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Now that they know SOLO isn’t a horrible mess, Disney announces their next Star Wars films.

James Mangold to Write and Direct ‘Boba Fett’ for Lucasfilm

James Mangold is set to write and direct a “Star Wars” standalone movie based on popular bounty hunter “Boba Fett,” according to a report by the Hollywood Reporter.

Stephen Daldry is also in talks to direct an “Obi Wan” movie, although no writers are working on a script.

Boba Fett is a Mandalorian warrior who was trained by his father-figure Jango Fett and became a notorious bounty hunter throughout the galaxy. His travels led him to work for the Empire, collaborate with Darth Vader and take assignments from figures such as Jabba the Hutt, for whom he once captured Han Solo.

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Danny will direct, Daniel will star, and Dan will be there the first day it screens!!

Bond 25 Director Confirmed as Danny Boyle, Production With Daniel Craig Begins December 2018

It’s official: MGM and Annapurna will team up to distribute Bond 25 in the U.S. on November 8, 2019. Universal Pictures has won the lucrative rights to handle the film’s international distribution. Sony previously handled Bond distribtion, but it’s rights to the franchise expired after “Spectre” and set off a bidding war among studios. The next 007 installment will open in the U.K. first on October 25, 2019.

In addition to the confirmed distributors, 007 studio Eon Productions has also confirmed Danny Boyle will direct Bond 25, which will once again star Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous spy. Boyle has been a contender for several months now, with his hiring dependent on whether or not 007 producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli liked the script Boyle hatched with his “Trainspotting” screenwriter John Hodge.

Franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who scripted all of Craig’s 007 movies and the Pierce Brosnan entries “The World Is Not Enough” and “Die Another Day,” were originally comissioned to write the screenplay for Bond 25. The duo finished a draft but it was put on hold after Boyle pitched an idea Wilson and Broccoli enjoyed. With Boyle now confirmed to direct, it’s clear the producers loved Hodge’s screenplay.

Boyle will start production on Bond 25 this December at Pinewood Studios in the U.K. First up on the director’s slate is an untitled musical comedy written by Richard Curtis and starring Lily James and Kate McKinnon. The movie already has a September 2019 release date.

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I saw and liked DEADPOOL 2, but I saw – and loved – DEADPOOL many times. It’s a very good movie, but the kid is horribly miscast. Very horribly miscast!!

Box office: Deadpool 2 dethrones Infinity War with $125 million opening

This weekend, Ryan Reynolds is the Merc With the Money.

The actor’s wisecracking superhero sequel Deadpool 2 is on track to open with an estimated $125 million in ticket sales from 4,349 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, unseating three-time box office champ Avengers: Infinity War and scoring the second-highest debut ever for an R-rated movie.

Though that’s no small feat, Deadpool 2 will fall short of industry projections, which had it in the $130 million to $150 million range, and the original Deadpool, which bowed with $132.4 million in February 2016 (thus setting the R-rated opening record). Overseas, the sequel will add about $176.3 million this weekend, for a worldwide total of about $301.3 million.

Directed by David Leitch, from a script by Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick, Deadpool 2 finds the titular antihero (played by Reynolds) protecting a young mutant from a time-traveling tough guy named Cable (Josh Brolin), while gleefully skewering Hollywood’s obsession with superheroes. The cast also includes Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, and Brianna Hildebrand, plus a host of celebrity cameos.

The Fox film, which cost about $110 million to make, received generally positive reviews from critics (on par with the first film), and audiences gave it an A CinemaScore, suggesting good word-of-mouth prospects.

Disney’s rival Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War drops down to second place this weekend, grossing a still-solid $28.7 million in its fourth frame and bringing its domestic total to $595 million. The film will add about $84.4 million overseas, pushing its worldwide total north of $1.8 billion.

The weekend’s other new wide releases are Paramount’s rom-com Book Club and Open Road’s family-friendly comedy Show Dogs. The former film will take in about $12.5 million, good for the No. 3 spot, while the latter will gross about $6 million, landing in sixth place.

