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Cast is set for 'Mean Girls' movie musical

CBS via Getty Images

The Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 hit Mean Girls is being adapted into a movie musical, and its main cast is now set.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Angourie Rice has been tapped to fill the role Lindsay Lohan originated: Cady Heron, the daughter of a pair of anthropologists who finds herself transplanted from the wilds of Africa into the social jungle of a typically cliquey Chicago high school.

Reneé Rapp, who on Broadway played Rachel McAdams' role of Regina George, the head of the clique The Plastics, will reprise for the movie.

The cast also will star Moana's Auli’i Cravalho as Janis — played by Lizzy Caplan in the movie — while another Mean Girls on Broadway vet, Jaquel Spivey, will reprise as Damien. Damien, Janis' bestie, was played by Daniel Franzese in the film.

Speaking of the original film, its writer, Tina Fey, is penning the script for the movie musical.

Mean Girls opened on Broadway in April 2018 at the August Wilson Theatre and ran for 833 performances before the curtain finally fell on March 11, 2020 — the day before the COVID pandemic officially shuttered the Great White Way.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Terrence Howard reiterates plans to retire: “This is the end for me"

Unique Nicole/WireImage

Terrence Howard's starring role in The Best Man: The Final Chapters may possibly be his last hurrah in Hollywood.

During a red carpet event for the upcoming Peacock series, he told Entertainment Tonight that the show marks the end of his acting career. "This is the end for me. I don't know if it's the end for the rest of them," he said. "I retired two years ago, for the most part. I was done. ... I asked Sidney Poitier 10 years ago does he want to do any more work, and he said, 'Why would I spend my last 10 years doing an impersonation of myself?' And that's what I've gotten to."

"I've gotten to the point where now I've given the very best that I have as an actor," Howard continued. "Now I'm enjoying watching other new talent come around, and I don't want to do an impersonation of myself."

He added that he's ready to hand over the reins to the next generation, which includes "better actors out there that can do things that I was never able to do." "I want to applaud them. I want to be excited about what they do," he said.

As Howard mentioned, he previously announced his plans to retire in 2019. Back then, he said he'd done his time and was "running away as quickly as possible" following the series finale of Empire.

He's since appeared in projects including the 2021 drama Triumph, 2022’s The Walk and, of course, the forthcoming Best Man series.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"It's wild!": Joshua Bassett talks starring in 'Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again'

Courtesy Disney+

Joshua Bassett says it's "wild" he's bringing the world of Night at the Museum to kids who are as young as he was when he first saw the movies in theaters.

Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller, premiered December 17, 2006.

Bassett plays Nick Daley, who succeeds his dad, former protagonist Larry Daley, as the night security guard in Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again. "It's just cool to continue the story in a different way, but it still pays tribute to the original," he told ABC Audio.

Bassett also teased, "The stakes are incredibly high for an animated film," but said he believes the audience will enjoy the ride.

The 21-year-old also hopes the film will "inspire ... kids to be courageous" because of the lessons his character learns. "[Nick] doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't have much guidance. He's kind of thrown into this without any help. And he has to overcome his fears and step up and become the hero, even though he's just a regular 18-year-old kid," he expressed.

That's how Bassett felt when he was cast in this movie. "I had never done voiceover and there was a part of me that was honestly scared," he confessed. He said he's thankful for the experience because it taught him the value of "[giving] your all and [hoping] for the best."   

So, will we see him doing more voiceover work in the future? "I am definitely going to," he said. "I really do believe I had the most fun on this project (that) I've ever had acting." He said he loved how much creative freedom voice acting allows.

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is streaming on Disney+.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


After being flamed, Jennifer Lawrence walks back her comments on being the "first" female action movie star

Lionsgate/Murray Close

After catching fire online from thousands of movie fans, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence has walked back comments she made about fronting action movies as a woman.

"I remember when I was doing Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn't work — because we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead," Lawrence said to fellow Oscar winner Viola Davis as part of Variety's Actors on Actors series.

The internet didn't let the comment slide, with movie fans refreshing Lawrence's memory about Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley in the Aliens movies, Linda Hamilton in the Terminator films, Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil movies and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, among others.

"Jennifer Lawrence says there were no female action heroes before she did The Hunger Games so please take a moment to mourn for Sigourney Weaver who apparently never existed," one comedy feed snarked, getting thousands of retweets.

