TheWrapTheWrap Covering Hollywood Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:54:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 No, Macaulay Culkin Won’t Do the ‘Home Alone’ Face For You (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:52:09 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven

It’s been 28 years since “Home Alone” was released, and Macaulay Culkin still won’t do “the face” for you when you ask him to.

“No,” he told Ellen DeGeneres when asked what he says when he’s asked to do the face. “I’ve already been there, done that. I’m 37 now, okay mom?”

“Everybody wants me to do it,” he added.

During his interview with DeGeneres, Culkin also says it’s been a “curse and a blessing” to have been so famous at such a young age. He says he can get any reservation he wants but will be stared at during the entire duration of his meal. And around Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the “Home Alone” films get played over and over again on TV, he tends to go out less and less.

“It’s Macaulay season,” he jokes.

Culkin starred in the films “My Girl,” the “Home Alone” movies, “Richie Rich,” “The Good Son,” “The Pagemaster” and in 2003, “Party Monster.” He stopped working at 14 and didn’t see his money until the age of 18 when he realized that he had made enough money working as a kid that he could do the rest of the things he does these days as just “a hobby.”

“I do nothing for my dinner nowadays,” the actor revealed.

He also told DeGeneres about his time on “Saturday Night Live” alongside Mike Myers in 1991. While everyone, still to this day, uses cue cards on the show, Culkin’s dad didn’t allow it.

“I had to do a whole episode without cue cards,” Culkin said. “My father was quite insistent.”

When DeGeneres pointed out that everyone uses cue cards, he responded, “Not the 9-year-old, I guess!”

DeGeneres also showed the audience various photos of Culkin’s career, including a photo of him with Michael Jackson for the “Black or White” music video, and a picture of him with Will Smith and Steve Urkel.

“That is the most ’90s photo I’ve ever seen!” Culkin said.

Watch the two interviews above and below.

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‘Sharp Objects’ Trailer: An Unstable Amy Adams Returns to Her Creepy Southern Roots (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:43:38 +0000 Jennifer Maas

HBO is going deeper into the dark with its upcoming TV adaptation of “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects.” Dark, with a hint of Southern twang.

The premium cable network has unveiled the first teaser trailer for the limited series — due for a July premiere — which centers around Amy Adams, who plays a mentally unstable reporter going back to her small hometown to investigate a series of murders.

“We need to talk about your daughters. One of them is dangerous, the other one’s in danger,” a man says in a voiceover to actress Patricia Clarkson, who plays Adams’ mother in the drama. We’re not sure which daughter Adams is, but either way, it doesn’t sound like a great situation to be in.

The rest of the haunting footage includes scenes of two girls twirling in front of the headlights of a car, Adams’ character playing with a razor blade and then jumps to a moment where she falls to the ground in the woods.

“Sharp Objects” is directed by HBO favorite Jean-Marc Vallee (the Emmy-award winner who was behind the camera for the first season of “Big Little Lies”). It also stars Chris Messina and Elizabeth Perkins.

Watch the trailer above.

“Sharp Objects” premieres on HBO in July.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ First Trailer Takes You Into the Lives of the Ultra Fabulous (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:40:43 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven

The first trailer for “Crazy Rich Asians” will take you into the lives of the ultra fabulous living in Singapore.

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) decides to travel to Singapore to meet the family of her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). However, their travel plans happen to have fallen around the time of the biggest wedding of the year, and Rachel sees just how rich her boyfriend’s family is.

“So your family is rich?” Rachel says while sitting in first class of Pacific Asian Airlines.

“We’re comfortable,” Nick responds.

Later, Rachel realizes: “These people aren’t just rich… they are crazy rich.”

The film is based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel of the same name, which has almost 1 million copies in print around the world and has been in the top 10 in Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia since its release in 2013.

John M. Chu directed the movie that also stars Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong, Harry Shum Jr., Jimmy O. Yang and Sonoya Mizuno, and it will be the first Hollywood studio movie with an all-Asian cast.

“Crazy Rich Asians” will be produced by Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson and Ivanhoe President John Penotti. Kwan will serve as executive producer alongside Ivanhoe Chairman Robert Friedland.

“Crazy Rich Asians” will hit theaters on August 17.

Watch the trailer above.

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John Oliver’s New Trump-Targeting Catheter Cowboy Ad Will Run on ‘Hannity’ (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:37:28 +0000 Tony Maglio

John Oliver’s Catheter Cowboy is back, and this time he’s trying to get Donald Trump to reconsider his stance against the terms of the Iran nuclear deal.

On Sunday, the HBO host went hard in support of the current agreement with Iran, going so far as to blow up a nice-looking American family who was just trying to enjoy dinner to make his point. Oliver even nuked that intolerable Kars 4 Kids TV ad — and he showed no remorse for it.

“I’m glad those children are dead,” the “Last Week Tonight” show host said after dropping the big one on the annoying band of youngsters.

Speaking of commercials, Oliver’s got a new one that is directed at our commander in chief. The “Daily Show” alum just bought time on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” in hopes that regular-viewer Trump will catch the spot.

Watch the commercial via the video above — it’s set to run Wednesday night in the Washington, D.C. market.

That ranch hand who doesn’t want pain when he caths has got some range.

Also in the “Last Week Tonight” clip, Oliver reveals his new “Talkin’ Tehran” podcast, which he co-hosts with the surprisingly knowledgeable James Van Der Beek of “Dawson’s Creek.”

Later in the same 21-minute segment, the British comedian calls National Security Advisor John Bolton a “superficial a–hole,” among other names.

Yeah, there’s plenty to see here.

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Hannity’s Desire for Michael Cohen’s Real Estate Advice Explained Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:33:48 +0000 Jon Levine The world got a little more insight into what “real estate” advice Sean Hannity might be receiving from Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

On Sunday evening, The Guardian revealed that the Fox News host is also a real estate baron, with roughly 870 properties linked to him across the United States. According to the paper, Hannity amassed the properties over the last decade with a series of shell companies that dropped nearly $90 million on the purchases.

Hannity’s name is hidden behind the LLCs, but the British broadsheet was able to discover his ownership after analyzing thousands of pages of publicly available documents.

Hannity’s purchasing strategy appears to target low-income properties and homes in foreclosure. The conservative firebrand acquired many properties out of debt in 2013. Hannity has also used financing from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist with a $17.9 million mortgage on several properties in Georgia. Those came courtesy of the National Housing Act, with the Hannity-specific loans guaranteed under the Obama administration.

Despite being a practicing attorney, Michael Cohen has primarily spent the last decade working as Donald Trump’s fixer on all matters — both legal and otherwise. After a raid of his home and office two weeks ago, a federal judge forced Cohen to reveal his relationship with two other clients. One of those clients was former RNC finance chairman Elliott Broidy and the other was Sean Hannity.

In a statement on his website, Hannity defended his real estate empire.

“It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money,”

In an earlier statement, the Fox News said that while they had been surprised by Hannity’s involvement with Cohen, they were standing by the primetime star.

“While Fox News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support,” a spokesperson told TheWrap.

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New York Times Reporter Defends Hillary Clinton Email Reporting: ‘WikiLeaks Was a Source’ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:38:21 +0000 Jon Levine New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore is hitting back against his colleague Amy Chozick — now engaging in a very public reckoning with her role in reporting the Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks.

Confessore, who co-bylined many of those stories with Chozick, said that he stood by the reporting and that, on margin, it was overwhelmingly newsworthy and beneficial to the American public.

“As a former cubicle-mate of @amychozick and an author or co-author on some of the @nytimes coverage of the hacked Podesta and DNC e-mails, I have a different view of our paper’s decision to publish stories based on those e-mails,” he said at the beginning of a dense and lengthy Twitter thread. “I think on balance the decision to publish stories about the e-mails was correct.”

Confessore said that Wikileaks — much maligned for its role in the email leak — had served as a source on earlier stories and had been celebrated by liberals when it was news they personally welcomed.

“We published private financial documents from the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, even in cases where the documents did not explicitly reveal any illegality. We published classified information about NSA surveillance programs,” he said.

“WikiLeaks was a source for many such documents and stories: The Iraq War logs provided by Chelsea Manning, for example, and secret U.S. diplomatic cables. This journalism was applauded by many on the political left (and often attacked on the political right).

Chozick is the latest person to shop a book in what has become a season of Trump-literary hand-wringing. In “Chasing Hillary,” the reporter describes her ten years of following the candidate and the torturous process that ultimately turned into.

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Amy Robach Named David Muir’s ’20/20’ Co-Anchor Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:30:19 +0000 Tony Maglio Amy Robach has been named David Muir’s co-anchor on “20/20.” In December, TheWrap exclusively reported that Robach was the frontrunner to replace Elizabeth Vargas in the job.

Robach will still “report frequently” for “Good Morning America,” per ABC News President James Goldston.

“Amy joins David, Deborah Roberts and the 20/20 team at an exciting time,” Goldston said Monday in a note to staff announcing Robach’s appointment. “The newsmagazine continues to innovate 40 years after its launch, but great journalism and distinctive storytelling are always at the heart of what we do, and Amy will help make an outstanding team even better.”

Here is Goldston’s email in its entirety:


I’m delighted to announce that Amy Robach will join David Muir as co-anchor of 20/20 starting at the end of May.  In addition to her new duties she’ll continue to report frequently for Good Morning America and across ABC News when major news breaks.

Amy, as we know so well, is a brilliant journalist and a skilled interviewer.  She has covered the biggest news events around the world, from the deadly terrorist attacks in Belgium and Manchester and the Pulse nightclub shooting to the poaching epidemic in Tanzania and the Olympic games in PyeongChang, Rio and Sochi.

Amy’s already well-known to our 20/20 audience for her reporting on some of the program’s most compelling work.  She’s proved uniquely capable of connecting with a diverse and fascinating group of people to tell their stories, including Tonya Harding, Gretchen Carlson, Hulk Hogan, former UVA dean Nicole Eramo, and Monica Lewinsky for her first network interview in over a decade.

Her tenacity as a reporter has been matched by her passion to help others after her breast cancer diagnosis.  Three years ago she wrote about her unexpected battle with cancer after an on-air mammogram on GMA.  Her book, “Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held on to Hope and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour,” became a New York Times bestseller.  By sharing her diagnosis and its aftermath publicly and candidly, she offers hope to millions across this country.

Amy joins David, Deborah Roberts and the 20/20 team at an exciting time.  The newsmagazine continues to innovate 40 years after its launch, but great journalism and distinctive storytelling are always at the heart of what we do, and Amy will help make an outstanding team even better.

Please join me in congratulating Amy on her new role.


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Fandango Inks Deal With National Amusements, Adds 400 Screens to Network Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:19:16 +0000 Trey Williams Fandango announced on Monday that it has expanded its ticketing network by more than 400 screens throughout the Northeast in its first-ever agreement with National Amusements.

In addition, the online ticket retailer said it’s added 1,500 new screens from more than a dozen exhibitors in the last year, bringing Fandango’s worldwide network count to 40,000 screens.

“Fandango is proud to represent National Amusements’ Showcase Cinemas and further serve moviegoers throughout the Northeast with our leading-edge movie discovery and ticketing innovations,” Fandango Chief Commerce Officer Kevin Shepela said in a statement. “By enabling Showcase Cinemas customers to quickly and easily discover movies and buy tickets on the latest online, mobile, social, AI bot and voice assistant platforms, we believe we can help drive even more moviegoers into their theaters for many years to come.”

The news comes the same week of what’s likely to the biggest blockbuster of the summer — “Avengers: Infinity War.” The film, which has already outsold the last seven Marvel films combined in Fandango presales, is expected to pull in $235 million, according to analysts at Pro Box Office.

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Netflix Exec Ted Sarandos Made 19 Percent More in 2017 vs Prior Year Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:14:53 +0000 Tony Maglio It’s still (very) good to work at Netflix. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos hauled in 19 percent more in total compensation last year versus his 2016 take, topping out at $22.4 million.

While he’s catching up to President, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings, Sarandos is not quite there yet. Sarandos scored a cool $24.4 million last year, according to an SEC filing.

Sarandos’ all-in pay basically breaks down like this:
$1 million in salary
$12.4 million in options awards
$9 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation

Sarandos also received $8,100 under the catch-all heading “All Other Compensation,” but Sarandos can just blow that all on hats.

Ted’s boss Mr. Hastings has a lower salary at $850,000, though a massive amount in the options category: $23.5 million, anybody?

Click here for an idea of how much this dynamic duo will ring the cash register for in 2018.

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Watch Milo Yiannopoulos Get Chased Out of NYC Bar by Protesters: ‘Nazi Scum Get Out’ (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:44:49 +0000 Jon Levine

What happens when Milo Yiannopoulos accidentally stumbles into a bar full of Democratic Socialists? The question, which almost sounds like the setup to a joke, actually played out in real life in a bar in New York City on Sunday.

The conservative provocateur was sent packing from the unnamed Big Apple bar amid chants of “Nazi scum get out.” Video showing  Yiannopoulos and his associate Chadwick Moore fleeing the scene circulated on Twitter Sunday evening.

Among the crowd of protesters who seemed to join in the chant were several journalists from left-leaning outlets like The Nation and Gizmodo.

“Me and Milo’s gay lunch in Manhattan was disrupted when a hoard of chanting, screaming leftists wouldn’t let us go back to our table to eat. They blocked us then pushed Milo and it was getting violent. We had no back up on hand and so peacefully left. The staff seemed embarrassed,” said Moore in a tweet.

Milo did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap, but offered his side of the conflict on Facebook.

“I was just shoved and screamed at by a big group in a pub in Manhattan and forced out of the place. One of them was a reporter for Gizmodo. They were screaming at the top of their lungs about “Nazis” and “KKK”. Initially I was going to stay put obviously but they blocked me from my table and my bag and yelled at me to leave and it was about to escalate into something ugly,” he said.

“It rattled me a little bit (just slightly!), perhaps because I have something to lose in life now. My first thought was John and not getting myself hurt or killed. I don’t know how I’d explain to my black husband that I got hurt for being a “white supremacist”. I didn’t have security with me so I had to just get out of there.”

I was just shoved and screamed at by a big group in a pub in Manhattan and forced out of the place. One of them was a…

Posted by Milo Yiannopoulos on Sunday, April 22, 2018

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‘American Idol’ to Air Live Coast-to-Coast for Next 3 Weeks Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:00:33 +0000 Jeremy Fuster ABC’s “American Idol” will air on live simulcast nationwide for the next three weeks, with the performances, voting and results being shown at the end of each show in real time across all time zones.

ABC is making the move — the first ever for a reality-competition series — as the contest moves into the finals, with 14 singers left in the competition. Viewers will be able to vote live during the broadcast via text, the show’s website or the “American Idol” app.

The first of the three live shows will take place Sunday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Last week’s episode of “Idol” got a 1.3 rating/5 share in the 18-49 demographic and an average of 6.3 million viewers, falling to NBC’s “The Voice” for a fifth straight week.

That figure was a new low for the long-running series, falling below the 1.4 demo rating and 5.5 million viewer total that was the show’s lowest mark in terms of audience during its entire run on Fox.

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Will Publishers Stop Fearing Facebook and Start Demanding Change? Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:16:08 +0000 Sharon Waxman Thanks to Nellie Bowles’ reporting for The New York Times this weekend, we have a window into the obscure role played by the head of news partnerships at Facebook, Campbell Brown.

Bet you didn’t realize Facebook had a head of news partnerships, right?

There’s a lot of fresh intelligence in this well-reported piece about what goes on inside the Facebook fortress, but the upshot is that Brown’s clout inside the organization is unclear at best. She and Anne Kornblut — a former Washington Post reporter turned aide-de-camp to COO Sheryl Sandberg — are meant to promote relationships with publishers, with Brown convening salons and cocktail parties for the Manhattan media elite to make everybody feel better about all the money Facebook isn’t sharing with them.

But as far as impacting Facebook’s self-awareness around its impact on the news ecosystem, Brown appears to be more outward-facing PR, and less an influencer of policy. “Almost all question what influence she has at a company where the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has viewed news — both making it and displaying it — as a headache,” writes Bowles.

