Donald Trump’s Presidency Is Right On Time For Another WGA Strike

Since the first writers’ strike of 1960, there have been 12 U.S. presidents – five Democrats and seven Republicans, and yet all six WGA strikes occurred during Republican administrations. And if the guild launches its seventh strike in May, as threatened, it will once again be under a Republican administration.

There weren’t any WGA strikes during the presidencies of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson or John F. Kennedy. But there was one during the presidency of George W. Bush (the 100 day strike of 2007-08, pictured above); three during Ronald Reagan’s presidency (the 22-week strike of 1988, the two-week strike of 1985 and the 13-week strike of 1981); one during Richard Nixon’s (the 16-week strike of 1973); and one during Dwight Eisenhower’s (the 21-week strike of 1960).

Among Republicans, only the 2 ½-year term of Gerald Ford and the 4-year presidency of George H.W. Bush saw no strikes by writers.

In the 57 years since the first writers’ strike, a Republican has been in the White House for 29 years, and Democrats for 28 years – roughly 50-50. So it’s a statistical oddity that writers’ strikes have only taken place during the reign of one political party. But does it mean anything, or is it just a coincidence?

It could be that writers – and unionized workers in general – feel more under siege during Republican administrations, which are generally seen as more hostile to organized labor, and thus feel more inclined to strike in order to hold on to the hard-won gains they’d achieved over the years, or to fend off perceived rollbacks.

And it could be that employers feel more emboldened during Republican administrations, which are generally seen as more friendly to business, and thus feel more empowered to take a harder line at the bargaining table.

And then again, it could just be an interesting coincidence, as the history of strikes in the entertainment industry have little or nothing to do with national politics and everything to do with the economics of the marketplace. But still, it’s interesting that there could be yet another writers strike during a Republican administration – this one in the early days of a Donald Trump presidency.


Pirates of the Caribbean 5 TV Trailer Goes Hunting for Jack Sparrow

Today, Disney released a TV trailer for their upcoming summer sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. There isn’t much new footage in this one minute spot. But it is cut quicker, and comes across a lot more flashier than the full-length trailer that debuted just a few weeks ago. It sure makes the sequel look like a rousing adventure that is more in tune with the original than some of the later movies.

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea-notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy.

At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, Stephen Graham as Scrum, David Wenham as Scarfield and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. Espen Sandberg & Joachim Ronning are directing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing and Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers.

Production began on this highly-anticipated sequel last February, which was slightly marred when Johnny Depp was injured on set, although production was not heavily impacted. Disney has set a May 26 release date for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, squaring off with another highly-anticipated movie, Paramount’s Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron in what could be an epic Memorial Day box office showdown. Take a look at this all new adventure featuring everyone’s favorite pirate courtesy of Facebook.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5


Zack Snyder Teases Superman’s Return in Justice League

This morning, we got our second look at Justice League. DC Films and Warner Bros. drop what is being called the ‘official trailer’ after having premiered a sneak peek at Comic-Con way back in July, 2016. But still, no Superman. What gives? Where is he? We all know he’s coming back to life, so is this tease really necessary? Director Zack Snyder thinks so.

At the end of Batman V Superman, Kal-El sacrificed his life to save not only Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman, but the rest of Metropolis and Gotham as well. But as any DC fan worth their weight in Dark Knight DVDs knows, there is no keeping Superman dead and buried. Apparently, his absence plays a key role in the events that play out over the course of 2 hours. Just how much Superman the movie will actually have is anyone’s guess. But director Zack Snyder has this to say to USA Today about his imminent return.

“It’s hard to have a Justice League without Superman. That’s how I feel about it. It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League: What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It’s fun for us but it’ll be interesting for audiences what we do with him.”

As has been the case with big trailers such as this, the first teaser doesn’t show too much, and it usually leaves something to be revealed later. We didn’t get Ego the Living Planet until the last frame of the final Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer. We didn’t see Vision until the last frame of the second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. And we didn’t see Darth Vader until the payoff trailer for Rogue One, with the iconic villain also stepping out of the shadows in those final minutes of that footage. It’s almost guaranteed at this point that the third and final sneak peek at Justice League will have a Superman teaser at the very end. So fans will have to be patient. Will Kal-El emerge in his black suit? Let’s hope so. Seeing Henry Cavill in the same old costume we’ve already seen in two previous movies will be a let down.

Zack Snyder didn’t just offer up a Superman tease. He also further explained Ben Affleck’s role as Batman in this second adventure for the actor. About the Dark Knight’s progression as a character, Snyder says this.

