Monday, July 16, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 11 - 20 of 3093
  • Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
Release of 5th "Indiana Jones" movie pushed to 2021
In this Jan. 10, 2016 file photo, Harrison Ford arrives at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Indiana Jones won't be swinging back into movie theaters until at least 2021.

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that the planned fifth installment in the "Indiana Jones" franchise will be released in July 2021 instead of July 2020. The film was originally scheduled for release in the summer of 2019.

Script issues are reportedly behind the delay. Last month, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" co-screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan was brought on to help write the film.

Steven Spielberg is set to direct the latest "Indiana Jones" film, with Harrison Ford also reprising his role. Ford turns 79 years old in July 2021.

Spielberg also has a number of films in front of "Indiana Jones," including a remake of "West Side Story."

  • Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
Crew member says Johnny Depp punched him on LA film set
In this Nov. 2, 2017 file photo, actor Johnny Depp poses at the world premiere of the film "Murder on the Orient Express", in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A film crew member says in a lawsuit that Johnny Depp twice punched him on the Los Angeles set of a movie about the killing of the Notorious B.I.G., and that he was fired from the production when he refused to promise not to sue over the incident.

Location manager Greg "Rocky" Brooks is also suing the film's director and producers for unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In the movie, "City of Lies," set for U.S. release Sept. 7, the 55-year-old Depp plays a Los Angeles police detective who for years investigated the still-unsolved 1997 death of the rapper Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, whose real name is Christopher Wallace.

Brooks alleges that in April 2017, when the film was shooting under the title "Labyrinth" in and around the Barclay Hotel in downtown LA, he informed the director Brad Furman that an upcoming take featuring Depp would have to be the last outdoor shot of the night because of legal permits.

The lawsuit says Furman forced Brooks to go beyond his duties and tell Depp himself that shooting had to end. Brooks said he was seeking out the off-duty sheriff's deputy serving as set security when Depp found him first.

Brooks said Depp smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated as he shouted obscenities then "angrily and forcefully" punched Brooks twice in the rib cage.

Depp then yelled "I will give you one hundred thousand dollars to punch me in the face right now!" at Brooks when he showed little reaction, according to the lawsuit, before the actor's bodyguards pulled him away.

Brooks said he returned to work the following Monday and was asked by a producer to write and sign a declaration saying he wouldn't sue over the incident. Brooks says he was fired on the spot when he refused.

Brooks suffered humiliation, wrongful termination and physical and mental pain from the incident, the lawsuit says. The filmmakers should have known that that Depp was using alcohol and drugs and was a threat to the well-being of others on the set, it says.

Messages left seeking comment with representatives for Depp and the production company Good Films Productions were not immediately returned. A publicist listed for Furman said she no longer represented him, but forwarded him a message seeking comment. There was no immediate reply.

Depp has seen a career downturn with several box-office flops in recent years. With it has come a series of sometimes-ugly legal fights including a long court battle with his former money managers over lost millions and a bitter divorce from wife Amber Heard.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
Twitter's fake account purge drags stock lower
In this Feb. 8, 2018, file photo the logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK -- 

It's no secret that Twitter has been purging fake and malicious accounts in an attempt to make its platform more welcoming for real people.

But when a Washington Post report put an actual number on the effort — 70 million accounts deleted in May and June — the company's shares tumbled. Investors worried that the removals could put a dent in the company's reported user figures. As of the first three months of this year, Twitter had 336 million monthly users.

The San Francisco-based company's stock plunged as much as 9 percent Monday before closing down $2.51, or 5.4 percent, at $44.14.

But Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal says most of the removed accounts haven't been active for 30 days or more. As such, they don't count in Twitter's monthly user numbers. His comments helped the stock recover a bit midday Monday.

"If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us," he tweeted .

Twitter said in May that its systems found nearly 10 million "potentially spammy or automated accounts per week." At that rate of fake-account detection, the 70 million could even be conservative. 

  • Monday, Jul. 9, 2018
Filmmaker to open WWII education center in Rhode Island
In this June 22, 2018 photo, filmmaker Tim Gray looks over maps from D-Day, which are among numerous artifacts destined for a planned World War II education center in Wakefield, R.I. Gray, founder of the nonprofit World War II Foundation, plans to open the center in September. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- 

A filmmaker who shares the stories of World War II veterans is opening an education center in Rhode Island so students can learn about the war and meet the men who fought in it.

Tim Gray, founder of the nonprofit World War II Foundation, has made 21 documentaries and amassed a large collection of artifacts, including uniforms, helmets, documents, flags, maps and other items used in battle.

He has leased space in Wakefield, Rhode Island, and plans to open in September.

Gray envisions the center as a place where students and researchers can watch the films, hold the artifacts and talk to veterans he'll invite there.

