The panel screened a sneak peak of the episode that showed Archie (K.J. Apa) in his blood-stained letterman jacket, talking to his friends about the shooting. They appear to be at a hospital, which at least should indicate that Frank didn’t die at the scene of the crime. There’s also speculation in the clip that the shooting may have been a hit.
SAN DIEGO — Just one day after The Hollywood Reporter posted a story alleging Ben Affleck is being pushed out as Batman in the DC Extended Universe, the actor took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con and put the rumors to bed.
“Let me be very clear, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest fucking part in any movies,” he said. “I’m so thrilled to do it. I know there’s been some misconceptions because maybe I wasn’t enthusiastic about it.” But, he added, “It’s fucking amazing.”
Affleck — who was joined on stage by Ezra Miller (The Flash), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) — will next appear as Batman in the upcoming Justice League movie, which will be released on Nov. 17. He’s also set to star in the 2018 Batman standalone film, titled The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves — whose newest film War for the Planet of the Apes just debuted in theaters on July 14.
“I would be a fucking ape on the ground for Matt Reeves,” Affleck said at the panel. “Don’t believe the hype,” Miller added.
“I’m really blown away and excited, and it’s a great time in the DC Universe,” Affleck said. “I think you’ll see why I’m so excited for Batman.”
Warner Bros. film studio chief Toby Emmerich previously debunked the report that Affleck was being pushed out, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can.”
Affleck planned to direct the 2018 Batman standalone movie, but stepped down in January. At the time, he said: “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. … I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Reeves, who was brought on as a director in February, dropped the script Affleck wrote with DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns, he said on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast earlier this month. “It’s a new story,” he said. “It’s just starting again. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
Affleck made his debut as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the long-anticipated sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel. His performance was not well received, and because Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then Suicide Squad were all met with indifference at best and mockery at worst, the fate of the interconnected DC films Warner Bros. was betting on seemed to be up in the air.
That is, until Wonder Woman changed everything earlier this summer and surpassed all of its DC predecessors at the box office, exceeding expectations in every single way. But time will tell if it’s enough to save Affleck’s Batman movie.
Casey Rackham contributed reporting to this story.
“The response has been amazing from both sides,” he said. “The executive producers on both shows have been in touch to say they loved it, as well as animators and art directors on the show. The cast of both have also been in touch to say they liked it.”
John Heard, the Emmy-nominated actor who starred in a string of popular films in the 1980s and ’90s, including playing the role of Macaulay Culkin’s father in the popular Home Alone movies, has died in California. He was 71.
His death was confirmed to BuzzFeed News by a spokesperson with the Santa Clara Medical Examiner’s Office in San Jose (The spokesperson listed his age at 71, but it appears elsewhere online at 72).
Heard had been recovering in a hotel from back surgery, Variety reported.
After establishing himself as a theater actor in the 1970s, Heard made the cross-over into films.
“I’m a competent actor, I guess, but I wouldn’t say I’m burning up the boards with my insight or genius,” he told the New York Times in a 1977 interview.
In the 1988 film Big, he played a jealous colleague of Tom Hanks’ character, competing for the affections of a female executive (Elizabeth Perkins).
He also starred opposite Bette Midler in Beaches (1988), Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in Awakenings (1990), Cuba Gooding Jr. in the boxing film Gladiator (1992), and Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief (1993).
But it was his role as Peter McAllister, the hapless father who unintentionally leaves his son behind during a family vacation in Home Alone (1990), that would prove to be his most memorable role.
Although not a critical success, the film, in which the child star Macaulay Culkin set a series of booby traps when thieves attempt to burgle his family home, became a beloved icon of ’90s pop culture.
Directed by Chris Columbus off a script by John Hughes, the film was a box office behemoth, earning hundreds of millions of dollars. By the time it finished its cinema run, Home Alone was the third-biggest grossing movie of all time, behind only Star Wars and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Heard reprised his role alongside Catherine O’Hara, who played his wife, in the 1992 sequel, in which Donald Trump also made a brief cameo.
“[O’Hara] and I were the only two people in [Home Alone] who didn’t know how funny the movie was, because we were the parents that had left our child, and she had to run around hysterically, having abandoned a 7-year-old or whatever he was,” Heard told the AV Club in 2015.
“But when they did the second one, we knew we could just be a couple of goofballs,” he said. “We clearly weren’t very bright or something and just didn’t get it together. Apparently we didn’t know how to count.”
Heard also starred on television, appearing on CSI: Miami, Prison Break: Resurrection, and The Sopranos, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. He told the AV Club that he scored the role of Detective Vin Makazian in the mobster show after meeting star James Gandolfini in a gym.
He also appeared in the 2013 TV movie Sharknado, which he said he predicted would be a cult smash. When his agent called to ask if he wanted to be in the movie about sharks falling from the sky, Heard said he told her, “Definitely. That is going to be a huge hit. That is going to put to rest the Home Alone dad image. I’m going to be the Sharknado drunk instead, hopefully.”
