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One Dope Queen, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’: Jessica Williams to star in new Hulu rom-com

Mindy Tucker(LOS ANGELES) — Jessica Williams is set to star in Hulu’s new romantic comedy series Four Weddings and a Funeral, based on the 1994 film of the same name.

The former Daily Show correspondent will play Jess, a communications director for a New York senatorial campaign. When she receives a wedding invitation from an old college friend in London, she drops everything to travel to England reconnect with her old schoolmates. However, she soon finds herself in the middle of their personal crises.

Nikesh Patel, Rebecca Rittenhouse and John Reynolds have also been cast in the show, which is being executive-produced by Mindy Kaling. Kaling also co-wrote the pilot script.

The series will debut on Hulu in 2019.

Williams’ other show, HBO’s 2 Dope Queens, is scheduled to debut more episodes next year as well. She can also be seen in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the comedy Corporate Animals opposite Sharon Stone and Ed Helms, and in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Get your laugh on: Tiffany Haddish announces #SheReady tour

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) — Tiffany Haddish is ready for you to get your laugh on. The Night School star announced her #SheReady stand up comedy tour, which kicks off New Year’s Eve in Miami.

Tour stops include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Seattle, with more dates to be added later. Tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com.

Tiffany’s new movie, Nobody’s Fool, directed by Tyler Perry, opens November 3. The cast also features Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Her are Tiffany Haddish’s #SheReady tour dates:

12/31 — Miami, FL, James L. Center
1/25 — Las Vegas, NV, Mirage Hotel and Casino
1/26 — Las Vegas, NV, Mirage Hotel and Casino
2/74 — Albuquerque, NM, Kiva Auditorium
2/9 — Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre
2/14 — San Jose, CA, Center for the Performing Arts
2/16 — Bakersfield, NY, Fox Theatre
2/22 — Los Angeles, CA, Microsoft Theater
2/28 — Sacramento, CA, Community Theatre
3/2 — Fresno, CA, Warriors Center for the Performing Arts
3/16 — Portland, OR, Keller Auditorium
3/21 — Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ricki Lake says young ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fan inspired her to make new documentary ‘Weed the People’

Mangurama Consciousness Films(NEW YORK) — While most people know Ricki Lake from her super-successful ‘90s talk show, they may not realize she’s made a solid second career for herself behind the camera as a producer.

Her latest project is the documentary Weed the People, out today. The film follows families with cancer-stricken kids, who turn to medical marijuana — specifically, cannabis oil — as a treatment despite government roadblocks and public stigma.

Lake tells ABC Radio she was inspired to tackle this subject matter after meeting a sick young fan who watched her on Dancing with the Stars. Lake says she ended up moving the girl and her family into her home and called her filmmaking partner Abby Epstein to tell her what was happening.

“It was profound just wanting to help a stranger,” she says. “I’m just living my life doing this and I call Abby out of the blue and I’m like, ‘You’re not gonna believe the next chapter of what’s happening with my life.’ And she’s like, ‘I think we should be documenting this. I think this could be a film, our next film,’ and so that’s how it started.”

Epstein, who directed Weed the People, adds that the film’s subject matter is a “human rights issue.”

“No government should be able to tell you, you can’t take that plant or you can’t grow that plant,” she says.  “In a sense the government should really, I think provide it to people. So for me the film is really so much about overcoming stigma, bias and breaking through into a new level of wellness and healing.” 

Weed the People is out now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Robert De Niro releases statement after mail bomb attempt: “People MUST vote!”

ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) — Robert De Niro has issued a statement a day after he became one of the targets of a mass mail-bomb campaign this week.

“I thank God no one’s been hurt, and I thank the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for protecting us,” the actor said. “There’s something more powerful than bombs, and that’s your vote.  People MUST vote!”

The device addressed to De Niro was discovered early Thursday morning in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, at a building where his production company is based. New York police removed the device in a bomb-containment vehicle.

De Niro is among at least 12 prominent figures targeted with suspicious devices resembling bombs over the past few days. The targets – who all happened to be outspoken critics of the Trump administration – included Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan at CNN, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former vice president Joe Biden.

De Niro was presumably targeted for the comments he made at this year’s Tony Awards. He told the audience, “I’m going to say one thing, F**k Trump. It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump.’ It’s f***k Trump.”

A Department of Justice spokesperson has confirmed Friday that one person is in custody in relation to the suspected package bombs. They will hold a press conference at the Department of Justice at 2:30pm ET.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ hits Netflix today — but don’t expect Melissa Joan Hart to drop by

NetflixIf you’re a fan of the sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you’ll be in for a surprise when you check out Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which hits Netflix today. It’s still about half-human, half-witch high-schooler Sabrina Spellman, her aunts Hilda and Zelda, her boyfriend Harvey and her cat Salem, but this version’s a dark, twisted horror series. 

Show’s creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tells ABC Radio, “Almost everyone knows Sabrina from the ’90s sitcom with Melissa Joan Hart…and…at first, they’re surprised to hear that there’s a sort of more serious, more horror movie-like take on the character, but then when they see it, they understand it.”

He’s not kidding: this Sabrina finds herself in all kinds of creepy, sometimes gory, situations, and literally facing off against Satan himself. That’s why Aguirre-Sacasa, who also created the show Riverdale, says he scrapped the original plan to have this show be a Riverdale spinoff.

“If we had tried to this as a spin-off out of Riverdale, it would’ve been on broadcast television, and I think some of the themes and some of the stuff that happens on the show might not have gone over too well,” he laughs.

Kiernan Shipka, best known as Sally Draper on Mad Men, plays Sabrina, and Aguirre-Sacasa says she was perfect for the role.

