‘Monsters at Work’ opens for business Wednesday on Disney+

Disney+

Disney+ launches its Monsters, Inc. spin-off series Monsters at Work with two episodes dropping on Wednesday. Billy Crystal returns as one-eyed would-be funnyman Mike Wazowski and John Goodman reprises his role as his fuzzy buddy, James P. “Sully” Sullivan. 

The series is based on the 2001 big screen hit Monsters, Inc., which posited that monsters scaring kids at night generated energy for the City of Monstropolis. But the movie closed with the Monsters finding a new source of energy: comedy.

Crystal tells ABC Audio, “The show starts the next day after the first movie ended, and so now they’re harvesting laughs.” 

He explains, “Now the slogan is ‘It’s laughter we’re after,’ so the Scare Floor is gone. So now they have to find ways to be funny. And for monsters to try to be funny is really funny.” 

Crystal adds, “For Mike, he fancies himself [a comedian], ‘Oh, I’ll teach a comedy class…I’ll teach these monsters how to be funny.’ And Mike’s not that funny, which makes it funny.”

Series newcomers Mindy Kaling, who voices Val Little, and Superstore‘s Ben Feldman, who plays new employee Tylor Tuskmon, leapt at the chance to join the Monsters world.

“I just love the movie so much…it’s so timeless,” Kaling said. “I showed it to my daughter recently, and she loved it. I was actually prepping her for the show so that I’ll be regaled as a hero, but she loved it.”

Feldman adds, “I can’t believe the movie was 20 years ago…And so, you know, I guess the goal is for our show to be as timeless?” 

Monsters at Work also features the voices of Kelly Marie TranJennifer Tilly, Pixar veteran John RatzenbergerHenry Winkler, and comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

 

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Dating app survey: 55% of guys would rather date Wonder Woman than Black Widow

Warner Bros. Pictures

With the premiere of Black Widow just days away, the dating app Plenty of Fish conducted a survey to see what its users thought of the super spy and other comic characters when it comes to dating. 

No pressure, ladies, but Wonder Woman remains the ideal “girlfriend or wife” for the guys on the app, according to the non-scientific poll of more than 2,000 users. 

In fact, 55% of the guys polled say they’d prefer the DC Comics heroine over Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with 26% saying they’d prefer the former Russian super-spy over the Amazonian princess.

The poll also revealed that 28% of comic movie fans would most like to see Black Widow and Hawkeye as a couple. The Incredible Hulk shipped with Black Widow was sought after by 24%, and 23% want to see Black Widow dating Black Panther. 

However, if Widow could date outside the Marvel Universe, 17% said they’d like her to date Batman. 

And while 59% said they’ve all but hidden their Marvel fandom on their dating profile, the survey surprisingly revealed maybe they shouldn’t: More than half of men on the app and 37% of women say it’s a turn-on if someone says they’re a Marvel fan. What’s more, 20% say they’ve used Marvel references as a pick-up line, and 30% say they’ve bonded with a date over Marvel. 

Black Widow opens July 9 in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Lucy Hale hopes the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ reboot will be “a major success”

Freeform/Richard Harbaugh

Lucy Hale, who recently celebrated Pretty Little Liars‘ 11th anniversary, wishes nothing but the best for the show’s upcoming reboot.  

Speaking with ABC Audio, the actress weighed in on Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin — a reboot that comes not even four years after PLL aired its final episode on Freeform.

“I personally don’t have a problem with it. This is the honest truth,” said Hale, who starred as Aria Montgomery in the original series. “I’m very curious to see what it is even going to be [about]… I don’t know if it’s the same characters or the same storyline or what’s even happening!”

“I love Pretty Little Liars, so I think I’ll like the reboot,” Hale continued.  “I wish them well. I truly do. I hope it’s a major success.”

Hale, 32, noted that reboots allow new actors to get their start in Hollywood and, as a reminder to PLL fans, referenced her own big break.

“I’ve been a part of reboots, I did the Bionic Woman reboot,” she explained, referring to the 2007 re-do of the series that originally ran between 1976 and 1978.  Hale played Becca Somers, the teenage sister of the titular character.

“I know some friends that have been a part of reboots and got trashed for even being a part of it, but I think as an artist, you always have to be supportive of other people,” Lucy continued.

Hale, who recently partnered with the sustainable dog food brand KARMA, said the reboot will allow more people falling in love with Pretty Little Liars.

“I think a lot of people will be discovering it for the first time, too, like they won’t even know the original people, which is really funny,” she smiled. “I only have well wishes for everyone involved.”

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“Family” film: Social media goes nuts meming ‘F9’ into every movie

Universal Pictures

Sure, Fast 9 proudly wears its ridiculousness on its sleeve, but social media took it to the next level over the weekend, with endless memes inserting Vin Diesel‘s character, Dom Toretto, into scenes from what seemed to be every film. 

