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Tag: This Week's Cover (71-80 of 252)

This Week's Cover: 'Game of Thrones' wildest season yet!

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You may think you know how brutal HBO’s beautiful dark twisted fantasy Game of Thrones can get, but to paraphrase Wildling temptress Ygritte: “You know nothing about season 3.” Based on roughly the first half of the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the fan-favorite A Storm of Swords, this season continues the ultra-complex story of rival families vying for power in a fantasy kingdom where winter and summer last for years. It includes some of the most rousing jump-off-the-couch moments of triumph in the saga’s five-books-and-counting history — as well as its most bloody casualties. In geek terms: It’s The Empire Strikes Back of the Thrones-verse. “Emotionally, this season really goes for the jugular,” Thrones executive story editor Bryan Cogman tells Entertainment Weekly in this week’s issue. “In some cases, quite literally.”

The emotional ramp-up couldn’t happen at a better time. Game of Thrones is bigger than ever, and about to get bigger still. Last year viewership climbed to rank as HBO’s third most-popular show of all time, averaging 11.6 million viewers weekly across all the company’s platforms. With season 2’s DVD release breaking the network’s sales records last month, it’s a safe bet that Thrones viewership will soon catapult to even greater heights. But will season 3 also be the best one so far, as fans dearly hope?

Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are reluctant to raise expectations any higher, but are optimistic. “Like the book, it builds,” Benioff says. “Once the season kicks into gear, we’ve already seen stuff that makes me think it will be the best one yet. And it ought to be.” While season 2 poured a disproportionate amount of resources into the final couple hours, this round has major moments throughout; a “hammering propulsion,” as Weiss puts it. “There’s major massive events happening like I don’t think we’ve ever had before,” Weiss says. One particular “Scene Which Shall Not Be Named,” as Benioff called it, left the Thrones team devastated. “I’ve never seen the crew so emotional,” Benioff says. “If the scene has that effect on the people making it who know what’s coming, if they’re that overpowered, I think it’s going to have an overwhelming effect on people watching it.” READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: Matt Damon and Michael Douglas go 'Behind the Candelabra' in HBO's Liberace biopic

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Yes, that really is Michael Douglas and Matt Damon under the prosthetic makeup, wigs, and crystal-trimmed suits — all part of their costumes for Behind the Candelabra, the new Steven Soderbergh-directed HBO movie (airing May 26) about the stranger-than-fiction romance between Liberace (Douglas) and his young lover, Scott Thorson (Damon) from 1978 to 1982. In this week’s issue, Damon and Douglas give a frank, funny interview about filming one of the weirdest, glitziest gay love stories ever put on film, one that required both actors to do things they’d never done before onscreen. Like, say, wearing a metallic thong — and nothing else. “Every Sunday night, this girl would come to my house and I would stand in my garage and I would hike my boxer briefs up into the crack of my a– and she would give me a spray tan,” explains Damon, who spends plenty of the movie in tiny swimsuits, and wasn’t too excited about his real-life wife seeing his bronzed backside. “We’ve been through three childbirths, we’ve been in the trenches, there are no secrets. But I really wish she didn’t see that. That’s too much.”
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This week's cover: 'Oz the Great and Powerful' hits the yellow brick road

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Close your eyes and begin listing all of the various characters, dialogue, imagery, creatures, props, sets, and songs you can from The Wizard of Oz. Chances are, it’ll take you about as long to finish as it took Dorothy and her companions to traipse their way to the Emerald City. That’s because the 1939 film is a part of our collective cultural memory, a work of American mythology so fundamental that it permeates our everyday lives. (Don’t believe me? Grab a box of Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, visit the ruby slippers in the Smithsonian, or watch any one of these movies.)

