Pop star Louis Tomlinson's takeover of his beloved English soccer club has fallen flat due to funding issues. The One Direction singer was announced as the new boss of Doncaster Rovers last month (Jun14), after his joint offer with former club chairman John Ryan was officially accepted by shareholders.
They established The Tomlinson/Ryan Trust to support and develop the team after the Rovers were relegated to the third tier of English soccer in May (14). They launched a money-raising campaign on Crowdfunder.co.uk to help them hit their $3.4 million (£2 million) target. Tomlinson and Ryan also agreed to donate a six-figure sum themselves.
The pair was dealt a blow on Thursday (17Jul14) after Football League officials, who still had to approve the bid, rejected the duo's takeover attempt amid concerns the two business partners do not have the proper finances to run the club properly.
The news emerged on the same day their crowdfunding campaign closed, $2.1 million (£1.24 million) short of their goal.
Breaking the news to fans on Twitter.com, Tomlinson writes, "I'm absolutely gutted the Doncaster Rovers deal is not going ahead. I am desperate for the club to be given the recognition it deserves.
"I was explicitly told that the deal to buy the club was not dependent on the money raised by Crowdfunding. Unfortunately I was misled.
"My passion for Doncaster Rovers remains as strong as ever, and I hope that I can still be involved with the club moving forward! And to all the Doncaster Rovers fans, I will do all in my power to help the club succeed. I really do love the club!"
Looks like they won't be "live from New York" any longer. After a difficult, uneven season that saw an influx of new cast members, controversy and the loss of Head Writer and "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers halfway through the year, Saturday Night Live is by cutting down its slate of featured players down to a more manageable size. Brooks Wheelan announced that he would be leaving Tuesday morning on Twitter (via a joke, natch). Later in the day, it was announced that Noël Wells and John Milhiser also wouldn't return after they failed to make an impression with audiences this year. Those announcements come about a month after Nasim Pedrad, one of the current longest-running cast members, would be leaving to work on Mulaney.
But just because they won't be on SNL any longer, that doesn't mean that it's the last we'll ever see of Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. There are plenty of people who only lasted a couple of seasons on the show and then went on to become major stars: Sarah Silverman, Damon Wayans, Rob Riggle, and Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., to name just a few. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at their tenure on SNL in order to best predict what's next for Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. Although if any one of them is going to wind up playing a superhero, our money's on Heshy.
Brooks Wheelan What’s Next: Wheelan doesn’t have a lot lined up at the moment, though he does have a short film titled Lose Yourself, Save Yourself, where he plays Fighter 2. His Strengths: Possibly because he comes from a standup background rather than a sketch one, Wheelan didn’t create very many memorable characters, and his most significant moments on the show were his two appearances as himself on “Weekend Update,” where he would warn audiences against the dangers of getting terrible tattoos and binge drinking. Where We See Him: Wheelan seems to embody the same kind of “goofy, wisecracking All-American” guy that actors like Jake Johnson or fellow SNL alum Jason Sudeikis trade on. We could easily see him bringing some of the energy to a sitcom where he plays the sarcastic straight guy to a group of off-the-wall characters. Still, his weirdly funny exterminator bit with Ed Norton proves he’s capable of some truly strange characters, and so we could see him playing smaller, supporting roles in films for a while as a variety of strange, obnoxious characters. And of course, there’s always his stand up career to fall back on…
Noël Wells What’s Next: Wells has the TV series Gentleman Lobsters, which is slated for a 2014 premiere. She’s also a photographer in her spare time, and her work has been showcased in exhibitions and been printed in magazines. Her Strengths: Though they were slightly hit and miss – her Nancy Grace was four minutes of eye twitches and catchphrases – Wells made the biggest impact on the show through her impressions, most notably, playing Lena Dunham in the season premiere’s parody of Girls. Where We See Her: Though her talent with impressions and slightly offbeat characters would serve her well on another sketch show, something along the lines of Inside Amy Schumer or Key and Peele, Wells most reminds us of two other early SNL departures: Jenny Slate and Casey Wilson. Like them, Wells has a quirky charm to her that would serve her well in indie films (she actually earned solid reviews for her work in last year’s Forev) and in an ensemble sitcom, where she would be free to play up her weirder side.
