Breaking News January 5, 2024: ‘Barbie’ Dominates BAFTA Noms, ‘Ready Player One’ Becoming Real?

Barbie Margot Robbie

Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Killers of the Flower Moon dominated the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards nominations. 

According to Variety, each of those 3 films garnered 15 nominations apiece after the first round of voting in 24 total categories. Other movies that received multiple nominations include Poor Things (14), Maestro (12), Saltburn (11), and Wonka (8). 

As far as BAFTA predicting what might happen at the Oscars, last year the most-nominated BAFTA film was All Quiet on the Western Front. Although it won the Best Picture BAFTA Award and picked up several Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Everything Everywhere All at Once Best Picture.

BAFTA will announce the final nominations on January 18 followed by the BAFTA Film Awards ceremony on February 18. 

‘Starsky & Hutch' Star David Soul Passes Away at 80

David Soul
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Luigi Novi, CC BY 4.0; ABC.

American-British actor David Soul — who played Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson on ABC's Starsky & Hutch — passed away on Thursday at the age of 80.

According to Variety, Soul's wife posted the following on his official website: “David Soul — beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother — died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family. He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist, and dear friend. His smile, laughter, and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”

In addition to Starsky & Hutch, Soul starred in the Western series Here Comes the Brides and the popular 1979 TV-movie adaptation of Stephen King's Salem's Lot. Soul was also a singer, scoring the international number-one hit “Don't Give Up on Us.”

Apple TV+ Streams Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Just in Time for Academy Voting

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo Dicaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)
Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Martin Scorsese's Oscar-begging crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon will make its streaming debut on Apple TV+ on January 12, making it easier for Academy voters to see the film while voting is ongoing. Killers of the Flower Moon premiered in theaters nationwide on October 20, 2023.

Killers of the Flower Moon stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone. The official description on Apple TV+ reads, “When oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one — until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery.”

As reported by IndieWire, “Apple has yet to announce an SVOD release date for its other historical epic from 2023, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, which was also released theatrically in November and had its theatrical release handled by Sony.”

‘Ready Player One’ To Become an Expansive Metaverse Experience

Ready Player One
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

A virtual reality world based on Ready Player One is coming to a metaverse near you soon. The 2018 Steven Spielberg film is based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline.

According to Variety, “Futureverse, an AI and metaverse technology and content company, announced the formation of Readyverse Studios, a studio cofounded with Ernest Cline, the novelist and creator of Ready Player One, and Dan Farah, producer of the 2018 Warner Bros. film adaptation of the novel.”

Cline said in a statement, “The future has arrived even more quickly than I imagined. With Readyverse Studios, we have the opportunity to leverage the revolutionary technology Futureverse has been building for several years to bring to life the best possible version of the metaverse. I’m confident with this team, we have the brightest minds and biggest hearts in place to lead us into the next chapter of our collective future… a future that would make Wade Watts and James Halliday proud.”

‘Barbie' Actress Margot Robbie Wants To Direct

Margot Robbie in Barbie (2023)
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Actress-producer Margot Robbie starred in 2023's box office champ, Barbie. Now she wants to add another title to her résumé: director.

Robbie spoke with Variety about when she might sit in the director's chair after Barbie‘s record-breaking success. “The tricky thing is, as much as I say I’m strict about saying no as a producer, I also get so excited with all the things that I could produce that it ends up taking up all my time. And as an actor, I get to work with so many brilliant directors and watch them do it — it’s like having a front-row seat to the best master class in the world. So it’s really tempting to keep doing that. But directing is a dear ambition of mine.”

‘Speed Racer' Actor Christian Oliver Loses Life in Tragic Plane Crash

Christian Oliver
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

German actor Christian Oliver — known for his roles in Speed Racer, Valkyrie, and Ready or Not — died in a Caribbean plane crash on Thursday along with his two young daughters. Oliver was 51 years old.

Oliver and his daughters — Madita Klepser, 10, and Annik Klepser, 12 — were enjoying a tropical vacation on Bequia, an island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. According to police, the single-engine aircraft boung for St. Lucia “experienced difficulties and plummeted into the ocean” moments after takeoff. Fishermen and divers recovered all four bodies on board, including those of Oliver, his two daughters, and pilot Robert Sachs, who owned the plane. 

Oliver was in the middle of shooting the film Forever Hold Your Peace prior to his death. Costar Bai Ling posted a series of pictures of herself with Oliver taken on the set.

Parker Posey Among New Additions to ‘The White Lotus' Season 3 Cast

Parker Posey
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Leslie Bibb, Dom Hetrakul, Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan, Tayme Thapthimthong, and Parker Posey are six actors added to the growing cast of The White Lotus season three. Filming begins in Thailand in February with a projected premiere sometime in 2025.

