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Felicity Jones debuts as Ruth Bader Ginsberg in ‘On the Basis of Sex’ trailer

Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) — We’ve got our first look at Felicity Jones’ portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the first trailer for the biopic On the Basis of Sex.

The clip shows various scenes depicting the many obstacles the Notorious RBG faced on her way to the nation’s High Court, while challenging the laws that discriminated against women based on their sex.

On the Basis of Sex, co-starring Kathy Bates, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux and Sam Waterston, opens nationwide December 25.

(Trailer contains mild uncensored profanity.)

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Showtime defends Sasha Baron Cohen against accusations he posed as disabled veteran

Photo: Gavin Bond/SHOWTIME(NEW YORK) — Showtime has finally broken its silence regarding the controversy surrounding Sasha Baron Cohen’s new series, Who Is America?

Former GOP vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin called Baron Cohen out in a blog post published on her website, accusing  Baron Cohen of “stolen valor” for tricking her into an interview by the comedian, whom she claims disguised himself as a disabled U.S. Veteran. The allegation has led to a #BoycottShowtime campaign on Twitter.

Following Sunday’s premiere of Who Is America, which featured an interview with Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the network released a statement released on Tuesday, defending its star.

“There has been widespread misinformation over the past week about the character of Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D., performed by Sacha Baron Cohen on the SHOWTIME comedy series WHO IS AMERICA? the statement began. Baron Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran, and viewers nationwide who watched the premiere on Sunday can now attest to that.”

The statement went on to say, “In Sunday’s episode, during an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders, Baron Cohen in character as Dr. Ruddick was asked by the Senator if he is disabled, and he stated that he is not and uses a mobility scooter to conserve his energy.”

Showtime insists the same holds true for Palin’s interview, noting, “Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”

Palin’s segment has yet to air.  Who Is America? airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Johnny Depp settles lawsuit against former managers

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Johnny Depp has reached a settlement in his year-and-a-half-long legal battle with his former managers, the Management Group, a month before a scheduled August 15 trial.

“Johnny Depp is pleased to have achieved a settlement agreement with The Management Group following the legal action he took against the company in January 2017,” a spokesperson for Depp said in a statement obtained by Variety. “The lawsuit taken out against The Management Group — and the subsequent settlement — is a further demonstration that Johnny is determined to take firm action to protect his personal and artistic reputation in the interests of his family and his career.”

Depp sued The Management Group for more than $25 million he claimed they mismanaged his personal finances. The company handled his finances from 1999 until early 2016, during which Depp launched the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as well as other big-budget films, including Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The Management Group responded to Depp’s claims with a counter-suit that claimed his financial issues were the result of his allegedly excessive personal spending.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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“The Bachelorette” recap: Tia’s confession overshadows hometown dates

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) — Becca Kufrin got family-friendly on Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette when she took her four remaining bachelors on hometown dates. By the end of the week, all four men confessed their love for her, but a surprise bombshell changed everything.

Becca started off her week in central California for her first hometown date with Garrett. The suitor took her tomato planting to show just how important the outdoors is to him. While working the fields, the couple talked about raising children and the importance of hard work. 

Despite having instant chemistry the moment they met, Becca said she’s hesitant to meet Garret’s family because the last person he brought home was his abusive ex-wife.

Her worries seemed to be justified — Garrett’s parents pressed her about her feelings for their son.  But eventually, Garrett’s protective mother came around and accepted the bachelorette into the family, saying Becca will make Garrett happy.

“I could see myself fitting in with his family for life and starting a family of our own,” Becca said. “That’s something really special and meaningful. Something just seems so easy and right and natural with him.”

Next, Becca flew across the states to Buffalo, New York to meet Jason’s family and explore her “crazy chemistry” with the banker. The day started with the two eating “world famous” buffalo wings and then testing their skills at an ice skating rink. 

“Whatever I’m feeling now, I will never settle for less,” Jason said during the date. “It feels right.”

