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A galactic load of 'Star Wars' news just dropped at Star Wars Celebration

Disney+

Get ready for a whole load of new adventures set in a galaxy far, far away.

Disney+ released a bunch of new information about its upcoming Star Wars projects Thursday morning during Lucasfilm’s biannual Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim, California.

The trailer for the new series Andor, a prequel to 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that focuses on fan favorite character Cassian Andor, portrayed by Diego Luna, dropped alongside a confirmed release date of August 31.

Andor will explore “a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make,” according to a press release.

Mando and Grogu will make their return next year. The highly anticipated third season of The Mandalorian will debut in February 2023. Those who attended the panel at the Anaheim Convention Center were treated to a teaser of the new season.

Additionally, Jude Law will star in Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, the new series that will be helmed by Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts. The series will shoot this summer, and its story will center around a group of kids lost in the Star Wars galaxy during the New Republic era.

Finally, Disney+ released the teaser trailer for Willow, a new live action fantasy-adventure series from Lucasfilm and Imagine Entertainment based on the classic 1988 film. The series will premiere November 30, and stars Erin Kellyman and Warwick Davis.

And in non-Star Wars news, the release date for Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones 5 was also announced at the event with the help of Harrison Ford. It’ll hit theaters June 30, 2023.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lorraine Bracco, Jennifer Lopez and more pay tribute to Ray Liotta

Bennett Raglin/WireImage

Stars are paying tribute to actor Ray Liotta after the news of his death was announced Thursday. The Goodfellas actor died at the age of 67, ABC News confirmed.

Here are some of the messages remembering the late actor and his impact:

Lorraine Bracco: "I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray. I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta."

Jennifer Lopez: "Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is he was so kind to my children... We lost a great today … RIP RAY … it’s so sad to lose you what seems way to soon … I will remember you always. Sending so much love and strength to your daughter Karsen, your family and all your loved ones."

Adam Sandler: "Tremendous actor. Sweetheart of a dad. Such a great funny man to know. Prayers are with his whole family."

Seth Rogen: "I can’t believe Ray Liotta has passed away. He was such a lovely, talented and hilarious person. Working with him was one of the great joys of my career and we made some of my favorite scenes I ever got to be in. A true legend of immense skill and grace."

Josh Brolin: "My buddy. My friend. How so soon? Why? I’ll miss you. I will think about seeing you at Gold’s often, talking about what to do next, how to find something together. I always looked up to you — the work was always so good, but the man you were always stood out among the rest of them. Yes, I will miss you, pal. Until we meet again, wherever they say that is. #riprayliotta"

Taron Egerton: "I stepped on the set of Black Bird in May of last year deeply excited that I would be working with Ray Liotta and even more excited that he would be playing my father....When I first saw our show I text him telling him that I felt his performance was beautiful and that I was very proud of our work. His response was: 'you made it easy to love my son.' Ray, the feeling was so, so mutual. I will miss you."

Jamie Lee Curtis: "Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear."

Viola Davis: "RIP Ray Liotta!! Loved your work"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Camilla Luddington reflects on 'Grey's Anatomy' legacy as show marks 400th episode

ABC/Mike Rosenthal

Camilla Luddington may not be one of the original Grey's Anatomy stars, but she's a huge part of the series' history.

The British actress, 38, joined the ABC medical drama back in season 9 as Jo Wilson. More than 200 episodes later, she is part of the cast celebrating the show's milestone 400th episode -- which also happens to be the season 18 finale -- airing Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

As it turns out, things could have been very different for Luddington, who missed her audition in 2012 because she was at San Diego Comic-Con promoting her role as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider video game franchise.

Luckily, it all worked out in the end.

"Ten years later, here I am," she told Good Morning America on Thursday.

Luddington also spoke about how her character's storyline of becoming a mom this season mirrored her own life, having welcomed her son, Lucas, in August 2020. She also shares 5-year-old daughter Hayden with husband Matthew Alan.

"They're like, 'OK, so you're going to be really tired this season.' And I'm like, 'I got this,'" she said, laughing. "Like, her kid was teething, my kid was teething. This season was easy, the mom thing."

Luddington said showrunner Krista Vernoff is "very open" to the actors pitching stories for their characters. The actress also revealed one storyline she's keen to pitch herself: her vision for how Grey's Anatomy should end.

"Can we be on a beach? I just feel like there have been so many huge disasters. Can we just all survive, like, with a cocktail?" she suggested. "That's what I want. A cocktail on the beach. That's what I'll pitch next."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jennifer Aniston, Pink and Billie Eilish are Ellen DeGeneres' final guests on last episode of talk show

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

After 19 years in syndication, Ellen DeGeneres wrapped up her talk show for good on Thursday. Along with Jennifer Aniston, she was joined by two music superstars as her final guests: Pink and Billie Eilish.