“He’s been a loner for certainly his crime-fighting career, maybe with the exception of Robin. When we meet him in BvS, he’s definitely at this low point of isolation. That was always our intention, that Justice League would be this continuation for Batman to evolve into a more complete hero.”

He goes onto say exactly how the upcoming Wonder Woman standalone movie actually ties into both Batman V Superman and Justice League. The director explains.

“[Wonder Woman will] flesh out and realize (her island home) Themyscira and embrace canon with her and get all the elements to mash up that I love from the original stories. But also we’ll see that dovetail into not only the why of BvS, but even now the why of Justice League and who she is finally realized. We know now where she comes from.”

Justice League is still months away. First, Wonder Woman will get her own movie this June. With the Justice League movie arriving a few months later in November. It’s not clear how soon we’ll actually catch a glimpse of Superman, but in all likelihood, it probably won’t happen until July, when Comic-Con rears its ugly head yet again.


Why Admiral Ackbar Wasn’t in Rogue One

When it comes to the Mon Calamari, sure, Admiral Raddus is cool. But he’s no Admiral Ackbar. First introduced in Return of the Jedi, Ackbar has only ever since returned to the big screen in The Force Awakens. Many fans expected the orange Rebel warrior hailing from Mon Cala to also make an appearance in Rogue One. But, alas, he was nowhere to be seen, despite him being a part of the Rebellion at this time. Which we know from his appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. So, where was he?

Rogue One writer Gary Whitta recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about all the material that didn’t make it into the final movie. And one of those things was Admiral Ackbar. He had a role in Rogue One during the initial screenwriting phase. But his part was replaced by that cool blue Mon Calamria we’ve come to know and love as Admiral Raddus. Why the change?

It’s simple. J.J. Abrams got there first. Even though Ackbar was around during the time of the events depicted in Rogue One, the team behind this first Star Wars story didn’t want Ackbar to return in a movie so quickly. Call it Ackbar over-saturation. Whitta says this about booting the Admiral out of his movie.

“I always loved Admiral Ackbar. I wanted to have him in there, but J.J. Abrams got to him first. We didn’t want to use him again after The Force Awakens. So Ackbar became Admiral Raddus. You will see those little evolutions.”

Whitta doesn’t go into it, but it sounds like some other known characters also got switched out for newer variations. Over the years, Ackbar has accumulated a pretty strong fanbase, and he’s also beloved by quite a few hipsters who might turn their nose up at some of the more prominent players in this universe. Ackbar played a key role in the battle against the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, as he commanded a fleet of Rebel soldiers from inside his ship. He also got what is arguably one of the most quotable lines from the movie with ‘It’s a trap!’

Admiral Ackbar was applauded by audiences when he returned for the first time in over 30 years in The Force Awakens, playing a similar role. He was only given a few lines of dialogue, but it was a fun cameo, none the less. And we all got to see him fighting alongside General Leia. Sadly, that same cameo kept him out of Rogue One. But perhaps that is for the best.

Admiral Ackbar has already been confirmed to return in The Last Jedi, which means he’ll be back in theaters this holiday season, when the movie hits on December 15, 2017. Perhaps a standalone Admiral Ackbar movie could be in the works. Especially considering Disney has Star Wars movies planned all the way through 2030. We’re sure there will be more of Ackbar in the years to come.


Watch Public Memorial For Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher Livestreamed Here – Update

UPDATE The livestreamed memorial service has closed.

UPDATE with livestream, below Fans of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher can say goodbye today, with a public memorial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park set to be livestreamed and featuring the music of James Blunt and Star Wars composer John Williams.

Organized by Todd Fisher (Reynolds’ son, Fisher’s brother), the memorial will take place in the cemetery’s 1,200-seat Hall of Liberty theater, with overflow crowds offered outside seating. The memorial will be shown on large screens.

The service, which begins at 1 p.m. PT, will be livestreamed at

Although Blunt won’t perform, a new song he wrote for the occasion will be played over a photo montage. Blunt was a close friend of Fisher, who was godmother to his son.

According to the Reynolds website, the memorial program will also include performances by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and a dance tribute from the Debbie Reynolds dance school. Costumes and memorabilia will be displayed, and the public will be permitted to visit the pair’s gravesite following the service. (A private burial took place in January).

Fisher and wife Catherine Hickland arranged the public service in keeping with Reynolds’ wishes.

Fisher died December 27 after suffering a heart attack on a flight to Los Angeles, and her mother Reynolds died of a stroke the following day.


