Just when Game of Thrones fans got their hopes up after Kit Harington stepped out at Wimbledon with his Jon Snow curls still intact, Arya Stark is here to burst everyone's bubble. "We saw him get stabbed a lot in the chest, like, I think that’s pretty clear," Maisie Williams told People. In fact, she says the cast has secretly been mourning Kit/Jon's loss since award-show season earlier this year. Her advice on how to cope: "That's what this show does. And if you haven't learned that by now, well then I can't help you ... If it makes you feel better, then yes there's hope but ... [major eye roll]." Tough love. That's the Arya Stark way.
Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. We do not discriminate; as long as the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best new tunes.
The resurgence of Archie Comics has been one of the most fascinating, unexpected developments in recent comics-industry history. As of just a few years ago, the company was an afterthought in the publishing world, cranking out cartoony, barely noticed tales about Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and the rest. But after a change in management in 2009, Archie Comics began crafting inventive new gimmicks for these 60-year-old archetypes. There was Afterlife With Archie, in which Archie becomes a zombie hunter; there was Archie vs. Predator, in which the Riverdale gang goes up against the alien menace from the Predator movies; and now the company is embarking on its riskiest gambit yet: a gimmick-free, straight-faced reboot of the Archie universe.
Starting with this week’s Archie No. 1, readers will get to see a brand-new take on Riverdale, in which all the classic characters are modern-day teenagers. Realistic comedy is the order of the day: All the characters look like normal humans, rather than the wacky caricatures they’d been in previous decades of Archie storytelling; their adventures are told with naturalistic dialogue, not stilted zingers. Making these characters relevant again (and doing so without coming across as pandering) is a challenge, but Archie Comics has enlisted two industry heavyweights to guide the effort.
Writer Mark Waid is one of the most venerable names in comics, having written acclaimed and best-selling stories for Marvel, DC, his own Thrillbent, and an array of other publishers. Artist Fiona Staples is the co-creator of Saga, Image Comics’ megahit about interstellar war and romance. They’re both operating outside their comfort zones with the Archie relaunch, but if the first issue is any indication, they’ve got a clear vision for making Riverdale relevant. We have exclusive pages from Archie No. 1 below, as well as a conversation with Waid and Staples about why Archie has survived this long, how to draw a school dance, and the possibility of an Archie-Godzilla crossover.
As has been rumored for a while, one of the Star Wars stand-alone films will tell the story of a young Han Solo: LucasFilm announced today that The Lego Movie's Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will bring the backstory of Corellia's most famous smuggler to the big screen, in a project written by the father-son team of Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. Star Wars is the latest project on Lord and Miller's increasingly crowded plate — besides shepherding the Lego franchise, they've also got a second season of Last Man on Earth, the Flash movie, a partly animated comedy for Fox, and an animated Spider-Man project for Sony. Luckily, there are two of them, so they won't have to do it all ... solo.
A day after newly unsealed court documents revealed that Bill Cosby testified in 2005 to giving prescription drugs to women with the intention of having sex with them, two TV networks have reacted swiftly. Both Centric and Bounce TV plan to pull reruns of The Cosby Show and Cosby from their respective networks starting as early as today. Centric, a BET-owned network that serves a predominantly black female audience, will begin yanking Cosby Show episodes on Wednesday "until further notice." Bounce TV, an Atlanta-based network also serving black audiences, has already pulled all reruns of Cosby, a comedy that reunited Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad. The Cosby Show originally aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992 for eight seasons. TV Land also pulled Cosby Show episodes last year in the wake of multiple sexual-abuse allegations against Cosby. Vulture has reached out to Hulu and Amazon, where the series is still currently available to stream, for comment.
The Bozo Who Charged His Phone on Hand to God’s Stage Was Even Ruder Than You Thought (There's Video Proof)By E. Alex Jung
During a Broadway production of Hand to God at the Booth Theater, the site Broadway Adjacent reported that an audience member walked up to the stage to try to charge his phone. At first blush, we thought that this meant the man went up to the apron of the stage and charged it there. Nope! There's now video evidence showing that the rudest man on Broadway walked onto the stage to plug in his phone.
Last month we got a glimpse of three of the Ghostbusters — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon — from the Boston set of Paul Feig's reboot, and then we even saw the uniforms hanging on a rack. But what we really needed was the Ghostbusters in those uniforms. They are Ghostbusters, after all! Finally we have a first look at Melissa McCarthy, ready to bust some ghosts. Sadly, she isn't wearing her proton pack, so she'll just have to catch the ghosts with her hands.
