Marvel and DC pulled out all the stops at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Ben Affleck also addressed the swirling rumors that he was leaving Team Batman.
Several revelations dropped from Marvel. Stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Jeff Goldblum were there and several newsy details and sneak peaks at forthcoming movies were dropped on eager attendees. Among the Marvel revelations:
- Ant-Man and The Wasp is currently filming in Atlanta, and Marvel Entertainment president Kevin Feige made major casting announcements. Michelle Pfeiffer will play Janet Van Dyke in the movie, Hannah John-Kamen will play Ghost, Walter Goggins will play Sonny Burch, Randall Park will play Jimmy Woo and Laurence Fishburne will play Dr. Bill Foster.
- A new logo and some concept art for the Ant-Man sequel were shared, plus the the news that it will, as expected, once again star Paul Rudd.
- A new poster and a second trailer for Thor: Ragnarok debuted, featuring Thor and The Hulk having a Battle of the Champions. Cate Blanchett’s villain Hela made an appearance in the trailer as well.
- Hemsworth addressed making a third Thor during the panel, saying: "If we're going to make a third film we really have to push the envelope and experiment take it to another level so that is what this film was. Cut his hair, break his hammer, change his clothes, change the world. I think that's what you're going to see and be excited about."
- Meanwhile, in DC Universe, Affleck was unequivocal when discussing his role in the upcoming Batman film: "Let me be very clear: I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part in any universe — DC, Marvel. It's incredible. ... I'm so thrilled to do it."
- Affleck’s comments came as a response to a Hollywood Reporter story published Friday that called his future role into question. Citing an anonymous source, THR wrote that studio Warner Bros. was figuring out how to "usher out Affleck’s Batman."
- When moderator Chris Hardwick brought up the rumor during a Justice League panel, Affleck interjected, saying: "I know there was a misconception that because I didn't direct it that I wasn't enthusiastic about it. But it's f***ing amazing. And I still can't believe I've done two films and have this great history with this studio."
- Affleck recused himself as director of The Batman in January. Matt Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes director, has replaced him.
- Affleck and his Justice League costars unveiled a new trailer for their highly anticipated film, set to drop November 17th.
Actor John Heard, best known for his role as Macauley Culkin’s dad in the Home Alone movies, has died at age 71.
His body was discovered in a hotel room on Friday near Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, where he had recently undergone back surgery.
- Heard was also beloved for his role as Tom Hanks’ co-worker in the 1988 comedy Big and as a corrupt cop in HBO’s The Sopranos.
- He received an Emmy nomination for his guest starring role in the Sopranos. He had numerous other movie and TV show appearances, including guest roles in the CSI franchise.
- He got his start as a successful theater actor before transitioning to film in Big. Later in his career, he had a hard time shaking off the iconic Home Alone role and in 2015, he told the AV Club that he hoped appearing in Sharknado would do the trick.
- "This is going to be a huge hit," he said of the film. "That is going to put to rest the Home Alone dad image."
- Heard was married three times. He and Superman actress Margot Kidder were married in the late 1970s, then he was married to Sharon Heard between 1988 and 1996 and then finally, to Lena Pritchard, for less than a year in 2010.
- Heard shared two children with Sharon, Max and Annika, and a son named Jack with the Oscar-winning star Melissa Leo.
JIMMY KIMMEL SHARES UPDATE ON INFANT WHO UNDERWENT HEART SURGERY: Jimmy Kimmel shared an update on his three-month-old son Billy, the first public comment he’s made about him since May. Shortly after Billy was born, Kimmel opened his show by revealing that Billy had undergone open-heart surgery three days after he was born. On Friday, Kimmel tweeted: "Billy is 3 months old & doing great. Thx for the love & support. Please remind your Congresspeople that every kid deserves the care he got." Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney tweeted a different photo of a grinning Billy, writing, "Billy's looking out for a lot of his buddies at Children's Hospital. Remind your Congresspeople to protect them." Kimmel and McNearney also share a 3-year-old daughter, Jane.
YOUTUBE STAR JAKE PAUL OUT OF DISNEY JOB OVER VIDEO ANTICS: The Disney Channel announced on Saturday that YouTube star Jake Paul will no longer appear on Bizaardvark. Paul joined the sitcom about teens who make internet videos in 2015. Paul has made headlines recently over his neighbors' complaints about some of his antics for videos, including setting fire to furniture in an empty pool. Paul confirmed his exit from Disney on Twitter, writing: "Love you all! Thanks for the support … Can’t wait to continue to grow and conquer".
