Wednesday, July 17, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 3665
  • Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019
Graphic suicide scene edited out of "13 Reasons Why" finale
In this March 30, 2017 file photo, Katherine Langford attends the LA premiere of "13 Reasons Why" at Paramount Pictures Studio in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Netflix has decided to remove a graphic suicide scene from the Season 1 finale of its show "13 Reasons Why" as the series prepares to launch its third season.

Show creator Brian Yorkey says in a statement on Twitter the intent in portraying the suicide in such graphic detail was to "make sure no one would ever wish to emulate it." But the producers have heard concerns from mental health experts and decided, along with the streaming service, to re-edit it.

Yorkey says the edit "will help the show do the most good for the most people while mitigating any risk for especially vulnerable young viewers."

Suicide prevention groups support the decision.

The series drew praise and criticism when it debuted in 2017. The show included warnings about its graphic nature and Netflix established a website of crisis helplines.

  • Monday, Jul. 15, 2019
Austin Butler to star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann-helmed biopic
This combination photo shows singer-actor Elvis Presley in a 1964 photo, left, and actor Austin Butler at the premiere of "The Dead Don't Die" in New York on June 10, 2019. Butler has been cast to portray Presley in the upcoming biopic by director Baz Luhrmann. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic has found its King.

After a competitive casting contest, 27-year-old actor Austin Butler has been cast as Presley. Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller all reportedly tested for the role ultimately won by Butler, who last year appeared in the Denzel Washington Broadway revival of "The Iceman Cometh."

Luhrmann says in a statement that through "a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world's most iconic musical figures."

Production is to begin early next year on the Luhrmann-directed film. Tom Hanks co-stars as Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Butler also has a role in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood."

  • Monday, Jul. 15, 2019
Oliver Stone writing memoir, scheduled for 2020
In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, Oliver Stone is shown during interview with Associated Press in Sarajevo, Bosnia. (AP Photo/Amel Emric, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Oliver Stone has some memories to share, not all of them happy.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced Monday that it had acquired a memoir by the Oscar-winning filmmaker. The book, currently untitled, is scheduled for Fall 2020. Stone is known for such provocative films as "Platoon," ''JFK" and "Born On the Fourth of July." According to the publisher, he will center on his early years, including his time in Vietnam. Winner of an Academy Award before age 35, he will also recount his "overindulgences borne of youthful success." Stone has an acknowledged history of drugs and alcohol and has been married three times.

Stone, 72, said in a statement that he has been reassessing his life and decided that all memories are to be cherished, "pleasant or not."

  • Sunday, Jul. 14, 2019
Scarlett Johansson: Comments on diversity were misconstrued
In a Tuesday, April 23, 2019 file photo, Scarlett Johansson, a member of the cast of "Avengers: End Game," appears at a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Scarlett Johansson says comments she made on the "authentic casting" debate have been taken out of context and asserts that she supports diversity in film.

The actress came under fire in 2017 for playing an Asian character in "Ghost in the Shell" and canceled plans last year to portray a transgender man in the upcoming film "Rub & Tug," after transgender actors and advocates questioned the casting.

In a recent interview with As If magazine, she said actors should be allowed to play any person "because that is my job and the requirement of my job."

Johansson said Saturday that those comments were subsequently edited in other publications for "clickbait."

"I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness," she said in a statement.

"I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cisgender actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to."

  • Sunday, Jul. 14, 2019
Remains found in Oregon believed to be actor Charles Levin
This undated photo released by the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety shows actor Charles Levin. (Grants Pass Department of Public Safety via AP)
SELMA, Ore. (AP) -- 

Remains found in a remote area of Oregon are believed to be of missing actor Charles Levin, who played numerous roles on television comedies such as "Seinfeld" and "Night Court."

Levin, 70, was reported missing from Grants Pass on July 8 by his son after he hadn't heard from his father for several days, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

He owned an orange 2012 Fiat and was "almost always in the company of his fawn-colored pug dog, Boo Boo Bear," Grants Pass public safety said in a news release last week seeking information about Levin's whereabouts.

On Friday, search and rescue crews narrowed down a search area based on an emergency cellphone ping. A resident located Levin's car in a remote and almost impassable road Saturday. Inside the car, troopers found the remains of Levin's dog. Crews searching steep and rugged terrain found the human remains.

There is a "high probability" the remains are those of Levin, The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said Sunday. The medical examiner will make the final identification.

Levin's TV credits include "Alice," ''Hill Street Blues," ''Doogie Howser, M.D.," ''Night Court" and "Seinfeld." Levin also had roles in movies, including "The Golden Child," ''Annie Hall" and "This is Spinal Tap."

  • Friday, Jul. 12, 2019
Report: FTC approves roughly $5B fine for Facebook
In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

The FTC has voted to approve a fine of about $5 billion for Facebook over privacy violations, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The report cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Facebook declined to comment; the FTC did not immediately respond to messages for comment. The Journal said the 3-2 vote broke along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

The FTC report has been moved to the Justice Department for review, per the report. It is not clear how long it will take to finalize.

