Emma Roberts join the cast of ‘Spider-Man’ spinoff ‘Madame Web’

According to Deadline, Emma Roberts has joined the cast of Marvel’s ‘Spider-Man’ spin-off, Madame Web.  Roberts, 31, joins previously announced stars Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced and Tahar Rahim.

Madame Web serves as an origin story for the Marvel Comics character of the same name. In the comics, Madame Web is a clairvoyant whose psychic abilities prove to be greatly beneficial to Spider-Man; she is depicted as an elderly woman with myasthenia gravis, connected to a life-support system that looked like a spider web. Details about Roberts’ character are being kept under wraps.

This will be Roberts first Marvel picture; she recently wrapped production on the upcoming rom-com Maybe I Do, also starring Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere.

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‘Minions: Rise of Gru’ breaks 4th of July record earning $125.1 Million domestically at the box office in its opening weekend

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ broke records over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, earning $125.2 million domestically over the extended 4-day holiday break. Overseas, the movie earned $86 million by Sunday, bringing the film over $200 million in earnings globally.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is a sequel to 2015’s Minions and the fifth installment in the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise, the top-grossing animated series in history. The film voice cast features Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, RZA, Danny Trejo and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The origin story reveals how the supervillain Gru (Carell) and the Minions met when Gru was a young boy growing up in a 1970s suburb.

Rise of Gru will become only the 10th animated Hollywood film to debut to $100 million or more, a list led by Incredibles 2 ($182.7 million).

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‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ sequel to open in theaters in 2023

Sony Pictures has shared plans to release a sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife in 2023.  According to Deadline, the studio said that the new film will open in theaters Dec. 20, 2023.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman and writer Gil Kenan had previously confirmed there would be a sequel film on June 8 — dubbed ‘Ghostbusters Day.’ The new film will return to the franchise’s original New York City and Firehouse setting. Reitman recently told The Hollywood Reporter: “At the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Ecto-1 is driving into Manhattan, returning to its home. And before anyone ever heard the title Afterlife, we called it Rust City. Which would not have made sense to anyone until they saw the movie. The code name for the next movie is Firehouse.” 

The Ghostbusters franchise originated with the 1984 film Ghostbusters, directed by the late Ivan Reitman, Jason’s father. The movie was followed by the 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II, the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which opened in November.

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FX renews ‘The Old Man’ with Jeff Bridges for Season 2

FX has announced the renewal of  The Old Man for a second season, starring Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman.  The first season of The Old Man, featuring seven episodes, debuted on June 16.  The series follows Dan Chase (Bridges), a former CIA agent living off the grid and trying to avoid assassins sent to kill him.

Eric Schrier, FX Entertainment President, said in a statement: “Jonathan E. Steinberg, Dan Shotz and Warren Littlefield have done a fantastic job with The Old Man, which delivers on the powerful intrigue and breathtaking action of Thomas Perry’s book. The stellar cast led by Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman and Alia Shawkat is really connecting with audiences and we are excited to get to work on Season 2 with our colleagues at 20th Television and this fantastic team.”

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Cameron Diaz coming out of retirement to star with Jamie Foxx in the Netflix film ‘Back in Action’

Cameron Diaz is coming out of acting retirement to reunite with Jamie Foxx for the new Netflix film ‘Back in Action.’

Foxx, 54, announced that he recruited NFL star Tom Brady, who briefly retired in February, to help bring the 49-year-old Diaz out of retirement for the new project. On Twitter, Foxx shared a recording of a conversation with Diaz where he surprised the actress by bringing Brady into the call, with the caption:  “Cameron I hope you aren’t mad I recorded this, but no turning back now. Had to call in the GOAT to bring back another GOAT. @CameronDiaz and I are BACK IN ACTION – our new movie with @NetflixFilm. Production starting later this year!!” 

Foxx and Diaz previously starred together in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday and in the 2014 remake of Annie. Diaz said in an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow’s series In Goop Health: The Sessions that she found peace after retiring from acting following the release of Annie.  She has since become a mother, sharing 2-year-old daughter, Raddix with her husband, musician Benji Madden.

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Take a look at Julia Roberts and George Clooney in the trailer for their film ‘Ticket to Paradise’

Universal Pictures has released the first official trailer for the romantic comedy ‘Ticket to Paradise,’ starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

The trailer shows Roberts and Clooney as a divorced couple scheming together in Bali to stop their lovestruck daughter from repeating their mistake 25 years earlier when they married impulsively. Ol Parker of Mamma Mia! and Here We Go Again directed the film, taken from a script he wrote with Daniel Pipski.  The film also stars Billie Lourd.

