The daily gossip: Elisabeth Moss defends 'misunderstood' Scientology, Hunger Games prequel to debut in 2023, and more
Today's top entertainment and celebrity news
Elisabeth Moss defends 'misunderstood' Scientology
How can Elisabeth Moss justify starring in The Handmaid's Tale while being a lifelong Scientologist? She was grilled about exactly that in a profile from The New Yorker. Writer Michael Schulman notes "many of the reported abuses perpetrated" by the Church of Scientology "echo the authoritarian tactics" of Gilead from The Handmaid's Tale. So he asked Moss how fans can reconcile this with the show's lead actress being a Scientologist. "I would just encourage people to find out for themselves," Moss said of Scientology, and she defended the religion, claiming it's "misunderstood" as "closed-off" when it's actually extremely "welcoming." A decent portion of the article is devoted to the Scientology angle, noting Moss tries to downplay her involvement but that her "religious network has played a role in her career." After Moss and Jeremy Strong, who will be the next celebrity to get a New Yorker profile that makes their publicist pull their hair out?
'Hunger Games' prequel to debut in 2023
Lionsgate wants to revive the Hunger Games franchise, but will the odds be ever in their favor? A new film in the series, Hunger Games Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, will hit theaters in November 2023, and a short teaser was shown at CinemaCon. "You're invited to return to the Games," the teaser said, declaring that "in 2023, the world will discover who is a songbird and who is a snake." This will be a prequel based on Suzanne Collins' 2020 novel, and it follows a young version of future President Snow, who "sees a chance for a change in fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor" to a tribute from District 12. The original Hunger Games films were massive at the box office, grossing almost $3 billion, but we'll have to see if the series can catch fire again almost a decade later. Hey, it's not like making prequels to hugely popular franchises has ever gone wrong, right?
James Corden is leaving 'The Late Late Show'
James Corden is Carpool Karaoke-ing off into the sunset. The comedian has announced plans to leave his late-night show, The Late Late Show, in 2023 after eight years as host. "I never saw it as my final destination, and I never want this show to overstay its welcome in any way," he said. "I always want to love making it." Corden has been hosting The Late Late Show since 2015, taking over for Craig Ferguson. His departure marks another big shake-up in the late-night landscape after Conan O'Brien's exit last year, and it quickly sparked speculation about who CBS might tap to replace him. Amber Ruffin? Tiffany Haddish? Craig Ferguson again? Regardless, Corden said that a year from now will be a "good time to move on and see what else might be out there," meaning he'll have plenty of time to give us the many Cats and Cinderella sequels the nation desperately craves.
Ellen DeGeneres tapes the last episode of her show
Ellen DeGeneres, too, is dancing off into the sunset. The comedian previously announced plans to end her daytime talk show this year, and she says she has just finished taping the final episode. "My goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour," DeGeneres said. "Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy." She'll be signing off in the wake of allegations about a toxic workplace culture at the show, which ultimately led to multiple producers being fired. She apologized at the time, saying she takes "responsibility for what happens at my show," only to later claim the entire scandal was "orchestrated" and she still doesn't "understand it." The final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air on May 26. After that, what's next for her? You guessed it: a DeGeneres-Corden 2024 presidential ticket!
The 'Barbie' movie will not feature the song 'Barbie Girl'
Come on, Barbie! In what is no doubt the year's most devastating film news, Variety reports the upcoming live-action Barbie film will not, in fact, feature the 1997 Aqua song "Barbie Girl." It perhaps shouldn't be a major surprise considering Mattel sued MCA Records over the song for trademark infringement in the '90s. At the time, the toy company freaked out that a song involving a "promiscuous Barbie doll" singing in "a flirtatious tone" could hurt its brand, but the lawsuit ended up being dismissed because the song was considered a parody. Despite all the hubbub, though, Mattel eventually used a version of the song with different lyrics for advertising in 2009, so you'd think it might be okay for the live-action film. Alas, the manager for Aqua's lead singer confirmed to Variety, "The song will not be used in the movie." And with that, Margot Robbie's life in plastic just became a little less fantastic.