Todd Haynes talks about his film 'May December' as it opens the New York Film Festival

François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix

The 61st New York Film Festival officially begins Friday with a screening of Todd Haynes’ latest film, May December.

Academy Award winners Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore star as Elizabeth and Gracie – the former a famous actress, the latter the controversial subject of an upcoming biopic. Elizabeth travels to Gracie’s hometown to study her before taking on the role, which leads to shifting power dynamics and realizations for Charles Melton’s Joe, Gracie’s much younger husband.

Haynes and screenwriter Samy Burch answered questions in a press conference earlier on Friday. Burch was a recent addition to the lineup, now able to promote the film following the WGA ending their strike on Wednesday.

“To have Samy with us, it helps us a little bit with the grief of not having the actors with us,” Haynes said.

Haynes also said he had been wanting to work with Portman for a while. When they came across Burch’s script, they knew May December was the project to finally make it happen.

“Natalie and I had discussed other projects in the past, so there was an interest on both our parts to try to find something that we could do together,” Haynes said. “This script was something else and left an impression on me that stayed with me."

Burch said that while she wasn’t directly inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, she did take inspiration from the tabloids for her script.

“I really wanted a fictional story that dealt with this tabloid culture of the ‘90s that has kind of seemingly led into this true crime biopic world we're in right now,” Burch said. “I think that that was the real jumping off point for me.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Saw X' scene had so much screaming, the cops reportedly showed up at an editor's door


So how intense is the new Saw X? Well, according to director Kevin Greutert, while the movie was being edited, the cops showed up in response to complaints someone "was being tortured to death."

For fans of the billion-dollar splatter franchise, Greutert's anecdote to NME will only boost the movie's bottom line at the box office this weekend.

The filmmaker explains first assistant editor Steve Forn was hard at work at his office in North Hollywood finishing the sound design for a scene that features the puzzle-playing Jigsaw killer's "eye vacuum trap." As the doorbell camera footage reportedly proves, Greutert says, "There was a knock at the door." Forn answered, only to find officers from the Los Angeles Police Department. They told him, "The neighbors [have been] calling and saying someone's being tortured to death in here."

The director says of Forn, "And he was like, 'Actually, I'm just working on a movie ... You can come in and see it if you want?'"

Greutert recalls, "The cops started laughing! They said, 'We want to but, you know, you're all right.' It must have been a pretty realistic performance!" he said of Isan Beomhyun Lee's screaming.

"Plus Steve is such a mild-mannered guy. I can only imagine the look on his face when he realized what was happening!" he continued.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

With the writers strike resolved, Marvel Studios reportedly getting ready to work on 'X-Men'

Marvel Studios

The uncanny X-Men have faced innumerable foes over the years, but the mutants were powerless against the WGA strike.

However, with the stoppage over, Deadline says Marvel Studios is ramping back up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first X-Men film. That said, this is early days for what has been among the most anticipated team-ups since Marvel Studios began: The trade says the Disney-owned studio will start interviewing writers in the fall to hear their take on the characters, including Wolverine, Cyclops and The Beast.

20th Century Fox formerly owned the rights to those characters, which it had licensed from Marvel, starting with 2000's X-Men. For all its blockbuster success over the last decade, Marvel Studios was legally prevented from using any of Marvel's own characters that were licensed by Fox, including the X-Men — indeed, even the word "mutant" was off-limits in Marvel scripts.

However, Disney's 2019 acquisition of 20th Century Fox brought all those formerly Fox-owned characters into the fold, which is why Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan was finally allowed to say the M-word in the close of her Disney+ show Ms. Marvel.

It's also how Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool and his buddies — including Hugh Jackman's Wolverine — will finally appear in the MCU with the forthcoming Deadpool 3.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Heavy rains and flooding shut down SAG-AFTRA picket lines and more in New York City

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Torrential rains are wreaking havoc in New York City Friday, and they've apparently gotten SAG-AFTRA picket plans all wet, too.

