Friday, April 19, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 71 - 80 of 3525
  • Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019
Hello Kitty to make her big screen debut via New Line Cinema
In this Oct. 30, 2014, file photo, Keith Nunez, left, takes pictures of his wife, Carolina, at the first-ever Hello Kitty fan convention, Hello Kitty Con, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. Hello Kitty might not have a mouth but she’s got a movie deal. Warner Bros.’s New Line Cinema announced Tuesday, March 5, 2019, that it has acquired film rights to Hello Kitty from the Japanese corporation Sanrio. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Hello Kitty might not have a mouth but she's got a movie deal.

Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema announced Tuesday that it has acquired film rights to Hello Kitty from the Japanese corporation Sanrio. The 45-year-old iconic feline has never been turned into a movie despite its merchandising ubiquity.

New Line said it will quickly begin work on a script to put a film into production. Sanrio also granted film rights to other characters including Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars.

Warner Bros. has had success with toy adaptations before, including "The Lego Movie." That film's sequel, however, has underperformed at the box office since opening last month.

Hello Kitty presents potentially steeper challengers, though. She doesn't talk or, for the most part, change facial expressions.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019
Ken Burns Prize for Film to honor documentaries
In this April 14, 2016 file photo, Ken Burns attends the 2016 Room To Grow Benefit, to support babies born into poverty, at Tribeca Three Sixty in New York. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 

The Library of Congress will begin presenting an award named for Ken Burns, who elevated the craft of historical documentaries.

Officials announced on Tuesday the creation of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. The annual award will recognize a filmmaker whose documentary uses original research and compelling narrative to tell stories about American history. The winner will receive a $200,000 grant to help with the final production of the film.

Burns says he's been fortunate to spend his career "focused on our country's history." He's hopeful a new generation can be engaged to understand America's past by supporting the work of new filmmakers.

Burns' works include "The Civil War," ''Baseball," ''Jazz" and "The Vietnam War."

Filmmakers can apply for the award online at The Better Angels Society.

  • Monday, Mar. 4, 2019
Disney cuts $13.5M in future potential earnings for CEO Iger
In this Monday, March 13, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger attends a special screening of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" at Alice Tully Hall in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Walt Disney Co. is cutting $13.5 million of CEO Bob Iger's annual future potential earnings ahead of the closing of Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets.

The move comes ahead of Disney's annual shareholder meeting Thursday. A year ago, shareholders voted against Iger's pay package at the shareholder meeting in a non-binding vote that the company said it would take into consideration for future compensation.

The company is cutting an annual base salary increase of $500,000 that Iger was set to receive when the Fox deal closes and maintains his current base of $3 million. It cuts the annual bonus he was set to receive by $8 million to $12 million. It also cut his annual target long-term incentive award by $5 million to $20 million.

  • Monday, Mar. 4, 2019
Luke Perry, heartthrob on "90210," dies at 52 after stroke
In this Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, Luke Perry poses for a portrait during the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. A publicist for Perry says the "Riverdale" and "Beverly Hills, 90210" star has died. He was 52. Publicist Arnold Robinson said that Perry died Monday, March 4, 2019, after suffering a massive stroke. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on "Beverly Hills, 90210," died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. He was 52.

Perry was surrounded by family and friends when he died, publicist Arnold Robinson said. The actor had been hospitalized since last Wednesday, after a 911 call summoned medical help to his home in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles.

"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning," Robinson said in a statement. Those at Perry's bedside included his children, Jake and Sophie; fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer; former wife, Minnie Sharp, and mother Ann Bennett.

Perry had played construction company owner Fred Andrews, father of main character Archie Andrews, for three seasons on "Riverdale," the CW series that gives a dark take on "Archie" comics. A fourth season has been slated.

"90210" co-star Ian Ziering paid tribute to his co-star on Twitter , where fans and celebrities shared their memories of Perry and mourned him . "I will forever bask in the loving memories we've shared over the last thirty years," Ziering said. "May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind."