The fine would be the largest the FTC has levied on a tech company. But it won't make much of a dent for Facebook, which had nearly $56 billion in revenue last year. The report did not say what else the settlement includes beyond the fine, though it is expected to include limits on how Facebook treats user privacy.

Since the Cambridge Analytica debacle erupted more than a year ago and prompted the FTC investigation, Facebook has vowed to do a better job corralling its users' data. Nevertheless, its controls have remained leaky. For example, It also acknowledged giving big tech companies like Amazon and Yahoo extensive access to users' personal data, in effect exempting them from its usual privacy rules. And it collected call and text logs from phones running Google's Android system in 2015.

  • Friday, Jul. 12, 2019
Disney cancels premiere after death of star Cameron Boyce
In this April 25, 2019, file photo, Cameron Boyce arrives at WE Day California at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Actor Boyce, known for his roles in the Disney Channel franchise “Descendants” and the Adam Sandler “Grown Ups” movies, died Saturday, July 6, 2019, at his home in Los Angeles, according to his spokesperson. He was 20. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Disney Channel has canceled the red-carpet premiere of its movie "Descendants 3" after the death of 20-year-old star Cameron Boyce.

Disney Channel said in a statement Thursday that instead of the July 22 event, the telecast will be dedicated to Boyce's memory and the Walt Disney Company will make a donation to the Thirst Project, a charity he loved.

Boyce, who also starred in the Disney Channel sitcom "Jessie," played Carlos de Vil, teenage son of Cruella de Vil from "101 Dalmatians," in the "Descendants" films, which told the story of the offspring of classic Disney villains.

Boyce's family says he died Saturday of a seizure from an ongoing medical condition. An autopsy was performed Monday, but the coroner will conduct more tests before an official cause can be announced.

  • Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019
Peter Weir, Michael J. Meehan to receive honors at Location Managers Guild International Awards
LOS ANGELES -- 

Initial honorees for the 6th Annual Location Managers Guild International Awards (LMGI) were revealed by LMGI president Mike Fantasia. Oscar®-nominated director Peter Weir will receive the Eva Monley Award, which recognizes and honors industry members who support the work of location professionals. Location manager Michael J. Meehan has been named recipient of the 2019 LMGI Lifetime Achievement Award. The LMGI Awards spotlight international features, television and commercials in which the creative use of filming locations sets the tone, enrich the character and enhance the narrative. Winners of additional awards will be revealed during the formal ceremony on Saturday evening, September 21, at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Nominations will be announced on July 18.
 
Director, producer, screenwriter Weir is best known for his work on Witness (1985), The Truman Show (1998), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Master and Commander (2003); the movies all earned Weir Academy Award nominations for best director. He has been involved in  86 films and videos. He directed Linda Hunt, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams and Jim Carrey in Oscar-nominated performances. Weir has received a total of 36 awards and 59 nominations including five Oscar nominations, four Golden Globes, has won three BAFTA Awards and been nominated for four more.

Weir led the Australian New Wave cinema movement with his hypnotic Picnic at Hanging Rock, the lyrically surreal Last Wave, brutally realistic Gallipoli and the sultry Year of Living Dangerously.  From a precarious geological outcropping to the aboriginal outback to steamy Indonesia, his earliest films exemplify the value of evocative locations in the crafting of intelligent, moody dramas exploring the balance between characters and their environment.  He directed a diverse group of international films, many with location manager Meehan.

Meehan has traveled the world for 30 years scouting for major studios everywhere from Canada to Venezuela, with countries such as Mongolia, China, Russia, Bulgaria, Morocco, India and the Galapagos in between. Meehan has worked on over 38 movies and scouted more than 40 countries. His credits include Witness, Dead Poets Society, Arachnophobia, Toys, Pirates of the Caribbean 2/3, Master and Commander, among others. His illustrious career also included working with directors Sam Fuller, Mel Brooks and Barry Levinson, among others. Meehan’s additional credits include Ben-Hur, Poseidon, Spaceballs, Syriana, Patch Adams, Grease 2 and Star Trek IV. His resumé trends with water movies (The Perfect Storm, Pirates, Sphere, Deep Blue Sea, Battleship, Poseidon…), on which he has become a specialist, helping to design tanks in the United States and Spain.               

Committee co-chairs of this year’s LMGI Awards are Fantasia, Lori Balton and John Rakich.

  • Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019
ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" to end after next season
In this image released by ABC, Viola Davis appears in a scene from "How To Get Away With Murder." ABC said Thursday that the show’s upcoming sixth season will be its last. (Mitchell Haaseth/ABC via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

It will be case closed next season for "How to Get Away with Murder," with the show's upcoming sixth season to be its last.

The series and its star, Viola Davis, are leaving behind history: In 2015, Davis became the first African American to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series.

In a statement Thursday announcing the show's end, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke praised Davis for her unforgettable portrayal of a female antihero.

Davis plays Annalise Keating, a brilliant attorney and professor at a Philadelphia law school, where she teaches her no-holds-barred views of justice and life and enlists her students in her cases and misadventures.

A three-time Academy Award nominee, Davis won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2017 for "Fences."

Series creator and executive producer Pete Nowalk called ending the show a "brutal decision," but said the story demanded it.

