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‘X-Men ’97’ Gets First Nostalgic Look, Fall 2023 Release and Season 2

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Nearly 30 years after “X-Men: The Animated Series” debuted, many of the beloved characters are returning for Marvel Studios’ upcoming show “X-Men ’97,” coming to Disney+ in fall 2023 with a second season already confirmed.

“X-Men ’97” will continue the story of the original “Animated Series,” which ran from 1992 to 1997 on Fox Kids Network. “X-Men: The Animated Series” helped usher in the popularity of the mutant superheroes before Fox made the first live-action take on the team in 2000. The new series will include Rogue, Beast, Gambit, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Storm, Jubilee and Cyclops. The animation, revealed at Comic Con on Friday, stays true to the original animated series, but looks more modern, updated and sleek.

Magneto, Cable, Bishop, Morph and Nightcrawler will also join the X-Men onscreen. Battling them will be the (non-“Stranger Things”) Hellfire Club with Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, plus Mr. Sinister and Bolivar Trask will appear.

The “X-Men ’97” team explained that episodes were beginning to ship, so they showed the Comic-Con crowd an animatic in which the X-Men fight Trask and multiple Sentinels. The X-Men team up to take the robots down, as Wolverine slices a Sentinel in the face and Beast rips out the circuitry to take control of another.

As a bonus for fans of the original animated series, Disney+ is rearranging the episode order as it’s intended to be watched. For example, Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix Saga was out of order in the original run, which Disney+ will rectify.

Beau DeMayo, who wrote Netflix’s animated “The Witcher” spin-off “Nightmare of the Wolf,” will serve as head writer on “X-Men ’97.”

While the X-Men have yet to make their official live-action entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Disney’s acquisition of Fox, there have been two major hints at “X-Men: The Animated Series” this year. In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” Patrick Stewart reprises his iconic role as Prof. Charles Xavier from the live-action “X-Men” series. However, instead of playing his Prof. X from the Fox film franchise, Stewart’s character was from the “Animated Series,” complete with his yellow hover chair and green suit. In the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel,” Iman Vellani’s lead character makes a shocking discovery that her powers stem from a genetic “mutation” in her DNA. In both the “Doctor Strange” and “Ms. Marvel” scenes, the theme song from “X-Men: The Animated Series” briefly played.

The show was first announced in November 2021 alongside other upcoming animated Marvel shows on Disney+, including “Spider-Man: Freshman Year” and “Marvel Zombies.”



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Jennette McCurdy Got ‘Pissed’ at Ariana Grande for Skipping ‘Sam & Cat’ Filming to Be a Pop Star: ‘F— This’

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Jennette McCurdy’s new memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died” finds the former Nickelodeon star getting brutally honest with her feelings on Ariana Grande, the music icon who briefly starred with McCurdy on the “iCarly” and “Victorious” spinoff series “Sam & Cat.” Grande’s pop star career started taking off during the filming of the show, which only ran for a single season on Nickelodeon.

McCurdy writes that she grew to resent Grande once she “regularly” missed filming “to go sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album” (via Entertainment Tonight). McCurdy, on the other hand, was left to “angrily hold down the fort.”

“The week where I was told Ariana would not be here at all, and that they would write around her absence this episode by having her character be locked in a box. Are you. Kidding me,” McCurdy writes. “So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? Fuck. This.”

According to McCurdy, she “booked two features during ‘iCarly’” that she “had to turn down because the ‘iCarly’ team wouldn’t write [her] out of episodes to go shoot them.” Grande was allowed to skip episodes to work on her music career.

“This is what it is. Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box,” McCurdy writes. “I’m pissed about it. And I’m pissed at her. Jealous of her.”

McCurdy continues, “Ariana is at the stage in her career where she’s popping up on every 30 Under 30 list that exists. And I’m at the stage in my career where my team is excited that I’m the new face of Rebecca Bonbon, a tween clothing line featuring a cat with her tongue sticking out. Sold exclusively at Walmart. And I frequently make the mistake of comparing my career to Ariana’s. I can’t help it. I’m constantly in the same environment as her, and she doesn’t exactly try to hide her successes.”

What finally tipped McCurdy over into fully disliking Grande is when the latter came to set once day and revealed she had spent “the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’ house.”

“That was the moment I broke,” McCurdy writes. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Music performances and magazine covers… whatever, I’ll get over it. But playing a family game at national treasure, two-time Academy Award–winner and six-time nominee Tom Hanks’s house? I’m done.”

McCurdy adds that from that moment on “I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her,” adding, “Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest fucking Gump? This has gone too far. So now, every time she misses work, it feels like a personal attack.”

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” is now available for purchase and has already topped the Amazon bestseller list. The memoir includes several shocking revelations from McCurdy’s years working at Nickelodeon, including one claim that the studio offered her $300,000 in hush money to stay quiet on the alleged abuse she dealt with behind the scenes.



