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James Gunn Reveals What Role He Reprised In GOTG Holiday Special

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Writer and director James Gunn reveals that he reprised his role as a certain MCU character for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.


The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special writer and director James Gunn reveals that he reprises a specific role from a previous MCU movie in the recently-released Disney+ special. Ahead of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 next year, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Nebula (Karen Gillan) return for a bite-sized, holiday-themed adventure. Clocking in at about 45 minutes, the special has received warm praise from audiences and critics alike for its lighthearted atmosphere, rocking soundtrack, and surprising moments of emotion.

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In a recent reply to a fan on Twitter asking about how Groot was brought to life in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, James Gunn reveals that he actually reprises his role as the reference for Groot’s dance moves. The special features two catchy musical numbers, both of which see Groot and the other Guardians showing off their dance prowess. Gunn previously provided the motion capture for Baby Groot’s dance scene in the fun opening action scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Check out Gunn’s response on Twitter below:


How Groot Has Changed Throughout The MCU

Swoll Groot smiling in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

The original Groot, who stood much taller and had a deeper voice, dies during the emotional climax of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, sacrificing himself in order to protect his friends. Despite only ever repeating the phrase “I am Groot” with different intonations, the character quickly became a fan favorite. Although Gunn has confirmed that the original version of the character did in fact die in Guardians of the Galaxy, a new version of Groot grows in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Referred to as Baby Groot, the adorable hero is no longer the wise and formidable character that appears in the first movie, but instead playful and somewhat innocent, serving as the source of much of the second movie’s comedy.

Although the Guardians of the Galaxy haven’t starred in their own solo movie since 2017, the heroes have played important roles in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Groot appears as more of a child or young teenager in the two Avengers movies and has much more of an attitude, which makes for some fun interactions with Rocket. The two movies also see Groot breaking out some combat skills once more, a change from Baby Groot’s general disregard for enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Groot undergoes another fairly big physical transformation. Referred to as YA Groot, or Swoll Groot, the new version of the character is noticeably stockier than the original Groot ever was, potentially setting up what’s to come in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

While The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special doesn’t directly tease what’s next in the upcoming final installment, Groot’s new muscular appearance could mean that audiences will be seeing the hero become a much more formidable fighting force. Gunn has already teased that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will focus a lot on Rocket’s tragic backstory, but it’s likely that as Groot becomes stronger and more outspoken, there could also be some interesting changes in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s character dynamics.

Source: James Gunn



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Jailed ‘Scrubs’ Writer Eric Weinberg Faces 12 More Sexual Assault Lawsuits

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Twelve more sexual assault lawsuits were filed Friday against jailed “Scrubs” writer and producer Eric Weinberg, who is accused of being a serial rapist.

Weinberg, 62, is also facing 18 criminal charges involving five women. Two women also filed lawsuits against him in November, alleging that he sexually assaulted them on separate occasions in 2019.

The new lawsuits accuse Weinberg of sexually assaulting 13 women from 1998 to 2017. The women ranged in age from 18 to 35 the the time of the assaults, and most of them allege a common pattern. According to the complaints, Weinberg would meet women in a public place, such as a cafe or a grocery store, tell them he was a photographer and invite them to participate in a photo shoot.

Weinberg would have them come to his home, where he would begin taking photos. He would then encourage them to undress, and would sexually assault them, according to the lawsuits. Several of the lawsuits state that the women were in fear of being killed or seriously injured if they refused Weinberg’s commands.

Some of the suits allege that he would take photos of the women during the assaults. Afterward, he would sometimes plead with them not to go to the police. One woman alleged that he threatened to harm her child.

The lawsuits identify the plaintiffs by pseudonymous initials. One of the complaints covers two accusers, who allege that they went together to Weinberg’s house in October 2013, and that he sexually assaulted both of them.

Some of the women allege that he would show them pictures of his kids to put them at ease.

One woman alleges that Weinberg sexually assaulted her when she was working as an actor on the MTV show “Death Valley,” where he was a writer and producer. The suit alleges that Weinberg called her repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the assault and would talk about his penis and sex acts while masturbating.

The suit also alleges that Weinberg cornered her in an isolated part of the set, pinned her against a wall and groped her breast, hip and thigh. She stopped working on the show after that, and refused his invitation to participate in a photo shoot, according to suit.

The woman alleges that Weinberg approached her on the street years later, apparently not recognizing her, and complimented her looks and asked if she was an actress. She told him to leave her alone, and he allegedly became angry and grabbed her wrist and tried to force her into her car. The suit alleges that Weinberg approached her two more times in public places in later years, and that she reported him to the police and had to have security cameras installed at her home.

Another woman alleged that Weinberg met her through OKCupid, and they agreed to get a drink at a bar. The woman alleges that Weinberg drugged her drink, took her to her home, and raped her.

Weinberg was arrested in July and released on $3.225 million bail. He was charged on Oct. 5 and his bail was increased to $5 million. He has pleaded not guilty.

A judge revoked his bail on Oct. 25, after finding that the allegations suggest that Weinberg “cannot stop and will not stop his sexual assaults on women, and therefore he poses a danger to the safety of women.”

At the time, prosecutors said that the LAPD had received more than 70 tips about Weinberg.

He is currently being held at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.

