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25th James Bond film, 5th with Daniel Craig, to be directed by Danny Boyle

Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle will direct the 25th James Bond film, the spy film franchise confirmed the news on Twitter Friday.

In August, Daniel Craig confirmed during an appearance on “The Late Show” that he would return as Bond in the franchise, which will be distributed internationally by Universal, according to Variety.

>> Read more trending news 

Deadline reported that John Hodge wrote the original screenplay for the film, which was written based on an idea from Boyle.

“We are delighted to announce that the exceptionally talented Danny Boyle will be directing Daniel Craig in his fifth outing as James Bond in the 25th installment of the franchise,” EON Productions’ Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement, according to Variety. “We will begin shooting ‘Bond 25’ at Pinewood Studios in December with our partners at MGM and are thrilled that Universal will be our international distributor.”

Specifically, Bond 25 starts filming Dec. 3.

The 25th James Bond movie will be in US theaters Nov. 8, 2019, two weeks after an Oct. 25 release date in the UK.

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.

His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act charges, a searing reckoning for the man who became a symbol of a worldwide outcry over sexual misconduct.

"This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually," Manhattan Assistant Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said later, in words that brought raised eyebrows from the otherwise stony-faced Weinstein.

The charges stem from encounters with two of the dozens of women — some famous, some not — who have accused him of sexual misdeeds. The rape charge involves a woman who has not come forward publicly; the other is a onetime aspiring actress who was among his first accusers.

Weinstein has consistently denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Friday that he would fight to get the charges dismissed.

And he began to take aim at the accusations and accusers, noting that the alleged attacks weren't reported to police when they happened and suggesting potential jurors wouldn't believe the women.

"Assuming," he added, "we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case."

Asked about the raft of other allegations against Weinstein, Brafman said the case was a question of crime, not bad behavior.

"Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood," the attorney said.

Weinstein was released on $1 million bail, with constant electronic monitoring and a ban on traveling beyond New York and Connecticut.

As he surrendered, the 66-year-old Weinstein found himself surrounded by lights and cameras in a spectacle he couldn't control.

"You sorry, Harvey?" came a shout from a throng of media as the once powerful movie mogul was led into a lower Manhattan courthouse.

Asked "what can you say?" Weinstein mildly shook his head and softly said "no."

Earlier, he lumbered into a police station carrying books that harkened to his show-business roots: one on the Broadway songwriting team of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and another about famed film director Elia Kazan.

During a half-hour in a cell, officials said, he sat on the floor and flipped through the Kazan biography. Later, in a courthouse booking area, he complained he felt faint and his handcuffs were too tight. Officers used three, linked sets to put his hands behind his back — a common procedure for heavyset prisoners. Other suspects who recognized him yelled out, "Yo, Harvey!"

The top charges against him carry the potential for up to 25 years in prison.

He's accused of confining a woman in a Manhattan hotel room and raping her in 2013, according to a court complaint.

The criminal sex act charge stems from a 2004 encounter between Weinstein and Lucia Evans, a then-aspiring actress who told The New Yorker magazine he forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting in his office.

"We are relieved and grateful that justice is coming, but we also mourn the cases where it didn't," her lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing, and authorities in California and London are also investigating assault allegations. Brafman also has said that Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

New York City police have also been investigating allegations by "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta, who told police last fall that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.

Other women who have publicly accused Weinstein of criminal sexual assaults include actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah; "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992, and Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.

Until the scandal, Weinstein was among the most influential forces in American film. Companies he co-founded, Miramax and the Weinstein Co., were behind such hits as "Pulp Fiction," ''Shakespeare in Love" and "The King's Speech."

But there were rumors in Hollywood for years about Weinstein's pursuit of young actresses. And in 2015, an Italian model went to New York City police and accused him of groping her during a meeting.

Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein. But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to bring charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Vance — a Democrat who faced public pressure from women's groups to prosecute Weinstein this time — said Friday's charges "reflect significant progress in this active, ongoing investigation."

