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Lucasfilm - 2017

(LOS ANGELES) -- Star Wars actor John Boyega is calling out fantasy shows like Game of Thrones for what he describes as their lack of diversity.

"There are no black people on Game of Thrones," he said in a new cover story for GQ magazine.

To be fair, HBO's hit fantasy drama has featured at least two black actors: Jacob Anderson and Nonso Anozie. The series has also cast other actors of color, including Nathalie Emmanuel and Jessica Henwick.

And although Boyega’s hit film fantasy franchise, Star Wars, has featured African-American actors such as Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson, he said it's important for such franchises to think about representation on the big and small screens, especially in completely made-up universes.

"I ain't paying money to always see one type of person on-screen," the 25-year-old British actor, who was born to Nigerian parents, said. "Because you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you're a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers."

Author George R.R. Martin, whose fantasy novels where adapted into the Game of Thrones series, has previously addressed the issue in connection to his written stories.

“Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course,” he wrote about the fictional Game of Thrones world on his blog in 2014 , “but with that being said, I do have some 'characters of color' who will have somewhat larger roles in [his forthcoming novel] WINDS OF WINTER. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance.”

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Getty Images(NEVADA) -- O.J. Simpson, who's been behind bars for the past eight years in Nevada, has been granted parole.  The earliest the former football star could leave prison is October 1.

Simpson, 70, was sentenced in 2008 to a minimum of nine years without parole for the botched 2007 robbery of Bruce Fromong, while trying to recover memorabilia Simpson claimed was his. Fromong said before the hearing that he supported Simpson's release. Simpson's record during his incarceration was also reportedly unblemished.

The parole hearing was streamed live and carried by multiple networks, and there were well over 150 reporters outside of the prison while the panel announced its decision.

Simpson has loomed large in our pop culture consciousness, even while behind bars. In February 2016, his murder trial was resurrected in the FX true crime anthology, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The series, which starred Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, won nine Emmy awards, as well as two Golden Globes.

Also in 2016, ESPN Films released of the five-part docuseries O.J.: Made in America. Released in July of 2016, it followed O.J.'s life from his early football career through his murder trial, acquittal and subsequent conviction for armed robbery 13 years later.  It received widespread critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.

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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation - 2017/Giles Keyte(SAN DIEGO) -- 20th Century Fox has released the second official trailer for the sequel to its massive 2014 sleeper hit Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle sees Taron Egerton's newly minted super-spy Eggsy in the States after the destruction of Kingsman HQ. While across the Pond, Eggsy and his former trainer, Mark Strong's Merlin, meet up with a Stetson-wearing Agent Tequila -- Channing Tatum -- and the rest of the Statesmen, the American cousins to Eggsy's U.K. spy organization.

For an action comedy, the movie has some serious Oscar cred: Jeff Bridges stars as Agent Champagne, the head of the cowboy-themed group, which boasts another Oscar winner, Halle Berry, playing Ginger, the Yankee counterpart to Strong's brainy gadget-guy.

Together, the Kingsmen and the Statesmen must take on a common enemy, played by yet another Academy Award-winner: Julianne Moore, as the movie's big bad. 

While the first trailer was set to Frank Sinatra's "My Way," the new trailer features a remix of The Who's My Generation.

And while Elton John is reportedly in the film, he's not seen in the trailer -- but a sharp-eyed viewer might catch a movie marquee featuring the name of one of his hits, "The Bi*ch is Back," in the background of an action scene.

Matthew Vaughn is back to direct Kingsman: The Golden Circle, due out September 22.

Incidentally,an animated Archer crossover has just been released, showing how a boozy meet-up with H. Jon Benjamin's Sterling Archer and Egerton's character leads to his trip to the U.S.

 

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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(LOS ANGELES) -- Kevin Hart doesn't seem fazed by his rumored cheating scandal.

After a video surfaced online of the actor allegedly making out with an unidentified woman in the backseat of a car, the actor has shared a photo of himself laughing.

"At the end of the day, you just gotta laugh at the BS," reads the border text of the Instagram photo Hart posted Wednesday. "#LiveLoveLaugh ..... SMDH," he added.

Hart and his wife, Eniko Parrish, were married last August and announced on Mother's Day that they were expecting their first child together. Although Parris has yet to comment on the allegations, the soon-to-be mother did post a new selfie of herself on the same day.

"Much hasn't really changed," she wrote in the caption, referring to her growing baby bump. "I'm still in the gym 3-5 days a week and I feel GREAT!"

This will be the first child for the couple, but  the third child for Hart. He has two children, Hendrix and Heaven, from a previous relationship.

