Is the charmingly evil antagonist James Moriarty back for season four of Sherlock? We're not totally sure, but it seems pretty damn likely he has a big plan up his well-tailored sleeves, if the trailer from Sherlock's upcoming fourth season is any indication. What's certain, though, is that things have never looked bleaker for the Baker Street boys (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) as they do some sleuthing while butting heads with a new villain played with great panache by Toby Jones. But seriously, where you at, Moriarty? Sherlock will return to PBS on January 1, and you can watch the original teaser below.
Dolly Parton, the Shining Star on Top of America’s Dry, Sparse Tree, Joins Pentatonix’s Christmas SpecialBy Halle Kiefer
The United States should go ahead and combine all winter holidays into Dollymas, a one month-long celebration observing the most and perhaps only important thing in all of our lives: Dolly Parton. A day after throwing her own telethon to benefit the victims of Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, the beloved country crooner is confirmed to perform as part of A Penatonix Christmas Special alongside her recent The Voice collaborators. In addition to the nation's most well-known a cappella group, Dolly will also share the stage Wednesday, December 14 with Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson, who should be given Independence Day and Thanksgiving, respectively.
Sadly, Bob Dylan didn't surprise the laureate community by showing up in Stockholm to personally claim his Nobel Prize in Literature after all — truly a shocker, wow — but alas! Very good alternative Patti Smith stepped up in his place, where she performed an emotional rendition of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" with orchestra accompaniment after a Swedish Academy member presented the absent Dylan with an award speech. However, Smith had a momentary slip-up about halfway through the performance, as she accidentally repeated a lyric to the song, paused, and calmly asked the orchestra to start over again. "I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," Smith said to the crowd, who applauded back in support. (At the end of the day, even the greats suffer from occasional nerves, too.) The full ceremony can be viewed above, with the performance beginning around the 1:03:00 mark.
John Legend Writes Open Letter Asking President Obama to Grant Clemency to As Many Non-Violent Drug Offenders As PossibleBy Halle Kiefer
President Obama has approximately forty days before the end of his history-making presidency, and John Legend is hoping he wants to squeeze in a little more history making before he goes. In an open letter published in Rolling Stone, the singer-songwriter asked POTUS to grant clemency to as many of the nation's estimated 36,000 non-violent federal drug offenders as possible before January 20. "While we hope the Trump administration and the 115th Congress will maintain this progress and continue to work in a bipartisan manner to reform our criminal justice system, it is unclear what their priorities will be and when families can expect justice," Legend writes. "Before you leave office, I would like to add my voice to the more than 2 million Americans who have asked you to use your clemency and pardon powers to bring justice to the thousands of families of non-violent drug offenders who have waited far too long for Congress to act."
When Deadpool director Tim Miller unexpectedly stepped away from his Deadpool 2 directorial duties in October, it was widely reported that it was due to creative differences with the film's star, Ryan Reynolds, and that the two had "increasingly butted heads over certain creative issues." Miller has remained mum on the reasoning behind the decision, but he's now finally speaking out about what caused him to depart the R-rated Marvel universe. "I just want to say one thing to the geek audience out there because it’s important to me what the geeks and nerds of the world think because they are my brothers and sisters: I didn't want to make some stylized movie that was three times the budget," he said on CG Garage. "If you read the Internet, who cares, really? But for those of you who do, I wanted to make the same kind of movie that we made before because I think that's the right movie to make for the character. So don’t believe what you read on the Internet. I wanted to do the same thing." It was recently announced that David Leitch — perhaps best known for John Wick — will be assuming the role of Deadpool 2's director in Miller's place.
To You, He’s Spider-Man; To a Bronx High School, Tom Holland Is That Weird Secretly British Kid Who Mysteriously Disappeared One DayBy Halle Kiefer
Tom Holland has put a lot of blood, sweat and web ... fluid(?) into cultivating his version of Spider-Man, from hurting himself on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to being electrocuted by a specialized work-out suit, so it should come as no surprise that the Wolf Hall actor would want to spend equal time researching the most challenge aspect of his role: pretending to be an American teenager. In a Facebook Live self-interview yesterday, the Spider-Man: Homecoming star described how he went undercover as a student at an unnamed Bronx high school to channel Peter Parker. Though, is it still considered "undercover" if you immediately drop your accent and start telling people you're Spider-Man? Luckily, the number one rule of American high schools is "Don't listen to that suddenly British kid who no one knows and claims to be a superhero," so his secret was extremely safe with him.