Directed by Bill Holderman, Book Club stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as four friends whose love lives are upended when they decide to read the guilty pleasure Fifty Shades of Grey.

Show Dogs, meanwhile, centers on a police dog (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) who goes undercover at a dog show with his human partner (Will Arnett) to stop an animal smuggling ring. Raja Gosnell directed.

Both movies garnered lackluster reviews, though audiences gave them solid A-minus CinemaScores.

Rounding out the top five are the Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party, with about $7.7 million, and the Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In, with about $6.5 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 6.3 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 18-20 figures below.

1. Deadpool 2 — $125 million
2. Avengers: Infinity War — $28.7 million
3. Book Club — $12.5 million
4. Life of the Party — $7.7 million
5. Breaking In — $6.5 million
6. Show Dogs — $6 million
7. Overboard — $4.7 million
8. A Quiet Place — $4 million
9. Rampage — $1.5 million
10. I Feel Pretty — $1.2 million

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The National Music Centre is in Calgary. I don’t know why, but it is.

Page: Permanent reunion with BNL won’t happen

Earlier this year, Steven Page received a series of texts from Ed Robertson.

They included pictures of old set lists from the Barenaked Ladies, the band the two singer-songwriters formed as a duo in the suburbs of Scarborough, Ont., back in the 1980s and co-fronted for more than 20 years before Page left the fold in 2009.

“It was funny, I look at these set lists from 1990 or something and I can still rhyme off what the order of the first seven songs in the set were,” says Page, in an interview with Postmedia earlier this week from his home in New York City. “Because we did it so much in those days. The idea of calling out a set list and writing it out was so rote for the most part. So to see that, in my own handwriting, 25 to 30 later, was fun.”

Fun always seemed to be ingrained into the DNA of the Barenaked Ladies, one of Canada’s most successful acts that amassed a giant following here and abroad thanks to cheerfully goofy songs such as If I Had $1,000,000 and One Week. Which may be why Page’s departure from the band nearly a decade ago seemed such a shock. The split was, at least by Canadian showbiz standards, mildly scandalous and more than a little acrimonious. The decision to part ways was officially made by “mutual agreement,” but occurred not long after Page’s highly publicized drug bust in New York.

Until recently, he had not been in the same room with the other four members in nine years. On Wednesday, Page will join former bandmates Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Tyler Stewart and Robertson at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, for a formal plaque ceremony as part of BNL’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It also marked the launch of Milestones: Barenaked Ladies at the National Music Centre, an exhibition that opens to the public on Thursday and features a treasure trove of artifacts from BNL’s history. Presumably, some of those old set lists will be on hand, as is the acoustic guitar Robertson used in the video for Falling for the First Time and early cassette demos Page made of songs that appeared on 1994’s Maybe You Should Drive and 1996’s Born on a Pirate Ship. For his part, Page enlisted his parents, who were apparently unofficial archivists for the band’s early history, for help unearthing memorabilia for the exhibition.

“I wish I could find perfect books of lyrics, where it’s like: ‘Hey, here’s all the lyrics from the Gordon album,’ ” says Page, referring to the band’s 1992 major label debut. “But it ended up being books that have shopping lists, diary entries, love letters or whatever, and in the middle of it are the lyrics to Old Apartment.”

BNL have continued to tour and release albums since 2009. But Page and his former bandmates have had plenty of opportunities to look back at their colourful history and early days as of late. In March, the five reunited to perform One Week and If I Had $1,000,000 at the Juno Awards in Vancouver to mark their induction into the Hall of Fame. Page said the night was a “blast,” went by very quickly and was “not nearly as weird” as he feared it would be.

“We’re guys who knew each other for a long time,” he says. “There’s baggage and there’s lots of water under the bridge but there’s lots of great shared history and friendship. The biggest thing for me, at Juno time, was meeting everybody’s kids 10 years later. Some of these kids weren’t even born yet when I left and I had never met them. Others are adults now. Having those guys meet my kids as young adults, that was exciting and new and that’s out of the way. And now we’ll go and have some good memories to share and be off on our merry ways after that.”

