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Entertainment News

Dwayne Johnson now legally owns "The Rock," as well as "jabroni" and dozens of other words

ABC/Paula Lobo

Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? That's not only a famous threat used by Dwayne Johnson back in his wrestling heyday, it's now just one of the phrases he legally owns.

As reported, a deal to join the board of directors of the TKO Group, the new parent company of World Wrestling Entertainment, gave The Rock legal ownership of the wrestling moniker he brought from the ring to the big screen.

But Variety is reporting a new SEC filing revealed he also now owns dozens of other words and phrases he made famous during his wrestling days.

Some are extremely specific to Johnson, like "Rocky Maivia," his first wrestling name, and the nickname "The Brahma Bull." Some refer to former foes, like "candy a**" and "jabroni." Others are arguably amusingly general, like "It doesn't matter what…"; "Blue Hell"; and "The millions… (and millions)."

According to Variety, others include "Team Corporate"; "Rock Nation"; "The Nation"; "Roody Poo"; "If you smell what The Rock is cooking"; "The Samoan Sensation"; "The Blue Chipper"; "The Great One"; "Know Your Role and Shut Your Mouth"; "Team Bring It"; "The Rock Just Bring It"; "Rock Bottom"; "Rockpocalypse"; "Project Rock"; and the phrases "Finally, The Rock has come back to…" and "The most electrifying man in sports and entertainment."

Similarly, Johnson now legally owns related logos and "all other nicknames, caricatures, voice, signature, gestures, routines, costumes or parts of costumes, accessories [and] crowns" worn, earned or used during his reign as a pro wrestling champ.

That naturally would cover "The People's Eyebrow," a signature arch that even made its way onto Maui, Johnson's animated demigod Moana alter ego.

In short, what The Rock is likely cooking smells like money: He'd be able to monetize these phrases on apparel and the like.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Emmy-winning comedy 'Hacks' returns for season 3 in May

Max

Max's Emmy-winning comedy series Hacks returns for its third season on Thursday, May 2, the streaming service announced Friday via a new teaser.

The series starring Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder will come back with a two-episode premiere, and shows will unroll weekly on Thursdays until the season finale May 30.

The streaming service teases of the show's third frame: "A year after parting, Deborah Vance (Smart) is riding high off the success of her standup special while Ava (Einbinder) pursues new opportunities back in Los Angeles."

That said, the teaser, set to Elton John's "I'm Still Standing," shows the pair reuniting in an elevator, the doors of which Deborah tries to shut before Ava can climb aboard. 

It also shows Deborah back on top, hitting the red carpet at a lavish event and sitting in the hot seat at a roast in her honor.

Ava is later shown caddying for the star on the golf course and trying to warn her away from some of her "more problematic" stand-up material. 

"Which minority group is upset now?" Deborah asks, exasperated.

"I don't think 'minority' is the appropriate term," Ava corrects nervously. "Well, what do they want to be called?!" Deborah huffs.

"Don't say 'they,'" her protege laments, embarrassed. "I thought everybody was they nowadays!" Deborah shouts back.

It was recently announced that this season's guest stars will include Oscar winner Helen Hunt, Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd, Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks, Scandal vet Tony Goldwyn and legendary stand-up comedian George Wallace.  

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


HBO's 'The Last of Us' adds Danny Ramirez, Ariela Barer, Tati Gabrielle and Spencer Lord for season 2

L-R: Ramirez, Barer, Gabrielle, Spencer - Photos L-R: Frazer Harrison, Emerson Ricard, Tiziano, Kristine Cofsky Photography

On Friday, HBO announced four new cast members for the second season of its hit video game adaptation The Last of Us.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Danny Ramirez has signed up as Manny, "a loyal soldier whose sunny outlook belies the pain of old wounds and a fear that he will fail his friends when they need him most."

Marvel's Runaways veteran Ariela Barer will play Mel, "a young doctor whose commitment to saving lives is challenged by the realities of war and tribalism."

The 100's Tati Gabrielle will star as Nora, "a military medic struggling to come to terms with the sins of her past," while A Honeymoon to Remember's Spencer Lord will play Owen, described as "a gentle soul trapped in a warrior’s body, condemned to fight an enemy he refuses to hate."

HBO confirmed in February that Schitt's Creek Emmy winner Catherine O'Hara had joined the cast of the second season of the hit post-apocalyptic series, on which her two sons incidentally work behind the scenes.

Season 2 of The Last of Us will debut on HBO in 2025.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Premiere of spinoff 'The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live' sets records for AMC

AMC/Gene Page

Sunday night's premiere of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live set all-time records for both viewership and customer acquisition on AMC+, the network announced Friday.

