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James Cameron dishes on 'Avatar' sequels, disses series' "trolls"

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Thanks to a 2021 rerelease that nudged it past Avengers: Endgame, 2009's Avatar remains the highest grossing movie of all time.

Its haul -- before a September re-rerelease -- stands at $2.8 billion.

That said, there are many who wonder how Avatar got there in the first place. Director James Cameron has heard those gripes; in true James Cameron form, the man working on four sequels to the original doesn't hold back.

"The trolls will have it that nobody gives a sh** and they can't remember the characters' names or one damn thing that happened in the movie," he grouses to Empire magazine. "Then they see the movie again and go, 'Oh, OK, excuse me, let me just shut the f*** up right now.'"

He's also not worried about the run time of December's sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water which -- as of now -- is around three hours.

"I don't want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [TV] for eight hours," Cameron says. "I can almost write this part of the review. 'The agonizingly long three-hour movie …' It's like, give me a f***ing break ..."

He adds, "Here's the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it's OK to get up and go pee."

As for its three sequels, which will roll out through 2028, the Titanic Oscar winner explains, "I think eventually ... after [Avatar] three or after four -- I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over," he mused, adding, "Or maybe not. I don't know."

Cameron says the third Avatar movie is in the can, having shot concurrently with the second, which adds Kate Winslet to its original cast, which includes Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Not very gentlemanly: Theaters cracking down as "gentleminions" trend helps push 'Minions' prequel to box office record

Universal Pictures

Viral trends might seem a little peculiar to those technically too old to be a part of them, but enjoying things ironically is a key element to the TikTok generation.

And a new trend helped propel Minions: The Rise of Gru to a July 4 box office record.

Even before the social media platform was a thing, Gen Y used Instagram to meme Shrek -- and with it, Smashmouth's "All Star" -- back into the public consciousness, and now Gen Z has set its sights on Minions.

To that end, droves of mostly male teens, who are technically out of the kids movie's demographic, have been showing up to theaters all over the world.

Wearing business attire in tribute to the series' supervillian Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell, the Gentleminions, as they've dubbed themselves, have been posting their en masse movements into movie houses, where they watch with synchronized tented fingers -- again, a la Gru.

Some bring bananas, the little yellow critters' favorite snack.

Hey, we said it's peculiar -- but it's still more wholesome than the Tide Pod challenge.

After millions and millions of viral views, some movie chains have had enough. They're banning the suited teens from theaters after some acted rowdy -- and yes, some bananas were thrown.

A theater chain in the U.K. even complained about "massive" financial losses from having to refund other patrons' tickets because of the Gentleminions' ungentlemanly behavior.

That said, Universal Pictures couldn't be more pleased. "to everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you," the studio tweeted. To boot, the movie's official account also posted a montage of the Gentleminions to -- where else -- TikTok.



Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Quentin Tarantino and wife Daniela welcome second child

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino and his wife, Daniela, had an extra special fourth of July this year: They welcomed a baby daughter on July 2.

The filmmaker, 59, and his actress, model, and singer wife, 38, broke the happy news to People in a statement.

The pair met in 2009, and got engaged in June 2017. They married the following year, and welcomed their first child, son Leo, in February of 2020, after Daniela appeared in the director's 2019 film Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood.

Speaking of, Tarantino once told Jimmy Kimmel that Leo wasn't named after that film's star, Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining, "We almost didn't name him that because people would assume I named him after Leonardo DiCaprio -- which, nothing wrong with that, but I didn't." Tarantino said the boy was named after his wife's grandfather, and also because "in our hearts, he's our little lion."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Rock and Lake Bell fuel dating rumors with LA dinner date

Frank Micelotta/20th Century Fox Television/PictureGroup -- Walt Disney Television/Yolanda Perez

Chris Rock and Lake Bell fueled romance rumors on Saturday after being spotted on a dinner date in Santa Monica, California.

A source tells The New York Post the duo dined for almost two hours. Rock and Bell were reportedly holding hands as they walked out of an Italian restaurant, but immediately let go of one another's hands when they saw the photographers.

