The latest version of President Trump's travel ban faces a showdown in the Supreme Court this week. The justices will hear oral arguments on Wednesday in a challenge to the policy. The first two versions of the ban targeted people from only a handful of predominantly Muslim countries. The third version also includes restrictions on certain travelers from North Korea and Venezuela, although those restrictions were not challenged. The lead plaintiff, the state of Hawaii, argues that the policy still violates the Constitution by favoring people of other faiths over Muslims. The Supreme Court in December ruled that most of the ban could take effect while the legal challenge was working its way through the courts. Read more at Reuters. Harold Maass
Apple is adding its first animated series to its growing television lineup, Variety reported Tuesday.
Loren Bouchard, the creator of Bob's Burgers, and Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Frozen, will team up as the writers and executive producers of Central Park, a musical comedy that revolves around a family of caretakers who live and work in the park. The show's cast features impressive names such as Leslie Odom Jr., Kristen Bell, and Stanley Tucci, The Hollywood Reporter revealed.
Apple has ordered two seasons of the show, with a total of 26 episodes. It will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television, which is famous for similar animated comedy titles such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Futurama.
Central Park joins other Apple-funded projects including a thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, a comedy starring Kristen Wiig, and a revival of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories anthology. Read more about the upcoming show at The Hollywood Reporter. Shivani Ishwar
James Comey speaks! Or at least the former FBI director will very soon, in a mid-April interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, BuzzFeed News reports.
While Comey has kept relatively mum since being fired by President Trump last May, he is at the center of some of the biggest White House scandals. Comey's interview will come just ahead of the publication of his highly-anticipated book, A Higher Loyalty. The title is apparently a wink at an event that took place a week after Trump's inauguration, when the president allegedly invited Comey to a private dinner and demanded his loyalty.
The ABC interview will be one of the first opportunities to hear Comey's perspective on some of the most controversial subjects of the past year. "According to the people familiar with the matter, no topic is off limits and the extended interview is likely to cover both Comey's career and the recent controversies — ranging from Clinton to Trump to Russia," BuzzFeed News writes. Jeva Lange
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy set in "a corner of the galaxy" that the franchise has "never before explored," Disney announced Thursday.
"Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it," said Johnson in a joint statement with producer Ram Bergman. "We can't wait to continue with this new series of films." Johnson's first Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, is the second in the sequel trilogy and will be released Dec. 15.
Although Disney reported quarterly revenue that fell slightly short of analysts' expectations, the film studio and theme-park operator's stock gained about 1 percent after CEO Bob Iger made the announcement. Jeva Lange
Former President Bill Clinton's forthcoming political thriller, which he co-authored with bestselling author James Patterson, is headed to the small screen, Variety reported Friday. Showtime has acquired the television rights for The President Is Missing, which won't even be published until 2018.
"Bringing The President Is Missing to Showtime is a coup of the highest order," Showtime president and CEO David Nevins told Variety. "The pairing of President Clinton with fiction's most gripping storyteller promises a kinetic experience, one that the book world has salivated over for months and that now will dovetail perfectly into a politically relevant, character-based action series for our network."
The President Is Missing "will offer readers a unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense, and behind-the-scenes global drama from the highest corridors of power," according to the press release. "It will be informed by insider details that only a president can know." Learn more about the forthcoming TV show at Variety. Jeva Lange
Director Wes Anderson returns in 2018 with Isle of Dogs, his first film since 2014's Grand Budapest Hotel, and the highly anticipated trailer has just landed. Isle of Dogs marks Anderson's return to stop-motion animation — his first since 2009's Fantastic Mr. Fox — and the voice roles are stacked: Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Greta Gerwig, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono, and Edward Norton are just some of the names on the bill.
— Isle of Dogs (@isleofdogsmovie) September 21, 2017
Set in a dystopian future where Japan has banished canines, Isle of Dogs follows a boy, Rex (played by Norton), as he searches for his lost dog on a radioactive garbage island. Anderson has cited the influential Japanese director Akira Kurosawa as one of the inspirations for the film, although Isle of Dogs has sparked backlash for "whitewashing" its Japanese characters with white voice actors. Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, both a part of Anderson's cast, have faced such allegations before, for rolls in Ghost in the Shell and Doctor Strange, respectively.
Isle of Dogs will be in theaters in the U.S. on March 23, 2018. Watch the trailer below. Jeva Lange
— Isle of Dogs (@isleofdogsmovie) September 21, 2017
Sean Penn to star in new Hulu series from the creator of House of Cards about the first mission to Mars
Sean Penn is slated to star in an upcoming Hulu original series about humanity's first mission to Mars. The series, called The First, was made by Beau Willimon, the creator of the Netflix original smash-hit series House of Cards.
This marks the two-time Oscar winner's "first regular role" on a television series, Variety noted. The show, set in the near future, "will depict the challenges a group of astronauts face while trying to achieve interplanetary colonization, while following the lives of their loved ones on Earth and the ground team overseeing the mission," Mashable reported. Penn's role has not yet been revealed.
The show is set to premiere next year. Becca Stanek
Apple is debuting three new iPhone models next month, one of which will sport the most changes to the company's signature device since it launched in 2007. People familiar with the new phone told Bloomberg that the iPhone 8 will get rid of the "home" button, with the front of the phone instead being nearly entirely filled by screen.
"Across the bottom of the screen there's a thin software bar in lieu of the home button," Bloomberg writes. "A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen."
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 30, 2017
The new phone will also have rounded corners, as opposed to square, and a "3D facial recognition sensor to unlock [the] phone and make payments." An infrared sensor will also make the camera capable of facial recognition in the dark.
The two other iPhone models will use "faster processors, but include the same screens as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus," Bloomberg writes. The full details on all the devices will be available in September. Read more about what to expect at Bloomberg. Jeva Lange