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Co-star says sixth season will be all for ‘Better Call Saul’

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television(LOS ANGELES) — AMC’s Better Call Saul will end at the end of its sixth season — at least, that’s what series star Giancarlo Esposito tells Collider.

“It’s tricky with [co-creator Vince Gilligan]” says Esposito, who plays meth dealer Gustavo “Gus” Fring on the series. “If you look at the Breaking Bad model, he said five years, five seasons, but [with the split final season] it was really five and six.” 

Better Call Saul — the Breaking Bad spinoff that serves as a prequel to the original show — is currently in production on its fifth season. The show follows Bob Odenkirk’s con-man turned small-time lawyer, Jimmy McGill, six years before the events of Breaking Bad, in which he played a criminal known as Saul Goodman. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

‘Riverdale’ saying goodbye to Luke Perry in his final episode on Wednesday

Marc Horn/The CW(NEW YORK) — Riverdale will officially say goodbye to Luke Perry’s character on Wednesday, according to the show’s creator, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa. 

He tweeted Monday, “This week’s #Riverdale is the last episode Luke filmed. As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son. Wish these scenes could go on forever…”

Perry portrayed Fred Andrews, the father of the show’s star character, Archie Andrews, played by K.J. Apa, until his sudden death from a stroke in March at age 52. Riverdale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

‘Avengers: Endgame’ cast recaps all 22 Marvel films on ‘The Tonight Show’ with “We Didn’t Start the Fire” parody

NBC(NEW YORK) — Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame opens nationwide Friday, and to mark the occasion, Jimmy Fallon gathered the film’s cast on The Tonight Show to summarize the franchise’s entire 21-film catalog in a parody of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

In the pre-recorded segment, Fallon, impersonating Joel from the original “We Didn’t Start the Fire” music video, was joined by original Avengers Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner — who play Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Steve Rogers/Captain America and Clint Barton/Hawkeye, respectively — along with Ant Man star Paul Rudd, Captain Marvel‘s Brie Larson, Iron Man‘s Don Cheadle, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Karan Gillan, and Black Panther’s Angela Bassett.

The Tonight Show clip ended with a touching tribute to the man who really did start the fire many years ago — Marvel legend Stan Lee, who died at age 95 in November.

Last year, the cast of Avengers: Infinity War spoofed The Brady Bunch theme song with a parody called “The Marvel Bunch.” That video, which featured the cast in the familiar opening of the classic 1970s sitcom, has been viewed over 21 million times.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars gather for LA premiere

Marvel Studios/Disney(LOS ANGELES) — Avengers: Endgame had its world premiere Monday night in Los Angeles, amid intense hype and equal secrecy surrounding what is ultimately the end of this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, even the film’s stars didn’t how it ended.

Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, says the actors themselves were kept in the dark throughout the movie’s production. “We got given our own pages and then this is the first time…I’ll actually find out what happens, he told ABC News, before joking, “Hopefully, I’m in it.”

“It’s like buying a present for someone as group, but you don’t know quite what the present is,” added Captain America, Chris Evans. “So, as they open it you’re like, ‘Well, what, what, what’d we get ’em?'”

Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, wouldn’t even tell his own kids, despite repeated pleas from his daughter.  “She promises she won’t tell anybody, but she’s nine, and I don’t believe her,” he said.

Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, said watching Avengers: Endgame — the culmination of the 21 films that preceded it –was a bittersweet experience.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting with the fans as well, just to see how this 10 years of time, of work has culminated into this one kind of final chapter,” said Johansson. “And it feels like the end of something, but the beginning of something else.”

Marvel Studios President Paul Feige was one of the few people associated with the film who did know the outcome beforehand.  While he wouldn’t reveal anything at the premiere, he promises fans the movie will deliver “all the feels,” and hopes it leave them “satisfied” and “surprised.”

Avengers: Endgame opens nationwide on Friday from Marvel Studios and Disney, parent company ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

State’s attorney received death threats after Jussie Smollett charges were dropped, says office

Jussie Smollett addresss the press March 26 following the announcement that charges against him had been droppped; Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Kim Foxx, the Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney whose office made the decision to drop all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a hate crime attack against himself, has herself been receiving death threats, according to her office.

“We can confirm that the State’s Attorney has received threats to her personal safety and security, a number of which have contained racially charged language,” reads a statement released Monday by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to Chicago ABC affiliate WLS.

Smollett was indicted by a grand jury March 8 on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in connection with the alleged January 29 attack, which investigators say he staged.  Smollett has insisted throughout the investigation that the attack wasn’t staged. 

It was announced March 26 that First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Magats had dismissed the charges against Smollett.

Texts from Foxx, released last week and which were sent during the Smollett investigation — from which Foxx had recused herself — show she felt the charges against Smollett were excessive.

“[W]hen people accuse us of overcharging cases… 16 counts on a class 4 [felony] becomes exhibit A,” Foxx wrote, in part.  She also compared Smollett’s case to that of indicted alleged sex offender, R&B singer R. Kelly.

“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts,” texted Foxx, referring to Kelly. “Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”

In a statement last Friday, Foxx wrote, in part, “I am aware of recent editorials and commentaries urging the State’s Attorney’s Office to comment further on the circumstances surrounding the Jussie Smollett case. …I am committed to assuring a transparent review of how this office functioned in the Smollett case.”

The statement further notes that the Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General has agreed to perform a review of how the State’s Attorney’s Office handled the Smollett case, during which time, Foxx said, “I do not intend to comment publicly on the Smollett case.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Maisie Williams says ‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners let her decide how much to show in “that” scene

ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) — (NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SUNDAY NIGHT’S “GAME OF THRONES” EPISODE!!!)