PRINCE HARRY SHARES REGRETS OVER LAST PHONE CALL WITH PRINCESS DIANA: Prince Harry and Prince William are sharing new photographs of their late mother Princess Diana and opening up about their life with her in a new documentary. The film features appearances from Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, Elton John and Rihanna. Harry and William were 12 and 15 at the time of their mother’s death on August 31st, 1997, and they say their last phone call with her was heartbreakingly brief. Harry says: "And if I’d known that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother the things that I would – the things I would have said to her." William explains that they hope this film will finally show a private side of their mother that so few know: "We won’t speak as openly and as publicly about her again. We feel hopefully this film will provide the other side from her close family friends that you might not have heard from before, from those who knew her best, and from those who want to protect her memory and want to remind people of the person that she was: The warmth, the humor, and what she was like as a mother, which probably hasn’t come across before in many other pieces from other people." Our Mother Diana: Her Life and Legacy airs in the U.K. on Monday. People and ABC are partnering on a two-night television special The Story of Diana, which will air August 9th and 10th at 9 p.m.
NEW LAWSUITS FILED IN PLANE CRASH INCIDENT ON TOM CRUISE SET: Two men died and one was left with serious physical issues following a plane crash in September of 2015 on the set of Tom Cruise’s American Made. Now, two new lawsuits have cropped up. Three of the pilots hired for the movie were involved in the crash. Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl died on the scene, while Jimmy Lee Garland, was left without use of his lower body. The families of Purwin and Berl are now suing the producers of the film (Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures) for wrongful death and damages, People reports. Berl’s family is also suing Garland, the only survivor. Questions remain as to who was actually flying, with Berl’s family claiming Garland was the manning the plane and Garland staunchly denying the charge. The movie is out September 29th.
Dunkirk beat industry expectations this weekend with a $50.5 million opener at the domestic box office, an impressive feat considering the subject (a largely unknown period in WWII before the U.S. was involved) and the competition (a sci-fi epic).
Meanwhile, the epic, Valerian ant the City of a Thousand Planets, from Luc Besson, had a paltry opener of $17 million, especially poor considering its $200 million budget.
- Dunkirk ushered studio Warner Bros. past the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, the 17th time for the studio, an impressive record no other studio has yet managed.
- Warner Bros. also broke records with Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, this weekend. The action movie officially surpassed Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the summer’s highest-grossing film. Wonder Woman has earned $389 million to date, behind the biggest-earner of the year, Beauty and The Beast (the live-action film brought in $504 million).
That didn’t take long!
Rob Kardashian is back on social media again, this time to share an adorable shot of his daughter, Dream. In the picture, the 8-month-old gazes at the camera as she sits in a mini ball pit.
- The snap marks his first return to social media since he posted graphic photos of his ex-fiance (and Dream’s mother) Blac Chyna. His lewd posts got him shut out of Twitter and Instagram and also landed him in hot water legally.
- In a shocking series of posts, Kardashian shared photos of what he said were Chyna’s genitals, plus several expletive-peppered posts deriding Chyna and accusing her of drug use and infidelity.
- Chyna was granted a restraining order against the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star on July 10th. The restraining order bars him from being within 100 yards of her and from posting personal photos of her.
- In a statement to Us Weekly, Chyna’s lawyer said the posts of Dream do not violate the retraining order. Lisa Bloom told Us: "Mr. Kardashian was ordered to stay away from Chyna, not to contact her, not to share intimate photos or medical information about her, and not to cyberbully her. We are looking forward to the next hearing to secure permanent orders against Mr. Kardashian to ensure his long term compliance."
- Meanwhile, Chyna appears to have moved on. Just a day after appearing in a video with her new boyfriend Mechie, who showed off a tattoo with her initials, the pair were seen getting cozy in Miami on Friday night.
- Chyna was hosting an appearance at Mynt Lounge and videos and pictures of the duo hooking up surfaced on social media.
Charlize Theron is sharing details of a horrific episode in her life. Speaking to Howard Stern about her new movie Atomic Blonde, the subject of living with her alcoholic father came up.
Theron has previously shared some of the details of her childhood ordeal, including what she went through when her mother shot and killed her father in self-defense. She gave more insight this time, telling Stern that she shut down after it happened.
