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'Curb Your Enthusiasm' coming back January 19 on HBO; actress Maggie Wheeler called working on 'Curb' a "great privilege"

HBO/John P. Johnson(NEW YORK) -- HBO has announced that Emmy winner Larry David is returning as, well, Larry David on HBO's acclaimed comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, starting Sunday, January 19 at 10:30 p.m.

Like David's series Seinfeld before it, Curb has mined comedy gold from the banal, from "thank yous" to misbehaved dogs and mishandled grape juice, and the new season promises more of the same.

Series regulars Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines and JB Smoove also return.

This season, actress Maggie Wheeler makes an appearance, and while she couldn't talk about her episode, she told ABC Audio that working with David again was a "great privilege."

Before she appeared as Janice, the nasal love interest to Chandler, on Friends, Wheeler appeared as one of Elaine's friends on Seinfeld. The 1992 episode "The Fix-Up," won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

Maggie's character, a high-strung singleton, is hooked up on an unlikely date with Jason Alexander's George, leading to a pregnancy scare.

Maggie tells ABC Audio that she learned the episode was one of David's favorites when he asked her to come shoot on Curb.

"We were in the hair and makeup trailer and he said, 'Top five.' ...And...I said, 'What do you mean?' And he said, 'Your Seinfeld episode -- top five.' So I didn't know that that episode is in the considered in the top five. But I'm very honored."

Maggie added, "And in fact, it was being on that set and doing that episode that reminded me how much I love comedy, because in the year leading up to that, I was pretty focused on on drama...And I showed up on that Seinfeld set and I went, 'Oh, yeah, I love this.'"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kevin Hart reflects on his "hell of a year" in emotional Instagram post

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) Hours after cementing his hand prints and footprints in front of the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California Tuesday night, actor Kevin Hart reflected on his year in an emotional Instagram post.

Writing that "words can't explain my emotion right now," Hart shared that 2019 has been "a hell of a year" -- full of ups and downs.

And while many might think that he'd want to put the negative moments behind him, Hart shared that he appreciates them "so f***ing much" because "they help build character."

"My appreciation for life is the highest that it’s ever been....I am forever a work in progress," he wrote.

Hart's right when he notes he's had a roller-coaster of a year. The comedian was originally set to host the 2019 Academy Awards in February, but at the end of 2018 he stepped down after he was criticized for several alleged homophobic tweets from years past. Although he eventually apologized and briefly reconsidered accepting the gig again in January, the show went on without a host.

In February, Hart released his Netflix comedy special Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History, followed by a second special, Irresponsible, in April. Meanwhile, he appeared or lent his voice to a number of big films: The Secret Life of Pets 2, Hobbs & Shaw, and Jumanji: The Next Level, set to be released this Friday.

Then in September, Hart was involved in a serious car accident in which he sustained major back injuries. As a result, he was hospitalized for 10 days, leaving him even more grateful.

"I am also thankful..Without you guys none of this would be possible," he wrote. "Looking forward to an amazing 2020 because I just closed 2019 out with a Big Bang!!!!!"

Hart currently stars in the film sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, opening Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Bombshell', 'Marriage Story' top Screen Actors Guild nominations

Photo credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP(NEW YORK) -- The Fox News sex harassment battle movie Bombshell, with four nominations, leads the pack of potential winners for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Also with four nominations are The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, each of which was also recognized for their stunt ensembles.

The drama Marriage Story snagged three -- incidentally, the same number of nominations earned by one of its leads, Scarlett Johansson.

Superstore star America Ferrera and The Walking Dead and Black Panther lead Danai Gurira announced the lucky nominees Wednesday in Los Angeles, which as always include not just ndividual actors, but also the ensembles of TV shows and movies, as well as stunt teams.

Scarlett Johansson's three nominations are the most of an individual performer, and include best actress for Marriage Story, best supporting actress for Jojo Rabbit, and one as part of the ensemble for both movies.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 8 p.m.  Here are some of the major nominees. You can find the full list at the Screen Actors Guild website.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale - Ford v Ferrari
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Taron Egerton - Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix - Joker

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cynthia Erivo - Harriet
Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong'o - Us
Charlize Theron - Bombshell
Renee Zellweger  - Judy

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Jamie Foxx - Just Mercy
Tom Hanks - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Al Pacino - The Irishman
Joe Pesci - The Irishman
Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Laura Dern - Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson - Jojo Rabbit
Nicole Kidman - Bombshell
Jennifer Lopez - Hustlers
Margot Robbie - Bombshell

