Kristin Chenoweth to executive produce, star in Disney+ series ‘The Biggest Star in Appleton’

Kristin Chenoweth to executive produce, star in Disney+ series ‘The Biggest Star in Appleton’

“The Biggest Star In Appleton” will star Chenoweth as Carol Dannhauser, a devoted Wisconsin mom and wife who works as a waitress but finds fulfillment as the star at the local community theater. Her small-town star status is threatened when Tara Hubley, a struggling New York chorus girl, moves back home with her own dreams.

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Riley Keough, Niki Caro to rock Amazon original series ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Riley Keough, Niki Caro to rock Amazon original series ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Director Niki Caro (“While Rider,” Disney’s upcoming live-action “Mulan”) is on board the show, based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Caro will direct multiple episodes, including the initial installment, and will work as executive producer alongside Reese Witherspoon.

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‘Frozen II’ sets records with its box-office bow

‘Frozen II’ sets records with its box-office bow

The first “Frozen reigned as the highest-grossing animated film in history as well as the highest grossing musical film before it was overtaken this year by Disney’s CGI remake of “The Lion King.” It was also the highest-earning film with a female director on the domestic box-office books, until it was overtaken by “Wonder Woman” (which was surpassed this year by “Captain Marvel”).

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Jessica Chastain to star in comedy-drama ‘Losing Clementine’

Jessica Chastain to star in comedy-drama ‘Losing Clementine’

The story follows renowned, razor-tongued artist Clementine Pritchard (Chastain) who has decided she’s had enough of life. After ditching her prescriptions, she gives herself 31 days to tie up loose ends – finish one last painting, make nice with her ex-husband, find a home for her cat – before she kills herself.

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Kate McKinnon to star in, executive produce TV series based on strange case of Joe Exotic

Kate McKinnon to star in, executive produce TV series based on strange case of Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic – whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, but he is also known as Joe Schreibvogel – was convicted in April of  twice hiring someone to kill Baskin, an animal sanctuary operator whose nonprofit organization successfully sued him for in excess of $1 million for trademark infringement and more.

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Renee Zellweger to receive American Riviera Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Renee Zellweger to receive American Riviera Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival

“Judy,” which first debuted at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, where Zellweger received repeated standing ovations, has established her as a front-runner in the Best Actress competition for the 2020 Academy Awards.

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Lady Gaga to star in fact-based Gucci murder movie

Lady Gaga to star in fact-based Gucci murder movie

The movie will be based on Sara Gay Forden’s book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.” Four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, whose credits include “The Martian,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Thelma & Louise,” is directing. Roberto Bentivegna is writing the story.

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Disney Animation aims for diversity with four new directors on the slate

Disney Animation aims for diversity with four new directors on the slate

Disney Animation already has on its slate “Raya and the Last Dragon,” an original Southeast Asian-inspired animated feature that will star Awkwafina as Susi the Dragon and Cassie Steele as Raya.

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Gal Gadot establishes production company Pilot Wave, launching with her WWII star vehicle ‘Irena Sendler’

Gal Gadot establishes production company Pilot Wave, launching with her WWII star vehicle ‘Irena Sendler’

“Irena Sendler” will tell the harrowing story of a woman’s brave stand against Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland and the remarkable network she devised to save and care for 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

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Samuel Goldwyn Films acquires North American rights to Martha Stephens’ period drama ‘To the Stars’

Samuel Goldwyn Films acquires North American rights to Martha Stephens’ period drama ‘To the Stars’

Filmed in Oklahoma, the movie stars Kara Hayward (“Manchester By The Sea”), Liana Liberato (“The Best of Me”), Tony Hale (HBO’s “Veep”), Jordana Spiro (Netflix’s “Ozark”), Malin Akerman (Showtime’s “Billions”), Shea Whigham (Amazon’s “Homecoming”), Lucas Jade Zumann (TV’s “Anne with an E”), and Adelaide Clemens (SundanceTV’s “Rectify”).

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Ava DuVernay, Laura Dern to be honored at 2019 IFP Gotham Awards

Ava DuVernay, Laura Dern to be honored at 2019 IFP Gotham Awards

Dern recently announced that she and her original “Jurassic Park” co-stars Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum are returning to the blockbuster franchise for “Jurassic World 3.” According to Deadline, they will star alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, with Colin Trevorrow back to direct.  Production starts early next year.

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Julie Andrews to receive AFI Life Achievement Award

Julie Andrews to receive AFI Life Achievement Award

Throughout an illustrious career that spans seven decades, she has won five Golden Globes, three Grammys and two Emmys for projects infused with her incomparable charm and recognized for their ability to enthrall audiences worldwide. The critically lauded Andrews is also a Kennedy Center honoree, a Disney Legend inductee and the recipient of a SAG Life Achievement Award.