Creeggan, Hearn, Stewart and Robertson were indeed off on their merry ways after the plaque ceremony, but Page is sticking around. As part of the National Music Centre’s RBC Master in Residence program, he will be spending the next couple of days mentoring a handful of emerging artists that he helped pick. The three-day program will end with a Songwriter’s Circle on May 19.

“I think the focus will be on writing,” says Page. “But, really, whatever anybody wants to pick my brain about or discuss is up for grabs, too.”

As for sharing his own tricks of the trade, he admits he is not the most disciplined of songwriters, which is ironic since his upcoming sixth solo record is called Heal Thyself Pt. 2: Discipline.

“I’m a horrific procrastinator,” Page says. “I basically get ideas when I’m not in a position to be writing, like when I’m driving or travelling or somewhere where I don’t want to be singing into my phone in front of strangers. I get home and think ‘I should be working from 9 until 4 every day, writing.’ Unless I’m co-writing with somebody else, I’m terrible at that. I’ll go downstairs and pull a guitar out and play or I’ll tell myself I’m researching by watching Netflix. It just kind of gestates for quite a long time.”

Still, like BNL, Page has soldiered on and has been productive since 2009. Discipline, due out this summer, is the followup to 2016’s Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct, a collection of candid songs that addressed, among other things, the songwriter’s experiences with mental illness. In 2011, Page went on CBC’s The Current to discuss publicly for the first time his struggles with depression and anxiety. Since then, he has regularly given talks about living with mental illness.

“I think one of the things that people feel when they are struggling is ‘why me?’ or ‘This can’t be real, because my life is good. What do I have to be anxious about or depressed about?’ ” Page says. “Which is not really the way it works. It’s not really about something. I had a lot of those same feelings and thought ‘I got it pretty good here.’ But it didn’t make me immune to depression and anxiety. I’m not all fixed either. It’s a work in progress and I’ve learned to work hard at it and hopefully can give people some inspiration to do that as well.”

As for BNL’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Page says he is proud of the honour and what the band has accomplished. Still, he says a permanent reunion with the other members is not in the cards, although he doesn’t rule out singing with them again at some point.

“It was pleasant enough when we did it last time that my knee-jerk reaction wouldn’t be no,” he says. “But I know that both parties have tons of other stuff on the go. I can’t speak for those guys, I don’t know if they would have any interest in doing anything together. I don’t think anybody wants me to be back in the band full time, myself included. But to do something together, a one-off or whatever, it’s nice to see we’re all grown-ups and could probably do it, especially if the occasion was the right one.”

Milestones: Barenaked Ladies opens May 17 and runs until February 2019 at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.

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Awesome! Awesome!! Awesome!!!

‘Zombieland 2’ in the works for 10th anniversary release

Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Emma Stone are reportedly set to reprise their Zombieland roles for a long-awaited sequel to mark the film’s 10th anniversary.

The movie’s original screenwriter, Paul Wernick, has revealed he and his production partner Rhett Reese are working on a follow-up to the 2009 cult action comedy, which he claims will feature the same main cast, and hopefully hit theatres in late 2019.

“We’re going on the 10th anniversary of Zombieland. Zombieland came out October of 2009. We don’t know what you get someone for their 10th anniversary, but it may be a Zombieland 2,” Wernick teased to Vulture.

“The hope is that we’re shooting that thing early 2019 for an October of ’19 release,” he continued, adding, “With the original cast, by the way.”

Details about the project have yet to be finalised, but Wernick is confident the planned movie will live up to fans’ dreams.

“We are sitting on information that we can’t entirely share at this moment,” he said cryptically, “but we can just say we think fans of Zombieland who have been hoping for a Zombieland 2, that we will grant their wish very, very soon.”

It’s not clear if Ruben Fleischer, who directed the first film, will also be returning to Zombieland.

The original release helped to put Reese and Wernick on the map in Hollywood, and they have since gone on to score big box office success by teaming up with Ryan Reynolds to pen 2016’s Deadpool and its new sequel, Deadpool 2.