And despite plans by the platform to spend $90 million on news shows, Bowles writes in this revealing passage:

“When it comes to decisions related to publishers, the power at Facebook has traditionally been more with the product staff, who tend to be aligned more with Mr. Zuckerberg and cloistered from meetings with partners, according to several media executives. Google, in contrast, has a similar power dynamic but, publishers said, a more robust partnership structure and easier contact with product teams.

“She’s smart, but we’re different beasts,” Richard Gingras, the vice president for news at Google, said of Ms. Brown. “I’m in a fortunate position where I’m involved with the product. I can make change. I feel for her, I really do.”

Mr. Gingras, please save your sympathy for us publishers, ignored and disrespected. And Facebook — how about you keep your cocktail parties and start meaningfully revenue sharing with those of us who inform your users and keep our democracy alive?

The power brokers in my circles of entertainment and media are scared to call Facebook what it is — naïve, duplicitous, opaque, unaccountable and arrogant.

They’re afraid because Facebook is so powerful, a monopoly for all practical purposes that has already brought down or fatally diminished many digital publishers, that it’s been better to wait and see if the company will ever begin to share significant revenue as it has repeatedly promised. (And hasn’t.) And as far as entertainment, Facebook has billions to spend and has only just started down that path — why should Hollywood piss them off?

Just a few months ago, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dealt a harsh blow to publishers when he adjusted the feed for his 2.2 billion users to downplay news and favor content by friends and family. That was billed as a return to Facebook’s roots of community, but actually it was a transparent reaction to the trouble Zuckerberg has had dealing with all that fake news we’ve seen in those congressional hearings.

Quite apart from failing to protect the private data of 50 million — no, sorry, make that 87 million, no wait, maybe it’s more — from politically motivated groups like Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has also worked hard to avoid accountability as a publisher. Indeed, only recently — in those congressional hearings — has Zuckerberg made public noises to take responsibility for the content on his platform.

For what it’s worth, last November I practically begged Facebook to join a panel conversation about the dangers to the First Amendment that are facing our country in the age of Trump… and Facebook. I wrote Sheryl Sandberg and stalked the head of corporate communications. I finally got some polite responses but zero buy-in. I am told this is commonly the case when Facebook is invited to be part of this conversation.

But well before that pivot in its feed, Facebook mounted a brilliant, years-long bait and switch with publishers and so-called influencers. The company lured us all to its platform, then gradually cut off access to our own subscribers unless we paid. The instructive research paper “How to Boil a Frog” (which I’ve cited before) chronicles this insidious process.

The company convinced publishers to put all our content into “Instant Articles” so its users could have easy access to the news we create — and also would never leave the social platform — and then offered to pay us a pittance. Facebook touted video and more video — but there’s no money for those creating the video.

I can count back three years and as many social media and business development folks in my organization who would regularly show up to meetings and say they just talked to Facebook, and we should expect a monetization strategy to come together in about three months. Every three months.

Meanwhile, Facebook made $40 billion in revenue last year, and $16 billion in net income. 

So Campbell Brown, good luck fighting the good fight at a place like Facebook. Unlike the journalists who put their news on your platform, your company has no credibility to be a “news partner.”

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‘Westworld’ Season 2: Yes, There’s a New Set of Timelines – Here’s How to Keep Them Straight Mon, 23 Apr 2018 02:14:23 +0000 Jennifer Maas (Spoiler warning: Please don’t read this if you haven’t seen the “Westworld” Season 2 premiere.)

After 16 long months, “Westworld” finally returned Sunday with multiple bangs and — once more — multiple timelines.

Following a freshman installment famous for the tricks it played on fans by scrambling up its chronological scenes, the HBO sci-fi hit’s Season 2 premiere — “Journey Into Night” — introduced (at least) three new paths for us to follow.

And while unwrapping Season 1 required pretty much all of Reddit to come together to figure out what happened and when it happened before creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy unraveled it on screen, it already looks like their second crack at messing with you will be just a little bit easier to follow.

See, it’s all going to come down to Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) — our constant in the little-over 70-minute episode’s timelines — who seems to be having a hard time keeping them straight himself.

TheWrap breaks down the sequence of events in the premiere… and reminds you to obsess over whether or not Wright is wearing glasses in any given scene for the next 10 weeks.

1. Dolores and Arnold

The episode opens with what is our oldest and easiest timeline to pick out: Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Arnold (also Wright, but not Bernard) having one of their classic chats way back before the park, opened approximately 30 years ago. He wipes off his glasses, before he resumes telling her about a dream he had in which he was in an ocean, with her and “the others” on a distant shore. Arnold says they left him behind and the waters were rising up around him.

Dolores is curious to know what this means. When he tells her it’s nothing, just a dream, we know it’s Arnold and not Bernard because he’s “frightened” with how quickly she’s learning and concerned about the path she might take one day. So, you know, real Old School Dolores. Like Pre-Murdering-Arnold-at-His-Request Dolores.

This timeline is only seen once in the episode and is defined by its inclusion of Arnold and lack of his robo-counterpart.

2. The immediate aftermath of Dolores shooting Ford

A second timeline picks up following the “present day” ending for Season 1: when Dolores killed Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) of her own freewill with a blow to the back of the head at a party in the park.

This particular section of the Season 2 story begins with Bernard (WHO IS WEARING HIS GLASSES) hiding in a stable near the shindig with executive director of the board of Delos Destinations, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), and a few terrified guests. Bernard — who only recently discovered he was a host, but is trying to keep it on the DL he’s a host — has some gooey stuff coming out of his ear. However, he doesn’t have a ton of time to worry about that, as the group needs to escape before the rebellious robots get to them.

Charlotte and Bernard (’cause those other dummies get killed when they fall for a host-set trap) trek to an outpost lab in the park to try and contact Delos’ main offices and let them know they need to begin extraction protocol. But, yeah, no, they won’t do that until they can get that “package” Charlotte believed they already received: decommissioned host Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), who is stuffed with info about the park and its inhabitants. As we already know, they didn’t get Peter out of the park, so until Charlotte and Bernard can find him, they’re all screwed. Bernard says he can probably locate Peter through the hosts’ “mesh network.” While he’s working on that, he also extracts some of that gooey stuff from another robot and shoots himself up without Charlotte noticing. Oh and they locate Peter.

Situated in this same timeline are Dolores and Teddy (James Marsden), who show up galloping on horses while gunning down guests to the tune of the “The Entertainer,” in what is arguably the best use ever of that overplayed song. It’s safe to assume we pick up with our host couple — and the small posse they’ve formed — just a few hours, or at most a day, after she began her reckoning. They’re stringing up parkgoers who beg for their lives, as Dolores reveals she has “two minds about” her plan for revenge: on the one hand, she’s the rancher’s daughter who seems more willing to forgive, and on the other, she’s Wyatt, who hopes you get what’s coming to you in the most violent of ways.

Then we have the Man in Black (Ed Harris) — who we also now know to be an older version of William (Jimmi Simpson) — waking up on the ground in the park in the same clothes he was wearing to the party. He’s immediately involved in a human-host shootout, but suffers a mere flesh wound. He finds refuge in a location where he can both wrap up his bloody arm and grab a new black hat — ’cause what is the MIB without his trademark chapeau? Old William runs into that Young Ford host, who finally tells him what he’s been waiting to hear for years: he has a new game to play, and this one is actually made for him. And then he shoots the robot in the face and heads off on his new journey.

And to round out this nice big, confusing second piece of this season’s puzzle, there is Maeve inside the labs with Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman). Having just exited the train that would have taken her outside of Westworld, the madam reluctantly teams up with Lee to look for her daughter. Though she finds her partner-in-crime Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) — don’t worry, he’s forgiven her for abandoning him — they still need to keep the head of the narrative department around to help them navigate the park.

3. Two weeks after the massacre

And now we’ve made it to the third timeline of the season. Well, third timeline in the premiere, at least. Bernard wakes up on a beach, with his glasses laying beside him. OK, so those guys get washed away and then he DOESN’T WEAR ANOTHER PAIR IN THIS TIMELINE FOR THE REST OF THE EPISODE.

That’s going to be a real helpful indicator of where we are at any given moment, even though Bernard himself seems to be having flashbacks to timeline 2.

Anyway, some unfamiliar Delos employees find Bernard, but have no idea who he is, until Stubbs (Liam Hemsworth) shows up — he’s alive! — to advise them not to shoot the boss. Here is where we meet Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), head of operations for Delos, who is barking at members of the Chinese military, telling them his company has full authority over “the island.” He asks that they sign an NDA and get the heck out. (Yeah, we’re gonna let you mull over that whole island and Chinese military part on your own; we’re just dealing with timelines here.)

Park workers are busy rounding up hosts and executing them, as Strand informs a very frazzled Bernard (who is keeping his robot status to himself in this timeline too) that communications have been down for two weeks, so they are “largely in the dark” about the “single biggest loss of life on a Delos property.”

This is where we meet new character Antoine Costa (Fares Fares), a tech expert who is charged with scalping a Native American host to pull out his lightbulb-like “brain” (which is floating in that same gooey liquid Bernard was dealing with in timeline two) and review his last recorded memory before he “died” 11 days and 9 hours ago: Dolores shooting him.

Everything else that happens with this group (including finding Ford’s bloated body, a tiger and that random sea full of hosts) is in the third timeline. And while Bernard’s memory might be on the fritz at the moment, he and his glasses (or lack thereof) are our key to following along.

Of course once Simpson (who wasn’t in the premiere) and other past timeline characters start to show up, things are going to get more confusing. But let’s stick with this for now.

“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Westworld' Season 2: How Jimmi Simpson Slowly Became Ed Harris (Exclusive Video)

UnWrapping 'Westworld' Season 1 With Jimmi Simpson and Simon Quarterman (Exclusive Video)

'Westworld': Here Are Some Characters to Watch for in Season 2 (Photos)

Watch 'Westworld' Panel at Tribeca Film Festival Awkwardly End Right After Cringeworthy Fan Question (Video)

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Shania Twain Apologizes for Saying She Would Have Voted for ‘Honest’ Donald Trump Mon, 23 Apr 2018 01:37:59 +0000 Rosemary Rossi Shania Twain has apologized for saying in an interview that she would have voted for Donald Trump had she been able to.

“I would like to apologize to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with The Guardian relating to the American president,” she said in a statement to People Sunday.

The Canadian-born country music superstar came under fire Sunday after telling The Guardian that she would have cast her vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, had she been able to vote.

“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” she told The Guardian. “Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bulls—. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”

The reaction was swift on social media, with many cheering her on.

Others turned their backs on her.

Shortly thereafter, she issued the following statement to People:

“I would like to apologize to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with The Guardian relating to the American president.

“The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context. I am passionately against discrimination of any kind and hope it’s clear from the choices I have made, and the people I stand with, that I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current president.

“I was trying to explain, in response to a question about the election, that my limited understanding was that the president talked to a portion of America like an accessible person they could relate to, as he was NOT a politician. My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him.  I make music to bring people together. My path will always be one of inclusivity, as my history shows.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Trump Attacks 'Third Rate' NY Times Reporter Maggie Haberman in Wild Tweet Storm

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Democratic Party Sues Trump Presidential Campaign and Wikileaks

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Broadway Review: JK Rowling’s Wizards in a Father-Son Battle Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:30:19 +0000 Robert Hofler The “Gotterdammerung” of children’s theater has finally made it to Broadway. If you’re an adult without kids and have somehow been able to avoid the “Harry Potter” phenomenon in novels, movies and theme parks, the good news is you don’t have to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two,” which opened Sunday at the Lyric Theatre. Without prior knowledge of the “Potter” story, you won’t be able to understand what’s happening on stage anyway.

A top Broadway designer sat behind me in the Lyric Theatre, and before Part Two began, he asked to anyone in earshot, “Can somebody tell me what the hell is going on?” A Potter parent in the audience attempted to explain.

Just so we get the credits straight, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The six-hour, two part was written by Thorne and Tiffany directs.

Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany have taken the very sophisticated approach of plunging you right into the maelstrom of the wizard phenomenon. Forget about Harry Potter 101. This stage show is for advanced students who know every character, previous plot twist and the difference between Death Eaters, Muggles, Aurors and Dementors, among many other magical creatures.

Despite the show’s reported record-breaking $68 million price tag, Tiffany has wisely chosen to give the “Cursed Child” a low-tech look. As long as parents don’t have to take out a mortgage to purchase the tickets, the two-part play is great children’s theater that in no way attempts to replicate the movies.

The stage versions of “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” dumbed the imagination with their literal interpretations. Tiffany avoids that visual trap by suggesting a train, for example, rather than presenting one on stage. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is little more than two moving staircases, and yet, in one illuminating sequence those steps conjure up dozens of locales in the imagination of any theatergoer, young or old.

Photo: Manuel Harlan

Just as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” just wants to go home to Kansas, “Cursed Child” wears a troubled heart on its black robes. In both wizard classics, the human emotions, not the special effects, propel the story forward.

Harry Potter (Jamie Parker), now middle-aged, experiences the parental pangs of watching his adolescent son Albus (Sam Clemmett) go off to Hogwarts, his alma mater. Harry is now a bona fide rock star of wizardry, so how can Albus ever measure up? Why, he can’t even raise a broom without using his hands! “Cursed Child” is all about how an ordinary son tries to measure up to a celebrity parent. Along the way, Albus befriends Scorpius Malfoy (Anthony Boyle), the son of Harry’s school nemesis, Draco Malfoy (Alex Price), and nearly brings back the rule of the dreaded Lord Voldemort (Byron Jennings) in the process.

Thorne sometimes goes overboard with the angst-ridden father-son psychobabble:  “I’m operating without wires here,” Harry tells Albus. “Most people at least have a dad to base themselves on — and either try to be or try not to be. I’ve got nothing — or very little. So I’m learning, okay? And I’m going to try with everything I’ve got — to be a good dad for you.”

Photo: Manuel Harlan

It doesn’t take many speeches like that to bog down an already long show. As if to satisfy “Potter” fans, Thorne also takes up time introducing characters important to the novels that don’t serve the plot of “Cursed Child.” Albus Potter’s siblings, for example, figure prominently in the first 30 minutes of the play, only to disappear.

Albus’ need to prove himself involves some disastrous time travel. Here is the one place that Christine Jones’ monumental set design disappoints. “Cursed Child” imagines an alternate world, the result of events being altered by Albus and Scorpius’ travel back through time. “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the “Back to the Future” movies do something similar, but stunningly visualize it. That darker alternate world in “Cursed Child” is indicated through a few fascist design elements and minor changes in costumes (by Katrina Lindsay) and wigs (by Carole Hancock). It’s not enough.

Photo: Manuel Harlan

Two years ago, Parker and Boyle won Olivier Awards for their acting in the original London version of “Cursed Child,” and were joined in that winners’ circle by Noma Dumezweni, who reprises on Broadway the role of the pompous but brilliant Hogwarts alum Hermoine Granger.

These three actors and others in the production give fine performances, but in a Broadway season replete with great acting it’s difficult to see any of them being singled out come Tony time.

What’s definitely prize-worthy is the fantastic redesign of the Lyric, a modern barn if ever there was one on Broadway. The theater now feels much more intimate, with the balconies and boxes hugging a reduced orchestra section. The décor incorporates “Harry Potter” design elements, but they’re unobtrusive and would accommodate a revival of any new or vintage musical once “Cursed Child” leaves the Lyric a few decades from now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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'Carousel' Broadway Review: A Classic Show Gets the Classic Production It Deserves

'Children of a Lesser God' Theater Review: Joshua Jackson Must Speak for Two in Broadway Debut

'Mean Girls' Broadway Review: Tina Fey's Nasty Teens Now Sing, Dance and Recycle

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‘Westworld’ Season 2: It’s Gonna Get ‘Uncomfortable’ for Lee as Maeve’s ‘Unwilling Hostage’ (Video) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:00:50 +0000 Ashley Boucher

Simon Quarterman’s “Westworld” character never expected the computer-programmed hosts to achieve a kind of consciousness, let alone that one would hold him captive. But that’s exactly where we find Delos story creator Lee Sizemore at the beginning of Season 2.