One of the most memorable scenes in last night’s Game of Thrones episode comes when Maisie Williams’ character Arya decides that before they all face certain death fighting the White Walkers, she wants to know what it’s like to…well, you know.  

She enlists her longtime pal Gendry — the bastard son of the late king Robert Baratheon — to help her find out.  This results in her character’s first-ever sex scene, and the first time she ever showed skin on the show. But as Williams tells Entertainment Weekly, she was totally in control of just how much she revealed.

“I got to the read-through and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym,'” the 22-year-old actress tells EW. “[The showrunners] were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want,’ so I kept myself pretty private.”

“I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…” she adds.

Williams also revealed that when she first read the script, she “thought it was a prank,” because the showrunners have sent the cast members fake scripts in the past.  She told them “Yo, good one” — but when they told her it wasn’t a prank, she thought, “Oh f***.”

As for whether or not the scene was necessary, Williams says, “It was really interesting because it’s a very human relationship for Arya. This is something she’s stayed away from, an emotion we’ve never really seen her engage with.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mel Brooks launching Broadway residency

ABC/Lisa Rose(NEW YORK) — Mel Brooks is no stranger to Broadway, having won three Tony Awards for The Producers, but now the EGOT-winning Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein director is staging a residency on the Great White Way.

Brooks will take center stage at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for what’s described as a, “hilarious unscripted show combining off-the-cuff comedy, unbelievable personal stories, and film clips from some of his most memorable work.”

Mel Brooks on Broadway will run June 17th & 18th; Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Tuesday, April 23 at 10 a.m. through www.TicketMaster.com.

A limited number of VIP experiences will be available for each performance.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

After devastating fire at Paris landmark, Alamo Drafthouse holding free screenings of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After a fire devastated France’s iconic Notre Dame Cathedral last week, the boutique cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse is helping the Paris landmark live on — on the big screen. 

Alamo will screen the 1939 classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame at select locations including Austin, Texas; New York; San Francisco; Denver, Colorado, and more. The screenings, the first of which will be tonight in Brooklyn, New York, will be free to members of the chain’s Victory rewards cardholders.

“In times of loss, I want to spend time and reminisce and reflect. But I also have a strong desire to revisit, on the big screen, my favorite cinematic memory of Notre Dame,” Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said in a statement.

“Bring your family, share with your friends, and let’s all raise a glass to a global treasure, badly damaged but destined to triumphantly return.”

It should be said that you’re allowed to “raise a glass” because the theaters have fully stocked bars, and offer meal service.

Donations have flooded in to restore the cathedral to its former glory; ABC parent company Disney — which produced an animated re-telling of Hunchback in 1996 — is one of the donors, having pledged $5 million to the cause.

Here is the full list of participating Alamo Drafthouse theaters:

4/22 — New York, NY, Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn
4/23 — Phoenix, AZ, Alamo Drafthouse Chandler
4/23 — Raleigh, NC,  Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh 
4/24 — Austin, TX, Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
4/24 — Denver, CO, Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake
5/4 — Denver, CO, Alamo Drafthouse Littleton 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“What if he didn’t do it?” Jussie Smollett’s brother pens op-ed in actor’s defense

ABC(CHICAGO) — Jussie Smollett’s eldest brother Jojo is speaking out in defense of his brother, who’s kept mum ever since the charges that he lied to police about a hate crime attack were dropped last month.

In a lengthy op-ed on BET titled “What If Jussie Is Telling The Truth?,” JoJo passionately defended his brother and commented on the “public persecution” that Jussie suffered after coming forward about the incident.

“Within less than three months, [Jussie’s] life has been turned upside down as my family and I have witnessed him endure unrelenting attacks to his character and reputation,” JoJo wrote.

“This entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him.”

JoJo also revealed that his brother has been suffering from PTSD.

“Jussie is as strong as iron, but following an attack like this, there is a normal and natural amount of post trauma that mostly anyone should expect to suffer,” JoJo wrote.

“I have literally seen him violently awakening from night terrors, following the assault. Some of my siblings, as well as Jussie’s partner and closest friends have seen similar things.”

In the essay, JoJo made it clear that Jussie had no real motive to mastermind a hoax..

“To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous,” Jojo wrote, listing some of Smollett’s projects and recent success.

“He wouldn’t need to roll around on the icy ground of a Chicago street, staging an attack on himself to make this happen.”

As previously reported, after the charges against Smollett were dropped, the city of Chicago filed a civil complaint against Smollett for his refusal to reimburse it $130,000 in overtime payments to police.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Robert Downey Jr. says final eight minutes of ‘Endgame’ are “the best” in the “entire run” of Marvel movies

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — Avengers: Endgame comes out this week, and nobody’s apparently more excited for the fans to see it than Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.

In a video interview with the U.K.-based outlet The Upcoming, Downey was asked what he thought of the still super-secret film. He said, “The last eight minutes of that movie were maybe the best eight minutes in the entire history of the whole run of them in a way…because everyone’s involved. So I was delighted.”

It’s rumored that this is the last film in which RDJ will appear. The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Downey’s turn in 2008’s Iron Man.

It was now-Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige who dreamed of a connected MCU, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo helped shape it.  They directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Captain America: Civil War, and both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

“Anthony and Joe are about the only two folks that I could imagine [directing the movie],” Downey says. “Forget just still having the respect of the cast and crew when we were done — but not being either incarcerated or embalmed or in some other way permanently damaged, because just the physical and mental stripping of one’s chi that it takes.”

He adds, “You know these are years, and years, and years, and years. They’ve essentially been on a job for six, seven years now. And I love them. And they love The Avengers.  

Avengers: Endgame comes out April 26 from Marvel Studios, which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.