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Gervais will run jokes past attorneys

Comedian Ricky Gervais is speaking out again, after receiving word he will be hosting the Oscars yet again.

The comedian, known for his witty and controversial sense of humor, said this year’s jokes will be run past his lawyers first.

“’I never do anything that terrible as it’s on network television, but I do have to show my script to a lawyer at the last minute,” he said, via The Daily Mail.

“They don’t change anything because I know the law and what I can get away with. I’ve never libeled anyone, and I’ve never had a complaint upheld,” he added.

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Selma Blair clears up Cameron Diaz retirement rumors

Word spreads fast. Actress Selma Blair took to Twitter on Monday to clear up the rumors that her good friend Cameron Diaz was retiring from acting.

In an interview published by  Metro News UK on Sunday, the 45-year-old recounted her latest get together with her The Sweetest Thing (2002) costar that sent Diaz fans into a frenzy.

“I had lunch with Cameron the other day,” Blair told the news outlet. “We were reminiscing about the film. I would have liked to do a sequel but Cameron’s retired from acting. She’s like ‘I’m done.'”

She added, “I mean, she doesn’t need to make any more films. She has a pretty great life, I don’t know what it would take to bring her back. She’s happy.”

But after gossip spread about Diaz retiring at the age of 45, Blair quickly made it clear that she was only joking.

“BREAKING NEWS,” she wrote, “Guys please, I was making a joke in an interview. CAMERON DIAZ is NOT retiring from ANYTHING.”

Jokingly, she also added, “And for more breaking news: I am NOW retiring from being Cameron Diaz’s spokesperson.”

Diaz has not appeared in a movie since her 2014 performance in the Annie remake. In 2015, she married Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden. The actress’ career has shifted to more focus on being a wellness ambassador.  In 2013, she released The Body Book, and followed it with The Longevity Book in 2016.

Insider sources told Us Weekly in January that “Cameron hasn’t wanted to work” and is focusing on expanding her family. “She is enjoying being at home and being a housewife. She would love more than anything to be a mom.”

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Cate Blanchett to lead 2018 Cannes Film Festival jury as president

Australian actress Cate Blanchett will head the 2018 Cannes Film Festival jury as president, succeeding Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and becoming the 12th woman to take the role, festival organizers confirmed on Wednesday.

“We’re very pleased to welcome a rare and unique artist with talent and conviction,” Cannes president Pierre Lescure and delegate general Thierry Fremaux said in a joint statement to the Guardian. “Our conversations this autumn convince us she will be a committed president, and a passionate and generous spectator.”

Blanchett is a two-time Oscar winner for her roles in Blue Jasmine and the Aviator. This past year she was one of the 300 influential women who launched a campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace called the Times Up initiative. She was one of the first women to speak out against ex-film producer Harvey Weinstein after the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.

“I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year’s jury,” Blanchett said in a statement, “This festival plays a pivotal role in bringing the world together to celebrate story; that strange and vital endeavour that all peoples share, understand and crave.”

As jury president, Blanchett will preside over the competition for the 71st festival, which takes place May 8 to May 19.  She will lead a panel, usually made up of actors and film-makers, who will choose the winner of the Palme d’Or – the influential Cannes award for best film. They will also select the festival’s other main prizes.

“I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years; as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in Competition,” she continued, “but never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbors.”

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‘Deadpool’ actress sues ‘Ghostland’ producers for on-set injury

Deadpool actress Taylor Hickson is suing the producers of her latest film Ghostland after she allegedly suffered from an on-set injury that she says is financially damaging to her career.

The 20-year-old Canadian actress was shooting “an emotionally charged scene” for the soon-to-premiere horror movie that required her to pound on a glass pane, according to a lawsuit obtained by Deadline. After being directed to pound harder, she asked both a producer and the director if it was safe and was assured it was, she claims.

“As a result of the Incident, the Plaintiff badly cut the left side of her face,” the suit states. “She was rushed to hospital and received approximately 70 stitches. She has since undergone treatment including laser treatment and silicone treatment, but over one year post-Incident, has been left with permanent scarring on the left side of her face (the “Injury”). It is unknown at this time if any further treatment, including plastic surgery, would reduce the visual appearance of the Injury.”

According to Hickson, the damage has been more than just physical. “It’s been mass amounts of insecurity, conflicted, confused, hurt, angry, and sad that this was my last day on set and no precautions were taken,” she told Deadline.

Ghostland premiere party is set for March 14, but according to Deadline, Hickson doesn’t plan on attending.

“I never worked so hard on a production in my life, and now it’s a bittersweet way to end this piece of art that we worked so hard on,” she told the website, “but unfortunately it would be too uncomfortable to attend. Emotionally – uncomfortable for all.”

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‘Wonder Woman’ is a big hit

In a smashing debut over the weekend, Patty Jenkins film ‘Wonder Woman’ grossed $103.3 million in North America, according to a report by ABC News. This sets a new record for a movie directed by a woman.

“Maybe this raises awareness that female directors are a force to be reckoned with, ” said Paul Dergarabedian, in the report.

‘Wonder Woman,’ which stars Gal Gadot in the title role made famous on TV in the 1970s by Lynda Carter, is just the 15th superhero film to debut domestically at $100 million or more, a report by Hollywood Reporter said.

“I am a filmmaker who wants to make successful films, of course. I want my film to be celebrated,” said Jenkins in the ABC report. “But there’s a whole other person in me who’s sitting and watching what’s happening right now who so hopes, not for me, that this movie defies expectation. Because I want to see the signal that that will send to the world.”

