Friday, April 20, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 71 - 80 of 2961
  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
NYC's "Fearless Girl" staying put for now, future uncertain
Wall Street's "Fearless Girl" statue is draped with a bouquet of flowers to mark International Women's Day, Thursday March 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Karen Matthews)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The "Fearless Girl" statue that's been a New York City tourist attraction since it was installed to mark International Women's Day one year ago is staying put for now while city officials figure out where it's going next to spread its message of female empowerment.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that city officials expect to make an announcement about the future of the statue "very soon."

"The Fearless Girl's message has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike, and that's something we want to remain a part of the city's civic life," said the spokeswoman for the Democratic mayor, Natalie Grybauskas.

The statue's owner, Boston-based investment firm State Street Global Advisors, said the company is working with the mayor's office "to determine a permanent solution to keep Fearless Girl in New York City so she can continue to promote the power of having more women in leadership."

State Street installed the hands-on-hips bronze statue, conceived by creatives at McCann NY, opposite the "Charging Bull" sculpture that celebrates triumphant capitalism.

The installation originally was supposed to be temporary but after the statue gained a following city officials said it could stay for a year.

The statue's creator, Kristen Visbal, said she would prefer that the girl and the bull remain together. "I really feel that this placement of 'Fearless Girl' in front of 'Raging Bull' is a historical moment," she said.

Grubauskas did not immediately respond to a question about whether the city is considering moving both statues together.

"Fearless Girl" was bedecked with a cape of blue flowers on Thursday, courtesy of retailer Old Navy, for International Women's Day. A steady stream of tourists posed for pictures with it.

"It makes me feel brave, powerful," said Maria Fernanda Zeledon, a visitor from Costa Rica.

Meanwhile on Thursday, a replica of "Fearless Girl" was installed in front of Norway's legislative building in Oslo. "I'm really excited that we have a piece on the other side of the world that's sending this message of diversity," Visbal said.

  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
"Sopranos" prequel film in the works with David Chase script
In this March 3, 2006 file photo, David Chase, creator and producer of the hit HBO series "The Sopranos," poses on a set in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

"The Sopranos" might be coming to the movie theater.

Warner Bros. Pictures says Thursday that New Line has purchased a screenplay for a "Sopranos" prequel from series creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner. The studio says the working title is "The Many Saints of Newark" and will be set in the 1960s during the Newark riots.

Chase's acclaimed series about mobster Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini, ran for six seasons on HBO and won 21 primetime Emmys.

Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich says in a statement that the studio is thrilled that Chase has decided to revisit and enlarge the Soprano universe. Chase will executive produce and co-write the film, but a director has yet to be selected.

  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
Michael B. Jordan says he will adopt inclusion rider
In this Jan. 30, 2018 photo, Michael B. Jordan poses for a portrait at the "Black Panther" press junket at the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Michael B. Jordan says that he will adopt inclusion riders for all projects produced by his production company.

In a message on Instagram on Wednesday, Jordan pledged to support "the women and men who are leading this fight." His announcement followed Frances McDormand's acceptance speech at Sunday's Oscars, where she urged the industry to adopt inclusion riders.

McDormand's comments brought new attention to the practice of contract addendums that require studios to hire a diverse crew and cast for a project.

Launched in 2016, Jordan's Outlier Society production company is developing a sci-fi series for Netflix and other projects. The 31-year-old Jordan stars in the superhero blockbuster "Black Panther."

  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
No charges for agent accused of groping Terry Crews
In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, Terry Crews poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Sorry to Bother You", at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Prosecutors on Wednesday, March 7, decided not to file charges against a talent agent whom Crews said groped him at a Hollywood party. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a talent agent whom actor Terry Crews said groped him at a Hollywood party.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Adam Venit, an agent at William Morris Endeavor, twice grabbed Crews by the groin, but because there was no contact with his skin, and no restraint involved, the allegations were not a felony.

They sent the case to the Los Angeles city attorney, who prosecutes misdemeanors. The city attorney's office said Wednesday the statute of limitations for them to prosecute Venit had expired. The party was in February 2016. Crews did not report the incident until November 2017.

Crews has also filed a lawsuit against Venit.

After-hours messages seeking comment from Venit's office were not immediately returned. Crews' publicist declined to comment.

  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
Jon Favreau to write, produce new "Star Wars" series
In this Dec. 9, 2017 file photo, Jon Favreau arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

That galaxy far, far away keeps expanding. In the latest in a flurry of "Star Wars" spinoffs, the Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that Jon Favreau will write and executive produce a live-action "Star Wars" series for the company's planned streaming platform.

Disney is readying a streaming service to compete with Netflix, and it has signaled that "Star Wars" will be a major component. The not-yet-named service is planned to launch in late 2019.

"Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe," said Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president, in a statement. "This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base."

