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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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New Movie News

‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ picks up Keri Russell

Charmaine Blake

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Keri Russell could be headed to a galaxy far, far away.

Image: FilmMagic

If you’re a big fan of The Americans, you’re gonna love this.

Variety is reporting that Keri Russell is in talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX—reuniting with director J.J. Abrams for the first time since Mission: Impossible III. They previously collaborated on the televised drama Felicity.

According to Variety‘s sources, project leads (including Abrams) have been meeting with various actresses for several weeks. They finally decided on Russell for the role earlier this week.

Very little is known about Russell’s character and that’s appropriate considering the mystery surrounding the film’s release. Speculation on Episode IX‘s working title change has been spinning since last month and we’re still in the dark on where our rebels are headed.

If this casting is confirmed by Lucasfilm, Russell will be adding to an already star studded cast with plenty of Last Jedi alumni. Hopefully, we’ll get more info on new cast members before filming commences in August.

Until then, the 2019 premiere date is going to keep feeling far, far away.

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Idris Elba joins Dwayne Johnson as Villain in ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff

Charmaine Blake

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Idris Elba is going to be the handsomest villain to grace the ‘Fast and Furious’ universe.

Image: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Idris Elba is going to be making another heel turn in his upcoming role in the Fast and Furious universe.

Elba is in final negotiations with the folks behind the upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw to play a new villain, Variety reported Thursday. The movie, coming in 2019, will star Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as their popular characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw.

Elba, who has played both protagonists and antagonists in movies and TV shows including The Wire, Beasts of No Nation, Pacific Rim, and a handful of Marvel movies. His debut in the star-studded Fast and Furious universe will be the ninth movie and first spin-off of the series.

Johnson first appeared in Fast Five, the series’ fifth installment, and Statham joined the cast four years later in Furious 7, where the two actors and their characters struck up quite the chemistry. Elba will undoubtedly make a great antagonist for the two in Hobbs and Shaw.

The spin-off is likely fueled by fans’ enjoyment of Statham and Johnson on screen together but may also be inspired by some on-set feuds that sprung up between some of the actors. Johnson and fellow star Vin Diesel were apparently butting heads so much during the filming of Fate of the Furious that the two no longer film scenes together.

As much as Hobbs and Shaw may be a spin-off that fans of the series were hoping for, it may also be an easy way to keep the stars on the big screen without causing any additional problems.

Hobbs and Shaw rolls out in theaters July 26, 2019.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/05/idris-elba-hobbs-and-shaw/

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‘Top Gun’ sequel casts Miles Teller as Goose’s son

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Miles Teller will fly like an eagle in Top Gun 2. See what I did there? Because he’s an Eagles fan?

Image: Christopher Polk / Getty Images for DirecTV

Top Gun: Maverick has just found a new Goose. Kind of.

As reported by Variety, Miles Teller has been cast in the role of Goose’s son, who is now Maverick’s new protégé.

Goose was Maverick’s co-pilot in the 1986 Top Gun, where he was played by Anthony Edwards. The character died in the movie, but apparently his legacy will live on with his kid.

Teller commented on his own casting via Twitter:

Casting for the part had been heating up in recent weeks, with several young male stars floated as contenders. Among those were Set It Up‘s Glen Powell, who also commented on the news:

Starring alongside Cruise and Teller will be Val Kilmer, reprising the role of Iceman from the first Top Gun.

Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) is directing the Top Gun sequel, which Cruise has said will be reminiscent of the original in its tone, style, and score.

Top Gun: Maverick is due out July 19, 2019.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/03/top-gun-2-miles-teller-goose-son/

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