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Thursday
Jun232016

Will Smith Regrets Chasing Stardom, Not Art 

Richard Bord/Getty Images(CANNES) -- Despite the millions Will Smith has made from his box office hits, the actor said he has his regrets about his film career. At a Cannes Lion panel on Tuesday, Smith expressed his regret in chasing fame rather than upholding his artistic integrity, pointing specifically to movies like Wild Wild West.

Smith has found great success in his movie career for a range of different projects. Both his turns on blockbusters like Men in Black and acclaimed dramas like The Pursuit of Happiness have earned him widespread respect. But Smith admitted his appetite for super-stardom influenced some of his career decisions.

“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning,” Smith said at the panel, according to Entertainment Weekly. He then referred to the Wild Wild West era as a “lag,” explaining that he “found [himself] promoting something because [he] wanted to win versus promoting something because [he] believed in it.”

Though the film managed to earn about $222 million, it was bashed by critics and awarded five "Razzie" nominations.

Smith said his friend and mentor Muhammad Ali was a source of inspiration that helped him come to the realization. “He was unwilling to compromise for money, accolades, he was living his values rich or poor,” he said.

Since the Wild Wild West days, Smith said he has tried to exercise more discretion in selecting his projects.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Jury Determines Led Zeppelin Did Not Steal "Stairway to Heaven" Opening

L-R: John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin; Danny Martindale/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles jury has found Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page did not steal the opening of their classic song, "Stairway to Heaven," from the 1968 song "Taurus," by the rock band Spirit.

Attorneys representing the estate of late Spirit frontman Randy California had sought to prove that Led Zeppelin's members had plagiarized a guitar riff featured in "Taurus" and used it as the basis for the opening of "Stairway to Heaven," but the jury decided that there was no "extrinsic similarity" between the two songs.

The jury returned their verdict today, after less than a full day of deliberation, including a partial day Wednesday.

Page and Plant issued a joint statement following the ruling that said, "We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway to Heaven' and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans' support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us."

Meanwhile, the plaintiff's attorney, Francis Malofiy, addressed the media after the ruling. He maintained that although his legal team proved Page and Plant had access to "Taurus," he complained that the jurors were never allowed to hear the original recording of the song.

"The jury never got to hear the real evidence in this case and that's real frustrating," Malofiy said. "We feel justice wasn't served."

Among the points made by Malofiy were that Page and Plant were familiar with "Taurus" and that "Stairway to Heaven" -- one of the most famous and familiar songs in rock and roll history -- was substantially similar to the tune. He maintained that California, whose birth name was Randy Wolfe, deserves one-third of the writing credit for "Stairway" and that damages should be between $3 million and $13.5 million.

Led Zeppelin's lawyer, Peter Anderson, argued that the plaintiff didn't prove that the British rockers copied "Taurus" when writing "Stairway to Heaven," while claiming that the descending chromatic lines shared by both songs are featured in numerous older tunes that are in the public domain. One of those songs, "To Catch a Shad," was played in court, and also sounded remarkably similar to both "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven."

Other points Anderson brought up were that "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven" sound like two separate songs when superimposed, and although Page admitted to owning some Spirit albums, there was no evidence that he had them prior to writing the music for "Stairway to Heaven." He also maintained that the amount of damages California’s estate was seeking is misleading and outside the statute of limitations.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Hear the New, Updated "Ghostbusters" Theme

Hopper Stone/Sony Pictures Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- Rock band Fall Out Boy ain't afraid of no ghost. The pop-punks have rerecorded Ray Parker, Jr.'s iconic Ghostbusters theme song from 1984, with an assist from rapper Missy Elliott. You can listen to the cover, dubbed "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)," now on YouTube.

"Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" appears on the soundtrack for the upcoming new Ghostbusters movie, starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. The soundtrack also includes contributions from Elle King, WALK THE MOON, Wolf Alice, Pentatonix and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Ghostbusters will hit theaters July 15. The soundtrack will be released the same day.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Do the Kardashian Sisters Have "Strained" Relationship with Caitlyn Jenner? 

L-R: Caitlyn Jenner, Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3(LOS ANGELES) -- Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian have a "strained relationship with their former stepdad Caitlyn Jenner, a source tells Us Weekly.

“All three sisters feel there should have been an ‘I’m sorry’ moment from Caitlyn” after the former Olympian’s 2015 Vanity Fair cover story in which the the Keeping Up with the Kardashians stars believed Caitlyn threw their mom, Kris Jenner, under the bus, according to the insider.

“Khloe is scorned and they never had a real resolution after their initial fight after the Vanity Fair article.

Kim and Kourtney also have lost touch with their former stepfather, according to the insider.

“Kim is not as close to Caitlyn anymore," the source tells the entertainment magazine. "She was after she first transitioned, but as things came out and Caitlyn stayed unapologetic, the relationship got more and more strained,” explains the insider.

“Because of how things played out with Bruce and with Caitlyn," adds the source, "she is reluctant to have a serious relationship with Caitlyn.”

Kourtney, notes the source, hasn’t always been the closest with Caitlyn and “doesn’t really get involved.”

Suspicions of tension between Jenner and the Kardashian sisters surfaced this past Father’s Day after they didn't acknowledge Caitlyn on social media. Only Kendall and Kylie Jenner shared messages about their dad.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on E!

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

HBO Pulls the Plug on "Vinyl"

Macall B. Polay/HBO(NEW YORK) -- HBO has canceled Vinyl, and won't bring back the rock 'n' roll drama for an already-announced second season.