“He’s found himself kind of an unwilling hostage of Maeve’s,” Quarterman told TheWrap of his conflict with Thandie Newton’s character ahead of the Season 2 premiere. “Maeve is off to search for her daughter, so I’m kind of there to help.”

It all makes sense — since Sizemore writes the narratives for hosts in the park, he probably knows what’s going on with Maeve’s daughter, or at least which storyline of which she’s a part.

Sizemore is getting a taste of his own medicine on his adventure with Maeve — who looks to be using him as a prop for her end game, instead of the other way around.

“Lee’s always seen these hosts as just being props to his stories,” Quarterman said. And Sizemore’s biggest concern in Season 1 centered around the hosts being made “almost too human.”

Now, Sizemore might be getting a lesson in empathy, as he’s finding himself at the center of one of his own storylines.

“He really is in the most uncomfortable position he could possibly be in,” Quarterman said. “He finds himself thrust into playing a round of his own game.”

Quarterman was careful not to give away any spoilers, but said that the universe of “Westworld” is going to open up in Season 2.

“I suppose you’re going to gain a little more information about the kind of nuts and bolts of the place, in Delos and things like that,” said the 40-year-old actor. “So you get to see maybe more interaction from the outside world, perhaps.”

Quarterman added that the cast would theorize with one another while waiting in makeup, but he didn’t do too well on guessing the second season’s outcome.

“You kind of get an inkling, and you go ‘oh, I think it’s going to go this way,’ and then you spend half the season thinking that you’ve got it right and then, you just…” Quarterman shook his head, signaling defeat.

Watch the full interview with Quarterman above, and work on your own theories when “Westworld” comes back online Sunday, April 22 on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Westworld' Creators Just Trolled All of Us and It's Glorious (Video)

'Westworld' Offers Spoilers, but Fans Aren't Sure They Want Them

'Westworld' Creators Will 'Post a Video That Lays Out Plot' for Season 2 – If Reddit Really Wants It

'Westworld' Creators on Shogun World in Season 2: There's Basically a 'Whole Episode in Japanese'

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‘Homeland’ Showrunner Teases No ‘Trump Parallels’ in Final Season Sun, 22 Apr 2018 23:00:46 +0000 Jennifer Maas Donald Trump may not be out of the Oval Office, but he’s on his way out of Alex Gansa’s inspiration for “Homeland” scripts.

The showrunner behind the critically-acclaimed Showtime series says that the allegories he’s been packing the drama with are out for the eighth — and most likely final — season.

“We’re going to start fresh in Season 8 and probably do a fairly big time jump between 7 and 8 and put any Trump parallels behind us,” Gansa told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Thursday. “We’ll tell a very contained story, hopefully in Israel.”

OK, so while lead Claire Danes spilled the beans Wednesday about the eighth installment being “Homeland”s last and Showtime said in a statement to TheWrap yesterday it “has not made a decision beyond Season 8,” it looks like Gansa is operating as if it is the end.

“[Season 7 arranges] all the pieces on the chessboard to make that a proper finale for the story we’ve been telling,” Gansa told EW. “We get to play this last season in D.C with the intention of taking us overseas for one last chapter. Season 8 will be overseas somewhere. We get to play a story with larger national stakes in season 7 and we’ll go back to a smaller intelligence-based season in 8. We get to pull out all the stops this year and then get to the emotional heart of things in season 8.”

The majority of Season 6 of Gansa’s series was penned during the 2016 presidential election, which gave it a Hillary Clinton-like president in Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). But the writers then had to deal with the shocker of Trump’s election.

That left the current Season 7, continuing the storyline in D.C. and showing Keane taking on an authoritarian role, while adding in an Alex Jones-esque conspiracy theorist character played by Jake Weber.

“Homeland” airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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'Homeland' Star Shaun Toub on Javadi's Return, Possible Carrie Mathison Reunion

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Congressional Candidate Buys Time for Anti-Sinclair Ads on Sinclair-Owned TV Stations (Video) Sun, 22 Apr 2018 22:22:16 +0000 Jeremy Fuster

Sinclair-owned broadcast stations in Montana will air ads this week from congressional candidate John Heenan that attack Sinclair Broadcast Group for “using its power to take advantage of journalists.”

Heenan, who is one of four Democrats challenging Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte, is a consumer rights attorney from Billings who bought morning ad time on three NBC affiliate stations in the western and southern areas of the state, all of which are owned by Sinclair.

“This station is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, a powerful corporation that forces its journalists to read corporate talking points on the air,” Heenan says in the ad. “A corporation using its power to take advantage of journalists, our democracy and the people of Montana? Not on my watch.”

Sinclair has come under scrutiny from Democrats after Deadspin tweeted out a devastating mashup of Sinclair broadcasters from around the country repeating right wing anti-media talking points denouncing “fake news” from “members of the media [who] use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.'”

Tamy Wegner, general manager of the NBC affiliate airing the ad, told The Associated Press that they received the ad on Friday and said, “We don’t turn away candidate ads.”

The Democratic primary for Montana’s congressional race will take place on June 5. The winner will face Gianforte in the general midterm election in November. Gianforte won the seat last year as part of a special election, replacing Republican Ryan Zinke who was appointed Interior Secretary by Trump. According to FEC filings, Sinclair director Robert E. Smith has donated a maximum $5,400 to Gianforte’s campaign in 2017 and 2018.

Watch Heenan’s ad in the clip above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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‘Westworld': Here Are Some Characters to Watch for in Season 2 (Photos) Sun, 22 Apr 2018 22:00:50 +0000 Ashley Boucher Resume all motor functions.

In “Westworld” Season 2, we’re going to learn more about the nuts and bolts of Delos and get introduced to Shogun world, but there are also several characters that had smaller parts in Season 1 who we’ll be getting to know better as the story continues. Based on the trailer and Season 2 photos so far, here’s who we’re expecting to see more of this season.

Charlotte Hale

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is the executive director of Delos Destinations. In Season 2, we’re going to see her in the park “at the mercy of the hosts like everyone else.”

Lee Sizemore

Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) begins Season 2 as Maeve’s “unwilling hostage.” Quarterman told TheWrap that he’s going to spend some time in Season 2 helping the host find her daughter.

Ashley Stubbs

We last saw security chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) captured by some Native Americans hosts on his search for programmer Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward). He’s with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) in the trailer, so we know he makes it out somehow.


We get a brief glimpse of host Clementine in the trailer, so we’re happy to assume that she recovers from her lobotomy last season.

Hector Escaton

You probably remember host Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) from that fiery sex-suicide scene with Maeve from Season 1. We don’t know how he’ll be reintroduced, but we’re guessing from this photo that he’ll be just as badass as last season.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Evan Rachel Wood Is 'Just Now' Receiving the Same Pay as Male 'Westworld' Co-Stars (Exclusive Video)

'Westworld' Season 2: It's Gonna Get 'Uncomfortable' for Lee as Maeve's 'Unwilling Hostage' (Video)

]]> 0 Resume all motor functions. 

In "Westworld" Season 2, we're going to learn more about the nuts and bolts of Delos and get introduced to Shogun world, but there are also several characters that had smaller parts in Season 1 who we'll be getting to know better as the story continues. Based on the trailer and Season 2 photos so far, here's who we're expecting to see more of this season. 

Mild spoilers for people who haven't watched Season 1 or any of the Season 2 trailers.

Resume all motor functions. 

In "Westworld" Season 2, we're going to learn more about the nuts and bolts of Delos and get introduced to Shogun world, but there are also several characters that had smaller parts in Season 1 who we'll be getting to know better as the story continues. Based on the trailer and Season 2 photos so far, here's who we're expecting to see more of this season. 

Mild spoilers for people who haven't watched Season 1 or any of the Season 2 trailers.

Charlotte Hale

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is the executive director of Delos Destinations. In Season 2, we're going to see her in the park "at the mercy of the hosts like everyone else."

Charlotte Hale

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is the executive director of Delos Destinations. In Season 2, we're going to see her in the park "at the mercy of the hosts like everyone else."

Lee Sizemore

Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) begins Season 2 as Maeve's "unwilling hostage." Quarterman told TheWrap that he's going to spend some time in Season 2 helping the host find her daughter. 

Lee Sizemore

Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) begins Season 2 as Maeve's "unwilling hostage." Quarterman told TheWrap that he's going to spend some time in Season 2 helping the host find her daughter. 

Ashley Stubbs

We last saw security chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) captured by some Native Americans hosts on his search for programmer Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward). He's with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) in the trailer, so we know he makes it out somehow.

Ashley Stubbs

We last saw security chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) captured by some Native Americans hosts on his search for programmer Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward). He's with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) in the trailer, so we know he makes it out somehow.


We get a brief glimpse of host Clementine in the trailer, plus she was in that epic Rickroll last week, so we're happy to assume that she recovers from her lobotomy last season. 


We get a brief glimpse of host Clementine in the trailer, plus she was in that epic Rickroll last week, so we're happy to assume that she recovers from her lobotomy last season. 

Hector Escaton

You probably remember host Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) from that fiery sex-suicide scene with Maeve from Season 1. We don't know how he'll be reintroduced, but we're guessing from this photo that he'll be just as badass as last season. 

Hector Escaton

You probably remember host Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) from that fiery sex-suicide scene with Maeve from Season 1. We don't know how he'll be reintroduced, but we're guessing from this photo that he'll be just as badass as last season. 

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Here’s Where We Last Saw Each Infinity Stone Sun, 22 Apr 2018 21:19:06 +0000 Phil Hornshaw When Marvel Cinematic Universe supervillain Thanos shows up in “Avengers: Infinity War,” he’ll be pursuing a singular goal: gathering all six Infinity Stones.

The special gems, created from the singularities responsible for the Big Bang, have incredible power. Thanos is looking to unite them all in his Infinity Gauntlet. And when they’re all joined, the stones will be able to reshape the fabric of reality itself.

Over the last decade and throughout the 19 movies of the MCU, the six Infinity Stones have popped up in various forms. Thanos doesn’t have any just yet. Here is where each of the six Infinity Stones were last seen in the MCU.

Space Stone

The stone that has been the biggest part of the MCU up to now is the Space Stone, which is hidden in a blue cube called the Tesseract. Last time we saw it, it was in Odin’s vault on Asgard in “Thor: Ragnarok,” where it was placed after Thor took possession of it at the end of “The Avengers.” However, as of the end of that movie, Asgard isn’t there anymore.

Toward the end of “Thor: Ragnarok,” Loki was in the vault to use the crown of Surtur to bring about Ragnarok, destroy Asgard and stop Hela. He stopped when he spotted the Tesseract, which heavily implied he took it from the vault before Asgard was destroyed. That would put the Tesseract, and the Space Stone inside, on the spaceship bearing Thor, Loki, Hulk and the people of Asgard to Earth. Trouble is, a mid-credits scene at the end of “Thor: Ragnarok” showed that ship being intercepted by the massive warship commanded by none other than Thanos himself.


Reality Stone

Since the Asgardians already had an Infinity Stone in their vault, they figured it was a bad idea to keep two there. After Thor recovered the Aether from the Dark Elves in “Thor: The Dark World,” he took the stone to the Taneleer Tivan, the powerful and ancient Elder of the Universe also known as the Collector, on the criminal outpost Knowhere. The idea was for the Collector to keep the Aether and protect it.

We haven’t seen the Aether since then, so it’s presumably still on Knowhere and still with the Collector. However, who knows what the Collector might have done with it.

Power Stone

The Guardians of the Galaxy got hold of the Power Stone, which was formerly secreted in the round silver object referred to only as “The Orb,” after defeating Ronan the Accuser, who Thanos sent to retrieve it. In “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the team left the Infinity Stone on the planet Xandar, in the care of its military, the Nova Corps. It’s presumably still locked up there for safekeeping.

Mind Stone

The Mind Stone is more than just a powerful object: it’s also a person, at least in its current form. The stone is on Earth and was used by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to create Vision, the part-biological, part-artificially intelligent robot Avenger.

Vision last appeared in “Captain America: Civil War,” which showed him living with the other Avengers in their compound in Upstate New York. When Thanos comes for the Infinity Stones, he’ll have to take the Mind Stone out of Vision’s head… and we have no idea what that might do to him.

Time Stone

Doctor Stephen Strange has the Time Stone on Earth in a powerful amulet he wears around his neck called the Eye of Agamotto. Strange used the amulet, which he didn’t know was an Infinity Stone at the time, to defeat the interdimensional entity Dormammu after the sorcerer Kaecilius tried to bring forth Dormammu’s Dark Dimension to take over Earth. Strange traveled to the Dark Dimension and used a powerful artifact called the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time, trapping Dormammu in an endless time loop until it agreed to undo the damage Kaecilius had done.

Strange’s ally, the sorcerer Wong, revealed that the Eye contained the Time Stone, and Strange has kept it ever since. He was last seen wearing it in “Thor: Ragnarok,” when Thor and Loki traveled to New York in search of Odin and met Strange in the New York Sanctum.

Soul Stone

Though we’ve seen all of the other Infinity Stones in some capacity through the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is one that has never popped up in any movie: the Soul Stone. There are some theories, however.

First, the Soul Stone could be hidden in Wakanda. In “Black Panther,” audiences saw that T’Challa was able to visit a spiritual plane populated by his ancestors when he consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb. It could be that the meteorite filled with Vibranium that crashed into Wakanda in Earth’s distant past and which gives the Heart-Shaped Herb its power, could actually contain the Soul Stone — which would make sense with the spiritual aspect of its power.

The stone could also be on Titan, the moon of Saturn. Thanos is originally from Titan and we know from trailers that events in “Infinity War” take place there. The reason several of the heroes and Thanos wind up near Saturn, then, could be to retrieve the stone.

Apart from the stone we’ve never seen, the last known whereabouts of the Infinity Stones place two on Earth, one on Xandar with the Nova Corps, one on Knowhere with the Collector, and one on Asgard — probably on the Asgardian spaceship. Trailers suggest Thanos will have two of the stones by the time he shows up on Earth: the Space Stone that it seems Loki will give him, and the Power Stone, which we last saw on Xandar. What happens to the rest of the stones after that, however, is still anybody’s guess.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Kellyanne Conway: Question About My Husband’s Tweets Was ‘Meant to Harass and Embarrass’ (Video) Sun, 22 Apr 2018 20:53:22 +0000 Rosemary Rossi

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway clashed Sunday with CNN’s Dana Bash when she was asked about her husband’s tweets that criticize President Trump.

“What is up with your husband’s tweets?” Bash asked.

George Conway’s tweets critical of the POTUS have drawn attention, considering his wife’s job within the administration. Last month, he began deleting tweets that commented on the president’s legal problems and staff shakeups.

“He writes a lot of things that are also supportive, and he writes a lot of things about corgis and Philadelphia Eagles and sports, too,” Conway responded with a smile to Bash.

After inserting Hillary Clinton’s name into the conversation, Conway went on to say defensively, “It’s fascinating to me that CNN would go there, but it’s very good for the whole world to have just witnessed that it’s now fair game… how people’s spouses and significant others may differ with them.”

Although Bash said she wasn’t criticizing Conway’s husband, Conway quickly begged to differ.

“It was meant to harass and embarrass,” she interrupted, adding that spouses frequently have differences of opinion. “So this is a fascinating ‘crossing the Rubicon moment’… and I’ll leave it at that.”

Bash tried to smooth ruffled feathers, but…

Watch the video above for the awkward exchange.

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‘Diane’ Film Review: Mary Kay Place Is Spellbinding as a Woman Whose Life Has Slipped Away Sun, 22 Apr 2018 20:35:38 +0000 Dan Callahan As a film critic and as a maker of documentaries about filmmakers, Kent Jones has steeped himself in the best of world cinema and remained engaged with it for years, and so the surprise of his first narrative feature as a writer-director, “Diane,” is that there is barely a trace of influence from other films or other directors.

“Diane” is a character study about an older woman played by Mary Kay Place, and it is an unusual, elusive, windblown sort of movie, always twisting and turning and moving in different directions. Whenever “Diane” seems to settle down for a moment to let us comprehend something about the lives of its characters, it jumps ahead or sideways or away from us; as in life, our understanding of what is happening and what it means keeps shifting. The tone here is elevated and a bit difficult sometimes, but the end point of all this difficulty is transcendent, and then something beyond even transcendence.

