Judge rules 'Stranger Things' plagiarism suit can head to trial 

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Lawsuits leveled at popular TV shows or movies claiming they were ripped off from somebody else's idea spring up all the time in Hollywood, and are generally dismissed just as quickly.  However, a lawsuit against Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of Netflix's Stranger Things, is actually headed to trial, Billboard reports.

The plaintiff, Charlie Kessler, claims he was chatting with the Duffers, who were then unknown, at a Tribeca Film Festival party back in 2014. Kessler alleges he told them about a script he was working on called The Montauk Project, about the paranormal goings on at a former military base.  Kessler claims the brothers ripped off his ideas to create their own paranormal hit.  

While Netflix's legal eagles call the lawsuit "without merit," according to Billboard, a judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied a summary judgment that would have put the matter to bed for the brothers.

According to Billboard, Michael Kernan, attorney for Kessler, has issued a statement saying, in part, "We can now dispense with the nonsense promoted by the Duffers and Netflix that this lawsuit has no merit, and that they had 'proof' that they created the show. If the lawsuit had no merit, or if they actually had the 'proof' they created it, then their summary judgment would have won. They lost."
Furthermore, Kessler's attorney is claiming Kessler had an "implied contract" with the brothers -- something they denied -- and should get a third of whatever they earned from writing and producing the series.

If the case goes to trial -- as opposed to being settled out of court -- the proceedings are expected to start next month.

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Watch now: New 'Child's Play' trailer shows the deadly side of connected living

Orion Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Technology has come a long way since 1988's Child's Play, so it's makes sense that for the upcoming reboot of the classic horror flick, the murderous doll Chucky has gotten a major upgrade.

The second trailer for the June 21 release shows that Chucky has been reborn as Buddi, a "smart toy" made by a huge technology company.  Like many connected devices, he's wired into an app, but unfortunately, he's also wired into just about every other "smart" device, from home heating systems to appliances to cars.

As you can imagine, that makes him much more dangerous than his previous incarnations.

In this retelling, Aubrey Plaza plays a single mother who gifts a Buddi doll to her son, played by Gabriel Bateman, to keep the kid company when they move to a new city. They don't hit it off, to say the least.

"Something's wrong with Chucky!" the kid says, in the understatement of the year.

Mark Hamill voices the doll this time around, replacing Brad Douriff in the role.  In the new clip, we hear Hamill for the first time, whispering menacingly to the boy, "Goodnight, Andy!"

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Oprah Winfrey gets candid about her first Mother's Day without her mother Vernita Lee

(NEW YORK) -- CBS Photo Archive / ContributorOprah Winfrey is opening up about Mother's Day and what it means to her now that her mother Vernita Lee has gone home.

This will be my first Mother’s Day on earth without a mother," she writes in the May issue of O Magazine. "Many of you already know what that feels like. It’s a reckoning with your own mortality. For me it’s neither lonely nor sad – just an undeniable marker of the passage of time. Time spent. Time remaining. And how precious every moment is.”

Lee died at her home in Milwaukee on Thanksgiving at 83. Winfrey says even now she can still distinctly remember the last words she spoke to her mother before she passed. 

“I know it must have been hard for you as a 17-year-old pregnant, scared girl in Mississippi," Winfrey recalls. "Many people no doubt told you to get rid of that baby. To have an abortion or give me away. But you didn’t. And for that I thank you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. And for that I thank you. And look how it all turned out.”

Winfrey says that even with the "complicated relationship" she had with her mother, she's thankful for their relationship and acknowledges just how important it was to her development as an adult.

“Of the many relationships we have in life, few make as profound an impact as the one we share with our mother," she writes. "That connection, whether strong or strained, influences who we become in countless ways. It teaches us how to be -- or how not to be -- adults, partners and parents to our own children.”

The May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine hits newsstands nationwide on April 23.

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'Game of Thrones' star Isaac Hempstead Wright talks about that Night King theory on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- Who is the Night King? It's one of fans biggest obsessions about HBO's Game of Thrones, now in its final season -- but if Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright knows the answer, he's not letting it spill.

