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Jude Law to star as Dumbledore in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel

Jude Law, who appeared in “Sherlock Holmes” and “The Holiday,” will star as a young Dumbledore in the next film installment of the Harry Potter series-based “Fantastic Beasts” movies.

>> Read more trending news

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a Harry Potter spinoff novel, play and film, debuted in theaters in November. 

The film, starring Eddie Redmayne and Dan Fogler, follows the story of Newt Scamander, a British wizard who searches New York City for magical creatures that escaped from his briefcase.

According to Variety, J.K. Rowling has already written the script for “Fantastic Beasts 2,” which will follow Scamander and his friends as they “have to decide on their allegiances.”

Law will play Dumbledore during the time when he served as a transfigurations professor at Hogwarts.

“Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him,” director David Yates said. “I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”

“As fans ourselves, we are thrilled to have Jude Law joining the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ cast, playing a character so universally adored,” Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures, said, according to Variety. “Jude has been a member of the Warner Bros. family for years and we’re excited to embark on this new adventure with him.”

Johnny Depp will continue his role as Grindelwald. 

According to Variety, production of “Fantastic Beasts 2” will start this summer. The movie is set to be released Nov. 16, 2018.

 

Photos: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ premiere

Let the saving of the galaxy begin! The stars of the latest “volume” of “Guardians of the Galaxy” hit the red carpet in Tokyo, Japan.

‘It’ angers professional clowns

Now that fans of the Stephen King movie about a killer clown have had time to digest the long-awaited remake, professional clowns are not happy that another horror movie depicting a murdering man in clown makeup is hitting the big screen.

>> Read more trending news 

Clowns who put on funny faces for a living are saying that “It” will hit their bottom line.

“It’s a horror movie and it affects people’s thoughts and opinions on what a clown is,” Celine Harland told the BBC.

She said that clowns are just bouncing back after last year’s series of creepy clown sightings in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Matthew Faint, a clown who goes by the name “Mattie the clown,” is hoping that people don’t take their children to go see “It.”

“There’s just so many horrible movies out there... clowns that eat people or whatever,” Faint told the BBC.

It” hits theaters in September. It stars Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the clown.

Film academy will stick with accounting firm despite Oscars flub

Despite its culpability in a high-profile gaffe at this year’s Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will continue working with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, officials told members.

>> Read more trending news

Among other duties, the firm is responsible for organizing results and monitoring the distribution of awards at the Oscars. It took responsibility for a flub that led presenters to name “La La Land” as the winner of this year’s Best Picture award instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”

In a letter sent to members Wednesday and obtained by the Los Angeles Times, academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the organization has been “unsparing in our assessment that the mistake made by representatives of the firm was unacceptable.”

“Throughout the last month, the academy team has worked hand in hand with PwC to review our wide-ranging relationship – everything from Oscars voting, auditing, and taxes – during which we asked them to lay out for us a path and a process (toward) ensuring that everything will continue to the high standards the academy expects and you deserve,” she wrote. “After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the board has decided to continue working with PwC.”

Boone Isaacs said a number of new protocols were also agreed to Tuesday during a meeting of the academy’s Board of Governors.

Among other things, PwC agreed to add a third “allotting leader” who will sit in the control room with the show’s director during the ceremony and make sure the correct names are read for the correct awards.

The mistake at this year’s Oscars came after a PwC partner accidentally gave presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the back-up envelope for the Actress in a Leading Role award.

The accounting firm apologized for the mix-up.

‘Get Out’ writer and director Jordan Peele honored with director of the year award

Jordan Peele, writer and director of the brilliant socially conscious horror film “Get Out,” is being honored as Director of the Year at CinemaCon, the gathering of the National Association of Theatre Owners, happening March 30 in Las Vegas.

>> Read more trending news

“With the phenomenon known as ‘Get Out,’ Jordan Peele has instantaneously become a force to reckon with as a gifted and enormously talented director and filmmaker,” CinemaCon Managing Director Mitch Neuhauser said in a statement. “He has audiences and critics around the globe enamored and spellbound, dare I say hypnotized, with his wildly inventive directorial debut, and we are ecstatic to be honoring him as this year’s ‘Director of the Year.’”

Related: Jordan Peele's directorial debut 'Get Out' makes impressive box office gross

“Get Out,” his directorial debut, is quite a departure from “Keanu” or the acclaimed Comedy Central sketch comedy series “Key and Peele.” The movie starts out hitting the notes of a romantic comedy, with Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who is black, and Rose, played by Allison Williams, who is white, headed to a weekend at her parents’ home outside of New York and in the countryside.