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Mira Sorvino to be honored at Catalina Film Festival, starting today

Mira Sorvino to be honored at Catalina Film Festival, starting today

Along with working on several in-progress film projects, Sorvino has been an active part of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, speaking out against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and alleging that he sexually harassed her. Filmmaker Peter Jackson subsequently revealed that Weinstein told him not to consider Sorvino for a role in the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy because she was difficult to work with.

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Michelle Williams calls for equal pay while accepting Emmy for ‘Fosse/Verdon’

Michelle Williams calls for equal pay while accepting Emmy for ‘Fosse/Verdon’

Co-starring Sam Rockwell as influential choreographer and director Bob Fosse, the dance biopic “Fosse/Verdon” offered an inside look at the romantic and creative partnership between Fosse and Verdon, whose role in helping Fosse developing his now-iconic style has often been overlooked.

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Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira reteaming to adapt Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel ‘Americanah’ for HBO Max

Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira reteaming to adapt Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel ‘Americanah’ for HBO Max

“‘Americanah’ has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013,” Nyong’o said, per Variety. “It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless. HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life, and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of ‘Americanah.’”

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Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin and more to be lauded at 2019 Paley Honors

Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin and more to be lauded at 2019 Paley Honors

The 2019 Paley Honors will endow the creation of the Paley Center’s Comedy Collection, a compendium of comedic programs and moments across eight decades of television. The collection will be preserved as part of the Paley Archive, the world’s largest publicly accessible archive of TV and radio programming.

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Femme-centric spy thriller ‘355’ gets 2021 release date

Femme-centric spy thriller ‘355’ gets 2021 release date

Directed by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Dark Phoenix”), “355” is a passion project for Chastain, who has been one of the most vocal movie stars on gender-equity issues. In addition to starring, the two-time Oscar nominee is producing through her Freckle Films banner.

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Awkwafina to star in Legendary’s ‘The Last Adventure of Constance Verity’ and Disney Animation’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Awkwafina to star in Legendary’s ‘The Last Adventure of Constance Verity’ and Disney Animation’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

With her signing on to two high-profile projects in less a month, we’re seeing another phase in the rapidly morphing career of Awkwafina, the rapper who broke out as a comedic actor in last year’s blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” and is gaining early awards consideration for her finely nuanced lead turn in this year’s critically acclaimed drama “The Farewell.”

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Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions developing ‘Fast Color’ series at Amazon

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions developing ‘Fast Color’ series at Amazon

Released by Lionsgate/Code Black in April, the film was co-written by Hart and Horowitz and directed by Hart. The movie premiered to critical acclaim last year at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It was released last month on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD.

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Gal Gadot to portray Hedy Lamarr in Showtime limited series

Gal Gadot to portray Hedy Lamarr in Showtime limited series

Lamarr also was an inventor who, along with composer George Antheil, one of her friends, patented a frequency-hopping system during World War II that presaged Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. Lamarr and Antheil were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Gemma Chan: ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do’ to have more equitable representation in movies

Gemma Chan: ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do’ to have more equitable representation in movies

“I know the perception is that it’s got a lot easier to make films by or about minorities or women, but it’s actually still difficult. I would like to see a real increase in the diversity of people who are in a position to make decisions,” Chan told British Vogue.

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Auli’i Cravalho to star in ABC’s live musical production of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Auli’i Cravalho to star in ABC’s live musical production of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Alan Menken earned an Academy Award for writing the film’s original music, including the songs “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and the Oscar-winning ballad “Kiss the Girl.” The late Howard Ashman wrote the lyrics to the film’s iconic songs.

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Disney adapting Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi’s YA novel ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ into feature film

Disney adapting Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi’s YA novel ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ into feature film

The first of Adeyemi’s “Legacy of Orïsha” series, “Children of Blood and Bone” was published last year by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. The sequel, “Children of Virtue and Vengeance,” is due out in December.

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Jennifer Lawrence to star in and produce true-crime movie ‘Mob Girl’

Jennifer Lawrence to star in and produce true-crime movie ‘Mob Girl’

“Mob Girl” follows Arlyne Brickman, a woman who grew up among racketeers and mobsters on the Lower East Side of New York City. She became a “mob girlfriend” who then wanted a piece of the action herself, eventually becoming a police informant and a major witness in the government’s case against the Colombo crime family.

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Meryl Streep to receive the Toronto International Film Festival’s Tribute Actor Award

Meryl Streep to receive the Toronto International Film Festival’s Tribute Actor Award

“Meryl Streep is undoubtedly one of the most talented and versatile actors of her generation,” said Joana Vicente, the festival’s executive director and co-head, in a statement. “Her tremendous contribution to cinema, television, and the stage spans five decades.”

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