The screenwriting duo is also busy developing scripts for Michael Bay’s upcoming project, 6 Underground, and the big screen adaptation of murder mystery board game Clue, and producing Chris Pratt’s next action adventure, Cowboy Ninja Viking.

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That is great news!!

Photos of Kurt Cobain’s death scene will not be made public

SEATTLE—The Washington State Court of Appeals has ruled that photographs from the scene of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death will not be released publicly.

KING5-TV reports the court ruled Tuesday that the photographs are exempt from Washington state’s Public Records Act and releasing the photos would “violate the Cobain family’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment.”

Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, and his daughter who was a toddler at the time of his death, Frances Bean Cobain, filed testimonies to keep the photos from being made public.

The ruling comes after Seattle journalist Richard Lee appealed the case’s dismissal. Lee has pursued the release of 55 photos in an attempt to prove Cobain did not die from suicide in 1994, but rather was killed.

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Get well soon, Burton!!

Burton Cummings recovering from several injuries suffered in L.A. car crash

Canadian music icon Burton Cummings says he is recovering from several injuries he suffered in a car crash last Sunday in Los Angeles.

In a lengthy Facebook post, the Winnipeg rocker and former frontman for the Guess Who writes that he was struck by a driver who ran a red light and that there were five people in the other car, including a baby.

Cummings said he suffered a concussion due to his head cracking the windshield in addition to cuts and “serious bruising on both arms,” a very painful left leg and intense back pain.

He wrote that he’s in a “lot of physical pain” and needs some “serious healing time,” adding he’s “trying to focus on just how lucky” he is not to have been killed or crippled.

Cummings said the worst thing is that his mind has been “reliving the crash … that sound and fear and unexpected horror.”

“I know I’m going to have to get some help getting over the shock. That’s the worst part right now … trying to keep telling myself that I’m okay.”

Cummings, 70, spent 10 years with the Guess Who until 1975. He wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s hits, including American Woman, No Time, Laughing and These Eyes.

The Winnipeg native’s solo career included such hits as Stand Tall and My Own Way to Rock.

Cummings wrote that the accident happened after he was summoned to Los Angeles for jury duty but was dismissed due to the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff status and was hoping to make it to Winnipeg to sing the anthems at a later game.

Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a member of the Guess Who in 1987, Cummings won four Juno Awards as a solo artist and two with his former band.

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Very sad, may he rest in peace.

Tom Wolfe, pioneering ‘New Journalist,’ dead at 87

Author Tom Wolfe, who chronicled everything from hippies to the space race before turning his sharp eye to fiction, has died. He was 87.

Wolfe’s agent, Lynn Nesbit, told The Associated Press that Wolfe died in a New York City hospital. Additional details were not immediately available.

The “new journalism” reporter and novelist insisted that the only way to tell a great story was to go out and report it. His writing style was rife with exclamation points, italics and improbable words.

Among his acclaimed books were The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, a satire of Manhattan-style power and justice that became one of the bestselling books of the 1980s.

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Very sad news. May she rest in peace.

Margot Kidder, ‘Superman’ Actress, Dies at 69

Margot Kidder, the actress best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the original “Superman” films, has died. She was 69.

The actress died in her sleep at her home on Sunday in Livingston, Mont., her publicist Camilla Fluxman Pines confirmed to Variety.

Born Oct. 17 in Canada, Kidder got her start in low-budget Canadian films and TV shows before landing a role in 1970’s “Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx” opposite Gene Wilder. She later appeared in 1973’s “Sisters,” “The Great Waldo Pepper” with Robert Redford, and 1979’s “The Amityville Horror.”

She rose to prominence as Lois Lane, the award-winning Daily Planet journalist and Clark Kent’s love interest in all four “Superman” films from 1978 to 1987.

Kidder, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, suffered some career setbacks after a public nervous breakdown in 1996. She continued acting in smaller roles on TV series including “Smallville,” “Brothers & Sisters,” and “The L Word” in the 2000s. Kidder also acted on stage, including Broadway’s 2002 production of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Kidder became a U.S. citizen in 2005 and lived in Montana until her death. With her citizenship, Kidder was an activist and challenged the Iraq War. She was arrested at the White House in 2011 during a protest against the construction of an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas.