Related: Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” takes on the horrors of racism

“I wrote this movie in the Obama presidency. It felt like race was not being discussed in a way I felt like it deserved to be,” Peele said during an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For the past couple of years and especially now, racial tension and racial conversation is front and center in this country.”

The movie captivated audiences and made history when Peele became the first African-American writer-director to earn $100 million with his debut movie. Yet he knows all too well the persistent sting of racism.

“I’ve been asked to hang up coats” while attending black-tie events, he said.

“We have to look within ourselves constantly,” Peele said. “Racism is always going to be present in this country, and racism is not a one-sided dynamic. This isn’t just a black horror movie, this is a movie everyone is meant to enjoy. It’s a way to promote that conversation in a way that’s fun.”

Leonardo DiCaprio shares emotional tribute to 'Gilbert Grape' mom Darlene Cates

Leonardo DiCaprio is going to miss Darlene Cates.

Cates, who played DiCaprio’s mother in the 1993 film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape," died in her sleep over the weekend. She was 69 years old.

>> Darlene Cates, 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' star, dead at 69

On Tuesday, DiCaprio shared an emotional tribute to Cates on Facebook.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

“Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside,” he wrote. “Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

>> See the post here

DiCaprio earned his first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role as Cates’ mentally impaired son. She later went on to act in small parts in “Touched by an Angel” and “Picket Fences.”

(H/T E! News)

Darlene Cates, 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' star, dead at 69

Rest in peace, Darlene Cates.

The actress who played Gilbert’s mother in the 1993 film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" died in her sleep Sunday. She was 69 years old.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

Cates was reportedly discovered when she appeared on an episode of “Sally Jessy Raphael.” The show was titled “Too Heavy to Leave Their House.”

>> Read more trending news

On the episode, Cates opened up about her obesity and the pelvic infection that made her gain about 150 pounds. The screenwriter of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” Peter Hedges, saw her on the show and decided to cast her in the role.

She later became one of the most iconic characters from the film.

>> Watch some clips from the movie here

WATCH: Jokesters make case for 12-foot Paul Walker statue at council meeting

If you’re ever trying to get a city council to listen to your proposition, opening your argument with, “What up, council?” is probably not the best way to begin. But that’s exactly what a jokester in San Clemente, California, did, and we can’t stop laughing at this guy and his fellow "surfer bro" friend.

In a now-viral video from a recent San Clemente City Council meeting, the young man identified himself as "freelance journalist" Chad Kroeger, which just happens to be the same name as the lead singer in the band Nickelback. Then he passionately made his case to have a statue of the late Paul Walker erected in the town.

>> Watch the video here

Kroeger claimed that his love for the late actor came when he was 11 and “my first love Ashley betrayed me by moving to Newport Beach.” In hopes of cheering him up, his father took him to see “The Fast and the Furious,” and he’s never looked back.

The prankster was followed by his cohort, identified as Bodhi Johnson, who added that the film "was epically life-changing."

>> Read more trending news

"It gave me the courage to ask out Shelby; it taught me to never back down, even if a super-tough crew of street racers come at you – stand tall," he said.

KCBS reported that the pair, who previously spoke at a Burbank City Council meeting, are featured in several comedic videos on YouTube.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Cher drops from Flint water crisis movie, cites family issue

Cher will no longer appear as planned in “Flint,” a Lifetime original movie about contaminated river water that became a main water source in the Michigan city in 2014.

The announcement came weeks after news was released that the 70-year-old singer would star in and produce the film.

>> Read more trending news

Cher, who has helped donate more than 100,000 bottles of clean drinking water to the residents of Flint, cited “a serious family issue” as the reason for dropping out.

“This has been a project so near and dear to my heart, and I was truly looking forward to helping tell this story,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, I will be unable to leave Los Angeles during the scheduled filming as I am dealing with a serious family issue that prevents me from going on location for the April filming. I’m so glad that [producers] Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron] plan to move ahead, and I know that this Lifetime movie will be done beautifully.”

According to Deadline, producers have been in the process of casting other roles for “Flint,” but the film is still on track to begin production in Toronto next month.

The film is based on Time magazine’s February 2016 cover story by Josh Sanburn titled, “The Toxic Tap.”

Cher’s role was a Flint resident whose family was impacted by the crisis.

“Flint” is described as “a hard-hitting, fact-based drama that will explore the events that led to the toxic crime and shed light on politics of the poor management and the human element of residents who suffered and were ignored,” according to Variety magazine.

