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In Brief: Christian Slater jumps aboard 'Dexter' prequel series, and more

Paramount+ has tapped Patrick Gibson, Christian Slater and Molly Brown to lead its Dexter prequel series, Dexter: Original Sin, which tells the origin story of Michael C. Hall’s serial killer. Gibson will play Dexter Morgan. Slater and Brown will play Harry Morgan, Dexter's adoptive father, and Debra Morgan, Dexter’s sister, respectively. Dexter: Original Sin is the second series in the Dexter universe, following Showtime's 2021 sequel series Dexter: New Blood, which picked up 10 years after the events of the original series finale ...

The CW has given a second season renewal to its crime-solving procedural Wild Cards. The series stars Grey’s Anatomy’s Giacomo Gianniotti and Riverdale's Vanessa Morgan as a demoted detective and career scammer, respectively, who use their unique skills to fight crime. "Wild Cards has clearly captured the imagination of our viewers thanks to exhilarating storytelling and the crackling chemistry between Vanessa and Giacomo," The CW Network's Liz Wise Lyall said in a statement. "We are confident Wild Cards is the kind of smart and sexy blue-sky drama that could continually build its audience for years” ...

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced Entertainment Tonight anchors Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner as hosts of the 51st Daytime Emmy Awards, airing live from Los Angeles June 7 on CBS. Frazier and Turner previously hosted the Daytime Emmys in 2022 and 2023 and are among this year's nominees in the Daytime Personality – Daily category. The full list of nominees can be viewed on the Emmys website ...


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Robert Downey Jr. shares 'Avengers’ co-stars' comments at Chris Hemsworth's Walk of Fame ceremony

Warner Bros.

Chris Hemsworth received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, and Robert Downey Jr. was on hand to represent their Avengers co-stars, whom he asked for a three-word response to the question, "What is Chris Hemsworth," according to Variety.

Jeremy Renner, who played Hawkeye in the Marvel films, joked, "Absurdly, annoyingly amazing."

Mark Ruffalo, whose Hulk character was paired with Hemsworth for 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, referenced one of the film's famous lines: "Friend from work."

Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson quipped that Hemsworth was a "sensitive leading lady."

Finally, Chris Evans, who played Captain America, sarcastically remarked, "Second best Chris."

Downey completed the responses by saying, "I’ll bring it to the here and now: There is no one who deserves it more. He is 'Hollywood star recipient.'"

After joking, "I wrote all of my comments myself, which is why they are going to be quite insightful and brilliant,” the actor turned serious.

“Beyond the cape and the hammer is a contagious Aussie charm. You are a remarkable human being. You are a legend," he began. "Chris is a bit daunting to describe. He’s very elusive because of the pretty packaging. However, upon further inspection ... down under ... he has a true wit and depth of soul and it has been my sincere pleasure to know you. You keep us Hollywood folk on our toes because you’re just a real deal.”

Hemsworth tells Variety he thought he was receiving the honor in 2019, when the Avengers stars put their handprints in cement outside Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre.

“I thought that was the Walk of Fame! ... I thought, ‘Oh cool, I’m getting a star,’” Hemsworth said. “And someone told me, ‘No, that’s not what this is.’"

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Chris Hemsworth barely survives the 'Hot Ones' Gauntlet of Death

Disney/Eric McCandless

The mighty Thor nearly met his match on First We Feast's hit series Hot Ones.

Chris Hemsworth took his seat with host Sean Evans, and although he began with saying "I like my spice," he struggled toward the end of the Gauntlet of Death of sauces.

In between, as is tradition, he answered a series of questions — though the last few were peppered, pun intended, with the action hero having some trouble with the heat.

Of his new movie Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, Hemsworth compared his character, Dementus, with playing Thor, explaining, "There's a certain amount of restrictions, expectations to play a hero ... to play a villain is fun. The shackles are off."

The third sauce was manageable, though he added his earlier nonchalance was "going to bite me in the a** — literally."