Yeah, what if Obama were addicted to edamame?
Inside Amy Schumer wraps up its third season tonight, and tomorrow, Key & Peele returns for the second half of its fourth season; following that episode comes the series premiere of Why? With Hannibal Buress. Review returns July 30. Another Period is off to a terrific start, and late-night show Meltdown's second season is going strong. That's quite a summer roster for Comedy Central.
Thirty years ago this fall, The Cosby Show debuted on NBC, and its star was catapulted into the comedic stratosphere. The timing is prime, then, for the release of a sprawling biography. Written by former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker, Cosby: His Life and Times documents the man’s rise from the Philadelphia projects, while also detailing the creation of his family sitcom and the murder of his son Ennis in 1997.
The book is notable, however, for its complete avoidance of sexual abuse allegations that have dogged Cosby for more than a decade. In a statement to Buzzfeed's Kate Aurthur, Whitaker says, "I didn’t want to print allegations that I couldn’t confirm independently." Regardless, their absence is glaring. Consider the following timeline an appendix to the book.
There was a big scare in Springfield a couple of months ago, when it looked as though Harry Shearer, who voices many of The Simpsons' secondary denizens, including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, and Ned Flanders, would be departing. But fear not! Fox has announced that Shearer, along with the show's five other principal voice actors — Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Hank Azaria — will be returning for two more seasons. The two-season pickup extends the show's phenomenal run to 28 seasons (it's already the longest-running scripted show on TV). All's well in Springfield: Homer and Marge aren't breaking up, and neither are Mr. Burns and Smithers.
The first time you see inmate Mei Chang, played by Lori Tan Chinn, in Orange Is the New Black, is midway through the second episode of the first season. Piper is getting starved out by Red, and she needs Nikki to get some stuff from the commissary for her. There’s Chang, with her no-muss buzz cut, behind the metal mesh of the commissary booth, handing out cups and Colgate and ramen in her brusque, no-nonsense manner. That’s where she’ll remain for most of the show: doing her job on the periphery, seen but unnoticed. Just how she wants it. It isn't until the sixth episode of the recently released third season that the show lingers on Chang: In “Ching Chong Chang” we get her backstory, and if one thing’s clear, she's the real gangster at Litchfield.
Here’s How Game of Thrones Got the Head-Squishing Effects Exactly Right for That Hardhome Battle SequenceBy Nate Jones
By this point, it's been well established that women who work in film have a tougher time of it than men. Even so, when the Tumblr account Shit People Say to Women Directors recently debuted, it quickly went viral. Many of its crowdsourced anecdotes involved terrible tales of extreme sexism and harassment, but just as eye-opening were the smaller stories, the more common microaggressions that female directors (and producers like me) must deal with on a regular basis. These minor offenses are often committed by people who have no idea that they’re doing it, but they can add up, contributing to the cloud of sexism that will continue to choke Hollywood until female filmmakers — and a more enlightened industry — are able to bat it back. I spoke to some of those filmmakers to get a better sense of the forms of discrimination they typically face; these four examples were the ones most commonly cited.
Deadline has the scoop on the new villain for Paul Feig's upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, and the New York comedy scene could not be more pleasantly surprised: It's Neil Casey! Who? you may ask, if you're not prone to spending lots of time in a small theater underneath a Gristedes. Well, here's your answer: Casey, one of Vulture's 50 Comedians to Watch in 2015, was a UCB comedy guru; before his move to L.A., he was widely regarded as the best improviser in the city, and he taught classes and directed shows for many of the people who make up the second comedy boom.
Like most of the new Ghostbusters cast, Casey's got an SNL connection, as he wrote for the show during the 2012–13 season before moving on to Inside Amy Schumer and Kroll Show. He currently stars on Feig's Yahoo sci-fi show Other Space, which probably helped him land the Ghostbusters gig. There's no word on the nature of the new Ghostbusters bad guy, but in Feig's leaked pitch for the film, the villain was described as a convicted murderer who turns into a ghost after his execution is hit by a "supercharged electrical storm," which gives him the power to summon an army of evil ghosts to destroy the world. That breakdown mentioned Peter Dinklage as the ideal choice for the role, which means that in some alternate universe, Neil Casey is also appearing on Game of Thrones.
