The daily gossip: Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick to reunite for A Simple Favor sequel, Zac Efron is down for a High School Musical reboot, and more

Today's top entertainment and celebrity news

Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
(Image credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

1. Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick to return for 'A Simple Favor' sequel

Amazon and Lionsgate are doing us all a simple favor with a sequel to Paul Feig's most deranged movie. A follow-up to Feig's 2018 comedy-thriller A Simple Favor is officially in the works, with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick both set to return. Feig is also returning to direct, and original screenwriter Jessica Sharzer is back, too. The 2018 movie starred Kendrick as a vlogger who becomes friends with Lively's character and ends up trying to solve her disappearance. It quickly goes delightfully off the rails in a way that shouldn't be spoiled — but involves lines like "you're a brotherf--ker." The ending didn't set up a sequel, so it's unclear where the story might go. But any opportunity to see Lively dress up in expensive pantsuits is one we'll happily embrace.

The Hollywood Reporter

2. Zac Efron is down for a 'High School Musical' reboot

Zac Efron wants to get the gang back together — together, together, everyone. Speaking with E! News, Efron said he's totally down to return to the High School Musical franchise for a potential reboot. "Having the opportunity to, in any form, go back and work with that team would be so amazing," he said. The Firestarter star last played Troy Bolton in 2008's High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Since then, the franchise has continued on Disney+ with a new cast in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the show perhaps best known for bringing us Olivia Rodrigo. Efron previously sat out a singalong reunion of the original cast in 2020 — though that was apparently just because "his Wi-Fi wasn't strong." But he told E! News "my heart's still there," and he hopes a reboot happens. Time to start writing those treatments for High School: The Musical Awakens, Hollywood!

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3. Selena Gomez apologizes after fans claim she mocked Hailey Bieber

Selena Gomez has "no idea" what she did wrong, but she'd like to apologize anyway. The Only Murders in the Building star recently posted a TikTok showing her skincare routine, which fans quickly claimed was somehow her way of subtly shading ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber's wife, Hailey Bieber. Bieber had recently posted similar videos on TikTok of herself getting ready, and despite Gomez never mentioning Bieber at all, one person accused her of being "a performative loser who blatantly gets away with bullying other women." After the bizarre backlash, Gomez responded, "This is why I believe in taking care of your mental health. Guys no idea what I did but I really am sorry. Zero bad intention. Deleting soon." Last month, Gomez revealed she has her team post on social media for her but hasn't personally gone on the Internet in over four years. After this incident, we can't imagine why!

Page Six E! News

4. A lot of people are interested in the 'Avatar' sequel, actually

You know how Avatar detractors have spent nearly a decade claiming the film had zero cultural impact and nobody cares about the sequels? Well, about that ... according to The Hollywood Reporter, the recent teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water racked up a massive 148.6 million views worldwide in just 24 hours. To put that in perspective, that's a better performance than the trailers for the recent Star Wars films, and it's despite the fact that everyone who saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters already saw this footage. The trailer debuted online Monday after a massive 13-year wait for a follow-up to James Cameron's 2009 film, and it's the first of four planned sequels. There's been skepticism that the film can still be a hit after that long, but when we're talking about the guy who directed two of the three highest-grossing films ever made, maybe betting against him isn't a great idea.

The Hollywood Reporter

5. Kevin Spacey cast in his biggest movie since assault allegations

Supposedly-canceled Kevin Spacey has just booked another movie role. The disgraced actor is set to star in a new historical drama called 1242 – Gateway to the West, which will be up for sale at the Cannes Market, Deadline reports. The film revolves around Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, who in 1242 "is confronted by a deeply spiritual man," played by Spacey. The cast also includes Eric Roberts, Christopher Lambert, and Terence Stamp, and it will shoot in Hungary and Mongolia this October. The news comes a year after Spacey landed his first film role since he faced sexual assault allegations, joining a low-budget Italian film about a man wrongly accused of sexual abuse. Well, if this all keeps him too busy to release more weird Christmas Eve videos, at least that's one upside.

Deadline IndieWire

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