The Royal Family Issues Another Rare Public Statement to Support the Careers of Princesses Eugenie and BeatriceBy Devon Ivie
What can we say? Perhaps the Royal Family is getting a little more candid. Weeks after Prince William issued a very rare public statement in support of Prince Harry's new romance with Meghan Markle, which followed an equally unusual statement from Prince Harry himself about the matter, Prince Andrew has issued an additional rare public statement regarding the future roles of his daughters, the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. (You know, the ones with the great hats.) Issued through Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew denounced the recent tabloid fodder that suggested he and his brother, Prince Charles, were in stark disagreement over the intended careers the two princesses — one of the supposed disagreements, for instance, was Prince Charles being unenthused that the young women pursued full-fledged professional careers outside of their palace duties.
President-elect Donald Trump wants to assure you, yes you, that all of this talk about him working on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice while in office is a big load of stinkin' lies. Following reports that Trump will be keeping his Celebrity Apprentice executive producer credit when the show returns in January with Arnold Schwarzenegger as host, Trump took to Twitter — where else? — to clear the air about his role and simultaneously slam the media. "I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it. Will devote ZERO TIME!" Trump tweeted early Saturday morning. "Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are ridiculous & untrue - FAKE NEWS!" The second tweet came hours after the first one, as Trump originally misspelled the word "ridiculous" as "rediculous" and deleted the tweet containing the typo to repost a corrected version. NBC has yet to comment on Trump's role, and it's also unclear whether, and how much, Trump will be paid for his executive producer credit in the series.
Rogue One Director and Cast Discuss the Props They Stole From Set; Prop Master Goes Berserk Watching From HomeBy Halle Kiefer
Every actor or actress wants to take home a small memento from their film, but if that film happens to be a wildly anticipated $200 million property of the most success franchise ever created, you just know there is a prop master somewhere having a total breakdown every time a light saber handle or blaster goes missing. He or she probably had to be hospitalized when the Death Star plans disappeared, but luckily they are safe and sound in director Gareth Edwards' mom's house, because he straight up stole them. Felicity Jones, among others, refused to admit what souvenir she purloined, which means it was undoubtedly something insane. Based on the new Rogue One clip they premiered on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the answer is either an entire dead Stormtrooper or a bruised sternum.
The surprise revelation of the intense Star Wars love affair between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford continues to delight fans of the intergalactic franchise — mostly because Fisher has remained decisively mum about it for 40 years — but as explained on The Graham Norton Show last night, perhaps she wasn't as secretive about the whole shebang as she previously let on. "I became friends with his second wife, so we saw each other a lot," Fisher said. "I can literally remember three times were I made some oblique reference to it, and he was like, adfjndklgifdf." What a charmer.
Taylor Swift’s annual Fourth of July party was special for a few reasons this year. For one, Swift gave it an official name: “Taymerica.” For two, she brought her then-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, who wore an “I <3 T.S.” tank top throughout the festivities. And for three, she invited Blake Lively, who invited her husband, Ryan Reynolds, who looked like this during the exciting event:
Get it, girl. A day after news broke that Shameless star Emmy Rossum was locked in a pay standoff and demanding the equal pay of her fellow leading co-star William H. Macy, Variety is reporting that Rossum has indeed been offered equal pay for her role of Fiona Gallagher for the possible upcoming eighth season of the Showtime dramedy. However, she's holding out for a bigger salary than Macy "to make up for the previous seasons where she was making significantly less than him." Variety's sources also say that the offer for parity has been on the table for a few months, although it isn't being accepted by Rossum and her reps. Showtime will unlikely renew the show until Rossum's contract negotiations are finalized, but judging by the fact that sources say the network hasn't "even considered a plan for the show to continue without her," a resolution is likely to be coming soon.
Gender fluid performer Kelly Mantle is about to make Oscar eligibility history. Mantle, who was a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, was submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Confessions of a Womanizer, a film co-starring Gary Busey in which Mantle has a role as a transgender prostitute. TheWrap is reporting that the film's producers submitted Mantle, who is gender fluid (but uses masculine pronouns) for both male and female acting categories, and the Academy has confirmed that he will be considered in both. This is an historic moment for both Mantle and the Academy, which has never acknowledged gender fluidity in its categories before. (Actors playing across gender identity have been nominated in the past; the most recent nod went to Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl.) With this decision, Mantle is eligible for both categories and can win in either, which is not only a win-win for him, but for the LGBTQ community at large.
T.J. Miller Had a Big Night Last Night, Which Included a Profusely Bleeding Ear and Getting ArrestedBy Jordan Crucchiola
T.J. Miller is a hardworking comedian who commits deeply to his bits. Last night on Conan, while stopping by to promote Office Christmas Party, Miller was so dedicated to comedy that he claimed he pierced his own ear with a safety pin in the green room before the show in an impromptu expression of solidarity with victims of discrimination or harassment. His ear proceeded gush an unnatural amount of (most likely fake) blood down the whole front of his body over the course of his visit.
