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Tommaso Boddi/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- It's been a week since Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to police about being the victim of an alleged hate crime in January.  Now Empire co-creator Lee Daniels is revealing a bit about how he and show's cast are dealing with the fallout.

"Oh my god...these past couple of weeks have been a freakin' roller coaster, Daniels says in a brief video posted to his Instagram Wednesday. "We have -- me and my cast -- experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don't know how to deal with it, you know?"

Daniels goes on: "[E]verything has happened -- what you are seeing tonight -- prior to the incident," apparently meaning Wednesday night's scheduled Empire episode was produced prior to the alleged attack on Smollett.  

"And this is not what the show is made for," Daniels insists.  "The show is made to bring America together, to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets."

Daniels then concludes the video by urging viewers to watch Empire Wednesday night on Fox, followed by Star, which he also co-created. 

Empire can use the help.  It could be coincidence, but ratings for last week's first original episode to air since Smollett's arrest weren't good.  According to the The Wrap, the episode drew the show's second-smallest audience ever.

Smollett was indicted March 8 on 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a racially-motivated attack January 22 in Chicago. After an investigation, police declared the attack to be a hoax and said Smollett hired two brothers to carry it out.  Smollett pleaded not guilty to all charges March 14 and maintains his innocence.

Empire airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 ET on Fox.

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Fox Searchlight(LOS ANGELES) -- While there are no tangerine trees and marmalade skies to be seen, things get appropriately trippy in the teaser for a new movie called Lucy In The Sky.

In the film, Oscar-winner Natalie Portman plays a female NASA astronaut who shares her name with the heroine of the psychedelic Beatles classic.  Following a trip into space, she slowly starts to lose her mind.

The film was co-written and directed by Noah Hawley, whose mind-bending talents can also be seen on FX's equally trippy Legion.

The teaser shows Lucy floating through the air in the zero-G of space and also on earth, as reality slips away from her.

"You got to see the vast celestial everything and it blew your mind," says Jon Hamm, playing a character who appears to be Lucy's lover. "So now, nothing makes sense."

Legion's Dan Stevens plays Lucy's husband, and the movie's stellar supporting cast also includes Deadpool 2 and Atlanta's Zazie Beetz, as well as Tig Notaro, Ellen Burstyn, and Nick Offerman.

There's no release date yet set for the film.

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) --  Cue the celebratory air guitar riffs: Wyld Stallyns are back.

That's right, Keanu Reeves' Ted "Theodore" Logan, Esq. and Alex Winter's Bill S. Preston Esq., will be experiencing yet another excellent adventure at a theater near you, on August 21, 2020.

The actors played time and dimension-traveling slacker high schoolers in the film franchise, which began with 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, followed by 1991's Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. 

In a message posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Reeves, 54, and Winter, 53, are show standing in front of the Hollywood Bowl, where they fans for never giving up on a third installment.

"It's all because of you guys, and we wanted to say thank you," Winter says, echoed by Reeves.

"And be excellent," the pair conclude, in character.

Bill & Ted Face the Music's plot is rumored to focus on the pair battling a villain worse than the sequel's Grim Reaper -- the drudgery of work and family in middle age -- while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance.



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Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- It's gonna be a strange summer.

The new trailer for Stranger Things 3 shows the core group of friends – Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Lucas, Will and Max – trying their best to enjoy their summer. But because this is Hawkins, Indiana we’re talking about, there will always be new interdimensional creatures to ruin their fun.

The clip begins with Dustin returning home after some time away. His toys start to move on their own and a freaked-out Dustin follows them into his living room armed with a can of hairspray. Turns out, Eleven is making the toys move with her powers and all of his friends are there to surprise him. Needless to say, the welcome-home surprise doesn’t go quite as planned.

Elsewhere, we see scenes of the kids just trying to be normal at the mall, the movie theater and a fair. But things quickly get more chaotic and we catch glimpses of a slimy, scary new creature, as well as new characters played by Cary Elwes and Maya Hawke.

At one point, we hear Mike’s voiceover say, “We’re not kids anymore. I mean, what did you think? We’re just gonna sit in my basement all day?”

Stranger Things 3 debuts on Netflix on July 4. It stars Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Winona Ryder and David Harbour.

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Marion Curtis/StarPix for Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) -- John David Washington has reportedly set his next big project.

Sources tell Variety that the BlacKkKlansman star has been tapped to star in Christopher Nolan's next "event film," which will reportedly also star Twilight series veteran Robert Pattinson.

The project, for which Nolan recently finished penning the script, already has a July 17, 2020 release date from Warner Bros.

According to Variety, the starring role is "highly coveted in town," and there's no official word on who's been considered for the film or even what it's about. Insiders describe it as a "massive, innovative, action blockbuster, which will again be shown in IMAX."

Nolan's films include the Dark Knight trilogy, The Prestige, Inception, Dunkirk and Interstellar, among others.

If confirmed, this would be Washington's first major film since starring in Spike Lee's Oscar-winning film BlacKkKlansman.