Born and raised in rural Fredericktown, Ohio, Perry gained fame on "Beverly Hills, 90210," which ran from 1990 to 2000. In a 2006 interview with The Associated Press, he recounted being partly inspired to pursue acting by a photo of Paul Newman his mother kept on her mirror.

He played out the memory of hearing his mother say, "He's the most beautiful man in the world, honey ... he's a movie star."

"I thought, 'OK, that's cool.' I watched him and, 'Yeah, man, who didn't want to be Paul Newman!'"

But Perry expanded his interests far beyond acting, identifying history as a passion and family a priority.

"When you are younger you can have only work, and I did for a long time," he told the AP in 2006. "But it doesn't command my attention that way anymore. A lot of the mysteries and the questions I had about it I've figured out, but life offers up mysteries every day."

He had roles in a handful of films, including "The Fifth Element," ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer," ''8 Seconds" and "American Strays," appeared in HBO's prison drama "Oz" as a televangelist convicted of fraud, and voiced cartoons including "The Incredible Hulk" and "Mortal Kombat."

The actor's next big screen role will be in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood," which is slated for release in July.

He made his Broadway musical debut as Brad in the "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and starred on London's West End in another stage adaptation of a film, "When Harry Met Sally." In recent years he starred in the series "Ties That Bind" and "Body of Proof."

The same day he was hospitalized, Fox TV announced that it would be running a six-episode return of "90210" featuring most of the original cast, but Perry was not among those announced.

On the original series, Perry's character went from loner to part of a close-knit circle that included twins Brenda and Brandon Walsh (Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley), but also endured a string of romantic, family and other setbacks, including drug addiction. Perry left the series in 1995 to pursue other roles, returning in 1998 for the rest of the show's run as a guest star.

In a 2011 interview with the AP, Perry said he and his male co-stars were a "really good strong core group" while the show aired and maintained close ties. The friendship and trust he shared with Priestley created a sort of "shorthand" when it came to filming, Perry said.

  • Friday, Mar. 1, 2019
Documentary released 2 years after filmmaker's diving death
In this 2016 photo made available by Sharkwater, filmmaker and deep sea diver Rob Stewart dives in the Bahamas. Stewart died during an underwater film shoot off Islamorada in January, 2017. His family and friends finished Stewart's film " Sharkwater Extinction", a documentary on contaminated shark meat. (Will Allen/Sharkwater via AP)
MIAMI (AP) -- 

The family and friends of a Canadian filmmaker and conservationist who died during a shark-filming excursion in the Florida Keys are releasing his final documentary.

"Sharkwater Extinction" made a limited theatrical release Friday. Sharkwater Productions says the DVD is set for release March 19, and the film will stream on Amazon Prime starting in April.

Rob Stewart's 2006 documentary, "Sharkwater," examined the impact of shark hunting on the ocean's ecosystem. His 2013 film, "Revolution," focused on environmental collapse.

The new film continues to focus on the impact of shark hunting on the environment. Stewart's parents say the 37-year-old had already filmed about 400 hours of footage when he died in January 2017 while diving off the coast of Islamorada, Florida.

His parents say they found extensive notes on his tablet computer and used them to complete the film.

  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
YouTube suspends comments on videos of kids after ads pulled
This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. YouTube says it will turn off comments on most videos that feature kids. The change comes after advertisers began boycotting the site last week in response to inappropriate comments made on videos of minors. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

YouTube said Thursday it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids — potentially affecting millions of posts on the site — after reports last week that pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children.

The change comes as YouTube grapples with moderating content across its platform as concerns about hate speech, violence and conspiracy theories continue to plague it.

It will take YouTube several months to disable comments on all videos featuring minors, the company said. It already started the process last week when it turned off comments from tens of millions of videos.

Advertisers including Nestle, AT&T and Fortnite-maker Epic Games pulled ads from YouTube last week after the inappropriate comments about children were unearthed by a popular YouTuber and media reports. At least one company, Nestle, was satisfied with YouTube's response and reinstated ads late last week.

A small number of channels which have videos featuring kids will be allowed to keep comments turned on. But they must be known to YouTube and must actively monitor the comments beyond the standard monitoring tools YouTube provides.