At the halfway point, Hemsworth started popping the tops off the bottles and pouring more of the hot stuff on, but the cracks started showing toward the end.

After tasting a sauce called Da Bomb, with 135,600 Scoville heat units, Hemsworth told Evans, "I don't wanna play anymore" and reached for the milk for the first time to try to cut the heat.

He even gargled with it, admitting, "I'm scared." He then started slamming ice water — and crunching the ice — to no avail.

The set medic brought him a bowl of what appeared to be either sour cream or ice cream to douse the flames, and he kept spooning it into his mouth for the remainder.

Hemsworth soldiered on through the next sauce — 700,000 heat units' worth — saying, "It's like being sunburned, then sunburned again." He struggled to answer his remaining questions.

Before biting his last wing, he told Evans, "I love you, goodbye," and took a bite, ultimately besting the Gauntlet. 


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'Abbott Elementary''s Quinta Brunson wants in on Hallmark Christmas movies


Even though she grew up a Jehovah's Witness and doesn't celebrate Christmas, Quinta Brunson has the perfect holiday gift in mind for herself.

The Emmy-winning creator, writer and star of Abbott Elementary revealed on The Drew Barrymore Show Wednesday that she wants to ghostwrite one of those Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.

"My TV doesn't leave that channel during Christmastime," she told Drew. "Neither me or my husband celebrate Christmas, but I love them so much and I really want to ghostwrite one."

The revelation left Barrymore's mouth open in surprise, but Quinta's expression showed she wasn't playing.

She added that if she gets her wish, you might not even know it. "It's gonna be under a fake pen name. It won't be me so you guys don't know, because I don't want you to be biased."

She added, "I want you to just enjoy the movie — or not enjoy it — the same way you do the other ones."

Quinta added, "I think I’d be good at it. I hope they let me."

The Hallmark Channel aired more than 40 new holiday-themed movies last season, and not every one centered on a career woman who doesn't have time for the holidays, but nonetheless finds the Christmas spirit after being stranded in a small town.


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AMC teases second season of 'The Walking Dead: Dead City'


AMC has dropped a behind-the-scenes tease at the upcoming second season of its hit spin-off, The Walking Dead: Dead City.

The series teamed up Lauren Cohan's Maggie with Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan — the man who murdered her husband, Glenn — to rescue her son, Hershel, from one of Negan's former goons-turned-warlord in a zombie-ravaged New York City.

The sneak peek doesn't reveal much — it's mostly the cast members mugging, some quick shots of stunts and, of course, plenty of undead. But the network also released a logline for the show, which will return in 2025 on AMC and AMC+.

"In season two, in the growing war for control of Manhattan, Maggie and Negan find themselves trapped on opposite sides," AMC says. "As their paths intertwine, they come to see that the way out for both is more complicated and harrowing than they ever imagined."

Morgan and Cohan not only return in front of the cameras, but behind it for the sophomore frame, serving again as executive producers along with Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of The Walking Dead universe.


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Universal Pictures teases untitled 2026 "event film" from Steven Spielberg


Steven Spielberg will once again team up with Universal Pictures for an as-yet-untitled project that the studio just teased only as an "event" picture slated for May 15, 2026.

According to Deadline, the project will have the Oscar-winning director partnering up again with his frequent collaborator David Koepp, the guy behind the keyboard for 1993's Jurassic Park and its 1997 sequel; 2005's War of the Worlds; and 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The trade points out the pair's previous collaborations have netted north of $3 billion at the box office. 

Incidentally, Uni's new 2026 slate shows Spielberg's mysterious project sandwiched between a sequel to the global blockbuster Super Mario Bros. Movie, slated for April 3, 2026, and another secret project. 

The untitled entry from The Daniels — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the Oscar winners behind Everything Everywhere All at Once — is scheduled to debut June 12, 2026. 