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Photo Credit: ANDREW COOPER; © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- Sony Pictures has revealed the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino's much-anticipated period piece Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Set in 1969 -- as evidenced by the trailer being set to the Los Bravos' hit "Bring a Little Lovin'" and the endless beauty shots of vintage L.A. and hippie fashion -- the coming attraction reveals nothing about the plot, except that Pitt plays Cliff Booth, the stunt double for DiCaprio's fading Western TV show actor Rick Dalton.

Also glimpsed in the trailer is a go-go dancing Margot Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate, the actress who in real life was murdered by followers of Charles Manson.  We also see Manson, in the form of actor Damon Herriman.

Martial artist and actor Mike Moh is also seen in the clip, perfectly playing the late Bruce Lee, who Booth apparently challenges to a fight.

The movie, which also stars Al Pacino and Kurt Russell, hits theaters July 26.

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Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The movie Die Hard is now a board game! Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist will be a "one-vs-many experience," with Bruce Willis' John McClane character from the classic Christmas film taking on all the bad guys in the Los Angeles skyscraper.

While John was famously on his own against Tony and Marco and Karl and the rest of Hans Gruber's baddies, the makers of the game, USAopoly, say The Nakatomi Heist is for two to four players, according to the box art.

A specific release hasn't been announced, but Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist should be available very soon -- and perfect for a party, pal.

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ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- The family of a woman who was murdered Saturday in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia is received a surprise helping hand from film and TV mogul Tyler Perry.

Forty-five-year-old Tynesha Evans, a single mother of three daughters, was shot and killed March 16 at a local Wells Fargo bank, allegedly by an ex boyfriend.  Evans had fallen on hard times recently and went to the bank because her ex, who's been arrested for her murder, had reportedly offered to help her cover her rent when the family was threatened with eviction.

According to Atlanta's WSB TV, Perry gave the family a call after hearing about the story.

Evans' daughter, Audrey Turner, said she almost didn't answer the phone when it rang.  " [T]he person on the other end said, 'This is Tyler,'" Turner told WSB.  "I said, 'Who?' He said, 'This is Tyler.' I said, 'Tyler who?' and he said, 'Tyler Perry.' At that point, I just broke down crying."

Perry reportedly offered to fly Evans' body back to their home state of Wisconsin, where her funeral will be held, and also offered to pay daughter Sharadiant Turner's tuition at Atlanta's Spelman College, where she's a freshman. 

"This is amazing," said Sharadiant of Perry's generosity.  "We can't thank him enough."

A GoFundMe page has also been established to help the family.

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Pixar/Disney(NEW YORK) -- The first full-length trailer for Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 4, released on Tuesday, reunites Woody and his old flame Bo Peep, and introduces a new friend, named Forky.

Set to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," the clip introduces Forky, voiced by Tony Hale.  Forky is a spork that the toys' new owner -- Bonnie, the little girl introduced in Toy Story 3 -- has made out of a spork, a pipe cleaner, popsicle sticks  and a pair of googly eyes.

When Forky questions his value as a toy and runs away, it's Woody and Buzz Lightyear -- voiced once again by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, respectively -- to the rescue. While trying to convince Forky to come back home, Woody meets Bo Peep -- voiced by Annie Potts -- who tries to convince him there's a better life for toys than just being a child's property. That leaves Woody facing his own identity crisis.

Toy Story 4 opens nationwide June 21. Disney is the parent company Pixar and ABC News.

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ABC(NEW YORK) -- Fans of The Walking Dead loved Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford, the tough-talking talking former soldier who met his untimely end at the end of Negan's barbed-wire bat, Lucille.  But his current gig is much more, shall we say, family friendly.

Cudlitz stars in ABC's The Kids are Alright, a '70s-set sitcom in which he plays a stern yet loving dad raising eight sons.

"I know...what I physically bring to television," the six-foot-one,  imposing actor smiles, "And...it's not necessarily warm and cuddly -- people hire me to kill things, and I get that," he says, laughing. "But I wanted to lean into...something that was lighter."

And The Kids has heart, Cudlitz says.

"It's just this love that is pulling this family through -- [the family] is definitely ruled with 'a semi-metallic fist' -- but because it has to be [or] the kids will win," he laughs.

Cudlitz has had a long career both in front of and behind the camera: he put himself through college as a set builder, and once served as the construction foreman on Beverly Hills, 90210 -- on which he eventually appeared as an actor.  

While Cudlitz admits the early 90210 scripts didn't show much promise, he adds, "When the show really hit its stride...for a young, young audience that was the only place that they could...get a lot of that information...about dealing with, you know, suicide, rape...mental health issues...the crazy stuff that kids were, and are, actually dealing with at that age."

Cudlitz also saluted late 90210 star Luke Perry, who died earlier this month following a stroke.

"That dude that touched a lot of lives," he says. "The world is a dimmer place without him."

The Kids are Alright airs tonight at 8:30 on ABC.

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Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Wendy Williams made a stunning and emotional admission on her show on Tuesday morning: The talk show host revealed she's been staying at a sober house.