John Milhiser What’s Next: Like Wheelan, Milhiser has a short film on his slate, Little Horribles, and he also starred in the indie film Camp Takota, which is available online. His Strengths: Milhiser didn’t get much of a chance to make an impression on audiences, although eh did show off a pitch-perfect Jon Cryer impression during a Family Feud sketch. He did, however, have one highlight during his tenure, a sketch where he and Lady Gaga played “encouraging” stage parents helping their child through a talent show performance, which let him show off his goofier side, and his ability to execute a high kick. Where We See Him: Milhiser strikes us as a Ben Falcone or Nat Faxon-type, someone who pops up in different things all the time, playing characters with varying levels of insanity and oddity. He’s definitely shown that he can play both weird and silly characters, but since he didn’t make that much of an impression, he’ll probably be “that guy from that thing” for a while, until he manages to find the right project to help him break out.
Nasim Pedrad What’s Next: After five years on SNL, Pedrad is leaving in order to play Jane, the roommate of John Mulaney’s character on the FOX sitcom Mulaney. Her Strengths: During her time on the show, Pedrad played a wide variety of characters, including Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Bedelia, the awkward teenager whose best friend is her mother and Shallon, the world’s most dangerous fifth grader. Though she never made the kind of impression that Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon have, she’s become a vital part of the ensemble over the past five years, thanks to her ability to inhabit both the sanest and the oddest human beings. Where We See Her: Hopefully, her role on Mulaney will be exactly what she needs to properly break out, since she never quite managed to on SNL. From there, we could see her following a similar career path to Wiig or Tina Fey, playing both broad comedy and more serious roles in both television in movies. Alternatively, she could become more of a Michaela Watkins/Ana Gasteyer- type, and becoming the go-to actress for slightly odd, scene-stealing characters.
Actress Elle Fanning has reportedly been cast to star in the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2006 short story How To Talk To Girls At Parties.
John Cameron Mitchell will direct the film, which will centre on an alien tourist who wants to escape her tour group and finds love with a schoolboy who enjoys art and music.
Ringo Starr has teamed up with fashion designer John Varvatos to raise funds for director David Lynch's transcendental meditation foundation. The former Beatles star is the face of Varvatos' 2014 Peace Rocks autumn fashion collection, and the rocker announced the news during a rally in Los Angeles on Monday (07Jul14) to mark his 74th birthday.
In a black and white promotional picture for the drive, Starr wears sunglasses and a leather jacket and pulls his trademark 'peace' sign. Each campaign snap will be accompanied by the #PeaceRocks hashtag.
Fans are encouraged to post 'selfie' snaps of themselves making the peace finger gesture on Twitter.com and every time the hashtag is used, Varvatos' company will donate $1 (£1.70) to the Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund, which supports Lynch's foundation.
The moviemaker's charity promotes the use of transcendental meditation in public schools and for members of the military.
Starr also appears in a short film for the campaign in which he sits behind a drum kit and talks about his musical aspirations as a youngster.
The musician tells WWD.com of his new project, "John Varvatos made me a male model finally. At home, I've always been a male model. And now I'm out on the streets with it."
Sir Paul McCartney has recruited actor/musician Johnny Depp to co-star in his new music video.
The promo for Early Days begins with the Beatles legend playing his acoustic guitar in a room alone, before more and more blues musicians, including Depp, appear alongside him.
Director Vincent Haycock claims the short film is a tribute to the beginnings of McCartney's relationship with his late songwriting partner and bandmate John Lennon. He says, "Their story at its core is a universal one, two young kids who bond over their passion for music and form a band and friendship. This video is about them, and every band, and every kid who has suffered the ups and downs of starting a band, whether or not they became successful."
Haycock reveals McCartney and Depp weren't the only big stars onset - rocker Patti Smith dropped by during filming, too. He adds, "Paul's scene was incredibly fun to create. It was just him, some blues players and Johnny Depp jamming on set all day. Patti Smith also turned up on set and hung out, which made the crew very happy!"
Comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney is set to wed make-up artist Annamarie Tendler in the Catskill Mountains in New York on Saturday (05Jul14). The couple's guest list includes the groom's new Mulaney sitcom co-stars Martin Short and Elliott Gould, and ex-SNL regular Seth Meyers.
Mel Gibson will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic in July (14). The Braveheart star will follow in the footsteps Dame Helen Mirren, Jude Law and John Malkovich when he receives the Crystal Globe award in recognition of his career as an actor, producer and director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, festival tradition dictates that the recipient creates a short, humorous film featuring the accolade, which is used as a trailer in following years.
The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival runs from 4-12 July (14).
Sir Elton John and Russell Brand put on special performances in London on Thursday (19June14) to raise money for Palestinian refugees. The Rocket Man star took to the stage at London hotspot Cafe de Paris to perform his hits at The Hoping Foundation's Starry Starry Night benefit, which raises funds for young Palestinian children, who fled the region to escape the political unrest.