A decade after Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, its sequel is set to do the same in 2017. At the 2006 festival and beyond, Gore's sweeping call to action in the face of rapid environmental degradation made such a cultural impact that it brought the notion of climate change into the mainstream. (And made Gore a folksy hero, gently and happily lampooned on shows like 30 Rock and South Park for his strident climate proselytizing). The debut of the sequel at 2017's festival takes things even further: The film is part of a larger slate of themed work with an environmental focus called "The New Climate," encompassing "14 documentaries, short films, and virtual reality experiences" across the festival's many categories.
No, Elton John is not playing at Donald Trump's inauguration. Neither is Mötley Crüe. Ted Nugent probably would and could, but currently is not. But, as Stereogum is reporting, Garth Brooks may be. Brooks, whose songs can now be procured along with your bag of chips, is reportedly in talks with Trump's inauguration planning team to perform at the ceremony, per his publicist (who, as Stereogum points out, confusingly refers to the news as "a rumor" but then adds that he "hasn't been able to commit yet."). Brooks is currently the only major music name up for the gig, although that will likely change as the date draws nearer. As Vulture's Dee Lockett has noted, however, playing Trump's inauguration is not exactly an opportunity for which music luminaries are currently lining up. We'll leave this one with Mr. Brooks, but as an aside we'd like to mention that he was a great Saturday Night Live host, particularly in the game show sketch "Old French Whore," which we're sure Mr. Trump has seen and has some thoughts on, SNL fan that he is.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Gabrielle Ruiz on Valencia’s New Girl Squad, Eating 15 Donuts, and the Unexpected Ways She Relates to Her CharacterBy Devon Ivie
Spoilers ahead for Friday night's episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
For fans of the delightfully uppity Valencia Perez on the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the first few episodes of the show’s second season didn’t exactly provide any good news — she didn’t show up until the very end of the fourth episode, and when we see her, the noted yogi is gorging herself with a, gasp, doughnut. But what follows is worth the wait: Valencia goes through a feminist awakening with the help of her new “girl group,” Rebecca and Heather. While she may not be totally over her ex-boyfriend Josh, she’s certainly making some big strides to get over him, even if that means the occasional relapse into internet stalking his new lady. Vulture caught up with Ruiz to discuss Valencia’s new friendships, what her backstory is, and how many doughnuts she had to eat in her return scene.
Social media has thoroughly integrated itself into society, so it's interesting to see how many shows and films continue to either misunderstand or completely elide its place in our lives. There are a lot of reasonable factors at play: the costly annoyance of rendering tiny screens on larger ones, the fact that a less tech-savvy, older crowd still holds most of the creative reins in Hollywood, the desire for one's work not to seem dated in the long run. But the result tends to feel like a hole has been cut out of the fabric of modern life — unless a creator goes too far in the other direction, making characters buzzword-obsessed hashtag maniacs too busy Snapchatting to live life.
It looks like DC fans will be waiting a little longer for their next Justice League installment, as that part of Warner's film release calendar has gone a little bat-shaped. As Slashfilm reports, the Zack Snyder-helmed Justice League 2 is being pushed back in favor of Ben Affleck's Batman film (reportedly titled The Batman). And hereupon is where the DC nerds do a bit of conspiracy theorizing: While a new date for Snyder's film has yet to be officially set, THR reported today that he is embarking upon another feature in the interim (the long-gestating The Last Photograph), meaning he has enough time to direct an entire feature before JL2 materializes. Slashfilm picked up on this, noting that there is a currently unclaimed placeholder in DC's schedule for a November 1, 2019 release. This, ergo, is where JL2 could bump to, since Affleck's Batman is set to take JL's current spot: June 14, 2019. Ipso facto, new Batman comes before next Justice League, and new Justice League likely comes November 1.
Watching Silence, the Martin Scorsese movie based on Shūsaku Endō's novel, one can’t help but notice that there is a certain arrogance in the missionary work depicted on screen. As sympathetic as Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver are as two Portuguese priests traveling to Japan in 1633, they don’t speak the language, they don’t understand the local customs or rule of law, and they don’t seem to recognize the irony of their position. The Japanese people who had converted to Catholicism are persecuted, tortured, and killed in much the same manner as the Portuguese and other Catholics were treating non-Catholics halfway across the world.
Lest he be thought as clueless as his characters, Scorsese addressed this issue after a SAG-AFTRA screening of the film in New York on Thursday, and noted that it had been brought to his attention during his visit to the Vatican last week. "There were about 100 Jesuits there, and a number of them were Asian, and a Philippine Jesuit pointed out to me that no matter how well-meaning the missionaries were, and how much zeal they had, no matter how much violence the Japanese committed against them, the missionaries in one way created a form of violence to the Asians," the director said, by insisting that they had the one truth, while everything the Japanese had known in their own culture for thousands of years was irrelevant.
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