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Wakanda Forever: Ryan Coogler is on board to do a female-centered “Black Panther” spinoff

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) — After the immense success of Marvel’s Black Panther, the film’s director, Ryan Coogler, is weighing in on the future of the history-making franchise.

During a conversation with film critic Elvis Mitchell at Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, attended by Variety, Coogler revealed he’d be on board to do a spinoff of Black Panther — that centers on the women of Wakanda.

“Oh man. That would be amazing if the opportunity came up,” Coogler said. “They did it in the comic-book version.”

Coogler is referring to Marvel’s 2016 Black Panther comic book relaunch from Ta-Nehisi Coates, which focuses on the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s royal guard of elite female fighters. Later that year, Marvel released the World of Wakanda series which followed Ayo and Aneka, two women who fell in love while training to become part of the Dora Milaje. Then in March 2018, Marvel announced Amazing Spider-Man: Wakanda Forever, where the Dora team up with Spider-Man.

Coogler says the women of Wakanda are an essential part of Black Panther‘s narrative.

“There’s a whole section of the film where T’Challa is out of the movie and you’re just following the women,” Coogler explains. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the movie when I watched it, and I didn’t expect that. That part of the movie you feel like you’re watching something fresh and new. That part of it was exciting.”

“We have these actresses who could easily carry their own movie,” he added, mentioning Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, Black Panther‘s female leads. “Some of them have before. We were so fortunate. I would watch a movie with them!”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hugh Jackman gets the last laugh with Laughing Man Coffee charity and “The Greatest Showman”

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — Hugh Jackman is plenty proud of his new charitable company, Laughing Man Coffee. The X-Men film franchise star had some famous inspiration for his venture, which was itself inspired by a trip to Ethiopia with the charity group WorldVision.

Jackman worked shoulder-to-shoulder with a farmer named Dukale. “I made a promise to him …that I would do whatever I could to get his story out and to help him,” Jackman tells ABC News.

It didn’t take the self-described coffee addict long to get the ball rolling.

“I was on the plane reading Paul Newman’s book about how he started Newman’s Own,” says Jackman. “And so, by the time I came back, I rang my mate Barry, who had been in the coffee business for 30 years, and I said, ‘Dude, I got an idea: Let’s start a non for profit company around coffee that will give back to the growers.’ And that was the beginning of Laughing Man.”

Regarding the Oscar-nominee’s day job, he’s still blown away by the sleeper success of his musical The Greatest Showman. When the movie opened, Jackman reveals “There was not one email in my inbox, which is always a bad sign.  Crickets, literally crickets.”

However, the movie gained steam every week since its opening,eventually building to a global box office total of more than $430 million, and counting.  

Of late, we’ve also seen Jackman being again wooed by Ryan Reynolds’ alter-ego frenemy, Deadpool.  Jackman’s response?  “Just back it up a little,” he sarcastically advised his friend. “It’s just a little much…Play a little hard to get. It’s not sexy.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Cast members and director dish on “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at L.A. premiere

Lucasfilm(LOS ANGELES) — The stars and director of the highly anticipated movie Solo: A Star Wars Story assembled at the film’s premiere Thursday night at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. 

ABC News caught up with Donald Glover — who plays Lando Calrissian — at the premiere. He said landing the role was deeply personal for him.

“It was one of the first characters I was ever introduced to in my life,” he revealed. “The Lando action figure was the first toy I ever had.”

Thandie Newton, who plays Val, told ABC News about the film, “It’s a roller coaster, I swear to god, with surprises and thrills and fun and a lot of heart.”

Paul Bettany plays Dryden Vos in the movie, and he believes this film is very different than the rest of the franchise. 

“[The viewers] can expect a really different tone and a lot of caper and a lot of escapade,” he said. 

This stand alone film follows Han Solo in his younger years, as he meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca. 

Emilia Clarke, who plays Qi’Ra, put it simply: “This is so treasured and loved and beloved and I’m just incredibly honored to be a part of it.”

Director Ron Howard, meanwhile, was asked about joining the film after the first director was fired.

“I believed there was something exciting to be done here and hoped I could help realize its potential,” he told ABC News. “It wound up going into it that way and very shortly I made a much deeper personal connection to the characters, the story and the themes.”

Han Solo himself is played by Alden Ehrenreich. Solo: A Star Wars Story officially flies into theaters May 25.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Man breaks into Rihanna’s Los Angeles home and spends the night

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Police arrested and tased a man outside of Rihanna’s Hollywood Hills home Thursday morning after an apparent burglary, according to a report from TMZ that was later confirmed by E! News.

Authorities apparently arrived at the pop singer’s home around 10 a.m. after the security alarm had been tampered with. Additionally, a Los Angeles Police Department official told the New York Daily News, “Someone was going inside the residence and saw him leaving.”

Rihanna was not home at the time, but the man appeared to have stayed the night.

When law enforcement encountered the man, he reportedly had to be tased while being detained.

TMZ reports that the man has been identified as 26-year-old Eduardo Leon. He is being held on $150,000 bail for felony stalking.

Rihanna and her team have not yet made a statement about the incident.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Life of the Party” leads this week’s new movies

New Line Cinema(LOS ANGELES) — The following movies open nationwide on Friday:

Life of the Party — After suddenly getting dumped by husband, a middle-aged mom — played by Melissa McCarthy — goes back to college and immerses herself in campus life, with some help from her daughter — portrayed by Molly Gordon. Maya Rudolph and Matt Walsh also star. Rated PG-13.