Favreau has been a Disney regular, having directed the first two "Iron Man" films for Marvel and 2016's "The Jungle Book." He also helped produce several "Avengers" movies. He's currently prepping a "Lion King" remake to be released in 2019.

He has some "Star Wars" experience, too, having provided a voice for "The Clone Wars" animated series. Favreau also has a role in the upcoming Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

"If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn't have believed you," said Favreau.

Disney has previously announced that "The Last Jedi" writer-director Rian Johnson is developing a new "Star Wars" film trilogy, and that "Game of Thrones" creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will write and produce a separate series of "Star Wars" films.

No details or release date were announced for Favreau's series.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018
Lawyer: Man accused of Oscar theft will fight felony charge
This Sunday, March 4, 2018, still image from AP video appears to show the man who authorities say stole Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar walking out of the official Academy Awards after-party in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jeff Turner)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A lawyer for the man charged with stealing Frances McDormand's Academy Award said Wednesday that he and his client plan to "forcefully and aggressively resist" the allegations against him.

Attorney Daniel Brookman acknowledged that suspect Terry Bryant can be seen on an Associated Press video holding McDormand's best actress statuette but those images don't rise to the seriousness of felony grand theft.

"There's a big difference between holding an Oscar and what he's charged with," Brookman said outside court, where Bryant was expected to make an appearance. "I don't think his character matches these charges."

Brookman would not elaborate further about Bryant's actions or intentions.

Bryant, 47, walked out of the Governors Ball Oscars after-party with the trophy on Sunday night, authorities said. He was captured on the AP video holding it proudly over his head and saying, "All right baby boys and baby girls."

He quickly gave it up when confronted by a photographer, police said.

McDormand won the Oscar, her second, for her performance in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Bryant could get three years in jail if convicted.

Brookman said Bryant will plead not guilty and ask for a reduction of his $20,000 bail.

Naomi Levy, a rabbi who came to court to support Bryant, said he is part of her spiritual congregation and never misses a meeting.

"He's a sweet and gentle man of faith," Levy said.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018
Convoy Studios opens in Culver City under aegis of GM Doug Ryan
Industry folks gather at the March 1st kickoff party for Convoy Studios in Culver City, Calif.
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- 

Convoy Studios, a full-service production stage facility, has opened for business in Culver City. The new independent venture, located adjacent to Sony Pictures Studios, was launched by a group of private investors in the entertainment industry. Doug Ryan, general manager of Convoy Studios, said the new stage and its resources were designed to “nurture and empower content creators, and to facilitate the needs of a diverse range of clients, all in one convenient and centrally located production studio.” The site is being touted as a creative space where top-level production service helps to bring concepts to life. 

Ryan expects the 5,000-square foot facility to become a much in-demand hub for photographers, directors, producers, brands, celebrities, organizations, and other artists in need of convenient space to shoot content across all media platforms. Convoy Studios features a painted cyc, a key art alcove, production offices, talent green room, a conference room, construction space and a video village, along with assorted other resources and amenities. 

Convoy Studios partnered with Copious Management for a kick-off party at the stage on March 1 to present the work of many of Copious’ photographers whose work spans advertising, editorial and music assignments. Convoy’s central location makes it ideal for clients who want their talent to stay within proximity of Hollywood and L.A.’s Westside.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018
Washington becomes 1st state to approve net-neutrality rules
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill Monday, March 5, 2018, in Olympia, Wash., that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements in response to the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of Obama-era rules. The FCC voted in December to gut U.S. rules that meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- 

Setting up a likely legal fight with the Trump administration, Washington has become the first state to enact its own net-neutrality requirements after U.S. regulators repealed Obama-era rules designed to keep the internet an even playing field.

"We know that when D.C. fails to act, Washington state has to do so," Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday before signing the bipartisan measure that banned internet providers from blocking content or interfering with online traffic.

The new law also requires internet providers to disclose information about their management practices, performance and commercial terms. Violations would be enforceable under the state's Consumer Protection Act.

The Federal Communications Commission voted in December to gut U.S. rules that meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. The regulations also prohibited providers from favoring some sites and apps over others.

Because the FCC prohibited state laws from contradicting its decision, opponents of the Washington law have said it would lead to lawsuits. Inslee said he was confident of its legality, saying "the states have a full right to protect their citizens."

As he has done frequently over the past year, Inslee took aim at President Donald Trump's administration, saying the decision by the Federal Communications Commission was "a clear case of the Trump administration favoring powerful corporate interests over the interests of millions of Washingtonians and Americans."

While several states introduced similar measures this year seeking to protect net neutrality, so far only Oregon and Washington have passed legislation. But Oregon's measure wouldn't put any new requirements on internet providers.