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown - This Is Us
Steve Carell - The Morning Show
Billy Crudup - The Morning Show
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
David Harbour - Stranger Things

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston - The Morning Show
Helena Bonham Carter - The Crown
Olivia Colman - The Crown
Jodie Comer - Killing Eve
Elisabeth Moss - The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin - The Kominsky Method
Michael Douglas - The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader - Barry
Andrew Scott - Fleabag
Tony Shalhoub - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Cristina Applegate - Dead to Me
Alex Borstein - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Rachel Brosnahan - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Catherine O’Hara - Schitt’s Creek
Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Big Little Lies - HBO
The Crown - Netflix
Game of Thrones - HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale - Hulu
Stranger Things - Netflix

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Barry - HBO
Fleabag - Amazon
The Kominsky Method - Netflix
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Amazon
Schitt’s Creek - CBC Television

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved

"I TURNED MYSELF INTO A PRINGLE, MORTY!" 'Rick and Morty' ready for the Super Bowl with "Pickle Rick" chip

Adult Swim/Kellogg Company(NEW YORK) -- The animated hit Rick and Morty has just warped into a new dimension: snack food.

Adult Swim show has partnered with Pringles to celebrate the Super Bowl as well as one of the absurdist show's most beloved episodes by creating Pickle Rick flavored Pringles. 

For the uninitiated, the episode centers on the show's brilliant scientist Rick transforming himself into a pickle just to avoid a family therapy session.

What's more, the show's creators will debut an animated commercial that will air during the second quarter of the Big Game.

"We’re very thoughtful about who we partner with around Rick and Morty and we couldn't be more pleased with our new relationship with Pringles," said Jill King, senior vice president, marketing and partnerships, Adult Swim. "Not only are the Rick and Morty show creators making a hilarious spot for the Big Game, we’re extending this partnership in really exciting ways, all year long. Rick and Morty fans are going to be given amazing new opportunities to illustrate their love for this iconic show, thanks to Pringles."

Pringles Pickle Rick crisps will hit stores beginning in early February.

The Super Bowl LIV airs February 2, 2020 on Fox.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved

Netflix numbers show 'The Irishman' was well-viewed...but it's no 'Birdbox'

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos claims Martin Scorsese's The Irishman was viewed by 26.4 million households in its first week on Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter

That figure, while impressive, especially for a three-hour movie, is far below the 45 million viewers who tuned in to watch Birdbox a year ago. 

It should also be noted that Netflix defines a view as a member account that has watched 70 percent of one episode of a series, or 70 percent of a film. 

Also, unlike Nielsen viewer numbers, Netflix's audience measurements and their methods aren't available for independent verification.  The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, also had a limited theatrical release, but Netflix hasn't disclosed box office revenue.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Platoon', 'She's Gotta Have It', 'Purple Rain' among 2019's class of National Film Registry entrants

L-R: Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger in "Platoon"; Roland Neveu/LightRocket via Getty Images(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- Writer/director Oliver Stone's Vietnam War drama Platoon, Prince's Purple Rain, Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It and Disney's Cinderella are among the 25 films just added to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

As always, the additions represent a diverse collection.  Also on the list of films added to the registry are the Academy Award-winning music-themed films Amadeus and Coal Miner's Daughter, as well as director Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz.  Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain joins the movie's soundtrack in the Library of Congress, the latter added to the National Recording Registry in 2012.

“The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.  "[W]we are ensuring that the nation’s cinematic history will be around for generations to come.”

Diversity, including attention to LGBTQ themes were paramount this year, with inductees including Boys Don't Cry, in which Hilary Swank played a trans person who was murdered over her identity, and the gay rights documentary Beyond Stonewall.

"With this year's National Film Registry selections, Dr. Hayden recognizes the importance of amplifying cinematic voices and stories that have been marginalized for far too long," said Jacqueline Stewart, chair of the National Film Preservation Board's task force on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Other noteworthy additions: Kevin Smith's potty-mouthed slacker working comedy Clerks; the documentary I Am Somebody, about striking African-American hospital workers in Charleston, SC; and the 1903 short silent film Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island, the oldest addition this year to the Registry.

