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  • Posted 4/26/17 at 5:32 PM
  • Lies

Madonna Claims Biopic Is Based on ‘Lies and Exploitation,’ Appears Not to Know Her Own Origin Story

Madonna is the subject of a biopic about her earliest days that was recently picked up by Universal (it’s not a Desperately Seeking Susan reboot, sorry) and, like many a star with an unauthorized retelling of their life story on the way, she’s perturbed by the thought of it. Shortly after the announcement that Universal had acquired Elyse Hollander’s No. 1 Black List script about the pop icon, Blonde Ambition, Madonna shaded the project in an emoji-filled Instagram: “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. Looking for instant gratification without doing the work.” She has now further ripped the supposed charlatan with a since-deleted Instagram post in which she fact-checks the first page of Hollander’s script, giving it the zero-star review of “lies and exploitation.” Only there are two issues with Madonna’s gripes: For one, the lies in question are not even Hollander’s words — they’re Madonna’s. They’re also the facts verbatim as Madonna spoke them on live national television.


New Alien: Covenant Prologue Jumps Back to the End of Prometheus for a Journey Into the Great Beyond

You might have thought the Alien franchise was going wipe its hands of gloomy philosophizing after Prometheus. A new “prologue” to Alien: Covenant is here to tell you you’re wrong. The two-and-a-half-minute clip picks up with Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s robot David after the end of the prequel, as they head to the Engineer homeland in hopes of meeting their makers. Too bad the clip cuts away right as David looks out over the new planet. Maybe we’ll find out what happened next in Alien: Covenant. More likely, we’ll have to wait for the sequels Ridley Scott is already planning to do, one of which will just be him standing in front of a plain background explaining everything.

M. Night Shyamalan Announces Glass, a Sequel to Both Split and Unbreakable

Unbreakable, M. Night Shyamalan’s low-key superhero movie from 2000 that Vulture called the best superhero movie since Blade, came out way before big-budget sci-fi and fantasy were the norm, and it helped the young director generate an enthusiastic following. The ending also left room for a sequel that never came, but after 17 years on the back burner, Bruce Willis’s unbreakable man David Dunn is coming back in Glass. It will be the second collaboration between Shyamalan and Blumhouse/Universal, a pairing that money men were surely eager to sign off on after the director’s R-rated January surprise Split made almost $275 million worldwide. The twist king shared the news himself in a string of tweets this morning, and if you were a fan of Unbreakable and Split, his big reveal read like a fan-casting announcement.


Cars Creative Director Casually Ponders Whether the Cars Killed All the Humans and Took Over the Earth

The world of Cars is full of cars, which is strange because cars are designed to be used by humans. This fact may not bother the children watching the successful series of Pixar movies, but on an existential level, it’s a little weird: Where did these vehicles come from in the absence of human design? Why do they have doors, if there are no people to step into them? Why do they speak English? Why do they have personalities? Screencrush’s Matt Singer heroically confronted the Cars universe’s creative director Jay Ward, who recently wrote a book about Cars, with the question of where these cars might come from, and while Ward insisted that his ideas were in no way Pixar canon, he did have some horrifying theories:


  • Posted 4/26/17 at 11:21 AM
  • Obits

Director Jonathan Demme Dead at 73

Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director whose career spanned five decades, died Wednesday morning in New York, his reps confirmed in a statement. Best known for Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, and the Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense, the director died of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. He was 73.


Dulé Hill Goes Bad, As a Grinning Drug Dealer in Sleight

Dulé Hill is trying something new. In Sleight, J.D. Dillard’s new sci-fi thriller, his voice drops a few octaves, and he wears chains and leather jackets. The 41-year-old actor has played a lot of affably goofy nice guys — Charlie Young on West Wing, Gus on Psych — but in the coming-of-age indie, he’s deploying his charm in a whole new way. As Angelo, a villainous drug dealer who attempts to mold the movie’s young hero, Hill tries out being menacing. “Onstage I’ve been able to play characters who are a little more unsavory, but never on film. When this came along, I jumped at it,“ Hill told Vulture. “Angelo isn’t the godfather, but in his world he knows how to handle his business.” He described the character as a Joe Pesci type: “He’s a bad guy, but he’s accessible, he’s cool, he’s fun,” he said.


