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Season 1 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show has finished filming in New Zealand
Season 1 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show has finished filming in New Zealand
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

According to JA Bayona, who is directing the new Amazon-exclusive series playing in the Lord of the Rings universe, the production has wrapped up filming in New Zealand. He posted on Instagram that "this is my last photo in New Zealand" but added that his "heart feels a little kiwi no" and that he "can't wait to be back" while also thanking "this extraordinary land and its beautiful people for taking me in".

There is no release date for the series as of yet.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actor of "Boba Fett" Jeremy Bulloch dies aged 75
Actor of "Boba Fett" Jeremy Bulloch dies aged 75
Credit: Luigi Novi, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

British actor Jeremy Bulloch has died "peacefully, in hospital, surrounded by his family, from health complications following his many years living with Parkinson's disease" at the age of 75 on Thursday. Bulloch is known for portraying the character Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy.

"He had a long and happy career spanning more than 45 years. He was devoted to his wife, three sons, and ten grandchildren and they will miss him terribly. We ask that their privacy be respected at this very difficult time," his agent said.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Berlinale announces plans for a 'festival in two stages' amid Covid-19 uncertainty
Berlinale announces plans for a 'festival in two stages' amid Covid-19 uncertainty
Credit: Berlin International Film Festival (Public Domain)

The Berlinale organizers announced the decision to have its upcoming film festival online. Originally set for February 11-21, 2021, the festival is pushing back the dates for its program to from March 1st to 5th.

The winners and a selection of the films from the March festival will then be presented in Berlin theatres in the summer.

"As an answer to the times in which we are living, we have decided to split our offer into two distinct, yet related events and in this way fulfil the mission of the Berlinale," said artistic director Carlo Chatrian in a press release.

Along with various businesses and schools, is already confirmed that Berlin's cultural institutions are to remain closed until the middle of January, and Lederer said in a Twitter video message that he expected the lockdown for cinemas to "go on a little longer."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Sir Ian McKellen receives Covid-19 vaccine
Sir Ian McKellen receives Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / NHS England

The actor Sir Ian McKellen, who is most famous for his role as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, has received the Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech. Being 81 years old, the actor was among the first groups to be vaccinated in the United Kingdom.

He publically stated: "I really hope that, as more people get vaccinated, we will move further along the path back to a more normal way of life".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
John le Carré: Espionage writer dies aged 89
John le Carré: Espionage writer dies aged 89
Credit: German Embassy London / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

British espionage writer John le Carré has died aged 89, died from pneumonia on Saturday following a short illness, his literary agent has said.

During his career he wrote titles such as f The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
'Sister Act 3' production confirmed, Whoopi Goldberg to star and produce
'Sister Act 3' production confirmed, Whoopi Goldberg to star and produce
Credit: @Disney via Twitter

Disney has confirmed that production for 'Sister Act 3' has started, with Whoopi Goldberg reprising her role as Deloris Van Cartier and Tyler Perry set to produce the movie alongside Goldberg. The third installment of Sister Act will premiere ion Disney Plus, but no release date is known yet.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010.
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010. Credit: Portlandvillage, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in the Carry On films and as Peggy Mitchell, the landlady of The Queen Vic in Eastenders has died aged 83 in a London care home on Thursday (10/12/20) evening from Alzheimer's.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, confirmed the news that she had died peacefully. He said that Dame Barbara would be emembered for the "love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first high profile people to react to her death on Twitter. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also paid tribute to her charity and acting work.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Taylor Swift releases new album "Evermore"
Taylor Swift releases new album "Evermore"
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

After a surprise announcement on Thursday, Taylor Swift has released her second studio album in 2020 called "Evermore".

"We just couldn't stop writing songs," Swift explains the quick succession in a posting on Instagram. The escapism of her last album had done her so much good that she wanted to continue writing stories about dream landscapes and tragedies, as she did with "Folklore" together with Aaron Dessner from the indie band The National.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Bob Dylan sells his entire catalogue of songs to Universal Music
Bob Dylan sells his entire catalogue of songs to Universal Music
Credit: unsplash/Brett Jordan

Bob Dylan has sold his entire catalogue of music, which encompasses over 600 songs, to Universal Music Publishing Group in the biggest music publishing deal in decades. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but the New York Times estimates that it was worth more than $300 million.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
"Project Northmoor" – Lord of the Rings actor start crowdfunding to buy J.R.R. Tolkien's home
"Project Northmoor" – Lord of the Rings actor start crowdfunding to buy J.R.R. Tolkien's home
Credit: via Project Northmoor

"Project Northmoor" is aiming to raise $6.1 million via crowdfunding to purchase J.R.R. Tolkien's home in Oxford, England, which soon will be on the market and transform it into a literary center in his honor. The campaign is led by author Julia Golding and will start on December 2.