Here's the 2019 class in alphabetical order:

Amadeus (1984)
Becky Sharp (1935)
Before Stonewall (1984)
Body and Soul (1925)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Clerks (1994)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island (1903)
Employees Entrance (1933)
Fog of War (2003)
Gaslight (1944)
George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute (1937)
Girlfriends (1978)
I Am Somebody (1970)
Last Waltz, The (1978)
My Name Is Oona (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)
Old Yeller (1957)
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Platoon (1986)
Purple Rain (1984)
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Zoot Suit (1981)

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Jojo Rabbit's' Roman Griffin Davis can't wait to meet Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes

Kimberley French(NEW YORK) -- Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit received a bunch of nominations on Monday, including a best actor nod for star Roman Griffin Davis, but the highlight of the evening for the 12-year-old actor will be meeting the host of the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais.

Roman, who made his acting debut in the film, tells ABC Audio that Gervais is a favorite of his because, "He doesn't care what he says. He just says what he wants to say, and it would be a privilege for him to take the p*** out of me."

So how did Griffin Davis, who lives with his parents and twin brothers in Sussex, England, find out about the nomination?

"I was in bed and then we got up and then as soon as we got up my mom went, went the Golden Globes and I went oh, and then we watched the live stream," he recalls. "And we heard the R and we went oh my god! We started just running across the corridor screaming. And the dog was excited, just like, running around, uh you know, like biting his tail."

Roman is proud of the film, and hopes the nominations will encourage more people to see the film. "I hope they see that kids' minds, their minds are fragile and they're still learning," he says.

"Every piece of hate that you put in the world a kid can really be traumatized from that and they, and their minds are still growing and developing and they can easily be changed and manipulated by that and we need to be careful in preparing them for the world," he adds.

Ricky Gervais hosts the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, airing live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, January 5 on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Voice' recap: The four finalists are revealed

Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- On Tuesday’s episode of The Voice, the eight artists who performed Monday learned that Team Blake Shelton’s Kat Hammock Team John Legend's Will Breman and Marybeth Byrd; and Hello Sunday, from Team Kelly Clarkson were sent home.

Hello Sunday and Hammock were eliminated at the end of the one-hour results show.  They lost an "Instant Save" vote to Team Gwen Stefani’s Rose Short.

Prior to the vote, Hello Sunday, Hammock and Short sang for an opportunity to be saved by the viewers. Hello Sunday performed Sia’s “Chandelier”; Hammock covered “You've Got a Friend” by James Taylor and Short tackled Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

For the first time in the show's 17-year history, all four coaches will each have artist going into the finals: Ricky Duran for Team Blake; Rose Short for Team Gwen; Jake Hoot for Team Kelly; and Katie Kadan for Team Legend.

The results show also featured Shelton and Trace Atkins performing their latest collaboration, “Hell Right”; Australian singer Tones and I, singing “Dance Monkey”; and Clarkson joining American Idol season 16 runner-up Caleb Lee for their collaboration, "I Dream in Southern."

The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

William Shatner splits with wife of 18 years

Peter Kramer/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- After spending 18 years as husband and wife, Elizabeth and William Shatner are calling it quits.  The actor was reportedly the one to file for divorce.

TMZ reports that this will be the fourth divorce for the Star Trek actor, while it will be his soon-to-be ex wife's second.  However, this particular break is rumored to be relatively smooth as the couple reportedly have a prenup in place that mandates no spousal support for either party.

Sources to TMZ also claim that William is in the middle of negotiating financial details.

The couple wed in 2001 but share no children together.

Shatner was previously married to Nerine Kidd, Marcy Lafferty, and Gloria Rand, the latter in which produced Shatner's three kids Melanie, Lisabeth, and Leslie Carol.

The 88-year-old actor is reportedly worth $100 million.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

John Boyega says 'Hold Back the Stars' wasn't "black" enough for him and Letitia Wright

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- Ahead of his upcoming sci-fi film Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker, John Boyega is also dishing on some of his other highly anticipatedprojects.

Boyega, who'll star alongside Letitia Wright in Steve McQueen's upcoming BBC anthology series Small Axe, says he had another major project planned with Wright, but they ended up "going in a more different direction" for a specific reason.

"We did have a project called Hold Back the Stars, but we're gonna do something else now," Boyega reveals to ABC Audio. "We just wanted to make the vibe more black. You got to choose the right music, the right vibe, the right tone." 

The film, which has been described as Romeo & Juliet meets Gravity, is an adaptation of Katie Khan's novel of the same name. It centers on a man and woman who revisit memories of their love affair while trapped in space with a short amount of oxygen left.

Although that particular project didn't work out for them, the Star Wars sequel star says he's looking forward to working on other projects with Wright, and a few other of his fellow up-and-coming black Brits.

