The daily gossip: James Franco admits he slept with students at his acting school, Michael Keaton reportedly to make another Batman return, and more

Today's top entertainment and celebrity news

James Franco.
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

1. James Franco admits he slept with students and 'cheated on everyone'

James Franco has given his first interview in years after he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. The actor sat down on the Jess Cagle Podcast and claimed he's been "doing a lot of work" toward "changing who I was" since five women accused him of inappropriate behavior in a Los Angeles Times exposé. A 2019 lawsuit also accused Franco and his partners of "sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects" at his acting school, which has since closed. Franco in the interview admitted, "Over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students, and that was wrong." He denied, though, that this is "why I started the school." He additionally admitted to having "cheated on everyone" before he started dating his current girlfriend, being "completely blind to power dynamics" and "completely blind to people's feelings," leading to behavior that "spun out to a point where it was like I was hurting everybody." Franco also addressed Seth Rogen's comments that he had no plans to work with him again, calling the remarks "hurtful" but saying, "I get it."

People Page Six

2. Michael Keaton will apparently return as Batman at least twice

Batman returns ... again. Michael Keaton has already been confirmed to be returning as Batman in the upcoming DC film The Flash, but it now appears that won't be a one-off. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. put out a press release teasing its upcoming HBO Max films, and it listed Keaton's name as part of the cast of the upcoming Batgirl movie. Leslie Grace of In the Heights fame is set to play Batgirl in the film, which also features Brendan Fraser as the villain. Keaton, to be clear, will be playing a different version of Batman from the one played by Ben Affleck (who will also appear in The Flash), as well as a different version from the one set to be played by Robert Pattinson in The Batman next year. Not confusing at all! Keaton last starred as Batman in 1992's Batman Returns, but he told The Hollywood Reporter, "In the back of my head, I always thought, 'I bet I could go back and nail that motherf--ker.'"

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3. 2016 'Ghostbusters' director calls out box set snub

There's something strange in the neighborhood. Paul Feig, director of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, on Wednesday questioned why his film has been left out of a new "Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection" box set. The 8-disc set includes the original two Ghostbusters films and the 2021 sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but it's missing the 2016 movie centered around female Ghostbusters. "Um ... @SonyPictures, I know this must be a mistake," Feig tweeted. "We do have a lot of fans, and Bill [Murray], Dan [Aykroyd] and Ernie [Hudson] were in it, and it won the Kids Choice Award for Best Feature Film the year it came out. So, I guess this was just an oversight?" Perhaps the thinking was not to include Feig's movie because it technically isn't canon in the new Afterlife timeline. But this added to a feeling among some fans of the 2016 version that the film was being erased by Sony years after it spawned sexist trolling over its female cast, with writer BJ Colangelo tweeting, "This is so disrespectful." Who you gonna call to get this fixed, Paul?

Paul Feig Slashfilm

4. Congress wants answers from Live Nation about the Astroworld tragedy

Lawmakers are stepping in to demand answers about the tragedy at Travis Scott's Astroworld music festival. Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday wrote to the promoter Live Nation asking for information about the festival, where 10 people died in a crowd surge. "Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival," the lawmakers wrote, pointing to reports of "inexperienced or ill-equipped" security and medical staff. They asked for written answers to a number of questions, including regarding the "precise time" Live Nation was made aware of casualties "and what steps were taken in response to that information." The responses are due no later than Jan. 7. This comes after Scott, who was performing on stage at the festival, gave his first interview since the tragedy, saying he had a "responsibility to figure out what happened."

TMZ Variety

5. Kate Winslet 'couldn't stop crying' when she was reunited with Leonardo DiCaprio

She'll never let go, Jack. Kate Winslet in a new interview recalled reuniting with her Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio after they hadn't seen each other for years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently, it was pretty emotional. "I couldn't stop crying," Winslet said. "I've known him for half of my life. It's not as if I've found myself in New York or he's been in London and there's been a chance to have dinner or grab a coffee and have a catch-up." Like "so many friendships globally, we've missed each other because of COVID," she noted, since they hadn't been able to travel outside of their countries. But, Winslet added, "He's my friend, my really close friend. We're bonded for life." Just not so bonded that she was able to make room for him on the raft.

The Daily Mail ET Canada

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