Weinberg was first arrested in 2014, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

The plaintiffs are all represented by attorneys Micha Star Liberty and Amy Zeman of Oakland. The suits name Weinberg and his company, Guitar and Pen Productions, as defendants.

Weinberg worked on “Scubs” from 2001 to 2006. He also worked on “Veronica’s Closet,” “Californication,” and “Anger Management.”



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Poker Face Art Teams Natasha Lyonne With Columbo

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Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie meets her TV inspiration, Peter Falk’s Columbo, in new fan art celebrating Rian Johnson’s hit show Poker Face.


Poker Face art teams Natasha Lyonne’s human lie detector Charlie with Peter Falk’s classic detective Columbo. Rian Johnson brought back the whodunit movie with his sly and comedic murder mystery films Knives Out and Glass Onion. Now the acclaimed writer-director is doing the same for the classic TV detective show, with his hit Peacock series Poker Face, starring Lyonne as a seemingly average person who possesses the superpower to always know when people are lying.

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In celebration of Johnson’s accomplishment with Poker Face, artist Readful Things has unleashed a new image that brings Lyonne’s Charlie together with her greatest TV inspiration, Lieutenant Columbo.

As can be seen above, Johnson himself took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the art, posting “Holy holy” in response to the image. Currently holding down a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes while finally giving Peacock a buzzworthy original show, Poker Face is indeed well on its way to re-establishing the detective genre on the small screen as Johnson hoped. But back in the day, Columbo was the state-of-the-art when it came to TV detective stories, thanks in large part to its lead actor Falk.


How Columbo Inspired Poker Face

columbo peter falk poster

Poker Face creator Johnson has spoken extensively about his love of murder mystery writers like Agatha Christie, and how their works – and the films made from their works – inspired his own yarns like Knives Out and the recent sequel Glass Onion. While trying to bring back the classic TV detective story however, Johnson naturally turned to a small screen inspiration in Columbo. But it wasn’t so much the mystery side of Columbo that turned Johnson on. Rather, it was the idea of centering a mystery show on a charismatic lead performer whom the audience wants to root for. As Johnson told Screen Rant recently:

More than that though, the great characters like James Garner as Rockford or Tom Selleck as Magnum Pi or Falk as Columbo—those shows were more hangout shows than anything else. You didn’t really tune in for the mystery. You tuned in to hang out with Falk. And so when I became friends with Natasha and realized she could be that for a show, I got really, really excited. That’s where the whole thing started.

Shows like Columbo of course were mystery-of-the-week stories that did not concern themselves with ongoing arcs. Today however, the emphasis in prestige TV is on serialized stories. But Johnson chose to buck this big current-day trend by making each Poker Face episode self-contained, defying the binge model of TV releasing by encouraging viewers to not devour the entire season in one go. This approach received a lot of pushback from binge-model-fixated TV execs, but as Johnson explained to THR, he finally convinced Peacock to go with his old school storytelling style:

And I just kept coming back and hammering the notion that all the shows that I grew up watching were not about the cliffhanger at the end. They were about wanting to come back to hang out with this character that you love and see them win, and that’s equally addictive. And it’s also something I miss, and I bet a lot of people also miss.

Will Poker Face Get A Season 2

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie smiling in Poker Face Trailer

The widespread positive reception for Poker Face would seem to indicate that audiences and critics do indeed miss the old-fashioned episodic approach to TV as much as Johnson does. But will that translate into Poker Face receiving an order for season 2? Peacock has not yet asked for a second season, but it seems inevitable that the renewal will come. And if Poker Face season 2 does indeed happen, Johnson has already revealed his dream guest star, telling Screen Rant he’d love Jamie Lee Curtis to appear. Hopefully, Johnson will get a chance to unleash more Columbo-inspired mystery TV with Poker Face season 2.

Source: Readful Things/Twitter



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India’s Raveena Tandon to Headline Disney+ Hotstar Series (EXCLUSIVE)

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Indian actor Raveena Tandon will headline an upcoming series for streamer Disney+ Hotstar.

There are no further details at this stage from Disney+ Hotstar, which exclusively shared an image from the show with Variety.

Tandon said: “I’m extremely elated to be a part of the Disney+ Hotstar family. This show is going to be very special for me as I’ve always liked to challenge and reinvent myself with every character I’ve ever played and this show has given me just that, all I can say is, stay tuned for some fun.”

Gaurav Banerjee, head of content at Disney+ Hotstar, added: “It brings us immense happiness to announce our association with Raveena Tandon. She is and has been a superstar throughout her journey in the Indian Film Industry and together, Disney+ Hotstar and Raveena Tandon will soon bring some magic on the audience screens.”

Tandon, who was a top Bollywood star in the 1990s, is now known for her powerful performances. She headlined 2021 Netflix series “Aranyak” for which she won several awards in India. In 2022, she had a pivotal role in India’s biggest box office hit of the year, “K.G.F: Chapter 2.”

Disney+ Hotstar India has commissioned a slew of successful original series featuring A-list actors. Ajay Devgn starred in “Luther” Indian adaptation “Rudra: The Edge of Darkness,” Sushmita Sen starred in two seasons of “Aarya,” Abhay Deol headlined “1962: The War in the Hills,” R. Sarathkumar and Jagapathy Babu led “Parampara” and Tamannaah Bhatia starred in “November Story.”

“The Night Manager,” the Indian adaptation of the BBC series of the same name, is due in February. It stars Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur.



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