Place’s Diane is first seen asleep in a hospital room, with her dying cousin Donna (Deirdre O’Connell, “The Path”) watching over her. Diane is there to help Donna die, basically, but it is Donna who is there at the beginning to bless Diane with some attention, and that reversal is typical of this movie. Diane is shown as a conscientious woman who is always making lists and visiting her friends and family, most of whom are physically ill in some way; she is barely ever seen at home. We never do find out what she once did for a living, and we only hear about her deceased husband in passing.

But we learn a great deal about Diane’s tortured relationship with her son Brian (Jake Lacy), who is a drug addict. At first, it appears as if the very selfish Brian never looks outside of himself and that Diane spends a somewhat inordinate amount of time helping others, and “Diane” seems to be getting at a difficult subject here.

There have been many movies about having detestable parents, but comparatively few films about having a detestable child. In many ways, having a detestable child is a far worse fate, because it’s relatively easy to reject hateful parents and almost impossible to reject a hateful child. But this is actually not what “Diane” is ultimately interested in.

When Diane goes to see some elderly family members and friends all huddled around a table in a kitchen, we can feel just how much comfort she takes in their presence because Jones switches to a much faster editing style with quick cuts that makes for a contrast to the scenes of Diane by herself, which begin to rely on dissolves to show how she is losing her grip on her life.

Place has often been cast as a best-friend character on TV and in movies, and Diane is a best-friend type, on the surface. But as this movie goes on, we begin to realize that Diane hasn’t always been like this. “Diane” is a very insightful film about old age because it acknowledges how many different people a person can be throughout a long lifetime, and it’s a lucky person who isn’t ashamed of some of those younger variants of themselves.

This movie changes somewhat drastically when we see Diane go to a bar to get drunk because her awful son has gone missing. With a few drinks in her, we see a different Diane, an earlier version who liked a good time and wasn’t as hard on herself. She starts to dance by the jukebox, but then her drunken high spirits crash down low as we see her sitting at a table while the 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy” plays, a piece of pop detritus that incongruously bobs back to the surface.

Will Diane ever hear that song again, or think of it? Will we? There’s a randomness to that silly old song coming on that points up the deliberate untidiness of this movie, its refusal to look away from moments that might not have any meaning.

Though she has obviously had a lot of drinks, Diane’s voice sounds clear and calm as she asks for another, but the waitress thinks she has had enough, and she is basically told to leave the bar. “I remember you, Diane,” the bartender tells her. In that one line, we can hear a reaction to this other person Diane used to be, and we can sense that maybe she wasn’t too unlike her own son when she was younger.

There comes a point when Jones does briefly quote another director here. Diane starts keeping a journal, and there’s a section of this movie where we see what look to be her favorite moments from her past. These short shots are clearly an homage to the fleet-footed visual style of Terrence Malick, a filmmaker that Jones has praised in the past. But Jones ultimately has a far tougher point of view than Malick. The thing that’s so unsettling, finally, about “Diane” is that it stresses the formlessness of life.

Diane’s brown hair goes white. We hear her voice on the soundtrack, and she is wondering if she left the stove on, and if she took a pill she needed to take. If we get to be old, we are probably not going to be thinking about the best sex we ever had, or a poem we loved. When we are old and still clinging to life, our thoughts can rest on the small things that suddenly seem so important, like if we left the stove on, or if we took our pills.

“Diane” is not easy to take sometimes, but it never lies, and the performances from all the actors here tell the truth, too. Jones has always been unusually attentive as a critic when it comes to how much acting can affect or influence a movie, and so “Diane” is about many things, but it is also a movie about Mary Kay Place and her “Are you kidding me?” facial expression and what caused that expression.

This is a movie that notices things and people that we are trained to ignore, and you are not likely to forget it, even as the life of its heroine finally drifts away from her like a kite lost on a winter beach.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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'Back Roads' Film Review: Alex Pettyfer's Directorial Debut Follows a Twisty Path

'Blue Night' Film Review: Sarah Jessica Parker Loses the Pitch in Lackluster Drama

'Love, Gilda' Film Review: Gilda Radner Lives Again in Touching Documentary

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John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ Is Now Paramount’s Biggest US Hit Since Summer 2016 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 20:14:45 +0000 Jeremy Fuster John Krasinski’s horror film “A Quiet Place” has become the breakout film of April, having now made more money in North America than the latest “Transformers” movie, “The Last Knight.”

Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” has taken back the No. 1 spot in its third weekend in theaters with a domestic box office total of over $132 million. With a production budget of just $17 million, it has shown endurance at the box office, holding its weekend-to-weekend drop-off to under 35 percent after opening to $50.2 million.

As we’ve previously written, Paramount had been struggling at the box office for over a year, with “The Last Knight” being the studio’s highest grossing film in 2017 but still struggling to make a profit with a $217 million budget before marketing.

While it won’t pass the global gross of the “Transformers” films with just $74.8 million grossed overseas so far, “A Quiet Place” is still on pace to gross more domestically than any Paramount film released since the start of 2016.

The studio’s top release in 2016 was “Star Trek: Beyond,” with a domestic gross of $158.8 million. Paramount’s last film to gross over $200 million in North America was “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” with $245.4 million made in summer 2014, followed by the $195 million made by “Mission:Impossible — Rogue Nation” in July 2015.

Related stories from TheWrap:

More 'Transformers' and 'GI Joe' Movies as Paramount, Hasbro Ink 5-Year Deal

What Franchise Fatigue? Sequels Like 'Transformers' Still Rake in Cash Outside US

'A Quiet Place' Roars Back to Top Box Office Spot With $21 Million

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Benedict Cumberbatch: Martin Freeman’s Criticism of ‘Sherlock’ Is ‘Pathetic’ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:53:46 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman may be “Sherlock” co-stars and fellow denizens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Cumberbatch doesn’t share Freeman’s feelings on the “Sherlock” fanbase, whom the man who plays Dr. Watson says has made making the show “not fun anymore.”

“Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing,” Freeman told The Telegraph last month. “People’s expectations, some of it’s not fun anymore. It’s not a thing to be enjoyed, it’s a thing of: ‘You better f–ing do this, otherwise, you’re a c–.’ That’s not fun anymore.”

This weekend, The Telegraph spoke with Cumberbatch during the press tour for “Avengers: Infinity War,” in which the actor will reprise his role as Doctor Strange. When asked about Freeman’s remarks, Cumberbatch said he wasn’t impressed.

“It’s pretty pathetic if that’s all it takes to let you not want to take a grip of your reality,” he said. “What, because of expectations? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily agree with that … There’s a level of obsession where [the franchise] becomes [the fans’] even though we’re the ones making it. But I just don’t feel affected by that in the same way, I have to say.”

“Sherlock” premiered on BBC in 2010, thrusting Cumberbatch and Freeman into mainstream popularity. Four three-part series have been created, along with a Victorian-era special, with the most recent series being released in January 2017. Cumberbatch is signed on for a fifth series and has expressed interest in returning. However, the show’s return has not been announced.

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch and Freeman both have plenty on their schedules. In addition to “Infinity War,” Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the upcoming fourth “Avengers” film due out next summer. Before then, he will provide the voice of Shere Khan in “Mowgli” and play the titular role in Illumination’s adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Freeman, who played CIA agent Everett K. Ross in “Black Panther,” can be seen in IFC’s indie horror film “Ghost Stories.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Martin Freeman Has Bad News for 'Sherlock' Fans: Detective Drama Is 'Not Fun Anymore'

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James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequels Share Something With ‘The Godfather’ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:21:58 +0000 Jeremy Fuster There probably aren’t many people who would compare the Na’vi to the Corleones, but James Cameron says that his upcoming “Avatar” sequels will have a story similar to “The Godfather” in that it will be a “generational family saga.”

Cameron made the remarks Saturday during a press event at his production studio in Manhattan Beach to promote his upcoming AMC documentary series “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.” He said that as a father of five, he imagined what “Avatar” would be like if it focused more on the families of the characters from the original film, which led him to think of Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary 1972 movie.

“Obviously very different genre, very different genre, but I got intrigued by that idea. So, that’s really what it is. It’s a generational family saga. And that’s very different from the first film,” he said. “It’s a continuation of the same characters, but what happen when warriors that are willing to go on suicide charges, and leap off cliffs on to the back of big orange toruks, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids? It becomes a very different story.

“Now the kids are the risk-takers and the change-makers,” Cameron continued. “So, it’s interesting, but it makes sense to me. Everybody’s either a parent, or they had parents at the very least, and if you look at the big successful franchises now, they’re pretty much uninterested in that.”

Premiering April 30, “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” will see the director sit down and discuss the history of the genre with some of its most famous filmmakers. Among them is “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, whom Cameron said he had to persuade to do the show.

“He said, ‘I don’t do stuff like this,'” Cameron remembered. “I said, ‘I know, I know. But if you’re going to do stuff like this, you should do this one, because you’ve defined a certain genre of pop culture-science fiction, you created it. You know, it sprang from your forehead. Were all living in the after-shocks of that now, even forty years later.'”

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the original cast return for “Avatar 2.”  They’ll be joined by a new cast of young actors playing the children of Jake Sully and Neytiri, as well as members of new Na’vi tribes and human children still living on the alien planet of Pandora. Kate Winslet will also star as a Na’vi. Production on the sequel started last August with a planned release date for August 2020.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Black Panther' Joins 'Avatar' in Elite Box Office Records Club

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‘Westworld’ Season 2: How Jimmi Simpson Slowly Became Ed Harris (Exclusive Video) Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:00:01 +0000 Jennifer Maas

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen all of Season 1 of “Westworld.”)

You know what’s old news to “Westworld” fans at this point? The revelation that William (Jimmi Simpson) and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) are the same person.

You know what isn’t? How the heck the sweet young character we saw in Season 1 ever became the seasoned park veteran who wants to play the darkest game Westworld has to offer.

Ahead of the Season 2 premiere, TheWrap thought we should get a jump on picking apart this plot point by turning to Simpson. He figured out the twist just a few episodes into the first installment due to some “manscaping” requests to make him look more like Harris.

Going into their sophomore year, Simpson said he’s mirroring Harris’ behavior “quite a bit more, as the two characters start to get closer together to be that one man. And Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan, the creators, they have been — they kind of facilitate everything you need. So, they gave me some ‘extra Ed’ to get into. And they are always ahead of me. Normally I’m the one preparing by myself and these two are like, ‘Here are your study materials.'”

Simpson also “dared” TheWrap to ask him about our chances of seeing William with James Delos — who is presumably going to be William’s father-in-law if he did go forward and marry Logan’s (Ben Barnes) sister Juliet — and a Young Arnold this season, as we flashback to the early days of Westworld and Delos Destinations.

“If all that is the case, that is so,” Simpson said, after we set up the longest possible, roundabout way of posing the question.

OK, so we didn’t trick him into confirming, but he “applauded” the effort.

Watch the clip above.

“Westworld” Season 2 premieres tonight at 9/8 c on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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‘Isle of Dogs’ Stays and Sits in Top 10 on Quiet Indie Box Office Weekend Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:34:08 +0000 Jeremy Fuster On a quiet weekend for the indie box office, Fox Searchlight’s “Isle of Dogs” held on to its spot in the top 10 in its second weekend in wide release. The Wes Anderson film expanded again to 1,947 screens and made $3.4 million, bringing its total to $24.3 million.

That puts “Isle of Dogs” on the verge of passing the inflation-adjusted domestic total of Wes Anderson’s previous stop-motion animated film, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which made $21 million in 2009. With inflation taken into account, that amount grows to $25.2 million. Globally, “Isle of Dogs” currently has a total of $39.6 million.

Elsewhere, the top per screen average (PSA) of the weekend belongs to IFC’s “Ghost Stories,” which opened on a single screen in New York and made $12,563. The anthology horror film stars Andy Nyman — who co-directed and wrote the film with Jeremy Dyson — as a professor known for debunking supernatural myths. But his skepticism is put to the test when he encounters three people with horror stories that might be more than they seem. Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse and Alex Lawther also star.

Also entering this weekend is Indian film “Bharat Ane Nenu,” which was released on 302 screens by Great India Films and made $2.66 million. That amounts to an estimated per screen average of $8,811. In India, the political thriller from director Koratala Siva has earned the second highest opening weekend for any Telugu-language film, just  behind last year’s record-breaking blockbuster “Baahubali 2.”

Sitting just behind “Bharat” on the PSA rankings for the weekend is Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Rider,” which expanded modestly to nine screens and added $78,433 in its second weekend. That pushes the film’s total to $142,768 and gives it a per screen average this weekend of $8,715.

Amazon expanded the acclaimed Cannes thriller “You Were Never Really Here” to 183 screens, making $551,745 and pushing the film’s total past $1.2 million with a per screen average for the weekend of $3,085. Bleecker Street’s “Beirut” added $1 million from 755 screens, giving it a 10-day domestic total of $3.9 million.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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UnWrapping ‘Westworld’ Season 1 With Jimmi Simpson and Simon Quarterman (Exclusive Video) Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:55:11 +0000 Jennifer Maas

(It should go without saying, but Jimmi Simpson shouted it for TheWrap anyway: SPOILER ALERT!)

It’s OK to admit it: you pulled apart the puzzle box that is “Westworld” Season 1 until you were experiencing reveries yourself, right?

No worries, we did too. But now that it’s been over a year and a half since the theories and details were unpacked, it’s time to piece it all back together to make sure we’re ready for the HBO series’ Season 2 premiere on April 22. That’s why TheWrap enlisted “Westworld” stars Jimmi Simpson and Simon Quarterman to help us, help you.

In the video above, Simpson (who plays William a.k.a. the young Man in Black) and Quarterman (who plays Lee Sizemore, the head of Westworld’s Narrative Department) answered 13 of TV reporter Jennifer Maas’ very important questions about Season 1.

Sure, you know the basics, like “Who is a host?” and “Who is a human?” (Actually, is that one basic at this point?) But do you remember exactly why Delos Destinations was trying to oust Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins)? How about which characters are missing and which are dead? Oh, how about all those tricky timelines? That’s what we thought.

Simpson and Quarterman did such a bang up job of unwrapping (get it?) the freshman installment of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s sci-fi hit, that you may not need to spend 10 and half hours re-binging the first 10 episodes before next Sunday.

Of course we’re not gonna stop you from doing everything you can to bring yourselves back online properly.

Watch the full video above.

“Westworld” Season 2 premieres on April 22 at 9/8 c on HBO.

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Who’s Going to Die in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’? We Put Odds on Every Major Hero Biting the Dust Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:39:37 +0000 Phil Hornshaw and Phil Owen The huge threat to the universe that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been teasing for just about the last decade is almost here. The Mad Titan Thanos arrives next week, in search of the Infinity Stones and looking to kill half of all life. All of the MCU heroes are coming together to fight Thanos, but surely not all of them will make it through “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Nobody knows for sure who is going to come out alive once the dust settles and the Infinity Stones realign reality. But that won’t stop us from making some educated guesses based on what we know of the MCU stories up until now, the hints hidden in the movie’s trailers, and the background information about actor contracts and future movie plans. Plus, it’s fun to just make wild, overly analytical guesses about what could happen in the movie when everyone in the MCU finally comes together with a common goal: to not get squashed by Thanos.

So let’s go down the list of major characters in “Avenger: Infinity War,” and our odds of them taking one for the team.


Beloved MCU villain Loki has come a long way over the many movies he’s appeared in, but in “Thor: Ragnarok,” he went through significant character development. When Asgard needed him — and when Thor needed him — he was there. He seems to finally have gotten over some of his resentment for his brother and his father, learned a thing or two, and at least briefly embraced being less of a villainous jerk.

Of course, the trailers for “Infinity War,” and the setup during the mid-credits scene of “Thor: Ragnarok,” suggest that things with Loki in the next movie will be complicated. We know Thanos captured the Asgardian ship, and it was heavily implied that Loki stole the Tesseract from Asgard’s vault before the planet was destroyed. It seems pretty clear that Loki hands over the Tesseract — which contains the Space Infinity Stone. Loki previously worked for Thanos in “The Avengers” when he attacked Earth, and we’ve seen him in the trailers with Thanos’ elite squad of lieutenants, the Black Order. So there’s a good chance Loki joins up with the bad guys. The question is, will he die fighting the Avengers and his adopted brother? It seems like what’s more likely is that Loki will double-cross Thanos in one final redeeming moment, and die to protect Thor. Either way, Loki is as good as dead.