"We went to the same drama school. So, we've been dying to work with each other," Boyega says of Wright. "I mean, what I foresee is myself, Daniel Kaluuya, Damson Idris, and Letitia Wright and maybe, like, an ensemble thing."

"We can get something cracking," he teases.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' star Kelly Marie Tran feels the love from fans

Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) -- Lucasfilm recently released a "legacy" trailer, featuring clips of all nine Star Wars films, including the forthcoming concluding movie, The Rise of Skywalker.

The trailer's a nostalgic look back at the impact of George Lucas' galaxy far far away, which started a long time ago, in 1977.

Kelly Marie Tran, who starred as plucky Resistance member Rose Tico in the previous installment, The Last Jedi, and will appear again in the final film, felt those feels, too.

"So emotional," she tells ABC Audio. "...[S]eeing it all together, it really does hit you with all that John Williams [musical] swell, you know?"

Unfortunately, Tran felt the brunt of criticism from many fans who were unhappy with the choices made by Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson; everything from her character's arguably unflattering wig and wardrobe to Rose's "side mission" to a casino planet were dragged online. Tran eventually left social media because of it.

However, in August, Train received a standing ovation at the Star Wars Celebration expo in Anaheim, which moved her to tears.

"It was really overwhelming surprise. First of all, because I did not expect that. And then to sort of receive that was really, really beautiful. So it felt like I was being hugged in a way," she says with a laugh.

Tran adds, "What was so funny about that is I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm crying.' I was like, 'But no one can tell. So I'll just avoid it and pretend like it's not happening.' And it was so dumb. It was obvious," she laughs.

Train says she feels "really fortunate to be part of something that people just love so much." 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20 from Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bill Cosby loses appeal to overturn sex assault conviction

Montgomery County Correctional Facility(PENNSYLVANIA) -- Bill Cosby was just handed another legal defeat. In the Pennsylvania Superior Court Tuesday morning, the former TV patriarch lost his appeal to overturn his sexual assault conviction. 

In April, 2018, Cosby was convicted of three counts of indecent assault and battery for drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University basketball coach Andrea Constand in 2004.

The comedian's legal team tried to argue in court Tuesday that the judge improperly allowed accusers who weren't part of the criminal case to testify.  But the Superior Court ruled that the testimony was permitted because it showed a pattern of behavior.  

Moments after the decision, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele issued a statement noting he was "pleased"  with the Superior Court decision affirming the jury's guilty verdict.

"First and foremost, it is my hope that with this last guaranteed step in the criminal justice process now complete, the victim in this case, Andrea Constand, can finally put this assault behind her and move on with her life as the strong survivor she is," Steele said.

He added, "Her bravery in coming forward when she did to report a sexual assault by a powerful, famous man led to the subsequent exposure of him as a serial predator and served as an example to other women, giving them the needed courage to step up and stand up against sexual assault. The world is forever changed because of Andrea’s bravery. With this decision, it has been affirmed that no one is above the law."

Cosby, who has maintained his innocence, was sentenced last year to three to 10 years in prison.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michael Douglas wishes father Kirk happy 103rd birthday: 'You are a living legend'

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turned 103 on Monday, and son, Michael Douglas, marked the occasion a tribute to his dad.

"Happy birthday Dad! You are a living legend and your entire family sends you all the love in their hearts! #KirkDouglas #103" he shared on Instagram alongside a photo of them.

For Kirk's 102nd birthday last year, Michael told Good Morning America that his father was doing "unbelievable," and had even "discovered FaceTime."

"But he doesn't have the three-hour time change worked out -- from west coast, we live on the east coast, we're early guys. We have kids, so 10:30 we're in bed.  We get a 'Where are you?' 'I'm in bed, dad,'" Michael said with a laugh.

"He's fantastic. I just can't get over it.  His memory is all there," Douglas continued.  "He's in good health. He's got a walker and a wheelchair."

Michael's wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, also offered her best wishes to Kirk on Monday.

"This guy on my knee, is 103!!!!!Happy Birthday Pappy!!! I love you with all my heart," she posted, along with a photo of herself with Kirk.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Voice' recap: The top eight artists perform

Trae Patton/NBC(NEW YORK) -- The Voice kicked off its semifinals on Monday, with the top eight artists competing for America’s votes, and a spot in next week’s finale.  Along the way, they were advised by their coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

Each artist performed twice: a new song on his or her own and a duet on a 1980s song with another contestant.

