Archive for August 24th, 2019

Did Tom Holland Just Confirm He’s Still Playing Spider-Man? – Vulture

August 24th, 2019

Photo: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

From dramatic Star Wars reveals to the Lizzie McGuire sequel to Steampunk Emma Stone, the D23 expo has been a wild ride for us all. Which is why a blink-and-you-miss-it nugget revealed by Tom Holland following a D23 panel may have been buried under all the fresh news. Speaking to EW and People, Holland said:

“It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”

Since news of the Disney and Sony Pictures dispute over Spider-Man broke earlier this week, fan speculation over whether Holland would be returning to the franchise has run rampant. While the common consensus is that Holland will be reprising his role, Sony has not yet made an official announcement regarding the upcoming films. But if there’s anything we can be sure of in these strange and uncertain times, it’s that Tom Holland loves playing Spider-Man, and that we, the viewing public, cannot handle another incarnation of this character. Remember to take the path of least resistance, Sony!


Clashes in Hong Kong result in 29 arrests ahead of more planned protests – Global News

August 24th, 2019

Hong Kong police said on Sunday they arrested 29 people after clashes overnight in which volleys of tear gas were fired to disperse anti-government protesters, as the Asian financial hub braced for more demonstrations later in the day.

Activists threw petrol bombs and bricks on Saturday in the gritty industrial area of Kwun Tong, a densely populated area of the Chinese territory on the east of the Kowloon peninsula. Four MTR subway stations were closed due to the protests.

READ MORE: Police, protesters clash in Hong Kong as demonstrators cut down smart lamppost

Police used tear gas after some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and bricks and others tore up “smart” lamp posts equipped with surveillance cameras. Other demonstrators had set up roadblocks with bamboo scaffolding.

It was the first use of tear gas in more than a week after a series of mostly peaceful demonstrations in the former British colony.

WATCH: Hong Kong police seen dragging protester and beating him with batons

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The protests, which started over a now-suspended extradition bill and have evolved into demands for greater democracy, have rocked Hong Kong for three months and plunged the city into its biggest political crisis since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The wider calls for democracy pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the protests ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1.

READ MORE: Hong Kong’s airport, railways operating normally despite ‘stress test’ protest plans

Transport to the city’s international airport appeared normal early on Sunday, despite protesters’ plans for a day-long “stress test” of transport in the international aviation and financial hub.

The protest movement still appears to have broad support, with thousands, including families, lawyers, accountants and young and old people, taking to the streets in anti-government rallies.

Demonstrators’ demands include an independent inquiry into what they describe as police brutality, a full withdrawal of the extradition bill and universal suffrage.

WATCH: Bricks and tear gas: Violence escalates in Hong Kong’s latest clash between protesters and police

They say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that enshrines a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong since the handover to China.

Police said in a statement on Sunday they strongly condemned protesters “breaching public peace” and that 19 men and 10 women had been arrested. More than 700 have been arrested since the demonstrations began in June.

READ MORE: Hong Kong protesters link hands in ‘Baltic chain’-inspired demonstration

Those arrested also included the organiser of Saturday’s march, Ventus Lau, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

Another protest is planned for Sunday in the working class district of Tsuen Wan, while demonstrators also plan a city-wide strike and class boycotts at universities in coming weeks.

On Saturday, China freed British consulate worker Simon Cheng, whose detention had fuelled tensions

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Daisy Ridley Was Shocked By The Dark Side Rey Reveal In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker D23 Footage – Cinema Blend

August 24th, 2019

6 hours ago

Needless to say, this tiny bit of footage blew the roof off of the Anaheim Convention Center – but it wasn’t only the 7,000 fans in attendance who were totally shocked by what was shown on the arena’s multiple screens. Daisy Ridley was also totally surprised that the scene was included in the Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker reel, as she revealed to us backstage during the star-studded press line:

Having actually shot the scenes, Daisy Ridley obviously already knew that there is a point in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker where Rey carries the special weapon and wears that costume. Her surprise came from a different place – namely the shock that J.J. “King Of Secrets” Abrams would show such a massive thing to a humungous audience.

Those emotions transformed into something else when Daisy Ridley was with the D23 Expo audience, as she really loved hearing the reaction of the crowd. Everybody had their own response to it, whether it was a deep inhale, a scream, or an out loud “Holy shit!” (that last one was me), but needless to say there was a spectacular energy in the room.