Later that day, Jason’s mother said Becca is a lovely, smart girl but couldn’t sense if she’s falling in love with Jason, which worried her. When speaking with his brother, Jason confessed that he has strong feelings for Becca, so his brother prompted him to tell her immediately before time runs out. 

Jason took his brother’s advice because outside the house, he told Becca how he truly feels. “When I kiss you, I don’t want to stop kissing you,” he said. “All that does it tell me one thing. It tells me I am so insanely, wildly in love with you.”

From upstate New York, Becca traveled west to the mountains of Bailey, Colorado for her hometown date with Blake. The date started at his old high school where they met Blake’s former coaches and mentors, who helped shaped who he is today. 

While in the library, Blake told Becca about another important incident that influenced his life. He explained that in his senior year, his campus experienced a school shooting where one girl died. 

“It changed my outlook on life,” he explained. “I wanted you to know why it’s important to me to be positive and see life as a gift.”

The date took a more uplifting turn when Blake surprised Becca with her favorite musician, Betty Who, at a surprise concert in the school auditorium. 

When Becca met Blake’s family that evening, his mother warned her that Blake has gone through a serious breakup and is worried that Becca will break his heart too. But at the end of the date, Becca said, “I can see Blake in my life forever and Blake’s family in my life forever.”

For her fourth and final hometown date, Becca stayed in Colorado to meet Colton’s family. After visiting the patients at a children’s hospital, Becca admitted she was “nervous for this one” because Colton doesn’t have much experience — both intimately and romantically. In fact, he never brought another woman home before, which surprised Becca. 

Once she met his large family, Colton’s father pulled Becca aside and asked her why she hasn’t been open about her relationship with Arie, especially after Colton had been open about his relationship with Becca’s friend, Tia. He also told her that he doesn’t want her to choose Colton if she doesn’t think it will be the right decision. 

“Better to have someone hurt now than down the road,” Colton’s father said. 

Meanwhile, Colton expressed to his mother that he’s ready to get down on one knee and propose to Becca at the end of this journey. 

The next day, Becca consulted her closest friends about her hometown dates and about the difficult decision she’s about to face. When she mentioned Colton’s name, Tia asked to speak with Becca privately. Tia then dropped her bombshell: she still has feelings for Colton.

“When I think about Colton being at this point, it makes me sick in my stomach,” Tia confessed. 

A “frustrated” Becca said she had a lot to think about. In the end, she sent Colton home, explaining that it wasn’t Tia’s confession that led to her decision, but that it just didn’t feel right in her heart. 

“I just wanted an opportunity to fall in love and be happy,” Colton explained. 

“I’m sorry,” she answered. “I don’t know what else to say. I feel so bad.”

The remaining three bachelors — Garrett, Blake, and Jason — will be heading to Thailand next week for the always adventurous fantasy suites. 

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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Yvette Nicole Brown to serve as interim guest host of ‘Talking Dead’

Jordin Althaus/AMC(LOS ANGELES) — AMC has given the temporary hosting reins of Chris Hardwick’s AMC shows to actress, self-described geek, and popular Talking Dead panelist Yvette Nicole Brown.

AMC annouced the news in a statement to Variety.

“Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on August 5 and Talking Dead when it returns following the premiere of Fear the Walking Deadon August 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick,” the statement read.

The news comes less than two weeks after AMC announced that Brown would also serve as the moderator for the San Diego Comic-Con panels for both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

Hardwick stepped down from his AMC shows in June amid accusations from his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, who accused him of abusing her during their relationship and subsequently getting her blackballed from the industry after they broke up. Hardwick has denied the allegations.

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Jamie Foxx in talks to join Michael B. Jordan in legal drama ‘Just Mercy’

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Jamie Foxx could be teaming up with Michael B. Jordan for an upcoming courtroom drama.

A source tells Variety, the Oscar winner is in negotiations to star alongside Jordan in the upcoming the Warner Bros. film Just Mercy. 

The drama, based on the book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, chronicles the real-life story of social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative.

