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Charlize Theron Circling ‘Fast 8’ Villain Role

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Charlize Theron has received an offer to join the cast of Universal’s next “Fast and Furious” movie, “Fast 8,” as a new villain. While it’s unclear where negotiations stand currently, sources close to the situation tell Variety that the studio is eager to add Theron to the ensemble cast. Universal had no comment. Vin Diesel,… Read more »

TV News Roundup: ‘Riverdale’ Casts Betty Cooper and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones

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The CW’s “Riverdale” pilot, based on Archie Comics, casts Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones — and one is a Disney Channel alum — plus, more in today’s television news roundup . . . Casting News: The CW’s pilot “Riverdale,” based on the Archie Comics, has cast characters Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. Former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse will… Read more »

Amy Schumer to Co-Star in PTSD Drama From ‘American Sniper’ Writer

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Amy Schumer is set to join the cast of DreamWorks’ PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service,” starring Miles Teller, sources tell Variety. The film also stars Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer, Omar Dorsey and Jayson Warner Smith. “American Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall makes his directorial debut on… Read more »

Anne Heche, Philip Baker Hall Join Shirley MacLaine-Amanda Seyfried’s ‘Last Word’

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Anne Heche, Philip Baker Hall, Scott Speedman and Tom Everett Scott have joined the cast of “The Last Word,” starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried. Bleecker Street announced production has begun on the film, directed by Mark Pellington from a script by Stuart Ross Fink. Myriad Pictures is handling international sales on the film at… Read more »

‘White Queen’ Sequel Series ‘The White Princess’ Ordered at Starz

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Starz has greenlit “The White Princess,” a sequel series to the premium cabler’s Rebecca Ferguson-led miniseries “The White Queen,” which aired in 2013. Hailing from Company Pictures and adapted from Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novel of the same name, “The White Princess” tells the story of England’s War of the Roses from the perspective of the women. The… Read more »

MusiCares Honoree Lionel Richie’s Big Night

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Lionel Richie has reserved a single song for his set at the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Person of the Year gala: “All Night Long.” Otherwise, acts such as Pharrell Williams, Luke Bryan, Stevie Wonder and Demi Lovato are free to pick whatever Richie song they want to perform Feb. 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Josh Gad to Star in ‘Heavy Duty’ Weight-Loss Comedy Movie for Paramount

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Paramount Pictures is launching development of Josh Gad’s weight-loss comedy “Heavy Duty,” based on the actor’s original idea. Gad will star in the film based on the script by Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit (“1600 Penn,” “Super Fun Night”). He will also produce with Disruption Entertainment’s Mary Parent and Cale Boyter. Drew Pearce (“Mission: Impossible… Read more »

‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’ Premiere Draws 2.2 Million Viewers Across Networks

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“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” a new weekly series on TBS fronted by the “Daily Show” grad, drew solid sampling of more than 2 million viewers across multiple Turner networks in its premiere last night. Airing at 10:30 p.m., telecasts of “Full Frontal” combined to draw 2.16 million viewers on Adult Swim (986,000), TBS (629,000), TNT… Read more »

Recording Academy President on Why Music Is ‘Much More Inclusive’ in Diversity

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Compared to the mercurial Michael Greene, whom he replaced as president of the Recording Academy in 2002, Neil Portnow is a portrait of calm and stability. He’s overseen dramatic growth in the Academy’s reach and influence, not to mention revenue-generating sources for the organization beyond the Grammy telecast, such as the Beatles 50th anniversary special in 2014, and the Frank Sinatra 100th anniversary special that aired this past December.

‘Star Wars,’ Theme Parks Power Disney to Record Q1 Earnings

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On a dreary day for its competitors in the entertainment sector, Disney reported on Tuesday record quarterly earnings of $2.9 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 2, with earnings of $1.73 per share exceeding both analysts’ estimates and year-prior performance. Led by revenues of $15.24 billion, Disney posted double-digit increases over a year prior for… Read more »