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Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega, Michael Keaton and more in new trailer to 'Beetlejuice Beetlejuice'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Winona Ryder, as a now-adult Lydia Deetz, personally introduces the brand-new trailer to the anticipated sequel Beetlejuice Beetlejuice.

"Here's a preview," she says, wearing a goth black dress and matching bangs. "Be warned. It's intense."

Opening with the first few words of a choral version of Harry Belafonte's "Day-O: The Banana Song," the trailer opens at the funeral of Lydia's dad, played by Jeffrey Jones in the original. 

"Death is hard," Lydia consoles her daughter, Astrid, played by Jenna Ortega. "Sometimes I think life is harder," she replies.

The score turns ominous, with Astrid exploring the attic seen in the first film. Her mom warns in voice-over, "When I was a teenager, a trickster demon terrorized my entire family, and tried to force me to marry him. I believe he was gone forever until you found this in the attic." 

Lydia's referring to a leaflet advertising the services of a "bio-exorcist" — Michael Keaton's "Ghost with the Most."

"Ew, who's Beetlejuice?" Astrid asks. 

"Don't ever say that name!" Lydia warns, to which the defiant teen replies by repeating it.

"If you say his name three times he will appear," her mom insists. 

Sure enough, she does, and he does. "The Juice is loose," he enthuses.

In spite of their history, Beetlejuice and Lydia appear to team up, blowing a hole through the barrier between the crazy characters from the world of the undead and those still breathing. 

"The living, the dead. Can they co-exist? That's what we're here to find out," Lydia says.

Also glimpsed in the trailer are Beetlejuice veteran Catherine O'Hara and franchise newcomers Monica Bellucci — who's apparently the only entity who can scare Keaton's character — as well as Willem Dafoe, and Justin Theroux

The movie opens September 6. 

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Netflix drops official trailer to 'Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F'


The official trailer for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is here, and Eddie Murphy again brings the laughs — and the action.

Plot details are scarce, but the trailer shows that once again Foley uncovers something big going down in the exclusive ZIP code, and has to rely on new and old friends to bring it to light.

The trailer features Axel chasing down perps in a helicopter, a snowplow and a moving truck, crashing them, in order, into a golf course, countless cars and even the front door of a bad guy's mansion.

The last one was intentional.

At one point in the tease, Axel is put in the back of a tiny cop car. "This is very embarrassing. Part of me'd rather get locked up than get put in this little Fisher-Price looking squad car," he quips. "Y'all are the LEGO cops."

Axel is teaming up with a new partner this time: Detective Bobby Abbott, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Abbott references the old Beverly Hills Cop movies, noting that Axel was in the 90210 in 1984, 1987 and 1994 — the release years for the other films — but that he hasn't been there in 30 years.

"This place has changed a bit," Abbott tells Axel.

However, some familiar faces appear in the fourquel, including Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as, respectively, former Detectives Billy Rosewood and John Taggart, as well as returning players Bronson Pinchot and Paul Reiser, who respectively reprise as Serge and Detective Jeffrey Friedman.

Kevin Bacon also joins the cast as Captain Grant, as well as Taylour Paige as Foley’s estranged daughter Jane, the latter of whom won't even take his one phone call after getting locked up.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, directed by Mark Molloy, begins streaming July 3 on Netflix.


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"You know better than that": Jennifer Lopez shoots down Ben Affleck divorce question at press conference

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix

A press event for their new sci-fi movie Atlas ended with some turbulence on Wednesday, when Jennifer Lopez and Simu Liu shut down a question regarding rumors Lopez's marriage to Ben Affleck is on the rocks.

Although they play enemies in the Netflix movie, Liu had J-Lo's back when a reporter at the Mexico City event asked her, "Your divorce with Ben Affleck is real? What is the truth?"

The question was met with audible groans from the assembled press — and a tart response from Liu, according to video of the exchange that was uploaded by Glamour México y Latinoamérica.

Lopez laughed, seemingly exasperated, as Liu shot back, "OK, we're not doing that."