Netflix is getting into the feature-film business, and today the streaming giant announced release dates for the films that it hopes will lead the company into its next awards-laden stage. First up is Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, which stars Idris Elba as a West African warlord who mentors a young child soldier — it will debut on Netflix on October 16, the same day it opens in American theaters for a crucial Oscar-qualifying run. Following that is Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six, a comic Western that made headlines when its Native American actors walked off the set in protest. Six will start streaming December 11 — appropriately, two weeks before Quentin Tarantino's similarly titled The Hateful Eight — and with an awards run seemingly out of the question, Netflix gave no word about its possible theatrical release.
2016 brings Netflix's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, which was pushed back to the first quarter of next year after having been previously scheduled for August. It will also be released simultaneously in Imax theaters in America and normal theaters in China. Finally, Judd Apatow's Pee-wee Herman film will premiere on Netflix in March. The streaming service also has three more Sandler films in development but declined to announce release dates for them crazy far in advance. That's one way to separate yourself from your new cinematic competitors!
Novelists take their time responding to history, and we’re now starting to see what they’ll make of America under Obama. You Don’t Have to Live Like This, Benjamin Markovits’s seventh book, captures a peculiar creature of this time: the young liberal entrepreneur who wants to create a model for urban renewal and make a buck or two doing it. His name is Robert James, and his plan is to buy up five square miles of crumbling houses and empty lots in Detroit and jump-start the area’s gentrification by attracting settlers through an online campaign. Before things take their turn toward the violent and distinctly non-post-racial, Obama himself makes an appearance, delivering a speech with the line that gives the novel its title and giving the narrator a bloody nose with a misplaced elbow in a pickup basketball game.
Last week, after close to a month of speculation, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced their divorce. Why did they wait so long? Why were there so many false reports about them being fine? Will we ever find out the truth? To find out, we asked the Hollywood publicist who handled Ben’s breakup with another Jen. At present, Rob Shuter is a host on VH1’s The Gossip Table, but he got his start doing PR for Jennifer Lopez (during her split from Ben Affleck) and Jessica Simpson (during her divorce from Nick Lachey). We caught the voluble Brit between TV appearances late last week for a discussion of Ben, both Jens, his irritation with John Mayer, staged paparazzi shoots, and publicists’ worst fears.
In Newly Unsealed Testimony, Bill Cosby Admits to Having Sex With Drugged Women, Payoffs, and Cover-upsBy Nate Jones
On Monday night, a federal court unsealed documents from Andrea Constand's 2005 lawsuit against Bill Cosby following a request from the Associated Press. Constand accused Cosby of drugging and raping her, and found numerous Jane Doe witnesses who said the same. (The suit was settled out of court in 2006.) Cosby and his lawyer had tried to block the release of the records by claiming the comedian was not a public figure; judge Eduardo C. Robreno disagreed, ruling that Cosby had "donned the mantle of public moralist" and thus "voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim."
Before the official release, the AP reported that Cosby had admitted to obtaining quaaludes to give to women he intended to have sex with. The full records reveal that Cosby had seven prescriptions for quaaludes, which he used for this purpose. In his testimony, the comedian said he did give the drugs to other people, and confirmed a Jane Doe witness's account that they had sex after he gave her the pills: "She meets me back stage. I give her Quaaludes. We then have sex." Cosby did not answer the question of whether he gave women drugs without their consent.
Kristen Wiig Has Been Ignoring the Ghostbusters Hubbub; Plus, Watch Her ‘Lost’ Sex Scene From The Spoils Before DyingBy David Marchese
Lust. Murder. Jazz. Dicks. (The private kind.) IFC’s new mini-series The Spoils Before Dying has a surreal good time making fun of all that, along with pretentious art films, late-career Orson Welles, old-timey cop slang, and a bunch of other madcap targets. (For a sample, check out the exclusive clip below, in which the series' auteur Eric Jonrosh, played by Will Ferrell, unveils a "lost" sex scene between Kristen Wiig's jazz singer Delores O'Dell and Michael K. Williams's pianist-P.I. Rock Banyon.) Premiering on July 8, the six-parter is a follow-up to last year’s similarly cuckoo mock-sweeping epic The Spoils of Babylon, and yet it only just maybe makes it into the top three oddest things Kristen Wiig has done on TV over the last year. In case you somehow forgot, Wiig also got her ya-yas out dancing to Sia’s “Chandelier” with Maddie Ziegler at the Grammys in February, and then in June teamed with her Spoils co-star Ferrell for the Lifetime potboiler A Deadly Adoption.
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