Of course, as things stand we don’t fully know what to make of the Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker footage. The shots of Dark Side Rey didn’t really have any particular context. This could easily be a misdirect, and perhaps be from a dream sequence that shows what could happen if the main protagonist of the sequel trilogy went down the villain path – while in actuality she never diverts from being the hero.

CinemaBlend actually got to speak to a number of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker stars at D23 Expo 2019, including not only Daisy Ridley, but also John Boyega, Anthony Daniels, and BB-8. You can watch our interviews with them below!

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker will be bringing a legendary era of cinema to an end this December, as the saga that began with the original 1977 film plays out its final chapter.


Disney Releases First Look Pic of Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil – Hollywood Reporter

August 24th, 2019

In character, the actress sports Cruella’s signature two-shade hair color and is accompanied by several Dalmation dogs.

At the D23 Expo in Anaheim on Saturday, Disney revealed a first look at Emma Stone in character as Cruella de Vil in Cruella, a live-action interpretation of the villain from 1961’s 101 Dalmations. 

The film, helmed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, also stars Emma Thompson. In Disney’s tweet sharing the photo, Stone appears with Cruella’s signature two-shade hair color, accompanied by several Dalmation dogs. Her henchmen stand in the background. 

The film is billed as an origin story set in the 1980s, following a young, punk-ish Cruella de Vil. The character, known for kidnapping puppies to use their fur to make luxury coats, was last portrayed on the big screen by Glenn Close in the 1996 adaptation of 101 Dalmations

Disney confirmed that Cruella is set for release on May 28, 2021.


Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther’s Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two – Variety

August 24th, 2019

Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday.

The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and villain cosplay lined the halls and clamored for glimpses at everyone from Angelina Jolie to Dwayne Johnson.

“We mean it when we say you’re not fans, you’re family,” said studio chief creative officer and co-chair Alan Horn, in introducing the lineup.

Here are some key takeaways:

Kelly Marie Tran and Oscar Isaac of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

Star Wars Comes in For a Landing

We’ve heard before that “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” would end the saga kicked off in 2015 by “The Force Awakens.” The former’s director J.J. Abrams, flanked by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, went as far as to say it would complete the arc of franchise films put forth since the 1977 original.

It might sound like classic studio hype that serves to invoke nostalgia in a rabid fan base, but something about Abrams’ sentiment felt definitive — especially in light of the overall mega-deal he just signed at Warner Bros.

Kennedy promised fans the film would be “incredibly fun.” Abrams took a sentimental route, and said the film was a love letter to the late Carrie Fisher.

Eternals Marvel Disney D23

Marvel is a Star Magnet

After completing the historic Infinity Saga and bidding farewell to Robert Downey Jr., the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not short of stars to fill its many roles. Hotly rumored for a day prior, “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington joined the cast of “The Eternals,” a relatively unknown Marvel property about aliens who have lived thousands of years on earth.

Harington will not star as one of the ancient creatures, which include Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Richard Madden and Jolie. He rounds out the cast with “Crazy Rich Asians” star Gemma Chan and indie actor Barry Keoghan.

Don’t count out the comic studio’s existing megastars. “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler made an appearance at D23 (a bonus in a presentation similar to the one Marvel made in July at San Diego Comic-Con) to announce a sequel with Chadwick Boseman will hit theaters on May 6, 2020.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Director Dan Scanlon, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, and Producer Kori Rae of 'Onward' took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019 in Anaheim, Calif. 'Onward' will be released in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Controversy Does Not Deter Disney Fans

Contentious custody battles over Spider-Man between Sony Pictures and Disney executives? No big deal.

After a week of headlines over a creative divorce that will see Sony produce new Spider-Man films with star Tom Holland outside the purview of Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, the young British star got a hero’s welcome in the D23 main hall.

“It’s been a crazy week,” the actor admitted, “and I love you all from the bottom of my heart, and I love you 3000.”

He made the remarks standing beside another MCU star, Chris Pratt of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as both men will lend their voices to the upcoming Disney-Pixar animated feature “Onward.”