The show, which reunites Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes and Danai Gurira's Michonne, scored an audience of nearly 3 million people across the network and its sister streamer — strong enough to make it the #1 cable drama premiere of the 2023/24 television season in key viewer demographics.

What's more, it was the biggest show debut for the network since 2018 and saw the highest number of people signing up for AMC+ since the streaming service began, AMC said.

And fans were apparently talking about it online: #TheOnesWhoLive was the #1 trending topic in the U.S. on X, formerly Twitter, according to the network.

In a joint statement, stars/executive producers Lincoln and Gurira said, "When we each began this extraordinary journey so many years ago, the most mind-meltingly beautiful moments have always been either with or about the fans."

They hailed The Walking Dead's "connection between the passionate commitment of our remarkable crews and casts and the greatest fans in fandom."

Further, they expressed, "Telling this story from behind and in front of the cameras as a team has been a dream (sometimes a fever dream) and to see the response is even better than five pizzas and a wedding ring."

Thanking those fans "from the bottom of our blood-stained hearts," the pair closed with, "We all did this together. Big, Epic Love."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reality Roundup: Rachel Leviss sues Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix, 'The Bachelor' update

Have no fear, your reality roundup is here! Here's a look at what happened in the world of reality television this week:

Vanderpump Rules (Bravo)
The Scandoval saga continues. Rachel Leviss has sued Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix over claims of revenge porn, eavesdropping, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Deadline reports. “‘Scandoval’ captured the public’s attention in a massive way, went completely viral, and injected new life into Vanderpump Rules,” the filing reads. “It also caused mayhem in Leviss’s life, culminating in months-long in-patient treatment at a mental health facility and her departure from the show. Fomented by Bravo and Evolution in conjunction with the cast, Leviss was subjected to a public skewering with little precedent and became, without exaggeration, one of the most hated women in America.”

The Bachelor (ABC)
Monday night's episode of The Bachelor found its lead, Joey Graziadei, selecting the final four women whose hometowns he will visit. In an episode of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast released on Thursday, Graziadei said he was 70 or 80 percent sure the series would work for him after he selected his final four. “I was probably 70/30 [or] 80/20 [percent confident] because I could see the relationships were getting there, but we hadn’t gotten to the point of anyone expressing that they’re actually in love with me, if there’s real feelings,” Graziadei said.

Love is Blind (Netflix)
Amber Desiree “AD” Smith has opened up about her pool party confrontation with fellow season 6 contestant Sarah Ann Bick. “I had no idea that I was going to talk to Sarah Ann,” AD told Entertainment Weekly. "I didn’t think she was going to be there, so talking to her was very interesting.”

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here's a look at some of the new movies and TV shows streaming this weekend:

Netflix
The Tourist: Find out what happens to Elliot in season 2 of the Australian thriller.

Spaceman: Adam Sandler is an astronaut who makes friends with a giant spider in the new film.

Somebody Feed Phil: Celebrate the joy of food with season 7 of the documentary travel series.

Hulu
Shōgun: If you’re in the mood for a big-budget historical drama, this new series might be for you. You can watch the first two episodes now.

Max
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: Did you miss the superhero film in theaters? You’re in luck – catch up with the King of the Seas now that the movie is on streaming.

Apple TV+
Napoleon: Ridley Scott’s newest film makes its streaming debut.

That’s all for this week’s Weekend Watchlist – happy streaming!

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Richard Lewis' widow thanks fans for their "loving tributes"

Jesse Grant/Getty Images

On the late stand-up comic and actor's account on X, formerly Twitter, Richard Lewis' widow, Joyce Lapinsky, posted a note of thanks to the fans following Lewis' death on Tuesday.

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star died of a heart attack at 76.

"Thank you for your loving tributes," she began the post late Thursday evening. "He would be beyond thrilled and so touched, as am I."

Lapinsky added, "In response to the many queries, I know Richard would appreciate donations in his memory to the Los Angeles based charity [Comedy Gives Back] or the charity of your choice."

According to the website that Joyce posted, the nonprofit "is the safety net for the comedy community by providing financial crisis relief, mental health and chemical dependency treatment sponsorship and continued community support."

After years of struggling with alcohol and drugs, Lewis became sober in the mid-'90s. In fact, in her tribute to her former Anything but Love sitcom co-star, Jamie Lee Curtis called him "the reason I am sober." 

"He helped me. I am forever grateful for him for that act of grace alone," she expressed.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rachel Brosnahan posts TikTok with 'Superman' co-stars David Corenswet, Nicholas Hoult

Amazon Studios/Andy Kropa

On her TikTok Thursday evening, Superman star and Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan posted a cute video set to John Williams' iconic theme to 1978's Superman.

