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A chat with Ron Shelton after his 'Bull Durham' musical debuted in Atlanta

In Bull Durham, Ron Shelton’s classic 1988 baseball movie, Kevin Costner’s sage journeyman catcher, Crash Davis, is sent to the low-level minors to mentor a flame-throwing knucklehead named Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), who couldn’t hit water with his fastball if he fell out of a boat. One of them is on the fast-track to the big leagues, and the other is just trying to hang on for one more season of baseball—both of them are madly in love with a local Bulls’ groupie named Annie (Susan Sarandon).

On Sept. 3, Bull Durham the musical began a month of previews at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Atlanta isn’t exactly the Carolina League—Aida and The Color Purple had their starts at the Alliance. But if Broadway is The Show, then the show’s producers—including the film’s writer/director Ron Shelton—are hoping their production is more like Nuke. “We’re here until Oct. 5, but beyond that, we can’t say anything concrete,” says Shelton, who also penned the musical’s book, “but Broadway is obviously everyone’s goal and intention.”

Shelton, a former minor-league player himself who’s directed some of the finest sports movies of the last 25 years (White Men Can’t Jump, Tin Cup), fielded musical-theater offers for years before finally agreeing to bring his most famous work to the stage. Producers Jack Viertel and Laura Stanczyk approached Shelton about four years ago, and this time, he said yes. Since then, Shelton and lyricist Susan Werner have set out to make a musical that somehow incorporates both locker-room humor and Bermuda-Triangle references to a woman’s anatomy. A pair of Tony-nominees, Will Swenson (Hair) and Melissa Errico (Amour), play Crash and Annie, and John Behlmann cuts loose as Nuke, a regular nuclear meltdown.

Shelton spoke to EW the day after the show’s premiere. READ FULL STORY

Funny or Die spoofs 'Divergent' with Michelle Obama, Chloe Grace Moretz

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Let’s face it: Divergent is a fictional story. But if an apocalypse doesn’t seem realistic, what about a snackpocalypse? Sadly, a snackpocalypse is much more realistic.

And that’s the basis of a new Funny or Die video that features Chloe Grace Moretz, Tyler Posey, and, just because it can, Michelle Obama. In Snackpocalypse, Moretz plays the heroine destined to stand out amongst the factions of Pizza Pals, Pop Rockers, Hufflepuffs, and more when her peers abandon healthy food for junk food. And because every reluctant heroine needs a push, Posey (and his alleged back tattoos) shows up to encourage Moretz on her journey to stop everyone from eating all the junk food and, you know, try an apple every now and again.

As for the First Lady? Well, she’d just rather watch Frozen again.

READ FULL STORY

Loki fans, rejoice: Here's an entire movie about him

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Few comic book characters have received a bigger boost from a movie adaptation than Loki, Son of Odin. Before 2011’s Thor, Loki was generally rendered as a malicious grinning creep, a “trickster” bad guy with less substance than a season-3 Adam West Batman villain.

There were occasional exceptions–but nothing that ever matched the geekosphere-spanning depth charge of Tom Hiddleston’s scene-stealing performance. Hiddleston gave Loki an air of dreamy-tragic cool–he’s Asgard’s rebel without a cause–and then Avengers gave Hiddleston a greatest-hits selection of villainous one-liners. The character was practically the co-lead in Thor: The Dark World–and in a franchise that’s shockingly low on even halfway decent villains, he’s arguably just as important for the ongoing health of the onscreen Marvelverse as any of the non-Downey superheroes. READ FULL STORY

Warner Bros. registers four superhero-movie domain names: Is this DC Phase 2?

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Warner Bros’ explicit attempt to conjure up their own superhero-movie mega-franchise has led to a summer of tantalizing hints and possible red herrings. Is Dwayne Johnson playing Shazam…or is he playing Shazam’s nemesis? Will the Aquaman movie feel 300-y or Castle-ish? If Guillermo Del Toro talks about a movie, does that mean it’s definitely happening or definitely not happening? READ FULL STORY

12 lessons we learned from 2014's summer movies

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What a summer at the movies! The galaxy got guarded. The future days went past, like some sort of extinct age. The planet of the apes stopped rising and started dawning. Our stars had a fault. And also: Lucy!

