Entertainment News

Sarah Jessica Parker's stepfather's death reportedly behind gala no-show

ABC/Ida Mae Astute

The "family emergency" that caused Sarah Jessica Parker to be an unexpected no-show at the New York City Ballet's Fall Fashion Gala Wednesday night has been revealed.

Page Six reports Parker's stepfather, Paul Giffin Forste, died that day, and as it turns out, Parker never made it to the event at all because of it; the publication previously reported that she made a hasty exit after arriving to the annual event she founded 10 years ago.

A statement from SJP's family to Page Six reported Forste died at 76 "after an unexpected and rapid illness."

"In his last moments he was surrounded with the love and gratitude of his adored wife Barbara of 54 years, and children, including Sarah Jessica Parker," the message continued in part.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Marvel Studios' 'Armor Wars' shifts from Disney+ to the big screen

Marvel Studios

Marvel’s Armor Wars, originally planned as a Disney+ TV series, is being redeveloped as a feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The project stars Don Cheadle, reprising his MCU role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine. Armor Wars is based on Marvel Comics’ seven-issue Iron Man story arc that follows Rhodes dealing with the consequences Tony Stark’s tech falling into the wrong hands.

Production on the film is set to start in 2023.

Cheadle has played the character since 2010's Iron Man 2, replacing Terrence Howard in the role. His next Marvel appearance will be in the MCU series Secret Invasion, also starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News

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In Brief: New 'Yellowstone' trailer, 'American Pie' reboot, and more

"Power has a price," reads a graphic at the end of Yellowstone's official season five trailer, released on Thursday, signaling the tough job Montana's newly appointed governor John Dutton -- played by Kevin Costner -- has ahead of him. Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by patriarch John, who "control the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. and must contend with constant attacks by land developers, clashes with an Indian reservation and conflict with America's first national park," according to the show's official logline. Season five premieres November 13... (Trailer contains uncensored profanity.)

Lovecraft Country alum Jonathan Majors is in early talks to play basketball star Dennis Rodman in the upcoming Lionsgate movie 48 Hours in Vegas, according to Variety. The film is inspired by the Chicago Bulls' star player and his infamous trip to Sin City in the middle of the the team's 1998 NBA Finals series with the Utah Jazz. Majors will next be seen the trailblazing Navy pilot Jesse Brown in the Korean War-set drama Devotion, coming out in November...

Deadline reports Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Plemons and Margaret Qualley are set to star in And, the next movie from Yorgos Lanthimos, the filmmaker behind dark comedies like The Favourite and The Lobster. In addition to directing, Lanthimos is writing the screenplay with his The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer collaborator, Efthimis Filippou. Plot details are being kept under wraps. The film will also reunite Lanthimos with Stone, who earned an Oscar nod for her role in The Favourite...

Insecure actor Sujata Day is developing what is being described a fresh take on the popular American Pie franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The original 1999 film grossed more than $235 million worldwide and spawned three sequels with the core cast -- Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Shannon Elizabeth and Jennifer Coolidge, as well as spinoff franchise American Pie Presents...

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Trevor Noah exiting 'The Daily Show' after seven years

Comedy Central

Trevor Noah announced to his audience on Thursday that after seven years as host, he will soon be leaving Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

“It has been seven years since we started The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. This week is our anniversary, “ Noah told the audience. “And one of the overriding feelings I found myself experiencing...is a feeling of gratitude...There’s so many people who make this thing come together. I want to say thank you for an amazing seven years. It’s been truly wild.”

“It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s something I’ve never expected," he continued. "Everything we’ve gone through -- the [Donald] Trump presidency, the pandemic. I realized after seven years that my time is up, but in the most beautiful way. I’ve loved hosting this show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges. It’s been one of my greatest joys. I’ve loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh when the stories are particularly s***** even on the worst days...But after seven years, I feel like it’s time.”

Noah concluded by promising he wasn’t “disappearing,” explaining he misses “learning other languages” and “going to other countries and putting on shows."

The 38-year-old South African comedian joined The Daily Show as an on-air correspondent in 2014, before being named as Jon Stewart's successor a year later.

Noah didn't offer a timetable for his departure, but Comedy Central, in a statement obtained by Variety, noted they were "working together on next steps.”

“As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25+ year history of The Daily Show as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them,” the statement concluded.

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The witches are back! 'Hocus Pocus 2' hits Disney+ today

Courtesy of Disney+

There’s a new generation of wannabe witches in Hocus Pocus 2, out today on Disney+.

Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham join Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in the scary-funny new sequel. Buckingham tells ABC Audio the 90s original was a staple in her house growing up.

"I watched it for the first time, I think, probably when I was about seven. It was one of the things that made me love Halloween in the first place," she shares. "I think it's just so comforting knowing that you have a movie that you can go back to, that you can kind of escape into, and it'll always make you feel a certain way."

That wasn't the case for Peak, though, who admits she had "never seen the movie" before getting an audition, but decided to after hearing "it was this huge thing and everybody grew up watching it."

"Then I watched the movie, completely understood, the energy was just so magnetic and it's just a fun movie, and I can't believe I didn't watch it when I was younger," Peak says. 

It's been almost 30 years since the first Hocus Pocus was released, and director Anne Fletcher says that taking on a cult classic was "terrifying." Ultimately, though, she hopes fans of the original are pleased.

"The whole movie is an homage to the first one, because you can't ignore the first one. It's there for the taking," she says. "And so all we're doing is continuing the story of our Sanderson sisters with new cast members and having fun and winking at the audience of like, we're here with you, like, let's have fun."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Tomorrow is not guaranteed": John Stamos on the "heartbreaking" lessons he learned from losing Bob Saget

Randy Holmes/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

For John Stamos, losing friend Bob Saget last January was "heartbreaking" for more than the obvious reason.

"It was so heartbreaking to see [that] he didn't know how loved he was," Stamos says.

"I guarantee it. And to, to think that he didn't feel that. It really hurts me."

The actor tells ABC Audio that he was "grateful" he got to channel his grief into the upcoming season of the Disney+ show Big Shot, debuting October 12. He helped craft a storyline in which his coach character, Marvin, loses a "close friend and mentor."

Stamos says, "He sees this outpouring of love for his friend, and he goes, 'Where's my legacy? What am I leaving behind?'"

He continues, "Because people go, and then they never, they don't get to hear how much everybody loved them."

Marvin's players, and his daughter, get to tell him precisely that, he explains.

"That's a lesson, too, from Bob," the actor expresses.

"Like, he left nothing on the table. You just go tell people that ... when you get a chance, that you love them, that you care about them, that you're proud of them, whatever it may be, because tomorrow's never promised."

Stamos explains Saget always sent sincere texts to those he loved, sometimes for no reason at all.

"Long texts," he recalls. "And there were a lot of dirty words mixed into the love and kindness."

Stamos joked, "If we're real quiet right now, we can hear him complaining in heaven that I'm not talking about him enough today," before adding wistfully, "I miss him, you know. I miss him."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

20th Century Studios drops sneak peek of 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes'

20th Century Studios

The next movie in the Planet of the Apes franchise now has a name. 20th Century Studios has dropped a first look at the forthcoming film, as well its title: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

The image released by the studio, which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney, shows Owen Teague's ape Cornelius on a horse, with his arm out to receive a perching eagle. Ahead of him is a waterfall and a moss-covered, abandoned cityscape.

The movie will also star The Witcher's Freya Allan and The Orville's Peter Macon.

According to the studio, the 2024 movie is set "many years" after the conclusion of 2017's hit War for the Planet of the Apes, which was the final installment in a successful trilogy directed by The Batman's Matt Reeves.

Wes Ball, who helmed the Maze Runner trilogy, is taking over behind the camera for a film written by War of the World's Josh Friedman, Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and Prey scribe Patrick Aison.

In the announcement, 20thCentury Studios President Steve Asbell says, "Planet of the Apes is one of the most iconic and storied science fiction franchises in film history," calling the movies "an indelible part" of the legacy.

"With Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, we are privileged to continue the series’ tradition of imaginative, thought-provoking cinema," he continued.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Real life vs. 'Real Time': Bill Maher on letting his hair down with his 'Club Random' podcast

Courtesy "Club Random"

HBO's Emmy-nominated Real Time with Bill Maher is known for its news-making segments on the serious headlines of the day, but Maher finally gets to let his hair down with his new podcast, Club Random.

There, he sits down with an individual celebrity guest, and a drink -- and/or a joint or two -- and just talks.

Guests have included Woody Harrelson, Quentin Tarantino and William Shatner, and the candid conversations are anything but the usual.

"Most of the people who have been here in this seat ... leave saying, 'I've never had an interview like that.' And I always tell them, 'Because it wasn't an interview,'" Maher tells ABC Audio.

"In an interview ... a person has an agenda and questions, and they know where it's going and has done some work," Maher says. "This is something completely different. And that's why it felt different."