The 57-year-old comedian and 43-year-old actress were also spotted catching a Cardinals game together at St. Louis' Busch Stadium last month.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: 'Frasier' reboot getting off the ground this fall, and more

That long-awaited Frasier revival could begin shooting this fall. During an appearance on CBS' The Talk on Monday, Kelsey Grammer, who played the titular psychologist and radio show host on the NBC sitcom, which ran from 1993-2004, revealed they were “in the final stages of the final script for the first episode of the Frasier reboot and it looks pretty good.” He added, “I’ve had a couple of runs through it, and I cried, so you know, I’m happy. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Grammer said last year last year that the character, who moved from Boston to Seattle for the original series, “thinks he’s gonna go off and do one thing, and sure enough, his life takes him in another direction...And he ends up rich beyond his dreams”...

Avatar director James Cameron previously revealed his vision to follow up the original 2009 blockbuster with an epic four-film saga, but with the first of them, Avatar: The Way of Water, set to hit theaters in December and a third already in the can, the legendary filmmaker tells Empire he may be ready to "pass the baton" to another director. “The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” he explains. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time -- I don’t know if that’s after three or after four -- I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know”...

After leaving the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives in 2020 after a 37-year stint, Kristian Alfonso is reprising her role of Hope Williams Brady in the Days spinoff Beyond Salem -- seeming to contradict an earlier statement. However, Alfonso insists it's not a return, telling Soap Opera Digest, “[Beyond Salem] is, I feel, a branch of it...I have seen online where viewers have stated that I said, ‘Never’ regarding [returning someday] -- I never said never. I said that I will not be popping in and out like other actors have done in the past. I didn’t say I’m never, ever coming back. I was not absolute.” Beyond Salem premieres July 11 on Peacock...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Mrs. Maisel' star Rachel Brosnahan responds to Highland Park mass shooting "I'm sick to my stomach"

Amazon Studios/Andy Kropa

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan took to Twitter to express her frustration about the mass shooting that occurred at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday.

"I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families. I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out," the actress tweeted. "But I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words."

The tweet comes after a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in the Midwest city on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring over 30, including children. Five of the victims died at the scene of the shooting while one died at a hospital, according to officials.

Robert "Bobby" Crimo III was arrested in connection with the shooting and described as a person of interest following a vehicular pursuit Monday evening after an hours-long manhunt, police said. As of Monday night he has not been charged in connection with the shooting.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Minions 2: The Rise of Gru' opens with record-breaking $125.1 million July 4th weekend

Universal Pictures

Minions 2: The Rise of Gru is now the July 4 holiday box office record holder, earning an estimated 125.1 million dollars from Friday through Monday. That's also the second-best debut for a Despicable Me/Minions movie, about three-and-a half million less than the first standalone Minions movie earned in 2015.

MInions 2: The Rise of Gru -- featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson and Michelle Yeoh -- did pretty well overseas, too, scooping up an estimated $93.7 million for a worldwide total gross of $202.2 million between Friday and Monday.

Top Gun: Maverick held on to second place, delivering an estimated $25.5 million over the three-day weekend and $33.3 through Monday. The Top Gun sequel has earned a total of $544.5 million overseas, bringing its six-week global tally to upwards of $1.1 billion worldwide.

Dropping to third place is Elvis, which collected an estimated $19 million in its second week of release. The biopic has earned a total of $70 million in North America and $113 million worldwide.

Pulling up in fourth place is Jurassic World: Dominion with just under $15.7 million. Adding Monday's estimated totals, that figure swells to roughly $19.7 million. After four weeks, Dominion has raked in $331.8 million domestically to go with $492.7 million internationally, where it opened a week earlier than in North America. Its worldwide total currently sits at $824.5 million.

Rounding out the top five is the horror film The Black Phone, taking in an estimated $12.3 million between Friday and Sunday and $14.4 million through Monday. The film, starring Ethan Hawke, has earned a total of $49.7 million in North America and $74.4 million globally after two weeks.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kamala Harris speaks on "outrageous" decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at 'Essence' Fest

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a "fireside chat" with actress Keke Palmer at the Essence Festival of Culture Saturday, where she spoke on important issues pertaining to women and the Black community.

Speaking on the "outrageous" decision to overturn Roe v. Wade -- the law protecting the right for women to have an abortion -- Harris shared her thoughts on the ruling's implications and its effect on other personal topics like contraception and same-sex marriage.

"What else might be vulnerable that we otherwise thought was settled law?" she questioned.

She called the decision a "serious matter" -- a phrase applauded by those in the audience a part of the Black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, of which Harris is a member. "It requires all of us to speak up, speak out and to be active," Harris said. She added, "We have to recognize we're a nation that was founded on certain principles that are grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty."

