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AMC(NEW YORK) -- Robert Kirkman created the hit comic series The Walking Dead way back in 2008 -- two years before it became the hit AMC show of the same name.

As previously reported, the zombie series is now being adapted into a big-screen trilogy, and now, another Kirkman project is getting the movie treatment.

Kirkman's latest effort, the sci-fi comic Oblivion Song, is being adapted by his multimedia company Skybound and Universal Pictures.

Kirkman explain the project to ABC Radio: "Basically there was an event called The Transference that happened 10 years ago, where a large chunk of Philadelphia switched places with another dimension."

He says of its hero, "Nathan Cole is one of the last remaining guys who...keeps going over there to try to save people...stranded in this other dimension that they've coined 'Oblivion.'"

Oblivion's song -- that is, what draws Cole to keep making the dangerous jump into the monster-filled dimension -- is another story.

"It's a big question as to...what's wrong with his life that he feels the need to do this and why is he so obsessed," Kirkman explains.

Kirkman has written every monthly issue of The Walking Dead since its inception, and he explains Oblivion Song was a great way to stretch his legs, creatively.

"I'm fortunate enough to still be working on The Walking Dead after so many years...but you know, going and doing new things like Oblivion Song keeps me interested in Walking Dead and keeps that creative fire going."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo Credit: ©2019 Sony Pictures Television. Image by Elena Nenkova(NEW YORK) -- The second season of the thriller series Absentia, starring former Castle lead Stana Katic  is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Castle, ABC's romantic comedy cop show in which she starred with Nathan Fillion, ended in 2016, but lives on worldwide in syndication. Stana explains its success took her by surprise.

"I was kind of in a cave of work, and so I wasn't aware of how much...it kind of embedded itself into people's homes and into people's hearts," she says. "But I still feel it now. Which is kind of lovely, actually!"

Absentia, which Katic also produced, is very different. She plays an FBI agent who goes missing while hunting for a serial killer. Six years after being declared dead, she's found alive, having survived a brutal regimen of psychological and physical torture, which includes repeated near drownings in a Plexiglas coffin.

Wracked with the psychological scars from her captivity, Emily returns to her life to find her husband remarried, and his new wife raising Emily's son. She's also the suspect in a series of murders that she isn't entirely sure she didn't commit.

"It was an interesting kind of challenge as an actor to ...play [a] protagonist [who] may not have a clear cut morality," Katic tells ABC Radio, calling Emily an "anti-hero." 

The first season ends with a stunning twist. "She has to question is that real or is that a part of this sort of psychosis? So at the beginning of season two...she's now trying to figure out if she can trust herself."

"Ultimately, she needs to go down this path which leads down some really murky and dark waters," she says before laughing, because seeing running water triggers her character throughout the series.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo courtesy of RLJE Films(NEW YORK) -- Wedding season is upon us, and Plus One feels your pain.

The romantic comedy stars PEN15 actress Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, as Alice and Ben, two old pals who decide to be each other’s “plus ones” for a marathon of summer weddings. Alice is trying to get over an ex and Ben wants to find a fairytale romance, but their plans take an unexpected turn when they find themselves falling for each other.

Erskine and Quaid admit their friends aren’t quite getting hitched at the rapid pace of Alice and Ben’s friends, but they do offer some tips for anyone planning a wedding to make it more bearable for their guests.

“I just went to one, had a great raw bar let me tell you something about that,” Erskine says. “The crab, y'all. When you got good snow crab legs, you're winning. And make sure you have a tarp if it's outside and some heat lamps if it's outside as well, and cold.”

For his part, Quaid has some key advice when it comes to the seating charts.

“I went to a wedding not too long ago where they were like, ‘It'd be fun if for the couples that are coming to the wedding, we separated them so they're getting to mingle with other people,’” he says. “…I'm like, ‘No, hell no. I came here with my girlfriend -- I want to sit next to her!’” 

Plus One premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, where it won the Narrative Audience Award. It hits theaters today.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Netflix/David Giesbrecht(LOS ANGELES) -- After today, she no longer has to be a reluctant superhero -- the third and final season of Marvel's Jessica Jones debuts on Netflix.