Aniston was Ellen's very first guest on her very first episode, so it was fitting that she appeared on this final show. After Aniston's appearance came Billie, who first appeared on the show in 2018, when she was just 16. She told Ellen, "You started this show the year after I was born. This was in my house constantly. Every day. I would walk into the kitchen and my mom would be watching you.”

Ellen's great friend Pink was the final guest and musical performer. In addition to singing "What About Us," she also gifted Ellen with some things that will help her fill all the free time she'll suddenly have on her hands: a homemade sourdough starter; knitting needles and yarn; and binoculars for bird-watching.

Pink, who first appeared on the show in 2003, told Ellen, “I wanted to be a singer because I wanted to grow up and change the world and make it a better place. You’ve done that in so many ways. Maybe I help people find their pain. You help people find their joy.”

Ellen concluded the show by saying, "Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I feel the love and I send it back to you. Bye.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Goodfellas' actor Ray Liotta dead at 67

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Goodfellas actor Ray Liotta has died at age 67, his publicist confirms to ABC News. 

No cause of death was given, though there are unconfirmed reports that he passed away in his sleep while shooting the movie Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic.

Liotta caught the attention of Hollywood in the 1986 film Something Wild, playing star Melanie Griffith's violent ex-con husband, a role for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. He went on to appear as Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1989's baseball-themed classic Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner, in which he delivered the memorable, oft-quoted line, "Hey, rookie! You were good!"

But Liotta's breakout role came in the 1990 Martin Scorsese classic Goodfellas, as part of an all-star cast that included Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Lorraine Bracco. Based in part on the life of former mobster turned government informant Henry Hill, which Liotta played, the film became a near-instant classic and launched Liotta to stardom.

Liotta most recently appeared in films including the Sopranos spinoff The Many Saints of Newark, Marriage Story and No Sudden Move. He also starred in TV shows including Shades of Blue opposite Jennifer Lopez, Amazon Prime’s Hanna and the upcoming Apple TV+ series Black Bird, alongside Taron Egerton.

In 2005, Liotta won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Charlie Metcalf in an episode of ER called "Time of Death."

Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen, and a fiancée, Jacy Nittolo.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Spacey charged with four counts of sexual assault in the UK

Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty Images

Kevin Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men in the United Kingdom, the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service confirmed Thursday.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said in a statement, “The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men.”

"He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent,” the statement continued. “The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.”

The statement added, "The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr. Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial."

Since 2017, multiple men in both the U.S. and U.K. have come forward with sexual harassment or assault allegations against the former House of Cards actor. Spacey has maintained his innocence.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jimmy Kimmel tearfully addresses Texas school shooting: "This is a time to be loud"

ABC/Jeff Lipsky

Jimmy Kimmel addressed the Texas school shooting in an emotional monologue on his late night-show Wednesday.

Speaking to the camera without the studio audience present, Kimmel immediately choked up as he grieved for “the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed.”

“Our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this,” Kimmel said, adding, “they don’t want to speak about it, because they know what they’ve done. And they know what they haven’t done and they know that it’s indefensible. So they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

Kimmel then pointed out most Americans – both Democrats and Republicans – support “common-sense gun laws” that keep guns “out of the hands of criminals and children.”

“This is not a time for moments of silence, this is a time to be loud and to stay loud and not stop until we fix this,” he said.

Jimmy choked up again as he stated there have been 27 school shootings so far this year – and it’s only May. “How does this make sense to anyone? These are our children!” Kimmel said.

“If you care about this – and we all do, doesn’t matter what party we vote for – we need to make sure that we do everything we can, that unless they do something drastic, let’s make sure that not one of these politicians ever holds office again,” he declared.

On Tuesday, 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas by an 18-year-old gunman, who also was killed.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In brief: 'Mr. Malcolm's List' trailer, 'This Is Us' ratings and more

Bleecker Street on Wednesday dropped the trailer for its Regency-era rom-com, Mr. Malcolm’s List, starring The Handmaid’s Tale's Zawe Ashton and Gangs of London's Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù. Per Bleecker Street, the film follows Ashton's Julia Thistlewaite, who gets jilted after failing to meet an item on Mr. Malcolm's list of requirements for a bride. Feeling humiliated and determined to exact revenge, she convinces her friend Selina Dalton -- portrayed by Freida Pinto -- to play the role of his ideal match. Soon, Mr. Malcolm wonders whether he’s found the perfect woman...or the perfect hoax. Mr. Malcolm’s List is slated for a July 1st theatrical release...

