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Chadwick Boseman: Last Post From Black Panther Star’s Twitter Account Becomes Most-Liked Tweet Ever




By ANI | Updated: 31 August 2020

The last tweet posted from late actor Chadwick Boseman’s Twitter account has now become the most-liked tweet ever.

As tributes and condolences continue to pour in from all quarters for the Black Panther star, the social media platform at 2:09 AM on Sunday confirmed that the tweet shared by his team, announcing Boseman’s death, is the most-liked tweet of all time.

“Most Liked Tweet ever. A tribute fit for a King. #WakandaForever,” Twitter official handle read.

The Get on Up actor died at the age of 43 on Friday after a four-year-long battle with colon cancer.

The tweet announcing Boseman’s death currently has more than 7.3 million likes and 3.1 million retweets at the time of this article’s publication.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” the tweet announced.

The sudden demise of the actor, who was popularly known as Black Panther, has left his many followers from all over the world in a deep state of sorrow.

The news triggered an outpouring of condolences with his fans taking to the micro-blogging site Twitter to remember the wonderful artist.

Boseman rose to prominence after essaying the role of the real-life figures including baseball star Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42 and American singer-songwriter James Brown in 2014’s Get on Up.

However, it was his role as Black Panther in the 2018 hit film that defined his career and made a huge imprint on his fans.

In the movie, the late actor starred as the ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology.

Hence, some of his admirers, along with the condolence message, summed up their love for him by tweeting “Wakanda Forever”.

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Netflix Confronted by US Republican Senators Over Chinese Sci-Fi Show Three-Body Problem




By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 26 September 2020

Five Republican US senators have confronted Netflix over the streaming giant’s plan to adapt a Chinese sci-fi book trilogy, expressing concern over the original author’s comments about claims of forced labor in Xinjiang.

Liu Cixin’s bestselling “The Three-Body Problem,” which tells the story of humanity’s first contact with aliens, is set to become a major Netflix series co-written by the creators of Game of Thrones.

In a letter to content boss Ted Sarandos, the senators accused Liu of “parroting dangerous [Communist Party] propaganda” and suggested Netflix was “providing a platform to Mr Liu in producing this project.”

They highlighted a New Yorker article from last year in which Liu is quoted defending mass internment in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, where activists say more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in camps.

“Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks?” Liu told the magazine. “If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.”

According to the senators’ letter, adapting Liu’s work would represent “the normalisation of, or apologism for, these crimes.”

“We ask Netflix to seriously reconsider the implications of providing a platform to Mr Liu in producing this project,” it concluded.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Donald Trump’s administration has ramped up pressure on China on a wide range of issues, imposing sanctions over policies in Xinjiang.

With Trump’s reelection bid looming closer, Republicans recently pulled Netflix into the US election fray with a separate row over French film “Cuties,” accused of sexualizing little girls.

Conservative activists say the drama is a by-product of an overly liberal culture often associated with Hollywood — and that it promotes pedophilia.

Its director denied the charges and said the movie is a critique of the over-sexualisation of young girls.

Republicans have also pointed out that Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings is a significant Democratic donor.

Liu’s father joined the Communists during China’s civil war, but was later sent to work in coal mines in the country’s north, while the author himself is described as “no dissident” in the New Yorker profile.

The trilogy by Liu — whose famous fans include former president Barack Obama — imagines an alternate history in which a female Chinese astrophysicist makes contact with an alien civilisation, prompting global fears of an invasion.

Netflix announced its adaptation earlier this month, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson serving as an executive producer, along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment company.

Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and DB Weiss will co-write the series.

In an official statement at the time, Liu said the apocalyptic series “transcends time and the confines of nations, cultures and races.”

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Apple Buys Cherry From Avengers: Endgame Directors, the Russo Brothers




By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 26 September 2020

Apple has purchased Cherry, the first film directed by the Russo brothers since their all-time record grossing Avengers: Endgame, in a major deal expected to boost the new streaming service’s Oscar hopes.

The opioid crisis drama from Anthony and Joe Russo, starring Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, will debut on Apple TV+ early next year. It is also expected to have a limited run in theatres.

Based on Nico Walker’s semi-autobiographical novel, Cherry follows a former Army medic who falls into addiction and crime after returning from Iraq with extreme undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Apple purchased the completed film from the Russos’ production company in a deal reportedly worth more than $40 million (roughly Rs. 294.79 crores). Neither party has publicly confirmed that figure.

Speaking at last year’s Comic-Con fan convention, the filmmaking brothers described the project as a “mature” and “complicated” look at the US opioid crisis set in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

“It’s touched our families, the crisis, so it’s a deeply personal movie for us,” said Anthony at the time.

“Joe and I are now in a position now where we can get those movies made, and we want to use that sort of capital that we built up,” he added.

The brothers directed four Marvel superhero movies, three of which grossed more than $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,369 crores). Their fourth, Avengers: Endgame, last year surpassed Avatar to seize the all-time box office record of $2.798 billion (roughly Rs. 20,621 crores).

The deal puts Apple TV+, which launched last November, in the race for an unusual awards season.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen major productions delayed, and theatrical releases postponed by a year or more, potentially benefiting streaming platforms.

Hollywood’s motion picture academy pushed back the Oscars by two months to allow more films to compete.