The union has canceled planned protests in the Big Apple for the day, according to an official post on X, formerly Twitter. "Stay safe and see you on the picket lines next week," the message said.

Incidentally, it's not the first time New York weather-related abnormalities crimped picket plans: smoke from Canadian wildfires caused a pause in June and extreme heat led to a delay in July.

That said, the soggy city is seeing other affects: Alamo Drafthouse is closing its theaters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island "until further notice" because of flooding.

A State of Emergency declaration was made by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, as flooding causes issues with the roads and rails.

The New York Mets home game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field Friday night has been postponed, as is the preseason matchup between the New York Rangers and New Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

However, at least as of 3 p.m. Friday, the show will apparently still go on, on Broadway.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Max unveils first House of Halloween collection

Courtesy Max

The streaming service Max is getting into the spirit of the season with its first House of Halloween collection.

Digging into its expansive library, Max has subdivided its scares into various categories so that thrill-seekers of all ages can get in on the fun.

"Sweet Treat" highlights family-friendly titles like Coraline, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the reality competition Halloween Cookie Challenge; "Scary, But Not Scary-Scary" includes the likes of HBO's The Last of Us and True Blood; "Haunt Your Dreams" goes for full-on horror.

That's where you'll find movies like Annabelle and the It films, as well as The Nun and the movie considered to be the scariest of all time, The Exorcist, which is turning 50 this year.

There's also a "Costume Inspiration" section to give you some ideas, with trick-or-treat time get-up inspo from projects ranging from The Flash to And Just Like That... to Our Flag Means Death.

Good luck finding somebody at the party who gets the latter reference, but you'll be best friends if you do, guaranteed.

Max also boasts plenty of animated family adventures for the season, including Halloween-themed episodes of Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Director John Carney mixes music and family drama in 'Flora and Son'

Apple TV+

Director John Carney is back with another movie about how music brings us all together. Flora and Son drops Friday on Apple TV+, and Carney tells ABC Audio he enjoyed balancing the musical elements inside the dramatic family story.

“I think it's really fun to try and see if you can have your cake and eat it,” Carney, who also directed musical films like Once and Begin Again, says. “Tell a Hollywood musical story with tons of songs and music, but at the same time, do an emotional drama about how hard it is to be alive.”

Leading the film is Eve Hewson, who stars as Flora, a single mother who learns to play guitar to bond with her son. Hewson is the daughter of U2 frontman Bono, and Carney says Eve wasn’t stressed about any comparisons people might make.

“She didn't let that affect her, which is kind of amazing if you think about it,” Carney says. “If my father was, you know, John Huston or an incredible filmmaker, I think I'd be nervous about making a movie. She wasn't remotely nervous because she didn't try to come on screen and sing her heart out. It was more about the lyric writing and what she was saying and giving it a shot.”

That focus on expressing oneself through music is what Carney says he enjoys most about creating it.

“A real expression of art is when you're happiest when you're doing it. Not when it's finished or when you're selling it or talking about it, but actually when you're lost in the moment,” Carney says. “I seem to be more comfortable talking about characters who aren't perfect, but are kind of flawed and messy, but they manage somehow to sort of make something beautiful and add something to the world.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Continental' series director Albert Hughes on playing in the "sandbox" of 1970s New York

The Continental © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC

The second of three episodes of The Continental: From the World of John Wick is now streaming on Peacock.

Set in "the hell-scape of 1970s New York City," it was up to director Albert Hughes, as well as Wick franchise producers Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and their production team, to recreate the bad old days of the Big Apple — very far from New York, no less.

Lee explains, "We scouted all over and then ended up in Budapest, which is amazing." She thanked "an incredible team that ... helped build ... The Continental and '70s New York and still give it that kind of slick John Wick vibe on a ... smaller budget."

Hughes adds, "When we did Dead Presidents in 1994 ... we're doing the '70s, you're a little closer to that period. And they hadn't yet cleaned up Times Square, and the Bronx and Harlem. So we were able to do it. You know, even now in New York, you can't ... get away with it."

