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The daily gossip: The Simpsons is killing off a major character this season, and more
5 top pieces of celebrity gossip — from Saorise Ronan's Star Wars audition to Disney's Cruella de Vil movie
 
Will it be the last season for one of these characters?
Will it be the last season for one of these characters? (FOX)

1. The Simpsons is killing off a major character this season
As it enters its 25th season, how can The Simpsons possibly prove that it's still relevant? According to executive producer Al Jean, the animated sitcom will steal a movie from the Game of Thrones playbook by killing off a major character. "We're actually working on a script where a character will pass away," said Jean. "I'll give a clue that the actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing the character, but I won't say who it is." As attempts to shore up declining ratings go, we'll call this one less than cromulent. [Los Angeles Times]
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2. Saoirse Ronan is up for a part in Star Wars: Episode VII
Star Wars fans are so hungry for any morsel of news about the upcoming Episode VII that Saorise Ronan's recent interview with Sky News amounted to a feeding frenzy. During a conversation about her new film How I Live Now — a film that was immediately ignored by the interviewer in favor of Star Wars — Ronan admitted that she has auditioned for a role in Episode VII, before backtracking by adding that "so has everyone." Ronan refused to offer any more details, saying she would have her head "chopped off with a lightsaber" if she revealed the role in question — so for now let's just assume she's playing Chewbacca. [Sky News]
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3. Disney is developing a Cruella de Vil movie
Disney has officially entered the "dark, gritty reboot" phase of its life as a film studio, which means that it's time to start finding "creative" ways to repackage its old movies — and by "creative," we mean "telling the story from the villain's perspective." In addition to the upcoming Maleficent, which retells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the weird purple sorceress, Disney has announced Cruella, which will retell 101 Dalmations from the vantage point of villainess Cruella de Vil. So if you have any ideas for Ursula, Gaston, or Scar, this is probably the time to pitch them. [The Hollywood Reporter]
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4. J.J. Abrams is sorry he uses so many lens flares
J.J. Abrams has become notorious for his overuse of lens flares in the Star Trek movies, which sometimes feel less like a collection of scenes and more like an excuse to show off all his pretty light effects. But according to Abrams himself, he's aware of the problem and plans to scale back in the future. In an interview with Crave Online, Abrams admitted that he used so many lens flares in Star Trek Into Darkness that he actually had to ask the visual effects wizards at ILM to remove them from some shots. If only ILM could have fixed the rest of the movie. [Crave Online]
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5. The fourth Chronicles of Narnia movie is finally on the way
In the face of a rapidly declining revenues, the Chronicles of Narnia film franchise was quietly shuttered after the third installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, failed to light up theaters in December 2010. But the end of the Harry Potter series has left a fantasy-sized hole in the box-office, and The C.S. Lewis Company has partnered with The Mark Gordon Company to fill it with another Chronicles of Narnia film. The sequel will be The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, so fans who were hoping they could skip ahead to something like The Last Battle should probably prepare themselves for a lot of sitting down and standing up. [The Wrap]

 
Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticPOLITICO Magazine, and Vulture.

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