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Lord of the Rings’ Dominic Monaghan Joins Star Wars: Episode IX

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Lord of the Ring’s beloved hobbit Merry, Dominic Monaghan, will reunite with director JJ Abrams for the forthcoming finale to the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode IX.

The actor previously starred as Charlie Pace in Abrams’ ABC television series Lost. Monaghan has been vocal about his desire to appear in a Star Wars film, and even pleaded with the director to appear in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, but was rebuked as Abrams wished to cast mostly unknowns. Now, however, as Abrams is set to complete the sequel trilogy, Monaghan has joined the cast in a presently-unknown capacity.

Monaghan, who also starred in director Duncan Jones’ Mute for Netflix earlier this year, joins a cast which includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourde, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, and the late Carrie Fisher (who will make an appearance via unused footage from previous films).

Shooting began earlier this month on the conclusion to the episodic Star Wars films, which is still awaiting an official announcement regarding its subtitle (heavily rumoured to be Star Wars: Episode IX – The New Order). The flick is expected to debut on the 18th of December, 2019.

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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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