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Pixar's Long-Awaited Sequel Is Both Timely And Timeless

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Review: China Salesman

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Dr. Dre Has A Marvin Gaye Biopic In The Works

"What's Goin' On?", you ask? Well, not much if you're waiting for a movie for film based on legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye. Remember that movie Jesse L. Martin (The Flash) was developing a few years ago and even released footage from? Nothing. Jamie Foxx has been working on a TV series on the singer but we haven't heard anything on that since 2016. Fortunately, Dr. Dre is here to pick up the slack, as the uber-producer has his own biopic on Marvin Gaye in the works.

Variety reports Dr. Dre is "in the early stages" of development on a Marvin Gaye biopic. Details on the film are probably still a ways off but what we do know is that the Gaye estate has already okayed the use of his music. That's really the first major hurdle that needs to be overcome for a movie like this, and if you can't get those rights you end up with a stinker like Jimi: All Is By My Side which had all the wrong music.

Gaye's story is certainly made for the big screen. He helped define the Motown sound in the late '60s with his album In the Groove which produced his first No.1 hit "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". He went on to release hit albums What's Going On, Let's Get It On, and Midnight Love. In 1984 he was fatally shot by his own father while trying to break up an argument between his parents.

No truth to the rumor Dre is considering Eminem for the lead role, although that would be something.

Will Ferrell Will Burst Into Song For Netflix's 'Eurovision'

Could it be Will Ferrell vs. ABBA in a Eurovision battle royale?! The actor has agreed to break out his singing voice for the Netflix comedy Eurovision, which he will star in and co-write alongside Andrew Steele.

Eurovision is based on the international singing competition held between 40 member countries and broadcast over television since its founding in 1956. Each country submits an original song to be entered into the Eurovision Singing Contest, which is then performed live on television and votes later cast to determine the winner. This year was one by Israel's Netta for the song "Toy". Some previous winners include Celine Dion, and the aforementioned ABBA who won in 1974. Ferrell and Steele have worked together numerous times, including on A Deadly Adoption and Casa de mi Padre.

This continues Ferrell's relationship with Netflix through his production company, Gary Sanchez, which recently released the Netflix vacation comedy Ibiza. Ferrell has broke out into song in plenty of films but especially on SNL, usually in a silly and over-the-top way. I'm guessing he'll do the same here as some kind of misfit looking to win the competition.  [Deadline]


Jon Bernthal Is Returning To 'The Walking Dead' For Season 9

To say season 9 of The Walking Dead will be one of great change would be an understatement. Not only is longtime star Lauren Cohan leaving the show, but so is the series' main star Andrew Lincoln, who as Rick has been there from literally the first frame of the first episode. It's Lincoln's departure that will throw the series into greatest upheaval, and it may explain why we are getting the sudden return of Jon Bernthal as Rick's former friend and eventual enemy, Shane Walsh.

Bernthal had been spotted on film recently, which sparked a ton of rumors. Now THR confirms Bernthal's return to the show, although how long he'll stick around is unclear. Shane was a main character in the first two seasons. He was Rick's partner and friend, but had an affair with Rick's wife Lori and fathered a child with her. Bad blood ensued, and eventually Rick had to put Shane down when the latter became violently obsessed.

So yeah, Shane is about as dead as it gets, meaning he's probably returning in flashback or a hallucination. Considering Rick's deteriorating mental state it's probably the latter.

My hope is this is also a way for fans to get one last goodbye to the Shane character before the series ends. Nothing has been announced about it being cancelled, but fans have been unhappy about the direction for a long time and these departures aren't going to help. Daryl (Norman Reedus) will be elevated to the centerpiece character once Rick is gone, a move which sounds like a huge mistake. Daryl is best in doses, not as the focus.

I expect there will be greater updates next month at Comic-Con. There usually are.

Sam Mendes Teams With Steven Spielberg For WWI Film '1917'

The last film directed by Sam Mendes that had nothing to do with James Bond was 2009's low-key charmer Away We Go. His days helming the adventures of 007 are over now, though, and Mendes is freed up to get behind on something new, a WWI film titled 1917 that will have Steven Spielberg on board as a producer.

