The daily gossip: Rita Moreno cast as Vin Diesel's grandmother in next Fast & Furious, Woody Harrelson 'doesn't believe in the germ theory,' and more

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Rita Moreno.
(Image credit: Tom Cooper/Getty Images)

1. Rita Moreno cast as Vin Diesel's grandmother in next 'Fast & Furious'

There's a place for Rita Moreno in the Fast & Furious family. The legendary EGOT winner ​has been cast in the upcoming Fast X as the grandmother of Vin Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto. "It's been my dream forever to work with Rita Moreno, and the fact that she's here playing my grandmother makes my soul smile," 54-year-old Diesel declared on Instagram. He's not kidding about that dream thing, as when F9 opened last year, he told Variety he wanted to get Moreno involved in the franchise as his abuela. "The answer is, yes I'll do it," the 90-year-old actress said in Diesel's Instagram video. "And yes, not only do it, I'm tickled. I'm so thrilled, this is gonna be such fun." They sound pretty excited to work together, but fingers crossed we might be lucky enough to see a Diesel vs. Moreno public beef on the horizon.

Variety

2. Woody Harrelson 'doesn't believe in the germ theory'

Not since his Reddit Ask Me Anything has a Woody Harrelson interview gone so off the rails. In a conversation with Vanity Fair, the actor bemoaned "absurd" COVID-19 protocols on film sets, calling them "not very conducive to good work" and proclaiming he finds them ridiculous "as one who doesn't believe in the germ theory." Harrelson went on to argue that during the pandemic, states that "didn't do the protocols fared better by far than the states that did," and he slammed "idiocy" that came from "top medical officials in the U.S., like Fauci." The Zombieland star can assure us he's an expert in this field, though, because "it's been seven and a half years since I got sick" due to his immune system being strong. "I'm internally clean," he said. Who needs medical advice from Dr. Fauci when you can get it from the cast of Venom: Let There Be Carnage?

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Vanity Fair

3. DC boss testifies Jason Momoa and Amber Heard 'didn't have a lot of chemistry' in 'Aquaman'

As her defamation battle with Johnny Depp nears its end, Amber Heard on Tuesday had to listen to a DC executive offer a tough review of her performance in Aquaman. DC Films president Walter Hamada testified as part of the Depp-Heard defamation trial that Warner Bros. considered recasting Heard in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. But this, he said, wasn't because of the Depp legal battle but because of concern that Heard and Jason Momoa "didn't have a lot of chemistry" in the first film. She played Mera, the love interest of Aquaman. "Editorially, they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie, but there was a concern that it took a lot of effort to get there," Hamada said. Heard previously testified she had to fight to stay in the film and ended up with a reduced role, and on Monday, another witness appeared to reveal the sequel opens with her character in the hospital.

The Hollywood Reporter

4. Ricky Gervais sparks backlash for jokes about trans people

Netflix is facing yet another trans jokes controversy, and this time, Dave Chappelle isn't even involved. In his new special that debuted Tuesday on Netflix, comedian Ricky Gervais makes numerous graphic jokes about transgender people. Mere minutes in, he jokes about "​​old fashioned women," the "ones with wombs," which he contrasts with "the new women," the "ones with beards and c--ks." As part of a tirade against cancel culture, Gervais also complains that saying "women don't have penises" can get you "canceled on Twitter." Later, he assures viewers that "in real life, of course I support trans rights," though this just leads to another graphic punchline: "But meet me halfway, ladies: Lose the c--k." The special quickly sparked significant backlash online, with the LGBTQ website PinkNews labeling it "an anti-trans garbage fire" and Variety's Daniel D'Addario saying it proves that Netflix is "not on anyone's side but its own." And with that, Netflix's rocky year just got even rockier.

Variety The Week

5. Seth Green's NFT show hits a snag after his Bored Ape is 'literally kidnapped'

It would appear there might be some issues with building entire shows around NFTs other than nobody wanting to watch them. Seth Green has been developing a show called White Horse Tavern, which is based on characters in his NFT collection. But Green has run into a problem: a scammer has stolen four of his NFTs, meaning "he lost the commercial rights to his show's cartoon protagonist, a scruffy Bored Ape named Fred Simian, whose likeness and usage rights now belong to someone else," BuzzFeed News reports. Green says he bought the ape last year and spent the "last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show." But "days before he's set to make his world debut," Green said, "he's literally kidnapped." Hey, if getting his beloved Fred back doesn't work out, at least Green may have just stumbled upon a great plot for Taken 4.

BuzzFeed News

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