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©2017 CTMG, Inc.(NEW YORK) --Sony is wasting no time trying to build on the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s blockbuster opening weekend -- the movie, starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger, grossed more than $480 million worldwide to date.

A stand-alone film starring Tom Hardy as Spider-Man supervillain Venom is already in the works, as well as Silver & Black, which will pair Spidey universe characters jewel thief Black Cat with mercenary Silver Sable.

A licensing agreement Sony inked with Marvel Comics in the early 2000's, includes rights to roughly 900 characters, and Sanford Panitch, president Columbia Pictures -- which is owned by Sony -- tells Variety that he's been, "immersing himself in the Spider-Man comic books and boning up on the backstories of Peter Parker’s various costumed adversaries."

“With the Sony universe of Marvel characters, our mission is only to do what’s the absolute best for each individual property. I just want to honor the original DNA,” he adds.

Spider-Man: Homecoming marked an unprecedented collaboration between Sony and Marvel, with Marvel producing the film, as well as collecting a licensing fee. That deal gave Sony access to stars like Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. In return, Spider-Man was featured in Captain America: Civil War and will be in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

One key caveat here for fans: Marvel Studios, which has a flawless box office record with Marvel characters, unlike Sony Pictures, won’t be involved in Venom or Silver & Black, and Sony isn't making predictions on whether or not Spider-Man will appear in Venom.

However, Panitch says “If we get lucky enough to make more than one [Venom film] and continue the franchise, there are lots of opportunities.”

It should also be noted that Sony was fast-tracking other Spidey-free Spider-Man films, like the all-villian Sinister Six, before the poor box office performance of The Amazing Spider-Man, which starred Andrew Garfield as Peter/Spidey, put the character's fate in jeopardy.

It took Marvel Studios' intervention, its casting of Holland for Civil War -- and the performance of Homecoming -- to get the property back on track.

While Disney-owned Marvel Studios won't be involved with Venom or Silver & Black, Sony and Marvel will team up again for the 2019 sequel to Homecoming, which could be directed by Homecoming's Jon Watts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

ABC News is owned by parent company Disney.

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Getty News Images(NEVADA) -- He's spent nine years behind bars, but O.J. Simpson could be granted his freedom today. 

Simpson is scheduled for a parole hearing today at the Lovelock correctional facility in Lovelock, Nevada, where the former football star and actor has been doing time since 2008 for the botched 2007 robbery of Bruce Fromong. The crime reportedly occurred when Simpson tried to recover memorabilia from Fromong that O.J. claimed was his. 

Experts believe that Simpson will earn his parole because of his age -- he's 70 -- and the fact that he has an unblemished prison record.   

In addition, Fromong supports Simpson being paroled, and says he'll testify before the parole board on O.J.'s behalf. The prosecutor who helped secure Simpson's sentence of 33 years for armed robbery, nine of them without parole, also expects he'll be released.

If OJ Simpson's 1994 trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman was called the trial of the century, you could call this the parole hearing of the century. It'll be streamed live and carried by multiple networks.  There also will be well over 150 reporters outside of the prison while it happens.

Simpson has loomed large in our pop culture consciousness, even while behind bars. In February 2016, his murder trial was resurrected in the FX true crime anthology, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The series, which starred Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, won nine Emmy awards, as well as two Golden Globes.

Also in 2016, ESPN Films released of the five-part docuseries O.J.: Made in America. Released in July of 2016, it followed O.J.'s life from his early football career through his murder trial, acquittal and subsequent conviction for armed robbery 13 years later.  It received widespread critical acclaim and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.

Comedian Dave Chappelle took a shot at O.J.'s tumultuous life in his recent Netflix stand up special, Age of Spin. In the special, Chappelle describes four humorous encounters with O.J. during the height of his celebrity and after his acquittal for murder. At the end of the special, Chappelle tells the crowd that he and fellow comedian Chris Tucker declined to take a photo with Simpson.  As Chappelle explained, "Sorry Juice -- my career's too flimsy to survive a picture with you."

Then earlier this month, JAY-Z referenced a famous Simpson quote, in the song "The Story of O.J." from his new album 4:44. On the track, JAY raps: "O.J. like, 'I'm not black, I'm O.J.' …okay." The song is a meditation on race and wealth in America.

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HBO - 2017(LOS ANGELES) -- There may not be any dragons showing up, but a new, forthcoming series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss sound like it will be no less dark and fantasy-filled. 

On Wednesday HBO announced that it would be working with Benioff and Weiss on an historical fantasy show called Confederate, chronicling events leading to the “Third American Civil War.”

