The daily gossip: Ben Affleck says Bennifer 2.0 is 'definitely beautiful,' Nicolas Cage is going to play Dracula, and more

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Nic Cage.
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1. Ben Affleck says Bennifer 2.0 is 'definitely beautiful'

The Bennifer reboot still seems to be going strong, and though Ben Affleck declined to go "into gossipy detail" about it in a new interview, he tossed obsessives a few scraps. When asked by The Wall Street Journal about his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which started up again this year after they dated in the early 2000s, Affleck said he's learned "it's not wise to share everything with the world," and he's going to "exercise a little restraint" by not "talking about my personal relationship in the newspaper." But after being pressed for information on how the romance restarted, the actor said "it's definitely beautiful to me," going on to intriguingly tease that it's "a great story" without sharing said story. But "imagine the best story," he said, "and I'm sure that's the true version." Is that an official endorsement of our Bennifer fan fiction?

The Wall Street Journal HuffPost

2. Nicolas Cage is going to play Dracula

Nicolas Cage is ready to give us all another vampire's kiss. The actor has been cast as Dracula in the new Universal monster movie Renfield, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will revolve around Dracula's titular henchman, played by Nicholas Hoult, and it comes after Universal's previously planned "Dark Universe" of monster movies flopped almost immediately after no one liked Tom Cruise's The Mummy. The Reporter noted this is a rare new major studio movie for Cage, who's mostly been focusing on smaller films in recent years give or take a Croods film here and a Spider-Verse there. Among Cage's other upcoming roles are a vodka-drinking dragon and … the actor Nicolas Cage. Meanwhile, the Reporter also revealed Wednesday that Awkwafina is joining Renfield as well, and she's set to play a "character who teams with Hoult to take on the vampire king." We're counting the days until Cage's hopefully bonkers Dracula take is revealed.

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The Hollywood Reporter Collider

3. HBO blew over $30 million on a 'Game of Thrones' prequel we'll never see

When you play the game of spin-offs, you win, or you blow $30 million. HBO learned that the hard way while developing a Game of Thrones prequel that it scrapped after already shooting an entire pilot, according to the book Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers. Former WarnerMedia entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt reveals the network spent more than $30 million on a pilot for the Thrones prequel, but when he watched a cut of it, he realized, "​​This just doesn't work." That would be the second time Thrones ran into pilot problems after the original series' unaired pilot had to be dramatically reworked. HBO ended up pulling the plug on the prequel project, though a separate prequel series, House of the Dragon, is happening for real and will debut next year. Greenblatt says that in that case, they decided to not make a pilot first this time and jump right into the full series. "Let's get a great series that we feel good about, and just make it," he said. "Or not." What could go wrong?


4. Dolly Parton says celebrity worship makes her 'cringe' after receiving major honor

We stan a humble queen. People magazine on Wednesday revealed its picks for 2021 People of the Year: Dolly Parton, Sandra Oh, Simone Biles, and "our nation's teachers." Speaking with People, though, Parton said she was "a little bit skeptical of being put on the cover as one of the People of the Year," insisting she's "not all that" even though she's "glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I'm not the worst person in the world." She added that she doesn't "want to be worshiped" and that when she sees people "literally worship" celebrities, "I cringe at it sometimes." Parton previously said she wasn't sure "that I even deserve" the Presidential Medal of Freedom after turning it down two different times. And in February, she asked the state of Tennessee not to erect a statue of her on Capitol grounds, arguing "putting me on a pedestal" wasn't "appropriate at this time." We're begging of you, please don't sell yourself short, Dolly!

People The Week

5. Alec Baldwin says he didn't pull trigger of 'Rust' prop gun in 'raw' interview

Alec Baldwin is giving his first television interview following the fatal shooting on the set of Rust, and ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos says it's the "most intense" he's conducted in 20 years. The interview comes after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed, and director Joel Souza was injured, in an accidental shooting on the set of Rust. In a clip released Wednesday from the interview, Baldwin tells Stephanopoulos he has "no idea" how a real bullet ended up on the set, and he says "I didn't pull the trigger" of the prop gun. He also wipes away tears and reflects on the tragedy as being the worst thing that's ever happened to him, "because I think back and I think of 'what could I have done?'" The interview, which Stephanopoulos says "surprised" him in "many places" and was "so raw," will air on Thursday night.

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