Maher insists that while he works hard on Real Time, Club Random is "very much" a chance for him to unwind.

He says unlike episodes of Club Random, Real Time viewers "have never caught me in 20 years saying the words, 'Wait, what were we just talking about?' You can find it on almost every episode of Club Random ..."

"Because that is one of the properties of marijuana," he says with a laugh. "That's what I really love about this experience, is because it's very similar to what I do just in my normal life."

He clarifies, "I couldn't party like this every night. But when I do want to kind of just let it rip, it's so much fun just to be in that moment where you kind of don't know what is going to come up."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chloë Grace Moretz says viral meme about her body turned her into a "recluse"

Amazon Studios

(NOTE LANGUAGE) While celebrity memes are often traded as harmless fun, actress Chloë Grace Moretz says one about her body was so "horrific" that she "basically became a recluse."

In a frank conversation with Hunger, the star of Amazon's upcoming The Peripheral explained, "... there was one meme that really affected me, of me walking into a hotel with a pizza box in my hand. And this photo got manipulated into a character from Family Guy ... and it was one of the most widespread memes at the time."

Moretz's long legs, exposed in short-shorts, and her torso digitally shrunk, were being compared to an animated female character on the show that was revealed to be only a head atop a very long pair of legs.

"Everyone was making fun of my body and I brought it up with someone, and they were like, 'Oh, shut the f*** up, it's funny,'" the actress expressed.

"And I just remember sitting there and thinking, my body is being used as a joke and it's something that I can't change about who I am, and it is being posted all over Instagram. It was something so benign as walking into a hotel with leftovers ..."

Moretz continued, "I basically became a recluse. It was great because I got away from the photographers and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn't photograph, but at the same time it made me severely anxious when I was photographed. My heart rate would rise and I would hyperventilate."

She added it took therapy to allow her to face photographers again. "I think that body dysmorphia -- which we all deal with in this world -- is [exacerbated] by the issues of social media," she said.

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"Rest in Power": Michelle Pfeiffer mourns "Gangsta's Paradise" artist Coolio

Paul Bergen/Redferns

On her Instagram, Michelle Pfeiffer posted a throwback picture of herself with Coolio, who died Wednesday at 59.

"Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist@coolio. A life cut entirely too short," she began about the "Gangsta's Paradise" artist. "As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack - which I think was the reason our film saw so much success."

Pfeiffer added, "I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song. Sending love and light to his family."

She closed by mentioning his birth name, "Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr." along with a heart emoji.

Incidentally, Pfeiffer is correct about the popularity of "Gangsta's Paradise" boosting the film: Antoine Fuqua, then an up-and-coming video director, has credited the actress' surprise participation in the video and its success, with turning the movie into a hit.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Froggy Guy: Amphibian named in conservationist Seth MacFarlane's honor


Seth MacFarlane is the creator of shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and The Orville, but now he's got something else bearing his name: a frog.

The Rainforest Trust, a conservationist organization with whom MacFarlane has worked and supported, has honored his efforts by naming a newly-discovered Stream Frog species after him.

The Hyloscirtus sethmacfarlanei just made its first appearance in the peer-reviewed science journal PeerJ.

The frog was discovered in a remote mountain region in Ecuador a few years ago and was found to be a totally new species. The scientist who scooped up the colorful little jumper noted tingling in his arm afterward, suspecting the frog had the ability to excrete a "mild neurotoxin" when threatened.

For the record, Seth can't do that. Regardless, the organization thought the name was apropos.

"It seemed perfect to name this frog, with its playful polka dots juxtaposed with its most likely threatened status, after Seth who is known more for his comedy than his dedication to science and conservation," noted Rainforest Trust CEO James Deutsch, Ph.D. in the announcement.

The naming was apparently a surprise for MacFarlane's upcoming birthday, October 26.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In Brief: AMC gets another bite of 'Interview with the Vampire', and more

Ahead of its October 2 season premiere, AMC's Interview with the Vampire has been renewed for a second season, according to Variety. The eight-episode series, based on the 1976 Anne Rice novel, stars Jacob Anderson as Louis de Pointe du Lac, Sam Reid as Lestat de Lioncourt, Bailey Bass as Claudia and Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy. The book, of course, was previously turned into the hit 1994 film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Season one of the series takes place in America; season two will be set in Europe...