"Even modern-day John Wick ... it's an impression of New York," he continues. "So what's our impression of the 1970s New York? That starts with disco for me and music and classic rock and the style of the '70s, the sanitation strike, you know, all that good stuff."

The location was sweetened with establishing shots of the New York City skyline, thanks to some digital artistry. Hughes explains, "We had to get reference pictures of what buildings weren't there and take them out. We had to put the Twin Towers in."

But sorry, Statue of Liberty wonks: The visual effects supervisor pointed out that the flame atop Lady Liberty's torch isn't period-accurate and offered to fix it.

"I'm like ... no, we shouldn't waste money on that," Hughes laughs.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reality Roundup: 'Vanderpump Rules'' Tom Sandoval announces new podcast, and more

Have no fear, your reality roundup is here! Here's a look at what's happened in the world of reality television this week.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation (MTV)
Jersey Shore Family Vacation star, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, and his wife, Lauren, are expanding their family once more. In a heartwarming Instagram announcement, the couple shared their excitement for their upcoming third child, due in March 2024. Alongside a sweet photo featuring their 9-month-old daughter, Mia, and two-year-old son Romeo Reign, holding sonograms, they wrote, "Good things come in threes. Adding another pumpkin to our patch Baby #3 coming March 2024." 

Vanderpump Rules (Bravo)
Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval has announced his new podcast, Everybody Loves Tom. The debut episode premiered Thursday, September 28th across podcast platforms, with subsequent episodes premiering weekly on Thursdays. The show, hosted by the actor, model and mixologist, will feature lively discussions with a diverse lineup of celebrities, musicians, and friends, per the presser. Listeners can expect candid conversations covering VPR secrets, music, fashion, cocktails, and more.

Bachelor in Paradise (ABC)
Bachelor in Paradise lovebirds Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert are married! They exchanged vows on September 23 at Beyul Retreat in Meredith, Colorado, a location with special significance to Unglert. The charming "Camp Bell" wedding theme paid tribute to Miller-Keyes' affection for summer camp and honored Unglert's late mother, Debbie Bell, who passed away from breast cancer during his teenage years. In a touching gesture, the couple intends to adopt the Bell surname, preserving Debbie's memory as they embark on this new chapter together.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here's a look at some of the new movies and TV shows streaming this weekend:

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: Watch The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, the first of Wes Anderson's four short films coming to Netflix this month.

The Great British Baking Show: Return to the tent and meet a whole new crop of bakers on The Great British Baking Show.

Reptile: A star-studded cast rounds out the thrilling new mystery film Reptile, where a detective uncovers the truth behind a brutal murder.

Love in Fairhope: From the producers of Vanderpump Rules, dive into the lives of five women at various life stages as they embark on a journey to find love in their small town of Fairhope, Alabama. 

Launchpad: The exciting season 2 highlights the work of six writers, five directors, and one multi-talented writer-director, all hailing from underrepresented backgrounds. 

Starstruck: Find out how to love and let go in season 3 of the new romantic comedy series.

Apple TV+
Flora and Son: An Irish mother learns how to play the guitar to connect with her son in the new movie.

Prime Video
The Boys: Fans of The Boys better check out Gen V, the Prime Video spin-off series set at a university for students with superpowers.

Victoria's Secret The Tour: The iconic fashion show is back and better with a part-fashion, part-documentary with a mission to empower women. 

Happy Streaming!

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Gayle King defends bestie Oprah over Cindy Crawford "chattel" comments in Apple TV+ documentary

Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty Images

While Oprah Winfrey has yet to weigh in, her bestie Gayle King is disappointed with Cindy Crawford's headline-grabbing comments about the talk show titan in Apple TV+'s new documentary The Super Models.

As reported, Crawford said she feels humiliated by her 1986 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, during which she was asked to stand up and model her body for the crowd.

"I was like the chattel or a child, be seen and not heard," Crawford confessed, adding she didn't get it at the time, when she was 20. "When you look at it through today's eyes, Oprah's like … 'Show us why you’re worthy of being here.'"