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Yellowjackets Season 2 Already Cast Adult Lottie

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Yellowjackets has cast the role of adult Lottie, the character played as a teenager by Courtney Eaton, though they haven’t announced the actor yet.

Yellowjackets season 2 has cast the adult version of Lottie. Yellowjackets was one of the breakout television success stories of the year following its premiere on Showtime on November 14, 2021. The series, which was created by The Originals writing duo Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, ran for 10 episodes in its first season and garnered more or less instant critical acclaim. Audiences were gripped by the harrowing story, which was split between two timelines: the first taking place in 1996, following the girls of a high school soccer team after their plane crash lands in the Canadian wilderness, and the second in 2021, following the present day exploits of some of the survivors as adults. Yellowjackets was nominated for 7 Emmy Awards, and will likely win quite a few of them at this year’s ceremony.

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One of the most intriguing survivors in the 1996 timeline is Lottie, played by Mad Max: Fury Road actress Courtney Eaton. The character is one of the key drivers of the supernatural element that helped the show become immensely intriguing to audiences of all kinds. When she begins to experience dreams and visions of the future, her paranormal powers become the backbone of the girls’ belief system as they attempt to find any way they can to survive. While these visions could be a result of Lottie’s untreated schizophrenia (she hasn’t been able to take her Loxipene), they have a potency that speaks to everyone around her, and in the final episode of season 1, it was made clear that this holds true in the modern day, as she is evidently a cult leader-like figure who orchestrates the kidnapping of adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis).


Per The Wrap, one thing that can be expected in the upcoming season of Yellowjackets is the introduction of adult Lottie. While the role has officially been cast, there has not been an announcement made as to what actor is actually taking on the role. It has been previously revealed that several other adult survivors were being cast, so adult Lottie will be joined alongside adult Van (the character played by Liv Hewson), among others.

There are many options as to who could potentially play an adult version of Lottie. The requirements might seem strict, however: she needs to be an adult in her mid-40s who has the power to be ethereal but still have a gritty, powerful constitution underneath. They have many options to choose from, including ones that match their previous casting strategies. If they want to go with a more established television actress, they could have cast The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies, but there are many options when it comes to iconic 90s actresses that could potentially join the Yellowjackets cast.


It was recently reported that Yellowjackets season 2 is set to begin filming before the end of this summer. While that means the season likely isn’t set to premiere anytime soon, it does mean that fans are likely to at least hear the official casting announcements made within the next month or so. As filming begins, it will be more difficult to keep a lid on what actors are on set, so it’s likely that Showtime will officially confirm before the paparazzi can confirm it for them.

Source: The Wrap

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Jeanie Buss and Los Angeles Lakers Legends Talk Kobe Bryant and the Franchise’s ‘Legacy’ (Exclusive)

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There are plenty of narratives out there about the storied history of the Los Angeles Lakers — including the recent lauded HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty — but now, Lakers president Jeanie Buss and several legends of the basketball dynasty are telling the story in their own words, in a new Hulu docuseries, Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers.

“I enjoyed hearing players talk about their experience as Lakers,” Buss reflected on the docuseries when she and some of the players featured sat down with ET this week. “Some of the players we traded away [talked about] what that felt like– and it made it very personal and very human. Those were things that I had never heard before.”

The series, like Buss’ legacy with the team, begins with her father, Jerry Buss, who purchased the Lakers in 1979 and immediately invigorated the franchise with the drafting of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and a 1980 NBA Finals win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He also boosted the social side of the Los Angeles basketball scene, with the creation of his own nightlife hotspot, The Forum Club, and the court-side appeal of the infamous Laker Girls.

“That’s who he was,” said Antoine Fuqua, who directed the Legacy series. “He was a charming, handsome man. He enjoyed life, he enjoyed people. You can’t tell the story without showing who he was… it was a different era, right? He lived his life honestly, pretty open, and we all wish we could do that.”

“He was the first to integrate entertainment and sports,” added Norm Nixon, who was on the Lakers when Buss purchased the team. “We ended up being a championship team and our style of play was entertaining, so the Forum just became the place… He was an owner that was not necessarily hands-on with the decisions — he allowed his people to do their job — but hands-on with us, as far as having a relationship, and I think that was a great part of his ownership style.”

“I thought owners were robots, you know? Big people who talked all business,” noted Jelani McCoy, who was part of the Lakers’ 2002 championship team. “He was just like one of us, and he was about entertainment and basketball and a family environment. It’s kinda hard to ignore somebody like that.”

For the players, spanning from the “Showtime Era” icons like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to current All-Stars like LeBron James, Legacy is also about telling the true story of the team and its legendary cast of players — the good, the bad and the ugly.

Abdul-Jabbar explained that one of the biggest misconceptions about his time on the team was that it was a struggle to get the players to come together, to break the tension between teammates and form the winning combination that led to their 1980 title. 

