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WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. (NEW YORK) -- To say horror is in bestselling author/producer Joe Hill's DNA is literally true -- he's the son of Stephen King, after all -- but he's also a massive fan of the genre in his own right.

The author, whose adaptation of his book N0S4A2 is now a series on AMC, tells ABC Radio he can't wait for September 6, when It: Chapter 2 debuts.

The trailer for the anticipated film, based on Stephen King's classic horror novel, went viral nearly as soon as it was launched at San Diego's Comic Con Thursday afternoon.  No surprise, considering its 2017 predecessor was a huge blockbuster.

Joe Hill credits the level of interest in the sequel to the director of both movies.

"Andy Muschietti...makes films with terrific heart," he explains. "He does do scary films, horror films, but...even when his characters are in tremendous trouble, you sense how much he cares about them...how much he loves those characters."

The sequel picks up 27 years after the events of the first, which saw the Losers Club of Derry, Maine successfully defeat Pennywise, the evil clown -- or, at least, that what they thought. The trailer shows the adult versions of the our heroes, this time around played James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader, among others -- tangling with Bill Skarsgård's demonic character once again.

Muschietti's care in representing the onscreen pals was key to the movie's success, King says.

"We don't associate feelings of warmth with horror, but he makes tremendously warm films where we...just love those people and and we wish the best for them -- and instead, usually, they have to face the worst."

He enthuses, "No one's no one's more excited for the next It film than I am."

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Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- The first trailer for the big-screen version of CATS debuted Thursday, and reaction has been decidedly mixed. For everyone who loved seeing Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson turned into furry felines via CGI, there were others who saw the effect as downright creepy.

One of those in the "creepy" camp was Twitter user Ian Abramson, who mashed up the CATS trailer with the ominous and scary-sounding remix of Luniz' I Got 5 On It" that director Jordan Peele used in the trailer for his horror film Us.

Abramson's mashup was then retweeted by none other than Peele himself.

"I think it fits better," Abramson wrote.  "Yes," was Peele's simple endorsement.

CATS arrives in theaters on December 20.

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Courtesy of Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- In today's Season 11 premiere of Netflix's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Eddie Murphy takes a ride with Jerry Seinfeld, and tells him that he's finally returning to the stand-up stage.

Murphy, whose stand-up specials Delirious and Raw basically gave birth to the idea of a comic who could be as famous as a rock star, hasn't grabbed a mic in years.

He revealed to fellow stand-up vet Seinfeld that the late Don Rickles urged him to return and added, "I'm going to do it again. Everything just has to be right...You have to get up there and start working out."

"You have to hit the clubs," Jerry agreed, meaning the small comedy venues where they work out their material.

"You should buy the Comic Strip, and I'll come and work out there," Murphy joked, referring to the famous New York City club where the pair first appeared way back in the Reagan Era.

"If you want to do that, I'll do it. I'll call it 'Jerry Seinfeld's Comic Strip,'" Seinfeld laughed.

But Murphy's return won't come cheap.  TMZ reports that Netflix is negotiating with him for a standup special now, with a payday in the neighborhood of 70 million bucks.

Season 11 of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee also features Seth Rogen, Jamie Foxx, Martin Short, two-time Seinfeld guest player Mario Joyner, returning passenger Ricky Gervais, Matthew Broderick, and others.

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Disney(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide Friday:

* The Lion King -- Jon Favreau, who directed Disney's hit live-action 2016 adaptation of The Jungle Book, also directed this highly anticipated live-action remake of the 1994 animated Disney classic. Donald Glover plays Simba, a young lion who must step up and take his place as the rightful king of his native land following the murder of his father, Mufasa -- voiced by James Earl Jones, reprising his role from the original -- at the hands of his uncle, Scar, voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter also star. Rated PG.  Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Opening in limited release Friday:

* David Crosby: Remember My Name -- Cameron Crowe's documentary on the folk-rock legend who co-founded The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Rated R.

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Universal Pictures(LONDON) -- "I am a cat now and somehow that was everything."

That's what Taylor Swift wrote as a caption as she posted the first official trailer for the new movie CATS on Instagram.  It's also posted on Twitter and YouTube.  Swift stars in the movie as Bombalurina, but she's just one of many big names in the A-list cast.

In the lengthy trailer, we also see Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, James Corden and Rebel Wilson all digitally covered in fur, yet still recognizable, dancing and doing cat-like things in London, which seems enormous because everything is seen from a cat's point of view. 

Jennifer Hudson, as Grizabella, belts out the movie's best-known number, "Memory.

Based on the wildly popular musical of the same name, CATS follows a group of "Jellicle cats," who vie to be selected by their leader, Old Deuteronomy, to travel to the "Heaviside layer" to start a new life. 

CATS, directed by Tom Hooper, hits movie theaters December 20.