Lopez added, "You know better than that."

"Come on, don't come in here with that energy, please," Liu added.

Atlas debuts May 24 on Netflix.


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"I won't have a bad day for the rest of my life": Jeremy Renner on the "wonderful lessons" from his accident

2024 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jeremy Renner appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday and spoke about the "wonderful lessons" he learned from his near-fatal snowplow accident on New Year's Day in 2023.

Renner was scheduled to appear last January, but "I was kinda tied up," the Avengers actor understated.

The Oscar-nominated actor discussed the accident in sometimes gory detail, but also the "love" that kept him going.

Renner recalled of Fallon, "He texted me ... when I was in the ICU, 'Dude, you're trending.' 'No, I'm dying,'" Renner laughed.

"I wanted to make you laugh," Jimmy said, and it did.

"I was so worried," Fallon admitted. "I thought we lost you."

"For a second we did," Renner replied with a laugh.

The actor said it is "cathartic" to talk about the near-death experience.

Renner recalled, "I had to exhale with all my might so I [could] suck air back in. ... If I didn't breathe then I would have been gone, right? ... Forget the eyeball and all the titanium and the broken bones."

Just breathe, he advised.

He learned, "If you get too stressed, or you things get difficult, just put one foot down, and put another foot down, and move towards it. ... I think life can be made that simple."

He added, "I can achieve anything at this point."

Renner also said, "I won't have a bad day for the rest of my life."

On a lighter note, Renner also played a few rounds of "Egg Roulette" with Fallon and showed a clip of the third season of his Paramount+ show Mayor of Kingstown.

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In Brief: CW walks away from 'Walker', and more

The CW is saying goodbye to one of its most popular shows, Walker, after four seasons. The move, per Variety, is due in part to the action crime drama's high production costs, as well as the network's new owners, Nexstar, moving away from scripted series in favor of more economical content, such as sports and unscripted series. Walker star and executive producer Jared Padalecki shared the news on Instagram, thanking the cast and crew before concluding, "I will forever smile on the years I got to spend with the cast and crew and studio and network and fandom that made this all possible” ...

Hulu has released the trailer for BRATS, an original documentary from teen star Andrew McCarthy that explores such iconic 1980s films as St. Elmo’s Fire and Pretty in Pink, and the narrative that took hold when their young stars were dubbed the Brat Pack. The doc reunites McCarthy with his some of his fellow Brat Packers, including Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson and Timothy Hutton — many of whom he had not seen in over 30 years — to answer the question, "What did it mean to be part of the Brat Pack?" McCarthy also talks to writer David Blum, who coined the term Brat Pack in a 1985 New York Magazine cover story. BRATS premieres June 13 on Hulu ...

Universal Studios Group is currently eyeing a series adaptation of the 1976 feature comedy Car Wash, as well as a reboot of the classic 1960s TV series The Munsters, according to Variety. The Car Wash series will be set in Washington, D.C., as opposed to Los Angeles, where the film took place, and follows "an immigrant family’s generational and cultural clashes between father and son and their eclectic group of employees,” per the studio. The new Munsters series, titled 1313 — a reference to the Munsters' fictional address at 1313 Mockingbird Lane — is described by NBC as a horror series that “lives and breathes within the Universal Monsterverse” ...

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David Letterman interviews Miley Cyrus, Charles Barkley as Netflix's 'My Next Guest' renewed for season 5

Terence Patrick/Netflix

Netflix has picked up David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction for a fifth season, featuring interviews with Miley Cyrus and Charles Barkley.

A new trailer for the upcoming season includes the "Flowers" singer discussing Hannah Montana, the Disney Channel series that launched her career, recalling, “They did shoot a pilot with another girl.” Miley goes on to say that focus groups "weren’t relating" to the other actress, joking, "I love them for that.”

"When you start taking it too serious, you need to take a look at yourself," says the former NBA star-turned-TNT analyst, who's also shown playing golf with Letterman.

