ENTERTAINMENT

James Gunn fired from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ after offensive tweets resurface

Disney fired director James Gunn from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the company confirmed at Comic-Con this week. The move came after highly offensive joke tweets dating from between 2008 and 2011 resurfaced. The tweets, which have since been deleted, make light of topics ranging from molestation and rape to pedophilia. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. 1. Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly ...

Wilson is like Longreads for podcasts

Meet Wilson, a new iPhone app that plans to change the way you discover and listen to podcasts. The company describes the app as a podcast magazine. It has the same vibe as Longreads, the curated selection of longform articles. With its minimalistic design and opinionated typography, Wilson looks like no other podcasting app. On an iPhone X, the black background looks perfectly black thanks to the OLED display. It feels like an intimate experience. Every week, the team selects a handful of podcast episodes all tied together by the same topic. Those topics can be the Supreme Court, the LGBTQ community, loneliness, dads, the World Cup… Each issue has a cover art and a short description. And the team also tells you why each specific podcast episode is interesting. In other words, Wilson isn’t...

Disney’s streaming service is resurrecting ‘The Clone Wars’

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series that ran on Cartoon Network for five seasons, is coming back. Created by George Lucas and overseen by Dave Filoni, the show depicted the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as new characters like Ahsoka Tano, during the titular Clone Wars. Fans praised its ability to showcase a wide range of stories, characters and even genres. The Clone Wars was cancelled after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, with a final batch of episodes known as “The Lost Missions” airing on Netflix. Characters and story elements were subsequently incorporated into the animated series Star Wars Rebels — and even into the latest film, Solo. Today at San Diego Comic-Con, Lucasfilm held a panel celebrating the show’s 10-year anniversary, where Filoni ann...

Comcast drops its pursuit of Fox, making way for Disney acquisition

Comcast announced this morning that it’s halting its efforts to acquire the film and television assets of 21st Century Fox. Disney made a deal to acquire those assets last year, but after a district court judge approved the merger of AT&T and Time Warner (despite the antitrust-related objections of President Trump’s Department of Justice), Comcast announced another, higher bid. That, in turn, prompted Disney to make an even higher offer of $71.3 billion (split between cash and stock). With Comcast dropping out, it seems like this bid will go through — if it can get regulatory approval. Comcast says that instead of continuing to pursue a Fox acquisition, it’s focusing on its offer to acquire British satellite broadcaster Sky. Another possible factor: The DOJ says it’s appealing the cour...

And now, here’s a ‘Trumpy Cat’ augmented reality app from George Takei

Anyone who follows George Takei on Twitter can tell you that Star Trek‘s original Sulu is not a fan of President Donald Trump. But he’s found a new way to express that criticism — not just in tweets, interviews and op-eds, but also in an augmented reality app called House of Cats. The app was built in partnership with Montreal-based development company BMAD, and it allows users to interact animated animal characters like Trumpy Cat, Meowlania, Vladdy Putin and Lil’ Rocket Pug. They can add their own voice recordings, superimpose the animals on real environments and take photos with them — Takei suggested including Trumpy Cat in photos of real-world protests. When I asked where the idea came from, Takei had a simple explanation : “The Internet loves the combination of politics and cats.” Wh...

This fan-made Uncharted movie starring Nathan Fillion proves video game movies don’t have to be awful

It’s not exactly a controversial statement: movies based on video games are, generally, bad. See: Assassins Creed. Or that weird mess that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Or that Super Mario movie where Bowser (renamed “President Koopa” for some reason) was basically just a dude with bad hair for half the movie. Turns out, as this live action fan film based on Naughty Dog’s Uncharted suggests, they can be done right. [embedded content] This fan-made short is about as unofficial as can be, as noted by a disclaimer that pops up on screen right off the bat. And yet… it does a better job of capturing the feel of its source material than pretty much any game-based movie before it. And it stars Nathan Fillion! Captain friggin’ Reynolds himself! Fans have been saying for ages that Nathan Fillion...