So how do you go about making a movie that tells the story of what happened before Dorothy’s house flew over the rainbow and landed lickety-splat on the Wicked Witch of the East? Basically, how do you make a prequel to everyone’s childhood? “Very carefully,” says Sam Raimi. The director of the Spider-Man and Evil Dead trilogies was at first extremely hesitant to take on Oz the Great and Powerful—the huge and expensive family film out March 8 that Disney hopes will hit the same sweet spot as 2010’s Alice in Wonderland—for a very simple reason: “The original is my favorite film of all time,” he says. ” I didn’t want it sullied. I didn’t want to be involved in a production that might trade off the goodwill of that film, so I didn’t even want to read the script at first. Luckily I did. And then I realized that it wasn’t at all what I thought.”
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This Week's Cover: The Surprising Power of 'Pretty Little Liars'

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Television isn’t just about ratings anymore. Now networks are fighting to earn the “most social” title for their hit shows, and one of the savviest series in the social media universe is the over-the-top teen mystery Pretty Little Liars. The ABC Family phenomenon and its digitally-inclined stars — Lucy Hale, 23; Ashley Benson, 23; Shay Mitchell, 25; and Troian Bellisario, 27 — are changing how networks measure success, one photobomb, tweet, status update, and Keek video at a time.

Some of the of their posts may be related to the ABC Family drama, where the girls play an atypically glamorous high school foursome tormented by anonymous and cunning cyberbullies out to punish the friends of a dead queen bee. But the cast’s real gift is for unleashing more personal-flavored details — a video of Benson slinking around to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” with person-of-interest James Franco; photos of Hale in the studio recording her country album — that serve as a dose of gossip-crack for viewers and fans, which keeps them clicking and tuning in. Pretty Little Liars draws 3.8 million viewers each week, while also maintaining a colossal digital footprint of more than 10 million likes on Facebook, a Twitter handle (@ABCFpll) with a million-plus followers, and four stars who collectively reach more than 5.5 million with a tweet or retweet. (Hale alone boasts 2.2 million Twitter followers.)
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This week's cover: Seth MacFarlane's Oscar balancing act

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Seth MacFarlane is well aware of his Achilles heel — it’s his Achilles heel.

“It’s the dancing that’s just kicking my ass. I’m not a dancer,” the soon-to-be Oscar hosts admits in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which goes behind the scenes of the Academy Awards to see just how the Family Guy and Ted creator intends to pull off the biggest live show of the year. With the animated TV hits Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show to oversee, a comedy Western film starting in the spring, and a particularly song-and-dance heavy awards telecast to emcee, everyone needs a piece of him right now — while MacFarlane is just trying to hold it all together.

After releasing Music Is Better Than Words, an album of swinging jazz songs, he feels he has the song part of “song-and-dance man” down, but a flu virus has left his vocal chords scratchy at a time when he’s pre-recording some comedy bits for the Feb. 24 show. “For the Oscars, it’ll be fine,” MacFarlane promises. “It’s Family Guy that’s always a nightmare. … Sometimes I have no choice but to record even if I’ve got a cold, and you can hear it in the fact that Stewie, Quagmire, and Peter all have a cold at the same time.”
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This week's cover: Your first look at 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

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Sure, J.J. Abrams just signed on to direct the new Star Wars sequel, but before he heads to that “galaxy far, far away,” the most sought after director in Hollywood has another sci-fi blockbuster to finish working on: Star Trek Into Darkness, the follow up to his smash 2009 reboot Star Trek, which earned $386 million worldwide and introduced Captain Kirk, Uhura, and Spock to a brand new generation of Trekkies. Abrams sums up the current state of his career with just one word: “Madness.”

In this week’s EW we give you an exclusive first look at the space age sequel that has geekdom waiting with bated breath. Star Trek Into Darkness, due May 17, has sparked feverish online speculation since the day it was announced — most of it about whether or not the film’s resident baddie, John Harrison, played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, is actually the infamous super villain Khan.
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This week's cover: Lena Dunham, the beautiful (and dirty) mind behind 'Girls'

Does anyone not have a very strong opinion about Lena Dunham? The Golden Globes adore her edgy HBO comedy Girls. So does Jon Hamm. And Jon Stewart. And broke twentysomethings everywhere. And probably their parents, too. But in this week’s cover story, Dunham acknowledges that her show has also earned some haters, and she’s ready to respond to everyone from James Franco (who famously called Dunham out for “creating another show about white people… [set] in one of the most culturally mixed cities in the world”) to Barbara Walters (who said she found the show’s depiction of sex “shocking” and “depressing”). Other things she’s ready to reveal to senior writer Melissa Maerz? The story of The Great High School Cheese Puff Fiasco that helped shape her taste in comedy. The inspiration behind that amazing conversation about race that she had with Donald Glover on Girls. Oh, and what happened with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and that “middle school” comment. READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: The Oscar race is on!