Letterman's previous guests have included former President Barack Obama, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Jay-Z, Malala Yousafzai and Billie Eilish.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman season 5 premieres June 12 on Netflix.

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HBO releases trailer to Jessica Lange's 'The Great Lillian Hall'


HBO Films has just released the trailer to The Great Lillian Hall, the upcoming drama directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Michael Cristofer, and starring Oscar and Emmy winner Jessica Lange

Lange plays the titular Broadway star, who "finds herself blindsided by confusion and forgetfulness" as she prepares for her next big role.

As she battles cognitive decline, confusion and hallucinations — in secret, even from her daughter, played by Lily Rabe — Lillian tries to soldier on, getting more frantic as the trailer progresses. 

"She's the first lady of the American theater," Jesse Williams' director character says in response to a producer looking to replace her. "I need her for this," he insists.

Lange's fellow Oscar and Emmy winner Kathy Bates also stars, insisting Lillian step down.

"The play is my life, and no one is going to take that from me!" Lange replies.

Pierce Brosnan also appears in the coming attraction as Ty, telling her, "The Lillian Hall I know, no play has ever been written that could defeat her." 

"Battling against all odds to make it to opening night while holding on to her fading memories and identity, [Lillian] must navigate a tumultuous emotional journey: balancing her desire for the spotlight and the stark reality of her newly diagnosed illness," the network says.

The trailer ends with Lange asking Bates, "When I'm gone, will you remind me who I was?"

The Great Lillian Hall will debut May 31 at 8 p.m. and will also stream on Max.

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AMC Theatres CEO says 'Deadpool & Wolverine' already set R-rated ticket sales record

Marvel Studios

Fans really, really want to see Deadpool & Wolverine

That's the word from Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Theatres, who posted to social media on Wednesday that the anticipated Marvel Studios team-up between Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackson has already broken a record. 

"Many big movies will open in May, June & July," Aron began, mentioning the July 25 launch date of the third Deadpool film. "Some 200,000 movie fans have bought their AMC tickets already. This is more Day 1 ticket sales at AMC than for any other R-rated movie ever."

Incidentally, the titular comic heroes' adventures starring Reynolds and Jackman are among the highest-grossing R-rated movies in history. 2018's Deadpool 2 is currently #3 on that list; Jackman's former Wolvie swan song, 2017's Oscar-nominated Logan, is #3; 2016's original Deadpool is #4. 

All of those films were produced by 20th Century Fox, which was acquired by ABC News' parent company Disney in 2019.

Deadpool & Wolverine will be the first R-rated movie in the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Paul Bettany back as Vision for Disney+ spin-off

Marvel Studios

Marvel movie veteran Paul Bettany will be back as Vision in his own 2026 Disney+ series, Variety is reporting.

Terry Matalas, the producer behind the fan-and-critic favorite third season of Star Trek: Picard, is calling the shots on the series, the trade reports.

The show will make Bettany the longest-serving cast member in the Marvel universe, seeing as he lent his voice to JARVIS, the artificial intelligence program that helped Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark beginning with the original Iron Man in 2008. Bettany was later seen in the (purple) flesh when his AI became part of the android hero Vision in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.

He was subsequently seen as the character in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and met his end at the hands of Thanos in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.

However, Vision was resurrected in Disney+'s 2021 WandaVision. Bettany was nominated for an Emmy for his performance.

The news of the show comes amid a slowdown of Marvel productions, with a focus on quality over quantity.

And according to longtime Marvel Studios executive producer Brad Winderbaum, from now on the shows won't bear the traditional Marvel Studios logo opening.

He recently told Variety, "There was a lot of pressure post-Avengers: Endgame on the public to feel obligated to watch absolutely everything in order to watch anything. Part of the rebranding was a signal to the general audience that we’re creating a lot of options, and you can follow your tastes within this brand."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.


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