Luke Skywalker's 'original' Star Wars lightsaber to hit auction block. Star Wars fans who are willing to drop big bucks on memorabilia from the movie saga have a new collectible to try to snatch: Luke Skywalker's famed lightsaber. The "original" artifact from the series' "A New Hope" film, will be auctioned off next week in Los Angeles, California, according to a news release from auction house Profiles in History. Auctioneers believe the famed Jedi weapon, used by Mark Hamill, could fetch for $150,000 to $200,000. Hamill, however, warned prospective buyers on Twitter Tuesday, writing that he didn't use just one lightsaber when he filmed the Star Wars movies, and thus, the lightsaber up for auction might not be as rare as advertised. "Be Advised-There was no ONE lightsaber I used in the films, but many, MANY, both for myself & my stunt-double," Hamill tweeted. "Multiple duplicate back-up props are commonplace during production-When the handle ridges were cutting my hands, they even made a few w/ soft sponge ridges! #BuyerBeware." The lightsaber -- "from the first Star Wars from [the] collection of set decorator Roger Christian" -- will be auctioned off from Dec. 11 through 13. (PageSix)

Kevin Hart to Host 2019 Oscars. It's official! Kevin Hartis hosting the 2019 Oscars. The comedian and movie star announced the news via social media on Tuesday. "For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same," Kevin wrote in a lengthy statement. "I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it's supposed to. I am so happy to say the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars." Just prior to Hart's major reveal, several outlets reported that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was in talks with the Night School to emcee the star-studded ceremony. Kevin's post continued, "I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time... To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced the stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now." "I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time... I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity... now it's time to rise to the occasion #Oscars," he concluded. Most recent Oscars hosts include Jimmy Kimmel, Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres and Seth MacFarlane. As for Kevin's experience in presiding over award shows, he's no rookie. The funnyman hosted the 2016 MTV Movie Awards alongside Central Intelligence co-host Dwayne "The Rock Johnson, as well as the 2011 BET Awards and 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. In other Academy Awards-related updates, in September it was announced that the new Popular Film category would be postponed after all. The Academy shared in a statement at the time, "The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released. The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category." The nominees for the 91st Annual Oscars are set to be unveiled on January 13, 2020. The 2019 Academy Awards will air February 24, 2019 on ABC. Congratulations to Kevin! We can't wait to see you shine. (Eonline)

Nicole Kidman Wins Australian Honor for 'Boy Erased' 'Sweet Country' takes 6 awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards, held in Sydney Wednesday night. Nicole Kidman picked up the prize for best supporting actress for her performance in Joel Edgerton's Boy Erased at the 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards, held in Sydney, Australia Wednesday night. Kidman plays a religious woman who forces her gay son (Lucas Hedges) to undergo church-supported gay conversion in the film, adapted from Garrard Conley's memoir. Edgerton also picked up the AACTA award for best adapted screenplay for Boy Erased. But the big winner in Sydney was Warwick Thornton's Australian western Sweet Country, which picked up 6 AACTA awards, including best film, best director and best actor for lead Hamilton Morris. Set in Australia's Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, Sweet Country follows an Aboriginal farmhand who, after he shoots a white man in self-defense, goes on the run, pursued by a vigilante posse. Angourie Rice won best actress for her performance in Bruce Beresford's Ladies in Black, a dramedy set among a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney. Mentalist star Simon Baker picked up the AACTA Award for best supporting actor for his role in period surfing drama Breath, which he also directed. In the television categories, Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby picked up the AACTA award for best performance in a television comedy for her critically acclaimed stand up special Nanette. Crime drama Mystery Road and TV movie Riot swept the main TV categories, picking up 3 awards each. Mystery Road won best drama series as well as honors for best supporting actress and actor in a TV drama for Deborah Mailman and co-star Wayne Blair. Riot, which looks at 1978 gay rights demonstration that was brutal suppressed by Australian police, won for best telefeature of miniseries as well as best lead actor and lead actress in the category for Damon Herriman and Kate Box, respectively. (Hollywood Reporter)