Hollywood had a rough season at the box office in summer 2014, with overall box-office receipts falling precipitously from last year’s flurry of mega-grossers. Going into this weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy, the highest-grossing film at the summer box-office, has earned about $256 million–which would have made it the fifth highest-grossing movie of summer 2013. READ FULL STORY

'Goosebumps' writer R.L. Stine on fear: 'I've never experienced it'

R.L. Stine doesn’t exactly sympathize with victims in horror movies. “When I go to a movie or something, and the shark jumps up on the screen and eats the girl, I’m the one in the theater who’s laughing,” the Goosebumps author tells EW. “Horror always makes me laugh.”

Something else that makes Stine laugh? Mostly Ghostly: Meet My Ghoulfriend, a film based on Stine’s Mostly Ghostly book series that coms to DVD Sept. 2. In the movie, Max (Ryan Ochoa) plays a teenage boy who’s trying to impress his crush (Bella Thorne) but faces an otherwordly obstacle: The Berserker Ghoul, a ghost that inhabits him every so often and makes him go, well, berserk at inopportune times. READ FULL STORY

The Russo Brothers talk 'Winter Soldier,' 'Cap 3' and returning to 'Community'

Captain America: The Winter Soldier triumphantly arrives on DVD/Blu-Ray on Sept. 9, after marching to the top of the 2014 box office and earning critical accolades. The film departs wildly from the original Captain America, refocusing Steve Rogers in our brave new freaked-out world. Cap 2 was directed by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, heretofore best known as ace TV directors. EW caught up with the Russo brothers to talk about Winter Soldier, their work on 2016’s Cap threequel, Agent Carter, and their impending return to Community. READ FULL STORY

The Summer of Butts: An exhaustive booty trend timeline

Ah, the summer of 2014: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. Though mostly, let’s face it, it was the worst. Yet even as horrific violence and heartbreakingly premature deaths and hemorrhagic fevers have marred the past few months, there have also been a few spots of levity. And most are thanks to butts.

True, the humble hiney is no stranger to celebration, especially when it’s warm outside. (You may, however, be shocked to learn that Sisquo’s “Thong Song” was actually released in January.) But this summer went above and beyond, prominently featuring ladies’ posteriors in movies, TV shows, and, more than anywhere else, music. As the season unofficially comes to a close over Labor Day Weekend, let’s take a look back at the Butts of Summer.

May 2
Consider this tasty little news story an appetizer: Word breaks that Japanese Godzilla fans are incensed about the monster’s appearance in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming reboot. Why? Because it’s just so… round, and out there: “It’s fat from the neck downwards and massive at the bottom,” one says. Clearly, nobody appreciates a big ol’ booty like Americans do—as the next three months will prove.

May 21
You know how summer movie season begins over Memorial Day weekend, even though summer doesn’t technically start until mid-June? Well, the Summer of Butts officially launched when Jason Derulo first crooned “You know what to do with that big fat butt” in the music video for “Wiggle.” READ FULL STORY

We ranked the songs in 'Mary Poppins' for its 50th anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Disney’s glitzy Los Angeles Mary Poppins premiere. As the recent movie Saving Mr. Banks showed, writing the music for Mary Poppins was not an easy task for composers Richard and Robert Sherman, who had to contend with prickly Poppins author P. L. Travers. “She was terrible to us—just very negative and unreceptive. I felt like we were drowning,” Richard told EW last year.

Despite all that, there’s a lot of music in this movie—probably more than you remember. The movie’s soundtrack features 16 songs with lyrics, and not all are as indelible as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “A Spoonful of Sugar.” (Also, for what it’s worth, some individual tracks are variations on similar themes, like most of Mr. Banks’ songs.)

Without further ado, here’s EW’s ranking of every tune on the soundtrack. Try getting “Chim Chim Cher-ee” out of your head now.

READ FULL STORY

Billy Crystal remembers Robin Williams during Emmys

Billy Crystal remembered Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11 at 63, during the Emmys memorial segment Monday evening.

Before Crystal’s tribute, the Emmys also remembered other stars who died this year, including Paul Walker, James Avery, Ann B. Davis, Shirley Temple, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, and Sid Caesar, in a video segment that played as Sara Bareilles sang Nat King Cole’s “Smile” live.

The video segment ended on a photo of Robin Williams as Billy Crystal began his tribute onstage. “He made us laugh. Hard,” Crystal started. “Every time you saw him.” Crystal and Williams starred in 1997 comedy Fathers’ Day together and also both had supporting roles in 1996’s Hamlet. READ FULL STORY

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