The film begins as World War I aviator Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes his plane on the island of the Amazons. He meets Princess Diana (Gadot), whose training by her warrior aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) and desire to end the war begin her metamorphosis into Wonder Woman.

“Patty’s vision mesmerized the audience. She is a real talent,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “Clearly, this is a movie that is resonating with moviegoers around the globe. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Diana on the big screen.”

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Bill Cosby begins sexual assault trial

The once beloved actor and comedian Bill Cosby goes on trial in suburban Philadelphia Monday to face his accuser in a sexual assault case stemming from an incident allegedly arising in January 2004. Mr. Cosby, now 79, arrived at the Montgomery County court house at 8:38 a.m., according to The New York Times.

Mr. Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated assault against former director of operations for the women’s basketball program at Temple University, Andrea Constand, 44, who has testified in sworn testimony that the actor drugged her with three “blue pills” and then forcibly had sex with her while she was incapacitated.

Cosby does not dispute the sexual encounter with Ms. Constand, but claims he gave her the pills to help her relax and that the entire episode was consensual. Prosecutors, on the other hand, intend to offer evidence that Cosby’s alleged behavior with Constant amounts to a pattern of conduct.

While cameras are not allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill still has to be wary of the trial turning into a media circus.

“We’ve had an O.J. hangover for many years,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levinson, in a report by The Detroit News. “What you worry about as the judge is that the lawyers don’t showboat, the evidence gets presented fairly, and that you have a jury that does its job and is not being thrown into the whole milieu of the trial outside the courtroom.”

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Joaquin Phoenix on the fence to play Joker in new stand-alone film

Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play Gotham villain the Joker in the Warner Bros’ new origins tale produced by Martin Scorsese. The film is yet to be titled, and will be directed by the Hangover’s Todd Phillips.

While studio negotiations have yet to be made, sources told Variety magazine that Phoenix was the top-choice actor and has agreed to take on the role.

Phillips is co-writing the screen-play with 8-Mile’s Scott Silver. While many of the plot details are not solidified yet, this standalone will take place in an early 1980s Gotham City. The film will explore the character’s development into the iconic DC villain, and will have a grittier, crime drama tone than recent films in the DC universe.

This isn’t Phoenix’s first time being offered a role in a superhero movie. He previously passed up offers for the role of DC villain Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman, and as the titular character in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

“I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling,” Phoenix told Time Out in 2015. “There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character.”

Jared Leto most recently played the Joker in Suicide Squad and is likely to reprise that role in Suicide Squad 2, but will not be featured in this film.

This year, Phoenix can be seen in Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Netflix secures Ryan Murphy in $300 million deal

Proving it’s prowess over the traditional television model once again, Netflix has struck a deal with American Horror Story and American Crime Story show runner Ryan Murphy.

Late Tuesday, an announcement was made that Murphy under his banner Ryan Murphy productions will be joining the streaming service to create new series and films after the expiration of his current contract with 20th Century Fox on July 1st. The deal is set to last for five years, and is valued between $250 and $300 million.

“Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said in a statement. “His unfaltering dedication to excellence and to give voice to the underrepresented, to showcase a unique perspective or just to shock the hell out of us, permeates his genre-shattering work.”

This deal is potentially a blow to Disney which is currently transitioning the acquisition of Fox Studios and FX Networks. Just six months ago, ABC lost Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes in a similar deal with Netflix as well.

“The history of this moment is not lost on me. I am awash in genuine appreciation for Ted Sarandos, Reed Hastings, and Cindy Holland at Netflix for believing in me and the future of my company, which will continue to champion women, minorities, and LGBTQ heroes and heroines,” Murphy said, “I am honored and grateful to continue my partnership with my friends and peers at Fox on our existing shows.”

Murphy will continue to serve as an executive producer on FX’s American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, Pose and Fox’s 911, the latter of which has already been renewed for another season.

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Tom Hanks to star in Mr. Rogers biopic “You Are My friend”

Tom Hanks has signed on to play Mister Rogers in the film You Are My Friend, a biopic about the children’s television pioneer and personality behind Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

The film is inspired by the unlikely, real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod.

TriStar Pictures, which announced the movie Monday, describes it as a heart-warmer in which “a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.”

Diary of Teenage Girl filmmaker Marielle Heller will direct based on the screenplay written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

“The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit,” Heller said. “As a mother, I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and as a human I am in awe of his life’s work. I can’t wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.”

Rogers was recently the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is set to be released by Focus Features. He died in 2003.

Production for You Are My Friend is set to begin in September. A release date has not be announced yet.

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Jessica Chastain in talks to star as Beverly in ‘It’ sequel

Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to star as the grown-up version of Beverly Marsh in part two of New Line Cinema’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It.

The sequel will picks back up 27 years later with the members of The Losers Club all grown up and moved apart. The characters will return to their hometown to face Pennywise once again.

Gary Dauberman (Conjuring; The Nun) is currently working on the script. Andy Muschietti will return to direct, and Bill Skarsgård will return as Pennywise.

Rumors have swirled linking Chastain to the sequel since the opening weekend of the first installment. In an interview with Variety, Muschietti mentioned her as a top choice to play Beverly. Chastain has worked with Muschietti and his screen-writing, producer sister, Barbara, before. She starred in his first big studio release Mama.

“I love Andy and Barbara,” she told ScreenRant. “I worked with them on Andy’s directorial debut, you know, his film ‘Mama’. His first film. And you know, Barbara is one of my best friends so… They’re like my family. Anything that they’re doing, I want to be a part of, so I hope we can make it.”

The Golden-Globe winner is expected to star in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” later this year. She also recently became attached to a Universal comedy opposite Octavia Spencer.

It: Chapter 2 is set to be released Sept. 6, 2019.