On Wednesday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Wright, who plays the Three-Eyed Raven Bran Stark, was asked about a popular online theory that posits his character is actually the leader of the evil White Walkers.

"Can neither confirm nor deny," said Isaac. The 20-year-old actor did allow that Bran "fights on the side of the living," but when Kimmel pressed him about it, that fighting on the side of the living suggests, actually, that Bran isn't the Night King, Isaac was cagey.

"Who says the Night King's dead?" he responded rhetorically before laughing off his own answer. "I don't know. Help me HBO!"

Isaac also gave the acting secret behind Bran's meme-worthy thousand-yard stare. During filming, Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, told him his stare was like "staring into my soul." That's because Isaac acts almost completely blind, without the aid of contact lenses. "I can't see you," was his response.

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO.

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'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek "feeling good," promises September return; Holzhauer sets new single-day record with $131,127 

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Following Alex Trebek's announcement a month a go that he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, the Jeopardy! host tweeted a video on Wednesday in which he said he was “feeling good” and continuing with his therapy, while vowing to return in September for the show's 36th season.

“Some of you may recall that at the beginning of this season I promised you that we had some surprises in store for you. Of course, I had no idea at that time that there were some surprises in store for me as well,” he began.

Trebek, 78, continued by saying that he was "touched beyond words" by the messages of encouragement and support he's received -- particularly from young people.

“I’ve always tried to be straight with you and I’m not going to stop now," he continued. "So despite what you may have heard, I’m feeling good. I’m continuing with my therapy and we -- by we, the staff -- is already working on our next season. So I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff.”

Meanwhile, James Holzhauer, The 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas who smashed the single-day Jeopardy record last week with $110,914, shattered that mark by taking home another $131,127 on Wednesday. The win was the 10th in a row for Holzhauer, whose total winnings now stand at $697,787.

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Graeme Thomas King on whether you can trust his 'The Perfectionists' character: "The guy's got a lot to hide"

Freeform/Kurt Iswarienko(NEW YORK) -- Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists hits the halfway mark in its debut 10-episode season tonight -- and secrets are slowly coming to the surface.

If the original PLL series taught fans anything, it's that they shouldn’t overlook secondary characters, because they may have the biggest secrets of all.  

Graeme Thomas King, who plays Caitlin's British scientist boyfriend, Jeremy, promises you'll discover more about his character in the coming episodes -- and maybe even find out what’s in the mysterious briefcase he always carries.

"Coming up you're gonna learn what he actually does 'cause that's not been that clear of who he actually works for and what does he actually do," King tells ABC Radio. "I mean, the guy's got a lot to hide and that's coming out."

He adds, "Can you trust him? You can't trust anyone really because everyone lies. It's amazing. Everyone lies about something."

Fan theories are already running wild. So which one is King's favorite?

"Somebody said, I think it was on Twitter, they said, 'What do you think about the theory that Caitlin's imagining you as a boyfriend?'" he says. "I was like, 'Wow. I hadn't thought about that before. That's really interesting. I quite like that one.'"

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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Disneynature's new documentary, 'Penguins', hits theaters, with help from Ed Helms and Dr. Jane Goodall

DisneyNature(NEW YORK) -- Ever wonder what the day-to-day life of a penguin is like? Disneynature’s new documentary, Penguins, aims to give you some insight.

The film, shot over the course of three years in Antarctica, follows the coming-of-age story of an Adélie penguin named Steve as he finds a life partner and starts a family.

The penguin’s bumpy journey is made even more relatable thanks to Ed Helms, who provides both the narration and Steve’s hilarious voiceover. Helms tells ABC Radio that recording Steve’s “inner voice” was a “very playful and improvisational process.”

"You can't help smiling at them," famed scientist and Disneynature ambassador Dr. Jane Goodall says of Steve and his penguin pals.

"People say, 'Oh Disney gives them personality,' Disney doesn't give them a personality. Disney reveals their personality to us," Goodall adds.

To capture the penguins in their element, Helms explains, "[Filmmakers] spent three years [in Antarctica], just shooting all this footage and it's one of the harshest environments on the planet."