The cable network said in a statement Wednesday, "Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project."  

HBO gave Vinyl, set in the 1970s music scene and executive-produced by director Martin Scorsese and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, a second season renewal after its premiere in February, but by season’s end in April announced a production shakeup with an eye to revamping the series.  Now they’ve pulled the plug entirely.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Lindsay Lohan & Her Boyfriend Make Their Red Carpet Debut 

Danny Martindale/WireImage(LONDON) -- Lindsay Lohan and her boyfriend, Russian businessman Egor Tarabasov, stepped out on the red carpet together for the first time as a couple on Wednesday.

The Mean Girls star and Tarabosov were attending the Caudwell Children's Butterfly Ball -- which helps empower disabled children to reach their full potential -- in London, England, according to E! Online.

Lohan wore a pink gown and sported an emerald on the ring finger of her left hand as the couple posed for pictures.

Lindsay also shared a picture on Instagram of her and Egor taken before the event, captioning it, "@clairelcaudwell and @johncaudwell thank you for including us to support all of the work you do for children," adding, "bless you."

Lohan has been living in London since her probation ended in 2015. She was recently spotted vacationing in a tropical beach city with Tarabasov.

The two reportedly have been dating for about 10 months. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Sarah Jessica Parker Shares Teaser for New HBO Series, "Divorce"

Macall B. Polay/HBO(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Jessica Parker is returning to HBO in a new series this fall, and on Wednesday the actress shared the first teaser clip from the half-hour comedy, Divorce.

"A long time coming. And a great thrill that my friends @hbo allowed me to share with you the official FIRST look and just a wee appetizer of #DivorceHBO," she wrote on Instagram.

In the 45-second clip, also posted to YouTube and the project's Facebook page, the actress is seen telling mustachioed co-star Thomas Haden Church, "I want a divorce," to which he responds, "Are you drunk?" A sequence of shots of the couple in therapy follows, with Parker saying, "This could be the greatest thing that has ever happened to us.  Now we can go back to just liking each other again."

The clip ends with Haden's character asking,"When did it start to go off the tracks in your mind?" Parker responds, "Perhaps when you grew the mustache."

HBO has yet to announce a date for the premiere, other than it'll be sometime this fall.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun232016

Bill Hader Says If You Liked "E.T.," You'll Like "The BFG"

Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill in “The BFG”; Walt Disney Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Steven Spielberg's latest movie is The BFG -- short for Big Friendly Giant. It's based on the book by Roald Dahl about a young girl who befriends at 24-foot-tall giant. 

At the premiere in Hollywood this week, actor Bill Hader, who plays a giant, but not THE giant, in the film, tells ABC Radio the movie reminds him of another Spielberg classic.  "This movie's very much like E.T. ," he said. "If you liked E.T., this is it.  It's the story of a young kid meeting this like kind of a weird outcast." 

Spielberg said he decided to direct the movie because he loved the book. "I was certainly a favorite of mine as I was, as I would recite it and read it to my children, because I had the hubris of playing BFG and I did it in funny voices," he said.

So what does he hope the movie will inspire in audiences? "A big hug from people that you may not have given a chance to but were brave enough to give the friendship a chance," he said.

For the actors, a chance to work with a legendary director can be intimidating, but Mark Rylance -- who plays the title character and won an Oscar thanks to his his last job with Spielberg on Bridge of Spies -- says Spielberg is a softy. "He has a director's chair, it doesn't have 'Director' written on the back, it has 'Dad' written on the back," he revealed. "He knows how to do everyone's job except actors, so we're lucky.  He loves actors and he jumps up and down and laughs when he enjoys things. It's very nice."

The BFG hits theaters July 1.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun222016

Former "Wonder Woman" Star Lynda Carter to Appear in "Supergirl"

Michael Tran/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Wonder Woman, meet Supergirl!

Lynda Carter, who played the super-powered Amazonian princess in the 1970s TV series, will play the president of the United States in a recurring role on CW's Supergirl, Variety reports.

Carter starred in Wonder Woman from 1975 to 1979, in what was then the first female superhero ever on American television -- paving the way for Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now, Melissa Benoist as Superman's super-powered Kryptonian cousin, Kara Zor-El.  

After spending its freshman season on CBS, Supergirl season two premieres on the CW October 10 at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday
Jun222016

DiCaprio, Spielberg, Downey Jr. Make "The Hollywood Reporter's" "Most Powerful People" List 

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Industry trade The Hollywood Reporter has released its list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Hollywood, and while it's a who's-who of prime movers behind the scenes of TV and movies, there are also lots of names known to anyone not in show business. 

Leonardo DiCaprio made #10, for example, buoyed by his recent best actor Oscar win for The Revenant. Leo even managed to top his Catch Me if You Can director Steven Spielberg, who ranked #16.

Other famous names include Star Wars: The Force Awakens director  J.J. Abrams, at #21. Oprah Winfrey scored the 22nd slot, just ahead of Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, who ranks 23rd.

Marvel was also well represented -- not surprisingly, seeing as how the Disney-owned studio has had a string of billion-dollar-making blockbusters. The studio's president, Kevin Feige ranked 18. His Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., who's also the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, made it to 97.  Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt squeaked on to the list at #99 on the strength of the billion-dollar performance of Jurassic World.

Coming it at #1 was Bob Iger, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, the parent of ABC News, which also owns the Star Wars and Marvel Studios franchises, as well as animated movie studio Pixar.

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