According to a statement from HBO, the show is described as taking place in an alternate timeline in which the south has, "seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution." 

There's a Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone separating north from south, and the show follows a spate of characters including "freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

Benioff and Weiss said, “We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film. But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO.”

Production on Confederate will begin following the final season of Game of Thrones.

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Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution(NEW YORK) -- Seacrest...in!  Kelly Ripa made the news official Thursday morning on Live with Kelly and Ryan: Ryan Seacrest is the new host of ABC's reboot of American Idol.

"I'm happy to confirm, I can confirm with absolute confirmation, that Ryan Seacrest is returning for the host of American Idol!" said Kelly.  Then, realizing her error, she said, "Let me try that one more time.  Ryan Seacrest is returning as the host of American Idol!

"Absolutely, without a doubt," Ryan agreed. "I'm so excited. It's gonna be the best time!"

Ryan hosted American Idol on Fox for all 15 seasons.  When he signed off last year, he said, "Seacrest out...for now."

In a prepared statement, Seacrest said, "It’s genuinely hard to put into words what American Idol means to me. I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one. To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal."

He added, "I believe ABC is the perfect home for Idol, and I’ve every confidence the show’s legions of fans will love it -- especially Idol’s best traditions of showcasing heartwarming stories, remarkable talent discovery, and, best of all, making dreams come true.”

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Getty Images-Corbis/Rune Hellestad(NEW YORK) -- Empire is adding some more star power.  When the show returns for fourth season in September is will have Oscar winner Forest Whitaker on board.

Whitaker, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 movie The Last King of Scotland, will guest star in a multi-episode story arc as Uncle Eddie, a music industry hitmaker who gave Terrance Howard's Lucious Lyon is first big break.

According to a release from Fox, Eddie "steps up for Lucious at a critical moment during his rehabilitation, and a grateful Cookie...invites him to produce a song in celebration of Empires Entertainment's 20th anniversary."

Empire returns to Fox on Wednesday, September 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Jennifer Lawrence had an embarrassing moment while catching a performance of Olivia Wilde’s edgy Broadway play 1984, on Monday, when she became violently ill.

Midway through the show, the Hunger Games star “bolted from her seat,” a source tells the New York Post. “Several people saw her getting sick in the lobby. The ushers were very helpful and courteous in helping her out.”

Lawrence is not the first theatergoer to get sick or faint during the intense drama, based on George Orwell’s dystopian novel about a future time when critical thought is squashed by a totalitarian government. The play contains shocking torture scenes and “a particularly harrowing scene involving a rat," according to the paper.

However, that wasn’t the case with Lawrence, who “caught the stomach flu from her nephews,” a friend of the actress told the Post.

Wilde couldn’t resist poking fun at Jennifer’s mishap, tweeting on Wednesday, “As long as I have a play, Jennifer Lawrence has a place to puke.”

This marks just the latest in a series of awkward moments for Lawrence, which include famously tripping over her dress while taking the stage to accept her Best Actress award at the 2013 Oscars.

Lawrence next  will be seen opposite Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in the horror film Mother, opening nationwide in October.

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(L-R): Sir Ian McKellen, Warwick Davis - Photo: British Airways(LONDON) -- While most air travelers ignore the in-flight safety film when they fly, British Airways is hoping to change that by enlisting A-List talent to star in their new in-flight video. 

In conjunction with the charities Comic Relief and the charity Flying Start, no less than Oscar nominees Sir Ian McKellen and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Westworld star Thandie Newton, X-Files and American Gods star Gillian Anderson, and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay have been tapped to talk about properly stowing luggage, folding meal tables, finding emergency exits, and how to deploy oxygen masks.

Alongside X-Men and Lord of the Rings star McKellen is little person actor Warwick Davis, who appeared in some of the Star Wars movies, as well as Willow and the comedy series Life's Too Short.

The stars actually "audition" for their speaking roles for comedian Asim Chaudhry, known to Brits from the comedy People Just Do Nothing.

Chaudhry, in character, trips on his words as he takes a shine to the stunning Newton and Anderson; the former, explaining the exit rows, and the latter -- who is American, but lived for years in London and adopted the accent -- noting proper "brace" position.

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(L-R) JAMES D'ARCY as Colonel Winnant and KENNETH BRANAGH as Commander Bolton -- Warner Bros. Pictures 2017(NEW YORK) -- Dunkirk, the Christopher Nolan film about World War II's Operation Dynamo, opens Friday, and it's already generating serious Oscar buzz.  At the New York City premiere on Tuesday, star Kenneth Branagh said Nolan probably isn't thinking that far ahead, but he's just happy that people are talking about the possibility of Oscar gold.