Similarly, Walt Disney Studios president of production Sean Bailey showed an extended sizzle from next year’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan.” The film has been mired in political strife between mainland China and Hong Kong, as has its star Crystal Liu. The footage, which included glimpses of battle and memorable moments from the animation like Mulan’s presentation to her village matchmaker, played big.

Liu did not turn up at the event, but a swift and polite conversation was had with the film’s director Niki Caro.

Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA.

‘Cruella’ Rocks 

While the Friday audience at the Disney Plus presentation was treated to a trailer for the live-action “Lady and the Tramp,” where the film will exclusively debut, WDS brought a similar property with a rebellious flair.

Emma Stone’s “Cruella,” the back story behind the stylish villain of “101 Dalmatians,” has a surprisingly edgy twist: it is set in the 1970s punk scene in London. Stone rocked a wild curly wig in Cruella’s signature black-and-white tones, wielding dogs on chains with her goons lingering in the background. Check it out here.

Welcome to Dwayne’s Jungle

One of the founding attractions at Disneyland was the Jungle Cruise. It’s a riverboat excursion that lets guests face off against pirates, wild animals and the elements in a quest for thrilling adventures.

It’s also a big gamble for WDS, which is entrusting America’s sweethearts Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in shepherding an adaptation of the ride as a narrative film. She’s a spry and bold academic looking to assemble a magic weapon. He’s a swashbuckling boat captain trying to pay off debts to a mustache-twirling benefactor (Paul Giamatti). Their paths cross and sparks fly.

Johnson seemed to set — and then meet — expectations in the same breath, speaking after showing a trailer surrounding his character. The “Hobbs & Shaw” star referenced Walt Disney himself, saying at his first-ever park, “he had one baby. That baby was Jungle Cruise. He was the first skipper.” The star promised he and Blunt wouldn’t let Walt down, and deliver a film akin to “Romancing the Stone,” featuring “heroic men kicking ass and saving the girl.”

Blunt had the last word, and showed a second trailer built around her own character.

The Simpsons Join the Family — On the Big Screen?

One of the content gems Disney assumed control of in its acquisition of 20th Century Fox this year was Matt Groening’s iconic TV series “The Simpsons.” In a breakout conversation running parallel to the Disney Studio presentation, creatives let it slip that the Springfield family will likely head back to the big screen for a sequel to their 2007 feature debut. Likewise, a spinoff show is being discussed for Disney Plus.

Will Thorne contributed to this report.


Suspected killer’s father seeks video of son’s ‘last will and testament’ – Times Colonist

August 24th, 2019

The father of one of the Port Alberni men suspected of killing three people in northern B.C. is fighting to get access to a video containing his son’s “last will and testament.”

The search for Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, spanned several provinces and lasted almost three weeks. The bodies of the two teens were found Aug. 7 in northern Manitoba. They died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

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In an Aug. 21 email to Alan Schmegelsky’s lawyer, the RCMP acknowledge the existence of a video in which Bryer Schmegelsky describes what he wants to happen to his body after his death.

The RCMP say the video has been released to Bryer Schmegelsky’s mother as his next of kin, and they will not be sharing the video with his father.

The email also says police plan to release information about the video to media in the next couple of weeks, and ask that this information be kept private.

Alan Schmegelsky’s lawyer, Sarah Leamon, said he wants access to the video in order to find closure after his son’s death.

“Like any father, my client is just seeking to have access to his son’s last will and testament so that he can get some final closure on the situation,” Leamon said. “He’s been unable to do that without access to the video.”

Leamon said she is keeping all options open to obtain access to the video for Schmegelsky.

The RCMP did not respond to requests for comment.

Bryer Schmegelsky and McLeod were charged in the death of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, whose body was found July  19 two kilometres from the pair’s burned-out pickup truck near Dease Lake.

The pair are also suspects in the deaths of 24-year-old American Chynna Deese and 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler. The couple were found July 15 on the side of the Alaska Highway, near Liard Hot Springs. They had been shot and killed.

Schmegelsky and McLeod were initially considered missing, but RCMP later announced they were suspects in the three homicides.

The search for the two Port Alberni men spread from northern B.C. to Gillam, Man., where their bodies were found in dense brush on Aug. 7.

RCMP said the two had been dead for a number of days before their bodies were found, but the exact date of their deaths is not known. They were found about eight kilometres from a burned-out Toyota Rav4 belonging to Dyck.

