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Prince’s semi-autobiographical film Purple Rain will be screened at certain AMC Theaters from tomorrow (Saturday) through next Thursday.

The Wrap has a list of the theaters showing the film here.

Prince won the Original Song Score Oscar for the film. Below is his acceptance speech via ABC:

The soundtrack also won a Grammy and When Doves Cry was nominated for a Golden Globe.  He did win a Golden Globe in 2007 for Song of the Heart from the film Happy Feet.  Prince had over 30 Grammy nominations, with seven wins.

#Prince #PurpleRain #PrinceOscar

Prince Rogers Nelson was one of the most recognizable, successful and prolific music artists in history.  His death today at the age of 57 is a huge loss for the music world.  What a lot of people aren’t aware of is his many philanthrophic efforts as well.

His first album, For You, came out when he was only 19.  He required complete artistic control over his music from the beginning, a rarity, especially for a young, unknown artist.  Hits like 1999, Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Little Red Corvette are just a few of his iconic songs.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.  He played many instruments but was probably best known for his talents with the guitar, as can be seen in the Hall of Fame clip on RollingStone.com.  He also wrote songs for others, such as The Bangles’ Manic Monday.

His philanthrophic side was less well known, however, his friend Van Jones appeared on CNN and said he would spend hours with Prince talking about politics, but also underprivileged youth, AIDS, and many other causes.  Prince encouraged young people to start their own businesses and build successful communities.

As an actor he made three full-length films, Purple Rain, Under The Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.  The last two of these he directed.  He also wrote the soundtrack for Batman (1989), starring Michael Keaton.  The long list of his music, television and film accomplishments is here on his IMDb page.

Prince had recently announced he was to write his autobiography, which would have been published next year by Random House.

R.I.P. to a legend.

#Prince #PrinceRogersNelson #PurpleRain

As reported by Deadline, Stana Katic was not asked to return for season 9 of Castle.  Tamala Jones, who portrayed M.E. Lanie Parish, will also not be returning.

Castle_clenchThe two exits are being written up as budget cuts, but it had been rumored for some time that Katic and star Nathan Fillion weren’t getting along on set, and that Katic was unhappy.  Don’t worry, though, she has no less than four movies coming out this year.

And just what do the showrunners have in mind as a suitable finale for the Castle/Beckett love story?  They’re not saying, but my guess is Beckett will meet her end wrapping up the LokSat arc, leaving Rick a grieving widower.  I don’t think after eight seasons a recast would be in the cards, but I guess it’s a possibility.

Also a possibility is for the show to take off in another direction or even get a spinoff.  Fillion is apparently in talks to return for season 9, although it may be cut to 13 episodes, probably to see if a new format sticks.

In other news, Forever may not be coming back (bet ABC is regretting that one now, considering nothing in its former timeslot has done half as well), but star Ioan Gruffudd has moved on to a new gig.  Entertainment Weekly reports he will have a recurring role in the 2nd season of UnREAL on Lifetime.  The season starts on June 6th.

#CastleABC #NathanFillion #StanaKatic #IoanGruffudd

Yes, you read that right.  Benedict Cumberbatch, who can alternately be a Serious Actor (The Imitation Game, Hamlet), perfectly deliver some very funny lines (Cabin Pressure), play a superhero (Doctor Strange), or a consulting detective (Sherlock) — all with equal ease — will now be The Grinch.

According to Deadline, Benny will be voicing the character in a new animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Illumination Entertainment, house of The Minions.  The movie will be released on November 10th, 2017.  Of course, his little boy Christopher might just be old enough by then to enjoy it, although maybe a little confused about why his dad’s voice is attached to an ugly green creature in a Santa suit.

Benedict has done quite a bit of voice and radio work in the past.  If you haven’t checked out Cabin Pressure, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.  And of course, he was the voice of Agent Classified in The Penguins of Madagascar as well as the dragon Smaug and The Necromancer in The Hobbit films.  He’s done the audio tapes for Casanova, voiced young Rumpole for the Rumpole of the Bailey radio shows, and even read some recent Sherlock Holmes stories, among other things.  All of these are worth checking out, as well as his other early voiceover work.

#BenedictCumberbatch #TheGrinch

Marvel released the first trailer for Doctor Strange last night.  Besides Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange, it features Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo.  We also get some glimpses of Mads Mikkelsen’s villain.

Take a look:

#DoctorStrange #BenedictCumberbatch

Principal photography for Doctor Strange wrapped a few days ago, and Benedict Cumberbatch wasted no time getting to his other job as Sherlock Holmes.  Season 4 is now underway!  (If anyone spies Tom Hiddleston around the set, let us know.)

Jimmy Kimmel (ABC) will be having a Marvel-themed week.  I have heard that Benedict will be introducing the Strange trailer himself on Tuesday.  It will also be attached to Captain America: Civil War, which comes out May 6th in the U.S.

Den of  Geek has a helpful post here to catch you up on the Sorcerer Supreme, along with a cast list and a slideshow of the concept art for the film.

#DoctorStrange #BenedictCumberbatch #SherlockHolmes

Several shots of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo filming in New York City have leaked.  Here’s a slideshow from ComingSoon.net, photos via Getty Images.

They appear to show Strange and Mordo working together after Strange has had some kind of altercation, leaving him with a bloody face.

Director Scott Derrickson decided to join in and sent this tweet:

The film appears November 4th.  The official website is here.