Actor Jeff Bridges was among those paying tribute to Heard on Saturday.
After Netflix released its first trailer for To the Bone, a film about a young woman with anorexia, it didn’t take long for people to share a range of complicated feelings on the subject. Without having even seen the film, a lot of viewers were worried about the way eating disorders would be portrayed onscreen and that this piece of media could be more harmful than helpful to those in recovery.
Writer and director Marti Noxon did not anticipate that the general reaction to her film would mirror a fictional storyline in the movie. But in a classic example of life imitating art, Noxon has been forced to confront the same ideas and questions that are brought up in her own film: How do you create art about eating disorders that doesn’t glamorize it and potentially cause further harm?
“I hadn’t really thought about the film itself being a provocative piece of art, but I did think that that it would be interesting to show that it’s such a dicey thing trying to express yourself around such a hot topic,” Noxon told BuzzFeed News.
To the Bone, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and started streaming on Netflix earlier this month, tells the story of a 20-year-old college dropout named Ellen (Lily Collins) who struggles with anorexia. Ellen has been in and out of different treatment facilities and programs, and her battle with the eating disorder puts a strain on her family. She used to publish her eating disorder–related drawings online as a coping mechanism and a way of grappling with her disease. But her art garnered a significant following online, with lots of people idolizing her work and using it as thinspiration, in the process making Ellen a semifamous celebrity artist on Tumblr. One of her fans, however, kills themselves and sends Ellen the suicide note. The parents of that fan also mail Ellen explicit photographs of their daughter, blaming Ellen for the suicide.
Noxon said she didn’t realize it at the time of filming or even during its original conception, but creating a movie about anorexia ended up yielding similar reactions from viewers as Ellen’s online artwork did. After she completed To the Bone, Noxon said “it was a little bit of a house of mirrors” to witness people responding similarly to how some reacted to Ellen’s controversial drawings on the internet; there was a thin line between fiction and reality.
Noxon, who herself had an eating disorder in her teens and early twenties, drew from personal experiences when creating To the Bone. She agrees the film isn’t for everyone, and that it’s important for viewers to carefully consider if they’re “ready to consume it,” a process she understands firsthand.
“When I was actively on the brink of death, [my doctor didn’t want me] around a whole bunch of other anorexics,” she said. “But he does feel, now, that the movie is really important for people in a certain process in their recovery.”
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reports that a minimum of 30 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders. “The art has a right to exist,” Noxon said. “The world is full of intense things, and the worst possible conclusion, I think, would be that [the movie] shouldn’t exist.”
“I felt like I could see how someone would say it’s hurtful to make these images.”
When Noxon, who’s now 52, was dealing with these issues, the world was a different place than it is today, and the internet has changed the landscape of how we discuss eating disorders and other mental illnesses. While thinspo communities have existed prior to the internet, Tumblr, for example, which was founded in 2007, streamlined these communities and heightened their visibility to outsiders. Noxon believes it’s created a paradox for those with disorders and illnesses, in which going online can be “both really good and really bad.”
“Its proliferation of images can’t help but have some kind of subconscious effect on you,” the filmmaker said. “On the other hand, I feel like there’s a real burgeoning feminist discourse that’s happening because of the internet. Like-minded people are able to push forward a conversation that didn’t exist until women could really have a full-bodied voice that wasn’t censored by a kind of male-dominated media.”
Before making To the Bone, Noxon was already aware of anorexia communities on Tumblr because “as a recovered woman” she pays attention to what’s happening in the community. Her inspiration for the Tumblr artwork and her suicidal fan storyline, however, came from reading a graphic novel by a young woman who wrote about her experience with anorexia.
“I thought the images in it were so beautiful, but they were really painful,” she said. “I knew that it deserves to be in the world, but I also felt like I could see how someone would say it’s hurtful to make these images.”
There’s a great deal of shame surrounding eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and Noxon hopes To the Bone will combat that stigma. When people are “ashamed to admit it and confess that part of themselves,” she said, they sometimes resort to communicating with anonymous online communities instead of their families and other people who care about them.
“If people could talk more about it, maybe there wouldn’t be such a secret internet community of supporters around their fascination with it,” she said. “I do feel like when people take art or images or ideas and use them to harm themselves, there’s probably a bigger issue.”
Noxon emphasized that she is “so against any form of censorship,” but concedes that when dealing with such sensitive issues and depictions, “just the nature of acknowledging it could be activating for somebody.” The very existence of this film and others like it can be triggering for its intended audience.
“It’s such a strange time,” Noxon said. “On the one hand it feels like we’re living in a culture that’s so reckless and has such disregard for people’s feelings, and then on the other hand it’s like, everything needs a trigger warning.”