Deadline has the news, but there aren't any plot details at this point. Mendes will direct and, in a first for him, co-write the script. He'll be writing alongside Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who has worked in TV mostly including Showtime's Penny Dreadful which Mendes was exec-producer on. So there's the connection.

Spielberg said regarding the news, “Our company has been a home for Sam since his first film. I am so happy to have him back here in his old room spinning new stories – especially this hugely daring and ambitious new movie.”

The plan is for 1917 to kick off production next April for a release during the awards season stretch in December 2019. Sounds very ambitious so let's hope more details emerge soon.

'Nobody's Fool' Trailer: Tiffany Haddish Turns It Up In Tyler Perry's New Comedy

The Tyler Perry franchise, because let's face it he IS a franchise at this point, shows no sign of slowing down. It was only a couple of months ago that he released Acrimony into theaters, and while it played pretty small the $46M it earned shows that the intended audience caught wind of it. Now Perry is back with his latest, Nobody's Fool, which could be his biggest non-Madea hit in a while simply because of its star: Tiffany Haddish.

The Girls Trip breakout is everywhere right now, and she's turning it up in a film that co-stars Southside with You's Tika Sumpter and Whoopi Goldberg who needs no introduction. The story is pure Perry, following a woman newly released from jail as she tries to get her life back on track with the help of her straight-laced sister who is poised for a huge job promotion.

You can probably tell where this goes, but I have to say the talent on hand is spectacular and this may be the first Perry movie I've wanted to see in a long time. Also starring Omari Hardwick and Amber Riley, Nobody's Fool opens November 2nd.

Steven Spielberg Gets Credit For 'Bumblebee' Having A Female Protagonist

The Transformers movies, and Michael Bay movies in general, are pretty terrible at creating well-rounded female characters. Most of the time Bay's camera is too busy focusing on their bodies to be concerned with much else. The Transformers franchise has been especially terrible with this, and while we saw some change in a better direction with Isabela Moner's character in The Last Knight, there looks to be a maked improvement with Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld leading the Bumblebee spinoff. And we have Steven Spielberg to thank for it.

Spielberg, an exec-producer on the franchise since the first movie in 2007, doesn't usually have much in the way of creative input. But he apparently felt a deeper obligation for Bumblebee, which is directed by Laika's Travis Knight and has a tone that is decidedly more kid-friendly.

“Steven had always had an idea that a young girl and Bumblebee would be a great combination, so we headed in that direction", producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told EW. “It’s nice it’s changing. When we were debating it, the idea of a young girl seemed to us to be a real change in our direction.” 

Steinfeld is playing Charlie, a teenage girl who finds a weakened Bumblebee and befriends him. The film is set in the '80s, so the Bumblebee we get is the original G1 Volkswagon Beetle.  Here are some other details from the film, including a bit more on John Cena's Agent Burns...

Bumblebee is alone. He’s on a mission to Earth that goes awry. He runs into trouble with the robot hunters of Sector 7, the U.S. government agency led by John Cena’s Agent Burns. Bumblebee is also being hunted by a Decepticon, the jet from the trailer whose identity is still being kept under wraps.

When Charlie [Steinfeld’s character] finds him, he’s badly wounded and conserving energy by hiding out amid the other rusting hulks in a junkyard. As the bee nest in his wheel well attests, he has been down and out for a while.

Bumblebee rolls into theaters on December 21st.

'Ant-Man And The Wasp' TV Spot Reveals What Scott Lang's Been Up To

There were a couple of Avengers noticeably absent from the Infinity War against Thanos. While I expect we'll find out where Hawkeye was hiding at in Avengers 4, the whereabouts of Paul Rudd's Scott Lang will be learned much sooner in Ant-Man and the Wasp. The latest TV spot maks the connection between this film and Infnity War a little bit clearer.

It's right at the beginning so at least you won't have to wait long into the 30-second clip to find out. This continues to look like a welcome breather from the seriousness of Infinity War. Marvel is smart in the way they place their movies in such a way that things never get too dark for too long. Say what you want about DC, nothing they've ever done is quite as dark as what happend in Infinity War. The difference is they would keep rolling right along with that tone, while Marvel is lightening things up.