Brand provided some light-hearted entertainment with a short stand-up routine.
The two stars, who have both supported the foundation in previous years, were watched by guests including former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher.
Jazz great Jimmy Scott has died at the age of 88. The singer passed away in his sleep on Thursday (12Jun14) at his home in Las Vegas.
Born in Ohio, Scott began performing professionally in the late 1940s and enjoyed R&B chart success in America in 1950 with Everybody's Somebody's Fool.
He enjoyed sporadic success in the 1950s and then signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine Records, where he released Falling In Love Is Wonderful in 1963.
His success was short-lived and, by the mid-1970s, he had returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a shipping clerk and an elevator operator, among other things, according to Billboard.com.
Scott enjoyed a career resurgence in the early 1990s when he appeared in the finale of David Lynch's TV drama Twin peaks and released a Grammy-nominated comeback album, titled All the Way.
He went on to release the acclaimed albums Dream and Heaven, and recorded Holding Back the Years, which featured his renditions of songs by the likes of John Lennon and Elton John.
Scott suffered from a rare genetic condition, known as Kallmann's syndrome, which left him small in stature and gave him a permanently youthful appearance and the nickname Little Jimmy Scott.
He moved from Cleveland to Las Vegas in 2007 for health reasons.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection/WENN
The main question that we imagine is swirling through the heads of J.J. Abrams and the other folks in charge of Star Wars: Episode VII is just how closely their new film should hew to the original Star Wars trilogy. The prequels, for all their good intentions, felt nothing like the Star Wars of old and suffered for it, so how should Episode VII continue the franchise? A new rumor adds even more wrinkles to the issue facing Abrams and Co.: according to Latino Review, John Boyega's character in Star Wars: Episode VII won't be a Jedi or a Padwan, but "has echos of Luke's arc in A New Hope."
It makes sense that the filmmakers are trying to find parallels between the first trilogy and the new one. Star Wars has such a dense history, not only in its own universe, but in our universe as well. Nearly everyone living and breathing has some relationship with the property, so adding new canon must be done delicately. Part of the reason the prequels have become so reviled by most Star Wars fans is because George Lucas had forgotten what made the first trilogy so appealing in the first place, but the original films shouldn’t be held as gospel. Some of the things that worked in 1977 might not fly in this strange new world of 2015 - in particular, a character like Luke might not work in the present times.
All the way back in 1977, Star Wars wasn’t the cultural monolith it is now. As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time where a galaxy far, far away was completely new territory for fans. In that first movie, the character of Luke was our eyes and ears into Lucas’ strange new world, and as the young man traveled far away from the sand-strewn stretches of his home planet to different, eye-popping corners of the galaxy, the viewer was on that same adventure of discovery. We were being guided, hand in hand, through the rules of Star Wars, with Luke serving as our companion and guide, always within earshot of some handy exposition when things got confusing. Since Luke was just a vessel for the audience, he didn’t need to be an incredibly deep character, just one to bring us from point A to point B, from Tatooine to Yavin. But now, in 2015, we don't need a wide-eyed, slack jawed outsider to soak up information for the audience anymore. We've already experienced over 40 years of Star Wars. It's hard coded into our zeitgiest, and everyone living knows how that world operates. We don’t need a character like Luke giving us a fresh-faced view of the Star Wars universe; we’ve already lived there for 40 years.
But there are other reasons a character like Luke wouldn’t work today beyond just standing in for the audience. Honestly, Luke was always a little too bratty and earnest. He constantly complained about how his dreams were being squandered living on Tatooine, and found just the right time to yell at his aunt and uncle before they were obliterated by the empire. Luke is the kind of character that doesn't really work in the modern age. Today is not an age of wide-eyed earnestness and idealism, but one filled with snarky comebacks and jaded leads. When Leia quips about Luke being too short to be a Storm Trooper, a Luke Skywalker from the Internet age would have quipped right back, not buried that insult with heroic posturing. We just don’t go for those sort of heroes in fiction anymore. Luke is very much a product of his time, and if Star Wars was made today, Han Solo would be the main character. Frankly, Han has always been the more interesting of the two anyway.
With all that said, Boyega’s character following a similar character arc to Luke’s isn’t the worst thing in the world. Luke's path from dreamer to Jedi follows the hero’s journey to a T, and it's still a useful device in fiction. What the character needs, above all else, is to be different. This new Abrams-directed trilogy should use the old characters and canon as a launching pad to explore vistas the Star Wars universe has never seen, so let's be careful with comparing these new characters to Luke Skywalker.