Here are the highlights of Monday night's show:

On the suggestion of her coach John Legend, Katie Kadan got things started with Labelle's "Lady Marmalade," because, as he explained, Katie needed to sing "one more powerhouse song," and if she got to the finals, "a grand ballad."  Stefani called it Kadan's best performance so far, simply for her ability to "work the room."  John called her a "superstar."

Team Blake's 18-year-old indie pop singer, Kat Hammock, picked Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," explaining that, quoting a line from the song, her semifinals performance “could be the end of everything” as far as her time on The Voice was concerned.  Kelly said Kat had a voice that "touches" people.  Her coach called it her most powerful performance so far in the competition, assuring Hammond that regardless of her outcome on the show, "I'm not going anywhere.  I'm going to see this through with you.  You need to be making records."

Team Blake's Ricky Duran and Will Breman from Legend's team kicked off the duets, singing -- and trading guitar licks -- on The Outfield's "Your Love."

Marybeth Byrd, representing Team Legend stepped up for her solo performance, showing off her tougher side on Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats."  The song also returned the country artist to the genre that brought her to the competition in the first place.  Legend told the audience that Byrd, whom they saved last week, came back with her best performance yet.

Team Kelly's duo, Hello Sunday, consisting of 14-year-old duo Chelsea and Myla, tackled Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," and they showed off some nifty dance moves as well.  The performances delighted the fans and all four coaches, including Kelly, who declared the girls brought their "'A' game."

Byrd returned, this time with Team Blake's Jake Hoot for a duet on Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes' 80s hit, "Up Where We Belong."

Duran followed with a song he personally picked for his solo performance, The Beatles' "Let It Be," which has become a family anthem following the loss of both his parents, most recently, his mother, to breast cancer.  Ricky, started off the song on piano and moved to the guitar, before finishing the song standing in front of the microphone, as pictures of his parents appeared on a large screen behind him.  Duran's coach, Blake Shelton dubbed it "the vocal performance of [Ricky's] life."

Breman then took center stage on Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" -- his coach, John Legend's pick, because it was "a good hybrid of pop and rock" the audience would love.  Following Will's live performance, Legend praised his artist for an "electric and magnetic" stage performance, coupled with a "strong voice."

The duets continued with Madonna's "Express Yourself," performed by Kadan and Team Gwen's Rose Short, followed by Hammock teaming up with Hello Sunday for Pat Benatar's "We Belong."

Next, Short -- who is Stefani's last remaining artist -- belted out Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," and dedicated the performance to her parents for having enjoyed a long and lasting love.  Gwen praised Rose for having the guts to venture into a "more vulnerable place."  Barely able to keep her composure, Stefani said she was honored to work with Rose, before breaking down in tears.  Kelly followed.

Hoot, who told his coach Kelly during rehearsals that he was one of six children, closed out the show with one of his mother's favorite songs, "Desperado," by the Eagles.  Legend noted Jake's voice "feels like home."  Kelly hailed the performance as "eloquently delivered" and "perfect."

The Voice returns Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Funko honors Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay first in new line celebrating directors

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SAG-AFTRA Foundation(LOS ANGELES) -- For the fifth year in a row, the Golden Globes are only considering men in the category for Best Director.  Immediately after the Monday discovery, the internet began fiercely debating if female directors such as Little Women's Greta Gerwig and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood's Lorene Scafaria were snubbed.

One company, however, is certainly benefiting from the controversy. Funko recently announced new line of Funko POP! figurines that celebrates directors.  However, it's who the company first chose to honor with the Funko treatment to is what's generating the buzz: Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins and When They See Us' Ava DuVernay.

Obviously, the timing of the announcement had fans comparing Funko to this year's Golden Globes.  

In an official Twitter announcement on December 7, Funko unveiled Jenkins as the first figurine starting off their new Pop! Directors line. The company hailed her as "one of the highest-grossing female film directors of all time" on their blog.

"This is so awesome and flattering," Jenkins reacted happily on Twitter.  "Can't wait!!"

Then, just hours after the Golden Globes announced its list of nominees on Monday, Funko revealed DuVernay as the second director featured in their new line.  On the company blog, they praised her as an "Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning filmmaker who became the first black woman to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards."  

Funko also nodded to DuVernay as being "the top-grossing black woman director in American box office history."

Duvernay was quick to thank Funko for the recognition and sweetly responded, "Never would have imagined this. Thanks for the love."

A release date for the new figurines has yet to be announced, but Funko promises they are "coming soon!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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