The public allegations against Weinstein helped prompt a broad public furor about sexual misconduct.

Major figures in media and politics have lost their jobs or had their reputations tarnished by allegations that they subjected women to unwanted advances or outright assaults. They include TV hosts Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, comedian Louis C.K, Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken, chef Mario Batali, casino magnate Steve Wynn and, most recently, Democratic New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

But on Friday, it was Weinstein in the spotlight.

"We got you, Harvey Weinstein," McGowan tweeted. "We got you."

___

Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz, Jake Pearson and Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.

Daniel Craig to return as 007 in 2019, Danny Boyle at helm

Daniel Craig is back as Bond, the spy series' producers confirmed, in a Danny Boyle-directed film due for release in 2019.

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions announced Thursday that production on the 25th official James Bond thriller will begin in December at London's Pinewood Studios.

Craig will reprise his role as 007 and Oscar-winner Boyle ("Trainspotting," ''Slumdog Millionaire") will direct from a screenplay by Boyle's frequent collaborator John Hodge.

Confirmation of Craig's fifth Bond film followed speculation that the 50-year-old actor was about to hand in his license to kill. He said in 2015 that he would rather "slash my wrists" than return to the role — but later backtracked on those remarks, made just after he finished filming his fourth Bond film, "Spectre."

Boyle has directed Craig as Bond once before, in a 007-themed segment for the opening of the 2012 London Olympics.

EON said that after more than a decade at Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures will release the next installment of the superspy franchise internationally. MGM will handle the U.S. release.

Sony's Bond contract expired in 2015 and many of the major studios competed for the chance to distribute the profitable franchise.

As per tradition Bond 25 will open a bit earlier in the U.K., on Oct. 25, 2019, than in the U.S., where it will debut on Nov. 8, 2019.

Rose McGowan on Weinstein: 'One win is a win for all of us'

She was one of the earliest Harvey Weinstein accusers, and she thought the mogul might never face justice in a court of law.

Now, actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her 20 years ago, is gratified but "still in shock" at his surrender Friday in a Manhattan courtroom on rape charges. And she prays that the charges will stick.

"I still have very guarded hopes," McGowan told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday night. "The justice system has been something very elusive. I hope in this case it works. Because it's all true. None of this was consensual."

Weinstein, who has long denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, was arraigned Friday morning on rape and other charges involving two of the scores of women who have accused him. It was the first criminal case against Weinstein since the revelations about him erupted last October and sparked the cultural "reckoning" that became the MeToo movement.

"We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you," she tweeted Friday morning.

"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us," McGowan said Thursday night. "It shows that it can be done."

After talking and writing about the case for so long, including in a recent memoir, "Brave," McGowan, 44, said it came as a huge surprise when news of the legal case finally came.

"I haven't come out of the shock of it yet," she said. "This is somebody who has been my nemesis for 20 years."

Besides the immediate satisfaction of seeing Weinstein face justice, McGowan said she firmly believes that his story, and the cultural earthquake that followed, will have a profound and lasting impact on how society treats powerful abusers who engage in sexual misconduct.

"We can't go backward," she said. "The genie can't go back in the bottle. This is the first time since written history that women are being believed — begrudgingly, but still."

Equally important, McGowan said, is that the MeToo movement will help women who aren't famous, well-off movie stars, like many of Weinstein's accusers, but less powerful women without a voice. "If it's being done to me and other people who are well-known, what's happening to those who aren't?" she said.

As for what she expects to see in five or 10 years, McGowan said "there are always going to be social predators. And sociopaths. But the ones that to me are more guilty are the ones that kept everything quiet and covered everything up. Those are the ones that need to change their behavior. They know who they are. I think five years from now, a lot of these weeds will be taken out."

"The conversation will keep getting deeper," she said. "It will continue. Because we needed to have a conversation about truth. And ... victims tell the truth, no matter how long and how hard it is to tell the truth, or whether you've been saying it for 20 years and nobody cared to listen."