“We are honored to have amazing Thailand featured as the filming location for the highly anticipated upcoming season of The White Lotus,” said Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter. “The kingdom’s exotic natural beauty, rich historical sites and diverse landscapes are the perfect settings to share our fascinating culture, fantastic cuisine, top-notch wellness and luxury offerings, and most importantly our people and Thai hospitality. Thailand has long been considered one of the world’s favorite filming locations. The White Lotus project will certainly strengthen the kingdom’s status as a preferred filming destination and a beacon of experience-based tourism, inspiring even more visitors to amazing Thailand.”

Details about the new characters played by Posey and the other five new additions are kept under wraps.

Samuel L. Jackson Joins 1970-Set ‘Fight Night' True-Crime Limited Series on Peacock

Samuel L. Jackson
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Philip Romano – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Samuel L. Jackson will join Kevin Hart on Fight Night: The Million Dollar Heist, a true-crime limited series on Peacock.

Variety reports that the series is set in Atlanta in 1970. The official description says the series will tell “the infamous story of how an armed robbery during the night of Muhammad Ali’s historic 1970 comeback fight changed not only one man’s life, but an entire city’s destiny.”

Jackson will play Frank Moten, an infamous gangster whom New York tabloids dubbed “The Black Godfather.”

Disney+ Cancels ‘American Born Chinese' After One Season

American Born Chinese
Image Credit: Disney+.

Disney+ has canceled American Born Chinese after one season, which ended on a cliffhanger. The show's producers reportedly hope to find the fantasy action-comedy series a new home.

According to Entertainment Weekly, “Adapted from Gene Luen Yang's award-winning graphic novel of the same name, American Born Chinese combines a true story with magical fantasy. It follows Jin (Ben Wang), a high school teen who just wants to fit in with his classmates but whose life is disrupted by the arrival of exchange student Wei-Chen (Jimmy Liu), whose loud and open personality starts to embarrass Jin. However, it turns out that Wei-Chen is actually the son of the mythical Monkey King (Daniel Wu), who has come to Earth on a quest to find the Fourth Scroll and prevent the destruction of Heaven. Though aided by the mercy goddess Guanyin (Michelle Yeoh), Wei-Chen relies on Jin as his guide to the human world.”

“The possibilities are endless,” said Best Actress Oscar winner Yeoh to EW last year about a potential second season. “The stories that can be told have so many complex multilayers that the writers and the directors will have so much space. The playground is so immense.”

In ‘The Beekeeper', Jason Statham's Mission Is To Protect the Hive

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Jason Statham stars as Adam Clay, aka the Beekeeper, in the upcoming theatrical release The Beekeeper. His one job: protect the hive.

Amazon MGM Studios released the short featurette above about the David Ayer-directed movie also starring Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad, and Jeremy Irons.

In the official production notes for The Beekeeper, Jason Statham said, “What we know is, Clay has an incredible skill set. He's almost like a super soldier that is there to protect society. When society can't protect itself, he's the person, a Beekeeper, that comes in to re-create the equilibrium. That's what Adam Clay really stands for — he is one of these guys that doesn't really exist. He’s almost like this ghost that comes in and course corrects.”

The Beekeeper opens exclusively in theaters on January 12.

Julia Garner Reunites with Christopher Abbott in ‘Wolf Man'

Julia Garner and Christopher Abbott
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Harald Krichel – Own work of Harald Krichel, CC BY-SA 3.0; By NOVAASA – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Ozark actress Julia Garner reunites with Christopher Abbott in Wolf Man. The two actors previously starred together in 2011's Martha Marcy May Marlene.

According to Variety, Garner plays a mother whose family is terrorized by an unknown creature. Leigh Whannell — the director of the 2020 hit The Invisible Man — takes on another Universal monster as director of Wolf Man. Abbott took over the role originally slated for Ryan Gosling.

A Blumhouse and Motel Movies production, Wolf Man claws its way into theaters on October 25… just in time for Halloween 2024.

‘Minx' Gets Canceled… Again

Minx e1704494593965
Image Credit: Starz.

Starz has canceled the 1970s-set show Minx after rescuing it when Max canceled it. The two seasons of Minx starring Jake Johnson and Ophelia Lovibond will remain on Starz for the time being.

In an interview with Deadline last much during which Johnson appeared with not-so-'70s short hair, the actor didn't seem optimistic about a third season of Minx. “By evidence of me cutting my hair short, I don’t [expect a renewal],” said Johnson. “I think the move to Starz, I think HBO kind of doing their HBO thing, or HBO Max, whatever it’s called now, I think that was brutal for [the show]. Then, I think the strike coming out right as we were trying to promote it… My guess is you can’t beat something up that many times and keep going.”

Comedy doesn't seem to play well on Starz. Deadline reports, “Starz has about a half-dozen upcoming scripted series, all of them dramas. Sources inside the network have insisted that the network is not pulling out of the comedy business and may develop half-hour projects in the future catering to Starz’s target audiences of women and underrepresented communities.”

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.