Breaking In — Gabrielle Union produced and stars in this thriller about a woman who fights to protect her family during a home invasion. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

The Seagull — This film adaptation of the Anton Chekhov classic centers on a love triangle that unfolds between an aging actress, her lover and an ingenue — played by Annette Bening, Corey Stolland Saoirse Ronan, respectively. Elisabeth Moss, Brian Dennehy, Billy Howle and Mare Winningham also star. Rated PG-13.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson will join Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on season 15 of “The Voice”

Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — Kelly Clarkson, currently in her debut season as a coach on The Voice, will return for season 15 in the fall, NBC announced on Thursday, and she’ll be squaring off against three-time Grammy-winner and season 13 coach Jennifer Hudson, who’ll reclaim her red chair from current coach Alicia Keys.

As always, Blake Shelton and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine will also be back in their chairs, mentoring a new batch of artists, all competing for the title of “The Voice.”

Hudson also broke the news Thursday night in a video posted on her Twitter page, declaring, “This is gonna be a show, so y’all might wanna get ready, ’cause [we’re] coming.”

“Look for me back on The Voice with my girl Kelly…this fall” she added.

“They each have a unique understanding of what it’s like to be in the artists’ shoes,” says Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment, in a press release. “Bringing these two voices together with Blake and Adam for season 15 is sure to make this one of our best seasons yet!”

In the meantime, season 14 of The Voice resumes with the top 8 performing on Monday, while Clarkson is set to host the 2018 Billboard Music Awards May 20 on NBC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! “Rick and Morty” coming back with 70 episode deal

Adult Swim(LOS ANGELES) — The acclaimed animated show Rick and Morty is coming back — in a big way.

For the uninitiated, the boundary-pushing show follows a brilliant-but-flawed scientist named Rick, who drags his awkward teen grandson Morty on adventures across space and time. It’s sort of like Back to the Future, if Doc Brown was an angry, alcoholic sociopath. 

Contract negotiations seemed to put put a 4th season in jeopardy, leaving fans jonesing. But on Thursday, co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland announced that a deal had been struck with Cartoon Network — and 70 new episodes of the show are on their way.

They did so as only they would: with an Instagram that revealed both men were showering together.

Roseanne star Sarah Chalke plays Rick’s daughter — and Morty’s mom — Beth. Her character welcomes her dad back into the home after a two-decade absence, and puts up with all manner of potentially world ending scenarios just to try to keep her dysfunctional family together.

Chalke tells ABC Radio that like any other fan, she can’t get enough of the show. “It’s so cool to get the new scripts…no matter what you’re thinking in your head when you read it, like there’s a sentient cloud fart alien being and these, you know, wild intergalactic adventures…you can’t imagine how the animators are going to do it. And that’s been one of the coolest parts, is to see what they create from what’s on the page.” 

Alas, there was no time frame given as to when the new episodes will kick off.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ride or Die: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence to star in Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life”

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Sony has set a release date for the long-awaited new Bad Boys film.

According to Deadline, the studio has announced Bad Boys for Life will hit theaters during Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend on January 17, 2020.

The film, to be directed by Moroccan-born directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, will bring back producer Jerry Bruckheimer and reunite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence after their last Bad Boys film, Bad Boys II, nearly 15 years ago. The two played Miami narcotics detectives on the case of a Cuban drug smuggler. That film grossed over $273 million worldwide.

Last month, Smith wished Lawrence a happy birthday and teased as the upcoming film. “Happy Birthday to the Best Damn partner EVER!!!” Smith wrote on Instagram, captioning a series of throwback photos of them over the years. One of those photos included them on the set of a Bad Boys film.

“What you think Marty-Mar? One more time? @martinlawrence,” Smith added, referring to possibly doing another installment of their popular film franchise.

Lawrence later responded in Will’s comments, which was captured by The Shade Room. “Much love Will! Let’s do it again for sure,” he wrote.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

First look: Sterling K. Brown, Keegan Michael Key, more featured in peek of “The Predator”

20th Century Fox(LOS ANGELES) — 20th Century Fox has released a teaser trailer to The Predator, writer/director Shane Black’s return to the hunter alien franchise.

The movie, which stars Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown, Keegan Michael Key, Logan baddie Boyd Holbrook and Olivia Munn, opens September 14.

The Predator teaser shows a boy — The Room Oscar nominee Jacob Tremblay — apparently accidentally sending the fearsome aliens to his small town, where a group of Special Forces veterans who’ve tangled with the species before do so again.

Black, then a 20-something screenwriting phenom who wrote a little movie called Lethal Weapon, had a small part in the 1987 original film as one of the alien hunter’s first victims. The filmmaker went on to write and direct movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3.

The Predator is officially the fourth “canon” movie in the franchise, the last of which was 2010’s Predators, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody. According to the studio, the two Alien vs. Predator films apparently no longer make the cut.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Smile for the camera: Rosario Dawson is living her best life in her birthday suit

Netflix(NEW YORK) — (NOTE CONTENT) Rosario Dawson celebrated her thirty-ninth birthday by going au naturel.

In a series of Instagram posts on Wednesday, the actress and activist posted a video and photo of herself in the nude.

In the first post, Dawson shared a video of herself writhing around on a sheet while she covers her chest with her arm. She captioned the video, “Happy birthday suit to me… 39 & feelin’ fine…”

Then a few hours later, she posted a bare mirror selfie with a strategically placed bouquet of roses near her private area. She added the caption, “Reflections on not letting gravity bring me down…”

The actress has been busy as of late. She currently guest stars on The CW’s Jane the Virgin and was recently spotted with Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez on the set of their upcoming Netflix film, Someone Great. She’ll also be seen in season 2 of the Netflix series Luke Cage, which premieres June 22.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.