2018 Tribeca Film Festival kicks off in New York City

Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival(NEW YORK) -- It started back in 2002, now the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival is underway, with 96 films being showcased over 12 days in New York City.

One of its founders, Robert De Niro, was on hand to launch the festivities in New York City Wednesday night.

"[P]eople like to come to it and we're ... still standing -- so that speaks for itself right there," the legendary actor told ABC Radio. He added, "I'm beyond very happy that people and filmmakers want to be part of it..."

This year's fest kicked off with a tribute to one of late-night comedy's greats. Love, Gilda is a new documentary that focuses on the life of Gilda Radner, who made her mark during the heyday of Saturday Night Live, and who passed away from ovarian cancer back in 1989. 

Laraine Newman, Radner's SNL castmate, told ABC Radio, "She was a very warm, loving, generous person...I love that she is acknowledged."

Radner's legacy and impact lives on for modern day entertainers like Keegan Michael Key. "Her and Belushi were the ones I noticed the most as a child watching SNL because of their physical comedy," said Key. "That is the the thing that speaks to anybody..." 

Among the other highlights of the 12-day festival will be a special screening of Scarface tonight, which will precede a Q&A panel with stars Al Pacino, Michelle Pheiffer, Steven Bauer and director Brian De Palma.

The festival will hold a special screening of Schindler's List on April 26 that will be followed by a conversation with director Steven Spielberg and stars Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.

On Saturday, De Niro will interview Bradley Cooper as part of the festival's Storytellers series.

The Tribeca Film Festival runs through April 29. More information is available at

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Report: "Dance Moms" star Abby Lee Miller is battling cancer

BG015/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Just weeks after leaving prison and entering a halfway house, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller reportedly has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the body's white blood cells.

Miller underwent surgery for what was believed to be a spinal infection on Tuesday, but Dr. Hooman M. Melamed revealed Wednesday evening to People magazine that it turned out that Miller is actually battling cancer.

"It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma -- it's a type of a cancer," Dr. Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital, revealed to People. "We're getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery. Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor -- it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation."

As for Miller's outlook, Dr. Melamed adds, "There's a chance this can spread to any part of the body… this is probably coming from somewhere else. We don’t know where the source is. Any tumor that spreads anywhere is automatically Stage 4, but we have not determined the stage yet."

Miller, who starred on the reality show Dance Moms for seven seasons, started serving a one-year prison sentence in July 2017 after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud. On March 27 of this year, she was released to a halfway house to complete her sentence.

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Ava DuVernay joins competition jury at the Cannes Film Festival

ABC/Paula Lobo(CANNES) -- Ava DuVernay has been added to the main competition jury for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

According to Indie Wire, DuVernay will join fellow jury newcomer Kristen Stewart and jury president Cate Blanchett on the panel comprised of five women and four men.

The other jury members include Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, French actress Léa Seydoux and Chinese star Chang Chen.

As previously reported, Spike Lee and  Jordan Peele's upcoming film BlacKkKlansman will premiere at Cannes.

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival is set to run May 8 to19.

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Idris Elba to star in Netflix comedy series "Turn Up Charlie"

ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua(UNITED KINGDOM) -- Idris Elba can officially "turn up" in his next comedy project.  Netflix has given an eight-episode order to Turn Up Charlie, a new series starring and executive-produced by the British actor 

In the series, Elba stars as Charlie, as a struggling DJ and longtime bachelor who gets a job as a male nanny -- or "manny" -- for his famous best friend's daughter, who's a real problem child.

It should be easy for Elba to handle the DJ aspect of the role, since the Emmy-nominated  Luther star actually started his career behind the turntables before branching out into film and TV. 

This is Elba's second comedy series.  He's also featured in Sky One's upcoming series In the Long Run, which is loosely based on his own childhood.

Production on Turn Up Charlie is set to begin in May in the U.K. 

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Watch now: Final trailer unleashed for "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

Universal Pictures(HOLLYWOOD) -- The intense, final trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has been unleashed.

The trailer shows the dinosaurs being rescued from Jurassic World as an impending volcano threatens to destroy everything. We then see some of the dinosaurs being sold on the black market to those who want to use them for nefarious reasons.