The Oscar-winning duo of Roberts and Clooney have teamed up together previously for films including Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Money Monster.

Ticket to Paradise will be released in theaters Oct. 21. Check out the trailer – here.

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Netflix to host virtual watch party for premiere of ‘Stranger Things 4’ Volume 2 episodes

Netflix will host a late-night virtual watch party with cast members to celebrate the last two episodes of Stranger Things 4, Volume 2.  Fans can tune in at 2:15 a.m. EDT Friday to talk live with the cast before Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 premieres 45 minutes later at 3 a.m. The event is free to all Netflix subscribers with the watch party hosted on Scener, an online co-viewing platform that allows viewers to watch titles on different streaming services at the same time.

The official Stranger Things page tweeted“Are You Ready?” join David Harbour, Brett Gelman, Jamie Campbell Bower and Joseph Quinn for a Q&A followed by a virtual watch party of STRANGER THINGS 4 Vol. 2 this Thursday powered by @scener RSVP now at http://strangerthings4.scener.com.

Stranger Things follows a group of young friends in the 1980s as they experience supernatural events. Season 4, Volume 1 premiered in May; Volume 2 premiers Friday, July 1st and will consist of two episodes, including a supersized episode with a runtime of almost two-and-a-half hours.

Fans can sign-up for the virtual watch party at strangerthings4.scener.com.

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R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking

A federal judge sentenced R. Kelly to 30 years in prison on Wednesday. Kelly was convicted last September of racketeering and violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law, including having sex with underage girls.

Kelly was also convicted in a bribery scheme involving a public official to get a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah, so the two could marry when she was 15 and he was 27. Kelly believed Aaliyah was pregnant at the time, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo. Kelly produced Aaliyah’s debut album, titled “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at 22 years old.

During Kelly’s trial, nearly four dozen witnesses testified for the prosecution, alleging that he preyed upon children and women for his sexual gratification. The singer declined to testify at the six-week trial but could speak during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. His defense team is asking for less than 14 years in prison, citing Kelly’s traumatic childhood.

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Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for aiding Jeffrey Epstein in sex trafficking underage girls

On Tuesday, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding the late financier Jeffrey Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls for at least a decade between the 1990s and 2000s. Following a criminal trial, Maxwell was found guilty last December of conspiring with Epstein – an associate and romantic partner for a period of time — to groom, recruit and sexually abuse minors as part of Epstein’s now-infamous trafficking ring. Maxwell was convicted of multiple charges related to sex trafficking and conspiracy.

Maxwell’s defense team had asked to postpone her sentencing hearing because she was suddenly moved to solitary confinement, arguing that Maxwell’s hearing should be rescheduled since solitary confinement meant she was unable to prepare for it.  Despite reports about her mental state, attorneys said that Maxwell was not at risk of suicide prior to the transfer.

The 60-year-old Maxwell was indicted in July of 2020 and taken into federal custody where she was held without bail for 16 months leading up to her trial. Her arrest came about a year after Epstein died by apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell while facing federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to all charges originally brought against her, and was acquitted of one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sex act. She never took the stand to testify during the trial, saying she felt there was “no reason” to formally defend herself before the court because “the government [had] not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Take a look at the teaser trailer for ‘Hocus Pocus 2’

The Sanderson Sisters are back in the first teaser trailer for Hocus Pocus 2, the sequel to the classic Halloween movie which reunites Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson, respectively, taking place 29 years after the original Hocus Pocus film.

The teaser trailer opens on a scene of three high school students played by Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham, who are discussing their plans for that night. Becca (Peak) tells Cassie (Buckingham) “Birthday ritual: scary movie marathon, same as every year,” as clips play of Becca and Izzy (Escobedo) visiting a magic shop and reciting a ritualistic prayer — only to realize the chanting works, and the Black Flame Candle is officially lit. A red crack opens up in the ground beneath the girls as they try to run away. “Lock up your children,” says Winifred (Midler). “Yes, Salem. We’re back!”

Hocus Pocus 2 also stars Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Hannah Waddingham, Froyan Gutierrez and Tony Hale, among others. The sequel film premieres on Disney+ Sept. 30.  Check out the teaser trailer – here.

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