Richard A. Roth Dies: ‘Summer Of ’42’, ‘Blue Velvet’ Producer Was 76

Richard A. Roth, producer of a slate of ’70s and ’80s movies as diverse as 1971’s romantic coming-of-age melodrama Summer of ’42 and 1986’s still-bizarre Blue Velvet, died yesterday at his home in New York City. He was 76.

His death was announced by his family in The New York Times.

Roth’s career included an early job as executive producer on TV’s The Young Lawyers in 1969, and stretched to 1989’s In Country (starring Bruce Willis) and 1990’s Sydney Pollack-directed Havana (starring Robert Redford). He was an associate producer on 1973’s mega-hit The Way We Were, producer of 1975’s Gene Wilder-directed The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother and 1977’s poignant Julia, the drama that teamed Jane Fonda with Vanessa Redgrave in the adaptation of a Lillian Hellman story for which Roth was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

But it was his breakthrough Summer of ’42 that perhaps most bares his mark. According to his family, Roth had graduated from Stanford University Law School and was working for a small literary agency when he read the Summer of ’42 screenplay from a slush pile. He borrowed $5,000 from his father, optioned the screenplay and pitched it to To Kill a Mockingbird director Robert Mulligan.

With a $1 million budget from Warner Bros., the nostalgia-drenched Summer of ’42 became a hit. The film grossed $32 million and was nominated for five Oscars, winning for Michel Legrand’s score. The movie’s theme song, “The Summer Knows,” became an instantly recognizable easy listening classic, with recordings by Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Roth is survived by his wife Sharon Hayes Roth and stepson, Richard Hayes Mathers, among other family. No formal memorial service is planned, in keeping with his wishes.


Watch Chris Pratt Geek Out Over Kurt Russell on Guardians 2 Set

Some consider Kurt Russell a god amongst men. And he will soon take on that role in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, where he plays Ego, a living planet that has constructed a human body for himself. Kurt Russell is a living legend and Hollywood royalty. And there might not be a bigger fan than Chris Pratt. Even though the two star together in the next big Marvel adventure, playing father and son no less, that doesn’t keep Pratt from fanboying out over Russell. And he shared one of those moments on his Instagram with a short but sweet video from the set. Says Pratt.

“Kurt Russell poses with a fan on the set of #guardiansofthegalaxy vol 2 #guardiansofthegalaxyvol2″

Chris Pratt shared the quick video to help alert fans everywhere that tickets for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are on sale now. It was revealed during Comic-Con that Kurt Russell is playing Chris Pratt’s dad in the movie. But his Ego character wasn’t revealed until the final trailer hit last month. Since then, we’ve seen quite a bit of Ego in TV spots and posters.

In related news, James Gunn recently revealed that Guardians 2 will definitely have its fair share of Easter eggs. And there will be a pretty big one near the opening of the movie that will virtually be impossible for fans of Gunn to miss. He doesn’t say what fans should be looking for, but it sounds like it ties into his previous non-Marvel movies such as Slither and Super. What could it be? Gunn says this.

“I guess it depends on what you call an Easter egg, but there’s definitely a very, very distinctly cool Easter egg that’s like the fourth shot [of the movie]. It’s a very cool Easter egg very early in the movie. Something that fans of mine will recognize from other films.”

The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was full of Easter eggs. So many, in fact, that fans haven’t discovered all of them yet. And the movie has been widely available on all kinds of formats for the past three years.Some fans have disputed this, but Gunn has offered up some of his own movie if its ever proven false. It’s not clear when or if he’ll ever reveal this particular Easter egg.

We’re only a few weeks removed from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 making its way into theaters on May 5, 2017. And it will surely have fans coming back for seconds and thirds. Possibly even fourths if there are enough Easter eggs to hunt for. While we await the sequels arrival, take a look at this cool video from the set. And don’t forget to secure your tickets for opening night. You don’t want to be left out when it comes to one of this summer’s biggest events!


Disney Has Star Wars Movies Planned Through 2030

Hope you love Star Wars, cause there’s a whole lot more planned throughout the next decade and a half. If we’re to believe Disney CEO Bob Iger, we’re looking at upwards of at least 12 movies before 2030. Perhaps more, if Disney decides it wants to release more than one movie a year.