It would stop state agencies from buying internet service from any company that blocks or prioritizes specific content or apps, starting in 2019. It's unclear when Oregon's measure would be signed into law.

Washington state was among more than 20 states and the District of Columbia that sued in January to try and block the FCC's action. There are also efforts by Democrats to undo the move in Congress.

Governors in five states — Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana and Vermont — have signed executive orders related to net-neutrality issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Montana's order, for instance, bars telecommunications companies from receiving state contracts if they interfere with internet traffic or favor higher-paying sites or apps.

Big telecom companies have said net neutrality rules could undermine investment in broadband and introduce uncertainty about what are acceptable business practices. Net-neutrality advocates say the FCC decision harms innovation and make it harder for the government to crack down on internet providers who act against consumer interests.

The FCC's new rules are not expected to go into effect until later this spring. Washington's law will take effect in June.

Ron Main, executive director of the Broadband Communications Association of Washington, which opposed the bill, said the cable companies his group represents have already pledged not to block legal content or engage in paid prioritization.

He said that because the internet is an interstate service, only Congress can pass legislation "that gives all consumers and internet services providers the clarity and consistency needed for a free and open internet."

"There should not be a state-by-state patchwork of differing laws and regulations," he said in a written statement.

  • Monday, Mar. 5, 2018
Man arrested, accused of stealing McDormand's Oscar trophy
Frances McDormand places her award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" on the stage at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A man was arrested and is accused of stealing Frances McDormand's Oscars trophy after the Academy Awards on Sunday night, Los Angeles police said.

Terry Bryant, 47, was arrested on suspicion of felony grand theft, said Officer Rosario Herrera, a police spokeswoman.

"After some brief time apart, Frances and her Oscar were happily reunited. They celebrated the reunion with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out Burger," McDormand's publicist, Simon Halls, told The Associated Press.

McDormand received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

The Oscar statuette was allegedly stolen during the Governors Ball after party, authorities said. Bryant had a ticket for the event, Herrera said.

The two-time Oscar winner, who swept trophies at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Independent Spirit and BAFTA ceremonies, beat out Sally Hawkins of "The Shape of Water," Margot Robbie of "I, Tonya," Saoirse Ronan of "Lady Bird," and 21-time nominee Streep of "The Post" at Sunday's Oscars.

In "Three Billboards," McDormand played Mildred Hayes, a hardened woman seeking justice for her daughter's murder in the crime drama.

Her first Oscar came in 1996 for "Fargo," directed by her husband Joel Coen and his brother Ethan.

Bryant was being held on $20,000 bail Monday morning, police said.

A telephone number for Bryant couldn't immediately be located and it wasn't clear if had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

  • Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018
Emma Stone, Viola Davis help fete female Oscar nominees
Emma Stone attends the 11th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party at Crustacean restaurant on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.(AP) -- 

Viola Davis is good in a pinch.

Last year's best supporting actress Oscar-winner was sipping champagne at the annual Women in Film pre-Oscar cocktail event Friday night when the organization's president, Cathy Schulman, herself an Oscar-winner for "Crash," asked Davis if she could give a few remarks.

"I'm only doing this Cathy because I love you," Davis said before launching into a story about a time when she told her then five-year-old daughter that she was "complicated" and had to explain to her why that was a good thing.

"With all of our imperfections, with all of our complexities and confusion, we're worth it. This is a year of owning who we are," Davis said. "Even the women who are still in silence, the women who stepped up and spoke up, the women nominees, the women who could have been, should have been nominees. We're all worth it. That's what we need to come into the room with. That's what we need to go into 2018 and '19 with. The privilege of a lifetime is being exactly who we are."

The event's co-host Emma Stone, who won the best actress Oscar last year, took the stage next.

"No one should ever have to follow Viola Davis," she sighed.

The event held at the Beverly Hills restaurant Crustacean saw a host of Oscar nominees including Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Agnes Varda, Diane Warren and entertainment bigwigs mingling before Sunday's big event. Keegan Michael-Key posted up at Davis's table, before finding "The Big Sick" screenwriting nominees/real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz made the rounds with his wife, director Julia Hart, whose next film "Fast Color" premieres at the SXSW Film Festival in March. And "Battle of the Sexes" actress Andrea Riseborough met "Thoroughbreds" star Anya Taylor-Joy, while Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde roamed the party side-by-side.

This marked the 11th annual Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail party, although the organization has been working to advance women's careers in film and television since 1973. The organization was one of the first in the #MeToo era to launch a helpline to advise and counsel women who are experiencing sexual harassment or discrimination.

Schulman also noted that there has been a small increase in female nominees at this year's Oscars, up from 46 to 48, but that there is still work to be done.

"We're at an absolute tipping point right now," Schulman said. "And it takes all of us to do the important work necessary to turn this tipping point into actual systemic change so that women's careers can be long, sustainable and successful."