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Monday
Dec052016

Netflix's Marvel Moves: "Luke Cage" Renewed, "Iron Fist" Gets Release Date, "Jessica Jones" to DVD

Netflix - 2016(LOS ANGELES) -- Here's a one-two-three punch of good news for fans of Netflix's Marvel series.

The acclaimed series Luke Cage, staring Mike Colter as a near-indestructible ex-con fighting crime in Harlem, will return for a second season. The announcement came in the form of a short video posted to social media.

The character, along with fellow Marvel heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist, will be part of a planned Defenders miniseries on the subscription service.  

The standalone Iron Fist series will now officially debut March 17, 2017. The series centers on Finn Jones' Danny Rand, the son of a murdered billionaire, who earns the right to wield a mystic fighting power. 

In a final bit of news, Jessica Jones, which starred Krysten Ritter as a young woman whose superhero career was cut short due to a personal tragedy, has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray.

While each hero is different, Marvel Television President Jeph Loeb tells ABC Radio that every Marvel series has one thing in common: story and characters come first.

He says of LukCage, "The fact that it's connected [with fans] in the same kind of way that Jessica Jones connected on another level, and the same kind of way Daredevil connected on another level -- the same kind of way [Agents ofS.H.I.E.L.D. has somehow managed to become the show people really wanna watch with families ---what we're trying to do is what Marvel has done forever, which is just tell stories that people wanna see."

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

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Dec052016

British Energy Company Estimates How Much Money it Would Take to Run the Death Star

Lucasfilm - 2016(LONDON) -- With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming out in a matter of days, a British energy company estimated what it would take to run the Empire’s space station that plays a central role in the film.

Long story short: tons.

According to OVO Energy, it would cost, "30 trillion times all the money on earth" to run for a single day -- and no word on whether The Empire made Mustafar pay for it all.

The company estimated the energy and other logistical costs -- clothing, food, and garbage disposal for more than 2 million occupants -- based on the "real" specs culled from Star Wars canon.

For example, charging the moon-sized space station’s giant, planet-smashing laser, is estimated to have a power output 3 million times more powerful than the sun. Cranking that bad boy up just once would cost more than 5.3 billion.

Add in the station's lightspeed-capable engines, light bulb usage, and the like, and the whole kit and caboodle would cost $7.8 octillion per day.

Rogue One, which stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, and Donnie Yen, opens December 16 from Lucasfilm, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Dec052016

"The Walking Dead" Recap: "Sing Me a Song"

Gene Page/AMC(NEW YORK) -- The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead before next Sunday's mid-season finale opens with Michonne whistling on a road, deliberately drawing out walkers. She dispatches a pair before dragging one off. 

Meanwhile, Rick and Aaron wake up at a box truck at dawn, during their supply run.  A different box truck has two Saviors stopped, awaiting a highway of walkers to shamble by before they start rolling again.

Jesus and Carl are inside. Jesus proposes jumping out as the nears Negan's compound, the Sanctuary. Carl suggests Jesus goes first. He does; Carl waves as the truck pulls away.

At the Saviors compound, Carl wastes no time. He shoots one savior and demands at gunpoint to see Negan. Carl is rushed, shooting another henchman accidentally, before getting caught.

Negan offers to show Carl around, stopping only to show off both the respect the others show to him, and his harem of wives.

Back at Alexandria, Rosita refuses to go on a supply run with Spencer and takes Eugene to the bullet workshop instead.

At the saviors' compound, Negan deals with one of his wives who cheated on him, all while taking Carl along. 

Closer to Alexandria, Father Gabriel and Spencer are driving when the latter blames Rick for all that's happened. "There's no future with him in charge," he sulks.

At Negan's HQ, he makes Carl show off his missing eye. Carl is devastated. Negan apologizes for insulting him, and makes him sing a song. Carl picks "You Are My Sunshine," which his mom used to sing to him. Negan practices swinging Lucille in the background.

Carl wonders why Negan hasn't killed him. Despite it all, he remains defiant: "You haven't killed us because you can't kill us," he says.

Negan drives off with Carl. "We're taking him home," he tells Daryl, who threatens Negan not to hurt him. For that, Negan tells Dwight to give him a "time out."

In his cell, somebody passes Daryl a note reading "Go now."

Meanwhile, a red-headed female Savior drives on a country road until her truck is blocked by a line of walker bodies.

She dismounts to investigate, only to find Michonne's katana at her head. Michonne disarms her and demands to be taken to Negan. After a failed disarm attempt, Michonne regains the upper hand.

At the workshop, Rosita flames Eugene, calling him useless unless he does what he promised he'd do -- make a single bullet.