She's sitting with a pleasant smile on her face that breaks into a wide, giggling grin when David Corenswet and Nicholas Hoult pop into the frame on either side of her. David plays the Man of Steel/Clark Kent in James Gunn's 2025 film, while Hoult plays his nemesis Lex Luthor.

"A supervillain, a journalist and an alien walk into a bar…," captioned the actress, who plays dogged Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane in the film. Of course, the "alien" refers to the Last Son of Krypton and Lois' eventual love interest, Superman.

Just hours before, Gunn revealed that the title of the forthcoming movie had been changed and that filming had begun on Leap Day. "[W]hich just so happens to be – coincidentally and unplanned – Superman’s birthday," the co-CEO of DC Films shared on Instagram.

He added, "When I finished the first draft of the script, I called the film Superman: Legacy. By the time I locked the final draft, it was clear the title was SUPERMAN."

The movie from Warner Bros. Pictures will fly into theaters July 11, 2025.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ricki Lake's weight loss journey comes full circle with 17-year-old bathing suit

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

As reported, Ricki Lake and her husband, Ross Burningham, recently revealed they decided to undertake a health journey last October, and that they've each lost more than 30 pounds.

But now, the former talk show host shows she's come full circle, modeling a red swimsuit she wore on the cover of Us Weekly 17 years ago.

"Then and now. 2007-2024," Ricki captioned the photo on Instagram, adding "#thisis55" and "hardwork."

She continued, "I held onto this #NormaKamali one-piece for all these years wondering if I would ever be able to wear it again." The Us article at the time was touting Lake's weight loss from a size 24 to a size 4.

Lake's initial post said she and her husband put in the work and didn't rely on prescription meds to shed the pounds, as many in Hollywood, including Oprah Winfrey, have admitted to doing.

She explained, "We did this without relying on a pharmaceutical. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) But neither of us were pre diabetic and both of us felt like we wanted to at least try and do it on our own."

She also said, "This is the healthiest way I’ve lost weight in all of my years."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: James Gunn says retitled film 'Superman' has taken flight, and more

Superman: Legacy writer-director James Gunn has revealed that production on the film, which is now just Superman, has officially begun. “Overjoyed to be announcing the start of principal photography on SUPERMAN today, February 29, which just so happens to be – coincidentally and unplanned – Superman’s birthday,” the co-CEO of DC Films shared on Instagram. “When I finished the first draft of the script, I called the film Superman: Legacy. By the time I locked the final draft, it was clear the title was SUPERMAN." The film is set to hit theaters in July 2025 ...

Emily Blunt is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson in Benny Safdie’s solo directorial debut for A24, The Smashing Machine, according to Variety. She would reportedly play Dawn Staples, the wife of MMA and UFC champion Mark Kerr, played by Johnson. Per the studio, “While trying to set up a new life together ... (Dawn) struggles to find her place within Mark’s chaotic and contradictory world.” Production is set to begin this summer ...

Anne Whitfield, best known for playing Susan Waverly, the granddaughter of Dean Jagger’s Major Gen. Thomas F. Waverly in the holiday classic White Christmas, died February 7 at a hospital in Yakima, Washington, after suffering an “unexpected accident” while on a walk in her neighborhood, according to B-Town Blog. She was 85. Whitfield also appeared on dozens of TV shows, including Father Knows Best, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, That Girl, Ironside and Emergency! Her other film credits include The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, Peter Pan, Juvenile Jungle and Tick, Tick, Tick ...

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Eat the world, again: Netflix serves up a new season of 'Somebody Feed Phil'

Netflix

Get out your passport – it's time to travel and eat again with Phil Rosenthal. A new season of his show Somebody Feed Phil drops Friday on Netflix, and this season Rosenthal journeys to Mumbai, Kyoto, Iceland, Dubai, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Taipei and Scotland.

The Everybody Loves Raymond creator tells ABC Audio that one of his best bites this season comes in Kyoto, where he asked world famous chef Rene Redzepi, owner of the restaurant Noma, to take him to his favorite spot.

"He took us to a gorgeous, tiny soba noodle place where the chef is also a farmer," Rosenthal recalls. 

"So he grows the wheat, makes it into soba noodles and flour himself. And that's all he does. He's a soba machine," he jokes. 

Another memorable bite came in Dubai, at a small Palestinian-owned place that brought Phil to tears, literally. 

"First of all, flavor bomb. Absolutely delicious. Crazy delicious," he raves. 

"But then I can't even explain it other than magic, that you're transported. Like it was almost like time travel," Rosenthal continues.

He adds, "Is it the story? Is it that I'm Jewish and she's Palestinian and meant more to me then? This was before all the trouble, we filmed this. But we bonded in a beautiful way. Talk about connecting over food."