Re-watching the clip, Cindy said, "that was so not OK really. Especially from Oprah!"

Entertainment Tonight caught up with King in New York City Thursday night, and she said she's disappointed at the comments.

"I haven't seen it, and I want to see it, but I'm surprised and a little disappointed," King expressed. "Because I know Cindy's been on her show many, many, many times and it has always been a pleasant experience." 

She added, "It's not Oprah's thing to humiliate or make anybody feel badly," saying of the clip, "I have to see it, but, as far as I know, everything is good between Oprah and Cindy."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

From Screen to Stage: '13 Going On 30' to become a musical

Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

The beloved 2004 romantic comedy 13 Going On 30 is set to make a dazzling transformation into a musical, Variety reports. 

Screenwriters Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, the creative minds behind the beloved film, have joined forces once more to bring this enchanting story to the stage.

A two-week workshop for the musical adaptation is scheduled to take place at London's Battersea Arts Centre in October. The workshop will culminate in four special "script in hand workshop presentation" performances, accompanied by a live band, October 25-28.

Guiding this musical journey is director Andy Fickman, known for his work on films like 2006's She's the Man and the stage capture of Heathers: The Musical for Roku in 2022. Goldsmith and Yuspa, renowned for their collaborative efforts on 2000's What Women Want, have penned the book, while the musical's score is crafted by the talented duo Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary.

13 Going On 30 The Musical is poised to make its grand debut next summer.

The production promises to capture the essence of Jennifer Garner's character, Jenna Rink, a 13-year-old who yearns to fast-forward past the awkward teenage years and wake up as a successful 30-year-old in New York City. When her wish surprisingly comes true, she finds that her seemingly perfect adult life isn't all it's cracked up to be, leading her to rediscover what truly matters.

You just know all involved are champing at the bit to recreate the movie's "Thriller" dance scene

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Creator' filmmaker Gareth Edwards on the film's timely message

© 2023 20th Century Studios/Glen Milner

Gareth Edward's new film The Creator couldn't be more timely, even though that wasn't his plan when he started writing it. The movie, out this weekend, is all about humans interacting with AI, and the problems and pitfalls.

"I think the whole point of the movie, if anything, was, you see something as the enemy, as a problem, you get thrown into the middle of it and ... you start to question your beliefs," he tells ABC Audio.

The concept was a jumping-off point, adds Edwards, who says he "just picked AI four or five years ago, and I started writing this as like a metaphor for people who are different to you." But soon, "ideas pop up like, how do you know they're really alive? Like, what happens if they do something you don't like and you turn them off? What happens if they don't want to be turned off?"

"Suddenly, you know, cut to 2023, and those questions are like on every home page of every website," he says. "And it was this far distant sci-fi ... thing when I started trying to make this film. And now it's become ... quite real in terms of what it's dealing with."

The use of AI in movies has become a real hot-button issue, so was The Creator made using machine learning?

Edwards says yes, explaining, "You've seen them in behind the scenes of films where you've got this suit on with all the dots, and it means you can track the actors what their movement is, so you can make a CGI character ... I didn't want any of that. And so Industrial Light and Magic, who do the visual effects, had to figure out a way to do this without any tracking markers ... And so they used AI." 

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In Brief: Negotiations in SAG-AFTRA strike resuming Monday, and more

Members of the Screen Actors Guild -- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which has been on strike since July 14, announced on Thursday September 28, that it will return to the bargaining table with the AMPTP on Monday, October 2, representatives for SAG-AFTRA announced in a statement. George Clooney, Martin Sheen and Bryan Cranston, among others, have walked picket lines and publicly supported the labor action. Their concerns include studios' threats to replace them with AI and the lack of residuals they say they are receiving from streaming content...

