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Ava DuVernay Will NOT Be Directing Black Panther, According to Ava DuVernay

When Marvel announced several months ago that it was courting Ava DuVernay to helm one of its upcoming features, particularly Black Panther, the internet went nuts. DuVernay would have been the first black female to direct a Marvel movie (she was already the first black female filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, for her acclaimed Selma). Also, DuVernay directing a Marvel movie would’ve been the coolest, and arguably the most interesting thing to happen to a Marvel movie in a long time — maybe ever. But there was never any confirmation, and for months rumors eddied around the internet. Now we finally have legitimate confirmation from DuVernay herself, via an interview with Essence

The Sharknado 3 Trailer Gets Political, Sort Of

The new full trailer for the latest Sharknado sequel pretty much explains itself. There’s yet another tornado full of sharks coming, and this time it’s going to destroy the entire "feast coast." There’s really no need to give any sort of plot synopsis for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a movie concerned exclusively with CGI sharks spilling from the sky and eating people. It stars Tara Reid, Frankie Muniz, and David Hasselhoff, with guest appearances by Ann Coulter (as the Vice President of the United States, LOL), Michele Bachmann (as herself, LOL), Anthony Weiner (as a lifeguard, hopefully with his pants on), and other, less political people. Until the movie airs on July 22 and we can all drink ourselves silly while watching Ann Coulter maybe get gobbled by flying sharks, we have this trailer to tide us over:

Jackie & Ryan Is Like Nicholas Sparks-Lite

Could Jackie and Ryan even be called a movie? And does it really matter? This underdeveloped romance seems to be lacking an act, or two, or maybe even three. But it’s filled with such great music that the emotions are there regardless. Not unlike Once, the movie itself feels like an excuse for the music. And as with Once, that’s not always a bad thing.

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  • Posted 7/3/15 at 3:02 PM
  • Movies

New Video Shows Nic Cage as '90s Superman

A long time ago, in the ’90s, filmmaker Tim Burton infamously planned on a making a Superman movie starring one Nicolas Cage. At the time, Burton had yet to devolve into a parody of himself, and Cage… well, at that point in his career he was still known more as an actor than a recurring internet meme. The film, which never took off, was called Superman Lives, and you can just imagine the bizarre iteration of the Man of Steel that Burton and Cage could’ve conjured. A new documentary chronicling the film’s failure called The Death of Superman Lives (which is a most excellent title) is coming out July 9, and courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, you can now watch a clip from the documentary showing the "holy grail" footage of Cage's costume test:

Zarafa is Wise and Elegant, for Kids and Adults

A sweet and sad African adventure with some admirably dark overtones, Zarafa is a Belgian animated film being released Stateside with English subtitles by GKids, the same company that has brought us extraordinary films like Ernest & Celestine and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. (They’re also the folks responsible for the wonderful New York International Children’s Film Festival, which I wrote about last year.) GKids has done an admirable job of bringing to the U.S. youth-oriented films, usually animated, that tackle potentially unsettling, grown-up issues. These tend to be limited releases, often subtitled and screening in small theaters – a far cry from the behemoths of Pixar and Dreamworks. It’s a curious, maybe even crazy idea: bringing together children’s movies and the arthouse. But over the past few years it’s paid some wonderful dividends. Zarafa, which was originally released in Europe in 2012, is one of them.

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Some of the Best Back to the Future Fan Theories

Robert Zemeckis’ beloved sci-fi-comedy and coming-of-age period-piece, Back to the Future, has spawned a lot of strange speculation from fans over the years. The film, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, seems to come alive again with each new generation, and each generation also seems to find new, bizarre conspiracies skulking in between the figurative lines. The folks at the AV Club have collected a bunch of the most prevalent online theories, and amidst the usual JFK and Illuminati codswallop are some fun, if bonkers, ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:

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  • Posted 7/3/15 at 10:45 AM
  • Omg

Harry Styles Dishes Details on Zayn Malik

One Direction, a very popular boy band that has sold a lot of records and whose posters adorn the walls of so many teenage girls, lost one of its key members, Zayn Malik, earlier this year. Fans were devastated, and theories and rumors on his return have circulated since. How’s the band doing without Zayn? Harry Styles, talking to Entertainment Weekly, has some updates:

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Hannibal Recap: Bowels In Or Bowels Out?