“She is very much a teenage girl, but she also has an old soul, and she has a lot of gravitas,” he explains. “You know, this is Sabrina taking on the dark lord, the devil. You need an actor who’s got a certain amount of confidence, a certain amount of poise, and that’s Kiernan…We want Sabrina to be a role model for young women.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Original ‘Halloween’ film celebrates a killer milestone this weekend

Photo by Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Forty years later and the Halloween franchise still packs a punch.

The 1978 original film celebrates its 40th anniversary on Saturday, just as its recently-released direct sequel heads into its second weekend at the box office.

The John Carpenter classic introduced the world to Michael Myers, the white-mask-wearing psychopath who returns to his hometown 15 years after murdering his sister on Halloween night. He begins stalking his next victims, including teenager Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis.  

Curtis tells ABC Radio that looking back on the first film, she most vividly remembers the “technical” aspects of making a horror film on just a $300,000 budget. She says the stunts and scares were not as sophisticated as they are today. For instance, when filming the scene where she falls backwards over the stairs, all she had for safety was a piece of webbing and crew member standing below her with his hands up.

Halloween spawned seven other films which helped establish Myers’ twisted backstory. A Rob Zombie remake was also released in 2007, followed by a sequel in 2009.

But none of those were quite as successful as the direct sequel, also called Halloween, released on October 19 of this year. It features Curtis reprising her role as Laurie, 40 years later, and facing her old tormentor once again. This time, she’s targeted along with her daughter and granddaughter.

That film had a scary good opening last weekend, debuting at an estimated $77.5 million. It beat the franchise record opening of $26 million, previously held by the 2007 Rob Zombie reboot. Halloween also posted the second largest opening for an R-rated horror film trailing last year’s It, which opened with $123.4 million.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Hunter Killer’ among this week’s new releases

(Lionsgate Premiere)(LOS ANGELES) — Here are the films opening nationwide on Friday:

* Hunter Killer — Gerard Butler plays a newly minted American submarine captain tasked with leading a group of U.S. Navy Seals on a mission to rescue the Russian president from a coup. Also starring Gary Oldman, Linda Cardellini, and Common. Rated R.

* Mid90s — Jonah Hill wrote and makes his directorial debut in this coming of age comedy about a 13-year-old boy in 1990s Los Angeles — played by Sunny Suljic — who navigates his troubled home life and new friends he meets at a local skate shop. Also starring Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston. Rated R.

* Indivisible — Based on the true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather — played by Grey’s Anatomy stars Justin Bruening and Sarah Drew, respectively — who struggle to save their marriage following his deployment to Iraq. Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jason George co-stars, along with Tia Mowry. Rated PG-13.

* Johnny English Strikes Again — Rowan Atkinson’s third outing as the titular MI6 agent finds him forced out of retirement when he’s the only agent available for service after a security breach exposes the identities of all the other agents. Emma Thompson also stars. Rated PG.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

* Suspiria — Dakota Johnson stars in this remake of the 1977 supernatural horror film of the same name about a young American dancer who enrolls at a prestigious dance academy with a dark secret. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper — who starred in the original film — and Chloë Grace Moretz. Rated R.

* Viper Club — Susan Sarandon stars as the mother of a war correspondent — played by Matt Bomer — who must take matters into her own hands when he’s taken hostage while on assignment and the government fails to act. Edie Falco also stars. Rated R.

(Mid90s trailer contains frequent, uncensored profanity.)

(Viper Club Trailer contains mild, uncensored profanity.)

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Yipee Ki-yay! ‘Die Hard’ coming back to the big screen to celebrate 30th anniversary

Die Hard (1988) TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.(HOLLYWOOD) — You’ll soon be able to reignite the debate over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

The Bruce Willis action flick is returning to theaters next month in honor of its 30th anniversary. It will be back on the big screen in select theaters for two days only: November 11 and November 14.

The re-release, presented by Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series, will also feature new pre and post-film commentary by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.

Die Hard was first released in July of 1988. It stars Willis as John McClane, a cop who faces off against the late Alan Rickmans terrorist Hans Gruber, after Gruber attacks the L.A. building where McClane’s estranged wife works. All of the action takes place during Christmastime.

Tickets for the Die Hard anniversary showings can be purchased on the Fathom Events website or at participating theater box offices.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pierce Brosnan reunites with the ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ kids 25 years later

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Pierce Brosnan reunited with his Mrs. Doubtfire “stepchildren” this week, nearly 25 years after the film was released.

Brosnan, who played the mother’s new boyfriend Stu in the movie, got together with Mara Wilson, who played youngest daughter Natalie; Matthew Lawrence, who played middle child Chris; and Lisa Jakub, who played eldest daughter Lydia.

Jakub posted a photo of the four of them on Instagram Wednesday, writing, “So this just happened. #mrsdoubtfire #reunion #25yearslater.”

She also shared a clip of Brosnan showing a photo on his phone of the three kids at the film’s 1993 premiere. Brosnan then pulls the camera back to reveal the now-adult actors.

“Here you go: At the premiere of Mrs. Doubtfire and here we are, we pull back slowly, tada!” he says in the clip. “Love you, love you all so much. So good to be a part of your lives.”

Mrs. Doubtfire starred the late Robin Williams as a man who goes undercover as a female nanny in order to spend time with his three kids following his divorce. The film was released November 24, 1993.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: Final trailer released for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

© 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. (HOLLYWOOD) — Ahead of the film’s release next week, the final trailer for the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been released.

The latest trailer shows Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s strained relationship with his family, the rumors swirling around his sexuality and his desire to be a voice for the outcasts of society.

When asked what makes Queen different from any of the other rock bands out there, Rami Malek as Mercury replies, “We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for other misfits, for the outcasts right at the back of the room who are pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.”

The film, which follows the band’s rise to fame, hits theaters November 2.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.