for his breakthrough turn in “Get Out.” Although there weren’t too many complaints in a relatively predictable list of nominees, there were a few omissions that disappointed us.

See 16 unforgivable Oscar acting snubs: James Franco,
See full article at Gold Derby »
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