Mike Fenton, the legendary casting director who worked on the 'Back to the Future' franchise, 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,' 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and scores of other classic movies and TV shows, has died. He was 85.
According to Variety, Fenton co-founded what is now known as Casting Society of America in 1982. He was a prominent casting director for more than 40 years, with a mile-long resume that stretched from 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'That Girl' to 'Chinatown,' 'American Graffiti,' 'The Godfather II,' 'Blade Runner,' 'A Christmas Story,' 'Norma Rae,' 'Footloose,' 'Honeymoon in Vegas' and 'Chaplin.'
Steven Spielberg said in a statement, "Working with Mike Fenton was like working in a candy store - he made casting a blast. His fervent support of actors was the stuff of legend, and after landing a part, any actor's smile was rarely as wide as Mike's. He didn't just support actors, he launched crusades."
"And he was a pretty good actor himself, as he would always read off-camera dialogue to create energy and mojo for the person reading for the part. Much like the actors for whom he advocated, Mike loved his role - and those around him loved him so much, and I will miss him dearly."
Casting Society of America co-presidents Russell Boast and Rich Mento hailed the organization's co-founder as a leader in the industry who advanced the standing of casting as a discipline.
"Casting Society of America is saddened about the death of co-founder Mike Fenton. His remarkable accomplishments and his incredible work in elevating the awareness and appreciation of the craft of casting defines his legacy in the entertainment industry. CSA extends its love and support to his cherished family and friends," Boast and Mento said in a statement. As per Variety, Spielberg noted that Fenton was particularly helpful when he was feeling indecisive about a key role.
Spielberg said, "Mike helped me get over every moment of indecision when I had three good options and couldn't choose. He was as responsible for some actors getting their big breaks in my films as me."
His long list of notable projects included feature films 'To End All Wars,' 'Dante's Peak,' 'Congo,' 'Blown Away,' 'Not Without My Daughter,' 'Total Recall,' 'Bird on a Wire,' 'Turner & Hooch,' 'Beaches,' 'Short Circuit,' 'Turk 182,' 'History of the World: Part I,' 'Thank God It's Friday,' 'The Deep,' 'The Last Tycoon,' 'The Bad News Bears,' 'Shampoo,' 'Young Frankenstein' and 'Dillinger.'
Variety reported that the other TV credits included 'Gomer Pyle USMC,' 'The Courtship of Eddie's Father,' 'Square Pegs,' 'The Paper Chase' and Spielberg's 1985-86 NBC rendition of 'Amazing Stories.'
As busy as Fenton was, he had time for extracurricular pursuits. In the 1980s he founded the Flying Squirrels, a running club. The group grew to as many as 40 people who would meet Saturday mornings at the corner of San Vicente Boulevard and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica for a run followed by a breakfast outing, Marshall recalled.
Fenton's survivors include his wife, Irene; a son, Mick, from his first marriage to Janet Monfort.
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He may have had a laboured entry into showbiz, but Ali Fazal seems to have only gone from strength to strength in the last few years. While his act as the menacing gangster in Mirzapur has established him as a bankable actor among desi filmmakers, Fazal is rubbing shoulders with the finest in Hollywood too.
It doesn't matter that his upcoming film with Russell Brand and Gal Gadot has been delayed due to the lockdown. Fazal says while the movie was to release during Christmas, he now finds himself "among great company". "James Bond has been deferred, and so has Black Widow. We are now eyeing a September release, which is the hot season for big films," says Fazal of Death on the Nile, the mystery thriller helmed by Kenneth Branagh. "The team is confident of the movie. We have shot it on film. It is apt for the 70-mm experience."
Meanwhile, Fazal is training his eyes on his third international outing, Codename: Johnny Walker, which sees him in the title role made popular by the eponymous New York Times bestseller. While filming was to take place in Los Angeles, it has been deferred until principle cast-members are able to leave the UK, which is currently under lockdown. "I had two projects that were to start in January and February respectively. But, UK is in lockdown again, and some of our cast members, including those who featured in Game of Thrones, reside there. Filming this movie will demand a bio-bubble. Our locations are not restricted to America or the UK alone, since it is based [on the] Iraq War. Locales will need to be zeroes in on with precision. The project has been pushed to the end of the year. We should be able to roll in September."
