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Mark Hamill sees endless possibilities for "Star Wars" franchise

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By Stephen Iervolino

(LOS ANGELES) — The wait is over! Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on Thursday, and we know Luke Skywalker will be a big part of this movie, after Mark Hamill was barely in the last one. Whatever the future of the franchise holds for Luke, Hamill tells ABC News the cycle of Star Wars fandom could last indefinitely.

“Original fans have grown up…and they’re sharing it with their family,” he says. “And I think it’s really apropos, because I’ve always thought of these films as fairy tales set in space.”

Of course, the longevity of the franchise comes as no surprise to the 66-year-old actor. While Star Warscreator George Lucas “kept saying these are for adolescents at best,” says Hamill, “these adolescents grow up into 45-year-old fanboys who want to be eight years old all over again.”

Hamill admits he was “in a state of shock,” when Lucas approached him about coming back for the new trilogy. While he found the idea “thrilling in a way,” Mark recalls he was also a little hesitant at first.

“I thought, ‘Let’s leave well enough alone,'” he adds. “We had a beginning, a middle, and an end and everyone was happy.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

Watch: Will Farrell and Molly Shannon perform Christmas classic on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

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By Stephen Iervolino

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Funnyman Will Farrell and his fellow Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night as characters from their upcoming Amazon special.

Farrell appeared as Cord Hosenbeck, with Shannon as his fictional TV co-host and partner of 25 years, Tish Cattigan. Shannon was bouncy and youthful while Farrell wore a bald cap and glasses, sporting a close-cropped red beard. The two were reminiscent of Farrell’s effervescent character from the SNL sketch, “Morning Latte” and entertained host Jimmy Kimmel with their superficial banter.

The pair was visiting to promote their upcoming special, The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish, which is presented by Farrell’s Funny or Die and Amazon, although they showed little knowledge of the event.

Later, they performed the holiday classic, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” during which Farrell’s starting enthusiastically scatting.

The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish will stream live on Amazon Prime video on New Year’s Day.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

ABC News parent company Disney acquires 21st Century Fox, Inc. in major deal

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By Stephen Iervolino

Disney/20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) — ABC News’ parent company The Walt Disney Co. is acquiring 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock, Disney announced Thursday morning.

Fox will spin off and retain some of its properties, including Fox News, but Disney will own Fox’s massive film and TV empires.

“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., said in a statement announcing the acquisition.

For Disney, which owns ABC News, taking ownership of one the country’s largest movie studios from the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company is one of the biggest media deals in history.

For Marvel movie fans, this means that finally, 20th Century Fox characters from The X-Men franchise, as well as others to which Fox owned the rights, like the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, could now potentially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

21st Century Fox assets not acquired by Disney include Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and the Fox Sports 1 sports channel.

Disney, home to family friendly films such as Frozen, will now also include assets from Fox that target a different demographic, such as the gritty, acclaimed shows on FX Networks, as well as the National Geographic Channel.

Along with the movie studio and the aforementioned TV channels, Disney will have a majority ownership of Hulu, which airs originally produced series such as the critically-acclaimed hit The Handmaid’s Tale.

And added to the Disney library from Fox will be TV shows such as The Simpsons and classic films like The Sound of Music.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

Some people are a "Slave to Memory" and others don't forget, in "Empire" fall finale

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By Stephen Iervolino

Fox/Chuck Hodes(NEW YORK) — Empire delivered its fall finale, “Slave to Memory,” Wednesday night. Here’s some highlights from the explosive show:

— Lucious wants a crack at exacting revenge on the DuBois family after Andre’s mental breakdown. But Cookie tells him to slow down for a moment. Meanwhile Cookie, Hakeem, Jamal and Thirsty concoct a plan of their own in order to break into the DuBois family’s Captain Ball.

— A farewell party is thrown for Eddie, who’s leaving the Empire family.

— Warren visits Jamal at his home with an important message.

— Lucious and Cookie trick Angelo, who gets into a car with the two. Lucious tells Angelo to sign a confession. Lucious beats up Angelo in a dark alleyway as Cookie watches. Angelo signs the confession.

— Lucious, Cookie, Andre, Jamal and a group of musicians crash the Captain Ball.

— Cookie introduces Warren via video. He says he wants everyone at the Captain Ball to know who Diana is and confesses that she conspired to kidnap Bella. Cookie also tells everyone that Dr. Lambert gave Andre psychosis-inducing drugs, thanks to Diana, and that Diana paid Warren to break Jamal’s heart.

— Hakeem gives Anika a document to sign in order to give Bella back to him and to save herself from going back to jail.

— Police arrive at the Captain Ball to arrest Diana.

— Angelo intentionally shoots Warren and Jamal accidentally shoots Angelo.

— Lucious visits Andre in the hospital and finds Shine there. After Shine leaves them alone, Andre, in a drugged-up state, confesses to Lucious that he tried to kill him in Las Vegas. A needle is then injected into Lucious’ neck and Lucious finds himself tied up, with Claudia to blame.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

Salma Hayek says Harvey Weinstein was a "monster" during the making of "Frida"

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By Stephen Iervolino

ABC Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) — Salma Hayek has added her voice to the growing chorus of women speaking out about Harvey Weinstein, saying he “is my monster too.”

In a striking new New York Times op-ed piece, Hayek wrote about her experience making Frida, her 2002 film about famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which she produced and starred in for Weinstein’s now-former company Miramax.

After Weinstein said yes to making the film, she wrote, “It would become my turn to say no.”

She said the disgraced movie mogul continually harassed her, showing up at her door “at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location.” She wrote that he allegedly repeatedly propositioned her to take a shower with him or let him watch her take a shower, give him a massage or let him give her oral sex, and more.

“And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage,” she wrote. “I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no.'”

Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Annabella Sciorra and more, of sexual misconduct and, in some cases, assault.

A spokesperson for Weinstein issued a lengthy statement to ABC News on Wednesday night, refuting Hayek’s claim. (See the statement at the bottom of this article.)

Hayek said Weinstein then threatened to take away her script and role in Frida. She said he made impossible demands, including that she raise $10 million and find an A-list director, all of which she met in order to move forward with the film.

After filming began, she said, “The sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated.”

Hayek said Weinstein threatened to shut down production if she did not agree to do a fully nude sex scene with co-star Ashley Judd. “It was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another.”

The actress agreed but said she suffered a nervous breakdown while shooting the scene and had to distance herself from the film when shooting wrapped. The film went on to earn six Academy Award nominations and two Oscars. Weinstein, she said, never offered her another starring role for the remainder of her contract with Miramax.

“Why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?” Hayek wrote, adding that women in the industry have been “devalued artistically to an indecent state.”

She concluded that “until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.”

A spokesperson for Weinstein issued the following statement:

Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work.

While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.

Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.

Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.

By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie — and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

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