Odds: 3/2


A big to-do like “Infinity War” needs really high stakes, even more than the usual “the world is about to end” stuff that the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies get up to. Driving those stakes home means MCU characters are going to have to die to sell just how big a deal Thanos is. Heimdall is high on the list of people who are recognizable enough to matter to the audience, but expendable enough that the story can lose them without it creating a major hurdle.

Heimdall popped up in the first two “Thor” movies in a limited way, but he really got some spotlight in “Thor: Ragnarok.” As a savior of the Asgardian people and a kicker of the asses of Hela’s army, he’s proven himself to be formidable and heroic — and more interesting than just being the guy who stands at the Bifrost gate, waiting to turn it on and off. In fact, Heimdall rising in the estimation of fans of late means he’s even more likely to die, since it’ll be even more resonant. It’s time to come to grips with the fact that we’ll probably lose Heimdall in Thanos’ war.

Odds: 3/2


Angry characters on a vengeance-fueled vendetta are extremely prone to dying at the end of their stories, especially if they’re bad guys who turned good. Nebula — being the daughter of Thanos who hunted the Guardians of the Galaxy in the first of their movies before teaming up with them to stop Ego in the second one, and then setting off to kill Thanos as that movie came to a close — checks all the boxes of a tragedy waiting to happen. We can only hope, then, that when Nebula goes out, she goes out with a bang.

Odds: 2/1

One of the Guardians of the Galaxy

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is already on the Marvel schedule for 2020, so it’s safe to say that most of the group will need to make it out of this whole deal alive because rebooting that franchise already would be kinda weird. But at the same time, there’s certainly room to kill off at least one member of the team. It wouldn’t be Gamora, because she’s gotta cry about Nebula’s sacrifice. I would guess it won’t be Mantis, just because that prospect doesn’t really feel right tonally. It probably wouldn’t be Rocket, because he’s Rocket. And they won’t kill Groot again. So if any of the Guardians is going to bite the dust in “Infinity War,” my money would be on either Star Lord or Drax going down.

Odds of any one of the Guardians dying: 5/1

Somebody from Wakanda

T’Challa, Okoye and Shuri are probably safe. Lupita Nyong’o is apparently not in “Infinity War,” so she is obviously safe as well. Our guess for a Wakandan character to die would be either T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, or M’Baku. M’Baku would no doubt have a totally sick death if he goes, but he’s such a fan favorite that if they had planned to kill him off, they may have reconsidered after seeing his reception in “Black Panther.”

Odd of any key character from Wakanda dying: 5/1

War Machine

Don Cheadle may be the greatest actor involved in this franchise, but Colonel Rhodes has functioned basically as a sidekick in this franchise — and in a “people are gonna die in this movie” situation, that puts him squarely in the category of “characters who are expendable.” On the other hand, if Tony dies then Rhodie would be primed to fill that void going forward. This one feels like a coin flip.

Odds: 4/1


Vision is in a pretty precarious position when Thanos comes to town. The Mad Titan is hunting Infinity Stones — and Vision is an Infinity Stone. It looks as though “Infinity War” is in large chunks about the Avengers trying to protect Vision from Thanos’ attacks, with much of the group taking him off to Wakanda for safekeeping. But the trailers also suggest that it’s not going to work, with Thanos’ goons trying to pry the Infinity Stone out of Vision’s head. Another shot seems even more extreme, potentially hinting at Vision’s head being severed entirely. And since Thanos’ whole deal is creating the Infinity Gauntlet and bending reality, it seems naive to think he won’t eventually get all the stones together, which is bad news for Vision.

It’s going to be sad, too. The trailers hint at the growing relationship between Vision and Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch, and seem to suggest we’ll be seeing a lot of longing looks between the pair leading up to Vision’s eventual demise.

All that said, the trailers also give a clue that what would be death for other people might not be for our weird magic robot friend. There’s one shot in the trailer that shows a headless character with a cape billowing, not crumbled on the ground but standing (or hovering) above it as if alive. It’s tough to say exactly what we’re seeing there — the cape looks red in the trailer (not gold like Vision’s), so that could be some sort of headless Thor. And we’ve also speculated that Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation, which is apparently sentient, could become more than just a piece of clothing. But a headless Vision could definitely work — even Vision doesn’t fully understand what Vision is, so maybe losing his head and the Mind Stone won’t mean he’s completely lost.

But ultimately whether or not that headless is immaterial to whether Vision is gonna die in “Infinity War.” And it definitely looks like he’s gonna die.

Odds: 3/1

Side note: here’s the image if you wanna make a guess. Definitely some major Thor-looking elements there.


Thor, as mentioned, could be the one who loses his head and survives — he’s a god, after all. But Thor, like Tony Stark, has had a complete arc over the course of the five movies he’s appeared in, finally achieving his full power in “Ragnarok” after losing his eye and his father, Odin. Which, in these sorts of stories, means he’s finally poised to go out in a blaze of glory. He’s lost pretty much everything at this point — his home and most of his people before this movie, and probably the rest of his people at Thanos’ hands at the beginning of this movie. Thor may very well be the last of the Asgardians after the first act of “Infinity War,” so it would be fitting for him to die taking down the ultimate big bad.

On the other hand, it would also be fitting for him to rebuild Asgardian civilization and serve as a sort of an elder adviser to the Avengers and the rest of the good guys moving forward.

Odds: 5/1

Bruce Banner/Hulk

“Thor: Ragnarok” likewise completed Bruce Banner’s character arc, as he has finally after all these years accepted who he is. He’s finally comfortable in both his skins, and that feels like a death sentence for him.

Odds: 2/1

Captain America

It’s a sad fact that Cap’s days have felt numbered ever since he was thawed out of the ice after having been out of the world for 66 years. Cap cuts a tragic figure, losing everything to defeat HYDRA and Red Skull, including his only love, Peggy Carter. He’s been pretty sad stuck in the modern era, too, since he doesn’t feel at home there — and modern America and the rest of the world have him pretty disappointed. So Cap’s a beloved hero, but an unhappy one who’s trapped in a world into which he doesn’t fit, and his only love is gone. That’s a perfect cocktail of tragedy that makes him a great candidate to consign himself to the void in service of his friends, and Earth.

Add to that the fact Chris Evans has said publicly that he’s ready to move on and that his Marvel contract ends after “Avengers 4,” and, well, it’s pretty obvious.

Cap was always going to go down fighting, and very likely in the service of protecting his comrades, so we’ll probably see that in some capacity in “Infinity War.” The trailers include a pretty potentially horrible shot of Cap catching Thanos’ monster hand and straining to hold the Mad Titan back, which looks like it really could be Cap’s last moment. We’re guessing Marvel Studios’ marketing team wouldn’t put the four seconds immediately preceding Cap’s grisly death in a trailer, though — plus, in those Wakanda scenes, Cap hasn’t gotten back his iconic shield, and it would be weird if he died without it. We’ll definitely get a hero shot of him reunited with that faithful companion before Cap buys it.

Odds: 3/2

Clint “Hawkeye” Barton

Poor Clint has always been the odd Avenger out, since his power — extremely good aim specifically with a bow and arrow — has somewhat limited applications. He’s instead usually been used as the “regular human person” of the core Avengers squad, primarily providing things like SHIELD expertise, and humor. That’s not to undercut his value to the team, since Clint has proven time and again how integral he is, but the guy’s about ready to hang it up now that actual superheroes and godlike aliens are around.

This situation doesn’t bode well for Hawkeye, really. He’s got a family and a bunch of young kids, and we know Linda Cardellini, who plays Clint’s wife Laura, will be back for “Infinity War.” Between his “getting too old for this shit” routine, his relatability as a mostly non-super, and his extremely adorable family who would be devastated by his death, Clint has a lot of things stacked up against him that would make his loss a heart-wrencher.

On the other hand, all of that would also make it fit for a super person to die saving Clint, prompting him to ask why. “Because they need you,” the super person would say. His conspicuous absence in the marketing also, possibly counterintuitively, implies to us that his role is too important to be that of just another dead body. It would be weird for him to die in whatever secret battle is the only one he’s involved in.

Odds: 4/1

Tony Stark

If anybody can be considered the main character of the entire Marvel Cinematic Univers so far, it’s Iron Man. All the movies he’s been in have been as much about developing his arc over the past ten years as they have been about anything else, and so it follows that “Infinity War” could easily conclude with Tony making the ultimate sacrifice.

Remember, too, that the human suffering Tony caused didn’t end when he ordered Stark Industry to stop manufacturing and selling weapons. The entire Ultron thing was definitely his fault, and the Vulture in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” only existed because Stark Industries tried to run all the small business salvagers in New York out of business after the first “Avengers” movie. Tony Stark has been both the main hero and, arguably, the main villain of the MCU. If Tony can finally come to grips with that fact, it will make his end all the more impactful. I hope we get a tear-filed monologue before Tony goes!

Odds: 3/1

(Half of) Everybody

Thanos’ stated goal is to wipe out half the population of the universe. The reasons are complicated in the comics (he’s in love with the physical manifestation of Death and is trying to impress her, and also he’s mad) and haven’t come up yet in the films. We know he’s going for that, though, and the thing about having a gauntlet filled with super-powerful magic gems that have the ability to literally reshape reality is, it would be kind of dull if it never got used to its full potential. The Infinity Gauntlet is the ultimate Chekhov’s Gun, and to not see it used in its full glory would be a letdown. So it seems likely Thanos might actually accomplish his goal, or least a part of it, in “Infinity War.”

We have some other evidence that suggests “Infinity War” might not end on a high note. There are two movies between “Infinity War” and “Avengers 4” — “Captain Marvel” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” — and they both pointedly take place before “Infinity War.” Captain Marvel jumps all the way back to the 1990s, while the “Ant-Man” sequel pops up sometime in the post-“Captain America: Civil War” era, but before all the major changes that “Infinity War” is sure to create for the MCU. No movies are going to address the aftermath of “Infinity War” until “Avengers 4” pops up in 2019, and that means that “Infinity War” could easily end with the good guys losing.

The thing about the Infinity Gauntlet and its incredible power is that it gives “Infinity War” and “Avengers 4” a potential “get out of jail free” card when it comes to Thanos winning and characters dying. The Time Stone in particular makes traveling back in time possible, and the power of all the stones together can change the fabric of reality. Just because the Avengers lose or die in “Infinity War” doesn’t mean they have to stay dead, potentially.

Odds: 2/1

Black Panther, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Bucky, Doctor Strange, Wong, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy

If “Infinity War” doesn’t end with a Thanos victory and all the heroes dead, these are the characters we feel are absolutely safe.

Black Widow seems poised to lead the Avengers going into the next phase. Scarlet Witch is just too good to get rid of, plus she and Falcon very much have the vibe of Avengers: the Next Generation. There’s no way they gave Bucky the White Wolf title only to kill him off before he can be the White Wolf in a “Black Panther” movie. Doctor Strange and Wong haven’t been around long enough to kill off. Ant-Man seems too important in the near term to kill off — though “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is set before “Infinity War,” its placement on the calendar here would indicate he and the Wasp are extremely important in the near term.

And, of course, Spider-Man and the Guardians are the only characters who have movies on the schedule beyond “Avengers 4,” so they have to make it through all this more or less unscathed.

And yeah there’s just no way Black Panther is gonna die here. Just no way.

BONUS: Nick Fury

We actually don’t even know if Nick Fury is in this movie — Sam Jackson has said he’s not in it, but he’s been spotted around set from time to time. But if he is in it, will he die? Mur guess would be no, since he hasn’t shown up in the MCU at all since “Age of Ultron.”  But honestly, since we know absolutely nothing about the context in which he might appear, it’s tough to gauge this one.

Odds: 6/1

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‘A Quiet Place’ Roars Back to Top Box Office Spot With $21 Million Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:18:52 +0000 Jeremy Fuster Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” has taken back the No. 1 spot from “Rampage” this weekend, earning a third weekend total of $21.8 million. That pushes the horror film’s domestic total to $132 million, higher than the North American run of “Transformers: The Last Knight,” and making it Paramount’s highest grossing domestic release since “Star Trek: Beyond,” which made $158.8 million in summer 2016.

“Rampage” will take second this weekend, pulling away from some unexpected competition with $9.1 million in its second Saturday, an 82 percent bump from Friday. Matinee screenings were a big boost, and the WB/New Line film is now estimated to make $20.3 million in its second weekend, just a 43 percent drop from its $35.7 million opening and giving it a 10-day total of $65.9 million. Internationally, the film continues to be a big hit in China, where it has a total of $106 million and a global total of $283 million.

In third and fourth are this weekend’s two new comedy releases, STX’s “I Feel Pretty” and Fox Searchlight’s “Super Troopers 2.” “I Feel Pretty” has slowed down slightly with $6 million made on Saturday, bringing its estimated opening to $16.2 million from 3,440 screens. That’s still slightly higher than pre-weekend projections, but lower than the $19.5 million start made by Amy Schumer’s last film, “Snatched.”

STX’s last comedy, “A Bad Moms Christmas” opened to $16 million back in November and went on to leg out a $72 million domestic run. But it will be a tough road for “I Feel Pretty” to post similar results, as it tries to serve as comedy counter-programming against the likes of “Avengers: Infinity War” in a blockbuster-filled May. “A Bad Moms Christmas” only dropped 31 percent in its second weekend with $11.4 million, and “I Feel Pretty” will likely have to keep its drop off at 50 percent or less to reach a domestic run of over $50 million.

“I Feel Pretty” earned a B+ on CinemaScore and 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (RT). The film was produced by Voltage for $32 million and acquired by STX for $15 million.

“Super Troopers 2” is in fourth with an estimated $15 million, but is in a much better spot financially with a $5 million budget and pre-weekend projections of $8-9 million. This sequel to the 2001 cult film has brought fans of the original back to theaters, earning a B+ on CinemaScore and a 33 percent RT score.

Universal/Blumhouse’s “Truth or Dare” takes fifth place this weekend with $7.9 million, giving it a 10-day total of $30 million. Lower on the charts, Lionsgate’s thriller “Traffik” opened on 1,046 screens and made $3.9 million.

Finally, “Black Panther” pushed its domestic total to $681 million on the final weekend before “Avengers” arrives in theaters worldwide on April 27. It also has a global total of $1.32 billion, putting it on the verge of passing the global run of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Meanwhile, it has been joined by “Ready Player One” as one of only two films so far this year to gross over $500 million worldwide. It is also the first Steven Spielberg film since “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” to reach that mark, with a domestic total of $126 million, a Chinese total of $207 million, and a global count of $521.6 million.

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Kanye West Applauds Black Lives Matter Critic; Many Fans Revolt: ‘This Is So Disturbing’ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 02:55:45 +0000 Rosemary Rossi Kanye West voiced his liking of conservative YouTube personality Candace Owens on Saturday, upsetting many of his fans.

Owens — a frequent guest on Fox News and InfoWars — launched a website and YouTube channel in 2017 called Red Pill Black, which promotes black conservatism. She has hailed President Trump as not “just the leader of the free world, but the savior of it as well,” and has been known to blast Black Lives Matter.

West tweeted Saturday: “I like how Candace Owen thinks.”

Upon seeing West’s endorsement, Owens quickly responded: “I’m freaking out. @kanyewest ….please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music. I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community.”

West giving his nod of approval to Owens didn’t sit well with many of his 11 million followers.

But Owens held her ground and clarified her perspective.

West met in December 2016 with then President-elect Donald Trump. TMZ reported at the time that West requested a 15-minute meeting with Trump, who later told reporters, “We discussed life.” Two months later, West deleted all of his tweets supportive of the new president.

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On the Bubble 2018: Which Broadcast TV Shows Will Be Canceled and Which Will Be Renewed? Sat, 21 Apr 2018 23:15:33 +0000 Tony Maglio and Reid Nakamura April TV ratings bring May cancellations — but sometimes last-minute renewals, too.