Directed by Peyton Reed with Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Komen, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Abby Ryder-Fortson, Randall Park, and Laurence Fishburne co-starring, Ant-Man and the Wasp opens July 6th.

'Star Wars: Episode 9' Could See Another Major Character's Long-Awaited Return

With Star Wars: Episode 9 coming up next year, it's the last chance to see some old faces in this latest trilogy. There has been one major notable absence so far, but a new rumor from the fan site Fantha Tracks (judge accordingly) says a character that we recently saw as a much younger version of in Solo: A Star Wars Story will make his long-awaited return to the core movies.

Of course I'm talking about Lando Calrissian, with the rumor saying that Billy Dee Williams will be reprising the role.  The last time we saw galaxy's infamous rogue and swindler was in Solo: A Star Wars Story played effortlessly by Donald Glover. While there has been a call for Glover to play Lando again, I think there's just as much demand to see Billy Dee don the cape at least one more time.  The site claims to have a couple of sources on this one, so I guess we should take it seriously?

You know me, though. I give the side eye to every story that reads a little too perfect. If I were going to make up a Star Wars rumor that sounded perfectly plausible in order to get clicks this is the kind of thing I'd come up with. The rumor may be complete bullshit and yet still come true, so I guess until we see J.J. Abrams drinking a Colt 45 with Billy Dee on set take it with a grain of salt.

Star Wars: Episode 9 opens December 21st 2019.

Chris Hardwick Loses 'Talking Dead' And Comic-Con Gigs Over Abuse Allegations

I've often complained the worst part of Comic-Con every year is having to endure four days of Chris Hardwick moderating every panel in Hall H. Well, that won't be something to worry about this time, but the reason it's happening is unexpected. Over the weekend Hardwick's ex-girlfriend, TV personality Chloe Dykstra, penned a lengthy and emotional message on Medium that levied some serious assault allegations him. As expected, the blowback against Hardwick has been swift and he's losing gigs at a rapid clip.

Let's start with the biggie, and that's AMC pulling his talk show Talking Dead for the time being. AMC hasn't outright canceled the show, which is incredibly popular and due to return this week with guest star Donald Glover. The network also announced Hardwick will no longer moderate San Diego Comic-Con panels for them or BBC America. It's unclear if he will continue to be a major presence next month as he's usually the moderator for every major event in Comic-Con's largest auditorium.

Furthermore, the geek culture site Nerdist, which Hardwick helped found and was most recently CEO of, has scrubbed any mention of him. Dykstra, in a final tweet before signing out of social media for a while, asked readers not to hold Nerdist accountable for Hardwick's actions as he had not been active with them for some time. The company issued a statement backing this up, stating that he no "operational involvement" for a couple of years before the end of his contract in 2017.

Finally, NBC is assessing what to do with game show The Wall, which Hardwick hosts and produces for the network. Chances are they will take a "wait and see" approach, much like AMC is doing before taking steps that are more final.

Hardwick has denied the allegations in an official statement of his own, and ultimately we will see if anything comes of this legally. While Dykstra doesn't appear to be seeking anything from Hardwick, he may decide to take action for defamation or something along those lines. The court of public opinion doesn't require the even hand of the law, though, and both parties are getting hammered in social media right now. I tend to believe those who make these kinds of accusations until evidence proves otherwise, simply because the public scrutiny is so devastating. The truth will come out one way or another.

'Like Father' Trailer: Kristen Bell Goes On A Cruise With Kelsey Grammer

Lauren Miller Rogen made her big screen writing debut a few years ago with the best friend comedy For A Good Time, Call..., which she also starred in and featured a cameo appearance by her husband, who you probably already guessed is Seth Rogen. For her directorial debut, the Netflix comedy Like Father, she's once again employing Seth's services for a role in front of the camera, joined by Kristen Bell and Frasier's Kelsey Grammer.

Honestly, this looks pretty harmless and sorta like Bell's role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, only backwards. In this case she plays a workaholic who is dumped at the altar and left on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father, who is just as messed up as she is.  Having issues with your daddy? Nothing a few rays and a Caribbean cruise can't handle.

Like Father hits Netflix on August 3rd.