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The Oscar race has turned into an all-out brawl. With Hollywood in an uproar over director snubs for Argo‘s Ben Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, and Lincoln trying to maintain frontrunner status in one of the most competitive and surprise-filled award seasons in memory, Entertainment Weekly plunges into the dynamics of the ongoing Oscar race in this week’s cover. Lincoln has a leading 12 nominations going into the Feb. 24 ceremony, but Affleck is generating sympathy from voters who feel he was robbed by not getting a director’s nod — especially since he seems to be winning everything else.
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This Week's Cover: Your first look at 'Hunger Games' sequel, 'Catching Fire'

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The revolution has been sparked. In this week’s cover story, EW traveled to Waikiki, Hawaii where cast and crew were in the final days of production on the eagerly anticipated Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire (in theaters Nov. 21). Just as the revolution that could embolden the people of Panem rests on young Katniss Everdeen’s shoulders, the success of the franchise depends largely upon Jennifer Lawrence. After spending the day outrunning death in a nearby jungle, the 22-year-old actress ordered herself a Budweiser and kicked back in the Trump balcony lounge to discuss the sequel, her life now as a blockbuster star, and her willful inability to behave like the nice sound-bite machine Hollywood might expect her to be. “It’s almost like I subconsciously don’t want to work anymore so I’m trying to ruin my career,” she says with a laugh at one point, before leaning in close to the reporter’s tape recorder. “I’m pregnant!” she joked.

From her first meeting with new director Francis Lawrence (“I spit egg inside his mouth when I was talking. Into his mouth”) to the raucous party she hosted for the Catching Fire cast and crew (“When Sam walked in I was chasing Woody and we’d flipped over my couch and Woody had a sock all the way down my throat…”), Lawrence was frank and funny and self-aware. “I’m so aware of all the b.s. that surrounds Hollywood,” she says, “and how everyone gets on this high horse and thinks that they’re curing cancer and it makes me so uncomfortable every time I see it. So I go in the exact opposite direction and end up saying something like ‘I’m pregnant!’ when I’m in two franchises.”
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This Week's Cover: Inside the making (and remaking) of NBC's 'Smash'

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The show that everyone wanted to love — and everyone loved to hate — is back. And guess what? It’s good. This week, Entertainment Weekly gets an exclusive inside look at NBC’s ambitious overhaul of their musical drama, Smash. (Click here to buy the issue.) There’s a lot riding on it for a lot of people, first and foremost the show’s 10(!) executive producers, including Hollywood’s biggest director, Steven Spielberg; Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the Oscar-winning Chicago); and Tony-winning composing team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray). This impressive pedigree made Smash the most high-profile premiere of 2012, and the series started strong with a stellar pilot, which followed the team behind a new Marilyn Monroe musical called Bombshell, including the two starlets vying for the lead, Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty). Then several things went wrong. Like Ellis (Jaime Cepero), the sweater-vested sexually ambiguous assistant to Broadway producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston). Or the wardrobe of Bombshell‘s lyricist, Julia (Debra Messing), which featured a collection of distractingly large — and ugly — scarves. “I thought it was really shocking, that it offended some people to their bone,” says Messing. “There were some virulent things written about these scarves.” Jokes Hilty, “Who knew that Debra Messing’s scarves would become a drinking game? When I heard that, I was like, Really?”

New showrunner Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl) got the gig after selling NBC on his plan for the new Smash: More star power (Jennifer Hudson! Liza Minnelli!), more ambitious plotting, more original music (including tunes from a new Rent-esque project called Hit List), and absolutely no more scarves. Judging by the first three episodes, Safran has given Smash some much-needed mood stabilizers to eradicate its whiplash tone and character shifts, and the new players — like bad boy songwriter Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), a love interest for Karen, and Broadway superstar Veronica Moore (guest star Hudson) — bring fresh energy to the storytelling. Basically, this season could be retitled Smash 2.0: Go Big or Go Home.  “Some things you’ll fail with because being audacious doesn’t always fly,” says NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “But I think we have to be audacious or we’re dead.”

Watch footage of EW’s cover shoot below with stars Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty alongside Smash newcomer Jennifer Hudson, who appears in three episodes this season. READ FULL STORY

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