“The only problem we had was during the season [was], some of the guys was messing around,” he admitted. “As far as the relationships between the guys, there was never any problem… We all got into the concept of, we’re in this to win as a group.”

Upon Jerry Buss’ death in February 2013, his controlling ownership of the Lakers passed to his six children, with Jeanie Buss taking her father’s place as the Lakers’ representative on the NBA Board of Governors and assuming the role of team president.

“My dad spent a lot of time with me, preparing me for the position that I am in today,” Buss recalled. “He left a [vision for] how he wanted the team to be owned and operated by the family, for the team to stay in the family, and he put me in charge of that vision. I like to say that my dad had his children, but the Lakers were his baby, and so he put me in charge of the baby.”

Despite her father’s guidance, Buss didn’t always have the easiest time with her leadership roles in a male-dominated field. Legacy gets candid about sexual harassment she faced throughout her years as the leader of the team. Buss shared with ET that she felt it was an important detail of her story to share to show the resilience she had to “not allow something like that to diminish me as a person and make me doubt my abilities and my right to be in the room.”

“[It] wasn’t that I felt in any physical peril. The point of what happened, to me, was about people saying I didn’t belong, that I shouldn’t be included in this boys’ club,” she added. “It was an intimidation factor, to push me away… I wanted women to hear it, that you deserve a seat at the table. Don’t be intimidated. If I can be an example to that, if I can be an inspiration, then that’s why I shared that story.”

Another emotional moment in Lakers history came on Nov. 7, 1991, when Johnson gave a press conference announcing that he had tested positive for HIV — a shock to his friends and teammates and a devastating blow to one of the most promising careers in NBA history.

magic johnson retirement press conference 1991

“It was a very emotional day for all of us,” recalled Vlade Divac, a Laker at the time. “I remember walking down and seeing Earvin in the tunnel, and I got the news and I started crying — because back then we didn’t know much about it, you know?”

“I didn’t understand what had happened,” added Abdul-Jabbar. “All of a sudden it was unfolding, and I heard the people around Earvin and the team already knew, but they weren’t saying — I found out more, it affected me more, but I made it through the day. I don’t know how I did it… We all just wanted to see Earvin survive.”

Of course, the Lakers’ biggest tragedy in recent years was the loss of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in Jan. 2020. Derek Fisher, who was part of the Lakers teams that included the winning duo of Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, recalled the “sense of urgency and respect for the legacy” that his era of Lakers players felt as the team brought home three consecutive NBA Championships from 2000-02.

“That’s where the intensity came from,” he added of the highly-publicized professional tension between Bryant and O’Neal at the time. “We weren’t just here to put the uniform on and act like we were Lakers. To be Lakers, you had to win… There’s always tension when greatness is being formed.”

kobe bryant shaq derek fisher

Bryant’s legacy is undeniably linked to the Lakers — Buss noted how rare it is in the modern NBA era for a player, especially one of Bryant’s caliber, to play their entire career with one team.

“He set the bar for us,” she said. “I will always be inspired by him — I wear a bracelet, and I’m thinking about getting my first tattoo just so I’m always reminded of his work ethic, and what it meant for him to be a Laker for life, for 20 years… We will continue to honor him forever, because he left a mark on this franchise, on me personally, that will stand the test of time.”

Of Bryant’s legacy, Buss added, “It’s about challenging yourself, it’s about, ‘What did you do today to be better?’ and competing with yourself. It doesn’t matter what else is going on around you, the distractions, it’s about finding that inner warrior and being the best that you can be.”

McCoy agreed, noting, “Kobe is a microcosm of Los Angeles. People come here with big dreams of being an actor, being a director, a producer, a journalist, an athlete, whatever. This is a place where we watched a young man grow up into an adult who you know encapsulated the whole city and visions of winning, and keeping up with traditions of winning and championships, so I know he inspired a whole group of anybody that played in Southern California.

Noting current NBA stars like DeMar DeRozen and James Harden, who grew up in Los Angeles being inspired as Bryant was coming into his prime with the Lakers, McCoy added, “He probably stopped crime when he played, because the whole city of LA would stop and watch the Laker game… He galvanized LA — which is kind of a transient city, people come in and out — he made LA whole for a lot of periods of times, ’cause people wanted to see what was going down on that basketball court.”

“Think about it,” added Robert Horry, who won three of his seven NBA Championship rings as a member of the Lakers. “He came in [as a] 17-year-old kid, at one point was the youngest guy in the NBA. You watched him grow from a boy to a man… He grew and the city grew with him, and they got to see him mature, because if you watch him as an individual when he first started out, it was him versus the world.”

“Then you see him soften as he got kids, as he became a father, became a husband, like OK, it’s not just about basketball — I could do more with this,” he continued. “I think that’s what the city loved about Kobe so much, ’cause I think it’s very rare that you get to grow up with an athlete.”

Legacy: the True Story of the LA Lakers premieres Aug. 15 on Hulu.

 

 

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