Will Ferrell Pulls Out Of Ronald Reagan Biopic

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The world will never see Will Ferrell play Ronald Reagan.

Depending on your political leanings and penchant for Ferrell’s brand of humor, this news might be met with a welcome relief or seen as an unfortunate concession to political correctness.

On Wednesday, Variety exclusively announced that Ferrell was attached to star in “Reagan,” a Black Listed script penned by Mike Rosolio about the former president’s second term in office, where he reportedly began to experience the symptoms of dementia. The plot centers on a young intern who must convince Reagan that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.

If Ferrell doing his Reagan best wasn’t enough to elicit the ire of right-wingers, the comedic take on Alzheimer’s disease pushed the detractors over the edge.

According to Page Six, Ferrell is “not pursuing this project” amid the controversy. “Reagan” was just “one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered,” said a spokesperson for the actor.

When the news of the project broke, members of Regan’s family immediately condemned the film as not only disrespectful to the late president, but also an affront to all who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Patti Davis, Reagan’s daughter, penned an open letter to the actor on her website, imploring him to think twice before poking fun at the tragic disease.

“Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker,” she wrote. “I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes … I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, ‘I don’t know where I am.’ I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away. For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar … and mercifully, finally past the fear.”

Reagan’s son, Michael, expressed a similar sentiment on Twitter, describing the film as an outrage and how all involved should be ashamed.

The Alzheimer’s Association also weighed in on the issue by releasing a statement on Friday about how the disease should never be used as a comedic crutch. The association singled the Reagan family out as “champions in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s.”

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

‘Match Game’ Is Coming Back To TV With Alec Baldwin

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alec-baldwin“Match Game” is making its return to primetime TV with Alec Baldwin.

The Golden Globe winner is set to host the panel game show, which pits contestants against each other as they try to match the answers of six celebrities in a game of fill-in-the-blank. The show first premiered on NBC in 1962 but will be making its comeback on ABC.

Baldwin, who will be donating his appearance fee to the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, and Jennifer Mullin (co-CEO of FreemantleMedia North America) will act as executive producers for the 10-episode series. The show will air at 10 p.m. ET during the network’s Sunday Fun & Games block, along with “Celebrity Family Feud” and “The 100,000 Pyramid” starting June 26.

“I am beyond grateful to ABC and FremantleMedia for the chance to host a summer series of the legendary ‘Match Game,’” said Baldwin in a statement. “Hilaria and I are thrilled to donate this fee to arts-related charities. And we look forward to having a lot of fun.”

The actor also shared his excitement about his new gig on Twitter, from the Alec Baldwin Foundation account. “‘Match Game’ is one of the crown jewels in our portfolio, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it to viewers in primetime,” Mullin added. “The team at ABC continues to be a terrific partner for us as we expand our game show slate, and with the charismatic and quick-witted Alec Baldwin as our host, ‘Match Game’ has all the right elements to be a fun and entertaining summer staple.”

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

“Crocodile Dundee” Remake?

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crocodile-dundeeThirty years after “Crocodile Dundee” hit the cinemas and rewrote Australian film history, tourism bosses are hoping a possible remake could do for the outback what the original achieved.

Although the film industry is remaining coy on the proposal, Kakadu Tourism chair Rick Allert thinks the time is right to revisit the box office hit, possibly even with new tourism ambassador Chris Hemsworth in the role made famous by Paul Hogan.

“I’m sure any remake would be successful and Chris Hemsworth would have lots of appeal,” Allert said.

Director of the original film, Peter Faiman suggested Hemsworth could star in a “son of Mick Dundee” venture.

“I don’t think there’s any plans from (producer) John Cornell or from Paul (Hogan) to make another one but who knows, somebody else might come along and do it,” said Faiman. “It’s a matter of striking a chord, and that movie came along at just the right time. It was shot in the right place and had a great character, and a great team of people putting it together in a really timely fashion.”

Prior to “Crocodile Dundee’s” release in 1986, Kakadu was best known as a mining area with little to offer tourists.

That all changed when the film hit cinema screens and became the year’s second biggest U.S. box office hit behind “Top Gun.”

Location scout Craig Bolles said Kakadu’s beauty and wilderness made it the ideal backdrop.

As a result of the film, visitor numbers soared and the first major hotel was built — in the shape of a crocodile.

Allert said the Mercure Gagudju Crocodile Hotel is now a tourist attraction in itself, along with Yellow Water Cruises that gave visitors the chance to observe crocs close up in their natural habitat.

“The whole area has really come of age, but we could cater for thousands more visitors,” he said. “It’s a huge area, and less than three hours drive from Darwin.”

Tourism NT CEO Tony Mayell said there was still an appetite around the globe for “Crocodile Dundee.”

“The film still gets around 135,000 searches per month which is up there with search terms of ‘Kakadu’ and ‘Kakadu National Park’,” said Mayell. “In the lead up to the 30th anniversary, searches have spiked even further, especially in the U.S.”

“We were looking for an incredibly interesting landscape that hadn’t been filmed before,” said Bolles, who was also the film’s second assistant director. “Everyone had shot in Broken Hill and Alice Springs, but no-one had ventured as far as Kakadu and Arnhem Land (in the Northern Territory).”