Since Disney purchased Lucasfilm and all the rights to Star Wars in 2012, we’ve already seen two movies, a third is in the can, and a fourth is in production as we speak. A fifth film is already being prepped. If it all feels like over-saturation, get used to it. Force Friday is going to arrive every September like Christmas, and we’ll be getting at least one new Star Wars movie a year until audiences stop paying to see these movies. Speaking at a recent conference, Iger had this to say, as recorded by The Hollywood Reporter.

“”We’re starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX. About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories.”

In December 2015, Star Wars fever was at an all-time high as the first movie in ten years, the first in thirty to include the original cast, hit theaters. The Force Awakens was a huge hit, and it paved the way for an army of new films to appear in its wake. The first of which was Rogue One, the kick-off chapter in LucasFilm’s new series of anthology movies. This December, we’re getting the direct sequel to The Force Awakens, which is titled The Last Jedi. And then in May, 2018, we get Han Solo. From there, Star Wars 9 is being planned for a summer 2019 release. But what happens beyond that? Disney isn’t letting anyone in on the secret just yet.

There were three Star Wars Stories planned from the jump. A standalone Boba Fett movie was supposed to follow Rogue One, but those plans changed when director Josh Trank was fired following his bad behavior on the set of the Fantastic Four reboot, which turned out to be a huge bomb for 20th Century Fox. Disney scraped immediate plans for the Bounty Hunter’s return, and decided instead to follow forth on Han Solo. It isn’t known what the third spin-off will be, scheduled for release in 2020. It could still be Boba Fett, or perhaps it will be the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie we’ve heard murmurs about.

It was recently revealed that past Star Wars 9, these incoming movies will no longer feature or rely on legacy characters. What that means is uncertain. But it sounds like there won’t be too many spin-offs based on existing characters. Though we could get spin-offs for some of the newer characters introduced in these later films, such as one centered on Cassian Andor and K-2SO.

There are also more TV shows planned for the near future. Star Wars Rebels was rumored to be ending with Season 3, but it has since been renewed for Season 4. Still, it is expected that Lucasfilm will announced a new animated series at Star Wars Celebration. And a Star Wars live action TV series has been planned and discussed for over a decade. That may happen soon, as well. Perhaps we’ll learn more after Star Wars 8 hits theaters later this year.


‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Posters: Tom Holland Slings Through New York

Spider-Man: Homecoming showed some more Big Apple love today, tweeting a new poster image depicting the Marvel superhero on his New York City turf. The poster, depicting Spidey scaling a Brooklyn-Queens Expressway sign, comes a day after two others were tweeted.

In yesterday’s posters, he’s spider-walking up the Avengers’ building with the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center in the background, and lounging in a park, with the Avengers’ and Chrysler buildings looming with the rest of Manhattan across the East River.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7. So why the poster today? And why the two-day tease? Maybe to draw a little attention from this and this.


SAG-AFTRA Blasts Local Spanish-Language Radio Stations for Not Paying Minimum Wage

Accusing local Spanish-language radio stations La Raza and La Mega of multiple violations of state and federal labor law – including paying some on-air talent less than minimum wage – SAG-AFTRA today urged the stations to come to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract.

The stations’ on-air talent voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the union last August, but the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement on what would become the first on-air union contract for any Spanish-language radio station in Los Angeles, which is the largest Spanish-language radio market in the country. The stations are owned by the Spanish Broadcasting System, which owns and operates 20 radio stations and six television stations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

“Employees at La Raza and La Mega chose to organize due to ongoing systemic and endemic abuses at both stations,” the union said in a statement. “These include being paid less than the legally mandated minimum wage, denying meal breaks and access to bathrooms during live and remote events, denying overtime in violation of California law, exempting employees paid below wage threshold, denying cell phone reimbursements, and failing to provide  payment for talent endorsement fees.” SAG-AFTRA has also accused the stations of unlawfully terminating eight employees in retaliation for their union activities.

“It is appalling that in this country and in this day and age SBS, one of the largest Spanish-language media and entertainment companies in America, would terminate employees who are fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions and human dignity,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “This employer has thus far ignored their obligation to bargain an agreement that will improve working conditions for its on-air employees, some of whom were paid less than minimum wage. We are not done. We will continue to fight on behalf of La Raza and La Mega’s on-air employees to win the reinstatement of the eight employees unlawfully terminated for their union activities, and to negotiate a fair contract that will improve their livelihoods and protect jobs.”

“Our conversations with this company have been unnecessarily difficult and we intend to move forward with the goals our members have set for SBS employees,” said SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White. “This is just the beginning and we will continue to pursue this effort until these employees receive a contract that both addresses and ameliorates their concerns.”

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