Armie Hammer on the art of snorting fake cocaine. Armie Hammer learned a very specific skill while filming "Sorry to Bother You." He plays a corrupt CEO in Boots Riley's absurdist dark comedy, a role that required him to snort a long line of cocaine. Of course, the on-screen substance wasn't real, but a little movie-making magic meant he didn't actually have to inhale the white powder that his character snorts through a rolled-up Benjamin. "It was like B12, but they had a hose that went down my shirt, into my hand," Hammer told Dakota Johnson during Variety's Actors on Actors. "Then I had the wrapped up $100 bill with the hose that went into that, so I didn't even have to snort anything." Not all actors are as lucky. In fact, he said, Jonah Hill had to snort so much fake cocaine on the set of 2013's "The Wolf of Wall Street" that Hill ended up in the hospital. Hammer, who received critical acclaim for his performance in the coming-of-age drama "Call Me by Your Name," was ready to play a gonzo character like the one in "Sorry to Bother You." "I loved the idea of playing a crazy character. Nobody ever asked me to play crazy characters," he says. "This was the first time someone brought a fascinating, bizarre character. I get to be this guy who comes in and just acts like fking lunatic. And I loved that idea." Hammer recalled that when Riley approached him for the role, the director told him he didn't want anyone else for the part. "I later found out he asked 75 people to do it and they all said no but thank god they said no because I got to do it," he laughed. (PageSix)

Hulu Inks Anime Deal with Sony's Funimation Ink. The partnership will give Hulu exclusive U.S. streaming rights to hit Japanese anime series like 'Tokyo Ghoul,' 'Attack on Titan' and 'My Hero Academia.' U.S.-based fans of Japanese anime will soon find a trove of their favorite content popping up on Hulu. The streaming service has inked a multi-year partnership and output deal with anime specialist Funimation, the subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television. Hulu described the pact as its "largest agreement for anime programming to date," significantly expanding its collection of subtitled and dubbed titles, including exclusive digital rights to international hits like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul. The deal also grants Hulu a first look at on-demand U.S. streaming rights to future anime series released by Funimation beginning in 2019. These future titles will premiere day-and-date on Hulu and Funimation with the worldwide premieres in Japan. "With this new deal, we are doubling-down on our investment to continue growing our world class anime offering with even more shows that we know our viewers love to watch," said Lisa Holme, Hulu's vp of content acquisition. Added Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO at Funimation: "It will fuel the acquisition of new titles and provide both Funimation and Hulu subscribers with access to the very best in anime that Japan has to offer." Funimation, which specializes in releasing Japanese anime in the U.S. theatrically and online, already boasts an expansive catalog of titles in the genre, including more than 600 shows. The company has released hit anime films like Your Name (2017) in U.S. cinemas, and also operates the subscription streaming service FunimationNOW, which is available via Sony's PlayStation Store, iTunes Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, Xbox Game Store and mobile devices. Funimation also sells merchandise and DVDs online. In 2017, Sony Pictures Television Networks unveiled a deal to buy a 95 percent stake in Funimation for $143 million, valuing the company at approximately $150 million. Hulu has made anime an area of focus for its library, and already offers well-known favorites int he genre, including Naruto Shippuden, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, One-Punch Man, Sailor Moon and Sword Art Online, as well as various exclusive simulcasts and dubbed episodes. (Hollywood Reporter)

China Box Office: 'Venom' Gets Release Extension, 'Bumblebee' Locks Down Date. Some 26 days into its release, Sony's Spider-Man spinoff continues to earn more than $1 million per day, building on its $265 million China total. Sony's Venom has been granted a somewhat rare 30-day release extension in China, where it continues to build on its already-heroic $265 million box-office total. The Sony superhero tentpole opened in the Middle Kingdom on Nov. 9, decisively ending a blockbuster dry spell by becoming one of the biggest Hollywood imports of the year, second only to Avengers: Infinity War ($360 million). Some 26 days into its release, the Tom Hardy-starring Spider-Man spinoff continues to earn more than $1 million per day. China's film bureau initially grants imported Hollywood films a release permit of 30 days, and on the rare occasions where the title is still earning considerable revenue near the end of that duration, the U.S. studio may apply for an extension. Venom's phenomenon success in China represents a big win for Sony film chief Tom Rothman, as well as Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which took a high 25 percent equity stake in the film. Its momentum will finally be dampened Friday with the release of Warner Bros. and DC's Aquaman, directed by James Wan. Also heading to China soon is Universal's The Grinch on Dec. 14, followed by Paramount's Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, which just locked down a release date of Jan. 4. Michael Bay's Transformers franchise has been one of the most successful U.S. film properties ever in China, with the last two installments, The Last Knight and Age of Extinction earning $229 million and $320 million, respectively. (Hollywood Reporter)


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