A CGI JAMES DEAN IS CAST IN NEW FILM SPARKING OUTCRY
NEW YORK (AP) – James Dean hasn’t been alive in 64 years, but the “Rebel Without a Cause” actor has been cast in a new film about the Vietnam War. The filmmakers behind the independent film “Finding Jack” said Wednesday that a computer-generated Dean will play a co-starring role in the upcoming production. The digital Dean is to be assembled through old footage and photos and voiced by another actor.
Digitally manipulated posthumous performances have made some inroads into films. But those have been largely roles the actors already played, including Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing in “Star Wars” movies.
But the prospect of one of the movies’ most beloved former stars being digitally resurrected was met with widespread criticism Wednesday after the news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
NETFLIX SERVES UP ‘GREEN EGGS AND HAM’ WITH ALL-STAR CAST
LOS ANGELES (AP) – When screenwriter Jared Stern was approached about developing Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” as an animated series, he sought advice from one important woman and the consent of another.
Stern’s grandmother reminded him how much he loved the book as a child. And the writer’s widow gave her approval to Stern’s idea for adapting the 1960 storybook.
Five years later, the 13-episode series is debuting Friday on Netflix with Michael Douglas and Adam Devine topping the voice cast. Others in the voice cast include Diane Keaton, Eddie Izzard and Tracy Morgan.
Ellen DeGeneres, who’s an executive producer, says it should please generations of fans of writer Theodor Geisel (guy-ZEL’).
CHRIS BROWN HOSTS YARD SALE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Neighbors were probably wondering why a long line of people started showing up at Chris Brown’s Tuesday night.
Brown held a high-end yard sale at his Los Angeles home, with hundreds of fans, gawkers and bargain-seekers waiting for hours Wednesday to try to get a piece of the singer’s stuff.
Brown posted a flyer on his social media accounts that included the address of his suburban mansion in the Tarzana neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley.
Some people told TV stations they had driven from as far away as Arizona and didn’t care what they walked away with as long as it belonged to Brown.
The 30-year-old singer, who has had a string of run-ins with police, did not say why he had the sale. The house is the site of one of Brown’s many run-ins with the law, including a 2016 police standoff that ended with his arrest.
RAPPER ACCUSED OF BITING, CHOKING WOMAN IN ATLANTA
ATLANTA (AP) – Rapper Osiris Williams, known as YK Osiris, is accused of choking and biting his girlfriend in Atlanta.
News outlets report that Williams was arrested Monday on a felony charge of aggravated assault by strangulation.
Fulton County police say Williams is accused of attacking the woman at his 21st birthday party in September.
Police say the woman confronted Williams about a photo of a towel-clad woman on his phone and he threatened her. She told police she ran, but he caught and attacked her.
Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on users
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – U.S. prosecutors say the Saudi government recruited two Twitter employees to get personal account information of their critics.
The complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco details a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts.
The accounts include those of a popular journalist with more than 1 million followers and other prominent government critics.
FRANCE’S CATHERINE DENEUVE HOSPITALIZED WITH STROKE
PARIS (AP) – The family of French cinematic icon Catherine Deneuve says she has had a mild stroke while filming her latest movie.
Denueve’s family said in a statement the 76-year-old actress suffered a “very limited and therefore reversible” stroke. The statement said she must take some time to rest.
Deneuve was hospitalized in Paris but the family did not disclose the name of the facility.
Deneuve has been filming “De son vivant” directed by Emmanuelle Bercot.
‘FIFTY SHADES’ PUBLISHER ANNE MESSITTE IS LEAVING COMPANY
NEW YORK (AP) – The publisher who helped make E L James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” a phenomenon is leaving the company.
Anne Messitte, longtime head of the Vintage and Anchor paperback imprints, will leave next month.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group announced the news Wednesday. No reason was given for her departure.
Messitte is widely credited with spotting the potential of James’ explicit fiction and acquiring the “Fifty Shades” trilogy when it was just catching on as a digital release.
MET TO HOLD CELEBRATION OF JESSYE NORMAN
NEW YORK (AP) – The Metropolitan Opera will hold a tribute to Jessye Norman on Nov. 24 that celebrates the life and career of the late soprano.
Latonia Moore, Eric Owens, Lise Davidsen, J’Nai Bridges and Leah Hawkins are scheduled to perform, along with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pianist Mark Markham, composer/pianist Damien Sneed, the Met chorus and the Met’s “Porgy and Bess” chorus.
Speakers will include Anna Deavere Smith, Gloria Steinem and former French Culture Minister Jack Lang.
Norman died Sept. 30 at age 74.
BILLIE EILISH, LIZZO TO PERFORM AT AMAs
NEW YORK (AP) – The two biggest breakthrough acts in music this year, Billie Eilish and Lizzo, will perform at the 2019 American Music Awards later this month.
Dick Clark productions announced Wednesday that other performers at the Nov. 24 event include Camila Cabello and Dua Lipa. The show will air live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Eilish is competing for six AMAs, including favorite female pop/rock artist and favorite pop/rock album. Her song “Bad Guy” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year.
Lizzo, nominated for three AMAs, released her debut in 2013 but achieved major success this year. Her two-year-old song “Truth Hurts” topped the Hot 100 chart for seven weeks and her three-year-old song “Good As Hell” is No. 1 on the R&B charts.
FANS SAY FAREWELL TO LEGENDARY PUERTO RICO ASTROLOGER
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Dozens of admirers are saying goodbye to legendary Puerto Rico astrologer Walter Mercado, who was a TV star and an icon in the gay community beloved by millions in the U.S. and across Latin America.
Mercado lay in his coffin on Wednesday wearing a velvet suit that ranged from his favorite color, violet, to dark blue as a petite woman stood nearby, transfixed by a screen that showed pictures of him as she wiped away tears.
Mercado died late Saturday from kidney failure.
SMALL PORTION OF LONDON THEATRE CEILING COLLAPSES
LONDON (AP) – Police in London say several people were injured when a small portion of a theater’s ceiling collapsed during a performance in London’s West End.
Emergency services were called to Piccadilly Theatre Wednesday night after part of the ceiling crashed down into the auditorium during a performance of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” The play stars American actor Wendell Pierce.
London’s Metropolitan Police say that “a few” people suffered minor injuries and that emergency services remained on scene.
Journalist Martin George says there were screams coming from the audience as part of the ceiling came crashing down. He says that afterward “everyone got up and streamed down the stairs.”