She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2015 for her role on the children’s TV show “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.”

Kidder was married and divorced three times. She only had a child with her first husband, novelist Thomas McGuane. Her daughter, Maggie, was born in 1976. Kidder wed actor John Heard in 1979 for six days. She later was married to French director Philippe de Broca from 1983 to 1984. Kidder has two grandchildren.

DC Comics’ Twitter account paid tribute, writing, “Thank you for being the Lois Lane so many of us grew up with. RIP, Margot Kidder.”

Mark Hamill wrote, “On-screen she was magic. Off-screen she was one of the kindest, sweetest, most caring woman I’ve ever known. I’ll miss you Margo Kidder. Your legacy will live on forever.”

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It was easily the most amazing event I’ve ever attended. Wow!! It was so great!!

Hilarious clips and untold memories bring audience to its feet at SCTV reunion

Fans of SCTV were served a heaping dish of nostalgia on Sunday as cast members of the Canadian sketch comedy series gathered to share memories for an upcoming Netflix special.

Seemingly every popular character from the influential show — including Johnny LaRue, Alex Trebel and Edith Prickley — had a moment to shine during the three-hour live taping at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. The footage will be part of a larger production directed by Martin Scorsese for the streaming platform.

SCTV cast members Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara sat before a backdrop of photographs from the series as they recalled how the scrappy idea for a comedy show began on Global with a tight budget of $7,000 an episode.

Other revealing moments included Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis reflecting on how seminal hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie were originally created as a way to inject more Canadian content into the series.

It wasn’t always certain that Moranis, who has largely stepped away from his acting career since the late 1990s, would show up at the SCTV reunion. But he told the audience that he jumped at the chance to get together with old friends.

SCTV ran from 1976 to 1984 and helped launch the careers of many famed international comic legends, including the late John Candy and Harold Ramis, who were both honoured during the taping.

The show ran two seasons on Global and one on CBC before being picked up by NBC. In its final season, it moved to cable and aired on Cinemax in the U.S. and Superchannel in Canada.

Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who served as moderator for the event, was quick to share how much of an impact SCTV had on his own comedic sensibilities as a teenager growing up in Las Vegas.

“This show is the reason we’re not building a wall with the northern border,” he quipped at one point.

Kimmel told the audience he beat out all the other major late-night TV hosts for the moderator gig, coming in ahead of Conan O’Brien in a “to the wire” decision.

Costume designer Juul Haalmeyer said he was taking his own trip down memory lane as he watched the reunion from the audience. He dressed the SCTV cast as their distinctive characters throughout the show’s run.

“Some of these clips I haven’t ever seen,” he said during a break in the taping.

“It’s been a thrill.”

Haalmeyer occasionally starred in skits, including Perry Como: Still Alive, where he played the leader of the Juul Haalmeyer Dancers, despite his lack of professional dance experience.

“Every time they needed a bad singer, bad dancer or bad actor, they’d say, ‘Get that [guy] from over there,”‘ he said.

“It worked for the purposes of the show.”

Other SCTV crew members sat in the audience, including make-up artist Beverly Schechtman and show producer Andrew Alexander.

Extended family of the stars were also in attendance, such as Eugene Levy’s son Dan and John Candy’s wife Rosemary Hobor and their two children, Jennifer and Christopher Candy.

Longtime viewer Kim Piche scored a ticket shortly before the taping from a friend, and said this offered a rare opportunity to revisit a program she felt rivalled Saturday Night Live in quality.

“They played it safe on Saturday Night Live,” Piche said. “I think that SCTV went above and beyond.”

Mary Dempster came to the taping to reminisce about growing up with SCTV, which she watched with her father as a child.

“Forget the cartoons,” she said. “Just go straight to the comedy.”

Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for the SCTV special, but said it will air on Netflix in all territories, with the exception of Canada, where it will premiere exclusively on CTV.

Following CTV’s airing, the special will be available exclusively on Netflix in Canada and worldwide.