Remembering the words of Coretta Scott King Harris said, "The fight for civil rights -- which is the fight for freedom, the fight for liberty, the fight for justice -- the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation."

In relation to the continued fight for freedom in America, Harris suggested two key points from King's words: "The very nature of these fights is that whatever we gain, they will not necessarily be permanent." And that, "you have to be vigilant."

"Don't be overwhelmed to the point that we are disheartened and we think that we can't do anything about it," she said. "It's the nature of it that these gains will not be made. And so we must be vigilant and we must remember we are always going to have to fight to maintain these rights."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Marvel's newest star, Aramis Knight, talks playing 'Ms. Marvel''s Red Dagger

Marvel Studios

Actor Aramis Knight made his debut in Wednesday's fourth episode of Disney+'s Ms. Marvel, and his team up with the show's title character, played by Iman Vellani, was an instant hit with fans. 

Knight plays Kareem, a masked vigilante crime fighter and one of the mysterious group of Pakistan-based heroes known as the Red Daggers. 

A visit to her grandmother's native Karachi to study the origins of her powers led Vellani's Kamala Khan to be tracked -- and later defended -- by the group.

Knight tells ABC Audio he was sure he was auditioning for the character -- who goes by the Red Dagger in the comics -- when he heard about it, in spite of Marvel's famous secrecy.

"When I heard ... they were looking for Southeast Asian actors and that it was a Marvel show. Didn't take much research to figure out that it was Ms. Marvel," he smiles. 

"And then I started reading the comics and found Kareem. And I was like, 'Oh, this must be who I'm auditioning for. I mean, come on! Like, I look just like the guy!' And I just had a feeling from then on."

We wanted to know if Knight was ready to see cosplayers playing him. "YESSS!" he says. 

"I'm trying to go to Comic-Con this year [in July], trying to take a picture with every person who dresses up as Red Dagger."

He adds, "I'm really hoping we get some Halloween costumes. A couple of my friends have already promised me that they're going to be 'me' for Halloween ..."

The actor of Pakistani descent says, "Overall ... I'm just excited to ... represent for our culture, to be able to be a superhero, to be able to do what I love and to be a part of a company like Marvel. It's just, it's amazing!"  

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NBC rescues CBS' 'Magnum P.I.' reboot with 2-season deal

(L-R) Weeks, Hernandez -- CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

"Time to dust off the Aloha shirt!" That was the word from star and producer Jay Hernandez as he celebrated the news NBC has picked up his recently canceled CBS reboot of Magnum P.I.

In a move similar to NBC's rescuing Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Deadline reports the network sealed the deal Thursday night to rescue the show in a two-season, 20-episode deal.

Hernandez told fans, "It was a bit circuitous but we did it! Your love & support helped get us over the finish line, thank you & thanks to @nbc for stepping up!"

Other cast members were also feeling the love, including Perdita Weeks, who plays Juliette Higgins, the gender-swapped version of the late John Hillerman's character in the Tom Selleck-led original.

Posting a smiling image of herself, Weeks cheered on Instagram, "Off to the see the Ohana," using the Hawaiian word for "family."

Co-star and former Happy Endings star Zachary Knighton added, "This one is for the FANS. You guys are AMAZING!"

The reboot of Magnum performed well for CBS in its Friday night slot for four seasons.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Denzel, Simone Biles among Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for STARZ -- Taylor Hill/WireImage

Denzel Washington and Simone Biles will soon have another award for their shelves.

The two-time Oscar and Tony winner and the four-time Olympic gold medalist are among the 17 individuals chosen this year to receive the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The White House announced this year's honorees on Friday. The medals will be awarded at a White House ceremony on Thursday, July 7.

This year's other winners include soccer star and equal pay advocate Megan Rapinoe. Posthumous honorees include Sen. John McCain, the late AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Incidentally, President Joe Biden is the first president to award the medals after already receiving one himself. Former President Barack Obama presented the medal to Biden in 2017, who was then serving as vice president.

Other honorees include civil rights advocate and former U.S. Ambassador Raúl Yzaguirre, civil rights attorney Fred Gray and Sandra Lindsay, a nurse who became the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"These 17 Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation -- hard work, perseverance and faith," the White House said.