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Pennywise is back in all of his bloody, pointy-teethed glory in the new trailer for It: Chapter Two.

The sequel to the 2017 adaptation of the iconic Stephen King novel picks up 27 years after the events of the first film, which saw the Losers Club of Derry, Maine successfully defeat the evil clown. Or, at least, that what they thought.

In the trailer, we see the adult versions of the our heroes, played James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader, among others, reunite after Pennywise, portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, returns to take revenge.

"For 27 years, I dreamt of you," Pennywise seethes. "I craved you, I've missed you."

It: Chapter Two opens September 6.

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Paramount Pictures(SAN DIEGO) -- Top Gun: Maverick is ready for takeoff.

Tom Cruise, who’s back in the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell for the Top Gun sequel, made a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday and debuted the first trailer for the film.

“34 years ago, I made a movie in San Diego and shot across the street in a restaurant,” he told the crowd according to Deadline.

The first Top Gun and the sequel were both filmed in San Diego.

“I was always asked ‘When are you going to do another one?’ Well, you’ve been very patient with me,” Cruise continued. “I felt like it was my responsibility to really deliver for you.”

In the trailer, we see high-flying aviation stunts as well as Maverick being questioned by Ed Harris’ character. Maverick, still a captain after 30-plus years, is facing the end of dogfighting and the rise of drone technology.

“Maverick you should be headed to extinction,” Harris’ character says. To which Maverick responds, “Maybe so, sir, but not today.”

Miles Teller, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Connelly also star, along with Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

Top Gun: Maverick is set to hit theaters next summer.

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Steve Iervolino/ABC Radio(LOS ANGELES) -- In an extensive interview with Deadline, Quentin Tarantino explores his upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in detail, but the conversation led to revelations about new projects, including a long-rumored R-rated take on Star Trek.

Speaking about his love for the beloved sci-fi property, Tarantino explains, "I love William Shatner on Star Trek...It's why I like Star Trek more than Star Wars, because William Shatner's not in Star Wars."

Tarantino's adaptation -- if he takes the director's chair -- would be based on a "really cool script" from The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith. "[I]f I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it my way," the filmmaker says.

"If you've seen my nine movies, you kind of know my way is an R-rated way and a way that is without certain restrictions," he adds. "I think it would be more controversial if I said I'm going to do a PG movie."

Tarantino praised the J.J. Abrams-produced reboot's Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who played, respectively, a "fantastic" and "perfect" Kirk and Mr. Spock, but sniped at the Simon Pegg, who played Scotty and co-wrote Star Trek Beyond.

"He doesn't know anything about what's going on...[H]e's like 'Well, look, it's not going to be Pulp Fiction in space.' Yes, it is!" Tarantino laughs. "It'll be Pulp Fiction in space. If I do it, that's exactly what it'll be."

Quentin added, "Deadpool showed that you can rethink these things, do them in a different way. So really, even before J.J. knew what the idea was, his feeling was, if it wants to be an R rating, fine."

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and many others, opens July 26.

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Courtesy of Sesame Workshop(WASHINGTON D.C.) -- Oscar winner Sally Field and the acclaimed TV show Sesame Street will be among the recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The recipients are being honored for their "lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts," with the primary criterion being "excellence."

In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said, "Sally Field has brought us unforgettable characters, both joyous and poignant, for more than five decades."

Of the only TV show to ever receive the honor, Rubenstein said, "Sesame Street continues to revolutionize how children and adults learn about our world."

The statement adds that "The co-founders of Sesame Street, Joan Ganz Cooney and Dr. Lloyd Morrisett, will accept the Kennedy Center Honors on behalf of the show, Muppets creator Jim Henson, seminal Muppets artists Caroll Spinney and Frank Oz, and the thousands of creatives who have built the program's 50-year legacy.''

Singer Linda Ronstadt and the group Earth, Wind & Fire will also be feted at the star-studded Washington, D.C., ceremony on December 8, which will subsequently air December 15 on CBS.

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L-R: Rogen, Oliver, Eichner/Disney(NEW YORK) -- When Billy Eichner was a struggling actor in 2002, bartending at the Broadway production of The Lion King, he never thought he'd be starring in the new CGI version of the Disney favorite -- let alone singing on the same track as Beyoncé.

"Circle of Life!" he marveled, quoting one of the film's classic songs.

In the reboot of the 1994 classic, Eichner, best known for Billy on the Street, plays quick-witted meerkat Timon.  His BFF, Pumbaa the warthog, is played by Seth Rogen.

"I think Seth and I are now on the iTunes chart with Beyoncé on "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," which is very exciting and bizarre," Eichner said on ABC's Good Morning America.

"I'm sure she's thrilled," he joked. "Our styles compliment each other."

