TIME movies

Ridley Scott Explains Why He Cast White Actors In Exodus: Gods and Kings

The famed director's upcoming film is set in Egypt, though there are no actors of color in lead roles

Those watching the trailer for the upcoming biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings for the first time might be struck by the film’s cast, though not for its talent, but for its uniform whiteness.

The Ridley Scott film counts Christian Bale (as Moses), Joel Edgerton (as Ramses), Sigourney Weaver (as Tuya) and Aaron Paul (as Joshua) as its leading cast, despite being set in ancient Egypt. The casting caused some outrage online, to which Scott has now responded in an interview with Variety. “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” the 76-year-old director said when asked about casting so many white actors. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

The answer isn’t likely to ease the backlash against the film. On social media, critics have been urging people to #BoycottExodusMovie for the “whitewashing” of the story.


TIME celebrities

Burt Reynolds Is Auctioning His Belongings to Tackle Financial Woes

Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds accepts the alpha male award at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Culver City, Calif. Frank Micelotta — Invision / AP

The 78-year-old screen legend has been bankrupted by a string of poor business decisions

Burt Reynolds is selling his Golden Globe for best supporting actor in Boogie Nights and over 600 other items to deal with his financial problems.

The auction is being organized by Julien’s at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and takes place on Dec. 11 and 12. Apart from dozens of trophies, the collection includes cars, art, prop guns, a monogrammed carriage gifted by Dolly Parton, a multitude of signed photographs, and film memorabilia such as the red leather jacket Reynolds wore in Smokey and the Bandit II.

In a foreword to the catalog, Reynolds writes “I’ve collected so many things that I truly adore but at this stage of my life I find it very difficult to manage them all.”

The 78-year old actor was one of Hollywood’s greatest stars in the 1970s, but a string of poor business decisions have bankrupted him and already forced him to sell several of his homes, writes Sky News.

Reynolds, who underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery in 2010, has revealed that he will publish a memoir late next year.

TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby Made a Deal With the National Enquirer Over a Sex Allegation

Bill Cosby
This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows entertainer and Navy veteran Bill Cosby speaking during a Veterans Day ceremony, at the The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke — AP

The comedian admitted under oath in 2005 that he gave an exclusive interview in return for the hushing of charges

Bill Cosby admitted under oath in 2005 that he gave an exclusive interview to the National Enquirer in exchange for the paper’s promise to drop an interview with onetime model Beth Ferrier, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.

The New York Times reports that the admission was made during a Sept. 2005 deposition at the Federal District Court in Philadelphia. The court documents containing the comedian’s testimony had been sealed, but were released on Wednesday in response to media requests.

“I would give them an exclusive story, my words,” Cosby testified, according to the documents, when asked about the agreement with the Enquirer. The paper, on their part, “would not print the story of — print Beth’s story,” he said.

More than a dozen women have, over the past two weeks, publicly claimed that Cosby had sexually assaulted, harassed or raped them. Cosby has denied all allegations.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME movies

James Cameron Says the Avatar Sequels Will Be ‘Bitchin’

Premiere Of "All You Need Is Love" - Arrivals
James Cameron arrives for the Premiere Of "All You Need Is Love" - Arrivals at Ray Kurtzman Theater on October 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

The first one will hit cinemas in the U.S. on Christmas Day, 2016

James Cameron, who is working on scripts for three Avatar sequels, says they are going to be “bitchin’.”

“I can tell you one thing,” Cameron told Empire magazine in an interview, “they’re gonna be bitchin’. You will sh-t yourself with your mouth wide open.”

The director divided the scripts between a team that includes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silva (who wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) and Shane Salerno (Armageddon).

“I think we met for seven months and we whiteboarded out every scene in the film together,” Cameron said.

The first of the three Avatar sequels is slated for release at cinemas in the U.S. on Christmas Day 2016, reports Mashable.


TIME Television

MasterChef Judge Joe Bastianich to Exit

FOX's "Masterchef" - Season Five
Joe Bastianich, right, in the Season 5 premiere of MasterChef FOX

MasterChef and MasterChef Junior judge Joe Bastianich is moving on

EW has confirmed that Bastianich is exiting the franchise after MasterChef Junior’s third season. Producers are still searching for someone to replace him alongside returning judges Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot.

“Joe has played an integral role in the success of both MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, and we all appreciate his incredible culinary insight, sense of humor and passion,” Fox said in a joint statement with producers Shine America and One Potato Two Potato. “He will always remain a member of the Masterchef family.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME movies

Meet Christian Grey’s Family in New ‘Fifty Shades’ Photos

Film due in theaters in February

Mr. Grey’s family will see you now…

The first Fifty Shades of Grey photos of Christian Grey’s adoptive family were released today. Because nothing says Thanksgiving like the family-friendly Fifty Shades.