Johnny Depp Says He Spent $5 Million – Not $3 Million — on a Cannon to Blast Out Hunter S. Thompson’s Ashes

One of the stranger points of contention in Johnny Depp’s current legal battle with his former business managers the Management Group is how much money he spent on a “specially made cannon” used to blast Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes over Aspen, Colorado. TMG has claimed that the cannon cost Depp $3 million, but in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, the actor claims it was actually $5 million. (Either way, this seems like way too much money to spend on a cannon, but that’s neither here nor there.)


  • Posted 4/25/17 at 5:20 PM

Disney’s Rejiggered Release Schedule Returns Star Wars To Its Usual Summer Opening

Good news for Aquaman: Disney released its updated schedule of opening weekends for its next 15 blockbusters, and the water-loving superhero won’t have to compete with a Star Wars movie. Episode IX, due May 24, 2019, will return to the series’ summer-release schedule, against Robert Downey Jr.’s Dr. Dolittle movie. (Force Awakens and Rogue One both had fall/winter openings for the first time in series history, while the Han Solo spin-off will first bring Star Wars back to the summer when it debuts May 25, 2018.) This means winter 2019 movies — including Aquaman (December 18), Fantastic Beasts 2 (November 16) — won’t have to worry about losing out to Kylo Ren & Co. Instead, they’ll go up against Frozen 2, which Disney is planning for release on November 27, 2019.


Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner Might Be Your Next Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King

As Jon Favreau continues work on his next sashay through the Disney vault with the live-action revival of The Lion King, it looks like the director might be joined by two very funny people. According to the Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner are in talks to join the voice cast as Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. If talks go as planned, they’ll join Donald Glover (Simba) and James Earl Jones (reprising his role as Mufasa) in what is shaping up to be a cast with lots of Lion King experience. After all, Rogen’s “Crosswalk the Musical” staging of The Lion King with James Corden, and Billy Eichner’s experience as a bartender for The Lion King on Broadway totally count, right?

  • Posted 4/25/17 at 1:30 PM

What’s Leaving Showtime: May 2017

Each month, several films and TV shows leave Showtime’s catalogue. We provide a list of departing titles so you can watch them before they’re gone forever (or are just available on a different site). For more comprehensive coverage of the best titles available on Showtime and elsewhere, check out Vulture’s What to Stream Now hub, which is updated throughout the month.


  • Posted 4/25/17 at 12:57 PM

See an Exclusive Clip From the Trans Family Drama 3 Generations

Formerly known as About Ray, the movie 3 Generations follows a young trans boy named Ray (Elle Fanning) raised in New York City by his grandmother (Susan Sarandon) and mom Maggie (Naomi Watts). Ray is ready to progress to his next step in the gender-confirmation process, but the medical consent requires signatures from both his parents. Maggie is worried about her son, though ultimately onboard, but Ray still needs to track down his estranged father (Tate Donovan) and convince him to sign on before hormone therapy can begin. In this scene, we find Ray with his dad and the half-siblings he never knew he had, navigating uncomfortable situations as he meets family members who are strangers and explains that he was born in the wrong body. You can see 3 Generations in theaters beginning May 5.

  • Posted 4/25/17 at 12:44 PM

An Occult Ritual Has Begun in This Exclusive Clip from A Dark Song

A Dark Song is a movie best entered into with minimal explanation beforehand, but here’s the briefest of summaries: A woman who has lost her child is willing to turn over everything she has to a reclusive occultist if it means he can connect her with her son’s spirit once more. It’s a tense, nerve-racking exercise that brings up issues of heaven and hell, faith and hopelessness, and consent and grief all rolled into a (mostly) quiet little package. The rites required to breach dimensions are long and arduous, and in this scene we see the mother (Catherine Walker) and her guide (Steve Oram) as they hash out whether or not their rituals are starting to yield results. A Dark Song opens in theaters this weekend.

  • Posted 4/25/17 at 11:30 AM

What’s Leaving HBO: May 2017

Each month, several films and TV shows leave HBO’s catalogue. We provide a list of departing titles so you can watch them before they’re gone forever (or are just available on a different site). For more comprehensive coverage of the best titles available on HBO and elsewhere, check out Vulture’s What to Stream Now hub, which is updated throughout the month.