Like Stevenson’s book, the film will follow his first case, that of Walter McMillian, a young black man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit.

According to Variety, Foxx will play the role of  McMillan, a role described as, “highly coveted by several movie stars.” Variety reports Foxx pushed hard for the gig, which may, “thrust him back in the awards-season spotlight..” 

Just Mercy is set to hit theaters on January 1, 2020.

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It’s electrifying: John Travolta joins Foo Fighters on stage, again

Credit: Brantley Gutierrez(NEW YORK) — Much like his chills, John Travolta’s appearances at Foo Fighters concerts are multiplyin’.

Back in April, the actor appeared on stage during the band’s show at the Welcome to Rockville festival when they started playing the Grease song “You’re the One that I Want.” Over the weekend, Travolta gave a reprise performance during the Foos’ gig in Wantagh, New York.

Just like with the Rockville show, Travolta popped up in Wantagh when Dave Grohl and company began playing the Grease classic, though this time he showed off a few more dance moves. The Foos posted a video of the, uh, electrifying performance on their Twitter.

In addition to Travolta, the Wantagh show also featured a guest appearance by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, who handled the kit during the Foos’ cover of The Faces’ “Stay with Me.” Fan-filmed footage of that collaboration is streaming now on YouTube.

Foo Fighters are currently on tour in support of their new album, Concrete and Gold. The trek continues Monday night with the first of two shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

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Nathan Fillion stars in ‘Uncharted’ fan film

ABC/Michael Ansell(LOS ANGELES) — For years, fans of Firefly and Castle star Nathan Fillion have made no secret of wanting him to star in a big-screen version of the best-selling Uncharted video game series. While the series’ main character Nathan Drake is voiced and performed by video game veteran Nolan North, treasure hunter Nathan Drake is basically a spitting image of Nathan Fillion.

The affable actor has teased playing the character for years, but now he’s gone one further, surprising fans ahead of this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con by starring as Drake in a short “fan film” he co-produced.

The professionally-made, 14-minute film — which also stars Avatar‘s Stephen Lang as Drake’s longtime confidante Sully — is similar to a fan-made Might Morphin’ Power Rangers film a few years back. Like that film, the Uncharted short is not affiliated with the original’s producers — in this case, the game company Naughty Dog.

The snippet shows Fillion-as-Drake in a familiar situation: getting captured and roughed up, all in an effort to find a mysterious map that can lead to a sunken treasure. 

Incidentally, a big screen version of the Uncharted games was to be a vehicle for Mark Wahlberg at one point, but the project hit the skids. Perhaps the Fillion short could revive the effort in the same way that the fan reaction to deliberately leaked Deadpool footage voiced by Ryan Reynolds led to the birth of that movie franchise.

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‘Zombieland’ stars back for sequel

Photo by Robert Marquardt/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — After nearly a decade, Zombieland stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin are reuniting for the sequel, Zombieland 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 2009 horror comedy road movie followed four strangers that meet on the road during a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak.

The sequel will reportedly find the group contending with newer, more evolved zombies, as well as new human survivors, as they deal with their own shaky relationships.

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‘Downton Abbey’ movie gets green light with original cast

Courtesy of © Carnival Film and Television Limited for MASTERPIECE(LONDON) — Lords and ladies rejoice! Downtown Abbey is returning as a movie, with its original cast set to reprise their roles in the period piece.

“Welcome back to Downton,” the series’ Twitter account posted, along with a picture of a butler holding a letter that reads, “We cordially invite you to return to Downton Abbey. Only in cinemas.”  Production is scheduled to begin “this summer,” the tweet declares.

After the series ended in 2015 with six successful seasons broadcast to over 160 countries, show creator Julian Fellowes wrote a screenplay for the upcoming movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter

“When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie, and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen,” producer Gareth Neame said in a statement.

While producers are still mum about plot details, it’s clear the original cast of Crawleys will return, including Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt, according to Entertainment Weekly

With 69 total, Downton Abbey holds the record for the most Emmy nominations for a show not made in the United States.

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