Deadline reports Kevin Bacon has been added to the cast of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, joining original Beverly Hills Cop cast members Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Bronson Pinchot and Paul Reiser. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Taylour Paige are also on board, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing: he produced the 1984 original, as well as its sequels in 1987 and 1994. The franchise moved from Paramount to Netflix in the winter of 2019 and follows the adventures of Murphy's Detroit cop Foley, who first appeared in the 1984 smash hit that followed him to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of a friend. The Beverly Hills Cop franchise has pulled in more than $735 million worldwide...

John Corbett is officially returning as Aidan Shaw, the on-again-off-again love interest of Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That..., according to Entertainment Weekly. "Well, you know, I can't be, like, cryptic about it anymore," Parker told the outlet. We last saw Aidan in the SATC movie sequel, Sex and the City 2, trying to woo back Carrie after getting his heart broken by her twice in the series. No further details on his return have been revealed...

Friends alum Lisa Kudrow will head the cast of Taika Waititi’s series adaptation of the 1981 Terry Gilliam film Time Bandits for Apple TV+, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The adaptation, per the streamer, is “a comedic journey through time and space with a ragtag group of thieves and their newest recruit: an 11-year-old history nerd” -- played by Kal-El Tuck. Waititi is a co-writer on the series and will direct the first two episodes...

The Morning Show's, Bel Powley, black-ishs Tracee Ellis Ross and Good Boys' Jacob Tremblay will lead the cast of the psychological thriller Cold Copy, according to Deadline. The film follows "a young broadcast journalism student trying to win the approval of her influential mentor who pushes her to reconsider the meaning of truth if it means success," according to the outlet...

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Sarah Jessica Parker reportedly runs out of fashion event due to "family emergency"

ABC/Ida Mae Astute

Sex and the City's fashionable Carrie Bradshaw reportedly had some real-life drama in New York City Wednesday night.

According to Page Six, Sarah Jessica Parker was being honored at the New York City Ballet's Fall Fashion Gala, but quickly ditched the event over what was described from the podium as a "sudden devastating family situation."

SJP was supposed to be feted at the glitzy event at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, but the publication noted in a "bizarrely dramatic moment," it was announced she to had to leave, just moments after she had arrived.

So far, her reps are remaining mum about what caused Parker to pull out of the 10th annual gala, which also drew stars including Queen Latifah, Bravo's Andy Cohen, Pose's Billy Porter, and Parker's And Just Like That... co-star, Kristin Davis.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hulu's "Ramy" tackles big issues when it returns this Friday

Jon Pack/Hulu

Season three of Ramy tackles some big issues with its return to Hulu Friday.

The critically acclaimed comedy is back after a more than two-year hiatus, and show creator and star Ramy Youssef talked to ABC Audio about what he wanted to explore with his dysfunctional, but loving, Muslim-American family this season.

"Where are we at with the American dream, and what does it take to achieve it," he explains. "And looking at the seeming kind of impossibility of a middle-class family, and how difficult it is to kind of make good on the intentions of moving to this country."

In episode two, Ramy visits the Middle East and, in typical Ramy fashion, the visit doesn’t go so well. The actor says that his writers room, which contains several Jews and Muslims, had an interesting time trying to figure out how to be funny about a very serious region of the world.

"Going into this episode, I was kind of like, all right, so we've heard a lot about Israel and Palestine. How do we send Ramy there and somehow he's the biggest d*** in the whole situation," says Youssef. "That was kind of like, that will make it funny...it's like somehow this guy's pissing off everybody on every side. And there's almost a unity in that."

Youssef adds: "We’re kind of talking about every moment, and we're kind of trying to find the most human part of it, while also getting to be funny and also kind of like going near that button that you're not supposed to touch."

"I think that that's always what's really fun to me is that thing of like, you get to walk away and say, maybe I should be offended, but I'm not," Youssef says.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Oscar-bound? Brendan Fraser scores another trophy for 'The Whale'


The Santa Barbara Film Festival may have put another brick in Brendan Fraser's road to Oscar gold. The actor, who donned extensive prosthetics to play a morbidly obese father in The Whale, took home the annual event's American Riviera trophy for his role in Darren Aronofsky's drama.

Previous winners of the award have gone on to become Oscar nominees -- including Kristen Stewart for her Princess Diana film Spencer and Viggo Mortensen for Green Book -- as well as Academy Award winners, including Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Aronofsky, the director of the Oscar-winning Black Swan, helped kick-start a full-blown career comeback for The Mummy series Fraser, who received a 6-minute standing ovation for The Whale at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.

Subsequent to that, he received the Tribute Award for Performance for the film at the Toronto Film Festival. And although Batgirl was shelved, Fraser recently worked with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon, which comes out in 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.