When asked if she planned to be in the courtroom should Weinstein go to trial, she said "Yes," with a quiet laugh. "Yes, I will."

Prize-winning children's author Richard Peck dies at 84

Prize-winning children's author Richard Peck, who drew upon his Illinois roots for such favorites as "A Long Way from Chicago" and "A Year Down Yonder," has died.

Peck died on Wednesday at his home in New York City at age 84. His publisher, Penguin Young Readers, told The Associated Press, that he died after a battle with cancer.

A native of Decatur, Illinois, and graduate of DePauw University, he was a prolific author who wrote dozens of books, but didn't start until his mid-30s when he decided to quit teaching. Willing from the start to address social issues, his debut novel "Don't Look and It Won't Hurt" was a story of teen pregnancy later adapted into the acclaimed independent film "Gas Food Lodging." He received his highest praise for "A Year Down Yonder," set in rural Illinois during the Great Depression and winner of the John Newbery Medal in 2001 for the year's best children's book. A year later, he became the first children's writer to be given a National Humanities Medal.

His other books included "The Best Man," ''A Season of Gifts" and "The River Between Us," a National Book Award finalist. His novel "A Long Way from Chicago," was a prequel to "A Year Down Yonder" and also a finalist for the National Book Award. Both featured his beloved character, the no-nonsense Grandma Dowdel.

Prince William to visit Jordan, Israel, West Bank in June

Kensington Palace says Prince William will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the end of June — the first British royal to make an official visit there.

The prince will begin his June 24-28 trip in Amman, Jordan, then travel to Jerash in Jordan; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel; and Ramallah in the West Bank.

No British royal has ever made an official visit to Israel, whose occupation of the Palestinian territories is considered illegal by the U.K. William's father, Prince Charles, attended the 2016 funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private capacity.

This is also the first official royal visit to the Palestinian territories. It comes at the British government's request.

The trip was announced earlier this year, but the dates and destinations were disclosed Friday.

Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers

At least eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, according to a report from CNN. The women said the behavior happened on and off movie sets.

>> Read more trending news 

Freeman is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he's also a business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Two blocks around the corner from Ground Zero, the blues club Morgan Freeman owns, WHBQ-TV met with Celia Bobo. Bobo and  Morgan Freeman have been friends for two decades, and she said she does not believe the accusations.

"I find it hard to believe. I mean, I have known Morgan for many years," Bobo said. "Morgan has been nothing but a southern gentleman in my presence and the presence of my three daughters," she said

A number of Freeman's accusers said he "repeatedly (behaved) in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work. Two even said they were subjected to unwanted touching, according to the CNN report.

Bobo told WHBQ she believes Morgan Freeman might actually be the victim in this case.

"With the current situation of the sexual harassment, I think it has become easier for a lot of people to say they have been sexually abused or harassed," Bobo said.

She said she believes the women who are accusing Morgan Freeman of misconduct are doing it to “show out.”

"He is a great guy, and I have been around him in many different circumstances."

>> Related: Morgan Freeman apologizes after 8 women accuse him of inappropriate behavior

In a statement released Thursday, Morgan Freeman apologized.

"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would willingly offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," Freeman said in the statement. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."

Watch The Trailer For “Steven Tyler: Out On A Limb”

I don’t think many people were surprised when they heard Steven Tyler was working on a solo record.

I do think more than a few were shocked he was going to make the record in Nashville and it would be a country record.

The documentary “Steven Tyler: Out On A Limb” is about the making of that album “We’re All Somebody From Somewhere”.

The film had it’s debut back on May 10th in Nashville.

You can catch on some streaming services now.

Take a look at the trailer below and check out a video of one of the tunes from the album below that.

 

Blue Oyster Cult’s Eric Bloom Talks Show At The Space At Westbury, Deep Cuts, New BOC Music & More

Blue Oyster Cult will be playing here at home on Long island Friday June 8th at The Space at Westbury.