To the Bone has a warning of its own. Before the 107-minute movie begins, the following message appears on the screen: “The film was created by and with individuals who have struggled with eating disorders, and it includes realistic depictions that may be challenging for some viewers.”
Noxon said she agrees it’s “the most responsible thing” to do if you’re someone who creates content about eating disorders and other sensitive subject matters “because it’s prone to imitation.”
Netflix and Noxon also partnered with Project Heal, a nonprofit organization that provides funding and resources for people with eating disorders, to help viewers make sense of To the Bone. The organization released a discussion guide on its website that features sections like “Responsible Viewing,” “Parental Supervision,” and “Starting Conversations.” There’s also a resource guide for viewers, including information about eating-disorder recovery.
“The hope is that the film helps you see that you can still get a life.”
“I think that we did our very best to try to convey it in a way that was authentic and also shows that it is like a death and not fun and not glamorous,” she said. “But if simply seeing the images and seeing it represented is going to be potentially too provocative for someone, they need to check whether they’re ready to see it.”
Without ignoring the harsh realities and possible triggers To the Bone could prompt for viewers, the filmmaker wants those who watch the movie to take away a deeper understanding of what it’s like to battle anorexia. Noxon knows there’s nothing pretty about depicting eating disorders, but she wants those who suffer from them — and their loved ones too — to know there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.
“At my worst, I was trapped. I was absolutely miserable and desperate, and I thought there was no way out,” Noxon said. “The hope is that the film helps you see that you can still get a life, and find a beautiful one at that.”
Most of the time, audience members leaving a play in the middle is a sign of failure. But the cast and creative team behind 1984 see their walkouts as a sign they’re doing something right.
It’s not that they want you to leave the show before it’s over; it’s that the play, which opened on Broadway’s Hudson Theatre in June, is a deliberately harrowing experience — they know not everyone can make it through all 101 minutes. If you’re squirming in your seat, or compelled to bolt for the nearest exit, 1984 has done its job. Like the rats that the play’s hero, Winston (Tom Sturridge), fears above all else, the production gets under your skin.
“It’s a totally justified response to leave,” Sturridge told BuzzFeed News from his costar Olivia Wilde’s dressing room backstage at the Hudson. “That is a totally logical and fair response to seeing something that deeply upsetting, and we condone it.”
In this production of 1984, everyman protagonist Winston is aged down from his usual middle-aged portrayal in adaptations of George Orwell’s classic novel. In the dystopian world of the play (and the book before it), Winston works for the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to revise history to conform to the totalitarian Party’s version of events. When he meets and falls in love with Julia (Wilde), they join the Brotherhood and embark on a path of resistance against the Party and its mythic leader Big Brother.
The play, co-created and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, hews closely to the novel — not just in terms of plot, but with a style meant to reflect the experience of reading it. Icke and Macmillan have conceived of a thrilling, disorienting production in which the audience is forced to depend on a relentlessly unreliable narrator. This 1984 doesn’t shy away from the dark climax of the story, which sees Winston and Julia captured and brutally tortured. And while the production does hold back when it comes to the most graphic mutilation, it is, at times, an unbearably confronting experience, leading some audience members to flee.
“We did absolutely want to make the audience feel anxious in the way that the novel makes you feel anxious,” Icke said. “We always felt we would have failed catastrophically if the audience wasn’t unsettled in the same way as people who read the book for the first time. We really wanted the production, like any good thriller or horror movie, to engender in the audience real fear.”
When the actors hear and see the visceral reactions from the audience — even if, yes, at times, that means actual cries of alarm or people shuffling loudly in their seats — Wilde noted that means they’re paying close attention.
“Their energy totally dictates ours,” Sturridge said. “And this production in particular allows for a level of interaction that is different.”
Wilde smiled before adding, “Some of them get blood on them.”
It’s not just what’s onstage that makes 1984 such a distressing experience — it’s the real-world anxiety that audience members are bringing into the theater. The play unnerves because it speaks to our most pressing fears, even if the words themselves are decades old.
Projection particularly plays a major part in the heightened reactions to the play’s torture scene. It’s indeed ghastly, but carefully timed blackouts obscure the worst parts. The clever trick makes audiences feel like they’ve seen far more than they actually have, as some of 1984’s more frenzied reviews indicate. In the New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote, “The interrogations that Winston undergoes in the play’s second half are graphic enough to verge on torture porn.” That’s a curious description for a play that’s less violent than some productions of King Lear, let alone a Saw movie.
“If this was all science fiction, we wouldn’t have an emotional response.”
“Almost everything is left up the audience’s imagination, which is a far more dangerous and terrifying realm than on the stage,” Sturridge said. “We’re not enacting things that I think are gratuitous. What’s gratuitous is the audience’s mind.”