"I spent eight hours in the voiceover booth and it was a little over-air conditioned. So I think I had a similar experience to them," he jokes.

Penguins hits theaters today, ahead of Earth Day on April 22. A portion of the proceeds from the first week of ticket sales goes to the Wildlife Conversation Center to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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Rami Malek, Emilia Clarke, Glenn Close, Dwayne Johnson honored as part of 'TIME' magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2019 

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Once again, TIME has compiled its list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Hollywood heavyweights like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Emmy-winner Sandra Oh, Oscar nominee Glenn Close and Oscar-winners Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali made the cut in the Artists category.

Each honoree is the subject of an essay written by another celebrity. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot hailed Johnson, who she met on the set of the Fast and Furious movies; Robert Downey Jr. paid tribute to Bohemian Rhapsody's Malek; Ali was honored by Octavia Spencer; Emilia Clarke was praised by fellow Brit and Oscar-winner Emma Thompson.

Writing about Rami Malek, Downey says, "He’s understated and kind, complicated and relatable...Crucially, he's a good man evolving alongside his potential. As a fan and friend, that’s what I'm particularly proud of."

Gadot called Johnson "the true embodiment of the idea that people may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." She adds, "Dwayne always makes sure people feel their best when he is around."

Spencer writes of two-time Academy Award-winner Ali, "As an executive producer of Green Book, I found watching his portrayal of Dr. Donald Shirley equally gratifying....Dr. Shirley was regal, eloquent, elegant and vulnerable. Mahershala was a perfect choice to play him because he embodies all of those characteristics."

Thompson says of Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, "She has the courage of a small lion, the stamina of a Welsh pit pony and the soul of a clown. A powerhouse to watch and an ally to die for."

Other big names who made the list: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama, Brie Larson, Spike Lee, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Demi-autobiographical: Demi Moore's memoir 'Inside Out' to be released September 24

Getty Images/Bryan Bedder(NEW YORK) -- Inside Out, the anticipated memoir from actress and producer Demi Moore, is finally coming out, according to HarperCollins.

The publishing house announced that the memoir, described as a "deeply candid and insightful" look into the life of the star, will be released September 24.

"Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Moore battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years -- all while juggling a skyrocketing career, celebrity status, and raising a family," the publisher says in a statement.

In the book, Moore, the star of A Few Good Men, Ghost, a producer of the hit Austin Powers movies, and the ex-wife of both Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, will discuss her "defining tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages and her struggles balancing stardom with motherhood," according to a statement. 

The book's described as a "story of survival, success, and surrender." 

Moore was married three times: to musician Freddy Moore from 1980–1985; to Willis from 1987–2000, and to Kutcher from 2005–2013. Each relationship was met with its share of headlines. Moore and Wills have three daughters: Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah Willis.

The publisher calls Inside Out, "a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman's at once ordinary and iconic life."

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"She'll kill us all!": One team member threatens them all in final trailer for 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' 

20th Century Fox/Photo Credit: Doane Gregory(LOS ANGELES) -- 20th Century Fox has released the final trailer for Dark Phoenix, the X-Men film that hits theaters June 7.

The footage begins with the mutants launching a mission to space, in order to rescue the crew of a space shuttle that has been crippled by a mysterious energy field. The heroes are successful -- but Sophie Turner's Jean Grey gets trapped, and the energy field slams through her body. 

"That power destroyed everything it came in contact with -- except you," says a mysterious character played by Jessica Chastain.  

The experience leaves Jean changed, and her powers rise to an unmatched level.  We see Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique blown away by one of her former friend's blasts.

The mutants -- both good and bad -- see Jean as a threat. 

In one sequence, Michael Fassbender's Magneto confronts her, wearing the helmet that supposed to protect him from Jean's mind-controlling abilities.

"Are you threatening me?," she asks.  He answers in the affirmative.

"That would be a bad idea," Jean says, before using her powers to splintering his helmet and blowing him through a window.

The film also stars returning castmembers James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Evan Peters.

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