A Speed Racer live-action series is in the works at Apple with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot set to executive produce, according to Variety. Speed Racer centers on the titular character's adventures and his souped up car, the Mach 5. His team consists of his father and car builder Pops Racer, his little brother Spritle and his pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim and Speed’s girlfriend Trixie. Speed also frequently crosses paths with the mysterious Racer X, who is secretly Speed’s older brother Rex Racer. Speed Racer, which originated as a manga series created by Tatsuo Yoshida in the 1960s under the title Mach GoGoGo, was first adapted into an anime series that debuted in the United States in 1967. This would mark the second live-action version of the Japanese character, following the 2008 film starring Emile Hirsch in the title role...

Tuesday's This Is Us series finale scores the highest rating of the season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show ended its six-season run with a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.4 million total viewers, according to Live + Same Nielsen data. It should be noted that last night’s runner-up CBS shook up its primetime last minute when the network decided to pull the season four finale of FBI from its schedule, following a shooting at a Texas elementary school that saw over a dozen children killed on Tuesday. The episode has been pulled due to the fact that the storyline concerned a school shooting...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jennifer Lopez reportedly wants to wed Ben Affleck "sooner rather than later"

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Wedding bells for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez will come "sooner rather than later" -- that is, if J-Lo has her way.

“Jennifer will tell you she’s not in a rush to get married, but her friends think otherwise,” a source tells Us Weekly. “The truth is that if Ben wanted to push this forward as early as this summer, she’d be totally down with that.”

The insider also says the 52-year-old actress/singer, “wants the formalities out of the way so they can start their journey as man and wife sooner rather than later,” and she intends to have a big wedding.

“She definitely wants a spectacular celebration at some point and money won’t be an object!” the source continues. “They’re both committed to making this work and taking all the steps necessary to respect each other’s boundaries and learn from their mistakes the last time around.”

Ben and Jennifer, aka "Bennifer," rekindled their romance last summer after Jennifer broke up with Alex Rodriguez. They first met in 2002 on the set of their film Gigli. In June 2002, Lopez filed for divorce from then-husband Chris Judd after two years, and began publicly dating Affleck.

Affleck proposed the following November but called things off in September of 2003, just days before they were supposed to tie the knot. By January 2004, they had officially split.

If the couple makes it to the altar, it'll be the Jennifer's fourth marriage and Affleck's second. Jennifer shares twins Max and Emme, 14, with her ex-husband Marc Anthony, while Affleck has three kids with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Stranger Things' star Gaten Matarazzo heading to 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

From the Upside Down to the Great White Way: Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo is making his return to Broadway this summer.

The 19-year-old actor will be playing the role of Jared Kleinman in the hit musical Dear Evan Hansen.

"Words could never express how truly honored I am to be a part of this company," said Matarazzo in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "This show has taught me so much about myself and to be able to participate in any capacity, let alone on Broadway, makes me want to melt. I am ecstatic to be back on stage and eternally grateful for the opportunity."

Matarazzo made his Broadway debut in 2011 in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. In 2014, he played Gavroche in Les Miserables.

His limited run in Dear Evan Hansen will begin July 19. Meanwhile, season 4 of Stranger Things debuts on Netflix this Friday, May 27.
 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Josh Duggar sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on child porn charges

Washington County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

Former reality star Josh Duggar has been sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison on child pornography charges, according to ABC-TV affiliate KHBS in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The 34-year-old former 19 Kids and Counting star was found guilty last year on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography. Each charge carries a maximum 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, but District Judge Timothy Brooks relied on just one of the charges – the more severe receipt of child pornography charge – in determining the sentence.

Duggar was accused of downloading child sexual abuse material, some of which depicted children younger than 12, and having it in his possession in May 2019, according to the indictment. He pleaded not guilty.

Duggar has been the focus of several controversies over the years, starting in 2006 when he was investigated for allegedly molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager. Since then, two of his sisters -- Jill and Jessa -- have come forward as two of his victims.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Austin Butler was hospitalized after playing Elvis

Alon Amir

Playing the King of Rock & Roll did a number on Austin Butler.

The Elvis actor, 30, told British GQ that he was hospitalized and bedridden for a week after completing the upcoming film back in March 2021.

“I woke up at 4 in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” Butler said. “My body just started shutting down the day I finished Elvis.”

According to GQ, Butler was diagnosed with a virus and was hospitalized for treatment of the virus, which simulates appendicitis.