Krysten Ritter, who plays the titular character, tells ABC Radio that she and the show's creator, Melissa Rosenberg, are confident fans will be satisfied with the ending.

"I'm satisfied with it and I think we both are and that was really important to both of us," says Ritter. "You know, we've spent so much time with Jessica I've spent so much time playing cards almost five years. We really just wanted to like feel like it was a good leaving her in a place that really felt good."

In this TV landscape, shows once thought to have run their course seem to be making a comeback, and with Disney, which owns Marvel, launching a new streaming service later this year, Ritter isn't ruling out a return for her character.

"I love Jessica. So sure I think that where we leave her is really satisfying...But you never know the TV landscape is so crazy these days," she says.

And if that should ever happen, Rosenberg is up for it as well.

"I'm always I mean I love writing this character I love writing for Krysten, says Rosenberg. "I know of course. Any chance I got to write for her again would be great."

Marvel’s Jessica Jones season three is available to stream Friday on Netflix.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(MIAMI) -- The American Black Film Festival was in full swing in Miami Thursday on its second day, with hundreds of black creatives, filmmakers and celebrities flocking to various events, screenings, panels and parties. However, many directors and talent agree, this year was noticeably different with the passing of critically-acclaimed director John Singleton.

In 2017, Singleton presented a Spotlight screening at ABFF for his then-new FX series, Snowfall. He continued his support of the festival by later attending the ABFF Honors in 2018. Even as Singleton's contributions to film and television continue to be a major highlight at ABFF, the director's good friends and colleagues say that Singleton was more than just a filmmaker.

"John was, is an innovator in film," Anthony Anderson told ABC radio. "The voice of the people the voice of a community."

"Look at what he was able to do his first shot out the gate with Boyz N the Hood and how that affected all of us as filmmakers, as actors and whatnot," Anderson continued. "And, you know, first I'd like to say it's just it's a sad loss, a devastating loss to the film community, to our community, to have a voice like John's that's no longer here with us."

Anderson, who starred in the Singleton-produced film Hustle and Flow, also praised Singleton's activism. In 1992, Singleton spoke passionately about the need to create safer communities for children in a Senate hearing called "Children at War: Violence and America’s Youth."  

"Let's not forget that John was on Capitol Hill fighting for rights and, and battling Congress with issues," Anderson noted, recalling Singleton's speech. "And working with John and knowing John intimately -- all I can say is a great man, a great humanitarian, and a great storyteller. That's why we do what we do. To tell authentic stories that have an effect and an effect on people."

Singleton's impact also touched his fellow directors. Tim Story, who premiered his film Shaft at the ABBF Wednesday night, also opened up about his close connection to the director and the pressure he felt premiering the sequel to Singleton's 2000 Shaft film.

"My heart's broken because John and I talked about this movie, what I was doing before his passing," said Story. "And I was so ready for him to see it -- there's footage of his movie inside of it."

"And my heart hurts on that," continued Story. "You know, he was a good friend. So look, bringing it's been daunting, but at the same time it's been a dream come true.

Like Story, Chris Robinson, who's also set to premiere his Netflix film, Beats, at the ABBF, also acknowledged the importance of Singleton's legacy.

"We're excited to bring [Beats] to ABFF, because this is a really important festival," Robinson said. "And John Singleton bringing his projects here is an example of that. This is actually my first time coming here so I was really excited that Netflix said, 'Hey, look let, let's bring the film here and premiere it before it comes on the screen.' So yeah, we're very honored to be here." 

Singleton died at age 51 on April 29 in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on April 17.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo by Bauzen/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded not guilty Thursday to one misdemeanor count each of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree.

The plea came in a New York City court after the 51-year-old Oscar winner surrendered to police earlier in the day at the NYPD's 25th Precinct in Harlem. 

The charges stem from the actor's alleged groping of a woman's breast inside Manhattan's Magic Hour Rooftop Bar last Sunday night, a claim Gooding denies. 

The complaint itself asserts Gooding "forcibly touched the sexual and other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading and abusing such person, and for the purpose of gratifying the defendant's sexual desire; the defendant subjected another person to sexual contact without the latter's consent."