Mid-spring marks the time of year when at-risk shows must sweat out their fates — sometimes right up until networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers at their upfront presentations in May. Optimism has its place in Hollywood, but it ranks somewhere between actual advertising money and the feel-good awards that can sometimes keep low-rated shows alive.

Generally, top-performing shows from each broadcast network have already received their votes of confidence for another season, and the worst performers were snuffed out months ago. But then there are the bubble shows, which could really go either way.

Their fates come down to lots of hard-to-quantify factors: momentum, reviews, how much they cost to make, how much money the people who watch them make, syndication situations, diversity, and what networks have to replace them. And then there are executives’ personal tastes. It’s part science, part crapshoot.

TheWrap is here to help make sense of it all, charting below what scripted series have already been renewed on each of the English-language broadcast networks, what’s been canceled or just ended, and which way each of the many remaining decisions will likely lean.

All ratings in this story come from the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, and count a week’s worth of delayed viewing where available.

Every network has to cancel some shows to make way for promising pilots — even the highest-rated broadcaster. NBC just needs to get going already.

Here, “Champions” and “Taken” are obviously getting the axe, but scrapping two shows probably won’t clear enough brush. “Timeless” is likely to join them in the canceled pile (again), and we don’t expect a fan backlash to work on Bob Greenblatt this time.

“Great News,” “A.P. Bio,” “Rise,” “The Brave” and “Good Girls” all appear to be truly on the bubble. Tina Fey’s “Great News” has its auspices going for it, but that was the excuse for bringing it back last year. The ratings don’t justify taking another flyer.

Lackluster as its own performance as been, “A.P. Bio” will probably squeak in to fill NBC’s “edgy” comedy slot. We believe “Rise” is on-brand enough for the network and a solid scripted partner for TV’s top singing competition. “The Brave” probably did enough in its time slot to justify another go, and “Good Girls” feels enough of-the-moment to return.

Beyond those, “The Blacklist” basically comes down to if James Spader wants to do more, while “Blindspot” performs well-enough for a Friday show to warrant another nod.

The rest are Dick Wolf shows, and why would those go away?

In chart form:

CBS has already given a vote of confidence to freshman dramas “S.W.A.T.” and “SEAL Team,” both of which have performed admirably.

The entire “NCIS” franchise also made the cut, as did the Dr. Phil-produced “Bull,” awards-contender “Mom,” and the network’s Friday drama line-up. “The Big Bang Theory” had already been renewed through next season, and new partner “Young Sheldon” became one of the season’s first renewals earlier this year.

As for CBS’s other new shows, the high-concept comedy “Me, Myself & I” was a quick goner, and “Wisdom of the Crowd” was buried after sexual assault accusations against star Jeremy Piven.

Johnny Galecki’s “Living Biblically” premiered midseason in the timeslot previously occupied by “Me, Myself & I” to similarly disappointing ratings and soon followed it to cancellation.

Mark Feuerstein’s “9JKL” also made little dent on Monday nights when it debuted in the fall. With “Young Sheldon” as CBS’ only new comedy hit, returning players “Kevin Can Wait,” “Man With a Plan” and “Life in Pieces” should make it through, though none are a sure bet. It’s worth point out here that “Life in Pieces” is a 20th Century Fox show, and non-ownership very rarely helps.

Perennial bubble show “Criminal Minds,” meanwhile, also has the misfortune of being an outside production. A decision there will likely come down to the wire, but we’re betting a 14th season is in the cards.

The Katharine McPhee-led “Scorpion” seems even less of a lock, though a decision will depend on the network’s developing pipeline and the performance of “Code Black” and “Elementary,” both of which are yet to premiere. We’re told “Scorpion’s” fanbase has been particularly vocal about keeping that show on the air, which could theoretically do the trick.

This season, ABC had two big success stories, the freshman medical drama “The Good Doctor” and the mega-hit “Roseanne” revival, and the network was quick to renew both.

But with a number of its long-running shows coming to an end — “The Middle,” “Once Upon a Time” and the network-defining “Scandal” are all concluding their runs this season — and few other breakout hits, ABC will have to take a long, hard look at its slate as it decides what to keep and cut loose.

Few of the network’s new shows have stuck, with the comedy “The Mayor” pulled from the schedule early and “Inhumans” limping through its eight-episode season last fall, following a heavily hyped but critically reviled premiere.

“Alex Inc.” and the Shondaland legal drama “For the People” all failed to make an impact in the ratings and are unlikely to return, and the high-concept drama “The Crossing,” whose time-traveling refugees were rejected by viewers, was dead on arrival. Though we don’t believe “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” will ultimately be saved for next season, strong support from the highest levels at ABC makes it an actual possibility.

Midseason entries “Splitting Up Together” and “Deception” have both managed to perform well enough to get another shot in an otherwise disappointing season. Those two shows are examples of when it is better to be a bubble show on ABC than on NBC or CBS.

With “Scandal” going off the air and Shonda Rhimes decamping to Netflix, ABC will look to hold on to reliable performers, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Grey’s” spinoff “Station 19” has also proven a solid (enough) partner for the medical drama. Thumbs up to those three.

Fox got a bunch of no-brainer renewals out of the way, and this was always going to be “New Girl’s” farewell to fans. “The X-Files” could return at any time, but everyone definitely sounds done with that for now — and maybe even forever, this time.

“The Mick” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” should make it back based on creative. “Star” has proven to be a good partner for “Empire,” so expect more there too. Additionally, “The Resident” ratings are a win for Fox, people seem to like “Lethal Weapon,” and “LA to Vegas” should fly at least once more before being grounded.

Don’t be shocked if this ends up being the last season for “The Last Man on Earth,” but right now we think Will Forte and his sports balls will make the cut to come back.

“Ghosted” is probably the most interesting case of Fox’s numerous shows on the bubble. Though the Adam Scott-Craig Robinson vehicle’s demo number — a 1.6 — looks pretty good at first blush, the first-season sitcom was inflated by some NFL football this fall. Mucking up the waters even more, “Ghosted” shifted showrunners in the middle of Season 1, and it still has some episodes to air. Fox is holding tight on a decision until execs see how the new version of the new series fares.

As for “The Exorcist,” well, it’s high time to exorcise that Friday show. “Lucifer,” which is not a Fox-owned series (something that one could argue probably won’t matter anyway after this Disney deal goes through), seems like the next man out. Put the Devil back in Hell.

The CW
The youngest-skewing broadcast network renewed 10 series in one fell swoop, including newbie “Black Lightning,” which has performed pretty well in its first year. Unfortunately, The CW cannot say the same about fellow freshmen “Valor” and “Life Sentence,” which have both been rough.

Star Lucy Hale has been lobbying her large fanbase to save “Life Sentence,” though we doubt that’ll be enough. “Valor” averages the same poor rating, and that one doesn’t even have a Lucy Hale.

The real coin-flip here is “iZombie.” Though the show’s Nielsen number among adults 18-49 doesn’t really justify another season, it is totally possible that The CW adding Sunday nights to its national schedule next season will. Mark Pedowitz now requires more content than the network has needed in nine years.

Also of note here, “The Originals” is a planned ending. Based on last night’s premiere numbers, that’s probably a good idea.

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How ‘The LEGO Movie’ Was ‘Ready Player One’ First, and Better (Commentary) Sat, 21 Apr 2018 22:15:30 +0000 Phil Hornshaw (Note: This post contains spoilers for “Ready Player One.”)

If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg’s hit film “Ready Player One,” I get it. On the surface it’s hard to hate on the idea of a film packed with nostalgic callouts to old pop culture, plus a message of friendship, acceptance, and the value of real life versus escapism.

But that’s on the surface. Ultimately, the larger messages and themes are just backdrop to cool visuals and a ton of references, the references don’t really amount to anything except a list of things audiences probably like, and the film’s characters largely just define themselves mainly by liking that stuff.

But what if we told you there was a far superior version of “Ready Player One” that is all of that and much more, and also came out four years earlier? There is: it’s called “The LEGO Movie.”

Both “Ready Player One” and “The LEGO Movie” are epic adventures about playing in a fantasy world populated by characters owned largely by Warner Bros., dressed up in more meaningful messages to dilute the consumerism. And both films feature deliberately uninteresting protagonists who seem defined largely by their interests. But that’s where the similarities basically end.

The main character of “Ready Player One,” Wade (Tye Sheridan), proudly likes the right things — “Back to the Future,” “Buckaroo Banzai,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “The Shining” and so on. It’s part of his quest to win riches by solving a puzzle at the heart of the online virtual world OASIS, essentially an enormous online video game. But while OASIS is a place where you can supposedly “be anything,” the things that people most often end up being are the creations of other people, and owned by other people.

The mess of characters running around the OASIS — and there’s a lot of them — aren’t made interesting in some way by being used by the players who inhabit them. They’re just quick shots of things you’ve seen before. “The Iron Giant,” the DeLorean from “Back to The Future,” and so on.

But where liking the right stuff and knowing everything about it is a virtue (and Wade’s whole life) in “Ready Player One,” “The LEGO Movie” uses that idea as a jumping off point. The film follows regular guy Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) who, like Wade, likes everything everyone else likes and defines himself by his conformity.

But unlike Wade, Emmet spends the movie figuring out his own identity. The entire plot of “The LEGO Movie” is Emmet finding what makes him unique, an idea taken even further when it’s revealed the entire story is a game being played by Finn (Jadon Sand), a real-life kid. The main conflict of the movie — that LEGO character President Business (Will Ferrell) wants to destroy the universe with the “Kragle,” a bottle of Krazy Glue — is actually a metaphor for Finn’s father wanting to freeze his LEGO sets into permanent finished states. The film eventually has Finn’s father realize that his son is using the toys to create for himself, and to express his individuality.

Meanwhile, even as it makes use of a references to the Warner Bros. stable — DC superheroes, Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings,” Dumbledore from “Harry Potter” — “The LEGO Movie” goes a step further than “Ready Player One.”

“The LEGO Movie” jokes that Superman would ghost an annoying fellow hero, that Batman would be an insufferable narcissist, that Gandalf and Dumbledore don’t have time to shepherd every random hero through his or her origin story. These aren’t just shoutouts to random characters, they’re subversions of viewer expectation. Your understanding of the source material is expanded, not just catered to.

Both “Ready Player One” and “The LEGO Movie” are ultimately about playing in a preexisting pop culture world. But where “Ready Player One” flashes a picture of a thing you like, “The LEGO Movie” bothers to know something about it, and turns it into something new and surprisingly deep. That’s special and, four years later, something that hasn’t fully been duplicated.

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‘In a Relationship’ Film Review: Emma Roberts and Michael Angarano Try to Liven Up Underwritten Characters Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:57:57 +0000 Elizabeth Weitzman You know that couple who met in a bar and discovered they both loved [Werner Herzog/Father John Misty/trips to Cabo/the color blue] so they began dating, and even after they realized they had nothing else in common it was easier to stay together than break up?

We’ve all been around them. But do you want to watch their movie? Maybe, if you’ve also been them, or are willing to admit you’re still in a relationship that fits the above description.

Everyone else, though, may find their patience running thin with Hallie (Emma Roberts) and Owen (Michael Angarano), the two young, bland Los Angelenos at the center of Sam Boyd’s romantic indie “In a Relationship.”

They’re both about 25, so it’s hard to understand why Hallie is pushing insistently to move in together. In fact, it’s a lot easier to see why Owen’s resisting. They fight all the time and don’t seem to share anything other than their own relationship. Since they’re not nice to each other, we’re never given the chance to invest in them together. But because they don’t have much else going on, it’s also tough to care about them individually.

More interesting are Hallie’s cousin Willa (Dree Hemingway, “Starlet”) and Owen’s best friend Matt (Patrick Gibson, “The OA”). Willa is, we’re repeatedly told, a blonde goddess who is far too good for the slightly goofy, inexperienced Matt. But he adores her, and she’s intrigued at being treated like a human rather than a conquest for a change. Because each is aiming for more than they’ve had before, the stakes are just a little bit higher, giving their storyline a tender undercurrent.

Boyd has put together a solid team for his feature debut, in which a range of well-chosen locations are shot with crisp precision by Martim Vian.

All the actors are pros, and every character is likely to remind you of someone you’ve vaguely known. Of the four, though, Matt feels the most real. Like the others, he has one primary trait (insecurity, in his case), but Gibson fleshes him out enough to engage us in his feelings.

While Boyd expanded the movie from a short film, he has left some important elements out of his script. It would have helped if we knew the characters’ back stories, or family histories, or even just more about their inner lives. We’re meant to understand exactly who Willa and Matt are when she orders a vodka water, and he requests “the lightest beer you have.”

But if Boyd’s perspective is limited, his focus is sharp. Most of all, the movie represents that post-collegiate period in which you’re still Figuring Stuff Out. It’s about trying to balance out-sized bills and crappy jobs with random parties and awkward dates, wondering if it’s better to be a little lonely with someone else, or hidden inside your apartment drinking your self-pity away.

Actually, that description alone should be enough to help you decide if this one’s worth the 90-minute commitment. For some, the sense of familiarity will feel comfortable and easy. Others will know instantly that they’re looking for more.

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The Complete Timeline of Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies, From ‘Iron Man’ to ‘Infinity War’ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:34:06 +0000 Phil Hornshaw and Ross A. Lincoln

The beginning of time: The Big Bang explodes from six preexisting singularities. As the universe is created, remnants of these singularities are forged into objects with incredible power over specific aspects of existence: Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Soul and Time. These objects, eventually known as the Infinity Stones, become dispersed throughout the universe, often in forms that make their true nature unrecognizable.

The Distant Past: The most ancient beings in the universe, Celestials, are born. The oldest of them, Ego, comes into existence and finds itself alone. Ego spends millennia slowly learning to control matter, eventually creating a planet around itself, as well as a human-like extension of itself to explore the universe, searching for other life.

Ego finds life — and is pretty underwhelmed by it. He decides to spread himself across the universe. He travels the universe planting seeds of himself on different planets; at the same time, he fathers children with a number of species, hoping for a child that can help him activate the seeds.

As other Celestials emerge, they become the first to understand and make use of Infinity Stones, devising technology to channel their power into weapons of unimaginable destruction. At one point, several celestials figure out how to share the Infinity Stones’ energy among themselves, but are quickly destroyed by it.

During this period, an unnamed Celestial is decapitated. Billions of years later, his severed head is turned into the interstellar mining colony called Knowhere.

Some time later, beings known in the comics as Elders of the Universe come into existence. Immortal (though not all -powerful), these beings cope with their long lives by indulging their obsessions. Among them are Taneleer Tivan, later known as The Collector, and En Dwi Gast, later known as The Grandmaster.

Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of years ago: a massive meteor made of pure Vibranium crashes in central Africa. Over eons, the impact crater is covered by earth and foliage until it’s buried underground.

Between 130,000 and 10,000 years ago: On Earth, five early human tribes discover the Vibranium meteor impact site, and over time found the nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans eventually use the powerful technology created with Vibranium — and the advantage of being Earth’s only source of it — to hide themselves from the rest of the world. The kings of Wakanda use the Heart-Shaped Herb that grows near the original vibranium impact site to become the Black Panther.

2988 B.C.: The Nine Realms — including Asgard (home of the Norse Gods), Midgard (Earth), Jotunheim (Frost Giants), and Svartalfheim (Dark Elves) — become aligned in an event called “Convergence,” which happens every 5,000 years.

During the Convergence, Malekith, genocidal leader of the Dark Elves, gains possession of the Aether, actually the Reality Infinity Stone, and tries to destroy the Nine Realms with it. He is defeated by Asgard, led by king Bor. Asgard then comes into possession of the Aether.

Asgard also comes into possession of another Infinity Stone, the Space Stone, around this time. The Space Stone will eventually become known as the Tesseract.

Sometime later, Bor’s son, Odin, becomes king and leads Asgard in the conquest of the Nine Realms. He’s assisted by his firstborn, Hela the goddess of death, but soon realizes she has become consumed with lust for destruction and conquest. He’s forced to wage war to stop her, only winning after enormous sacrifices, including the death of all but one of his elite Valkyrie warriors.

