Breaking News January 9, 2024: Sinéad O’Connor’s Cause of Death Revealed, ‘Avatar’ Sequels Resume Shooting Soon

Sinéad O'Connor

A U.K. coroner has confirmed Irish singer-songwriter-activist Sinéad O'Connor's cause of death. The fiery 56-year-old “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Mandinka” singer passed away on July 26, 2023.

Entertainment Weekly reportedly received an email from the London Inner South Coroner's Court Clerk, stating, “This is to confirm that Ms. O’Connor died of natural causes. The coroner has therefore ceased their involvement in her death.”

Before her death, Sinéad O'Connor spoke honestly about her struggles with her mental health complicated by the devastating loss of her son Shane. “There is no point living without him,” wrote Sinéad O'Connor on social media in 2022. “Everything I touch, I ruin. I only stayed for him. And now he's gone.”

‘Mother's Instinct' Trailer: Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway Star in 1960s-Set Thriller

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The first trailer has dropped for the 1960s-set psychological thriller Mother's Instinct starring Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. The movie directed by Benoît Delhomme is based on the 2018 French-language film of the same name — an adaptation of the novel Derrière la haine by Barbara Abel.

According to Deadline, “Billed as an ‘edge-of-your-seat thriller, [Mother's Instinct] follows two best friends and neighbors whose perfect lives in ‘60s suburbia are shattered by a tragic accident involving one of their children. The story follows Alice (Chastain) and Céline (Hathaway) as their sisterly bond is gradually undermined by guilt and paranoia and a gripping battle of wills develops, revealing the darker side of maternal love.”

Neon will release Mother's Instinct — the directorial debut of Delhomme — in the United States.

Spain's ‘Society of the Snow' Outperforming Netflix Originals Such as ‘Maestro' and ‘May December'

Society of the Snow
Image Credit: Netflix.

J.A. Bayona's Society of the Snow has bested Oscar-begging originals such as Maestro and May December on Netflix. The survival thriller Society of the Snow is based on Pablo Vierci's book of the same name about the 16 survivors of the Uruguayan 1972 Andes flight disaster.

According to IndieWire, Society of the Snow sits at number two on the Netflix streaming chart. Neither Maestro nor May December ranked that high. When the latter two did chart, they placed at lower positions than Society of the Snow.

Spain has already chosen Society of the Snow as its entry for 2023's Best International Film Oscar, and building buzz for the movie could score it nominations in other categories as well. The story about the plane disaster was previously dramatized on-screen for the 1993 movie Alive starring Ethan Hawke, but Bayona's emotionally harrowing film strives for authenticity — even filming at the actual crash site. Only 29 of the 45 passengers survived the initial crash and had to resort to cannibalism to survive the brutal conditions.

Script Completed for Martin Scorsese's 80-Minute ‘A Life of Jesus' Movie

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Martin Scorsese confirmed that the script is complete for his 80-minute A Life of Jesus movie. Scorsese's current movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, has a tush-testing running time of 206 minutes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Scorsese has completed the screenplay for [A Life of Jesus], collaborating with critic and filmmaker Kent Jones, and plans to shoot it later this year. It’ll be based on Shūsaku Endō’s book A Life of Jesus. And it’ll be set mostly in the present day, though Scorsese doesn’t want to be locked into a certain period, because he wants the film to feel timeless. He envisions the movie to run around 80 minutes, focusing on Jesus’ core teachings in a way that explores the principles but doesn’t proselytize.”

Scorsese — who previously directed the controversial The Last Temptation of Christ — said, “I’m trying to find a new way to make it more accessible and take away the negative onus of what has been associated with organized religion.”

‘Avatar' Sequels Resume Filming in a Month, Sam Worthington Says They Are ‘Bigger Than You Can Image'

Avatar: The Way of Water Sam Worthington
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Sam Worthington — who plays Jake Sully in Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water — reportedly said that production on the Avatar sequels will resume in February. James Cameron's yet-untitled Avatar 3 has a scheduled release date of December 19, 2025.

Variety reports, “We go back to work on it in a month and it’s big,” said Worthington about the Avatar sequels. “It’s bigger than you can imagine.”

Variety continues, “Considering Cameron said filming the remainder of Avatar 4 won’t occur until Avatar 3 opens, it appears Worthington and the cast might be returning to Cameron’s studio next month for Avatar 3 postproduction needs such as ADR dialogue replacement. Worthington wouldn’t disclose the specifics of his return.”

‘The Mandalorian & Grogu' Coming to the Big Screen in a Galaxy Near You

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Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

It looks like Mando and Grogu are heading to a big screen in a galaxy not so far away. The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau will direct the new film The Mandalorian & Grogu. Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin, is expected to reprise his role in the movie.

“I have loved telling stories set in the rich world that George Lucas created,” said Favreau to The Hollywood Reporter. “The prospect of bringing the Mandalorian and his apprentice Grogu to the big screen is extremely exciting.”

The Mandalorian & Grogu is expected to go into production by the end of the year, making it the first Star Wars movie to do so since 2019's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It appears that The Mandalorian & Grogu will beat the planned Star Wars movie starring Daisy Ridley out of the gate. 

“Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have ushered into Star Wars two new and beloved characters, and this new story is a perfect fit for the big screen,” said Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.

In the same statement about the Star Wars universe, Disney confirmed that creator Dave Filoni is currently developing Ahsoka season two for Disney+.

