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Charlize Theron Says ‘Old Guard’ Sequel Script Complete, Filming to Begin Early Next Year (EXCLUSIVE)

Charlize Theron attend Charlize Theron's CTAOP
Michael Buckner for PMC

Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”

It’s official! Charlize Theron tells me that the script is done for the sequel to “The Old Guard,” her Netflix film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name. Cameras will start rolling in the first quarter of 2022. The gay couple, played by Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli, will be back, too. “Oh, yeah!” Theron says. “They’re definitely there.” Meanwhile, Vin Diesel tells me that he has writers working on a “Fast & Furious” spinoff for Theron’s character, Cipher. One thing the Oscar winner won’t be doing is guest hosting “The Bachelor.” You’d think producers of the romance reality show would have asked Theron, an unabashed and vocal fan of the franchise. “They have not, goddamn it,” she cracked at her Africa Outreach Project benefit. Would she do it? “No!” she said. “I’d make a terrible host. I know my strengths.”

Valeria Golino is back. The Italian actor made her U.S. film debut in 1988’s “Big Top Pee-wee,” but hasn’t worked stateside in more than 15 years. She’ll soon be seen in Season 2 of “The Morning Show.” She can’t say much, but the character is “volatile, kind of like a fury,” she says during a phone call from her home in Rome. During the four-month shoot in Los Angeles, she bonded with Jennifer Aniston over their heritage. “We’re both half Greeks,” Golino says, adding that she worked most with Steve Carell. “He’s a genius actor,” she says. “I told him he’s the closest thing to Peter Sellars.” Golino didn’t get to meet Reese Witherspoon. Perhaps she’ll get the chance in Season 3? “You never know,” Golino says. “But may in Season 3 they don’t want [my character] around, she’s too much.” Turns out that Pee-wee Herman has something to do with Golino’s new gig: Victoria Thomas cast the actor in the Apple series more than 30 years after casting her in “Big Top.”

SIGHTINGS: Nick Kroll checking out the reopening of John Fraser’s Ardor restaurant at L.A.’s Edition Hotel … “Orange Is the New Black” star Taylor Schilling enjoying dinner at Son of a Gun on 3rd Street.

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Courtesy: Old Spice

I caught up with Patti LaBelle a couple days after Bruce Springsteen’s June 26 return to Broadway. “The audience went crazy. They were excited,” says LaBelle. “I love that.” A similar show could be in LaBelle’s future. “Broadway is definitely not out of the picture,” she says, adding, “I’m 77 and still kicking.” She returns to touring in September. Meanwhile, she’s still developing her biopic. “That’s going to happen,” she says. “There are a lot of young girls who could play me, but I don’t know who it will be yet.” LaBelle and Gladys Knight are also collaborating again after the their Verzuz appearance was a viral hit. “People called it a battle?” LaBelle asks. “How can you battle your friend? We’re peers, but a lot of time people like to compete with each other. That’s so stupid. You all have enough music to share with the world. Nobody is going to outdo anybody.” LaBelle makes a cameo in the new Old Spice commercial featuring Deon Cole (“Black-ish”) and Gabby Dennis (“Black Lady Sketch Show”). The singer plays Dennis’ mom in the 46-second spot. “Old Spice brings back memories of LaBelle’s father and uncle. “Most men I knew back in the day, Old Spice was the thing,” she says. “Men loved it then and today they love it, too.”

Riley Keough who co-stars in A24’s “Zola,” worked with a vocal coach for her role as a 1970s singer in Los Angeles in the upcoming Amazon series “Daisy Jones and the Six.” The actor, whose mom is Lisa Marie Presley, expects comparisons to her grandfather Elvis when viewers hear her sing. “My voice isn’t like Elvis’, but I’ll tell you what — I just recently realized that I do have kind of a country voice,” she tells me on this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast. Keough says she doesn’t listen to Elvis regularly. “If it’s on, I’ll listen to it,” she says. “There’s definitely emotion around it. There was definitely a lot of grief around it growing up, especially seeing my mom and my grandmother [Priscilla Presley]. … I could see from a young age it would make my mom sad.”

Nyle DiMarco is executive producer of the new documentary “Audible,” about a high school football player, Amaree, who is dealing with the death of his best friend, Teddy, as he nears graduation from Maryland School for the Deaf (DiMarco’s alma mater). “Growing up with so many other deaf friends at school … and coming from a deaf family, I became very used to being a part of this community. And looking at [my own] graduation, I wasn’t really sure what was going to come next,” DiMarco recalls. “I had fears and anxieties and wondering if the real world was going to be ready for me. But of course, that’s just a natural part of life.” In Audible, we learn that Teddy was in a relationship with a male cheerleader. DiMarco says he’s not surprised that Teddy’s teammates fully supported him. “It’s a beautiful integration of the [queer and deaf experience],” he says. “I, for so long, have had a goal to really tell deaf people’s stories and our experiences to show that we’re not a monochromatic community. Whether that’s producing TV or film, I really want to see deaf characters, who are truly people and aren’t limited.” “Audible” premieres July 1 on Netflix.

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