What’s Leaving Netflix: May 2017

Each month, several films and TV shows leave Netflix’s catalogue. We provide a list of departing titles so you can watch them before they’re gone forever (or are just available on a different site). For more comprehensive coverage of the best titles available on Netflix and elsewhere, check out Vulture’s What to Stream Now hub, which is updated throughout the month.


  • Posted 4/25/17 at 10:48 AM
  • Kissing

Vin Diesel Keeps Saying His Fast 8 Kiss Was Good, Despite Video Evidence and Charlize Theron’s Insistence to the Contrary

The biggest Fast and Furious feud is between Vin Diesel and the Rock, but after the release of The Fate of the Furious, a minor scrimmage has emerged between Diesel and Charlize Theron about the relative pleasure of kissing Vin Diesel. In the film, Charlize’s dreadlocked hacker Cypher kisses Vin’s hero Toretto in a crucial scene to make it clear that he’s turned his back on his family, and specifically his girlfriend Letty. In an interview with USA Today, Vin said, “Charlize Theron is not a bad kissing partner to have” and that he enjoyed the kiss very much: “A kiss cannot lie, lips don’t lie. No, they didn’t. She OWNED it.”


Let Kevin Feige Get You Even More Hyped for Black Panther

So, you’re excited for Black Panther, and why wouldn’t you be? Marvel’s unusual new superhero movie comes out early next year and follows Captain America: Civil War scene-stealer T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) as he returns to rule his home country of Wakanda. It helps that he has some formidable allies in his corner (including several fierce women played by Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett) as well as a super-suit to don when things get too dire, but he’ll need all that and more when going up against the villainous Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and a host of eye-popping adversaries, one of which is a giant rhino-mech.


  • Posted 4/24/17 at 9:09 PM

Blonde Ambition Will Live To Tell Madonna’s Origin Story at Universal

Looks like you can go ahead and “Die Another Day,” for today has at least one “Ray of Light”: Universal has decided to get “Hung Up” on Elyse Hollander’s Madonna biopic, Blonde Ambition. The screenplay, which topped 2016’s Black List, tracks the early days of Madonna Louise Ciccone’s nascent career in New York leading up to her star-making performance at the 1984 MTV Music Awards, a time period during which the young dancer turned singer almost certainly made “Music,” learned “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” and decided to “Take a Bow.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brett Ratner and Fifty Shades of Grey’s Michael De Luca will produce. Be prepared to feel very “This Used to Be My Playground” from the A League of Their Own soundtrack about the whole thing.

Vince Vaughn Is Producing a Documentary About Police and Race Relations

Earlier this year it was announced that Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson would be co-starring in a movie called Dragged Across Concrete, about a pair of police officers suspended for excessive use of force who end up in the “criminal underworld.” And now it appears that another one of Vaughn’s projects will touch on police brutality. Deadline reports that the actor is producing a documentary for AT&T’s Audience Network that will be “focused on the relationship between African-American communities and the police.” Vaughn has reportedly been working on the project for a year now, and Network executive Chris Long recommended that he “embed” to get the full story, because “you have to find out what’s the real struggle, and that’s part of getting the story to be authentic.” For his part, Vaughn actually credits the rising popularity of podcasts with inspiring him to pursue a long-form nonfiction narrative, and says that the aim of his documentary would be to “humanize people on both sides,” telling Deadline, “I’ve had friends who’ve grown up in that environment, I’ve also had friends who are police officers, and there’s a lot of fear on both sides. I think the situation causes a lot of problems, so it’s really a chance to sit with the people and getting access to them and seeing their daily lives.”

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

This list was updated April 24, 2017 to reflect Amazon Prime’s current offerings.


  • Posted 4/24/17 at 4:55 PM

11 Riveting Things We Learned From Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Talk With Marina Abramovic

Only at the pop-cultural melting pot that is the Tribeca Film Festival does a leisurely Saturday afternoon include a tête-à-tête between the Academy Awards’ newest filmmaking darling and the single most well-regarded performance artist alive. It’s hard to imagine a more intimidating interviewee for the Birdman and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu than the great Marina Abramovic, a woman so intense that her silent stare has reduced strangers to tears. (“She is the queen, right? I’m super nervous,” Iñárritu joked.) But they were perfectly cordial with one another during their chat Saturday afternoon, discussing everything from their posthumous legacies to fart jokes to the hazards of mood-stabilizing medication. Here’s what we learned.