Katie Couric will also serve as an executive producer for the Sony TV-produced film.

This week, comedian Amy Schumer announced she will no longer star in another Sony-produced film as previously planned.

>> Related: Amy Schumer drops out of live-action ‘Barbie’ movie

Reynolds and Fisher honored with humor, music and dance

Laughter, music and the tapping of dancing shoes reverberated throughout a public memorial to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, which loved ones say is just how the actresses would have wanted it.

There were few tears throughout the two-hour ceremony Saturday, which honored the mother-daughter duo's impact on film, culture and those who knew them with a mix of photos, videos, and anecdotes that kept the audience laughing and applauding.

Todd Fisher led the ceremony, which he said was intended to bring fans an intimate view of his mother and sister. He called it a show, saying his mother hated to attend memorials.

Hundreds of fans — some wearing "Star Wars" attire — attended the public ceremony that featured numerous family photos and Reynolds' final interview reflecting on her life and philanthropy, and one of Fisher's high school friends sharing some her off-color emails to him.

A troupe from Reynolds' dance studio performed an homage to "Singin' in the Rain," the film that catapulted Reynolds to stardom at age 19. After an opening film that was an ode to Fisher's "Star Wars" role, a working R2D2 unit came on stage, mournfully beeped and parked next to a director's chair with Fisher's name on it. Across the stage, near a piano, sat an empty chair with Reynolds' name on it.

Fisher, 60, an actress and writer who starred as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, died Dec. 27 after suffering a medical emergency days earlier aboard a flight from London. Reynolds, an Oscar-nominated actress for her role in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," died the following day at age 84.

Todd Fisher recounted his mother's final moments and her remark that she wanted to be with her daughter.

"It was a very peaceful exit that only my mother could have orchestrated," he said to booming laughter. "She was trained in Hollywood where they teach you to make a great entrance, and exit."

Fisher and Reynolds had a complex relationship, with some years of estrangement before they reunited and became close confidantes.

Actor Dan Aykroyd described Fisher, his one-time fiancée, as a chatterbox who never let him speak. He described using the Heimlich maneuver on her once, and joked that if he had been on the plane where Fisher fell ill in December, he "might have been able to save her again."

He echoed a sentiment expressed by many early in his remarks. "We really shouldn't be here this soon," he said.

The ceremony was attended by several stars, including Rene Russo, Beverly D'Angelo, "Dallas" actress Morgan Brittany, actor-director Fisher Stevens, "Brady Bunch" actress Susan Olsen and actor Griffin Dunne.

Dunne recounted living with Fisher in New York when they were both young actors, and her initial reactions to working on "Star Wars." He recounted Fisher's assessment of the film: "It's stupid and it's terrible."

After the first screening, they both knew she had been wrong. "We knew movies would never be the same, and you just knew Carrie's life would never be the same."

When speakers weren't delivering one-liners — some that had been uttered or penned by Fisher and Reynolds — music and dance took over the stage. The ceremony featured a new song James Blunt wrote after Fisher's death, and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles performed a somber rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" that celebrated Fisher's status as a feminist icon.

Actress Ruta Lee celebrated Reynolds' philanthropy in her eulogy, which included her singing to troops during the Korean War and her later efforts raising millions to help those suffering from mental illness. Carrie Fisher battled mental illness and addiction, exploring her struggles in the book "Postcards from the Edge."

Fisher discussed her mother's charitable work in a video clip, joking: "She sort of started what this town was going to need quite a bit of, which was treatment for the mentally ill."

Lee said it was OK to feel sadness at the deaths of Reynolds and Fisher, but not to dwell on it. "Debbie the unsinkable and her beautiful daughter would never want us to mourn," she said.

Author Gavin de Becker, who attended high school with Fisher and recounted how his infatuation with her turned into a lifelong friendship, said his friend "zoomed through time" and made so many people's lives better. He recounted how Fisher took him on international trips and "gave me so many firsts."

"The first time I had sex was at Carrie's house," de Becker said. "It wasn't with Carrie, but she arranged it."

It was one of many tales about the actresses that drew boisterous laughter.

After the service, fans were invited to see the actresses' final resting place at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills, a storied cemetery where numerous celebrities, including Bette Davis and Liberace, are buried or interred.

Many also paused to snap photos with some of the actresses' memorabilia that was displayed outside the theater, including two dresses Fisher wore while filming "Star Wars" and "When Harry Met Sally," and two of Reynolds' costumes from "Singin' in the Rain" and "Unsinkable Molly Brown."

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Associated Press producer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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