It’s purposefully unpleasant to watch, of course, just as it’s difficult to read about in the novel. Including it in the play was essential in order to stay true to the source material. “The book has way more torture and way more explicit descriptions of violence than we portray in our show,” Macmillan said. “If we didn’t try and attempt to stage some of that, it would be our squeamishness about that imposing itself on Orwell’s story rather than trying to put Orwell’s story on stage.”
Macmillan explained that their reference points were not horror movies but rather real-world atrocities like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. And that might be why some audience members are so disturbed by it: What they’re imagining when the lights go down isn’t just colored by the movies they’ve seen, but by the images of actual torture they’ve been exposed to over the years.
“The reason, unfortunately, that we can imagine so many of these horrible things is because we know that they’re happening in real life, right now, and that’s what we’re being faced with,” Wilde said. “If this was all science fiction, we wouldn’t have an emotional response to it.”
This production, of course, is being performed under the Trump administration, and for many on the left, concerns about government censorship and the propagation of lies have reached a fever pitch. It’s no coincidence that in January, Orwell’s 1949 novel jumped to the top of best-seller lists.
“When Kellyanne Conway used the term ‘alternative facts,’ she seemed to be speaking out of the Party playbook in Oceania,” Macmillan said. “This is a term that you can use from the White House. Facts can have an alternative.”
There’s a direct line between the “alternative facts” of an inauguration crowd size and the Party’s declaration that when it says so, “2 + 2 = 5.” 1984 has remained relevant for nearly 70 years, through wildly different presidencies — but when audience members see their fears played out onstage, that can be a terrifying experience.
“There’s nothing that’s happening in the production that isn’t also happening in reality.”
“Every age sees itself reflected,” Wilde said, quoting a line from the play and its source material. “It is something that you could feel a connection to no matter what era you were in. I think now more intensely than ever we’re feeling that connection — certainly in this country, certainly me.”
But 1984 is not about Donald Trump, and this particular production originated years before the current administration was in the White House. When it premiered at England’s Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, Macmillan said it felt prescient then, too, thanks to Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and the NSA revelations. “It felt like we’d somehow tapped into a political and ideological zeitgeist,” he said.
That wasn’t intentional — it’s just that when it comes to 1984, he and Icke would wager, there’s always good timing. They could have staged this same production under an Obama presidency or a theoretical Hillary Clinton presidency, he said, without changing anything. “It’s the strength of Orwell’s novel that I think there’s probably never been a time since it was published in 1949 that you could read this book and not think, Oh my gosh, you’re speaking directly to me,” Macmillan said.
Because of that, Icke and Macmillan didn’t change the play to make their production more expressly about Trump. For one thing, they weren’t looking to make a political statement, but they also knew audiences would immediately make a connection to Trump’s America without any prodding. Unlike the Public’s controversial Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, which overtly linked the titular character with Trump, the creators of 1984 eschewed, as Macmillan cheekily suggested, depicting Big Brother “with a blonde wig and a long red tie.”
Ultimately, the extreme response to this 1984 reflects the extreme climate it’s being presented in. As Wilde put it, “People are feeling a lot of intense emotions right now in this country, and a lot of rage, a lot of passion. And they’re looking to art to contextualize it.”
If 1984 is the scariest show on Broadway, that’s because, for many in the audience, the world is scarier than it’s ever been. And the lingering dread it instills in its viewers comes from the knowledge that leaving the theater — whether during the performance or after it’s over — won’t change that.
“There’s nothing that’s happening in the production that isn’t also happening in reality somewhere else in the world,” Macmillan said. “If [seeing this play] is the most shocking thing, if this is the most offensive thing that you’ve experienced that day, then you’re not really paying attention.”
Louis Peitzman is a senior entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Peitzman writes about and reports on theater, film, and television. Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Louis Peitzman at email@example.com.
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Harry, played by Billy Crystal, is a lonely man in the beloved classic, even though his apartment has a spectacular view of Manhattan. It was filmed at a real apartment building located at 57 E. 11th Street in Greenwich Village. Although in the movie, he could’ve rented his place for less than $1,700 a month, now it’d set him back $3,800 a month.
Confederate will take place “in an alternative timeline,” according to HBO’s press release, in which the southern states have created a nation where “slavery … has evolved into a modern institution,” and the North and South are divided by “the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone.”
Like Game of Thrones, the show will follow a large ensemble cast, including “freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall,” as Confederate progresses to “the Third American Civil War.”
The show — written by Weiss and Benioff, and executive produced by Weiss, Benioff, Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified, The Good Wife), Malcolm Spellman (Empire), Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones), and Bernadette Caulfield (Game of Thrones, Big Love) — will begin production after the final season of Game of Thrones.
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But now the real question: How did you feel about Ed Sheeran’s cameo?
I loved it! Thought it worked well with the show!!!
Honestly, I hated it. It was way too distracting and took me out of the show!
I don’t know her!