- Theron said: "I just pretended like it didn’t happen. I didn’t tell anybody — I didn’t want to tell anybody. Whenever anybody asked me, I said my dad died in a car accident. Who wants to tell that story? Nobody wants to tell that story."
- She added that no one wanted to hear it either. "They don’t know how to respond to that. And I didn’t want to feel like a victim. I struggled with that for many years until I actually started therapy."
- Theron said that her father’s death wasn’t what really traumatized her, it was the daily grind of living with an alcoholic and never knowing what would happen next. "I think what more affected me for my adult life that happened in my childhood was more the every day living of a child living in the house with an alcoholic and waking up not knowing what was going to happen. And not knowing how my day was going to go and all of it dependent on somebody else and whether he was not going to drink or drink."
- Theron gives her mother credit for the way she has handled the ordeal. "I have an incredible mother… She’s a huge inspiration in my life. She’s never really had therapy. So a mother who never really had therapy dealing with something like that — trying to get your child out of that. Her philosophy was ‘This is horrible. Acknowledge that this is horrible. Now make a choice. Will this define you? Are you going to sink or are you going to swim?’ That was it."
- Atomic Blonde hits theaters July 28th.
STRANGER THINGS TRAILER REVEALED: Netflix debuted Stranger Things’ trailer for season two at San Diego’s Comic-Con Saturday, and it looks like things will indeed be getting quite strange when the series returns October 27th. Executive producers Shawn Levy, Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, as well as cast members Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Joe Keery, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer, Sadie Sink, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser and Dacre Montgomery were all on hand for the big reveal. The trailer features the score of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" with Vincent Price narrating. It features, among many other freaky glimpses into the future, the kids at an arcade playing Dragon’s Lair and Eleven in the Upside Down. Are you ready for season two?
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT TEASER DROPS: FX has released a trailer for the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Cult. The teaser features a clan of clowns, shrieking, milling around and generally acting spooky and insane. While the assemblage maintains its lockstep uniformity most of the time, there are signs tahat not everyone is happy to be there. A voiceover intones "Do you ever feel alone? Does it seem like no one ever understands you? Do some people just make you sick? Are you afraid? We can set you free. We can make you strong. We want you." Little is known about what horrors are to come next season, but creator Ryan Murphy has revealed that Lena Dunham will appear in at least one episode, and that the presidential election will be a prominent theme.
CONFEDERATE PRODUCERS RESPOND TO BACKLASH: The internet put Game of Thrones creators on blast when they announced their new project. Dubbed Confederate, they were billing the show as an alternate-history series that imagines a different outcome to the Civil War. Now, creator D.B. Weiss and partners David Benioff, Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Spellman are speaking out. "I think what was interesting to all of us was that we were going to handle this show, and handle the content of the show, without using typical antebellum imagery. There is not going to be, you know, the big Gone With the Wind mansion," Spellman told New York Magazine, responding to criticism that the show will be some form of "wish fulfillment." Producers urged viewers to reserve their judgment until the first episode aired.
KEVIN SPACEY TO PLAY GORE VIDAL IN NETFLIX BIOPIC: House of Cards star Kevin Spacey is set to take on the role of literary giant Gore Vidal in a Netflix biopic. Michael Hoffman, who helmed The Last Station, will direct the film, titled Gore. Set in the 1980s, it will follow Vidal’s love affair with Italy, his friendship with luminaries like Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger, and the role Italy and celebrities played in his work. Vidal died in 2012.
FANS BLAST MARVEL’S INHUMANS FOOTAGE: New Inhumans footage popped up at San Diego’s Comic-Con Thursday night and fans were not impressed. Fans have been wary about ABC’s take on the Marvel series since the first photo of the characters were released and this did nothing to help matters. One fan tweeted, "Go back to Party City, Medusa. The Inhumans budget did you wrong" while another opined, "Wow #Inhumans looks worse than I ever possibly could have imagined. Badly written, horrible costumes, cheaply looking designs, film..." Think the show is doomed? Marvel’s Inhumans airs exclusively in IMAX theaters Sept. 1st and then continues on ABC Sept. 29th.
DEBORAH WATLING DIES: The former Doctor Who assistant Deborah Watling has died at age 60. Watling, who played Victoria Waterford alongside Patrick Troughton in the 1960s, passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. She also appeared in classic serials like The Tomb of the Cyberman and Warriors.