It eased some eligibility rules, allowing movies that skip the big screen and appear on streaming platforms to contend this time around.

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John Cena to Star in the Suicide Squad Spinoff Peacemaker




By ANI | Updated: 24 September 2020

Comic book fans can rejoice as The Suicide Squad star John Cena is in line for his own streaming series.

HBO Max (currently exclusive to the US) announced on Wednesday that it has ordered a spinoff of the upcoming James Gunn film, which features the 43-year-old professional wrestler as the Peacemaker from the pages of DC Comics supervillain team-up.

The eight-episode series will skip shooting a pilot and proceed right to series production.

Gunn will write all of the episodes and is said to be helming most of them, according to Deadline.

The former WWE star will also serve as a co-executive producer.

The series is expected to explore the origins of Cena’s The Suicide Squad character. In the comics, his name is Christopher Smith, a pacifist diplomat and son of a Nazi death camp commandant who fights dictators and warlords as the founder of the Pax Institute.

“James Gunn has the unique ability to create an expansive universe while also bringing to life the soul and wit of each character. We look forward to a deep dive into the world of Peacemaker, said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max.

Gunn added, “Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag. I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series.”

Cena will be next seen in F9, the ninth instalment of the popular Fast & Furious franchise, and is also tapped to play co-host to the revival of Wipeout on TBS.

Other DC Universe (also exclusive to the US) originals that have since moved to HBO Max include Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, Titans, Swamp Thing, and Young Justice.

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Quibi Streaming Service Explores Strategic Options, Including Sale: Report




By Reuters | Updated: 22 September 2020

Quibi, the streaming service founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, is exploring several strategic options including a possible sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is also considering raising more money or going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, the report said.

Quibi said it does not comment on rumour or speculation.

Quibi, the streaming service founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, is exploring several strategic options including a possible sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Amazon Cranks Up Its Music Service With Podcasts




By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 17 September 2020

Amazon on Wednesday added podcasts to its streaming music service, tapping into a trend and taking on rivals including Spotify and Apple.

Amazon Music added hit podcasts such as RadioLab and promised a line-up of original shows from radio host DJ Khaled, actor Will Smith and others.

The podcasts are included in Amazon’s streaming service in the US, Britain, Germany and Japan.

“Our customers’ listening habits are constantly evolving, and we know they’re looking to us to provide them with a rich experience rooted in music and entertainment,” said Amazon Music vice president Steve Boom.

Amazon Music subscribers can listen to the service at its website, through smartphone apps, or on Echo smart speakers sold by the Seattle-based company.

A survey on podcast consumption this year showed that 37 percent of US adults had listened to a podcast within the previous month, a figure which has more than tripled over the past decade, market tracker Statista reported in June.

Weekly consumption of podcasts has also jumped, with some of the world’s top publishers seeing millions or streams and downloads monthly, Statista concluded.

A follow up survey in the US found that 10 percent of younger listeners, ages 18 to 34, said they believe people should pay for podcasts and they should be ad-free, according to Statista.

“We’re thrilled to offer customers a convenient podcast listening experience that fits their lifestyle,” said Amazon Music podcasts director Kintan Brahmbhatt.

Productions coming to Amazon Music include a new multi-media podcast from musician Rebbeca Gomez, known as “Becky G,” exploring issues and trends, with each episode devoted to nonprofit organization.

“In quarantine, with so much time to consider the world around us, it felt like the perfect opportunity to open a new line of communication and pay it forward,” Gomez said.

Shares in Spotify, which features podcasts at its streaming music service, slid some three percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of the Amazon Music news.

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Delhi High Court Seeks Centre, Netflix Response on Mehul Choksi’s Plea




By ANI | Updated: 7 September 2020

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Centre, Netflix and others on a plea of diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who is an accused in the PNB scam, against a single-judge bench order dismissing his petition seeking a pre-screening of a documentary titled “Bad Boy Billionaires”, on Netflix.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while refusing to grant any interim relief, asked respondents to file their reply on the plea filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal and listed the matter for further hearing on September 23.

The documentary is said to be based on the rise and fall of India’s most infamous billionaires including Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and other business tycoons accused in several alleged scams.

Earlier, a single-judge bench of Justice Naveen Chawla, while refusing to grant him a preview, had said that there are no regulations to control the content on the over-the-top (OTT) media service, and asked him to approach the appropriate forum or file a civil suit in the matter.

Choksi, in his plea before the single-judge bench, had sought directions to the Central government to take steps to regulate the Netflix and Netflix Entertainment Service India insofar as the release of content having a possibly prejudicial effect on pending investigations and trials is concerned and ensure that no prejudice is caused to accused persons pending investigation and/or trial in the matter.

It had said that the petitioner is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, was the promoter of Gitanjali Gems and has been falsely accused of various crimes in India and is presently under investigation or standing trial by and before various authorities and/or courts.

“The settled principle has always been and must always remain that trial by media cannot be permitted and Courts are obligated to intervene and protect the rights of the accused where a premature or unfair portrayal in a motion picture would unfairly prejudice the accused person’s investigation or trial,” the plea had said.

The release of the documentary has reportedly been put on hold after the Supreme Court last week refused to entertain an appeal filed by Netflix challenging a Bihar court’s order restraining it from using Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy’s name in its documentary.

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