Based on Johnny Walker, the interpreter for the US Navy Seals on missions across Iraq, the film will involve a great deal of hand combat sequences. "I will require a lot of physical training. For now, I am prepping on my own. Once we get closer to production, I will work with [professional] teams. I will also have to be fluent in four languages. In Death on the Nile, I play a Britisher. So, this part will be in stark contrast to that. It is exciting."
American-Trinidadian rapper, Nicki Minaj on Wednesday (local time) answered fans' questions about giving birth to her newborn son. According to E! News, the new mommy took to Twitter and in a spontaneous fan Question and Answer shared intimate details of the star's journey into motherhood with her followers. Though the name of her child is not known yet, he is often affectionately called "Papa Bear".
Responding to one of the followers, who asked whether the baby boy kicked a lot during the rapper's pregnancy, "He used to kick me so hard every night at the same time if I did not get up and walk with him," she replied. "He had a full personality in my tummy and knew how to get his way. It was so intriguing to me. He does the same thing now."
Another fan asked, "Did Nicki have a natural birth or use an epidural?" The self-proclaimed Queen of Rap answered that too and tweeted, "Yes, natural vaginal birth w/epidural. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours. Only b/c first the epidural didn't wear off enough for me to feel myself pushing. Once I was able to feel the pain I pushed him on out."
The 'Bang Bang' rapper also mentioned her celeb friends who supported her following her pregnancy announcement. Nicki gave birth to her son back in September with her husband Kenneth Petty by her side.
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Space Jam: A New LegacyRelease date: July 16, 2021It has been 25 years since the original hit screens, and this new edition will see LeBron James star as himself. The film will feature cameos from other NBA and WNBA players, including Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, and Diana Taurasi. It follows James on the search for his son, Bronny, as he and the Looney Toons gang make their way through the Warner Bros. catalogue.
MorbiusRelease date: March 18, 2021
After his acclaimed outing in Joker, Jared Leto is finally set to join the Marvel Universe. As Michael Morbius, a biochemist who makes a mistake in the midst of an experiment, and injects himself with blood causing a kind of vampirism, Leto is likely to face off Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the near future.
A lot to marvelRelease: From January 2021
It may have culminated its Avengers franchise amid much fanfare with Endgame in 2019, but Marvel Entertainment will take over the OTT platform with a spate of spin-offs, beginning with the anticipated Elisabeth Olsen-starrer Wanda-Vision, and then the much-anticipated Loki series, headlined by Tom Hiddleston. Successive offerings of other superheroes will follow.
No Time to DieRelease date: April 2, 2021
Bond ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai! Well, that’s what distributors, who have been constantly awaiting the film’s release to boost their business, are likely to have said. A spate of production delays significantly deferred its release, and compelled Daniel Craig to hold on to a character he seems to have grown weary of portraying. Nonetheless, the 25th edition is expected to culminate his extraordinary tenure with glory.
Top Gun: MaverickRelease date: July 2, 2021
Thirty-four years after Tom Cruise was in the cockpit, he takes the front seat again. This time, he will confront his past while training a new squad of graduates for a dangerous mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice.
Fast and FuriousRelease date: May 28, 2021
The ninth instalment of the franchise will see Dominic and his family facing off with his brother, Jakob, a deadly assassin working for their old enemy. The film blows its own trumpet with a credit roll involving names such as Vin Diesel and John Cena.
The untitled Spider-Man filmRelease Date: December 17, 2021
With Tom Holland stepping in to alter his fate after the Sony-Marvel dispute almost put the Spider-Man franchise on the back-burner, the next edition is likely to hit screens this year. Holland will play the character for at least two more films.
West Side StoryRelease date: December 10, 2021
Another classic that will get a 2021 reboot is the iconic musical. Its first film-adaptation since 1961 is being helmed by none other than Steven Spielberg. The film follows a stage production of a 1950’s New York City version of Romeo and Juliet. Ansel Elgort plays Tony, while newcomer Rachel Zegler, a high-schooler, plays Maria.
Mission Impossible 7Release date: November 19, 2021
Set to essay one among his most iconic characters in the spy film, Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt, is expected to perform some high-octane stunts in this edition, as he faces off against a notoriously dangerous character played by Hayley Atwell. Also, Mission: Impossible 8 is slated for November 2022.
The Matrix 4Release date: December 22, 2021
If Tom Cruise is likely to have a great 2021, things are no different for Keanu Reeves. Set to return with The Matrix 4, the plot of which has been kept under wraps, the actor will also star in the John Wick film in 2022. The new edition of the American sci-fi also features Jonathan Groff and Jessica Henwick.
Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson is deeply hurt that he did not get a chance to say goodbye to his father, who passed away earlier this year. The actor got sentimental recalling his upsetting moment of 2020 on social media, which happened when a friend gifted him a paperweight with an image of him as a kid along with his father.
"I'm extremely hard to buy Christmas gifts for, so sentimental gifts like this mean the world to me. A family friend had this made for me," he wrote on Instagram, sharing an image of the paperweight.
"A paper weight to keep on my desk of me and my dad at the gym. I was too young to hit the weights back then, but after his workouts he'd always take me on the wrestling mats and beat my little ass. Those days were important. My old man died suddenly, earlier this year. I never had a chance to say goodbye. F**king 2020 huh?! Still a beautiful gift, I'll cherish. #thelittlethings," he added.
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In January this year, Dwayne revealed that his father and former wrestler Rocky Johnson died of a heart attack, through a video message he shared on Instagram.
"A lot of you guys wanted to know what happened to my dad. He had not been feeling well, had been battling a cold and infection and on Tuesday he had what's called a deep vein thrombosis, which is essentially a blood clot in the leg," the actor said.
"It was a big old blood clot that broke free, traveled up his body, and went right to his lung and clotted his lung and he died very quickly from a massive heart attack, just like that," he added.
"That did give me great comfort in knowing that it wasn't prolonged and the reason why it gave me great comfort, even though I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my old man that one last time, is that he had been in a lot of pain for a very, very long time and that's the life of a pro wrestler especially at that age," he shared.
Hollywood star Channing Tatum is in final negotiations to star opposite Sandra Bullock in The Lost City of D.
To be directed by Adam and Aaron Nee, the film casts Bullock as a reclusive romance novelist, and if the deal is sealed, then Tatum will star as a cover model.
The story revolves around the novelist who thinks nothing can be worse than getting stuck on a book tour with the model, but things take a different turn when a kidnapping attempt takes them both onto a jungle adventure, and they stumble upon a lost city.
The romantic action adventure is based on an idea by Seth Gordon, with an updated script from Dana Fox. Oren Uziel wrote the original story and is slated for a February release.
Actor Emma Roberts has reportedly given birth to her first child, a baby boy. Roberts and her partner Garrett Hedlund have named the bundle of joy Rhodes.
"Everyone is healthy," a source informed. She gave birth on December 27 in Los Angeles. Roberts had opened up about her pregnancy on Instagram in August. "Me... and my two favourite guys," she had written alongside photos of the actor and her baby bump. Her aunt and Hollywood star Julia Roberts had commented: "Love you."
There was also an intimate baby shower in October. The garden party was attended by 15 people due to the pandemic. She had shared a glimpse on Instagram and wrote, "So grateful to my family and pod for making my pregnancy feel so celebrated during such wild times."
Tom Cruise is back in the UK after a Christmas break in the US and will soon resume shooting for Mission: Impossible 7 in the country, but with a change in set location.
The seventh installment in the popular spy action film franchise, which was previously being filmed at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, will now shift production to Longcross Film Studios. According to reports, Longcross is in Surrey in Southeast England and falls within Tier 4 (the highest level of restrictions).
Productions at the studio, however, are allowed to continue under strict Coronavirus protocols. Mission: Impossible 7, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, is expected to complete principal photography at Longcross.
Longcross used to be a UK Ministry of Defence site used to test army tanks, but has since been redeveloped as a shooting location, housing blockbuster productions including Skyfall and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Mission: Impossible 7 was one of the first film projects to be adversely affected by the pandemic. In February, filming on the latest installment had to be stopped in Italy due to the disease outbreak in the country. Production resumed in September, with filming taking place in Italy and Norway before moving to London in early December. M:I7 is scheduled to release on November 19, 2021.
Actress Tessa Thompson has confirmed that Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut with Creed III.
Jordan and Tessa Thompson co-starred in the first two instalments of the boxing franchise.
Thompson shared the update while speaking to MTV News, reports etcanada.com.
Asked about Jordan being crowned People Magazine's new "Sexiest Man Alive", she said: "I haven't talked to him about it because I'm gonna pretend it hasn't happened. We're gonna make another ‘Creed' very soon, and I don't need the ‘Sexiest Man Alive' to…you know what I mean, I just don't need it. I don't need any of it. It's too much for me to shoulder. It's too much for me to handle."
She went on to reveal that Jordan will direct the upcoming third film in the Creed franchise.