Various actors, who starred in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbits, have joined a fellowship to save 20 Northmoor Road, including Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and John Rhys-Davies.

"With the support of volunteers in the U.S., Golding has seized on this once-in-a-generation opportunity and negotiated a 3-month fundraising window with the current owner," Project Northmoor's statement reads.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Warner Bros. will debut every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres
Warner Bros. will debut every 2021 movie on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres
Credit: Warner Bros.

On Thursday, Warner Bros. announced that it would release all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max at the same time they hit theatres. New releases will be available to stream on HBO Max for a month and then will continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories.

Movies that are scheduled to launch in 2021 include Denzel Washington’s The Little Things, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, and Matrix 4.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Mads Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in 'Fantastic Beasts 3'
Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Warner Bros. announced today that Mads Mikkelsen had been cast as Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the third “Fantastic Beasts” film. Mikkelsen is no stranger to evil magic users, having previously played supervillain sorcerer Kaecilius in Doctor Strange.

Considering his filmography, Mikkelsen seems an excellent choice to play magnetic murderer wizard and magical fuckboy Grindelwald. Depp announced in November that he would no longer be playing Grindelwald after Warner Bros. asked him to step down from the role.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Meghan Markle makes miscarriage public
Meghan Markle makes miscarriage public
Credit: Mark Jones / via Wikimedia Commons

In a piece for the New York Times, Meghan Markle tells about a miscarriage she had back in July 2020. In that piece, she also criticizes the taboo about miscarriages in society and calls for more compassion, especially in the current pandemic situation.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Spanish King Felipe VI in quarantine after being in contact with person tested positive for Covid-19
Spanish King Felipe VI in quarantine after being in contact with person tested positive for Covid-19
Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

This Monday, Felipe VI began a 10-day quarantine after learning that "a person" with whom he had "close contact" on Sunday had tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement from the King's Palace.

Before it was known that his contact on Sunday had been positive, the King presided over the meeting of the Scientific Council of the Real Instituto Elcano on Monday morning at the El Pardo Palace; the meeting was attended by its president, Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, the director, Charles Powell, the director of programmes, Maria Solanas, and experts on Latin America (Susana Malcorra), Transatlantic Relations (Robin Niblett) and the EU (Elvire Fabry), among others.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Bob Dylan correspondence and unpublished lyrics sell for nearly half a million dollars at auction
Bob Dylan and The Band - 1974
Bob Dylan and The Band - 1974 Credit: Jim Summaria / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

A collection of Bob Dylan documents have sold at an auction for $495,000. The collection previously belonged to late American blues musician Tony Glover and included unpublished lyrics written by the singer and letters between Glover and Dylan.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies aged 37
Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies aged 37
Credit: @alsassociation, Courtesy of Twitter

Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has died at the age of 37. Quinn was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig's disease – in March 2013 and helped raise more than $220 million for medical research.

"We are deeply saddened to share that Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge passed away at the age of 37. Pat was diagnosed with ALS in 2013 and went on to help popularize the greatest social media campaign in history," the ALS Association wrote on Twitter. "He will be missed, but he will continue to inspire us until we have a world without ALS."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on December 25 on HBO Max and Theaters
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on December 25 on HBO Max and Theaters
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

After months of delays due to Covid-19, Warner Bros. has decided to release its upcoming blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 on its HBO Max streaming service the same day it hits theatres in the U.S., December 25. The sequel to the 2017 hit was originally supposed to be released in June, then moved to October.

According to a press release, the film will debut in theatres internationally on December 16.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Guns N' Roses announces Austrialia & New Zealand tour for November 2021
Guns N' Roses announces Austrialia & New Zealand tour for November 2021
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

The US rock band Guns N' Roses plans to perform in a stadium tour in a year's time. In May, the group around the founding members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan had to cancel their European tour planned for early summer 2020 at short notice. Now they have announced a statium tour for Australia and New Zealand in November 2021. Tickets go on presale on November 23rd.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
The Weeknd announces 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Performance
The Weeknd announces 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Performance
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

In a tweet, the musician The Weeknd has announced that he'll perform at the 2021 Super Bowl Half Time show. The date for the 2021 Super Bowl is set to the 7th of February 2021.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Disney+ reached 73.7 million paid subscribers
Disney+
Disney+ Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Launched one year ago, Disney+ reached 73.7 million paid subscribers as of early October, a jump from the 60.5 million subscribers the service had on August 3. The numbers are part of The Walt Disney Company’s fourth-quarter earnings report released Thursday.

