Between their grown-up adaptations of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind and their upcoming biopic slate, which includes films about Whitney Houston and Aaliyah, Lifetime is re-establishing itself as the go-to channel for tactless entertainment. Sure, it’s not high art, but it is fun to watch with a few drinks and a carton of ice cream, and what else do you really need after a long week? Still, one of their upcoming films has the potential to take that absurdity and turn it into must-see TV: The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.
Based on multiple independently-conducted interviews – and not, thankfully, Dustin Diamond’s 2009 memoir – the film will chronicle all of Bayside’s dirtiest secrets, and promises to change the way you look at the classic teen comedy, if you’re one of the few who made it through Diamond’s press tour without being traumatized. Thus far, all that’s been revealed is the cast, who you can check out on BuzzFeed, but the network is keeping the lid on what kind of shocking secrets will make it into the film. Going by the rumors, speculation and secondhand gossip that have circulated over the years, though, we’d say the film has plenty of shocking revelations up its sleeve; the Saved by the Bell story has it all.
Sex If you believe even a fraction of what Diamond wrote in his memoir, everyone was hooking up with one another behind the scenes at Bayside. And we do mean everybody: all three girls are rumored to have slept with Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffany-Amber Theissen slept with a few of the show’s memorable guest stars, and Diamond was apparently picking up girls left and right at Disneyland. What else would you expect to happen with a bunch of teenagers stuck together for hours on end?
Drugs Despite the gang’s memorable refusal of drug use on the show, Diamond maintains that everyone was actually getting high off-camera. Apparently, Theissen's dressing room was the place to hang out if you were interested in lighting up. The actor formerly known as Screech also alleged that Gosselaar was using steroids during his time on the show, which the latter had since denied. Whether it’s true or not, you can bet it’ll show up in the movie.
Scandal Between the rumors of NBC paying hush money to a girl who accused Lopez of sexually assaulting her, Diamond’s revelation that he had a relationship with Linda Mancuso, the network’s Head of Children’s Programming, and the speculation that executives and producers were abusing their power over the stars of the show, there are more potential twists and turns in this story than all of V.C. Andrews’ novels put together.
Falls From Grace After spending five years as straight-laced Jessie Spano, Elizabeth Berkley decided to branch out with a role in the NC-17 cult classic Showgirls, a move that sent her career into a tailspin for years afterwards, even if it did give the world a new way to pronounce “Versace.” Thanks to his father’s mishandling of his Saved by the Bell earnings, Diamond went broke as an adult. Although, if he hadn’t needed the money, he might never have written his wonderfully terrible memoir, and there would so much less juicy Saved by the Bell gossip in the world…
In-Fighting With this many teenagers in one place, there must have been plenty of drama. Though there haven’t been too many fights or feuds at Bayside, Diamond does maintain that he was picked on and left out of things by the rest of the cast. Maybe they were just trying to help him get into character?
Sweet '80s Fashions Saved by the Bell was on during the finest period in American fashion: the late '80s and early '90s. Since everything is more ridiculous in hindsight, expect plenty of acid-washed denim, teased hair, garish print and color combinations, crop tops and bows – and that was just Kelly’s wardrobe. We don’t even know how they’re going to tackle every ridiculous thing that Slater wore.
The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story premieres on September 1 at 9pm on Lifetime. We're so excited, we're so scared!
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There may have been a time when Zoe Saldana was pegged as just another pretty face in Hollywood. By now, we all know the type: gorgeous, thin, kinda racially ambiguous, and talented enough to make it all work. But it seems that the actress has no intention of playing eye candy any longer. Over the past few years she's taken on projects like The Words and Colombiana, and even her roles in Avatar and the Star Trek franchise have allowed her to branch out. Considering the movies she has lined up right now, it looks like Zoe is making some truly exciting career moves. Here's a look at three new movies we can all get psyched about.
The web practically exploded with rage when it was announced that Zoe Saldana would be taking on the role of legendary jazz singer and activist Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic, due mostly to the fact that Saldana is lighter-skinned and more conventionally Hollywood-pretty than the fierce and fabulous Simone. Now that the fury has died down, and Zoe herself has spoken out about her decision to take the lead in Nina, we can't help but get excited about the movie. At the very least, it seems only fair that audiences take Zoe's advice and see the film before passing judgment. Here's hoping that Zoe -- a completely capable actress -- surprises the naysayers.
Starring alongside Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, and Clive Owen, Zoe joins a seriously impressive cast in the new film from French director Guillaume Canet. The Brooklyn-set crime drama will be a gritty new look for Zoe, but she also brings some romance to the film, playing lover to Billy Crudup's character Frank.
Out Of The Furnace
It is impossible to not get excited about this one. Zoe will be in excellent company with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Forest Whitaker on board. Although she's playing another love interest, we expect things to get really intense, really fast, and Zoe will certainly have the opportunity to prove that she can play hard with the big boys.
More:Zoe Saldana Speaks Out On Nina Simone RoleMarion Cotillard Has Exciting New Films In The WorksZoe Saldana And Her Sister Head Into The Production Biz
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The Screen Actors Guild will present Clint Eastwood with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG Awards on March 9. Eastwood first gained recognition when he starred in a trilogy of popular spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, including A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. His screen incarnation of "Dirty Harry" Callahan--the cop who found it easier to shoot suspects than interrogate them--in the actioners Dirty Harry and Sudden Impact spawned the immortal line: "Go ahead--make my day." Eastwood is currently directing his 24th feature film, Mystic River, which also marks his 19th time as producer. SAG president Melissa Gilbert called Eastwood a film icon, adding, "His prolific career as an actor and filmmaker demonstrates a total command of the medium that has rightly earned him the admiration of his peers, the industry and the public."
During preparations for the MTV Europe Awards, rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs told Reuters he wished his ex Jennifer Lopez the best of luck in her future with Ben Affleck. He then flashed a huge canary yellow diamond on his finger and said he would lavish his future wife with such jewels. Combs, who is hosting the awards show in Barcelona on Thursday, added, "By Thursday, everyone will be focused on me again."
Singer Bobby Brown was ordered to stand trial in Georgia later this month on charges dating back to 1996, including driving under the influence of alcohol, Reuters reports. The charge surfaced when the R&B singer and husband of Whitney Houston was arrested last Thursday in Atlanta for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, speeding and having no driver's license or proof of insurance.
Former talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael filed a libel lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Tuesday against the National Enquirer. According to Reuters, Raphael alleges the tabloid falsely reported in its Oct. 22 issue that she had suffered a mental breakdown after the cancellation of her long-running talk show. She is seeking punitive damages exceeding $100 million.
The American Film Institute announced plans Tuesday for a new top-100 list that will rank the top screen villains and heroes. According to The Associated Press, the institute is sending ballots to nearly 1,500 directors, actors, studio executives, critics and others involved in the entertainment industry. Voters will be able to choose among 400 nominated characters from American film history.
Warner Bros. Pictures is making a feature film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the novel will be adapted and executive produced by screenwriter David Benioff. This is not the first time Bell will make its way to the big screen. Paramount Pictures' 1943 version, which starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, was nominated for nine Oscars.
Sopranos stars Drea de Matteo and Michael Imperioli will co-host VH1's Big in 2002 Awards on Dec. 15, the AP reports. The ceremony pays tribute to "those moments and people that captivated and inspired us in 2002," the cable channel said. Categories include "Strange but True," "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Been Caught Scene Stealing."
Guitarist Carlos Santana, country singer Willie Nelson and teen rock sensation Michelle Branch will headline the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 11. The show will pay tribute to former president Jimmy Carter. Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange will emcee the show.