Breaking News January 26, 2024: Zac Efron Reunites With Director Peter Farrelly for ‘Ricky Stanicky’ Comedy, Pharrell Williams’ Life Story To Become Lego-Inspired Biopic

Zac Efron and John Cena in Ricky Stanicky

Zac Efron reunites with The Greatest Beer Run Ever director Peter Farrelly in the new trailer for Ricky Stanicky. The Amazon MGM Studios comedy also stars John Cena, Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, and William H. Macy.

IndieWire reports that Ricky Stanicky is billed as Peter Farrelly's return to comedy after Green Book and the Vietnam drama The Greatest Beer Run Ever, the latter of which also stars Zac Efron.

The official Ricky Stanicky synopsis reads: “When three childhood best friends pull a prank gone wrong, they invent the imaginary Ricky Stanicky to get them out of trouble. Twenty years after creating this ‘friend,’ Dean, JT, and Wes (Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler) still use the nonexistent Ricky as a handy alibi for their immature behavior. When their spouses and partners get suspicious and demand to finally meet the fabled Mr. Stanicky, the guilty trio decide to hire washed-up actor and raunchy celebrity impersonator ‘Rock Hard’ Rod (John Cena) to bring him to life. But when Rod takes his role of a lifetime too far, they begin to wish they’d never invented Ricky in the first place.”

Zac Efron is currently earning critical acclaim for his performance as the wrestler Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw. Ricky Stanicky represents John Cena's first on-screen appearance since his cameo in Barbie.

Click here to watch the first trailer for Ricky Stanicky starring Zac Efron and John Cena. The comedy premieres March 7 exclusively on Prime Video.

Austin Butler Cracked a Rib While Filming ‘Masters of the Air’ World War II Drama Series

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Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Elvis actor Austin Butler cracked a rib while filming the WWII drama series Masters of the Air for Apple TV+. Butler plays Major Gale Cleven in the series that follows the 100th Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force. Masters of the Air also stars Callum Turner, Barry Keoghan, Anthony Boyle, Ncuti Gatwa, and Nate Mann.

According to Variety, the actors took part in bootcamp training, which included lessons in marching, dancing, etiquette, and history. “It really built such bonds between all of us,” said Butler.

He continued, “There was a fight scene and yeah, my rib cracked. It hurt and then I had to keep fighting. And it hurts for a long time after because every time you breathe, you feel your ribs. But it could have been worse.”

The first two episodes of Masters of the Air premiere today on Apple TV+.

Pharrell Williams To Turn Life Story Into Lego-Inspired Animated Biopic

Piece by Piece
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Sassy – Vimeo: The Lion King European Premiere (view archived source), CC BY 3.0; Focus Features.

Focus Features is making an animated, Lego-inspired biopic about music artist Pharrell Williams titled Piece by Piece. Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville will direct.

The official press release reads: “Uninterested in making a traditional film about his life, Pharrell set out to tell his story in a way that would set audience’s imaginations free. Developed from his singular vision, Piece by Piece defies genres and expectations to transport audiences into a Lego world where anything is possible.”

“When I had this crazy vision to tell this story through Lego bricks, I couldn’t have imagined a better partner than Morgan. He is a legend,” said Williams. “Grateful that Focus wanted to collaborate with us and I’m honored to share this with the world and bring people into my universe. Building with Lego bricks encourages us to follow our imagination… who would’ve thought that playing with these toys as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life. It’s proof that anyone else can do it too.”

Piece by Piece will premiere exclusively in theaters on October 11.

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Returns to Theaters for Some Reason

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Forget “fetch”… Christopher Nolan is still trying to make Tenet happen. The Oppenheimer director's 2020 sci-fi thriller starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson will return to theaters — including IMAX — for one week starting on February 23. Tenet will screen accompanied by exclusive new footage of Dune: Part Two.

In a statement about the hopelessly obtuse Tenet, which failed to break even at the box office, Christopher Nolan said, “Seeing the way audiences responded to our large format presentations of Oppenheimer, I’m thrilled that Warner Bros. is giving audiences a chance to see Tenet the way it was intended to be seen, on the largest IMAX and large-format film screens, and I’m honored to have our movie warm up the film projectors for Denis [Villenueve]’s jaw-dropping Dune: Part Two.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer for 13 Oscars.