Tom Cruise Returns to Warner Bros. for Nonexclusive Movie Partnership

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Tom Cruise has returned to Warner Bros. for a nonexclusive partnership to produce, develop, and star in original and franchise movies. Cruise's most recent Warner Bros. film is 2014's Edge of Tomorrow (pictured).

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and the Motion Picture Group’s CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have put together a deal with Cruise that will commence this year. In addition to Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise previously made Rock of Ages, The Last Samurai, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Interview with the Vampire, Risky Business, and The Outsiders for the studio. In theory, Cruise could push a sequel for any of those, but with the TV series Interview with the Vampire currently active on AMC with different actors than Cruise's 1994 movie, the only other movie on that list that has sequel potential right now is Edge of Tomorrow.

Cruise said, “I have great respect and admiration for David, Pam, Mike, and the entire team at Warner Bros. Discovery and their commitment to movies, movie fans, and the theatrical experience. I look forward to making great movies together!”

Kaitlyn Dever Cast as Abby in ‘The Last of Us' Season Two

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Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Peabody Awards – Vimeo: Kaitlyn Dever – Peabody Award acceptance for Unbelievable (view archived source), CC BY-SA 3.0.

Unbelievable actress Kaitlyn Dever will play the fan-favorite character Abby in season two of The Last of Us. Based on the video game by Naughty Dog, the HBO postapocalyptic drama The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.

According to IndieWire, “In Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II, released for PlayStation 4 in January 2020, Abby is as much a colead of the game as the original’s star, Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey in the series). Throughout the game, players alternate between Ellie and Abby’s points of view in fighting off humans infected by Cordyceps as well as their fellow survivors left in the United States. Part II takes players from rural Wyoming to a dystopian Seattle.”

HBO describes Abby as “a skilled soldier whose black-and-white view of the world is challenged as she seeks vengeance for those she loved.”

The Last of Us cocreators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said in a statement, “Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material. Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.”

First ‘3 Body Problem' Trailer Drops for Netflix Sci-Fi Series

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Netflix dropped the first trailer for its sci-fi series 3 Body Problem from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, alongside True Blood writer-producer Alexander Woo. 3 Body Problem stars Jovan Adepo, John Bradley, Rosalind Chao, Liam Cunningham, Eiza González, Jess Hong, Marlo Kelly, Alex Sharp, Sea Shimooka, Zine Tseng, Saamer Usmani, Benedict Wong, and Jonathan Pryce. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the official 3 Body Problem description reads: “A young woman’s fateful decision in 1960s China reverberates across space and time into the present day. When the laws of nature inexplicably unravel before their eyes, a close-knit group of brilliant scientists join forces with an unorthodox detective to confront the greatest threat in humanity’s history.” The show is adapted from Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, which tells the tale of how humanity prepares for an alien invasion.

“What we are hoping to do is to convey the experience — if not necessarily the exact details — of the novel onto the screen,” said Woo. “What stayed, we hope, is the sense of wonderment and the sense of scope, of scale, where the problems are no longer just the problems of an individual or even a nation, but of an entire species.”

3 Body Problem premieres March 21 on Netflix.

Tina Fey Returns to TV with ‘The Four Seasons' Comedy Series

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Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By PhilipRomanoPhoto – Own work, CC BY 4.0.

Tina Fey will return to episodic TV as the lead in Netflix's The Four Seasons, based on the 1981 film of the same name starring Carol Burnett and Alan Alda. Fey cocreated the new series with fellow 30 Rock alums Lang Fisher and Tracey Wigfield.

According to Deadline, Universal's The Four Seasons is about three couples who vacation together every season. The Four Seasons TV series is written by Fey, Fisher, and Wigfield. Alda and Marissa Bregman will produce.

The Four Seasons ignited a bidding war before landing at Netflix with an order for eight episodes. Production will begin later this year.

Max Cancels ‘Our Flag Means Death' After Two Seasons

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Image Credit: Max.

Max has canceled the period romantic comedy Our Flag Means Death after two seasons. Set in the 18th century during the Golden Age of Piracy, Our Flag Means Death tells the surprising love story between Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Blackbeard (Taika Waititi).

According to Entertainment Weekly, “The show was loosely inspired by the real adventures of ‘gentleman pirate' Stede Bonnet, who abandoned his privileged upbringing to seek adventure on the high seas, eventually teaming up with the legendary Blackbeard.”

Max said in a statement: “While Max will not be moving forward with a third season of Our Flag Means Death, we are so proud of the joyous, hilarious, and heartfelt stories that creator David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted, Adam Stein, Antoine Douaihy, and the entire superb cast and crew brought to life. We also thank the dedicated fans who embraced these stories and built a gorgeous, inclusive community surrounding the show.”

RIP Adan Canto, Star of ‘Narcos' and ‘The Cleaning Lady'

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Image Credit: Fox.

Mexican actor Adan Canto passed away yesterday from appendiceal cancer at the age of 42. Canto is known for playing Sunspot in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla on Narcos, Paul Torres on The Following, and the gangster Arman Morales on The Cleaning Lady (pictured).

A joint statement from Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment — the production companies for The Cleaning Lady — said: “We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Adan Canto. A wonderful actor and dear friend, we were honored to have him as part of the Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment families since his U.S. debut in The Following more than a decade ago.

“Most recently, he lit up the screen in The Cleaning Lady with a powerful performance that showcased his artistry, range, depth, and vulnerability. This is an unfathomable loss, and we grieve alongside his wife, Stephanie, their children and loved ones. We will miss Adan dearly.”

 

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer

Bio:

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.