Two firearms were found with the bodies, and a forensic analysis is underway to determine whether the weapons are connected with the three homicides.

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Man, 91, who died outside Oakville retirement home identified as Edmund Ferrari –

August 24th, 2019

Halton police homicide unit is investigating the death of a 91-year-old man outside a retirement home in Oakville on Saturday.

The victim has been identified as Edmund Ferrari, of Oakville. 

Emergency crews were called to the area near Church and Allan streets around 4:40 p.m.

Insp. Ivan L’Ortye with Halton Regional Police said EMS found a man on the sidewalk with obvious signs of chest trauma.

Paramedics tried to save his life, but L’Ortye said the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

L’Ortye said their investigation led them to belive that the incident is “suspicious” and the homicide unit has been called in to take over the investigation.

Car seen leaving area before body found

Meanwhile, police are looking for a man, described as a “potential witnesses” who was seen in the area of the incident.

He is described as between 30 to 40 years old, average build with shoulder-length hair. He was dressed in a black top, black pants — possibly with reflective stripe —  and was seen leaving in a newer model 4-door black, VW Golf.

Halton police released this photo of a vehicle seen leaving the area of Allan and Church streets shortly after the body was found. (Halton Police Service )


Police also released a video that shows the car leaving the area shortly before Ferrari was found. 

Police are asking anyone with information to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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Reporter’s Notebook: Impressions of the Hong Kong protesters – Global News

August 24th, 2019

Israeli drone falls, another explodes over Beirut, says Hezbollah official – The Globe and Mail

August 24th, 2019

A Hezbollah official said Sunday that an Israeli drone went down over the Lebanese capital of Beirut and another exploded in the air, amid regional tensions between Israel and Iran.

Residents of the Iranian-backed group’s stronghold in southern Beirut reported one large explosion that shook the area early Sunday, triggering a fire. They said the nature of the blast in the Moawwad neighbourhood was not immediately clear, but said it may have been caused by an Israeli drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighbouring Syria.

They said they heard an aircraft flying just before the blast and reported later that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group sealed off the area. The blast occurred near the militant group’s media office in the Moawwad district.

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The Hezbollah official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as the person was not authorized to speak on the record to journalists. No details were immediately available. Journalists on the scene were not allowed to film or take pictures. One building appeared to be slightly damaged where the drone went down. A man was seen taking away metal parts in a white plastic bag that he said contained parts of the aircraft that went down.

Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanese airspace and have struck inside neighbouring Syria from Lebanon on numerous occasions.

A few hours earlier, late Saturday, the Israeli military attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.

The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.

On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack by Israeli warplanes a “major operational effort.”

Syrian state TV said the country’s air defences had responded to “hostile” targets over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.

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In recent days, U.S. officials have said that Israeli strikes have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a monthlong war in 2006. The volatile border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since.

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Halton police investigating 91-year-old man’s ‘suspicious’ death in Oakville – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

August 24th, 2019

Bryann Aguilar,
Published Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:26PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:43PM EDT

The homicide unit is investigating the ‘suspicious’ death of a 91-year-old man near an Oakville retirement home on Saturday, Halton police say.

Emergency crews were called around 4:40 p.m. in the area of Church and Allan streets, north of Lakeshore Road East.

Police said they located a man on the sidewalk with obvious signs of trauma to the chest.

Paramedics performed lifesaving measures but police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We’re investigating the situation right now. We don’t know the cause of his injury,” Halton police Insp. Ivan L’Ortye told reporters at the scene.

Police are looking for a potential witness who might have been in the area when the incident happened.

He is described as male, black, between 30-40 years old, with an average build, and shoulder length black hair. He was wearing a black top, black pants, and possibly with reflective stripe.

Police said he was last seen in a newer model 4-door, dark-coloured Volkswagen Golf,  travelling southbound on Allan Street before turning right to westbound on Lakeshore.

“We would like to talk this person,” said L’Ortye.

No suspect information has been released.

“There’s no immediate threat to public safety within this area,” said police.

Robin Ashwell who resides in the area told CP24 that he did not expect an incident like this would happen in their quiet neighbourhood.

Police are asking anyone who was in the area between 4:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

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