"For me, Annalise Keating's journey has always had a clear ending," Nowalk said in a statement. "Knowing I have 15 episodes left to finish her story, and the chance to give all the characters their own killer endings" is a rare gift.

He advised fans to "buckle up" for the show's final twists when it returns on Sept. 26.

The show's ratings have softened, with viewership dropping from more than 10 million weekly in its early years to about half that last season.

"How to Get Away with Murder" debuted in 2014 as part of ABC's hit Thursday night programming block from prolific writer-producer Shonda Rhimes, including the long-running "Grey's Anatomy" and now-ended "Scandal." Rhimes created multi-dimensional female characters and rare opportunities for actresses of color, including Davis and former "Grey's Anatomy" star Sandra Oh, who became the first actress of Asian ethnicity to get an Emmy nod for best drama series actress (for "Killing Eve").

Rhimes' long partnership with ABC Studios ended when she signed a lucrative deal in 2017 to make series for Netflix, which became the new home for her Shondaland production company as part of the streaming service's talent hunt. She retains an executive producer credit for "How to Get Away with Murder."

  • Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019
The One Club and The 3% Movement set global jury for Next Creative Leaders
NEW YORK -- 

The One Club for Creativity, the non-profit organization recognizing creative excellence in advertising and design, and The 3% Movement, aN ad industry voice for gender equality and diversity, have set the global jury for their joint Next Creative Leaders 2019 program.

Developed collaboratively by the two organizations in 2015, Next Creative Leaders identifies, celebrates and gives a global platform to talented creative women who are making their mark on the world with both game changing work and a unique point of view on creative leadership that’s changing the industry for the better.  

This year’s Next Creative Leaders judges’ lineup, representing 10 countries and including seven past NCL winners, is as follows:  

  • Nedal Ahmed, senior creative, 72andSunny, Amsterdam (NCL ’18)
  • Gail Anderson, creative director, School of Visual Arts, New York
  • Lisa Balser, creative director, freelance, Atlanta
  • Endre Berentzen, chief creative officer, cofounder, ANTI Norway, Bergen
  • Ron Burrage, head of beverage design, Pepsico, New York
  • Luis Camano, chief creative officer, founder, Key Activations, Los Angeles
  • Bram Ceuppens, senior creative, Heat, San Francisco
  • Soham Chatterjee, senior creative, Leo Burnett, Chicago
  • Charlotte Clymer, press secretary, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC
  • Elaine Cox, executive creative director, Heat, San Francisco
  • Sarah DiLeo, executive producer, Sister, New York
  • Jenny Ehlers, executive creative director, King James, Cape Town
  • Karrem Fahmi, executive creative director, cofounder, Factor, Oakland
  • Roberto Fara, executive creative director, R/GA, New York
  • Amy Ferguson, executive creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York
  • Raul Garcia, executive creative director, Momentum, Toronto
  • Kim Goulbourne, founder, Made by Bourne, New York
  • Piper Hickman, executive creative director, 360i, New York
  • Maddy Kramer, associate creative director, Anomaly, New York (NCL ’18)
  • Nils Leonard, chief creative officer, Uncommon, London
  • Eduardo Marques, chief creative officer, Publicis Spain, Madrid
  • Julie Matheny, associate creative director, Droga5, New York (NCL ’18)
  • Mietta McFarlane, senior copywriter, Droga5, New York (NCL ’18)
  • Megan McGlynn, creative director, writer, freelance, Chicago
  • Krystle Mullin, creative director, RPA, Santa Monica (NCL ’18)
  • Julia Neumann, executive creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York
  • Malcolm Poynton, global chief creative officer, Cheil Worldwide, London
  • Ryan Robertson, brand director, Diageo, New York
  • Adama Sall, cofounder, Apollo 51, head of strategy, East, Mekanism, New York
  • Julie Scelzo, global executive creative director, mcgarrybowen, New York
  • Lora Schulson, director of production, 72andSunny, New York
  • Aaron Shimer, director of product marketing, HiRoad, Chicago
  • Jessica Shriftman, creative director of brand, Billie, New York (NCL ’18)
  • Sbu Sitole, chief creative officer, The Odd Number, Johannesburg
  • Gayatri Sriram, digital creative head, FCB Ulka, Delhi (NCL ’18)
  • Tea Uglow, creative director, Google Creative Labs, Sydney
  • Mike Wente, chief strategy officer, Swirl mcgarrybowen, San Francisco
  • Pete Williams, creative director, GPJ, New York
  • Sherman Winfield, creative director, Fitzco, Atlanta
  • Kelly Woh, group creative director, Ogilvy, Shanghai

This year’s 10 winners will be revealed at The 3% Conference at the Navy Pier in Chicago, November 7-8, 2019, with some of them in attendance to speak.  

To make Next Creative Leaders as open and accessible as possible, there is no fee to enter the competition.  Entrants are judged on four-to-six pieces of creative work, their background and information about how they — and their work — are pushing the industry forward and making a positive contribution in terms of diversity, mentoring and advocacy.  

Entries highlighting a candidate’s creativity, leadership and unique point of view can be submitted here. Deadline for submission is August 9, 2019.

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