She said: "It's going to be ammo, I think, for me, when he is engaging with me as a director. I'm just going to tell him to dial down the sexiness. But we're not gonna make it until later in the year. So who knows what happens? Another man will be -- I don't know if he will still be the ‘Sexiest Man Alive' in six months."
Creed amassed $173.6 million at the box office on release in 2015, while Creed II earned $214.1 million. It is unclear if Sylvester Stallone, who wrote Creed II, will return as the iconic boxer-turned-trainer Rocky Balboa in Creed III.
Tuck Tucker, the veteran animator who worked on popular series such as 'SpongeBob SquarePants' and 'Hey Arnold!', passed away on December 22. He was 59. According to Deadline, Tucker's family posted the news of Tucker's passing on Facebook.
"It is with a heavy and broken heart that the Tucker family announces the death of Tuck Tucker, father, husband, son, brother, and uncle," wrote Bailey Tucker on Facebook.
"We know he was loved by all of those whom he met. In lieu of visitations, if you have memories of Tuck you would like to share on his timeline, the family would greatly appreciate reading them."
As reported by Deadline, Tucker was born William Osborne Tucker III on August 20, 1961. He worked on the 1987 film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night before boarding on some of the most iconic titles in animation including the 1989 Disney feature The Little Mermaid.
In the TV space, he worked on Nickelodeon's 'Rugrats' as well as 'The Simpsons'. Tucker was a storyboard director for 'Hey Arnold!' between 1996 and 1999 and also directed the 2002 feature based on the popular Nickelodeon series. He was best known for his work on 'SpongeBob SquarePants'. In addition to being the storyboard artist for 'SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie' in 2004, he served as supervising storyboard director for 47 episodes of the hit series from 2007 to 2014. On top of that, he wrote six episodes.
As per Deadline, in 2011, he won an Annie Award for Best Music in a Television Production alongside Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, and Nick Carr. His other credits include 'Family Guy', 'Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story', 'Drawn Together', 'The Fairly OddParents', among others. In 2015, he began teaching graphic and animation design at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Most recently, he worked on the upcoming 'Bob's Burgers' feature, which is set to be released by 20th Century Studios currently on April 9, 2021.
Hollywood star Gal Gadot enjoyed working with Chris Pine, and says he is a great partner. The actress got a chance to work with Pine again in Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to the Patty Jenkins-directed 2017 DC hit, Wonder Woman.
"I loved the fact that Patty and (writer) Geoff Johns found a way to bring him back -- which we can't talk about -- but it made me really happy," the actress said. "Chris was an integral part of the success of the first movie, and I really enjoy working with him. He's a great partner. He always makes fun of me, and we always laugh together, and he brings the best out of me in many ways," added Gadot, who reprises her role of Diana Prince and her superhero alter ego Wonder Woman in the film.
The actress also opened up about working Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal, who essay the roles of villains The Cheetah and Max Lord in the movie. "I loved both of them so much. I think that we got really lucky with the chemistry between all of us, including Patty. On set, there were many moments where each and every one of us is trying to deliver the best line to make everyone else laugh. And on our days off we would get together almost all the time. It was like we went through this crazy summer camp together, but for eight months of shooting and four months of prep," Gadot said.
She added: "We were there for each other, we did this as a team, and I think it really shows in the movie. Even though Pedro and Kristen play the villains, I think that chemistry always shows, and it really helped all of us."
The film also stars Robin Wright as Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta. The Warner Bros. Pictures project released in India on December 24 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson has shared how his experience has been of playing with his daughter Tia's Barbie doll.
Dwayne shared a photo on his verified Instagram account where he can be seen sitting with a Barbie doll on his hand while his younger daughter Tia is busy playing with other toys.
"Post Christmas, 'Daddy come play Barbie with me' which in reality means.. Daddy holds this Barbie for a solid 45min straight while baby Tia does whatever she wants and completely ignores Barbie the whole time. It's 5 o'clock somewhere right? Hope your Christmas was a good one, my friends. #DeathGripOnBarbie," the actor wrote on Instagram.
The actor keeps his fans enthralled by sharing moments spent with his infant daughter Tia. On Saturday the actor shared a photo which shows him sitting in front of the television with Tia. "Dwanta spends months carefully planning for Christmas and this lil' independent boss opens just one gift and decides she'll open the rest later, but first we're watching LION KING... for the 987th time. Dwanta's gotten only 4hrs sleep and it's only 9am, but it's 5 o'clock somewhere so... tequila for breakfast?" shared the actor.