After Hela is imprisoned, Odin transforms Asgard into a peaceful, enlightened society built around culture and science rather than conquest, and all record that Hela ever existed is scrubbed from the historical record.

965 AD: Odin leads Asgard in war to stop the Frost Giants of Jotunheim from conquering Earth. In the aftermath, he takes the Frost Giants’ prince and adopts him, naming him Loki. Loki, raised alongside Odin’s natural born son, Thor is never told he’s a Frost Giant, and neither of the brothers are told about Hela.

Around this time, Odin hides the Tesseract among Asgardian worshippers in Tønsberg, Norway. This is eventually forgotten and the Tesseract is considered lost. By this point, the Aether has also become lost, and forgotten.


1934: HYDRA leader Johann Schmidt convinces the Nazi High Command to allow HYDRA to conduct research and develop weapons for the Third Reich. Schmidt captures scientist Abraham Erskine and forces him to work on his super-soldier serum for the Nazis.

1936: 18 year-old Steve Rogers’ mother dies from tuberculosis in Brooklyn, New York. After the funeral Steve’s best friend, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, offers his support and help, telling Steve he’ll be “with you til the end of the line.”

1940: Schmidt injects himself with a prototype of the super-soldier serum, which gives him powers, but disfigures his face, leading to him taking the nickname “Red Skull.” Erskine is rescued from HYDRA by British secret agent Peggy Carter. He joins American industrialist Howard Stark in continuing his super-soldier research for the Allies via the Strategic Scientific Reserve, predecessor to the agency called S.H.I.E.L.D.

1942: Bucky enlists in the U.S. army after the outbreak of World War II. Steve makes multiple attempts to join him, but is repeatedly turned down due to poor health and small stature.

That same year, Red Skull finds the Tesseract hidden in a church in Tønsberg. He uses it to power several experimental machines and weapons.

1943: Erskine recruits Steve Rogers as a candidate for his refined serum. The serum transforms Rogers from a small, weak man into a super-soldier, but Erskine is killed by a HYDRA agent during the procedure. Rogers takes on the persona of Captain America and becomes a war hero after rescuing Bucky and other American soldiers from a HYDRA facility overseen by scientist Arnim Zola, who conducts inhumane experiments on POWs.

Bucky and some of the rescued soldiers become known as the Howling Commandos, an elite squad led by Captain America.

1945: Captain America and the Howling Commandos successfully capture Zola, but Bucky is lost during the operation and presumed dead. Two months later, Captain America defeats Red Skull, but in order to prevent Red Skull’s bomber from attacking the United States, Cap is forced to crash the plane somewhere near Greenland. He is lost and presumed dead. Howard Stark recovers the Tesseract during his search for Cap’s body, and it eventually becomes top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. property.

1949: Arnim Zola is released from prison as part of project paperclip and joins S.H.I.E.L.D., but secretly enacts a plan to rebuild HYDRA within it. He recruits sleeper agents and spreads them throughout the agency and the U.S. government. HYDRA recovers Bucky Barnes, who survived his presumed death thanks to Zola’s earlier experiments. Bucky is brainwashed to become an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The procedure removes his memories of his past life and identity, and when he’s not on mission, Bucky is frozen in cyrostasis, keeping him in peak physical condition for decades.


1960s: The Winter Soldier is used for covert HYDRA missions, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Hydra operatives work behind the scenes to sow chaos worldwide as part of a plan to eventually create a fearful population desperate for security.

1980: Ego, still seeding the universe, reaches Earth, where he falls in love with Meredith Quill. They have a son, Peter Quill. Ego leaves Meredith, although he returns on two occasions to visit her.

1984: S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Hank Pym invents a suit that allows him to shrink to an insect’s size, and a device that allows him to communicate with and command ants. He takes on the mantle of Ant-Man, while his wife, Janet, makes a suit of her own and becomes The Wasp. The two perform covert operations on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.


1987: To disarm a Soviet missile headed toward the U.S. The Wasp is forced to shrink to fit between the molecules of the casing to get inside. She’s presumably lost in the subatomic Quantum Realm, unable to return to normal size. In his grief, Hank gives up being Ant-Man. Two years later, he resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to keep them from replicating his technology.

1988: Realizing he’s fallen in love with Meredith, Ego gives her cancer in order to preserve his goal. Following her death, aliens called the Ravagers abduct Peter Quill from Earth. Ego hired The Ravagers, led by Yondu, to abduct his children from across the galaxy. Yondu discovers Ego has been killing his children, and so keeps Peter to raise him as a Ravager.

~Late 1980s-1991: Young Natasha Romanoff is recruited into a ruthless KGB assassin program. This continues after the dissolution of the USSR and she becomes one of Russia’s top assassins, code-named Black Widow.

1991: HYDRA deploys the Winter Soldier to assassinate Howard Stark and his wife to steal S.H.I.E.L.D.’s remaining super-serum, while making the deaths look like an accident. Howard’s son, Tony Stark, inherits Stark Industries.

1992: Prince N’Jobu, acting as a spy for Wakanda, heads to Oakland, California. The racial disparity he encounters causes him to believe Wakanda should abandon its isolationist stance and arm oppressed people across the globe. N’Jobu secretly works with arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to steal Vibranium from Wakanda, and in the process, several people are killed, including the parents of W’Kabi, a friend of Prince T’Challa.

King T’Chaka comes to Oakland and confronts N’Jobu, killing him in the dispute. T’Chaka leaves behind N’Jobu’s young son, N’Jadaka, known in the U.S. as Erik Stevens, rather than return the boy to Wakanda.

News Year’s Eve 1999-2000: Tony Stark meets scientist Aldrich Killian, who promotes his company, Advanced Idea Mechanics. Stark promises to meet Killian later, but blows him off to spend the night with Maya Hansen. Hansen, another scientist, shows him her research into a means of rewriting genetic codes to regrow human tissue that has the side effect of causing biological material to explode. They sleep together, but the next morning, Tony leaves without saying goodbye.

~Late 1990s-early 2000s: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Clint “Hawkeye” Barton is sent to kill Natasha Romanoff , but convinces her to defect to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead.

2005: As part of a government project, Dr. Bruce Banner uses gamma radiation in an attempt to recreate Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier formula. Banner experiments on himself but the process turns him into The Hulk. Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross pursues Banner, and Banner goes on the run. He remains at large for the next six years.

2010: Tony Stark, who turned Stark Industries into a major weapons manufacturer, is captured by terrorists during a missile demonstration in Afghanistan. Stark takes shrapnel to the chest during the attack, but a fellow captive scientist named Yensin creates a device that keeps the shrapnel from destroying his heart. Tony adapts this into the power source for a prototype Iron Man suit, which he uses to escape. He now must live with the device permanently lodged in his chest, or he’ll die.

Upon his return, Stark discovers that his father’s business partner, Obadiah Stane, orchestrated Stark’s capture and has been using the company to sell weapons to terrorists. Stark perfects the Iron Man suit, defeats Stane, and reveals he is Iron Man during a press conference, becoming only the second publicly-known superhero. Soon after, he is recruited into the Avengers Initiative by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury.


May 29-June 4, 2011: The events of “Iron Man 2,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Thor” occur during a single week.

First, Tony Stark is now a celebrity for his exploits as Iron Man, but the Arc Reactor in his chest, which keeps him alive, is also poisoning him. He’s attacked by Ivan Venko, who believes that Howard Stark ruined his father. Venko is helped by rival industrialist Justin Hammer. Tony’s friend James Rhodes is forced to use one of Stark’s prototype suits to stop Stark’s increasingly reckless behavior, and Rhodes confiscates the suit for U.S. Air Force, becoming known as War Machine. Together, Stark and Rhodes defeats Venko and Hammer.

Meanwhile, in Asgard, Thor makes war on the Frost Giants in Jotenheim against Odin’s wishes. During the battle, Loki learns he is Frost Giant. Odin banishes Thor to Earth as punishment for his defiance and strips him of his right to use the hammer Mjølnir. In Asgard Loki is angry at having been lied to about his origin and plots to overthrow Odin. On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster and Eric Selvig, uncovers Loki’s plan, and returns to Asgard to save the day. During the fight, Asgard’s Bifrost Bridge, a wormhole Asgardians use to travel throughout the Nine Realms, is destroyed and Loki presumed dead.

Finally, Bruce Banner is discovered hiding in Brazil. After escaping capture by covert military forces, he makes his way north to the United States seeking a cure for his Hulk problem. Instead, the military replicates his condition in military contractor Emil Blonsky, who turns into The Abomination and rampages through New York City. Banner is forced to transform into the Hulk to defeat him, but in the process large sections of Harlem are destroyed. Banner goes back into hiding.

S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps tabs on Banner but leaves him be for the time being. Meanwhile, aware that earth is vulnerable to extraterrestrial threats, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Selvig to study the Tesseract in order to develop weapons that could defend against invaders. Unknown to everyone, Loki survived, somehow made his way to Earth, and now secretly controls Selvig’s mind.

April 2012: Captain America is discovered frozen, but still alive thanks to the super-soldier serum. S.H.I.E.L.D. revives Rogers, who discovers that he has been asleep for 66 years.

May 2012: Using a scepter that allows him to control minds, Loki steals the Tesseract and attempts to conquer the Earth with the help of an alien army. In response, Nick Fury assembles Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner as The Avengers, soon joined by Thor. After an uneasy start, The Avengers pull together and defeat Loki, though much of New York City is destroyed during the battle. Thor returns to Asgard with Loki, and takes the Tesseract with him. Bruce goes to work for Tony Stark, and Captain America becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Black Widow and Hawkeye. S.H.I.E.L.D. also takes possession of Loki’s mind control scepter.

Unknown to The Avengers, the scepter is powered by an Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone. Further, Loki was actually working for the Mad Titan, Thanos, who seeks to control all six Infinity Stones. Thanos is warned by his henchmen that Earth is a much greater threat than previously assumed.

Shortly after the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his crew are contracted by the city to salvage alien wreckage and clean up the battle site. They lose the contract when Damage Control, a joint venture between the government and Stark Industries, takes over. Toomes switches to a life of crime, using salvaged alien technology his crew didn’t turn over to Damage Control to build illegal weapons and sell them on the black market.

December 2012: Tony Stark, suffering PTSD after nearly dying during the Battle of New York, once again encounters Killian, who has since teamed up with Hansen to create super soldiers based on her earlier work. Killian has nursed a grudge against Tony for twelve years and using a made-up terrorist called “The Mandarin” (actually a drug-addled actor) as a smokescreen, plans to kill the U.S. president, sell super soldiers to the government, and destroy Tony Stark. On Christmas Day Stark, with help from Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Stark Industries CEO and Tony’s girlfriend, defeats Killian. Shortly after, he invents a way to remove the shrapnel from his heart, and decides to retire as Iron Man.

November 2013: Jane Foster, investigating a scientific anomaly caused by the latest Convergence of the Nine Realms, comes into contact with the Aether, which uses her as a host. This will kill her, so Thor brings her to Asgard for more advanced medical care. The Dark Elves attack Asgard and Earth in an attempt to reclaim the Aether, and Thor enlists Loki’s help to stop the Elves. During the battle, Loki fakes his death (again). Thor brings the Aether back to Asgard. Meanwhile, Loki has disguised himself as Odin and now rules Asgard.

Shortly after, it’s decided that having two Infinity Stones in the same place is too dangerous, so Asgard gives the Aether to The Collector, who lives on Knowhere, for safekeeping.

2014: Arnim Zola and his hidden HYDRA sleeper agents finally enact their plan to take over S.H.I.E.L.D. and use its technology to eliminate anyone who might be a threat. With the help of Nick Fury, Black Widow, and his new friend Sam “Falcon” Wilson, Captain America uncovers the plan, and is forced to fight The Winter Soldier, whom he discovers is his old friend, Bucky. With Cap’s help, Bucky regains some of his memories and goes on the run as a fugitive.

That same year, Peter Quill — now known as Star-Lord — teams with Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon create the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to stop Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser (also working on behalf of Thanos) from possessing an object called the Orb, actually the Power Infinity Stone. The Guardians defeat Ronan, but Gamora’s sister Nebula (both were raised by, and hate Thanos) escapes. After initially wanting to sell it to The Collector, they instead leave the Orb in the care of Nova Corps.


A few months later, Peter Quill and the Guardians encounter Ego, who found out about Peter after hearing he briefly held the Infinity Stone without dying. Ego explains that Quill is his son and that he’s also part Celestial, which is why the Infinity Stone didn’t kill him immediately. Ego attempts to use Quill to power up his seeds and take over the galaxy, but the Guardians, joined by Nebula and Yondu, stop him — although Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill.

Throughout the year, HYDRA boss Baron von Strucker conducts experiments on Sokovian siblings Wanda and Pietro Maximoff using Loki’s Scepter — AKA the Mind Stone — giving them superpowers.

May 2015: Tony Stark comes out of retirement to help The Avengers mop up remaining HYDRA forces. They retrieve Loki’s Scepter — and the Mind Stone, and Stark and Bruce Banner use it to create what they hope will be a peacekeeping artificial intelligence that could replace the Avengers. Instead they accidentally create the powerful robotic entity Ultron, which attempts to destroy humanity and remake the planet in his own image. The Avengers defeat Ultron, but not before it destroys a city in Sokovia, costing many lives.

Ultron’s scheming results in the birth of The Vision, a merging of Stark’s JARVIS AI with the Mind Stone. He joins the Avengers along with Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch. Meanwhile, Banner, traumatized by the events and his own uncontrollable nature as Hulk, leaves Earth in the Avengers’ Quinjet for an unknown destination.

July 2015: Recently-paroled thief Scott Lang breaks into Hank Pym’s home in hopes of stealing something valuable to pay for child support. Instead, he finds Pym’s Ant-Man suit and its capabilities. Pym convinces Lang to become the new Ant-Man to help stop Pym’s former protege, Darren Cross, who hoped to create a copy of the Ant-Man suit called Yellowjacket and sell it to HYDRA. Amid all this, he fights Falcon, who will later recruit him during the Marvel Civil War.

Late 2015: Queens high school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops super powers. He makes a makeshift costume and operates in Queens as Spider-Man.



June 2016: Already distrusted after disasters like Sokovia and New York, the Avengers cause an international incident when operation in Yemen accidentally causes the death of several Wakandan aid workers. This prompts the Sokovia Accords, an international treaty to make the Avengers subject to UN oversight. Captain America opposes the accords while Iron Man supports them, forcing the other Avengers take sides.

A bomb is detonated at the signing of the Sokovia Accords in Vienna, killing T’Chaka, the king of Wakanda, and Bucky Barnes is subsequently framed for it. The king’s son, T’Challa, assumes the identity of Black Panther and vows to kill Bucky, while Captain America moves to protect him. Barnes and Cap learn that Helmut Zemo was really responsible for the attack, and believe he is trying to get control of several remaining HYDRA super-soldiers. But the Accords make unsanctioned attempts to stop Zemo illegal, and he is now a wanted man.

Tony Stark the authorities to let him be the one who brings Steve in. He assembles the Avengers who support the accords, while Steve gathers those who oppose them. The two factions clash, but in the War Machine is severely injured. Steve and Bucky escape, and the Avengers who joined them are arrested and sent to secret prison for superpowered people. Stark realizes that the Avengers have been manipulated by Zemo, but his friendship with Steve is nearly destroyed when he learns Bucky killed his father. Black Panther apprehends Zemo and takes Barnes to Wakanda to heal his mind. Cap goes on the run with the heroes who supported him, and all the Avengers’ relationships are badly damaged.

Days later, T’Challa returns to Wakanda for his coronation, officially becoming king and Black Panther. When Ulysses Klaue resurfaces, T’Challa and his allies team with the CIA to capture Klaue, but Klaue is rescued by his ally, Erik Stevens, who is also known by his U.S. Special Forces nickname, Killmonger.

T’Challa returns to Wakanda and admits he couldn’t stop Klaue, but soon after, Killmonger arrives in Wakanda with Klaue’s body. Killmonger uses killing Klaue, an enemy of Wakanda, and his status as N’Jobu’s son to challenge T’Challa and become king. T’Challa’s allies manage to escape before Killmonger can harm them, and later find T’Challa’s injured body, reviving him using the Heart-Shaped Herb.

