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Apple and Oprah sign a multi-year partnership on original content

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Apple announced today a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey to produce programs for the tech company’s upcoming video-streaming service. Apple didn’t provide any specific details as to what sort of projects Winfrey would be involved in, but there will be more than one it seems.

Apple shared the news of its deal with Winfrey in a brief statement on its website, which read:

Apple today announced a unique, multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN.

Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.

Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.

The deal is a significant high-profile win for Apple, which has been busy filing out its lineup with an array of talent in recent months.

The streaming service also will include a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Storiesa Reese Witherspoon- and Jennifer Aniston-starring series set in the world of morning TVan adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, a thriller starring Octavia Spencer, a Kristen Wiig-led comedy, a Kevin Durant-inspired scripted basketball show, a series from “La La Land’s” director and several other shows.

Winfrey, however, is not just another showrunner or producer. She’s a media giant who has worked across film, network and cable TV, print and more as an actress, talk show host, creator and producer.

She’s also a notable philanthropist, having contributed more than $100 million to provide education to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is continually discussed as a potential presidential candidate, though she said that’s not for her.

On television, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions developed daytime TV shows like “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Rachael Ray.” Harpo Films produced several Academy Award-winning movies, including “Selma,” which featured Winfrey in a starring role. She’s also acted in a variety of productions over the years, like “The Color Purple,” which scored her an Oscar nom, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Winfrey also founded the cable network OWN in 2011 in partnership with Discovery Communications, and has exec produced series including “Queen Sugar,” “Oprah’s Master Class” and the Emmy-winning “Super Soul Sunday.”

The latter has a connection with Apple as it debuted as a podcast called “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations” and became a No. 1 program on Apple Podcasts.

Winfrey recently extended her contract with OWN through 2025, so it’s unclear how much time she’ll devote specifically toward her Apple projects.

Apple also didn’t say if Winfrey will star or guest in any of the programs themselves, but that’s always an option on the table with a deal like this. CNN, however, is reporting that Winfrey “is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/15/apple-and-oprah-sign-a-multi-year-partnership-on-original-content/

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James Gandolfini’s son has been cast as a young Tony Soprano in prequel movie

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Michael Gandolfini at HBO’s Official Golden Globe Awards After Party in LA, January 2019

Image: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

The upcoming Sopranos prequel movie just found its young Tony Soprano, and the casting couldn’t be more perfect.

19-year old actor Michael Gandolfini, son of James Gandolfini (and the original Tony Soprano), will revive his father’s most famous role in the prequel movie called The Many Saints of Newark.

While the shoes of Tony Soprano are some mighty big ones to fill (James Gandolfini won two SAG awards, one Emmy, and one Golden Globe for the role)Michael Gandolfini, who previously starred in The Deuce, said he’s thrilled to take on the role made so famous by his late father.

“It’s a profound honour to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” he said in a statement to Deadline, in which he also expressed his excitement to work with Sopranos creatorDavid Chase.

“I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”

Chase is writing and producing The Many Saints of Newark, which is to be directed by Alan Taylor.

Per Deadline, the movie will be set in Newark in the 1960s. The story will not specifically centre around young Tony Soprano, but around Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti, whose son, Christopher, is a recurring character on The Sopranos. 

Since Moltisanti is Italian for “many saints,” it’s really right there in the title.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/michael-gandolfini-tony-soprano-prequel-movie/

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Spielberg Casts 17 Year Old Youtuber as Maria in West Side Story

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Director Lord Steven Spielberg has plucked a relatively unknown 17-year-old schoolgirl from the depths of the internet and dropped her right in the middle of his upcoming most-likely box office gold hit movie West Side Story. The 72-year-old ET director is helming the modern adaption of the classic musical, and felt New Jersey student Rachel Zegler would make a perfect Maria, once made famous by late screen siren Natalie Wood in the 1961 original. The student will star alongside Ansel Elgort, who is in the role of Tony in the movie that is bound to be take all our money in tickets.

Read more:  https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/15/steven-spielberg-casts-17-year-old-youtuber-latest-probable-blockbuster-west-side-story-8346545/?ito=cbshare

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Netflix is begging people to stop doing the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

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Always look where you’re driving, no matter what they do in ‘Bird Box.’

Image:  Netflix

“Despite warnings from Netflix and just general common sense, it looks like people are still participating in that stupid Bird Box Challenge. Now, it has reportedly caused a car crash.

On Friday morning, the Layton Police Department of Layton, Utah shared the images showing the aftermath of a car crash in which one of the drivers was allegedly trying to drive with their eyes covered. They reportedly called out the Bird Box Challenge specifically.

Police told KSL that the driver, a 17-year-old girl, was driving the pickup truck seen in the photos above on Monday when the incident occurred. Additionally, Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said of the 17-year-old driver:

“Apparently, as a part of this ‘Bird Box Challenge,’ (the driver) used her beanie to pull over her eyes as she was driving on Layton Parkway, and she ended up losing control of her car and skidded into the westbound lanes of Layton Parkway and hit another car and ended up hitting a light pole as well.”

Of course, if you’ve seen Bird Box, you know there’s a scene in which several characters make a white-knuckle drive in a car with the windows covered, and it’s hardly a smooth ride.

It’s also — and I can’t believe we’re at the point where this actually has to be said — an incredibly dangerous stunt to pull off the in real world.

Luckily, no one was hurt as a result of the crash. But whatever punishment the driver faces, authorities should also consider revoking their Netflix account if this is how they’re gonna behave.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/bird-box-challenge-car-accident/

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