The Philip K. Dick's 1956 novella Minority Report, which became a 2002 sci-fi movie from director Steven Spielberg and star Tom Cruise, is becoming a stage play. The Hollywood Reporter says the production will have its world premiere in March at the U.K.'s Nottingham Playhouse on February 16. The production will run through March 9, before starting two other runs, first at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from March 22 to April 6, and then London’s Lyric Hammersmith venue between April 19 and May 18. The story centers on technology that is used to prosecute criminals before they commit crimes...

Hulu has ordered a new social experiment competition series Got to Get Out, according to Variety. The show will showcase participants living in a mansion for 10 days as they vie for a cash prize of up to $1 million. Upon completing the series, participants will be given the choice to take an equal share of prize money, or they can attempt to steal it all for themselves. To steal the pot, they’ll have to escape the mansion via its front gate, which will open at random intervals and a getaway car will appear. Contestants will have opportunities to block others’ attempted exits, per the outlet. It's Hulu’s latest unscripted project, following Wayne Brady’s new unscripted show, The Kardashians, The D’Amelio Show and the forthcoming Lisa Vanderpump-led Vanderpump Villa...

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Golden Bachelor' premiere recap: Gerry meets the women, gives out 1st impression rose

ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Golden Bachelor kicked off Thursday with an unforgettable night for Bachelor Gerry Turner.

As each of the 22 women vying for Turner's heart arrived at the mansion, some shared their excitement and nervousness for the journey ahead.

Some memorable introductions included Edith, 60, who was the first woman to step out of the limo to meet Turner. She started the night by popping confetti with Turner in front of the mansion.

April, 65, a therapist from Port St. Lucie, Florida, arrived with a basket of chicken eggs to tell Turner about her love for chickens and ducks.

Faith, 61, arrived at the mansion on a motorcycle, and Leslie, 64, a fitness instructor from Minneapolis, Minnesota said she once dated Prince and surprised Turner by doing a quick change out of a grandma costume with a walker into her dress.

"We're all breaking the stereotypical view of what a senior looks like," Leslie said.

Jimmy Kimmel's Aunt Chippy, who has appeared on Kimmel's talk show in the past, also arrived in the limo to meet Turner.

After meeting all the women, Turner gave a brief toast before April stole him away first to get to know him better. In addition to a basket of eggs, she surprised Turner with a calendar of photos of herself filled with just the month of April.

Theresa also had a sweet moment with Turner when she read him a note from her daughter. Turner then surprised Theresa with a cupcake for her 70th birthday and the two shared a kiss.

But it was Faith who earned the first impression rose after she serenaded him with her guitar and a song.

"You made this impression not because you rode in on a motorcycle, not even because you have a beautiful voice and you sang a song to me, but because of what you're doing right now, you're making me feel very special," Turner told her.

The first women to be women sent home during the first rose ceremony included Patty, 70, a retired real estate professional from Durham, North Carolina, who is also the mother of former Bachelor Matt James.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Harry Potter' veterans mourn co-star Michael Gambon

L-R: Gambon, Grint, Radcliffe in 2010 - Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Harry Potter veterans took to social media Thursday to mourn Michael Gambon, the actor who played Dumbledore in six Harry Potter films, who died at 82.

J.K. Rowling, the creator of the franchise, noted on X, formerly Twitter, "The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in King Lear, in 1982, and if you'd told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I'd written, I'd have thought you were insane."

"Michael was a wonderful man in additional to being an outstanding actor, and I absolutely loved working with him, not only on Potter but also [the miniseries] The Casual Vacancy," she wrote. "My deepest condolences go to Michael's family and everyone who loved him."

In a statement to Variety, Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, noted that Michael "made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be." He added, "I'm so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him."

Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the Potter films, called Gambon a "personal role model" of his, adding the star "captivated me as a kid."

Bonnie Wright, who portrayed Ginny Weasley in the franchise, wrote that she "was forever in awe of Michael’s presence and performance."

James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, posted a lengthy memory of his time in the films, both in front of and behind the camera, calling Gambon "on and off the camera, a legend."

The official Harry Potter social media account said Gambon "brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace."

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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