It’s up to Chris Pratt’s Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire to set things right and keep a new, genetically-enhanced dino from wreaking havoc on humans.

The clip ends with an ominous statement from Jeff Goldbum’s Ian Malcolm: “These creatures were here before us, and if we’re not careful, they’re gonna be here after. Welcome to Jurassic World.”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters on June 22.

The cast of Jurassic World is also featured on this week's cover of Entertainment Weekly. In addition to speaking about the movie, Chris Pratt also opens up about his split from Anna Faris, with whom he has a 5-year-old son, Jack.

"Divorce sucks," he tells EW. "But at the end of the day, we've got a great kid who's got two parents who love him very much."

He adds, "We're finding a way to navigate this while still remaining friends and still being kind to one another.  It's not ideal, but yeah, I think both of us are actually probably doing better."

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Cary Elwes and Jake Busey to join the cast of "Stranger Things" season three 

Netflix(HOLLYWOOD) -- A couple of familiar faces are heading to Hawkins, Indiana for the third season of Stranger Things. Cary Elwes and Jake Busey will be joining the cast.

Elwes, known for his role in The Princess Bride, continues the show’s tradition of casting ‘80s icons. He’s set to play a character named Mayor Kline. Busey, the son of actor Gary Busey, is probably best known for his role in Starship Troopers.  He'll play someone named Bruce.

As previously announced, Maya Hawke – the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke – will also be joining the cast this season, while Priah Ferguson has been bumped up to a recurring role as Lucas’ mouthy little sister.

Stranger Things stars Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Winona Ryder and David Harbour.

A release date for season three has yet to be announced.

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Pink & children cover "People" magazine's The Beautiful Issue: "I laughed out loud" 

Courtesy PEOPLE(HOLLYWOOD) -- People magazine has changed the name of its annual "50 Most Beautiful" issue to, simply, "The Beautiful Issue," to illustrate that it's not a "beauty contest."  Making that point quite well, the woman who graces the cover of this year's issue is beautiful both inside and out.

Pink and her children Willow and Jameson are the cover stars of The Beautiful Issue.  While appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday, the signer described her reaction to hearing the news. "I laughed out loud," she recalls. "I immediately turned to...whoever was in the room and said, ‘Did you ever think this was as good as it gets?’"

Pink, whose speech about beauty and body image at last year's MTV VMAs went viral, went on to tell Ellen, "I love the way things are changing. And I love that our perception of beauty has completely been knocked on its head.  There’s nothing wrong with beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with beautiful on the inside, beautiful on the outside. It’s all different shades, it’s all different sizes. It means whatever it means to you."

She added, "I think on one hand, my sense of humor is the best part about all of it, and on the other hand, it’s a wonderful time that we’re celebrating all different kinds of people.”

Unfortunately, Willow, who's 6 1/2, doesn't seem to have gotten the message.  Pink told Ellen that the little girl recently told her, referring to the MTV speech, "I still feel that way."

"I was like, ‘What? That you’re ugly?’" Pink continued. "She’s like, ‘Yup, I just want you to know I still feel that way. Nothing you did helped!’"


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Steven Spielberg gets into the superhero business with "Blackhawk"

Warner Bros./Eric Charbonneau(LOS ANGELES) -- It looks like Steven Spielberg will take a crack at directing his first superhero film, an adaptation of DC's Blackhawk comic series, according to Variety

In the comics, Blackhawk leads a team of World War II flying aces, later operating out of a hidden base called Blackhawk Island, and battles baddies the likes of King Condor and Killer Shark.

Spielberg and his Amblin Entertainment company are re-teaming with Warner Bros. to produce the film; they recently collaborated on his latest hit, Ready Player One

Blackhawk will be penned by Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull writer, David Koepp. 

The news comes just a day after Player One helped the Oscar winner cross a major milestone: Spielberg's films have now earned more than $10 billion at the box office.

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"The Voice" recap: Artists from Blake Shelton's and Alicia Keys' teams perform 

NBC/Trae Patton(LOS ANGELES) -- The live playoffs continued on Tuesday night’s one-hour episode of The Voice, with the remaining artists from Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys performing for a spot in the top 12. Adam Levine and Kelly Clarkson's teams will perform on Wednesday.