At Alexandria, Negan questions Olivia about Rick's whereabouts, noting he'll pass the time for Rick to get back by having Carl give him a tour. Negan enjoys the amenities of Alexandria, from running water to shag carpeting, before entering another room -- and finding baby Judith.  He picks her up and cradles the "little angel."

On a supply run, Rick and Aaron find a compound protected by walkers.

Meanwhile, Eugene has made Rosita's single bullet, while Spencer shows up with a cache of supplies he's dug up, intending to give them all to Negan. 

Meanwhile, Negan cradles Judith on a porch, telling Carl maybe he should kill him and Rick after all, and move "to the suburbs."

The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead airs next Sunday, December 11 at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Dec052016

"Moana" Rules the Box Office for the Second Straight Week

Walt Disney Studios(NEW YORK) -- Disney's Moana, featuring the voices of Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, continued its box office domination, finishing at number one for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $28.37 million.  That brings the animated fantasy's domestic total to just under $120 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

In second place, earning an estimated $18.5 million, is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell and Katherine Waterston. The film's domestic total earnings now stands at $183.5 million, tenth  among all 2016 releases.

Arrival, starring Amy Adams, landed in third place with an estimated $7.3 million.

Rounding out the top five is Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, in fourth place with $7 million, and Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, at number five with an estimated $6.48 million weekend. That brings Strange's domestic gross to $215.3 million, making it the ninth-highest-grossing domestic release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the eighth largest worldwide release in the MCU.

Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, made a strong showing with $275,000 in five theaters total in New York and Los Angeles. Jackie will expand to five additional markets -- Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Toronto and Phoenix -- in addition to adding a few theaters in both NY and LA.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. Moana, $28.37 million
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, $18.5 million
3. Arrival, $7.3 million
4. Allied, $7 million
5. Doctor Strange, $6.48 million
6. Trolls, $4.6 million
7. Hacksaw Ridge, $3.4 million
8. Bad Santa 2, $3.2 million
9. Incarnate, $2.6 million
10. Almost Christmas, $2.5 million

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Monday
Dec052016

Trump Calls "SNL" Spoof “Unwatchable,” Says Baldwin “Can’t Get Any Worse”

Image courtesy NBC(NEW YORK) -- President-elect Donald Trump is at it again, tweeting his dislike of Alec Baldwin's parody of him on Saturday Night Live -- and Baldwin didn't keep quiet.

"Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad," Trump tweeted shortly after midnight.

Baldwin tweeted in response about 15 minutes later: "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Ha."

 ...@realDonaldTrump

 

Saturday's episode, which again featured SNL cast member Kate McKinnon as Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, poked fun at Trump's use of Twitter, his campaign promises, and his vanity.  The cold open began with a high school student in a classroom sharing that Trump retweeted him -- in reality, Trump did retweet a 16-year-old named Seth, who slammed CNN's coverage of Trump.

"Seth seems so cool," gushes Baldwin's Trump in his office. "His Twitter bio says he wants to make America great again. It also says he loves the Anaheim Ducks."

Trump senior counselor Stephen Bannon was also ridiculed during the cold open.  "Where is my chief strategist Steve Bannon? I can't start without Steve Bannon," says Baldwin's Trump.

Who walks in? An actor in a grim reaper costume.

And in a nod to Trump's vanity, something appears to grab the attention of Baldwin's Trump off-camera, and he asks McKinnon's Conway, "Wait -- is that the picture of me I hate? The one the press is using where I look so ugly?"

No," replies McKinnon's Conway, reaching off-camera to grab a dish, which she places before her: "That's just a plate of mashed potatoes."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Friday
Dec022016

"Rocky": Look Back at the Film on Its 40th Anniversary

United Artists/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Saturday, December 3, marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Rocky.

The 1976 film was made for around $1 million and ended up grossing $117 million domestically, taking home Best Picture at the Oscars the next year.  Not bad for Sylvester Stallone, a down-on-his-luck character actor with about $100 in the bank who wrote the movie in three days after watching a fight between Muhammad Ali and beleaguered brawler Chuck Wepner.

"I was watching the fight ... and I said to myself, 'Let's talk about stifled ambition and broken dreams and people who sit on the curb looking at their dreams go down the drain,'" Stallone told The New York Times 40 years ago.

Studios wanted Rocky, but they didn't want Stallone to headline the original underdog story. They offered him money, as much as $265,000 for just the script, yet he turned it down.

"I never would have sold it ... I'd rather bury it in the backyard and let the caterpillars play Rocky. I would have hated myself for selling out," he told The Times.

He finally got what he wanted though and put everything he and the crew had into the film.