Some actresses took it very personally, including Star Trek: The Next Generation veteran Denise Crosby, who tweeted, "Hey Jennifer Lawrence, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to thank the many boys/men who were allowed to completely identify with a strong female character long before you were even born. There are a couple of us…"

After the backlash, Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, "That's certainly not what I meant to say at all. I know that I am not the only woman who has ever led an action film. What I meant to emphasize was how good it feels ... But it was my blunder and it came out wrong. I had nerves talking to a living legend."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Al Roker home from hospital following second blood clot scare

NBC/Helen Healey

Al Roker is now recovering at home following his second hospitalization for blood clots in recent months.

The beloved weatherman and Today personality was feted by his co-hosts Friday morning, who gave viewers an update on his condition.

Hoda Kotb said, "We've been waiting to say this. We have some great, great news about Al to share on this Friday morning, which is Al is officially home from the hospital."

Carson Daly joked that he updated Roker about the state of his now-unused office: "I wrote him a text. I said, 'Al, you gotta come back because this is turning into Hoda's, like, third closet."

They pointed fans to a smiling Instagram post from Roker, which he captioned, "Home! So incredibly grateful to family, friends, medical folks, @todayshow family and all your thoughts and prayers."

Roker was hospitalized in November when a blood clot in his legs traveled to his lung, forcing him to miss NBC's coverage of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in nearly three decades.

Weeks later, he was hospitalized again, forcing him to miss the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a tradition he'd been a part of since 1985.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Do they know it's Christmas? Drew Barrymore reveals she doesn't give her kids gifts

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Variety

With a mom who's had a long Hollywood career and now a hit chat show, you'd figure Drew Barrymore's two children would have some pretty enviable stuff under the Christmas tree this year. 

However, Frankie, 8, and Olive, 10, aren't getting anything for Christmas. 

In fact, Barrymore tells Entertainment Tonight the children she shares with her ex-husband Will Kopelman  never get holiday gifts from her. 

"I always take them on a trip every Christmas," Drew explains. "I don't get them presents, which I think at their ages they don't love, but I say, 'I think we'll remember the place and the photos and the experience and that's what I want to give you."

Drew adds, "They get plenty of things throughout the year, so I'm not like some weird, strict, cold mom who's like, 'You don’t get any gifts!' I just feel like a better gift would be a life memory. I'd rather invest [in that than in] a doll house or something. It all evens out and it's fine."

Barrymore says that when travel was grounded during the pandemic, however, she relaxed her rule and bought them stuff. But she recalled thinking at the time, "This sucks."

With pandemic restrictions eased, Drew says she's returning to her non-gifting Christmas "tradition."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here’s a look at some of the new movies and TV shows streaming this weekend:

Netflix
Harry & MeghanThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex tell all about their relationship in the new documentary series.

PinocchioGuillermo del Toro shares his take on the classic story of the puppet who wants to be a real boy in his version of the classic tale.

Sebastian Maniscalco: Is It Me?: For his latest act, comic Sebastian Maniscalco takes his talents to Las Vegas to share his take on everyday human behavior. 

HBO Max
Doom PatrolTravel to the future in season four of the sci-fi comedy, where the team must decide between their own happiness or the fate of the world. 

South Side: Watch as two best friends hustle and dream their way through the Windy City in season three of the comedy series.

Apple TV+
EmancipationWill Smith stars in this period film about an enslaved man who relies on his faith and family during his quest for freedom.

Little America 2: Little America is back for season two starring Phylicia RashadAlan S. KimKi Hong Lee and more. 

Prime Video
Something from Tiffany's: An engagement ring mix-up turns a woman’s life upside down in the new holiday rom-com.

Happy streaming!

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kendrick Sampson reveals his little brother inspired his 'Something From Tiffany's' character

Courtesy Amazon Prime Video

Kendrick Sampson plays Ethan Greene in the new holiday rom-com Something From Tiffany's, which sees a wayward engagement ring bring together two individuals who just might be meant to be.

Ethan is a single father who is ready to pop the question to his girlfriend, Shay Mitchell's Vanessa — but his plans are derailed when the ring he buys accidentally winds up in the hands of Ray Nicholson's Gary. Gary then uses that sparkler to propose to Zoey Deutch's Rachel, which causes headaches for all involved.

Speaking to ABC Audio, Sampson revealed he drew inspiration from his little brother Jameson to bring his character to life. Why? Because Jameson is a Libra.

"Libras tend to make decisions," he laughed. "And Libras will try to people please to their own detriment, like they'll hurt themselves trying to be the compromiser in this situation and completely leave out their own desires and health. And that's who Ethan is."