#DoctorStrange #BenedictCumberbatch #ChiwetelEjiofor

Halt and Catch Fire’s second season is now available on Netflix.  The first season had been out there for a while, but the second season has pretty much universally been heralded as a big improvement on the first, so if you gave up on the show after season one, give it another shot.

You can also catch the episodes on HACF’s website.

The third season of the AMC series should premiere sometime in the summer (no firm date yet).  According to The Hollywood Reporter, Manish Dayal has been added to the cast.  The four series regulars – Lee Pace, Kerry Bishe, Mackenzie Davis and Scoot McNairy, will all be returning.

#HaltAndCatchFire #Lee Pace

Conservation International has produced several nature-related videos with the voices of Lee Pace, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey and others for a series called Nature Is Speaking.  You can view them here or on CI’s YouTube channel.

Below is Pace as Mountain and Ford as The Ocean.  Head over to one of the links above to see the others, such as Neeson as Ice and Spacey as The Rainforest.

#NatureIsSpeaking #INeedNature #ConservationInternational #LeePace #HarrisonFord #LiamNeeson

The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey is over on PBS.  Barring any (rumored) film becoming a reality, it seems we have to leave the Crawley family behind.

So what’s a Downton fan to watch now?

Well, creator Julian Fellowes is working on a new period series, The Gilded Age, for NBC.  That series will start filming this year.  It’s set in New York in the 1880’s, according to Radio Times.

He also has a novel, Belgravia, that will be released online in 11 installments.  Sign up here.  The first episode will appear in April and will be available in both text and audio, with an option to download each episode to an app.

Here’s Fellowes doing an introduction to the project:

Fellowes also adapted Anthony Trollope‘s novel for Doctor Thorne, which just premiered last night on ITV.  No word on whether this will be coming the US, though.  (BTW, it was beaten in the ratings by Tom Hiddleston’s The Night Manager on BBC.)

On PBS’s Masterpiece Downton’s slot will be taken by a replay of Mercy Street, set in a hospital during the Civil War.

#DowntonAbbey #MercyStreet #JulianFellowes #BelgraviaNovel #DoctorThorne

According to The Guardian, Tom Hiddleston is in the mix to take over the role of James Bond, and he has let it be known that he would like the gig when Daniel Craig packs it in.  He wouldn’t be a bad choice.  Despite being a nerd favorite as Marvel’s Loki, he’s still not a household name here, and taking on Bond would definitely raise his profile.

There have been a lot of names thrown around for actors willing to take on 007, including Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Aidan Turner (who since Poldark has become a very hot property).  One of the favorites has to be Henry Cavill, who was in the running before but was considered too young.  As The Guardian points out, though, Cavill will be very busy being Superman for some time to come, and may not be able to take the role.  The Man From U.N.C.L.E. did look like an audition for 007…. but the ending of that film hinted that a sequel may be coming, which would make doing Bond a little awkward.

No word yet on whether Craig is going to do another film, but if he does it will probably be his last, so we will no doubt be in for another actor taking over before too long.

#TomHiddleston #JamesBond #HenryCavill

News Roundup

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve got a big project going so don’t be surprised if there are gaps occasionally for a while!

While I was away….

GOTG2PosterGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 began production, and a poster was released showing the Guardians with an adorable Baby Groot hanging on to Drax.  Cue the new Baby Groot toys!

Casting news for GOTG 2 was also released.  Added to the roster is Elizabeth Debicki (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Night Manager), Kurt Russell and Pom Klementieff, according to EW.com.  Klementieff will be playing Mantis.  Debicki and Russell’s characters have not been announced.

The only clue as to the plot that has been released is that the film will “unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.”  We’ll have to wait until May, 2017 to find out who is Starlord’s alien daddy.

Changing the subject completely… the last episode of Downton Abbey on PBS’ Masterpiece will be Sunday, March 6th.  It will be a 2-hour special.  So what’s airing this Sunday, you ask?  A special titled More Manners of Downton Abbey.  A movie has been rumored to be a possibility, but I think it’s a very long shot, so enjoy the final episode of the final season.

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2 #DowntonAbbey

Filming has begun on Star Wars Episode VIII, and the official SW YouTube channel has a very short clip with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley).  To be fair, it’s as much screen time as Skywalker had in Episode VII.

Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern have also been confirmed to be in the cast, as noted on /Film.  Del Toro was in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy as The Collector, you’ll remember.

Rian Johnson wrote the screenplay and is directing.  J.J. Abrams is among the executive producers.

Here’s the video:

#StarWars #MarkHamill #DaisyRidley

Bryan Fuller will take charge of CBS’s new Star Trek series, debuting in 2017, as reported by Deadline.   He began his association with the franchise by writing for both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

Fuller was also the creator of one of my all-time favorite shows, Pushing Daisies.

#BryanFuller #StarTrekCBS

On his 35th birthday (Happy Birthday!) Tom Hiddleston tweeted this, with a nice, long trailer for his psychological thriller High Rise.  The film is adapted from the novel by J.G. Ballard.

The movie comes out in the U.K. on March 18th.  No word yet on a release date for those of us in the U.S.  As of last fall it didn’t have a pickup for U.S. distribution, and imdb.com is showing that it will be released in April on the internet, so we’ll have to wait and see how it shakes out.

#TomHiddleston #HighRiseMovie

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