"I have been living in a sober house...You know I've had a struggle with cocaine in the past," she told her audience, her voice shaking with emotion. "I never went to a place to get treatment. I don’t know how, except God was sitting on my shoulder, and I just stopped. But there are people in your family -- it might be you -- who are struggling and I wanted to know more of the story."

Williams explained that she goes to the sober facility every night after work, where she is among her "brothers and sisters caught up in their addiction and looking for help."

"They don't know I'm Wendy. They don't care I'm Wendy," she said. "It's been really interesting, this ride."

Wendy also revealed that her husband and son were the only ones who knew that she's been seeking treatment.

"Only Kevin and Kevin knows about this. Not my parents, nobody," she said. "I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to a home that I live in...with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family."

Wendy went on to explain her sober house routine. "Doors locked by 10 p.m. lights out by 10 p.m., so I go to my room and stare at the ceiling and fall asleep to come here and see you."

"So that is my truth," she added.

The news comes a week after Williams launched a substance abuse hotline through her Hunter Foundation.

As previously reported, on March 4, Williams returned from an extended hiatus of her show amid rumors of personal problems. She attributed her time off to a fractured shoulder and "complications regarding her Graves' Disease."

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Credit: Sony Pictures Animation. © 2018 CTMG, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is finally out on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.

Featuring a very diverse cast, Spider-Verse stars the voices of Nicolas Cage, Mahershala Ali, Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Hailee Steinfeld, and Zoe Kravitz.

The movie centers on a device that tears the fabric of reality, uniting different versions -- and even different species -- of the web-slinging hero from various dimensions. They all come together in the Brooklyn, New York home of an African-American high schooler named Miles Morales.

With the Peter Parker we know killed in the line of duty, Morales takes up the Spider-Man mantle. Helping him -- sort of -- is Peter B. Parker, an adult, divorced, paunchier version of Peter Parker -- the one we're familiar with -- who comes from another dimension.

Another character is Spider-Gwen, who's from a universe where Peter Parker's girlfriend Gwen Stacy is the one who gets the super powers, thanks to that fateful radioactive spider bite.

While promoting the movie, Shameik Moore spoke about the effect that the character of Miles Morales would have on kids.

"I saw some earlier version of Miles Morales and...I saw myself in the mirror," he told reporters. "In that moment, I was like, 'I didn't know that there's a black Spider-Man,' number one and number two...it just looked like they took a photo of me and animated it...So I do realize the importance of it and...'with great power comes great responsibility.'"

Jake Johnson, who voices Peter B. Parker, agreed.

"We both love this idea of inclusion -- it's time for anybody to wear the mask," he told reporters. "And I'm really glad it's not just Peter and Miles because...my daughters would say things like, 'I want to be Spider-Woman.'" And I'm like, 'We don't have a term for that.' [But] the term is now going to be 'Spider Gwen.'"

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Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Monday night at L.A's legendary Troubadour Club -- the same venue where Elton John was propelled to U.S. stardom 50 years ago -- star Taron Egerton helped unveil 20 minutes of footage from the Elton biopic Rocketman.

The footage was screened for various reporters, industry insiders and celebrities, including Darren Criss and Sir Patrick Stewart. Elton’s husband David Furnish was also on hand to present the first look.

According to USA Today, the clip featured a stylized interpretation of Elton’s first overseas show at the Troubadour, with Egerton as Elton performing “Crocodile Rock” and, at one point, floating over the crowd as he sings.

The footage included other glimpses of both Elton’s rise to success and his self-destruction, along with shots of his manager John Reid, played by Richard Madden, and collaborator Bernie Taupin, played by Jamie Bell.

Rocketman hits theaters May 31.

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Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- This Is Us star Mandy Moore will officially get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next week. 

Moore will be inducted on March 25 in the TV category, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced Monday.

The 34-year-old actress and singer was announced as an honoree last June, along with Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Lupita Nyong'o and Anne Hathaway, among others.

Guest speakers have yet to be announced. The event will be live-streamed exclusively on the official Hollywood Walk of Fame website.

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Marc Hom/The CW (LOS ANGELES) -- Two weeks after Luke Perry's untimely death from a stroke at age 52, Riverdale's executive producer says the actor's death will be addressed on the show.  They're just not yet quite certain how. 

At an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event for the CW's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in Los Angeles on Sunday, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Tonight, "You know, honestly, we are I think all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving.  We know that we have to address it in some way, but we’re giving ourselves a little bit of time and space before we figure out the best way to honor him."

Perry played Archie's father, Fred Andrews, on Riverdale.

"Luke was, is, and will always be a big part of Riverdale," says Aguirre-Sacasa. "We’re kind of a family and when a loss like this happens, you carry it always. It changes and it hopefully becomes a little less painful as time goes by, but you’re changed."

"When I was with the crew, I said, 'It will never be the same,' and that’s true because Luke was such a part of the show," he continued. “There are still a few more episodes that have Luke in them, so we’re glad to share those.”

Adds Aguirre-Sacasa, "His spirit -- which was so generous and wise and vivacious -- we hope will infuse every episode, so in my mind, every episode for the rest of time on Riverdale will have a bit of Luke in it."

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

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