50 Shades of Grey
Universal Pictures

The photos show “R.I.P” singer Rita Ora (in one, err, interesting wig) as Christian’s sister, Mia Grey, Marcia Gay Harden as his mother, Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey, and Andrew Airlie as his father, Carrick Grey.

Mark your calendars for the film’s February 13 release date, and take a look at Mia above and mom and pops below:

50 Shades of Grey
Universal Pictures
50 Shades of Grey
Universal Pictures

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

TIME Music

One Direction’s New Album ‘Four’ Makes Billboard Chart History

28th Annual ARIA Awards 2014 - Show
One Direction perform on stage during the 28th Annual ARIA Awards 2014 at the Star on November 26, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Brendon Thorne—Getty Images

Only group in the chart's 58-year history to achieve the distinction

Rejoice, One Direction fans! The five singers again appear unstoppable as they made chart history this week.

Billboard reports the group’s fourth album in three years, Four, sold 387,000 copies within the first week of its release, marking the second-largest debut of 2014 so far. With that, One Direction became the only group in the Billboard 200 chart’s 58-year history to have their first four albums debut at No. 1.

Only two other groups in the chart’s history to have seen their first four studio albums even hit the top spot were The Monkees and The Kingston Trio.


TIME Television

Prince William Is a ‘Huge’ Fan of ‘Homeland’

Investitures at Buckingham Palace. Damian Lewis from London is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 26, 2014.
Investitures at Buckingham Palace. Damian Lewis from London is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 26, 2014. Yui Mok—PA Wire/Press Association Images/AP

Duke of Cambridge comes clean while presenting honor to Damian Lewis

Actor Damian Lewis was toe-to-toe with Prince William at Buckingham Palace Wednesday.

And as he pinned the honor (which stands for Officer of the Order of the British Empire) on Lewis, William revealed that he and wife Kate were big fans of the show.

“[William] said, ‘Catherine and I are huge Homeland fans,’ ” Lewis told reporters. “He said, ‘You appeared again the other night briefly, and we all got very excited,’ which is true – but it was also on Sunday night, which means he is absolutely up to date with the latest episode. I’m amazed they have time for that.”

Lewis, who was there with wife Helen McCrory (who wore Bruce Oldfield), added he was “stupefied” when he heard he’d be receiving the honor.

“I had no idea, so it was a big, big surprise. It was a bit like being asked to be a prefect,” Lewis added. “Now I have to be extremely responsible.”

Earlier this month, William tapped the shoulders of Daniel Day-Lewis in a ceremony marking his knighthood.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Television

Jason Sudeikis Plays an Aggravated Juggler in Never-Aired ‘SNL’ Sketch

Seth Meyers gave Jason Sudeikis the chance to get his beloved, never-aired Saturday Night Live sketch about the humiliations of a juggling lessons peddler on the air as part of Late Night‘s “Second Chance Theatre” Tuesday.

Sudeikis had discussed his love for “juggling flyer” on an earlier episode of Late Night in which Meyers said the sketch is “just historic upstairs.” In it, Sudeikis plays a suspenders-wearing man who becomes enraged with the patrons of a coffee shop after realizing that no one has pulled any of the tabs from his flyer for “jugging lessons.”

The sketch is a little long, but it has some golden moments, including late in the game flubs and Fred Armisen’s impenetrable deadpan.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME radio

Serial Podcast Gets Season 2

Sarah Koenig
Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of Serial Meredith Heuer

"Between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season"

Serial, the most popular podcast in the history of podcasts, will return to give listeners one story, told week-by-week, with its just-announced second season.

“This American Life funded the bulk of Season One, but for Serial to continue, it needs to pay for itself,” staffers wrote on their website Wednesday, about one week after first asking listeners to donate. “Today, we have good news: between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season.”

Reporter and executive producer Sarah Koenig told TIME earlier this year that her team “want[s] to keep it going and the idea is that we will, if people seem interested in it.”

The producers don’t know when the season will air, nor what that story will be, probably because they still don’t know how their first story will end. The inaugural and current season of Serial is investigating the 15-year-old murder of Maryland teenager Hae Min Lee.

“I’m still reporting,” Koenig recently told the New York Times. “I said it’s not my responsibility to make a perfect ending. I do want a solid ending that is based in my reporting. But I don’t feel a responsibility to make it the kind of entertainment that you would get on some TV drama.”

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