Leah Jeffries plays Sampson's on-screen daughter Daisy and she told ABC Audio she loved how the movie portrayed their loving relationship. She added how much fun she had shooting scenes with him, but admits she fangirled a little when she did scenes with Mitchell.

"I watched her in Pretty Little Liars," she raved. "It was amazing filming with her."

The actress noted the whole cast had amazing chemistry. "It was amazing filming on that set. I loved it so much," she expressed. "I knew that it was going to be a good day every single day."

Sampson noted he's excited for people to watch their movie, adding it "feels like a warm hug," which he says "a lot of people need right now."

Something from Tiffany's begins streaming December 9 on Amazon Prime Video.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Trevor Noah says goodbye to 'The Daily Show' after seven years

Comedy Central

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Trevor Noah hosted his final episode of Comedy Central's The Daily Show on Thursday after a seven-year run, thanking many people, but mostly his fans.

“I remember when we started the show, we couldn’t get enough people to fill an audience,” he said.

“Then I look at this now and I don’t take it for granted ever. Every seat that has ever been filled to watch something I’m doing is always appreciated because I know the empty seat that sits behind it,” he continued. “Thank you to people who watch, the people who share the clips, everyone who’s had an opinion, everyone who’s been kind enough and gracious enough, even if it’s a critique.”

The 38-year-old South African comedian gave a special shout-out to Black women, noting, “Who do you think teaches me, who do you think has shaped me, nourished me, informed me. From my mom, my gran, my aunts, all these Black women in my life but then in America as well."

"I always tell people if you truly want to learn about America, talk to Black women. Because unlike everybody else Black women can’t afford to f*** around and find out," he continued. "Black people understand how hard it is when things go bad.”

Noah's final episode also featured appearances from Daily Show correspondents Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan, Ronny Chieng, Roy Wood Jr. and Jordan Klepper, as well as his longtime friend Neal Brennan.

Noah announced his exit as host of the show after seven years back in October, surprising fans, producers and network executives. Al Franken, D.L. Hughley, Leslie Jones, John Leguizamo, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes and Marlon Wayans are among the other stars expected to fill in beginning January 17.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: Michelle Yeoh headed to 'Wicked' film, and more

Everything Everywhere All at Once star Michelle Yeoh has been tapped to play Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University, in Jon M. Chu’s two-part film adaptation of the Broadway hit Wicked, opposite Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, according to Variety. The Broadway show -- a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of how Elphaba became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda became the Good Witch -- opened on Broadway in 2003 and has earned more than $1 billion to date. It's second only to The Lion King as the highest-grossing Broadway musical of all time. The Universal Pictures films are set for release on Christmas in 2024 and 2025...

Deadline reports Matt Damon and Casey Affleck are set to produce and star in the Apple Original Films action feature The Investigators. The movie follows Damon and Affleck as "a pair of thieves who go on the run with the help of one of their therapists after a robbery goes awry," according to the outlet. It marks a reunion for the two actors who starred together in the 1997 Oscar winner Good Will Hunting, as well as three Oceans 11 films...

Apple TV+ on Thursday announced new episodes of Carpool Karaoke: The Series, kicking off on Friday. This season's, guests include Kevin and Michael Bacon, Ciara, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton, Duran Duran, Nikki Glaser, Method Man, Sandra Oh, Chris Redd, Amber Ruffin, Wilco, Russell Wilson, the cast of For All Mankind and more. Carpool Karaoke: The Series nabbed its fifth consecutive Emmy earlier this, winning for outstanding short form comedy, drama or variety series...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Emancipation' cast on the difficult but gratifying experience of making the film

Apple TV+

The new historical action film Emancipation starts streaming today on Apple TV+.

Based on a true story, Will Smith plays a runaway slave, and Ben Foster portrays the man tasked with hunting him down. It's a role Foster tells ABC Audio that he didn't want to do it at first, but now he's "so proud to be a part of this film."

"I believe that Antoine Fuqua, our director, accomplished, is not only entertaining, not only historically based on true events but reminds us of the great power of love and hope. And freedom. And that it is possible," he shares.

Taking on the role wasn't an easy one, though. Foster says it was a physically and emotionally draining six-month shoot where they had to deal with alligators, hurricanes, and more. Even with the obstacles, Foster expressed that Smith's performance blew him away, calling it "the finest performance he's ever given, and that's saying a lot."

Surprisingly, though, because of the antagonistic nature of their characters, Foster and Smith never interacted in person on set.