TMZ posted video Thursday afternoon they say was taken inside the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar, which they also claim shows Gooding touching the breast and thigh of his accuser.

However, Gooding's attorney, Mark Heller, claims surveillance video from the establishment from the night in question will exonerate his client. 

Gooding's next court date is scheduled for June 26.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in "Men in Black: International"; Giles Keyte/Sony Pictures Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide Friday:

* Men in Black: International -- Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite for the fourth movie in the Men in Black franchise, which launched in 1997 starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. This time out, our new agents must deal with a mole in the Men in Black organization. Kumail Nanjiani and Emma Thompson co-star. Rated PG-13.

* Shaft -- The fifth film in the Shaft film series and a sequel to the John Singleton-directed 2000 movie with the same title stars Samuel L. Jackson, who reprises his role as John Shaft II. Jessie T. Usher plays his FBI agent son, John Shaft III, who, after his friend suddenly dies, enlists his estranged father's help with his investigation. Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall, Titus Welliver, Avan Jogia, Matt Lauria, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith also star, along with Richard Roundtree, who returns as John Shaft, the role he created in the 1971 original film. Rated R.

* Late Night -- Mindy Kaling wrote and stars in this dramedy about a late-night talk show host, played by Emma Thompson, who fears she's in danger of losing her show and teams up with one of her new staff writers, portrayed by Kaling, to save the show. Max Casella, Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Denis O'Hare, Reid Scott and Amy Ryan co-star. Rated R.

Opening in limited release:

* The Dead Don't Die -- Jim Jarmusch's horror-comedy follows a small town's police force as they battle a sudden zombie invasion. The all-star cast includes Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez and Carol Kane. Rated R.

* American Woman -- Sienna Miller plays a woman who raises her young grandson after her daughter, portrayed by Sky Ferreira, goes missing. Also starring Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul and Amy Madigan. Rated R.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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ABC/Paula Lobo(MIAMI) -- Regina Hall stars in Shaft which opens Friday, but she’s already thinking about Girls Trip 2 -- and what she will or won't wear in the sequel.

After Jada Pinkett Smith suggested that Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would be an ideal location for Girls Trip 2, Hall tells Entertainment Tonight she’s not down because she doesn’t want to wear the very sexy -- and very skimpy -- costumes that people don during Carnival.

"I don't need to be in that outfit," she says, "I would want to eat… Like, 'Damn, now I can't eat for three days, 'cause I got to be covered in crystals!"

The 48-year-old actress is looking forward to working again with Smith, Tiffany Haddish and Queen Latifah, and she wants to make sure they have a good script.

"I think it's about the timing and also everyone wants to make sure that the story's worthy of a sequel," Hall says, "We don't want y'all talking about us 'cause then y'all will be like, 'Why'd they do a second one? They should have just left it alone.'"

A Girls Trip sequel has not been officially announced, but Hall is confident part two will become a reality.

“It’s going to happen,” she says. “I know that they are trying really hard to come up with the perfect idea.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Broadway star Megan Hilty got the opportunity to be a part of Disney Junior’s new animated show, T.O.T.S, she jumped at the chance. Not only does she love voiceover work, it’s also something both of her kids could enjoy.

“It's great because I have this mini test audience in my house,” she tells ABC Radio. “So I have my daughter who's four and my son who's two. They're right in the age demographic that is appropriate for the show and they loved it.”

T.O.T.S. follows a penguin and a flamingo -- the only two non-storks working at the Tiny Ones Transport Service. Hilty voices KC the Koala and gets to sing in it, too.

“It's the most fun,” Hilty says. “You know, in a lot of interviews that I do people generally ask, ‘So what do you prefer: stage or things on camera?’ And I say, ‘I prefer doing voiceover and animation.’”

While T.O.T.S. is sure to score points with young kids, Hilty’s adult fans still can’t get enough of her short-lived musical-drama series, Smash.

“It's remarkable, really,” she says. “I mean, we went off the air, what, six years ago now? And I'm not joking or embellishing at all when I say every single day I'm asked by strangers on the street, in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, about the future of Smash.”