While members of Dom Toretto’s “family” launched themselves into space this time around, is it any stretch to think Dom could have taken on Thanos in Avengers: Endgame? Or perhaps tackled dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? Or helped young Kevin McCallister in Home Alone?

The running gag usually shows Dom in a t-shirt, wielding a shotgun, against which any foe is no match.  It begins with a character from the film declaring, “Dom, no! That’s suicide!”

“Thanos is strong,” one picture touted. “But family is stronger.”  

“A T-Rex is strong…” another picture showed. “But not as strong as family.”

An early example poked fun at F9‘s space scene, picturing Dom in his muscle car, flying wingman to Anakin Skywalker during the epic opening battle in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. “How are you in space?” Anakin asks. “You don’t need logic when you have family,” is Dom’s captioned response.

You get the idea.

As of Monday, “Fast 9 family memes” calls up some 43,400,000 Google search results. But who needs search engines when you’ve got family?

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Seth Rogen admits Paul Rudd once posed as his masseur in epic prank

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Paul Rudd has been known for playing pranks — for example, his years-long habit of playing the same clip from the 1988 movie Mac and Me whenever he appears on Conan to promote a new film — but he gets kudos for what comics call “commitment to a bit” for a gag he pulled on his pal Seth Rogen

On Twitter, Rogen admitted that his 40-Year-Old Virgin co-star clowned him big time, but honestly, it’s not really obvious who got the last laugh.

“Once I was in the spa in a hotel in Vegas getting a massage,” Rogen recalled. “When I finished I turned over and to my shock Paul Rudd was massaging me. He saw me go in and convinced the masseuse to let him take over, thinking I’d notice immediately.”

It’s not known when the prank happened, but the story Seth posted immediately went viral. 

“Suddenly Paul Rudd turning out to be my masseuse is the thing I want most in the whole world,” one person  responded. Another wrote, “Seriously how do I get in on this prank?!”

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Leslie Odom Jr. reveals what he’s most excited about for ‘Knives Out 2’

ABC/Matt Petit

Leslie Odom Jr. is thrilled to be part of Knives Out 2, the sequel to the 2019 hit movie, especially since he’ll be working alongside some familiar faces.

Odom, 39, raved to ABC Audio about the A-list cast, which includes his Central Park co-star Kathryn Hahn, as well as Janelle Monáe and Kate Hudson, with whom he starred in Harriet and Music, respectively.

Despite that, the Hamilton star finds it “funny” he’s nervous about the opportunity.

“There comes a time in the business where you just feel like you don’t know anybody,” said Odom. “There is a part of me that still feels like that 23- or 24-year-old kid that just got to LA and nobody knows me and I’m still trying to make it.”

Nerves aside, Leslie disclosed he’s most looking forward to working Knives Out 2 director RianJohnson.

“To work with Rian on his new film is what I’m most excited about” the Oscar nominee declared, noting Johnson is primed to “deliver something that is exciting and surprising to the fans, just like the first one!” 

Asked if he could tease anything about the sequel, Leslie grinned, “I’m not giving away a thing. No way!” However, he did note some of his Knives Out 2 co-stars are talented singers.

“I feel like there could be a musical number. I’ve got to get to work on that,” he joked, and urged fans to “write a fake fan letter” demanding one be included. (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Knives Out 2, also starring Daniel CraigDave Bautista and Ethan Hawke, is slated to premiere next year.

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Florence Pugh defends relationship with Zach Braff, “It’s my life”

ABC/Eric McCandless – ABC/Image Group LA

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Florence Pugh doesn’t care if you don’t like her or her relationship with Zach Braff

Speaking with the U.K. newspaper The Times in a piece published Sundaythe Black Widow star opened up about the criticism and bullying she receives from people who apparently don’t understand her relationship with Braff, who’s 21 years older than the 25-year-old actress.

“It’s my life,” Pugh said, according to BuzzFeed News. “And I’m not doing anything to please people or to make it a better headline or story.”

She added, “I want to also be a person!”

The Black Widow star also addressed the bullying she’s dealt with on Instagram as a result of her romance with the Scrubs actor. 

“It’s so weird to me to go on to someone’s page and s*** on it,” she shared. “That’s so not my nature — to go and bully for the sake of bullying. It’s such an odd thing that we’ve become OK with in the past 10 years of social media.”

“The thing is, people want Instagram to be a nicer place,” she continued. “They want to see nice things. They want to be inspired and they want to be happy.”

“I don’t mind you not liking me,” she concluded. “That’s absolutely fine. In which case, don’t follow me.”

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Matthew McConaughey reflects on America’s growth in patriotic speech: “We are going through growing pains”

ABC

Matthew McConaughey issued an inspiring and encouraging speech marking the Fourth of July.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the Oscar-winning actor celebrated America’s birthday in a heartfelt message about the state of the country.