An unused camp built for the Jabiluka Mine that never came to fruition, provided housing for the 150 crew, setting the stage for a memorable three-month shoot.

“We didn’t have any run-ins with crocodiles but someone who spotted our truck with a mechanical croc reported us as crocodile poachers,” Bolles laughed.

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Written by foxnews.com

Will Ferrell To Play Ronald Reagan

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fffHaving already famously portrayed former President George W. Bush in various comedy sketches, Will Ferrell is now setting his sights on another former commander in chief.

Sources tell Variety Ferrell is attached to star as President Ronald Reagan in the Black List script “Reagan.”

Penned by Mike Rosolio, the story begins at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.

The script was so popular following its announcement on the Black List, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood, that a live read was done recently done in March starring Lena Dunham and John Cho.

Ferrell will produce along with production banner Gary Sanchez Productions. The package currently is without a director but will soon be shopped to studios.

Ferrell is no stranger to political humor having portrayed former President Bush several times over the years on “Saturday Night Live.” He would eventually took the impression to Broadway in the play “You’re Welcome America.” He also starred in the political comedy “The Campaign” opposite Zach Galifianakis.

Best known for his live-action short films, “Reagan” marks Rosolio’s big screen debut.

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Written by foxnews.com

Sheila E. Fights To Control Prince’ $300 Million Fortune

sheila-eRadarOnline.com has exclusively learned Prince‘s longtime collaborator and former lover is desperately trying to help preserve the music icon’s massive $300 million fortune.

According to an insider, “Glamorous Life” singer Sheila E., 58, has approached Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson about allowing her to run her late brother’s estate.

“Sheila wants to protect his legacy at all cost but it seems unlikely that the family will go for it, although Prince’s friends are lobbying hard for Sheila to be in control,” said the insider.

Sheila E.’s attempt to take control isn’t a greedy move on her part. Insists the insider: “She’s even offered to do it at no charge.”

As Radar reported, a court granted Nelson the right to be executor of the estate after it was determined her brother had never drawn up a will.

Prince’s vast estate, including a valuable musical catalog of his work, will most likely be divided amongst his brothers and sisters.

“There’s complete and utter chaos because Tyka isn’t well versed in managing anything like this,” an insider told Radar. “But the other half siblings are even less equipped to deal with it!” a source previously told Radar.

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Written by radaronline.com

Stephen Stills And The Rides Get A ‘Kick Out Of It’

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stephen-stillsStephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg are back as The Rides, the super-trio that surfaced in 2013 with their debut album, “Can’t Get Enough.” Now, three years later, the band is gearing up to release the follow-up, “Pierced Arrow,” due out Friday.

Stills said they had no doubts about getting the band together again for another album.

“We had so much fun playing on stage, we had to do it more,” Stills said in a statement. “Lots of freedom. Kenny and I found a wonderfully exciting knack for playing lead at the same time without a real ‘arrangement,’ just sort of instinctive guessing, from watching each other’s hands. Neil Young and I used to do this with Buffalo Springfield. And the grooves are always right on the money, never rushed or jittery.”

“The song, “Kick Out Of It,” is authentic rock ‘n’ roll at its best,” Shepherd told The Huffington Post. This is the first song we wrote together for this record and it really set the tone for the entire album. It’s vintage Stephen Stills. The song idea was conceived decades ago and was finished with The Rides.”

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

ride

Billy Bush Exiting ‘Access Hollywood’ For ‘Today’

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fffNBC is bringing one of its long-time stars on board Today. After months of speculation, Access Hollywood Live host Billy Bush is set to join the morning show, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. A formal announcement about Bush’s new gig is expected to be made at NBC’s annual upfront presentation May 16 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. THR first reported NBC’s courtship of Bush in October, and the move is said to be an open secret on the Access set. Sources close to Bush say he recently began the process of relocating from Los Angeles to New York. NBC News declined comment, but Bush is expected to play a key role in the venerable morning show’s 9 a.m. hour. However, it’s unclear if he’ll be rotated in or will replace Willie Geist, who recently began hosting a revamped Sunday version of Today while still appearing on Today‘s 9 a.m. hour and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales and Al Roker are Geist’s co-hosts at 9 a.m. The plan to unveil Bush’s new Today gig at NBC’s upfront may point to an upcoming splashy rebrand for that hour of the program, which competes in many markets with ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael (which, ironically, is itself going through a transition as co-host Michael Strahan exits for ABC’s Good Morning America).

The flagship Today show is beating ABC’s GMA in the critical 25-54 demographic this season. Though GMA remains the most-watched morning show, it has dropped double digits in critical demos. That’s why ABC recently recruited Strahan for a full-time gig on the show beginning in September. But the 9 a.m. hour remains the weak link in the NBC franchise that also includes Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford’s frothy 10 a.m. iteration.