I recently spoke to Eric Bloom of the band.

We discussed how he chooses the set list for a show like this.

We also talked about the possibility of some new music from the band as well as their recent Record Store Day release and some Long Island music history.

Give a listen to the interview below.

Officials: Weinstein to surrender in sexual misconduct probe

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday to face charges involving at least one of the women who have accused him of sexual assault, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

It would be the first criminal case against Weinstein to come out of the barrage of sexual abuse allegations from scores of women that destroyed his career and set off a national reckoning that brought down other powerful men in what has become known as the #MeToo movement.

The two officials said the criminal case involves allegations by then-aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who told a magazine that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex. She was among the first women to speak out about the 66-year-old film producer. One official said it's likely the case also will include at least one other victim who has not come forward publicly.

The officials spoke Thursday to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case for weeks, and the precise charges against Weinstein weren't immediately known. Weinstein's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment, though Weinstein has said repeatedly through his lawyers that he did not have nonconsensual sex with anyone.

Evans told The New Yorker in a story published in October that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting at his New York office in 2004, the summer before her senior year at Middlebury College.

"I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't,' " she told the magazine. "I tried to get away, but maybe I didn't try hard enough. I didn't want to kick him or fight him."

Evans, who is now a marketing consultant, didn't report the incident to police at the time, telling The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow that she blamed herself for not fighting back.

"It was always my fault for not stopping him," she said.

Brafman said in court paperwork filed this month in a bankruptcy proceeding that the allegations that Weinstein forced himself on women were "entirely without merit."

"I am trying my very best to persuade both the federal and state prosecutors that he should not be arrested and or indicted, because he did not knowingly violate the law," Brafman wrote.

Brafman said in the same court filing that he had been informed that Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has come under enormous public pressure to bring a criminal case. Some women's groups, including the Hollywood activist group Time's Up, accused the Democrat of being too deferential to Weinstein and too dismissive of his accusers.

In March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the extraordinary step of ordering the state's attorney general to investigate whether Vance acted properly in 2015 when he decided not to prosecute Weinstein over a previous allegation of unwanted groping, made by an Italian model.

Vance had insisted any decision would be based on the strength of the evidence, not on political considerations. His office declined comment Thursday.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. Several actresses and models accused him of criminal sexual assaults, including film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah, "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992, and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008. Another aspiring actress, Mimi Haleyi, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his New York apartment in 2006.

New York City police detectives said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another accuser, "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta, who told police in October that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.

McGowan said she was "in shock" at the news that Weinstein would face charges.

"I still have very guarded hopes. The justice system has been something very elusive. And I hope in this case it works. Because it's all true. None of this was consensual." she said. "I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us. It shows that it can be done."

The statute of limitations for rape in New York was eliminated in 2006, but not for attacks that happened prior to 2001.

Several filed a federal lawsuit claiming his efforts to prey on women and cover up complaints amounted to a criminal enterprise.

Authorities in California and London are also investigating assault allegations. Britain has no statute of limits on rape cases; some of the allegations under investigation there go back to the 1980s.

Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein started his now-bankrupt company after leaving Miramax, the company they founded in 1979 and which became a powerhouse in '90s indie film with hits like "Pulp Fiction," and "Shakespeare in Love." The Weinstein Co. found success with Oscar winners "The Artist" and "The King's Speech."

Even in a Hollywood where some film producers have long enjoyed outsized power, Weinstein stood out as someone who could make or destroy careers — a factor that kept many of his accusers, and people aware of his problematic conduct with women, from speaking out.

The public allegations against Weinstein helped prompt a broad public reckoning about sexual misconduct.

Major figures in media and politics have lost their jobs or had their reputations tarnished by allegations that they subjected women to unwanted advances or outright assaults. They include TV hosts Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, comedian Louis C.K, Democratic Sen. Al Franken, chef Mario Batali, casino magnate Steve Wynn and, most recently, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.

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