"We didn't talk for five months on set. We both looked at each other. He was deep in the man he was portraying. I was doing my work and I respect his work immensely," Foster shares.

Smith’s co-star, Charmaine Bingwa, agrees, explaining that Smith's dedication to the role was inspiring.

"I double-took when I first saw Will on set because he was so emaciated, he just, he completely transformed for this role. Like, there was no Will Smith present," she says. "And as an actor working alongside him, you want to see people who lead by example and you know, he was giving it his all. And so we all stepped up and gave it our all as well." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jackie Chan says 'Rush Hour 4' might happen after all

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Martial artist and action movie icon Jackie Chan has confirmed it: Rush Hour 4 is a go.

According to Variety, Chan confirmed to fans at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday that he is discussing the project "right now" with interested parties — and would be meeting with a potential director Thursday evening.

The fourth film in the hit franchise that saw Hong Kong lawman Chan starring opposite a motormouthed L.A.P.D. detective played by Chris Tucker has had its share of false starts since 2007's Rush Hour 3.

Not insignificantly, one of those was caused by sexual assault allegations against director Brett Ratner, who called the shots on the 1998 original and its 2001 follow-up. He was accused by several actresses in 2017 — at the height of the #MeToo movement — of sexual harassment and assault.

The accusations, which Ratner denied, derailed his production deal with Warner Bros. at that time.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Top Gun: Maverick' is the Best Film of the year, according to National Board of Review

Paramount Pictures

As if being the highest grossing movie of the year — and Tom Cruise's career — wasn't enough, Top Gun: Maverick is aces with the National Board of Review.

The New York City-based collection of film professionals, academics and movie enthusiasts this year have named Maverick its Best Film.

Founded in 1909, the organization's picks have in many cases turned into Oscar nominees, and its choices for the Best Actor and Actress this year will likely be no different: Colin Farrell for the drama The Banshees of Inisherin and Michelle Yeoh for the lauded, low-budget multiverse adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once.

In the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, the board chose Farrell's pal and former In Bruges co-star Brendan Gleeson for Inisherin and Janelle Monáe for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Previous Oscar winner Steven Spielberg was tapped by the board as Best Director for his autobiographical film The Fabelmans, while Danielle Deadwyler's moving performance in Till earned her one of the National Board's two Breakthrough Performance honors.

Other winners included the Robert Downey Jr.-starring film about his late filmmaker father, Sr., which earned the organization's Best Documentary honor. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On snagged the Best Animated Feature honor.

The full list of winners can be found on the National Board of Review's website.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


James Gunn on DC heroes' cinematic fates: "We know we are not going to make every person happy"

Warner Bros. Discovery

In a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday, James Gunn responded to a widely covered Hollywood Reporter story about his and partner Peter Safran's reported "blueprint" for getting Warner Bros. Discovery's DC Comics-based universe back on track.

The trade put forth that a third Wonder Woman film from director Patty Jenkins had been scrapped. While the 2017 original starring Gal Gadot was a hit, its 2020 follow-up, Wonder Woman 1984, was decidedly not, both with critics and at the box office.

The trade also hinted a sequel to 2013's Man of Steel, including a much-hyped return of Henry Cavill as Superman, might not take flight after all. Its ties to the disappointing receipts for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam — which teased Cavill's return — were cited.

Guardians of the Galaxy veteran Gunn began by saying of the story, "... some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven't decided yet whether it's true or not."

He continues, "Peter & I chose to helm DC Studios knowing we were coming into a fractious environment, both in the stories being told & in the audience itself & there would be an unavoidable transitional period...But, in the end, the drawbacks of that...were dwarfed by the creative possibilities & the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far & to help rectify what has not."

Gunn added, "We know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY & in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will Smith giving followers free Apple TV+ to watch 'Emancipation'

L-R - Fuqua and Smith on set/Apple TV+

On his Instagram Thursday, Will Smith let his followers know he's hooking them up with a free Apple TV+ subscription, just so they can catch up with his new Antoine Fuqua-directed drama, Emancipation.

"I went to Apple and I said, 'Yo, my people need to have Apple TV so they can watch the film,'" Will said, adding the company granted two months of access to the streaming service for free.

And if you happen to already have the streaming service, Smith says, "Well, your aunt doesn't." So he suggests tagging three people who don't have access: "And if you got tagged, tag three more people who you think need it."

You can also go to apple.co/willgift to redeem the offer, the star explains, or follow the link in his Insta bio.

Emancipation hits Apple TV+ on Friday.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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