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SHOWBIZ Rachel Weisz, John Waters, Jeff Goldblum, Lady Gaga
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz will play Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor for female directing duo Bert & Bertie and UK-Australia producing powerhouse See-Saw Films in A Special Relationship, Deadline reported. Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy has written the screenplay, which chronicles Taylor's journey from actress to HIV/AIDS activist through the lens of her friendship with her assistant Roger Wall, a gay man who grew up in poverty in the Deep South. Weisz, a British-American actress like Taylor, is coming off the back of her Oscar-nominated performance in The Favourite.

Two LGBT celebrities—soccer star Megan Rapinoe and filmmaker/writer John Waters—have been chosen to represent Nike in its latest promotional campaign, The Washington Blade noted. Rapinoe and Waters are two of the three personalities ( the other being model Binx Walton ) who are featured in a marketing campaign for both Nordstrom department stores and Nike. Called "No Cover," the campaign ( which launched Oct. 31 ) highlights a collection of five classic Nike shoes that are being reintroduced with new colors and prints, along with more than a dozen new clothing and accessory pieces.

Actor Jeff Goldblum discussed his older gay brother's troubled relationship with their parents as well as how the brother got sent to conversion therapy, LGBTQ Nation noted. Goldblum told the Times of London that his father had a "traditional masculine sense of himself" and he kept his brother Lee's sexuality a secret from the family at first. ( Lee passed away in 2000. ) "He didn't tell the rest of us," Goldblum said. "My dad was, without knowing why, conspicuously cruel to him at times." The American Psychiatric Association has opposed conversion therapy since 1998 because it "can provoke guilt and anxiety."

Ridley Scott has committed to direct a film about the tumultuous Gucci family fashion dynasty and the murder of the grandson of founder Guccio Gucci, Deadline reported. Lady Gaga ( in her first cinematic project since A Star Is Born ) is attached to star as Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, who was tried and convicted of orchestrating her ex-husband's assassination on the steps of his office in 1995. She served 18 years before being let out of jail in 2016.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association ( HFPA ) announced that three-time Golden Globe nominee Ellen DeGeneres will receive the Carol Burnett Award, a press release noted. Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the Carol Burnett Award is presented annually to an honoree who has made outstanding contributions to the television medium on or off the screen. DeGeneres will accept the honor Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, when the Golden Globes will be aired on NBC.

Makeup guru Jeffree Star reportedly started drama with fellow beauty YouTuber Michelle Dy, PinkNews noted. Things became heated when a fan asked Star if he would do a review of Michelle's brush collection. "I don't have time to review trash on my channel!" Star replied. An hour later, Dy tweeted, "I'm good luv, enjoy," and later defended her work. The situation coincided with the release of Conspiracy, a makeup line from Star and Shane Dawson that quickly sold out.

Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley are joining Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming movie Prisoner 760, according to Deadline. Directed by Oscar and BAFTA winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, Prisoner 760 follows Mohamedou Ould Slahi ( Rahim ), who is captured by the U.S. government and languishing in prison without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander ( Foster ) and her associate Teri Duncan ( Woodley ). Cumberbatch will portray formidable military prosecutor Lt. Stuart Couch.

Joining other musical acts, Grammy-winning artist/TV talk-show host Kelly Clarkson announced her upcoming Las Vegas residency, noted. Clarkson's residency, "Invincible," will start at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood in April 2020 and is set to go through September of next year ( on select dates, and skipping May and June ).

Tyler Perry's new 330-acre studio in Atlanta is set to host the 2019 Miss Universe competition, HuffPost reported. The pageant will air live from Tyler Perry Studios on Sunday, Dec. 8, with Steve Harvey returning to host for his fifth year; the show will broadcast on Fox and Telemundo. Also, the Nov. 20 Democratic presidential debate will be held at Perry's studio. The studio has 12 soundstages dedicated to Black luminaries in the film industry, including Whoopi Goldberg, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Will Smith, John Singleton and Halle Berry.

Todd Haynes, a pioneer of the New Queer Cinema movement of filmmaking, revealed in a New Yorker profile most formative moviegoing experience was the 1964 musical Mary Poppins—which he first saw at the age of 3, noted. Haynes described falling into a "total imaginative rapture" with the Julie Andrews-starring Disney classic, and that he immediately wanted to create a "fanatical, creative, obsession response where I had to replicate the experience." Haynes' Dark Waters will hit theaters later this month.

Out director Roland Emmerich ( Stonewall; The Day After Tomorrow; the upcoming Midway ) told Yahoo! he regrets making the 2016 Fox sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, the follow-up to the alien-invasion film that took the box office by force in 1996, noted. "I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first," said Emmerich, who while the film was underway, lost his leading man, Will Smith, to another project. "But then in the middle of production Will opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad."