World War II veteran Richard Fazzio said he wants to tell students about his experiences. The 93-year-old Fazzio piloted a boat that brought some of the first troops to Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion.

"I want to let them know what a great country this is and how a lot of people died to keep it free," said Fazzio, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Gray said it will be an interactive way to preserve veterans' stories so future generations don't forget their sacrifices. He'll lead discussions about the films, the collection and veterans' oral histories.

"We really want them to experience the personal side of war and what it cost people," he said. "It's taking the best of what other museums do and combining it with what we do."

Gemma Birnbaum, at the National WWII Museum, said lessons from the war about global citizenship, empathy and immigration are relevant today. Birnbaum, director of the media and education center at the museum in New Orleans, said she's familiar with the foundation's plans in Rhode Island.

"They have an ability to reach a community that doesn't necessarily have access to these stories and this type of history," she said Friday. "There's a real need, so what they're doing is important."

There is a WWII museum in Natick, Massachusetts. A spokeswoman at the International Museum of World War II says they primarily host Massachusetts schools.

  • Monday, Jul. 9, 2018
Seigner, Polanski's wife, refuses film academy invitation
In this Oct. 30, 2017 file photo, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, left, and French-Polish director Roman Polanski appear during a photo call prior to the screening of "Based on a true story" in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

In a seething open letter, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner refused the invitation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and voiced her support for her expelled husband, director Roman Polanski.

Seigner called the film academy's invitation "insufferable hypocrisy" in a letter published Sunday in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche . Polanski was kicked out of the organization in May, along with Bill Cosby, for violating its newly instituted code of conduct.

Seigner was last month invited to join the academy, which is striving to diversify the membership that votes on the Academy Awards. The academy invited 928 entertainment industry professionals, 49 percent of whom are women.

"I have always been a feminist," wrote Seigner, the 52-year-old actress of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "Venus in Fur." ''But how can I ignore the fact that a few weeks ago the Academy expelled my husband, Roman Polanski, in an attempt to appease the zeitgeist — the very same Academy which (in 2003) awarded him an Oscar for The Pianist! A curious case of amnesia!"

The film academy last year adopted a code of conduct following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which gave the organization's board of governors the power to vote out members. While the expulsion of Weinstein and Cosby were expected, Polanski's case has long been more divisive in Hollywood.

The "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown" filmmaker pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. He fled the country while awaiting sentencing in 1978 and has since been a fugitive from the United States. Last year, the former German actress Renate Langer told the Swiss police that Polanski raped her in 1972 when she was 15.

Seigner strongly took issue with critics of her husband, who she said has "been falsely slandered as a pervert" since he fled the U.S.

"The Academy probably thinks I am enough of a spineless, social climbing actress that I would forget that I have been married for the past 29 years to one of the world's greatest directors," wrote Seigner. "I love him, he is my husband and the father of my children. He has been cast out like a pariah. Yet these same nameless academicians think that I should 'mount the steps of glory' behind his back? The insufferable hypocrisy!

She added: "This proposal is one insult too many. I cannot remain silent any longer. You offend me whilst claiming to want to protect women!"

The academy did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

  • Monday, Jul. 9, 2018
Robin Wright speaks about ex-"House of Cards" star  Spacey
In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, Actress Robin Wright poses for photographers upon arrival at the "House Of Cards" season 3 world premiere at the Empire Cinema in central London. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Robin Wright says that the cast was surprised and saddened about the sexual misconduct allegations against former "House of Cards" co-star Kevin Spacey.

Speaking in a taped interview Monday on NBC's "Today" show, Wright says she really "didn't know the man." Wright says she and Spacey only knew each other between "action and cut." She says they would giggle between scenes and he was always professional.

"Star Trek: Discovery" actor Anthony Rapp in October accused Spacey of sexual misconduct when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey tweeted his "sincerest apology" for what he labeled drunken behavior.

Spacey was fired from the Netflix series after several employees accused him of inappropriate behavior. More than 15 men have since made allegations against Spacey.

The sixth and final season of "House of Cards" airs this fall.

  • Saturday, Jul. 7, 2018
Deal for Weinstein Co. covers back pay for De Niro, Streep
This combination of two file photos shows actors Robert De Niro at New York City's Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017 and Meryl Streep in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, Chris Pizzello, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

An agreement reached in the sale of Harvey Weinstein's movie studio won't leave Hollywood stars like Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep holding the bag.

Lantern Capital Partners said Friday it's agreed to make payments to unsecured creditors, such as actors seeking residuals, as part of a $289 million Weinstein Co. acquisition it expects to close Friday.

A judge must approve the deal. A Wednesday hearing is scheduled in Delaware.

De Niro and Bradley Cooper say they're each owed $940,706 for "Silver Linings Playbook." Streep says she's owed $168,611 for "August: Osage County."

The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in March amid fallout from sexual assault allegations against Weinstein.