"And the movie -- I've seen it twice now -- it is unlike anything anyone has ever seen," Eichner added. "It's so beautiful what [director] Jon Favreau [and] the designers have done. It's insane."

In addition to Rogen, Eichner and Beyonce, the film also stars the voice talents of Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, and James Earl Jones, among others.

The Lion King hits theaters Friday.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC.

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Vivian Zink/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- A.P. Bio, dropped by NBC back in May after two seasons, has been resurrected for NBCUniversal's upcoming streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The comedy, from executive producers Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers and showrunner Mike O'Brien, stars Glenn Howerton as a disgraced Harvard philosophy professor turned high school biology teacher.

Patton Oswalt also stars -- and on Twitter, he was credited in part with saving the show by O'Brien, "for being the first and biggest promoter of #SaveAPBio." The hashtag attracted an outpouring of support from fans.

To them, O'Brien enthused, "This happened because of all you guys! We're extremely thankful!"

NBCUniversal's still-unnamed streaming service is set to launch in 2020; as previously reported, it will become the exclusive new streaming home of The Office, which is currently available on Netflix.

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LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Javier Bardem, who won an Oscar for playing the relentless psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh in 2007's No Country for Old Men, is lightening up quite a bit for his next role.

The actor's reportedly in talks to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, according to Variety.

Bardem would join a cast that, so far, includes grown-ish actress and Chloe x Halle singer Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as her evil aunt, Ursula, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

Harry Styles is also reportedly in early talks to play Prince Eric.

Bardem, who also played the villainous Raoul Silva in the 2012 Bond film Skyfall, will next be seen as Stilgar in writer/director Denis Villeneuve's forthcoming film adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel, Dune, opposite Timothee Chalamet and Josh Brolin.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Apple TV has added a major addition to its growing slate.

According to Deadline, the provider has acquired the rights to George Nolfi's fact-based period drama The Banker for their upcoming streaming service Apple TV . The film stars Marvel movie co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, as well as Nicholas Hoult and Nia Long.

The Banker is based on the true story of Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, two African-American entrepreneurs in the 1950s who attempted bypass the "racial limitations of the era" by hiring a working-class white man to serve as the head of their business. The two men were able to build their real estate empire while they posed as a janitor and a chauffeur.

Mackie is set to play Garrett, while Jackson will play Morris. Long will play Garret's wife, who had a "key role in setting up the enterprise."  Michael Harney, Colm Meaney, Paul Ben-Victor, and Jessie T. Usher have also been cast.

Although the film is set for a streaming release, sources tell Deadline that the film will have a significant theatrical release during awards season.

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Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty Images(NANTUCKET) -- Prosecutors in Nantucket, MA on Wednesday dropped a felony sexual assault charge against the actor Kevin Spacey.

The decision from Cape and Islands D.A. Michael O’Keefe came after Spacey’s accuser declined to testify at a pre-trial hearing about evidence.
 
Spacey had been accused of groping the young man at a Nantucket restaurant on July 7, 2016. The accuser told police he had gone over to ask the actor for a photo after his shift at the restaurant ended. He said Spacey bought him drinks, even though he was under 21 at the time, tried to get him to come home with him and then unzipped his pants and groped him for three minutes.

Spacey had pleaded not guilty.

The accuser declined to testify at a hearing earlier this month about exculpatory text messages the defense said were deleted, which raised questions about the viability of the case.

The hearing came days after the accuser dropped a civil suit he had filed against Spacey.

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Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Millions of fans of Netflix's Stranger Things have already binged the show's entire third season, which debuted July 4. In fact, the streaming giant claimed just days after its anticipated debut that some 40.7 million accounts had tuned in to watch the continuing adventures of Mike, Jane, Dustin, Lucas and Will.

Fans have watched the Upside Down gang grow up -- along with their real-life alter egos Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp -- and so have their adult co-stars, like David Harbour, who plays Sheriff Jim Hopper.

And that, Harbour laughs, is "weird!"

"There's no other way to say it!" he tells ABC Radio.

"You know, the first season we were all saving Will Byers...and Noah wasn't even around that much," Harbour explains. "The first season [had] Hopper...obsessed with this little tiny boy -- and then you know we're on set for season three and he towers over Winona [Ryder]...And now, [he's] approaching my height. And that's just silly."

Harbour adds that his young co-stars have grown up in unexpected ways.

"It's almost like...you plant seeds in a garden and you think like, 'Oh this seed is going to be this...'" he says. "And then you're just wrong."

In a touch of life imitating art regarding his relationship with Millie Bobby Brown, Harbour notes, "I think that's one thing that we sort of put into the show...for Hopper is that he's watching his teenage adopted daughter grow up and become a woman and, you know, the joys of that."

He continues, "And also the terrors of that as a father...you know, that that sort of struggle that I think all parents go through."

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