Turning off comments on such a large number of videos seems an "extreme reaction," said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. But the issue involves the safety of children, so it makes sense YouTube would want to act quickly, he said.

Comments aren't the main focus of the video-publishing site, but turning them off will likely diminish the experience for many users and video creators, he said.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged the concerns Thursday, tweeting, "Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform."

The company said it has also released an updated version of its automated moderating system that it expects will identify and delete two times as many inappropriate comments.

YouTube, like Facebook, Twitter and other sites that allow user publishing, have faced increasing calls to monitor what appears on their sites and get rid of unsuitable content. The companies all say they have taken action to protect users. But issues keep popping up.

Concerns about YouTube comments weren't even a top priority for advertisers and viewers a couple weeks ago, Verna said.

"It just makes you wonder, what's the next thing that going to happen?"

  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
Longtime HBO CEO exits in wake of AT&T acquisition
In a Thursday, May 11, 2017, file photo, HBO CEO Richard Plepler attends a screening of HBO's "The Wizard of Lies" at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

HBO's longtime chief executive is leaving the cable channel, less than a year after AT&T acquired HBO's parent company.

In a memo to HBO staffers Thursday, Richard Plepler said it was the right time for him to leave. The memo was obtained by The Associated Press.

During Plepler's tenure with HBO, the premium channel fielded popular and award-winning series including "The Sopranos," ''Game of Thrones," ''Girls" and "Big Little Lies" and launched streaming platforms.

Last June, a federal judge approved AT&Ts merger with Time Warner, a deal worth more than $80 billion.

In his memo, Plepler said his decision came at an "inflection point" in the life of HBO. He said he expected the company to continue to thrive.

HBO declined comment on Plepler's departure or his successor.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
"Beverly Hills, 90210" cast reunites, "irreverence" in store
In this Nov. 3, 2006, file photo, Beverly Hills 90210 cast members, left to right, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Jason Priestley and Gabrielle Carteris attend the "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place" first season DVD launch party in Beverly Hills, Calif. The original stars of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” are set to return to FOX in a six-episode event series, "90210." (AP Photo/Phil McCarten, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The original stars of "Beverly Hills, 90210" are planning a high school reunion with a twist.

Fox said Wednesday that cast members including Jason Priestly and Jennie Garth will play "heightened versions" of themselves in a six-part series airing this summer.

Fox says the drama titled "90210" is inspired by the cast's real lives and relationships, combined with what it termed a "healthy dose of irreverence."

Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling also will star in the series.

The action begins when one of the cast suggests they try to launch a reboot of "Beverly Hills, 90210."

The original series aired from 1990 to 2000 and followed a circle of friends in high school and young adulthood.

A date for the new series wasn't announced.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Winfrey to interview Jackson accusers in post-film special
In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, Wade Robson, from left, director Dan Reed and James Safechuck pose for a portrait to promote the film "Leaving Neverland" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

An Oprah Winfrey interview with two men who say Michael Jackson sexually abused them as boys will air immediately after a documentary on the men.

HBO and the Oprah Winfrey Network announced Wednesday that the special, "Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland," will air simultaneously on both channels Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. That's just after the conclusion of the two-night airing of "Leaving Neverland."

The networks say the pre-taped interview by Winfrey will be with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and the film's director, Dan Reed in front of an audience of people affected by sexual abuse.

The family and estate of Jackson , who died in 2009, have denounced the documentary and HBO's decision to air it, saying it spreads falsehoods about a man not alive to defend himself.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Encore run of "A Star Is Born" features more footage, songs
Lady Gaga, left, and Bradley Cooper perform "Shallow" from "A Star is Born" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Can't stop watching Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's Oscar-night performance of "Shallow"? You're in luck: Warner Bros. is bringing a special encore version of "A Star Is Born" back to the big screen Friday with nearly 12 additional minutes of footage.

The studio said Wednesday that the new edition will feature extended performances of songs sung by Gaga like "Alibi," and an a cappella "Shallow," which won the Oscar Sunday for best original song. It will also feature brand new scenes between the two leads Ally and Jack.

The one week engagement starts Friday on over 1,150 screens in the U.S. and Canada.

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