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Pat Houston says new Whitney Houston doc shows “no one is exempt from harsh realities — not even her”

Roadside Attractions(NEW YORK) — Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, Pat Houston, says the new Whitney documentary, which opens in theaters Friday, is special because it’s endorsed by her family — the only ones, says Houston, who “know the story.”

“This documentary comes from her family, and in order to tell the story, you have to know the story,” Houston tells ABC Radio. “You’re witnessing people that have dealt with her, with her emotions, from the day she was born, until the day she passed, so that’s the difference.” 

Pat Houston serves as one of the executive producers of the documentary, which was directed by Kevin Macdonald.  It features archival footage of Whitney from her younger years to the height of her fame, including her contentious relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown. We also hear from Whitney herself, as well as fans and family members, who discuss the late singer’s immense talent.

In addition, the film makes the shocking allegation that the late superstar, as well as her half-brother Gary, were abused by their cousin Dee Dee Warwick when they were kids. 

Pat Houston says the film is not sugar-coated and reveals Whitney’s trials, and well as her triumphs.

“It’s a cautionary tale for anyone,” she says. “She was human, and like I said in many interviews, no one is exempt from harsh realities, not even her.” 

Among those interviewed for the documentary: Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, music executives Clive Davis and L.A. Reid, and one of Whitney’s producers, Babyface.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Keri Russell reuniting with ‘Felicity’ creator J.J. Abrams on ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — It’s no secret that director J.J. Abrams likes working with the same actors, even if he happens to be working in a galaxy far, far away. Now it looks like Keri Russell, who starred in Felicity, one of Abrams’ first projects, is re-teaming with the director for Star Wars: Episode 9

Russell’s Emmy-nominated performance as a spy in the FX series The Americans, helped land her the gig, Variety reports; Russell also tried her hand at action for Abrams in his hit film Mission Impossible III.

Nothing is known about the character she might play, if Russell indeed comes aboard.

Abrams, who also directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, found roles in that blockbuster for Simon Pegg — who also appeared in Abrams’ Star Trek reboot — and Greg Grunberg, who was in Abrams’ ABC series Lost.  In fact Grunberg, a childhood pal of Abrams, has appeared in just about every project the director has brought to the big and small screens.

Star Wars: Episode 9 is slated for a December 20, 2019 debut from Lucasfilm, which, like ABC News, is owned by the parent company Disney.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Walking Dead’ superfan Yvette Nicole Brown replacing Chris Hardwick on show’s Comic-Con panel

Jordin Althaus/AMC (LOS ANGELES) — Walking Dead superfan Yvette Nicole Brown, a frequent guest on AMC’s after-show, Talking Dead, will be moderating The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20.

While AMC hasn’t confirmed the news, Deadline reports that the Community and Mom actress — and self-described geek and former host of Cosplay Melee — will be standing in for Talking Dead‘s usual host, Chris Hardwick. AMC has sidelined Hardwick while it investigates his ex-girlfriend’s sexual assault allegations against him.

Hardwick denies the claims made by his ex, Chloe Dykstra, daughter of legendary Star Wars special effects Oscar-winner John Dykstra.

For the record, Brown made clear on Twitter that this Talking Dead stint is temporary. “I am filling in for a friend, which I have done before,” she notes. “I am not jockeying for a job. I have enough of my own.”

She adds, “It is my prayer that God’s Will is done in the midst of this process & that everyone is okay. My character is known & sound. Nothing has changed.”

Just about every Walking Dead cast member — including exiting star Andrew Lincoln, as well as Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan — is scheduled to appear at the panel, to be held at the San Diego Convention Center’s biggest venue, the 6,500-seat Hall H.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ star Evangeline Lilly says she felt the pressure of being Marvel’s first female title character

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — Ant-Man and The Wasp flies into theaters this weekend, and it’s already making history as the first film in the past decade of Marvel movies to feature a female superhero in the title role. Evangeline Lilly, who plays that heroine, The Wasp, tells ABC Radio she understands the importance of the role. 

“I did feel the burden of the fact that she is the first titled character in the MCU, and that means a lot to me,” said Lilly, who played The Wasp’s alter-ego Hope Van Dyne in the original Ant-Man. “I’ve always cared about the characters that I represent on screen being a representation of how I see women.”

Lilly said she especially felt the pressure when she helped design The Wasp’s suit. 

“I really was kind of passionate to find what I felt would be my comfortable balance,” she says, “between honoring this fantasy that we create in the superhero world while also honoring myself as a woman, honoring my own body, honoring my own modesty, and presenting her as somebody who would be believably strong, capable, fierce, threatening and modern.”

Michelle Pfeiffer joins the cast this time around, playing Janet Van Dyne, The Wasp’s mother.  Lilly says it was great getting to work with the three-time Oscar nominee. 

“She was smart and she was funny and she was so likable and generous and kind and just everything you would want her to be,” Lilly says. “And yes, she is that hot in real life.”

Ant-Man and The Wasp is now in theaters.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company for ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kaley Cuoco undergoes shoulder surgery after wedding

Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.(LOS ANGELES) — A week after tying the knot, newlyweds Kaley Cuoco and her professional equestrian hubby, Karl Cook, have been spending their honeymoon in the hospital.