The movie mogul is due in court Monday for arraignment on charges alleging a sex crime against a third woman.

  • Friday, Jul. 6, 2018
U.S. English World Cup viewers drop 38% through last 16
Uruguay's Luis Suarez points during the quarterfinal match between Uruguay and France at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Friday, July 6, 2018. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
MOSCOW (AP) -- 

U.S. English-language television viewers for the World Cup's round of 16 in Russia were down 27 percent from four years ago, leaving the tournament 38 percent below 2014's level.

The eight second-round matches on Fox and FS averaged 4,858,000 viewers, down from 6,696,000 four years ago on ESPN and ABC, according to Nielsen Media Research. Viewers for the round of 16 were down 4 percent from the 5,042,000 average for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, which had more comparable kickoff times to this year.

The first 56 matches of this year's tournament averaged 2,541,000 on Fox and FS1, down from the 4,083,000 average through the round of 16 in 2014 on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, and down 10 percent from the 2,836,000 average in 2010.

Ratings were expected to drop from four years ago because of earlier kickoff times and the United States missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

The U.S.'s second-round loss to Belgium in 2014 was viewed by 16,491,000 and its round-of-16 defeat to Ghana in 2010 was seen by 15,193,000. Excluding the U.S. matches, the second-round average this year was down 7 percent from 2014's 5,208,000 and up 55 percent from 2010's 3,133,000. Not including the U.S., the tournament average is down 22 percent from 2014's 3,238,000 and up 15 percent from 2010's 2,205,000.

Uruguay's 2-1 win over Portugal was the most-viewed round-of-16 match at an average of 6,268,000, followed by Croatia's penalty-kick victory over Denmark (6,181,000), Russia's penalty-kick win over Spain (5,515,000), France's 4-2 victory over Argentina (5,143,000), England's penalty-kick win over Colombia (4,668,000), Brazil's 2-0 victory over Mexico (4,558,000), Belgium's 3-2 win over Japan (3,773,000) and Sweden's 1-0 victory over Switzerland (1,905,000).

Figures include only television viewers and not those watching digital steams.

  • Friday, Jul. 6, 2018
Art Directors Guild names 2018 scholarship recipients
Henry Haprov (l) and Lukas Mitchell
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) has selected the recipients of its annual ADG/Richard Stiles Scholarships for 2018/19. Lukas Mitchell, son of art director Jennifer Davis ADG, and Henry Haprov, son of set designer Julia Levine ADG, will each receive a $5,000 scholarship towards their academic studies.

In the fall, Mitchell will be a freshman at Northwestern University, majoring in anthropology on a pre-med track. Haprov will be a senior at UCLA, majoring in geography and environmental studies with a geographic information systems minor.

The scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic record, financial need, an essay, participation in school activities and community services.

  • Thursday, Jul. 5, 2018
Scarlett Johansson's plans to play trans man spurs backlash
In this April 23, 2018 file photo, Scarlett Johansson arrives at the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Scarlett Johansson's plans to portray a transgender man have sparked a backlash from many who object to cisgender actors playing trans roles.

Earlier this week, Johansson was announced to star in "Rub & Tug," a film about prostitution ring leader Dante "Tex" Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man. Since the announcement, transgender actors and advocates have criticized the production for not casting a trans actor in the role.

Johansson, who's also producing the film, further inflamed critics with a statement to the website Bustle, via her representative, that said criticism "can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."

Tambor, Leto and Huffman are all cisgender actors who received acclaim for playing trans characters. Tambor won two Emmys for his performance on "Transparent," though he departed the show last year after he was accused of sexual misconduct by two transgender women: actress Trace Lysette and his former personal assistant, Van Barnes. Leto won an Oscar for his performance in 2013's "Dallas Buyers Club." Huffman was nominated for an Oscar for the 2005 film "Transamerica."

Lysette was among those who disapproved of Johansson's intentions. On Twitter, she wrote: "So you can continue to play us but we can't play y'all?"

"Not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived," wrote Lysette.

Jamie Clayton, a transgender actress who stars in Netflix's "Sense8," dared Johansson and the filmmakers to cast trans actors in non-trans parts.

"Actors who are trans never even get to audition for anything other than roles of trans characters," Clayton said in an all-caps tweet. "That's the real issue. We can't even get in the room."

Representatives for Johansson didn't respond to messages for comment.

Johansson has come under fire before for playing a role that prompted some outrage. In last year's "Ghost in the Shell," she played the robot character known in Masamune Shirow's original manga series as Motoko Kusanagi.

Critics called it another example of Hollywood's long history of whitewashing Asian characters with Caucasian actors. Mamoru Oshii, director of the original anime adaptation of "Ghost in the Shell," defended the casting because Johansson's role was a cyborg with no fixed race.

Rupert Sanders, who directed "Ghost in the Shell," is set to helm "Rub & Tug."