Branagh, a five-time Oscar nominee, said, "I think [Nolan would] probably be the first one to say, 'Wow, that's early days for that kind of talk,' but I mean, it's a thrill to be in that conversation."

For his part, Nolan has been nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Original screenplay in 2001 for Memento, and in 2010 for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for Inception. Like Branagh, he's yet to win.

Speaking at the event, Branagh went on to praise the movie's young cast, including actor Fionn Whitehead and One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles, making his film debut.

"I'm just so happy for [Nolan] and for the young 'uns at the center of this who've done a fantastic job," said Branagh. "Fionn, and I'm so pleased that Harry...it was a ballsy thing to do, y'know, and he's really brought it off terrifically well."

Operation Dynamo took place in 1940, and refers to the near-miraculous evacuation of 400,000 Allied soldiers from Dunkirk, France, where they were pinned down behind enemy lines by German forces.

"It's a tough sell, this," Branagh said of the film. "Dunkirk, not many people know about it necessarily, it's a war movie...so to feel the kind of passion that people are looking forward to it with is great."

Dunkirk, which also stars Dark Knight series star Cillian Murphy and Mad Max: Fury Road's Tom Hardy, opens Friday.

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Tyler Perry ("Madea") in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's "Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween"

(NEW YORK) -- Madea is back, and even scarier!

Lionsgate has released the first teaser-trailer for Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, the 10th film to feature the trash-talking, gun-totin' Madea character that launched his career.

In the film, which borrows from popular horror flicks like Scream and Poltergeist, Madea's crew of Bam and Hattie head to a haunted campground where they encounter monsters, goblins and bogeyman.

The comedy also references Jordan Peele's recent hit thriller, Get Out, feturing Uncle Joe demonstrating his own interpretation of the Get Out challenge.

"I saw this movie and I'll show you want they do," he says as he gets out the car and runs in the direction of a masked man with a chainsaw.

Moments later, when Joe is face to face with the masked man, he stops and says, "I've changed my mind," pivoting and running away.

In addition to Perry as Madea, the cast includes Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Yousef Erakat, Lexy Panterra, Andre Hall, Diamond White, Brock O. Hurn, and Tito Ortiz.

Boo! A Madea Halloween did more than decent business when it opened last October, debuting at #1 with $28.5 million and taking in just over $73 million domestically on a reported production budget of $20 million.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween opens nationwide on October 20.

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NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, both as an unlikely presidential candidate and now as president, earned the actor recent Emmy nominations, and a huge career boost. 

However, it came at a cost, the actor admitted Tuesday during an interview for his upcoming movie, Blind.

"That really took such a toll on me," Baldwin said of his frequent SNL appearances. "I crashed every weekend with my kids -- I mean, like my kids are up at five in the morning. I was getting in at five in the morning. I was pretty tired!"

The fatigue is more than physical, Baldwin admitted -- he's wondering when people will get sick of seeing him sending up the POTUS.

"You just wonder where the Trump fatigue will be come October," Baldwin says, referring to when SNL returns for its 43rd season. "What you're seeing with Trump, interestingly enough is, people were shocked, and people were even horrified that he won. But you're beginning to hear now, six months in, people sit there and go, 'We have to accept this and move on.' Which is interesting. No comment about that, but it's interesting."

The drama Blind, which also stars Demi Moore, is now available on demand.

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ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has found love on the ABC reality show, but of course, she can't say with whom...yet.  That's why she's anxious for the show to end, so she and her fiance can go public.

"I'm so ready for it to be over with," she tells ABC News. "And you'd think it would get easier, maybe as time goes by, like you're used to it, but no, the more time we spend together, the closer I get to him, and I'm like, 'Uggh!' I'm just ready to tell everyone who he is, [so] everyone can see our love and we can just be out in public in the best way."

Now, Rachel says that she and her man have to meet in secret; she's even saved him on her phone under an assumed name.

"It is 'Jerome,'" she reveals. "The secret name is Jerome, and I call him that all the time. I'm so used to it.  Like when it's just the two of us, I'm like, 'Um, Jerome honey...'"

Unfortunately, Rachel can't reveal his code name for her, because, she says, "I feel like if I tell you that, then you'll know [who it is]."  Hmm...is that a clue?

Despite all the secrecy, Rachel says, "It's been exciting, like, I truly feel like I'm living my best life right now.  I'm in love, I have a fiance and I'm watching our love story unfold."

"It's really been a beautiful thing," she adds. "And I'm really having so much fun getting the chance to know my fiance even better."  

The Bachelorette airs Monday nights on ABC.

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