The role meant a lot to Butler, who related to Elvis Presley's life story on a deep, emotional level. “I’ve never loved somebody I’ve never met more than Elvis,” he said. “His mother passed away when he was 23, and my mom passed away when I was 23. So when I learned that, it was one of those things where I got chills and I just thought, ‘OK, I can connect to that.’”

His portrayal has already been given the stamp of approval from Presley’s family. The singer’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, took to Instagram on May 6 to sing her praises. “I’ve seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times,” she wrote alongside the movie’s trailer. “But the words I heard from my daughter on how much she loved the film and that Riley will love it too when she sees it brought tears.”

Riley Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, has since seen the film. She gave her thoughts during a Variety Women in Motion panel at the Cannes Film Festival, calling the experience of watching it “very emotional.”

“I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop,” Keough said. “I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Johnny Depp takes stand again to refute Amber Heard testimony

Johnny Depp returned to the stand Wednesday in the final week of his ongoing defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

During his testimony, he responded to some of the claims Heard made during her time on the stand. Among them, her assertion that Depp had nothing to do with getting her a role in Aquaman.

Depp said that after Heard auditioned for the role, "She asked me if I'd speak to [Warner Bros.]."

"I made a phone call and I spoke to three upper-echelon Warner Bros. executives ...," Depp said before an objection was sustained. "I can only say that she ultimately did get the job in the film. I suppose I curbed their worries to some degree."

Depp also addressed insinuations from Heard that he had pushed his ex-girlfriend Kate Moss down the stairs. Earlier on Wednesday, Moss dialed in via video link to dispute those claims. Depp testified that Heard took a story he had shared with her about what happened and "turned it into a very ugly incident all in her mind."

Additionally, Depp refuted claims that he attacked Heard during their 2015 honeymoon and called Heard's testimony, in which she alleged Depp repeatedly physically and sexually abused her, "unimaginably brutal, cruel and all false."

Judge Penney Azcarate has set closing arguments for May 27.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'This Is Us' cast pays tribute to show following series finale

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

(SPOILERS AHEAD) This Is Us ended its six-season run on NBC Tuesday night with its series finale, aptly titled “Us.”

The finale answered questions, flashed between past and present, and centered around the funeral of the Pearson family’s matriarch, Rebecca. After it aired, the cast took to social media to make tribute to the show.

Mandy Moore, who portrayed Rebecca, posted a photo of the funeral’s program on Instagram, with a caption that highlighted one of her character’s defining quotes. “Take the risks. Make the big moves, even if they’re small moves. Forge ahead with your lives in any and every direction that moves you. I’m asking you to be fearless.”

The big three, aka Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), posted their own Instagram tributes. “Can’t believe today is here,” Metz wrote. Hartley echoed her sentiment, writing that he is “going to miss seeing these faces every day.” Brown was celebratory, accompanying his on-set photos with the caption, “One more time for the people in the back!!! BIG 3!!!”

Chris Sullivan, who played Kate’s ex-husband, Toby, took to Instagram to make an emotional tribute. “So many of the people and things we love will pass away and it is always an honor to be part of their story,” he wrote. “It has been a true honor to inhabit this character for six seasons and tell this story with these beautiful people. When we met these characters their lives were already well under way. After we leave them, their lives will continue on in our hearts, minds and imaginations.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Top Gun: Maverick''s Monica Barbaro recalls "almost panicking" while training for role

Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

There was a lot of flight time for the cast of Top Gun: Maverick, which opened on select IMAX screens Tuesday and will hit all theaters on Friday. Monica Barbaro plays one of the new fighter pilots, call sign Phoenix, and she tells ABC Audio she was a little nervous at first to go up in the military jets. But now?

"I love flying," she shares. "Getting to be in the sky was, it became like actually, as intense as it all was, it became actually quite peaceful in the moments between takes and the moments between training."

Thanks to training, Barbaro says that "depending on the plane" she might be able to step in if there was ever a pilot emergency.

"Obviously, a commercial airliner, a lot of bells and whistles that are quite complicated," she notes, adding, "A Cessna, I can fly. I can fly a Cessna...But obviously in an emergency situation...If there were no licensed pilots on that plane, I would be the closest thing to it."

In the future Barbaro might be able to go bigger than a Cessna thanks to co-star Tom Cruise, who she reveals "gifted us a lifetime membership to basic ground school."

Learning to fly wasn't the only training for Barbaro, who says the biggest challenge was the underwater training they had to go through in case they had to eject over the ocean. She recalls "almost panicking" before following through with everything and coming out just fine on the other side.  

"I never felt happier in my whole life," she says.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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