Sofía Vergara Jokes About Her ‘Griselda’ Transformation to Kelly Clarkson

Sofia Vergara in Griselda
Image Credit: Netflix.

Sofía Vergara had a laugh on The Kelly Clarkson Show about her transformation to play Miami drug queenpin Griselda Blanco on Netflix's Griselda

Entertainment Weekly reported about how Vergara pretended that she was offended by Clarkson's suggestion that Vergara's transformation seemed subtle. “Are you crazy?” said Vergara. “No, Kelly, it was hours! Don't be jealous!”

Clarkson clarified her point. “They did such a good job that it looked seamless. You literally look like you could actually just be this person in other movies,” said Clarkson. “You could have two careers. You look like a different actress playing the role, you could have a whole different life as this actress.”

Vergara stopped playing offended and responded, “That is exactly what I wanted, that reaction. And I love that you thought it was just a little thing, because that means it looks natural.”

In an interview with Netflix's Tudum, series creator Eric Newman said, “There has never been a woman who came close to achieving the power, wealth, and respect that Griselda did. And no trafficker, woman or man, ever elicited the same level of fear. Griselda is a rise-and-fall story like none we have ever seen before. It’s thrilling, emotional, funny, scary, and tragic. Griselda is an antihero of the highest order and a series of contradictions at odds with herself.”

Griselda is now streaming on Netflix.

Keanu Reeves To Receive First Lance Reddick Legacy Award at Saturn Awards

Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

John Wick actor Keanu Reeves will receive the inaugural Lance Reddick Legacy Award at the 51st Saturn Awards. The entire awards ceremony put together by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films is dedicated to John Wick actor Reddick, who passed away last year.

Academy president Robert Holguin and Saturn producers Bradley and Kevin Marcus released a statement about Reeves and the Lance Reddick Legacy Award: “This award symbolizes and celebrates not only a performer’s talent, but their character; someone who’s a true goodwill ambassador in the industry. From science fiction (The Matrix Trilogy), fantasy (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure/Constantine) and horror (Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula/The Devil’s Advocate), Keanu has done it all — not to mention Speed and Point Break.”

The statement continued, “Keanu is not just a Hollywood icon but also a shining example of humility and gratitude. Throughout his incredible career, he has never forgotten the support of his fans and the filmmakers who’ve supported him all these years. We’re thrilled to celebrate Lance’s memory with a dear friend and a genre icon.”

The Saturn Awards will stream live on the February 4, 2024 on Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment’s ElectricNOW streaming platform.

‘Scream VI' Star Hayden Panettiere Describes Melissa Barrera's Firing From the Franchise as ‘Upsetting'

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Hayden Panettiere — who plays Kirby Reed in the Scream franchise — has spoken out about Scream VI costar Melissa Barrera's firing from the franchise after Barrera's pro-Palestinian comments hit social media.

After production company Spyglass Media Group dropped Barrera for comments that it deemed “incited hatred,” costar and on-screen sister Jenna Ortega stepped away from Scream VII, reportedly due to a salary dispute. In an interview with the Messenger, Panettiere commented that Barrera's abrupt canning was “very unfair and upsetting.” Panettiere continued about Barrera, “After she [spoke out], then a whole bunch of other actors and people in the industry started to do the same thing, right? It was almost like she just did it earlier than everyone else.”

Panettiere added that she reached out to Barrera after the firing, and Barrera thanked her for checking in. Panettiere said, “Melissa is such a badass as a human being and as an actress. She was hurt by it, but I think she took it in stride and was very, very gracious about it.”

It's unclear at this point of Panettiere will reprise her role as Kirby in Scream VII or if the troubled sequel will even get off the ground anytime soon.

‘Monkey Man' Trailer: Dev Patel Makes His Directorial Debut With New Action-Thriller

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Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Oscar-nominated actor Dev Patel makes his directorial debut with the action-thriller Monkey Man. Patel also stars in the Universal film produced by Jordan Peele.