"They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities -- and across the world -- while blazing trails for generations to come."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Extra" extra: A background actress gets the spotlight, thanks to a now-viral clip of 'Doctor Strange' sequel

Marvel Studios

Background actors -- commonly known as extras -- are the unsung heroes of any movie or TV show, as they fill the frame and give context to a scene without saying a word.

They're essentially both seen and not supposed to be seen, so they don't distract from the main characters.

However, one extra is getting her chance to shine thanks to a TikTok user named Charles Rosen, who noticed her "performance" in the recently-released Disney+ film Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.

The well-dressed older woman is sitting in a church pew directly behind Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie's opening wedding scene, while he's speaking with Michael Stuhlbarg's Dr. Nic West.

However, as the TikTok user noticed, she's doing a heck of a lot while pretending not to be doing much.

Apparently desperate to avoid the reflex of looking into the camera in front of her -- a movie no-no, unless you're Deadpool -- she glances everywhere else, her eyes and head literally rolling circles around the lens.

"This is how you be an extra!" Rosen captioned the vid, which also featured him laughing at the scene.

His clip has been liked more than 190,000 times.

However, the as-yet-unnamed extra isn't the first one to miss the "blend-in" memo.

There are a host of famous, similar gaffes in other movies, including a camera-ogling diner in Goodfellas; the guy in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace who's supposed to be sweeping except his broom wasn't touching the ground; that infamous Teen Wolf extra who stood up and cheered with her pants completely undone, and one of the children of Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown, who kept touching his own crotch as the camera rolled at the end of Back to the Future Part III.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here are some of the new titles available to stream this weekend:

Netflix
Stranger Things: Witness the epic conclusion between Vecna [veck-na] and the crew from Hawkins in volume two of Stranger Things season four.

The Upshaws: Continue to ride life’s ups and downs with The Upshaws in season two of the sitcom about the chaotic and loveable family.

Beauty: After she’s offered a lucrative recording contract, a young woman struggles to maintain her voice in the new film Beauty.


Hulu
Only Murders in the Building: Over on Hulu, start solving all the mysteries while you stream the first two episodes of Only Murders in the Building season two.

Disney+
Baymax!: On Disney+, reunite with fan-favorite inflatable healthcare companion Baymax in the new animated series.

Amazon Prime Video
The Terminal List: And, finally, on Prime Video, Chris Pratt stars as a Navy SEAL out for revenge in The Terminal List, a new action series based on the best-selling books.

Happy streaming!

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Paul Rudd's Ant-Man finally addresses that "gross" fan theory for how he could have beaten Thanos

Marvel Studios

(NOTE CONTENT) Aboard the new Disney Wish cruise ship, fans of The Avengers will be treated to hang-outs with costumed characters and other eye-popping tastes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Evidently, they'll also hear Paul Rudd, in character as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, address a fan theory about how his shrinking superhero could have defeated Thanos. 

To put it delicately, it involves the hero shrinking to insect size and Thanos' purple behind. 

According to a tourist's footage of an exchange between Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, in character on a video screen as Hope Van Dyne AKA The Wasp, the exchange begins with both heroes introducing themselves to their guests. 

"Look, before we start, let me address the elephant in the room," Rudd's Lang opens.

"I've heard a lot of chatter out there asking why I didn't shrink down, go in, and uh ... kill Thanos in a really creative way," he says, miming giving the Mad Titan the worst prostate exam of all time. 

"First of all: gross," Ant-Man says. "Secondly, it's much more complicated than that. Allow me to explain--"

Fortunately, Lilly's Hope cuts him off: "If only we had the time!" 

Incidentally, the superhero show The Boys -- which can "go there" thanks to its mature rating -- just saw a shrinking supe accidentally doing something similar in the third season's first episode. However, the internal adventure ended with accidentally explosive results, when the teensy character sneezed.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New image shows Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in upcoming limited series

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas is Benjamin Franklin in a new image released by Apple TV+.

The Oscar-winning actor, who is set to portray the Founding Father in the new Apple TV+ limited series Franklin, appears pensive in full makeup, hair and costume.

In February, Apple TV+ announced that Douglas would take on the lead role as Franklin in the new series, which is based on the book A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America by Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff.

The eight-episode series will explore how Franklin convinced France to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy.

"Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers and hostile colleagues, all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace treaty with England of 1783," the streaming platform said in a press release. "The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin’s most vital service to his country, without America would not have won the Revolution."

The limited series will be written and executive produced by Kirk Ellis and directed by Tim Van Patten.

A release date has not yet been announced.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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