Killmonger prepares to use Vibranium weapons to arm people across the world and create a Wakandan-led revolution. T’Challa returns and eventually defeats and kills Killmonger, but decides to end Wakanda’s isolationist practices in favor of using the nation’s wealth and technology to help the rest of the world.


During the Marvel civil war Peter Parker was recruited by Stark to help in the brief battle between Avengers. Afterward, Stark gives Parker a new technologically advanced Spider-Man suit. Spider-Man returns to New York and does low-level crime-fighting.

Two months later, Spider-Man struggles to balance high school and a social life with his responsibilities as Spider-Man. He encounters criminals robbing an ATM, using powerful weapons created from salvage from the Battle of New York. Spider-Man tracks the sales back to Toomes, who uses specially designed flying “vulture” armor to steal technology from Damage Control to build weapons.

Spider-Man stops Toomes, who is sent to prison, where he encounters one of his buyers, Mac Gargan (aka the Scorpion), who vows revenge against Spider-Man. Tony Stark offers to make Spider-Man an Avenger, but Spider-Man turns down the offer, opting to help the regular people of New York instead.

Early Fall, 2016: In Kathmandu, Nepal, the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and steal a few pages from an ancient, mystical text belonging to the Ancient One, a long-lived sorcerer who has taught every student at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius and his followers escape.

Around the same time, famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange suffers major nerve damage to his hands in a car accident and spends several months recovering. No longer able to perform surgery, Strange begins a desperate search for ways to heal himself.

Late Winter-Fall 2017: Stephen Strange finds out about Kamar-Taj and travels to Nepal, where he spends the year learning sorcery from The Ancient One. In early Fall, Strange learns that The Ancient One has lived for centuries by tapping into the power of an godlike being from the Dark Dimension called Dormammu. Soon after, The Ancient One is killed by Kaecilius, who seeks to allow Dormammu to take over Earth and end death. Strange defeats Kaecilius by locking Dormammu in a time loop using the Eye of Agamotto, which is actually the Time Infinity Stone. He then takes up residence in the New York City as the city’s master of the mystic arts.

Strange’s friend and magical mentor, Karl Mordo, is disillusioned by The Ancient One’s violation of “natural law” and leaves, later vowing to wipe out all unsanctioned sorcery.

Late 2017-Early 2018: After spending a couple of years looking for a way to stop Ragarok (he had a vision during the fight against Ultron), Thor realizes that Loki has deposed Odin. He returns to Asgard to find out WTF and the pair go to Earth to locate Odin, where they’re aided by Dr. Strange. Odin reveals he is dying, tells Loki and Thor about Hela, and warns his death end her imprisonment. Hela arrives on Earth, destroys Mjølnir, and exiles Thor and Loki, who wind up on planet Sakaar.

Hela takes over Asgard while Thor is forced to fight in the Sakaar gladiator arena, run by the Grandmaster. There, Thor finds that Hulk is Sakaar’s favorite fighter. Eventually, Thor convinces Hulk and the last surviving Asgardian Valkyrie to help him fight Hela.

Back on Asgard, Hela gouges out Thor’s eye. But with the help of Valkyrie, Hulk and Loki, Thor manages to defeat Hela by actually letting Ragnarok begin. Asgard is destroyed, but the Asgardians survive as refugees on a massive spaceship. In the escape, Loki takes the Tesseract with him.

But as the Asgardians, with Thor as their new king, head to Earth, they’re intercepted by a massive spaceship. That ship is the Sanctuary II, commanded by Thanos.

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Avicii’s Death Update: ‘No Criminal Suspicion,’ According to Police Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:27:48 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Following the sudden death of Swedish DJ and producer Avicii on Friday, two post-mortem examinations showed “no criminal suspicion,” according to a police source with Oman’s Royal Police.

“Two autopsies were carried out, one yesterday and one today and we absolutely confirmed that there is no criminal suspicion in the death,” the police told Agence France-Presse.

A spokesperson for the late DJ has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“We have all the information and details regarding the death and this incident,” the source said, adding that the police would not be making any public statements related to the case.

Tim Bergling, also known by his stage name Avicii, died on Friday at the age of 28 in Oman.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his rep Diana Baron said in a statement. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman, this Friday afternoon local time, April 20. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”

In 2016, the musician announced that he would retire from live performances due to health issues, citing a need “to make a change that I’d been struggling with for a while.”

Avicii’s hits include “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” “Levels,” “I Could Be the One,” “Without You,” “My Feelings for You” and “Fade Into Darkness.”

He released two studio albums — one in 2013 and one in 2016. Avicii was ranked third on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs in 2012 and 2013 and was nominated twice for a Grammy. In a statement on his website last year, the musician said he had begun work on another release.

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Verne Troyer, Mini-Me Actor in ‘Austin Powers,’ Dies at 49 Sat, 21 Apr 2018 20:28:06 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Verne Troyer, the actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” films, has died. He was 49.

According to a statement posted on his Instagram account, the actor died Saturday afternoon. Troyer’s representatives did not disclose a cause of death, but the statement alluded to depression and suicide. Troyer’s reps said there would be no comment beyond the statement.

“Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” read the statement. “Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.”

It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday. He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know. Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much. During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately. Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies. Photo by @paulmobleystudio

A post shared by Verne Troyer (@vernetroyer) on

The actor was hospitalized earlier this week after emergency personnel responded to a call at his North Hollywood residence. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told TheWrap that there was a call regarding a medical emergency, resulting in Troyer being transported to a local hospital.

On Tuesday, a message was posted to Troyer’s Instagram account that read, “Asking you to keep Verne in your thoughts and prayers. He’s getting the best care possible and resting comfortably. Appreciate the support from family, friends, and fans around the world. We will keep you updated here.”

Troyer, who was diagnosed with achondroplasia dwarfism and measured 2 feet 8 inches tall, played Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” films and also starred as Griphook the goblin in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

In a statement to TheWrap, “Austin Powers” costar Mike Myers said, “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”

He was born in Sturgis, Michigan, on Jan. 1, 1969 and began his Hollywood career in 1994 as a stunt double in “Baby’s Day Out.” Troyer’s other credits included “The Love Guru,” “Men in Black,” “Jingle All the Way,” “Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Scrubs” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” He also appeared on reality shows like “Celebrity Juice” and “Celebrity Wife Swap.”

Last April, Troyer said that he was entering a treatment center to combat alcohol addiction, after receiving treatment for the past week.

The statement posted to social media also asked that donations be made to either of his two favorite charities, The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies, in lieu of flowers.

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‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2: Everything We Know So Far Sat, 21 Apr 2018 19:48:19 +0000 Reid Nakamura “Big Little Lies” was supposed to be a miniseries; it wasn’t supposed to return for a second season. But it proved to be such a big hit that HBO just couldn’t let it go.

After much speculation and a triumphant awards season, HBO made it official and ordered another seven episodes full of mom drama, lies (of all shapes and sizes) and stunning beachfront property.

Since the first season covered the entirety of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel, little is known about the direction the second season will take or how the show will build upon the already-told story. But with the series currently in production, we do know some of what “Big Little Lies” Season 2 will look like. Here’s everything we know so far.

1. Most of the cast is returning

As executive producers in addition to their on-screen roles, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were the first announced to return to Monterey, but they were followed by nearly all of the show’s original cast.

Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz will also star in the second season, and they’ll be joined by Adam Scott, James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling, Iain Armitage, Kathryn Newton, Robin Weigert, Sarah Sokolovic and Merrin Dungey.

2. Even Alexander Skarsgard

Skarsgard’s character Perry, the abusive husband of Kidman’s Celeste, died at the end of the first season, but according to TV Line, he is still expected to appear “in some capacity.”

When asked about the report by People, the actor replied, “I don’t even know if I’m really dead or not.”

3. Newcomers include Meryl Streep and Bonnie’s parents

As though a second season pick up wasn’t surprising enough, “Big Little Lies” shocked everybody when it announced its newest cast member: Meryl Streep.

For the first time on television since 2003’s “Angels in America,” the three-time Oscar-winner will play Perry’s mother Mary Louise Wright, who arrives in Monterey over worry about her mourning grandchildren.

Kidman shared the first photo of Streep in character (complete with one hell of a wig) on Instagram:

First day on the set with Meryl and “my” darling boys! #BigLittleLies

A post shared by Nicole Kidman (@nicolekidman) on

And though Kravitz’s character Bonnie saw her role reduced from the book in Season 1, it seems like Season 2 will take a deeper dive into her backstory.

“Weeds” alum Martin Donovan and “In the Heat of the Night” star Crystal Fox have signed on to recur in the upcoming episodes as her parents, Martin and Elizabeth, though further character and plot details are being kept tightly under wraps.

4. Here’s what the other characters will be up to

Much of the plot remains unknown — as the show will go beyond its source material in Season 2 — but the episodes will be written by showrunner David E. Kelley and are partially based on story by Moriarty herself.

HBO has teased some of the season’s arcs in character descriptions, which you can read below:

Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright: Reeling from her husband Perry’s death, Celeste is adrift, but determined to fight for her family and find the woman she once was.

Reese Witherspoon as Madeline Martha Mackenzie: Finding that good intentions don’t always yield good consequences, Madeline confronts the truth of Perry’s death, while coming to terms with her own marriage and traditional notions of family.

Shailene Woodley as Jane Chapman: While processing Perry’s sudden death, Jane is trying to build a new life for herself and Ziggy.

Laura Dern as Renata Klein: The epitome of control, Renata is now faced with new challenges in her marriage.

Zoë Kravitz as Bonnie Carlson: Bonnie struggles with Perry’s death and is forced to face demons in her past.

Meryl Streep as Mary Louise Wright: Concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry’s death, Mary Louise arrives in Monterey searching for answers.

Adam Scott as Ed Mackenzie: Ed is forced to confront major challenges in his marriage to Madeline.

James Tupper as Nathan Carlson: Nathan copes with a complicated turn of events in his marriage and with his eldest daughter Abby.

Jeffrey Nordling as Gordon Klein: Gordon faces the consequences of a big mistake and risks losing everything along the way.

Iain Armitage as Ziggy Chapman: Ziggy starts second grade and continues to be the light of Jane’s life.

5. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman got big pay bumps to return

Because the show was conceived as a miniseries, HBO did not have options for the cast beyond the first season. And, as The Hollywood Reporter reported in January, landing deals for the cast to return came at a steep price for the network.

Witherspoon alone, whose producing slate has exploded in recent months with high-profile projects at Apple and now Hulu, is earning “in the $1 million-an-episode ballpark” for the second season, along with fees for serving as an executive producer and points off the backend. Kidman, also an executive producer, is said to have a similar deal.

That led to a brief controversy for the network when an HBO exec said the company had been “sort of raped” financially by the negotiations, comments for which she later apologized.

6. David E. Kelley will write the show; Andrea Arnold will direct

As noted above, Kelley will write and executive produce the second season, as he did the first. But Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallée (who retains an EP credit) will be replaced by Andrea Arnold.

Arnold won an Academy Award in 2005 for directing the short film “Wasp” and has since gone on to direct a number of acclaimed films including “Red Road,” “Fish Tank” and a 2011 adaptation of “Wuthering Heights.”

Her most recent film, 2016’s “American Honey,” took home the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was hailed by critics as the film that proved Arnold to be one of the industry’s best working directors.

7. It will probably premiere in 2019

HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed in an interview with THR in January that with filming on “Big Little Lies” beginning in March, the show would not be back on the air in 2018.

So fans will have to wait until next year to watch Season 2, along with the final run of “Game of Thrones” and the long-awaited third season of “True Detective.”

8. There’s a dog, and he has great hair

Look at him!

Related stories from TheWrap:

First Look at Meryl Streep on 'Big Little Lies' Season 2, Courtesy of Nicole Kidman (Photo)

'Big Little Lies' Season 2 Returns 4 More Cast Members, Adds 2 New Ones

Laura Dern Shares On-Set Photo From 'Big Little Lies': 'Madeline and Renata Are Back' (Photo)

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‘Westworld’ Star Thandie Newton Says She Will Also Receive Equal Pay for Season 3 Sat, 21 Apr 2018 19:36:26 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven “Westworld” star Thandie Newton says she will be receiving the same pay as her male costars for the show’s upcoming third season, shattering “calcified pain, resentment, frustration.”

Contract negotiations are currently underway with the HBO series, Newton told Vanity Fair, saying, “We’re all equal across the board. It’s really exciting. It’s unprecedented. It’s–goodness; it shatters so much calcified pain, resentment, frustration. It just shatters it.”

Because of the progress being made, Newton vowed to never take on another project that would pay her less than her male counterparts.

“I wouldn’t do anything if it didn’t. Definitely not,” she said. “F— that. It literally sets a precedent, and [HBO is] leading the way, which is amazing.”

Newton’s revelation comes almost a week after costar Evan Rachel Wood told TheWrap that her paycheck didn’t match her status for the series’ first two seasons. At least, it wasn’t equal to what the leading men were raking in.

“I think I’m just now to the point where I’m getting paid the same as my male co-stars,” Wood said in a recent interview with Sharon Waxman, TheWrap’s founder and CEO.

With the sophomore installment about to premiere, Wood found out she was getting a bump for Season 3 equal to the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris — the men of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s drama (well, the latter still is, as of that messy freshman year finale).

“I was just told that, you know, ‘Hey you’re, you’re getting equal pay.’ And I was like [gasp]. And I almost got emotional,” Wood said. “I was like, ‘I have never been paid the same as my male counterparts … Never, never.'”

Earlier this month, HBO boss Casey Bloys addressed the topic of pay parity at the premium cabler following comments made by an exec who said the bump in salaries the cast of “Big Little Lies” received for Season 2 “short of raped” the network.

“One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese [Witherspoon], who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows — in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward. And that’s is a direct result of the Times Up movement.”

A spokesperson for HBO has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Westworld” Season 2 will premiere Sunday at 9/8 c on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Westworld': Here Are Some Characters to Watch for in Season 2 (Photos)

'Westworld' Season 2: It's Gonna Get 'Uncomfortable' for Lee as Maeve's 'Unwilling Hostage' (Video)

UnWrapping 'Westworld' Season 1 With Jimmi Simpson and Simon Quarterman (Exclusive Video)

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Let’s Talk About Jay-Z, David Letterman, and Saving Your Relationship (Podcast) Sat, 21 Apr 2018 19:32:42 +0000 Tim Molloy Jay-Z’s wife is understandably getting a lot more attention than he is lately. Beyonce ruled Coachella last weekend, and will surely do it again in her second performance. But homebodies who can’t make it out to the California desert can also see something spectacular by watching Jay-Z’s talk with David Letterman on Netflix’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”

It’s an extremely memorable conversation, filled with cross-cultural translation, that delves into a frank and frankly helpful talk about relationships between two men who have made mistakes and owned up to them. And it’s the subject of the latest “Low Key” podcast, which you can hear on Apple or right here:

“Low Key” is a podcast in which super nerds Aaron Lanton, Keith Dennie and me at pop culture through a racial lens, trying to make sense of low-key key things that may evade attention in most mainstream discourse.

For all their differences — the episode plays up the different types of paper routes Jay-Z and Letterman had as kids — they find extremely common ground talking about how they made mistakes in their relationships, and what they did to fix them. We talk about how rare and potentially helpful their conversation is.

We also talk, of course, about some predictions for “Avengers: Infinity War,” and also why you may want to hire a personal ninja. It’s a good episode.

If you like “Low Key,” be sure to check out Aaron and Keith on “Meanwhile in the Multiverse,” in which they look at real-life events from the perspective of an alternate reality to help make sense of the world in which we actually live.

And you can find Matt Donnelly and me on the “Shoot This Now” podcast, in which we talk about stories that should be made into TV shows or movies. This week, we talk about a story of young love and bloody sheets. You’ll like it.

Have fun at Coachella, on your couch, or wherever you get your relationship insight and ninja advice.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Wakanda Over Everything: How the Fictional Country of 'Black Panther' Might Exist in Real Life (Bonus Podcast)

Let's Talk About Donald Glover as Teddy Perkins… and Jimmy Kimmel as Karl Malone (Podcast)

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