Danielle Macdonald ( Patti Cake$, Dumplin' ) and Joanna Lumley ( Absolutely Fabulous ) will lead the cast of Falling For Figaro, a romantic comedy from The Sessions director Ben Lewin, Deadline reported. In the movie, Millie ( Macdonald ) decides to leave her unfulfilling job and long-term boyfriend behind to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer in the Scottish Highlands. She begins intense vocal training lessons with renowned singing teacher and former opera diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop ( Lumley ) and meets Max, another of Meghan's students, who is also training for an upcoming contest.

CBS has given a pilot production commitment to The Equalizer—a reimagining of the classic series with Queen Latifah set to star and executive-produce, Deadline reported. The Equalizer stars Queen Latifah as an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. This is a new take on the character played by Edward Woodward on the original series and by Denzel Washington in the movie franchise.

Frank Ocean has released a new track titled "In My Room," a press release noted. The studio and Benny Revival remix of the track is now available to order on vinyl at Also out is the latest episode of Blonded Radio with Frank Ocean, Vegyn and Roof Access.

During a recent interview with "The Breakfast Club," Patti LaBelle corroborated the fact that not only was there no bad blood between her and the late Aretha Franklin, but that the two planned to work together shortly before Franklin passed, according to Madame Noire. However, while LaBelle said that she and Franklin were good, there are some younger artists who are on her bad side. She didn't share their names on "The Breakfast Club," but she said the time is coming when all will be revealed.

Controversial rapper Azealia Banks was banned from Twitter again, Music Feeds noted. Her most recent targets included anti-HIV medication PrEP and, in a bit of a sidebar, musician Frank Ocean—who new queer club night, titled PrEP+. "There's no reason you need to have a fucking pill so you can just fuck whoever you wanna fuck," she said on her Instagram story. This led to Years & Years lead singer Olly Alexander, who is gay, to lead people to information about PrEP—and Banks retweeting Alexander, saying, "disgusting and dirty personal habits."

Rosie O'Donnell and fiancee Elizabeth Rooney have reportedly broken up after two years together, according to Page Six, citing . O'Donnell, 57, hadn't mentioned Rooney, 34, "in a while," and scrubbed the Boston police officer from her Instagram. Rooney also deleted O'Donnell from her social media, including a photo from October 2018 showing off her engagement ring.

On Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" news segment, comedian Michael Che made a transphobic "joke" comparing Kanye West's recent shift in persona to Caitlyn Jenner's 2015 transition, LGBTQ Nation reported. The joke bombed and was mostly met with silence and disapproval from the show's live audience. The bit was widely panned by social media users who have called it "transphobic," and called for Che's firing.

Nicki Minaj defended husband Kenneth Petty after talk-show host Wendy Williams discussed his past legal drama, Page Six noted. The newlywed took to her "Queen Radio" platform to call out Williams, who referred to Petty as a "killer" and "sex offender." ( As a teen, Petty was convicted of attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl. He also pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in March 2006, serving seven years of his 10-year sentence. ) In part, she blasted Williams over her divorce from Kevin Hunter, throwing mistress Sharina Hudson in Williams' face.

Sarah Jessica Parker said someone stole a bunch of "beautiful," "carefully chosen" pumpkins off the stoop of the West Village brownstone she shares with husband Matthew Broderick and their three kids, Page Six noted. "All of our pumpkins were stolen, as were all the other pumpkins on our block," Parker commented on Instagram. "It is officially the Halloween heist of 2019." She added that the pumpkins were "lugged all the way home" to New York from the Berkshires in Massachusetts.

The Beverly Hills Cop collection—Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Beverly Hills Cop III, newly remastered—will arrive on Digital in 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range on Dec. 17, and in a three-movie Blu-ray Collection on Jan. 14, 2020, a press release stated. Starring Eddie Murphy, the three films earned a combined $735M+ worldwide, as well as two Academy Award nominations and a Grammy Award for the first film's original score ( which includes songs like "New Attitude," "Nasty Girl," "The Heat Is On" and "Stir It Up" ).

Sony said that the sequel to its Oscar-winning animated pic Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse will hit theaters April 8, 2022, Deadline reported. The original Marvel/Columbia Pictures movie with its technical wizardry was released in December 2018, grossing $190 million domestically and $375.M globally, with its take on Marvel's most esteemed superhero eventually earning the Animated Feature Oscar.

Bella Thorne may not have meant any harm with her recent Halloween post, but fans of the actress are calling her out for taking her holiday makeup look too far, Page Six noted. Thorne posted three selfies to Instagram Wednesday ahead of Halloween that appear to show the author with a busted lip and bruised eye, captioning the photo, "Hire me for your Halloween makeup I got u boo," with emojis following. While some followers appreciated her dark sense of humor, many believed the star was making light of domestic abuse.

Pacific Rim: Uprising actor Scott Eastwood is set to play opposite Jason Statham and Holt McCallanay in Cash Truck, the Miramax action thriller directed by Guy Ritchie, Deadline noted. At the center of the revenge story is H ( Statham ), a cold and mysterious character who works at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week. Eastwood recently wrapped filming Millennium Film's The Outpost with Orlando Bloom.

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