Rosenthal says he loves nothing more than when people visit the places he's been to on his show. "Nothing makes me feel better," he admits. "People DM me all the time on Instagram with pictures of them eating in the places that we filmed, and happy. And I mean, I couldn't be happier when I see that." 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jared Leto teases 'Tron: Ares' character

Walt Disney Studios

On his Instagram, Oscar winner Jared Leto teased his character in the upcoming sci-fi flick Tron: Ares.

Leto posted a photo of a character wearing a skin-tight black suit and matching helmet, with the outfit's red lighting — as opposed to the franchise's blue-lit heroes — hinting he may be playing a baddie.

"ARE YOU READY?" the actor and Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman wrote, adding the movie's title and its year of release, 2025.

He closed with "see you on the grid," a reference to the world inside the world of computers.

The third film in the Tron franchise follows 2010's Tron: Legacy and the groundbreaking 1982 original, both of which starred Jeff Bridges.

According to Disney, Tron: Ares "follows a highly sophisticated Program, Ares, who is sent from the digital world into the real world on a dangerous mission, marking humankind's first encounter with A.I. beings."

The movie will also star Greta Lee, Evan Peters, Hasan Minhaj, Jodie Turner-Smith, Arturo Castro and Cameron Monaghan, and features Gillian Anderson.

In a release, director Joachim Rønning enthused, "I'm excited to be part of the Tron franchise and bring this new film to fans around the world."

He adds, "Tron: Ares builds upon the legacy of cutting-edge design, technology and storytelling. Now more than ever, it feels like the right time to return to the Grid."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will Forte sounds off on "incredible" but shelved 'Coyote Vs. Acme' movie

Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

After Warner Bros. reportedly shelved its live-action/animated cartoon Coyote Vs. Acme, another one of its stars is sounding off.

On X, formerly Twitter, Will Forte wrote to the movie's cast and crew, "I know that a lot of you haven't gotten a chance to see our movie. And sadly, it’s a looking like you never will."

He added that when he heard the studio "deleted" the movie, "I was thinking what everyone else must have been thinking: this thing must be a hunk of junk."

The Saturday Night Live veteran expressed, "But then I saw it, and it's incredible."

He continued, "Super funny throughout, visually stunning, sweet, sincere, and emotionally resonant in a very earned way. ... I just sat there thinking how lucky I was to be a part of something so special."

He asked himself rhetorically, "This was the movie they're not going to release?"

The movie stars Forte, John Cena and Lana Condor, and reportedly centers on the cartoon coyote suing Acme for a lifetime of defective, injurious products that got him no closer to catching the Road Runner. Cena reportedly played the company's legal counsel.

Forte continued, "You would be so proud of it -- a movie that should be seen, but won't. Please know that all the years and years of hard work, dedication and love that you put into this movie shows in every frame."

One of the movie's stars, Eric Bauza — who voices a host of Looney Tunes characters — recently used his time as a presenter at the Annie Awards to mention the plight of the movie in character as both Bugs and Sylvester. "I hate to be political, but release Coyote vs. Acme!" he shouted as the lisping cat.

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and more announced as Oscar presenters

ABC/AMPAS

On Thursday, the producers of the 96th Academy Awards telecast announced another round of presenters.

Among them are Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Kate McKinnon, John Mulaney, Catherine O'Hara, Bad Bunny and Ramy Youssef.

Also added were previous Oscar winners Michael Keaton, Regina King, Jennifer Lawrence and Octavia Spencer.

They will be joining previously announced Academy Award-winning presenters Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Lange, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o, Ke Huy Quan, Al Pacino, Sam Rockwell and Michelle Yeoh in welcoming the night's new crop of winners.

More announcers will be revealed the closer we get to the big show, which airs live on ABC on Sunday, March 10, at the new time of 7 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Matthew Vaughn's 'Kick-A**' universe kicks off again with 'The Stuntman'

Samir Hussein/WireImage

The skewed-superhero movie universe of the 2010 movie Kick-A** is rolling on. 

Variety reports Argylle director Matthew Vaughn is producing The Stuntman and the as-yet-unreleased School Fight, the next chapters of the film series, which also spawned Kick-A** 2 in 2013.

The Stuntman is now underway, with former real-life stuntman Damien Walters behind the camera of the tale of two brothers who aspire to join the titular profession.

According to Vaughn, Stuntman is part of a new Kick trilogy, including School Fight, also directed by Walters, which centers on a high school girl who goes toe-to-toe with a love rival classmate.

Based on a comic series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., the original film starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a geeky guy who becomes a self-appointed superhero. The original also starred Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The sequel added Chloë Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey to the mix.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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