After the enthralling “Mizumono,” which ended season two on a moribund ellipsis, and the three sublime Vincenzo Natali-directed episodes that began this season with the lingering discomfort of a faulty memory, Hannibal has finally reached its nadir. The end of “Contorno” is, while inevitable, also infuriating, and emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the two most recent episodes of Hannibal: with its arm-snapping, face-cracking histrionics and unrepentant deus-ex machina, it feels like fan service gone awry. It lacks the fun of the killer-of-the-week episodes, and also the profundity of the slower, more pensive ones. It’s at once a not-so-sly inversion of the fight that began, and ended, the glorious second season, in which Hannibal stabs Jack in the neck and leaves him to die before departing calmly (and comely) into that good night while Jack just manages to hold on to life. And it's also an annoying ploy that serves no thematic or narrative purpose.

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Wayward Pines Recap: You Dropped a Bomb on Me

Now that Wayward Pines has gone through not one, but two episodes – a great one and a not-so-great one – explaining the abbies and the 2,000-year time jump and how could Pilcher and everybody survive so long in suspended animation and all that stuff, we can now finally get back to the action.

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  • Posted 7/3/15 at 9:10 AM

Will Shark Week Get Back to Reality This Year?

Can a former Disney executive undo the damage to a cable network’s reputation caused by an extinct shark? That’s the promise of new leadership at the Discovery Channel, which for the past two years has substituted fiction for fact during Shark Week, and hurt both itself and the public in the process.

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Eminem and Gwen Stefani Did a Song Together, So You Should Probably Give It a Whirl

In weird pairings you thought you didn't need: Eminem and Gwen Stefani on Thursday hopped into a time machine set for the early aughts to whip up a new single, "Kings Never Die." The Southpaw song is as poppy as it is rappy — why, yes, that is Em sing-rapping! It almost has a Gym Class Heroes, or even Fall Out Boy, feel to it, thanks to the guitar-heavy spitting. (Who knows, maybe Em is thinking about forming a band?) The track also does a very, very good job of kvetching about the internet and sounding grumpy, all while making it clear Gwen and Em are still musical kings. It's a good time, but it's a weird, nostalgic good time. Aside from the interesting sound, it's fairly classic Em: lyrical intensity; complex, staccato rhymes; and a syncopated but unrelenting flow. (King alert, king alert.) The rapper has been heavily involved with Southpaw's soundtrack, which comes out July 24. The movie's out the same day.

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  • Posted 7/3/15 at 1:52 AM
  • Phew

Diddy Has Avoided Felony Charges

Prosecutors have decided not to charge P. Diddy with felony assault and battery for his alleged kettlebell incident at UCLA, CNN reports. The case will instead go to the L.A. City Attorney's office for misdemeanor consideration. "We are thankful that the district attorney rejected felony charges in this matter," Diddy's attorney told CNN. "This case never should have been part of the criminal justice system to begin with." Still: Probably a good idea to stick with making the new music, Diddy, and doing less of the confrontational-slash-heroic-slash-mysterious things with weights in hand.

  • Posted 7/3/15 at 12:55 AM
  • Ouchies

Meghan Trainor Has Had to Postpone Her First Two Tour Shows Because of a Vocal-Cord Hemorrhage

A vocal-cord hemorrhage has forced Meghan Trainor to postpone at least two of her MTrain Tour concerts until further notice. The singer announced the disheartening news via social media late Thursday, noting that she's seeing doctors in New York and currently unable to make noise. "I want to cry but can't cuz it will hurt more," she told her fans, via iPhone, in an Instagram video. "I'm sorry megatronz I will make it up to you I promise." Trainor had a kick-off show coming up in Atlantic City (July 3), as well as one in Connecticut (July 4), but her doctors have told her she needs "complete vocal rest until they are healed." As People points out, the young musician has had similar trouble before: She was forced to rest for roughly two months last year while recording All About That Bass because of polyps on her vocal cords. Let's hope this will be a speedier recovery.