"When we finally knew that Rocky was going to be made and I was going to play Rocky, I knew this wasn't only my shot, this was my life. Everything had to be perfect. I was hard on the crew when we were shooting -- they thought I was a miserable b****** -- but I had to give the movie my best shot," he told film critic Roger Ebert in 1976.

"People say Rocky is realistic, but I don't want realism, I want romance,” Stallone told Ebert all those years back.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec022016

Holy "Thwip" -- Fans Buzzing About Description of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" Footage

Marvel - 2016(SAN PAULO) -- Although no footage has leaked, due to tight security, fans are buzzing about footage of Spider-Man: Homecoming that screened Friday at Brazil Comic-Con in San Paulo.

The snippet, said to be from the trailer that will first be seen officially running before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is being described by people who were there to witness it, including Ryan Penagos, the Vice President and Executive Editor, Marvel's Digital Media Group, who tweeted about it. 

Tom Holland, introduced as Peter Parker/Spider Man in Captain America: Civil War, is said to be seen receiving a suitcase from Tony Stark's bodyguard "Happy" Hogan, again played by Jon Favreau. 

The suitcase apparently contains another upgraded Spidey suit, courtesy of Robert Downey Jr.'s billionaire genius Stark/Iron Man, who appears in Homecoming, but apparently not the trailer.

The suit features a fan favorite feature -- Spidey's underarm "web wings," which others report he's seen using to fly through the air in an attack against The Vulture, the winged baddie played by Michael Keaton in the film. Penagos didn't mention that, but allowed, "That classic underarm webbing look was just so rad."

Spider-Man: Homecoming, which also stars Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, and Marisa Tomei, opens July 7, 2017.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec022016

Vin Diesel Calls the Years without "Brother" Paul Walker the "Hardest of My Life"

Getty Images/Jonathan Leibson(SAO PAULO) -- Vin Diesel says he is still reeling, nearly three years to the day since he lost his dear friend Paul Walker. Walker died in a fiery car crash in 2013, a passenger in a Porsche driven by friend Roger Rodas, who also perished.   

"The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that," Diesel told Entertainment Tonight about Walker.

In fact, he spoke to ET at Brazil Comic-Con and said being there felt wrong, being that, "both times that I’ve been here, I’ve always been with my brother, Pablo. It was a lot of tissues and it was a hard morning for me yesterday because I was here," he said. 

"But the irony is the whole cast reached out and his daughter, Meadow, reached out and all that stuff helps you get through it.”

Diesel was in Brazil also promoting his new xXx movie, and said after finishing Furious 7 without Walker, this was a welcome change. Diesel had worked with Walker on the Furious franchise since it began 15 years ago.

"Never in my life did I need to do a movie where I could laugh and smile and enjoy myself more than right now, more than the time I made this movie," he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec022016

"Harry Potter" Play Takes Huge Step Forward Towards Broadway Run

Karwai Tang/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, along with Broadway producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman, have announced plans that could bring the U.K. smash, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to Broadway’s Lyric Theatre.

The 1,900-seat theatre, Broadway’s largest, is currently home to Cirque Du Soleil’s $25 million Broadway Paramour, which is slated to relocate after its final performance on April 16, 2017.

The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), which owns The Lyric, plans a multi-million dollar renovation to reconfigure the theatre to create a more intimate -- but still impressive -- 1,500 seat venue.

In a joint statement announcing the plans, J.K. Rowling noted, "I’m delighted we are one step closer in bringing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Broadway and very excited by the proposed plans."

According to HarryPotterThePlay.com, the two-part, six-hour Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is sold out in the U.K. for most of the next two years; advanced sales have logged upwards of a record $50 million. The play finds Harry as an adult father of three, whose son Albus struggles with his family's magical legacy.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Dec022016

Arnold Will Have Boardroom Help for New "Celebrity Apprentice"

Amanda Edwards/Getty ImagesThe Celebrity Apprentice's new boss Arnold Schwarzenegger, will get a hand from six additional boardroom advisors when he takes over.

Deadline reports Entertainment Tonight alum and previous Celebrity Apprentice champ Leeza Gibbons, chef Rocco DiSpirito, Extra co-host Tracey Edmonds, YouTube star Justine Ezarik, British finance expert Gemma Godfrey and The Biggest Loser host Bob Harper will join previously announced advisers Warren Buffett, Steve Ballmer, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba and Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger.

Competitors include Laila Ali, Boy George, Carson Kressley, Jon Lovitz, Vince Neil, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Carnie Wilson.

Of course, Donald Trump, the show's previous boss, has a new job: President of the United States of America.

The Celebrity Apprentice's eighth season premieres January 2 on NBC.

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