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Alec Baldwin Drops Out Of Joker, Will No Longer Play Batman’s Father

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Just a couple of days after it was announced that Emmy award-winning actor Alec Baldwin would be portraying Thomas Wayne (a.k.a. the father of Bruce Wayne / Batman) in director Todd Phillips’ forthcoming Joker, the veteran thespian has departed the role.

In an interview with USA Today in which Baldwin was asked about the role, he replied “I’m no longer doing that movie. I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part.”

Despite citing “scheduling” conflicts as his reason for exiting the project, it appears to have been more a problem of ego and a fear of typecasting.  When he was hired, rumours began swirling that the actor had signed on to portray Thomas Wayne in a similar vein to his comic performance as President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, a rumour he took to Twitter to dispel, writing: “Let me state for the record, that I have NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manqué. That is not happening. Not. Happening.”

Despite superficial similarities (both Wayne and Trump are influential billionaire company-owners with their names on the sides of skyscrapers) it’s hard to imagine Baldwin’s volatile, petulant portrayal of the Cheeto-in-Chief being a fit for the genteel and kind-hearted physician-turned-philanthropist, whose death alongside his wife Martha would eventually inspire their young son to become the caped crusader. But it appears that the mere mention of said similarities may have pushed Baldwin away from the role, and as such Joker is now searching for a new daddy for the dark knight.

Joker will be a gritty origin story for the clown prince of crime, and will see Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. The film will also star Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron. Sources close to the production stress that the feature will be separate from Warner Bros.’ DCEU shared universe (which encompasses Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and the upcoming Aquaman). Musician Jared Leto is still signed on to portray the Joker in the DCEU, and made his first appearance in 2016’s much-maligned cinematic abortion Suicide Squad.

Joker is eyeing a 2019 release.

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Pharrell Williams To Narrate Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Grinch

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Grammy and Oscar award-winning artist Pharrell Williams has joined the cast of Universal Pictures and Illumination’s The Grinch, as the film’s narrator.

Williams scored all three of the entries in the Despicable Me franchise, and his song Happy (from the second film) went 7x platinum in the US. Fellow rapper Tyler the Creator has scored The Grinch along with veteran Batman composer Danny Elfman, and has written a solo track entitled I Am The Grinch for the feature.

Doctor Strange and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the film’s title curmudgeonly creature, and Rashida Jones, Keenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury round out the rest of the cast. Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney will direct, and the flick is scheduled for an early November release, this year.

Illumination’s animated The Grinch also comes a whole eighteen years after the Jim Carrey-fronted live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book. So yeah, now you feel old, huh?

Pharrell is currently gearing up to release his next collection of Adidas trainers, entitled SOLARHU, which will go live in five days. They are expected to sell out within hours.

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Emilia Clarke Joins Paul Feig’s Holiday Comedy Last Christmas

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Game of Thrones’ mother of dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, has joined the cast of Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s next comedy, Last Christmas.

Clarke will star opposite Crazy Rich Asians’ breakout hunk Henry Golding, in what’s being described as a holiday-themed romance set in London. Little else is known about the project, aside from the fact that national treasure Emma Thompson has written the script with her creative partner Bryony Kimmings.

The film will be financed and distributed by Universal Pictures, following Feig’s public breakaway from Sony over his 2017 flick Ghostbusters.

Emilia Clarke can most recently be seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story as Qi’ra, crime lord and childhood sweetheart to the legendary scoundrel. Solo is due for release on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K on the 24th of September. Crazy Rich Asians is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A. Last Christmas is eyeing a Winter 2019 debut.

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Ken Jeong Joins Australian Sci-Fi Sequel Occupation: Rainfall

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Crazy Rich Asians actor and stand-up comedian Ken Jeong has joined the cast of Australian director Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall.

The science fiction sequel to this year’s Occupation, which saw a group of small town civilians fight back against an alien invasion, will pick up two years after the first film – as the band of resistance fighters discovers a plot that could bring the one-sided war to a decisive end.

Occupation starred Temuera Morrison, Dan Ewing and Stephanie Jacobson, who will all return for the sequel.

“We’re building a whole new world with Occupation: Rainfall, and to have Ken join the film alongside our awesome returning cast members is mind-blowing,” Sparke said in a statement, “I’ve admired his work and his successes for years, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the project when he arrives here to shoot in October.”

Ken Jeong is currently lining up to become one of the judges on Fox’s American remake of popular South Korean singing competition Masked Singer. He is also prepping for his first ever Netflix comedy special; entitled First Date, and directed by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu.

Occupation: Rainfall is eyeing a 2019 release.

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