CEO Bob Chapek said, in a statement, that "The real bright spot has been our direct-to-consumer business, which is key to the future of our company, and on this anniversary of the launch of Disney+ we're pleased to report that, as of the end of the fourth quarter, the service had more than 73 million paid subscribers - far surpassing our expectations in just its first year."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Marvel's WandaVision to premiere on January 15th on Disney Plus
Screenshot of WandaVision Trailer
Screenshot of WandaVision Trailer Credit: Marvel Studios

WandaVision, one of Marvel Studios' most anticipated new series, will premier on January 15th, 2021 on Disney Plus. The announcement was made on Disney Plus's official Twitter account along with a teaser showing mostly already released images.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
Collins Dictionary Names Word of the Year 2020
Sign with the word "Lockdown"
Sign with the word "Lockdown" Credit: unsplash.com / Go to Matt Seymour's profile Matt Seymour

Collins Dictionary has revealed its word of the year for 2020, and you guessed it, it's coronavirus related!

The dictionary printer has named "Lockdown" as word of the year is they've seen a 6,000% increase in its use. Compared to 2019 where there were only 4,000 recorded instances of the word being used, 2020 has seen it already soar past the quarter of a million mark - and still with the rest of November and December to go.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Alex Trebek dead at 80
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek
"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek Credit: Jim Greenhill (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The long time host "Jeopardy!" Alex Trebek has died at the age of 80 this Sunday after a battle against pancreatic cancer,

The program tweeted: "Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Johnny Depp has been fired from "The Fantastic Beasts" franchise
Johnny Depp has been fired from "The Fantastic Beasts" franchise
Credit: Instagram / johnnydepp

In a letter posted to Instagram, Johnny Depp announced he will no longer be the character Grindelwald of the Fantastic Beasts franchise after "being asked to resign by Warner Bros."

The Warner Bros. decision is related to the fact that earlier this week, Depp lost his libel case against the Sun after he was called a “wife-beater” following stories of alleged abuse against Heard.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
British couple discovered Star Wars memorabilia worth $525,000
British couple discovered Star Wars memorabilia worth $525,000
Credit: Gareth Bellamy (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The Times newspaper reported Thursday that a couple, from Stourbridge in central England, discovered a batch of Star Wars memorabilia worth $525,000 in bin bags left to them by a neighbour. The couple was initially unsure what to make of the jumble of dolls and spacecraft their neighbour had spent decades collecting, but their son called in an auctioneer.

From Storm Trooper helmets to R2D2's eye, memorabilia from one of the world's biggest movie franchises can fetch eye-watering sums at auctions.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Kanye West admits defeat in US elections
Kanye West admits defeat in US elections
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Kanye West, a candidate for the presidency of the United States in the current elections, admitted defeat through social networks, last night. However, he has already launched a campaign for the election in 2024

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
German court declares that DJing is music
German court declares that DJing is music
Credit: unsplash.com / Cristi Tohatan

The German Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) has ruled in favour of clubs. The availability of the reduced tax rate bonus does not depend on whether instrumentalists or singers are on stage, but rather on whether the music represents the actual purpose of the event from the perspective of an "average visitor". If so, turntables, mixing desks and CD players can also be regarded as instruments, at least if they are "used to perform the piece of music and not just to play a sound carrier".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Oscar winner and James Bond star Sean Connery dead at 90
Sean Connery shooting the James Bond movie "Diamonds are Forever" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Sean Connery shooting the James Bond movie "Diamonds are Forever" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Credit: Rob Mieremet (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Scottish actor Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90. Connery was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers.

Connery went on to distinguish himself with a long and mature career in such films as “The Wind and the Lion,” “The Man Who Would Be King” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” His turn as a tough Irish cop in Depression-era Chicago in Brian De Palma’s 1987 “The Untouchables” brought him a supporting actor Oscar.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
After Strand Bookstore asked for help, online orders surged
After Strand Bookstore asked for help, online orders surged
Credit: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Strand Bookstore, one of New York's oldest bookstores, recently asked its customers for help on social media after sales have gone down during the pandemic, writing "for the first time in The Strand’s 93 year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine."

After Strand's call for help, the store received over 25,000 online orders over the weekend and made a total of $170,550 in in-store sales on Saturday and Sunday.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Arnold Schwarzenegger feels "fantastic" after pulmonary valve replacement
Arnold Schwarzenegger feels "fantastic" after pulmonary valve replacement
Credit: @Schwarzenegger via Twitter

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently had to undergo a pulmonary valve replacement at the Cleveland Clinic, has told fans he was feeling "fantastic."

"Thanks to the team at the Cleveland Clinic, I have a new aortic valve to go along with my new pulmonary valve from my last surgery. I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues. Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team," so Schwarzenegger on Ttwitter.