The Big Bang Theory star took to Instagram on Thursday to reveal that she underwent shoulder surgery to correct an undisclosed medical issue.

“When your ‘honeymoon’ is shoulder surgery and your husband looks just as happy lol on the road to recovery – thank you for all the love and support!” Cuoco captioned a selfie of the couple taken by Cook shortly after the operation.

“I’m sure he will be posting tons of hilarious gems,” she added.

And did he ever. Kaley’s followers who checked out Karl’s Instagram page were treated to a shot of the actress in unglamorous glasses, frowning at the camera, which he captioned, “Everyone has their own version of a newlywed glow…Well @normancook yours is memorable.”

He also shared a video of Cuoco fast asleep and snoring like a “distressed walrus” in the car on the way home. “I love you so much but wow!” he joked.

The posts were followed by the hashtag, “#shouldersurgeryhoneymoon.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Anthony Bourdain leaves majority of $1.5 million estate to his daughter

CNN(NEW YORK) — Anthony Bourdain has left the majority of his estate to his 11-year-old daughter.

According to legal documents obtained by Page Six, the chef and host of TV’s Parts Unknown left an estate valued at about $1.2 million, with assets including $425,000 in “cash and savings,” $35,000 in brokerage, $250,000 in “personal property,” and $500,000 of “intangible property including royalties and residuals.”

The will also revealed that the majority of the money will go to his daughter, Ariane Busia-Bourdain.  Her mother and Bourdain’s wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, from whom Bourdain was separated, will take control of the estate.  

Bourdain also asks Busia-Bourdain to “dispose of” his frequent flier miles, clothing, books, and household items, “in accordance with what [she] believes to have been my wishes.”

Bourdain and his wife had been separated for some years by mutual agreement and were on good terms.  Bourdain was dating Italian actress Asia Argento at the time of his death.  

The court plans to appoint a guardian to protect Ariane’s interests in the estate, according to Page Six

Bourdain committed suicide June 8 while in France working on a Parts Unknown segmentHe was 61.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ flies into theaters this weekend

Marvel Studios/Disney(NEW YORK) — Opening nationwide Friday:

* Ant-Man and The Wasp — Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man is back, this time joining forces with Hope Pym/The Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly. Together, they battle the Ghost — a villainess with the ability to phase in and out of the visible world — portrayed by Hannah John-Kamen. Michael Douglas and Michael Pena also reprise their Ant-Man roles, with Michelle Pfeiffer joining the cast. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release Friday:

* WhitneyOne Day in September Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald takes an in-depth, family-authorized look at the life and career of singer Whitney Houston through never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive recordings, rare performances and interviews. Rated R.

* Sorry to Bother You — In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield, discovers a magical key that leads to material success, and into into a macabre universe. Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover and Armie Hammer also star. Rated R.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Pine holds hands with actress Annabelle Wallis in London

ABC/Randy Holmes(LONDON) — Chris Pine has a new lady in his life, and it isn’t Wonder Woman.

After months of speculation, the actor was spotted holding hands with British actress Annabelle Wallis in London Wednesday – seemingly confirming that they are indeed a couple.

According to People, they were seen taking a midday stroll while wearing color-coordinated neutral-toned outfits. Pine is currently in London filming Wonder Woman 1984.

Rumors of a romance between the two first started flying in late March, when they were seen at Heathrow Airport together. In early April, they were photographed sitting across from each other at a dinner party in Malibu where, a source said, they seemed “very comfortable together.”

Wallis, who recently starred in the film Tag, was previously linked to Coldplay’s Chris Martin from 2014 to 2016.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Will Smith explains why he and wife Jada Pinkett Smith don’t say they’re “married” anymore

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Will Smith admits that he and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith have moved beyond defining their relationship status as “married.”

In an interview for TIDAL’s Rap Radar podcast, Smith explains, “We don’t even say we’re married anymore. We refer to ourselves as ‘life partners’ — where you get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life.”

The couple has been together for 20 years and have two children, Jaden and Willow, together. Smith says that despite divorce rumors, their union has remained strong.        

“There’s no deal breakers,” he says. “There’s nothing she could do — ever — nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support ’til death, and it feels so good to get to that space.”        

Smith previously shut down talk that the two were breaking up back in May in a new song he teased on YouTube. “Twenty years of swag y’all just witnessed/Stop the divorce rumors and mind your damn business,” he rapped on the track.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Idris Elba to play the villain in “Fast and Furious” spin-off, “Hobbs and Shaw”

ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua(LOS ANGELES) — The Fast and the Furious spin-off has reportedly found its villain.

Variety reports the film, Hobbs and Shaw, has tapped Idris Elba to play the antagonist who goes up against Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stathan’s characters.

As its title suggests, the film will unite the two male leads — Johnson’s special agent Luke Hobbs and Statham’s criminal mastermind Deckard Shaw — in one movie.  In the series’ seventh installment, they were enemies, but by the eighth adventure, 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, they had joined forces against a common enemy.

Earlier this week, it was announced that The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby would be joining the film as Shaw’s sister, who happens to be an agent with the British spy organization MI-5.

Hobbs and Shaw is slated for a July 26, 2019 release.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.