“Let’s admit that this last year — this trip around the sun — was also another head-scratcher,” said McConaughey, 51. “But let’s also remember that we are babies, you know, as a country.”

“We’re basically going through puberty in comparison to other countries’ timeline, and we’re going to go through growing pains.  We are going through growing pains,” McConaughey continued. “This is not an excuse, to say, this is just the reality.”

McConaughey looked on the bright side of the country’s relatively young age and explained that he views it as an opportunity to grow and learn from the past.

“This is good,” he said. “We gotta keep learning, we gotta keep maturing, we gotta keep striving, we gotta keep climbing, we gotta keep building.” The only way to do that, said McConaughey, is to “maintain hope along the way, as we continue to evolve… Because the alternative sucks.”

“I believe in America,” McConaughey declared. “We’re constantly in motion, we’re on the way trying to get wiser, trying to get braver, trying to dream more, trying to do more, trying to be more fair — take the right kind of responsibilities to gain the right kind of freedoms.”

McConaughey noted people need to be “appreciative and supportive” of the nation’s collective triumphs and evolution, stressing, “We are all in this together.”

“[We’re] on the way to being the best we can be,” he closed. “Why?  Because that’s who we are.”

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‘F9’ becomes best-selling pandemic hit after global sales race past $500 million mark

Universal Pictures

It’s official: F9 is the biggest movie to come out of the pandemic.  The latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise raced past the $500 million mark during the holiday weekend, leaving its competition in the dust.

F9, which opened in the U.S. June 25, grossed an additional $30 million across 4,203 American theaters over the long July 4th weekend, boosting its global numbers past the half-billion-dollar mark.  The movie is currently the only American film to earn more than $500 million globally since 2019.

Coming in second is the animated newcomer The Boss Baby: Family Business, which earned $20 million in its opening weekend.  The movie stars Alec BaldwinJimmy Kimmel, Amy Sedaris and James Marsden.

Universal Studios cleaned house this weekend, claiming the top three spots in the holiday box office roundup, with its other newcomer, The Forever Purge, coming in third, with $15.6 million.  The movie is the fifth and, reportedly, final film of The Purge franchise.

Dropping to fourth with $5 million in its sixth week of release is Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II.  The thriller is only another five million away from crossing the $150 million mark in domestic ticket sales.

Rounding out the top five is the Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson action-comedy sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which drew in another $3.9 million in its third week of release.

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“The Bachelorette” recap: Blake adds more drama to the competition and a new villain emerges

ABC/Craig Sjodin

A new curve ball and a new villain emerged Monday night on The Bachelorette.

Following last week’s jaw-dropping rose ceremony, Tayshia Adams announced that Blake Moynes, who starred in her season, would be joining the other 14 men in the quest to win Katie’s heart. 

Blake received a chilly reception from the other suitors, especially after it was revealed he would get the first of two one-on-one dates.

Their day of horseback riding turned personal after Blake inquired about Katie’s sex-positive outlook. That led to her retelling her story about experiencing a non-consensual sexual encounter and opening up about how the guilt she suffered eventually gave way to her openness about discussing “healthy sex.”

Blake’s declaration that he’d never do anything to make Katie feel “scared” of him “in any form” won him the date rose.

The evening was capped off with a private concert by American Idol winner Laine Hardy, who performed his new song, “Memorize You.”

Later, 13 of the men competed in an intense game of “Bash Ball” — a mash-up of basketball and rugby — emceed by Bachelor Nation favorites Wells Adams and Franco.  Katie abruptly ended the battle when Michael got hurt following a cheap shot by Hunter.

However, at the after party, Hunter wooed Katie by showing his “dad” side and broke out some pictures of his kids.  The gesture earned him the date rose.

Katie’s one-on-one date with Andrew S., who is Black, included a candid conversation about their future together, particularly her feelings about the possibility of raising mixed race children.

“One of my exes…she was worried about you know, having mixed children,” he recalled.  “And I know her heart and I know her character and she’s not racist…but she was worried about going to a grocery store and someone asking, ‘Are these your kids?’ and that was tough for me.”

After acknowledging that she felt “so naive as a white woman of the struggles you have experienced as a Black man, especially a Black man trying to date a white woman,” she added firmly, “I think our love could be so beautiful and our children would be just as beautiful as that love, and I don’t give a flying f*** when people want to look at me.”

Explaining that Andrew made her laugh and that they “shared a lot,” Katie rewarded him with the date rose.

Meanwhile, a new villain emerged on Monday.  Hunter, not satisfied with earning a rose, hogged up Katie for a good portion of the pre-rose ceremony.  His actions angered the other men, who feared their chances of impressing Katie were dwindling fast.

The rose ceremony brought Katie a step closer to finding love as Andrew M.Josh and Quartney were sent home.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, know that you are not alone. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers help 24/7 at 800.656.HOPE or RAINN.org.

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