Read her note announcing the news here: »

  • Posted 7/2/15 at 11:33 PM
  • Comedy

Jerry Seinfeld Got Coffee With Trevor Noah and Told Him He’s Going to Do ‘Just Fine’

For this week's installment of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld had a play date with Trevor Noah. The young, new Daily Show host bounced all over the place, talking about his rise to stardom, what comedy was like in South Africa (including incidents involving heckling and blatant racism), how he first learned the power of humor, why Jon Stewart left at the perfect time, and how he manages his insane schedule, among many, many other topics. Of all the gems in here, though, one of the best moments came from inside the coffee shop, when Seinfeld looked at Noah and said: "You know what? You're gonna do just fine. You are a purebred ... you're comedic heritage is very purebred." Noah was all smiles and laughs and took all of the other Seinfeld-isms (including the host's sage definition of pain) with no protest. The only unfortunate part about this fun-friends interview is that the whole Twitter thing apparently evaporated into thin air (would've been interesting to see these two talking more about what it means to be politically correct on social media). Very cool Ferrari, though. Watch the whole episode below, or go to Crackle for the full-res version.

Conan Shows the Best Way to Crash a Magic Mike Party

Excited for Magic Mike XXL this weekend? Probably not as much as Conan and his gal pals were here. It was an especially big night for the late-night host, who can now say he has humped the floor, little-spooned with a MMXXL cast member, and scarred an innocent little kid's life (probably his assistant's too).

16 Movies to See (or Not) This Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is upon us. That means you'll probably spend just enough time under the sun — baking in its heat, getting sweaty, feeling light-headed, peeling clothes from your body, worrying about melanoma, talking to people you see all the time, anyway — to realize that you'd rather not be spending time under the sun. When that occurs, know that there are plenty of options awaiting you at a nearby movie house. Here's a list of 16 flicks —  and what Vulture's reviewers had to say about them — to help expedite your escape from the outdoors.

Or maybe it'll rain and you won't have much of a decision to make. »

Marisa Tomei Is Coming to Empire As a Lesbian Billionaire

Anything is possible in the universe of Lee Daniels. After a breakneck first season with everyone from Courtney Love to Jennifer Hudson* to Naomi Campbell in guest roles, Oscar winner Marisa Tomei has also heard Daniels's siren call for big stars rarely seen on TV. Deadline reports that Tomei will play Mimi Whiteman (very subtle), a venture capitalist and Forbes list billionaire who is "a lover of hip hop music, social trends, high-end fashion and beautiful women" in a recurring role. She'll be joining a jam-packed season that already includes Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Alicia Keys. Game time, bitches.

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You Might Have Lost the Revolutionary War, England, But Chins Up: There’s a New Libertines Video!

Anthems for Doomed Youth, which comes out in September, will be the Libertines first album since 2004. "Gunga Din" is the first single. Happy Independence Day, England!

Michael Douglas Would Love to Join the Avengers

Michael Douglas has been a part of movie history for most of his working life, but even at age 70 he's still open to new chapters. When we chatted with him earlier this week at the Los Angeles world premiere of his new Marvel movie Ant-Man, Douglas raved about the craft that went into it. "It's incredible," he said, "when you have a break from working with the first unit, which is the actors, and you get to go watch the second unit with the stuntmen or the third unit with the special effects or the fourth unit, which is the ant’s point of view — the macro photography, and you see how they put it all together."

In fact, now that his character Hank Pym has been added to the Marvel cinematic universe, Douglas wouldn't mind popping up in one of the studio's even bigger films. "I’ll go anywhere they want me to," he told us. "I like this Marvel family; it’s a lovely group. Their track record’s impeccable — I mean, that’s 12 in a row, right? Who’s done that?"

A Definitive Scorecard for All the Dances in Magic Mike XXL

Magic Mike XXL has finally hit theaters, just in time for Fourth of July weekend (God bless America). This movie has a little something for everyone:  if you want a road-trip film, it's got you covered. If you want a strange female-empowerment movie, it tries very hard to be that. And, of course, if you just want to sit back and enjoy some unadulterated, booty poppin’, groin-thrustin', cheesily themed dance sequences, this movie’s got you covered.

While XXL could have used about 70 percent more dance sequences (Jada Pinkett says it best in the movie: “a little less bro-time and a little more showtime") the dance sequences that were included are perhaps some of the best an audience is going to see this summer. From a whipped-cream explosion to the very best possible use of Cheetos, here is a definitive assessment of all of the key dance scenes from Magic Mike XXL.

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