Sources say Bush is expected to start in September. But NBC’s coverage of the Rio Olympics, which begins Aug. 5, gives Today an enormous platform during which to showcase talent. The awkward anchor transition from Ann Curry to Savannah Guthrie was timed in part so Guthrie would be in place for the London Olympics in 2012. The changeover from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show also was positioned to take advantage of the network’s lift from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Bush, who was a correspondent for WNBC’s Today in New York morning show early in his career, has been at Access Hollywood since 2001. He was bumped up to co-anchor in 2004 and then was named co-anchor with Kit Hoover of its spinoff, daytime show Access Hollywood Live, when it launched in 2010. Access staffers already have begun to bid farewell to Bush, who will have to move to New York for Today. As part of his longtime tenure at NBCUniversal Television Distribution, Bush also has served as a reporter for the network’s Olympics coverage dating back to the 2004 Summer Games.

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Written by rhollywoodreporter.com

Jon Snow’s Blood Pattern Might Be A Big ‘Game Of Thrones’ Clue

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sssBlood may hold a clue about the fate of Jon Snow.

In the opening scene of Sunday night’s “Game of Thrones” Season 6 premiere, viewers saw Jon Snow’s body lying on the ground after he had been stabbed by his fellow Night’s Watch men. In last season’s finale, blood began trickling out of the Lord Commander, made even more dramatic against the white snow.

Keen-eyed fans began chattering about clues the blood pattern may hold.

Is it a direwolf, the Stark sigil?

All those pattern possibilities tie into existing theories.

One theory is that Snow returns through his direwolf, Ghost. (As Huffington Post Entertainment editor Bill Bradley pointed out, a quote from the three-eyed crow in George R.R. Martin’s book A Dance With Dragons explains that once a skinchanger’s human body dies, a part of them remains in their animal.)

Another popular theory is R+L=J. The theory, which relates to the bastard Snow’s true lineage, claims that Snow is actually the biological son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This would explain the dragon, which is also the House Targaryen’s sigil.

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

Prince Had AIDS?

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ddPrince shocked the world when he collapsed and died at age 57 in the elevator of his Chanhassen, Minn., recording studio Thursday, but an insider exclusively told The National ENQUIRER that the megastar was “preparing to die for a little while” — because he had been diagnosed with AIDS!

A music industry source interviewed by The ENQUIRER messaged friends on April 19 to reveal Prince had full-blown AIDS. “He was in bad shape,” the source revealed.

“Doctors told Prince his blood count was unusually low and that his body temperature had dropped dangerously below the normal 98.6 degrees to 94 degrees,” said the source.

“He was totally iron-deficient, very weak and often disoriented. He rarely ate and when he did, it all came right back up.”

In another bombshell revelation, a well-placed insider said Prince had been making runs to a local pharmacy to pick up bags of prescriptions to quell the unbearable pain he was suffering from what was reported to be influenza.

An employee at the Walgreens that served Prince told The ENQUIRER, “We were all just shocked that he came in last night looking so beat. We said, ‘We are praying for you.’”

Prince’s response? “He said, almost under his breath, ‘Maybe if you prayed for me a year ago it’d be different right now.’ Then he waved and said thanks anyway.”

According to the worker, Prince often picked up his own meds and toiletries at the drugstore chain near his Paisley Park estate.

“The last night, though, we sensed he was in trouble. One girl said he had foreign medication and thought it was Zeka virus or something, but my friend who knows the meds says he’s sure it was HIV meds.”

“I wouldn’t say he’s like a part of the family but he came in and always showed interest in us,” added the employee of Prince.

And now the Prince’s loved ones are showing interest in hiding the true cause of his death. According to the insider, Prince’s family is already banging on coroner’s door and demanding officials heavily redact any public autopsy report “to spare family, friends and fans” any information “about his lifestyle that’s sure to come.”

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Written by radaronline.com

Michael Strahan Is Leaving ‘Live’ In May

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fAfter Kelly Ripa made a triumphant return to “Live with Kelly and Michael” on Tuesday, a “Live!” spokesperson confirmed that Strahan would be leaving the show much earlier than expected in an emailed statement to The Huffington Post. People magazine was the first to confirm the news.

“After meeting with the producers of both ‘Live!’ and ‘Good Morning America,’ and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” read the statement.

“To that end, Michael’s last day on ‘Live!’ will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host. This plan also allows GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.” 

When Strahan originally announced that he was leaving the talk show for a full-time gig with “Good Morning America,” the former NFL player said that he would join “GMA” in September.

Ripa and Strahan were both extremely professional when Ripa returned to the show Tuesday. The two walked out together hand in hand, while Ripa thanked the audience for supporting her. She also made sure to publicly congratulate Strahan on his new move.

“I am thrilled for Michael, I’m thrilled for you,” Ripa said. “This is a tremendous opportunity and I couldn’t be, and we couldn’t be, prouder of you.”

Strahan also made nice, telling his co-host he was “so happy” she was back.

“The one thing I know about you is that you love the show, you love the fans, you love the staff,” Strahan said. “And I love you.”

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How shocking…actually surprised he’s staying that long. I would have thought the Monday prior to Kelly’s return would have been it for him. Stay tuned…well, if you must.

Written by huffingtonpost.com

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