Megan doesn’t have an answer yet regarding Smash’s future, but T.O.T.S. airs on Disney Junior beginning June 14.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Stephen Iervolino/ABC Radio(LOS ANGELES) -- Writer-director Quentin Tarantino is famous for penning some of the most quotable dialogue in Hollywood history, and as anybody who know those lines can tell you, they're generally not PG-rated.  And it'd be the same if Tarantino has his way with the Star Trek universe, too.

The filmmaker is a major Trekker, and is developing a big-screen project set in Gene Roddenberry's final frontier -- but he won't be skimping on his trademark profanity.

"It's an R-rated movie," he told Empire magazine. "If I do it, it'll be R-rated," Tarantino states.

His latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood debuts on July 26. Once he's done promoting the Brad Pitt/Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film, Tarantino will focus on Trek.

"There's a script that exists for it now. I need to weigh in on it, but I haven't been able to do that yet," he explains.

For the record, Star Trek's dialog has been squeaky clean for more than five decades -- curses in alien or foreign languages aside.  However, CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery recently went where no Trek has gone before by having two characters -- Stamets and Tilly -- drop the F-bomb.

While some fans weren't thrilled, Anthony Rapp, who plays Stamets, defended the profanity by explaining that the use of the phrase "so f***ing cool" wasn't gratuitous -- it was their characters' reaction to a major scientific breakthrough.

Rapp told Indiewire, "I imagine there's scientists in their labs who might do that any time. We didn't drop the [first] F-bomb in Star Trek by telling something to go f*** themselves."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- After traveling to Sacramento to argue against a measure called #SB276 -- a state bill that would limit the exemptions parents have for not vaccinating their kids -- actress Jessica Biel took to Instagram to explain herself.

"I am not against vaccinations," the actress and mother clarified, trying to get in front of headlines claiming the opposite.

Biel appeared in Sacramento alongside former Massachusetts Congressman Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who supports unproven claims that there's a link between autism in children and vaccinations.  That led many to believe Biel was part of the so-called "Anti-Vaxxer" movement, which some in the medical community are blaming for the spread of once-eradicated diseases like measles.

Biel, who is mother to four-year-old Silas, her son with husband Justin Timberlake, insisted, "I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians."

Biel explains, "My concern with #SB276 is solely regarding medical exemptions," and goes on to explain that her friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations.

"Should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family's ability to care for their child in this state," she adds.

Her lobbying against the bill came, she explains, "not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what's best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment."

In the post, which showed her posing in front of the California State House, she recommended "everyone" to "learn about the intricacies" of the bill.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- Chris Hemsworth apparently looked to a Nine Inch Nails song for inspiration while filming the latest Avengers movie.

On Wednesday's Tonight Show, the Australian actor shared a video of himself performing an acoustic version of "Hurt" while in character as Thor on the Avengers: Endgame set.

Hemsworth explained that the song, particularly the acclaimed Johnny Cash version, reflected Thor's emotional state in the film: his depression over the events in Avengers: Infinity War led to him putting on weight and becoming a heavy drinker.

"It's the saddest song in the world," Hemsworth said of "Hurt."

The short clip of Hemsworth's performance was filmed in secret in his trailer, as the Avengers movies have a strict "no leaks" policy -- and his reveal as a Thor with a dad-bod and not a god-bod was one of the movie's closely-held secrets.

Hemsworth added that he didn't know at the time if he'd ever show the video publicly. "I'm a terrible singer and a terrible guitarist," he laughed.

In reality, he's not too shabby, even as his wardrobe for "Lebowski Thor" decidedly was.

Incidentally, this isn't the first connection between a Marvel film and Nine Inch Nails. In this year's Captain Marvel, Brie Larson's titular character wears a NIN t-shirt, which led to the band's website selling its own Captain Marvel-inspired shirt.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- His attorney still claims it never happened, but nevertheless, Bryan Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle accusations from a man who claims the director and producer sexually assaulted him sixteen years ago.

Variety reports the payment was revealed in bankruptcy proceedings by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who filed suit against Singer in December 2017, claiming the Usual Suspects and eventually replaced Bohemian Rhapsody director sexually assaulted him during a party on a yacht, when Sanchez-Guzman was 17.