Carson Daly announced that following Tuesday's performances, two artists from each team will advance: one based on America’s vote, the other to be chosen by his or her coach. The results will be revealed on Wednesday’s show.

First up were the five members of Team Blake:

Spensha Baker kicked the show off with Carrie Underwood’s “Smoke Break.” Kelly praised Spensha for choosing a song by a powerhouse singer like Underwood and “nailing it.” Blake, explaining that he tries to be impartial when judging his artists, admitted that Baker is one of his favorites.

Next up, Wilkes offered his take on “Don’t Speak,” by No Doubt, the band fronted by former Voice coach – and Shelton’s girlfriend -- Gwen Stefani. Wilkes survived an unintentional mic drop, without missing a beat, bringing all four judges to their feet. Adam called it “the ill-est improvisation” he’s ever seen in his life. Technical difficulties aside, Alicia called his vocal range “ridiculous.” After praising his song choice, Shelton dubbed Wilkes “a pro.”

Gravel-voice Pryor Baird delivered a guts rendition of Dolly Parton’s “9-5” that had Levine declaring, “It’s a foregone conclusion you belong on this show.” Blake underscored Pryor’s vocal range, noting that he sang the song in the same key as Dolly.   

Crooner Austin Giorgio put a jazzy spin on Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.” Blake praised the 21-year-old singer for keeping the music of Frank Sinatra and other greats from that era alive. Adding that he was “a gift.”

Gary Edwards wrapped things up for Team Blake with his rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Kelly cheered the artist, not only for his vocal skills, but for his versatility, having performed a Bruno Mars song a night earlier. Blake said Gary “kicked open the door” with his performance.

Team Alicia’s five artists followed:

Terrence Cunningham led off with “Ain’t Nobody,” by Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan. Adam said Terrence’s “seasoned,” but also “left-of-center…jazzy…complicated…sophisticated” voice is what the show epitomizes. Alicia echoed Levine, adding that Cunningham is solely responsible for his song selection and arrangements, as well.

Next up, Christiana Danielle covered tackled Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” Said Kelly afterward, “I shouldn’t even say what I’ about to say, [but] I think you’re the greatest person on this show.” Alicia called Christiana “a goddess descended upon the Earth,” adding she had a “one-of-a-kind voice.”

Jackie Foster brought the judges to their feet with her version of “Alone,” by Heart. Alicia noted that Jackie not only had an incredible range, but “a clear sense of who you are” as well.

Kelsea Johnson sang Jazmine Sullivan’s “Need U Bad,” and Keys likened her to Lauryn Hill, in the sense that Kelsea had her own unique sound that was completely her own.

Johnny Bliss closed out Team Alicia’s performances with Adele’s “One and Only.” Afterwards, Alicia praised his versatility, noting, “There is not one style of music you can’t conquer.”

Daly closed the show by offering “thoughts and prayers” on behalf of the show to the family of former first lady Barbara Bush, who died at her home in Houston on Tuesday at the age of 92.

The Voice returns Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Russell Simmons legal team says $10 million rape lawsuit is a "work of pure fiction" in new response

Amanda Edwards/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has responded to a Jane Doe lawsuit that accuses him of forcible rape and infliction of emotional distress.

In the $10 million lawsuit, which was filed March 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the woman alleges that she spent time with Simmons at a nightclub following a concert, and went with him to his hotel room after he told her he needed to retrieve an item. She then says the Def Jam Records co-founder sexually threatened her and her young son, who had attended the concert, and subsequently threw her on the bed and raped her.

ABC News has obtained a response filed Tuesday by Simmons' lawyers. It states, "Plaintiff's Complaint is a work of pure fiction. Her use of two of the most vile allegations possible – accusing well known defendant Russell Simmons of threatening to molest her son before raping her – is nothing more than an attempt by 'Jane Doe' to extort large sums of money from Mr. Simmons and for her lawyer to try to make a name for himself."

Simmons' lawyers are calling for the case to be dismissed, with the response further declaring, "While Plaintiff's case is substantively baseless and utterly false, all three causes of action ultimately will fail on statute of limitations grounds."

Prior to this latest legal response, Simmons issued a statement on March 26 in which he vehemently refuted the woman’s allegations.

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