According to Entertainment Weekly, “Patel stars as Kid, an anonymous young man who scrapes by in an underground fight club where, donned in a monkey mask, he is beaten to a pulp by fighters for cash.” Hanuman, the Hindu deity representing strength and courage, inspired the story about Kid's quest for vengeance after corrupt leaders kill his mother and victimize the poor. The official synopsis reads, “As [Kid's] childhood trauma boils over, his mysteriously scarred hands unleash an explosive campaign of retribution to settle the score with the men who took everything from him.”

Patel received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role in Lion. He also starred in Slumdog Millionaire, Chappie, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Click here to watch the action-packed new trailer. Monkey Man was originally supposed to premiere on Netflix, but will now debut in theaters April 5 thanks to Jordan Peele‘s deal with Universal.

U2 Will Make History at the Grammy Awards With First Broadcast Performance From Sphere in Las Vegas

Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.

U2 will make history at the 66th Grammy Awards with the first broadcast from Sphere in Las Vegas. Sphere is the largest spherical structure in the world and features 160,000 square feet of wraparound LED displays capable of 16K resolution.

According to a press release that broke today on Instagram, U2 will give a special performance and award presentation from Sphere. On board for the U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere 25-show residency are Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Bram van den Berg (sitting in for Larry Mullen Jr.). The show includes every song from 1991's Achtung Baby along with fan favorites such as “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” “Beautiful Day,” “Vertigo,” “Elevation,” and a new song, “Atomic City.”

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, “U2 and the band’s decades-long creative director Willie Williams used the orb’s LED display as a canvas for a range of visual art, with segments created by John Gerrard, Marco Brambilla, Es Devlin, Williams with Treatment Studio, and Industrial Light & Magic. These experiences include setting viewers in the desert and on the water, immersing them in collages, and using the display to flash text messages.”

U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere continues through December 16. The Grammy Awards air Sunday, February 4 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

Zoë Kravitz's Directorial Debut Starring Channing Tatum Gets New Title: ‘Blink Twice'

Zoe Kravitz and Channing Tatum
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By dvna creative agency, CC BY 3.0; By Eva Rinaldi – Channing Tatum, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Zoë Kravitz's upcoming directorial debut starring Channing Tatum just got a new, distributor-friendly title: Blink Twice. The Amazon MGM Studios thriller cowritten by Kravitz previously boasted a title that we can't publish here. Blink Twice also stars Alia Shawkat, Simon Rex, Adria Arjona, Haley Joel Osment, Christian Slater, Kyle MacLachlan, and Geena Davis. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, “The movie stars Channing Tatum as a tech billionaire who invites a cocktail waitress, played by Naomi Ackie, to join him and some friends for a dream trip to his private island.” 

“It's gonna be a crazy movie, man,” Tatum said to EW. “It's a crazy thriller. “I play someone a little darker than I've ever played. We are definitely exploring some very uncomfortable themes, and, I don't want to give away too much, but I've definitely never played a character like [this]. It was scary to play, because it's definitely going to be a talk piece when it comes out. I think people are really gonna want to talk about it. That's kind of the point, in a way. It's meant to unsettle you.”

Blink Twice drops in theaters nationwide August 23.

Zendaya Ready To Return for ‘Dune Messiah'

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Zendaya is game to return for Dune Messiah, a potential third film in the Dune franchise directed by Denis Villeneuve. Zendaya plays a Fremen woman named Chani in the Dune movies.

Villeneuve told Empire, “If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream. I will say, there are words on paper [for a third film].”

During a cast interview with Fandango reported by Variety, Zendaya responded to a question about reprising her role in a third Dune movie. “Would we be down? I mean of course,” said Zendaya. “Any time Denis calls it’s a yes from me. I’m excited to see what happens. I started Messiah and I was like, ‘Woah, I’m only shooting the first movie. Let me just go back to the first one.’ It’s so much to take in, but there’s no better hands with better care and love for it than Denis.”

Zendaya continued about her Dune director, “Whenever he is ready. He’s a perfectionist in many ways and doesn’t want to share things until they’re ready. So I’m respecting that and waiting until he’s ready.”

Dune: Part Two premieres in theaters March 1, 2024.

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.