The daily gossip: January 13, 2020

Scott Meslow
Joaquin Phoenix.
Warner Bros.

1.

Joker tops the list of 2020 Oscar nominees

Your list of Academy Award nominees for 2020 has finally arrived. Topping the roster is Joker, which earned 11 nominations overall, including Best Picture, Best Director (Todd Phillips), and Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix). Yes, comic book movies really have penetrated Hollywood at every level, including the Oscars themselves — as long as the movie in question has enough blood and cussing to let Oscar voters pretend they're not watching a comic book movie. [The Hollywood Reporter]

2.

Elton John might have known about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit before the Queen did

Last week, most of the world was shocked when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle suddenly announced plans to "step back" from their duties as senior members of the British royal family. But one unlikely person may have had at least some inkling about the schism: Sir Elton John. A source says John lent a supportive ear to Harry and Meghan "every day" in the weeks leading up to their announcement — because if you're going to get advice about a messy royal conflict, it might as well be from the guy who did The Lion King. [Page Six]

3.

Queen Elizabeth formally gives her blessing for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new 'independent life'

Of course, the concrete details of when and how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will actually be permitted to "step back" from the British royal family are still being hashed out — but the whole process took a big step forward on Monday, when Queen Elizabeth issued a statement saying she had "very constructive discussions" with the couple about their move to an "independent life." And if you think it's kind of weird that a married couple in their 30s basically had to ask their grandma for permission to move to Canada… well, you're starting to understand why Harry and Meghan might be ready to opt out of royal life in the first place. [Us Weekly]

4.

CBS orders a Silence of the Lambs sequel series

Time to break out the the fava beans and Chianti: Clarice Starling is bound for the small screen. A new CBS drama, titled Clarice, will revisit the Silence of the Lambs protagonist one year after the events of the Oscar-winning film, as she works as an FBI agent hunting murderers and predators in Washington D.C. No word on whether or not Hannibal Lecter will be appearing in the series, but just to be safe, Clarice might want to turn down any unexpected invitations from old friends to dinner. [Entertainment Weekly]

5.

Baby Yoda cost about $5 million

They say you can't put a price of love — but no matter how much you adore Baby Yoda, you'd need some seriously deep pockets to keep him for yourself. Actor Adam Pally, who played a stormtrooper in the season finale of The Mandalorian, revealed that showrunner Jon Favreau warned him that the Baby Yoda puppet cost around $5 million just before Pally shot his scene. And given that the scene in question involved Pally punching Baby Yoda, let's hope at least some of that money was put towards durability. [Entertainment Weekly]