Netflix experiments with promoting its shows on the login screen

Netflix is testing a new way to promote its original shows – right on the login screen. A company spokesperson confirmed the streaming service is currently experimenting with a different login screen experience which replaces the black background behind users’ names and profile thumbnails with full-screen photos promoting a Netflix Original series or special, like “BoJack Horseman,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Dark,” “My Next Guest…”, “13 Reasons Why,” and several others. We first noticed the change on a TV connected to a Roku media player and on a Fire TV, but Netflix says the test is running “for TV,” which means those on other TV platforms may see the promoted shows as well. (Our Roku TV, however, had the same black background on the login screen, we should note.) The promoted shows are...

The final season of ‘Unreal’ debuts on Hulu

Unreal, the critically acclaimed series that takes viewers behind the scenes of fictional reality TV show Everlasting, has moved to Hulu . Today’s announcement confirms earlier reports that Hulu was negotiating with A+E Studios to get first dibs on Unreal‘s fourth and final season. The show’s first three seasons aired on Lifetime, with the third season recently wrapping up just a few months ago, in April. Now all eight episodes of Season 4 are live on Hulu — a departure from the streaming service’s standard approach of releasing just one or two episodes of its original shows each week. Unreal once again stars Shiri Appleby as Rachel and Constance Zimmer as Quinn, producers who return to Everlasting for an “All Stars” season that brings back old contestants. While Unreal’s cable audience ha...

People see me as a playboy – Lolu ex BBNaija housemate

Having worked as publicist for stars such as Tiwa Savage, Toke Makinwa and Joseph Benjamin, Ex Big Brother Naija housemate, Omololu Shomuyiwa,popularly known as Lolu, decided to participate in the third season of the reality show in search of a platform to project himself as a brand to reckon with. Since the show ended, the University of Ilorin graduate of Sociology has been working to that effect, albeit in a silent mode. In this interview, ‘the wordsmith of double wahala’ as he is referred to, recounts his experience on the show. You were perceived as a pretender in the house, was that a strategy for the game? To be honest, I’m one person that makes an effort to be as real as possible. Being myself was what got me into the house in the first place so why would I try ...

There’s now just one Blockbuster remaining in the US

And then there was one. With the impending closures of Blockbuster locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, just one single store will remain in the country, Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday. The two locations in Alaska will officially close their respective doors on July 16, leaving just one location in Bend, Ore. “…it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers,” Blockbuster Alaska General Manager Kevin Daymude said in a Facebook post announcing the closures. “Both [the district manager] and I have been with the company since 1991 and have had great memories throughout our career. Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years. I can’t tell you how much it means to us.” Following the initial closures on the 16th, the locations will reopen on the 17th through the...

For the first time, Netflix tops HBO for most Emmy nominations

Netflix has broken HBO’s 17-year streak as the most nominated network at the Emmy Awards. In the nominations released this afternoon, Netflix came out slightly ahead, with 112 nominations compared to HBO’s 108. Those include Best Comedy nods for GLOW and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as Best Drama nominations for The Crown and Stranger Things. Other Netflix shows got some love as well. Jordan Crook, my co-host on the Original Content podcast, will be glad to know that Jason Bateman was nominated for his work as both actor and director on Ozark. Meanwhile, Black Mirror‘s “USS Callister” episode was nominated for Best Television Movie. The other big streaming services had good news, too. Hulu received 27 nominations, with last year’s Best Drama winner The Handmaid’s Tale up for the big ...

Apple is shuttering its photo printing service

Buried among all of this morning’s MacBook news that Apple will be pulling the plug on its Photo Print Products services. That tidbit was first noted by the folks at 9to5Mac, courtesy of an app pop-up noting that the service will sunset at the end of September. The service has been around for a while, dating back to 2002, in those dark days when Photos was still iPhoto. The  project was designed to give users a more permanent/tactile take on all of the shots they captured on their iPhones. It was a pretty charming artifact from the company that included a number of different print out formats, like photo books and calendar. Apple has no doubt seen the writing on the wall for a while now. Thanks in large part to the iPhone and photography apps, the photo book just doesn’t carry the cache it...