Singer's agreement to pay to settle the accusation came to light when the trustee overseeing Sanchez-Guzman's bankruptcy, which was initially settled in 2014, re-opened the case, declaring Sanchez-Guzman's suit against Singer wasn't listed among his assets, and that any money from a settlement should be distributed among Sanchez-Guzman's creditors.

Variety reports it was the trustee who reached the agreement with Singer's attorneys.  If the court approves it, Sanchez-Guzman's suit against Singer would be dismissed with prejudice, meaning Sanchez-Guzman would be legally barred from filing it again.

In a statement to Variety, Singer attorney Andrew Brettler said, in part, "Mr. Singer has denied even knowing this individual, let alone allegedly having interacted with him more than 15 years ago. The decision to resolve the matter with the bankruptcy trustee was purely a business one, as litigation costs would well exceed the amount requested by the trustee to pay off the creditors who were owed money when the debtor filed for bankruptcy.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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L-R: Jessie T. Usher, Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree; Kyle Kaplan, Warner Bros. Pictures(MIAMI) -- One of the summer's most highly anticipated films, Shaft, helped to officially kick off the 2019 American Black Film Festival Wednesday night in Miami Beach, Florida.

The premiere event, held at the New World Center in Miami Beach, brought out Hollywood's finest, including three generations of John Shaft.

Richard Roundtree, who played the no-nonsense detective in 1971, arrived on the red carpet to much fanfare and admitted that he'd always wanted to be a part of the ABFF.

"I finally got down here," Roundtree told ABC Radio. "I've been threatening to do this for some time and to finally be here and have a film in it, is a double winner."

In the new Shaft, the sequel to the John Singleton-directed 2000 remake, Samuel L. Jackson once again plays John Shaft II, the nephew to Roundtree's original character. Meanwhile, Jessie T. Usher plays Jackson's estranged FBI agent son, John Shaft III.

Jackson, another first time ABFF attendee, said premiering his film around other black creatives was definitely a new and welcoming experience.

"It's always a great thing to be in the company of a bunch of artistic-minded black folk," Jackson declared. "So we got something in common there, from the jump -- the love of film, the love of art, the love of storytelling."

However, Jackson joked that not everyone who comes to the ABFF on premiere night has the best intentions.

"Some people are here to get their picture signed so they can sell them," he laughed. "But other than that, it's a wonderful gathering. The celebrating of other folks' accomplishments, especially in this particular industry."

Jackson also offered young filmmakers some valuable advice.

"Even if your film ain't, like, a big ol' hit, at least people saw it," he said. "And they can tell other people about it. And when you make your next one they can say, 'Oh, that's that filmmaker that made,' you know.  You know what I'm talking about."

As for the youngest Shaft, Usher said being in the company of two veteran actors and having his film open the ABFF is a true honor.

"To be able to come here and open up Shaft mean everything," he says. "It's a pleasure to see them. I love seeing these familiar faces. Everybody's always so happy to be here and it's a wonderful thing. It's literally the epitome of black excellence in this building tonight."

Shaft, also starring Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall and Cliff “Method Man” Smith, hits theaters Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 



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TV Land(NEW YORK) -- Younger is all grown up and heading into season six.

The TV Land comedy’s premise once revolved around Sutton Foster’s Liza, a 40-something woman secretly pretending to be a millennial for the sake of her career in publishing. But now, almost everyone knows her secret.

“It's a really exciting season,” Foster tells ABC Radio. “I feel like it's in many ways like Younger has settled into this sort of new territory. It's grown up a lot.”

This season, Younger is exploring the decidedly more grown-up relationship between Liza and her former boss, Charles, played by Peter Hermann. But it won’t come without complications -- one of them being the fact that Charles left his job as publisher to be with Liza.

“You know, he didn't just give up a job, he also gave up a part of his identity,” Hermann says. “…The ground is really shifting and you see what he's willing to give up and what he's not willing to give up.”

The season six premiere will also show the fallout as Hilary Duff’s Kelsey succeeds Charles as publisher, and will reveal whether Nico Tortorella’s Josh is going to be a father. Plus, you’ll want to see three characters sing a rousing rendition of “9 to 5.”

Molly Bernard, who plays Kelsey’s bestie, Lauren, sums up it best: “This season is a lot of drama.”

Younger airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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