1825 posts
Ava DuVernay in February 2018.
Ava DuVernay in February 2018. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Things are getting more female-friendly around DC Comics these days. 

Witness Thursday’s shop talk between Ava DuVernay, the first woman of color to head up a $100 million-plus live-action movie, and groundbreaking “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, who praised DuVernay’s work on “A Wrinkle in Time.” 

DuVernay, you see, is DC and Warner Bros.’ second woman to helm a big-budget superhero movie: She has signed on for “The New Gods,” The Times has confirmed. 

James Levine.
James Levine. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Conductor James Levine has filed a $5.8-million breach of contract and defamation lawsuit against New York’s Metropolitan Opera three days after the company fired the conductor in connection with allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct.

In documents filed in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday, the former maestro “clearly and unequivocally denied any wrongdoing in connection with those allegations,” according to the New York Times and Associated Press.

Levine denied ever being engaged in “an abusive sexual relationship” delineated in reports in December, which he called inaccurate and unsubstantiated. He also accused the company and its general manager, Peter Gelb, of exploiting the #MeToo movement while sinking his once-illustrious career.

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and others star in the final trailer for Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War."

It’s impossible to tell how successful Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” will be based on the latest teaser, but it’s safe to say that the upcoming film is on track to become the most superhero film of all time. 

The trailer, released Friday morning, features so much high-end Hollywood talent, the real marvel is that they’re all allowed to be in the same place at the same time. 

You want Iron Man? He’s there. You want Rocket Raccoon? He’s definitely there. You want Black Panther and the Dora Milaje? They are so there. You want Doctor Strange? Well, no, probably not. But he’s there anyway!

  • Birthdays
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

I’ve never really thought of myself as an entertainer. This is healing for me, and I would like it to be healing to other people.

  • Music
Covers for two new albums saluting the music of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Covers for two new albums saluting the music of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. (Universal Music Group Nashville; Island Records)

A bevy of pop, R&B, rock, country and Americana artists are paying homage to the 50-year collaboration between Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin with not one, but two separate collections of new interpretations of more than two dozen of the team’s biggest hits and many less-familiar selections. 

“Revamp” and “Restoration” — curated by John and Taupin, respectively — will be released April 6.

“Revamp” is a pop-R&B-urban-leaning album including recordings by John himself, accompanied by Pink and Logic, as well as Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Sam Smith, Mumford and Sons, Alessia Cara, Queens of the Stone Age and Q Tip featuring Demi Lovato, among others.

  • TV
  • Late-night

Jimmy Kimmel is just a concerned consumer who wants to know that the goods he purchases are made in America. And that may end up costing the Trumps.   

On Wednesday night’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the host revealed that he went on a little shopping spree at the Trump Organization’s official online store to see where all the Trump-branded merchandise is actually made. 

“Trump, as you know, wants to focus on America. American-made products and goods,” explained Kimmel. “So I wondered — because I agree with that — how things were going on his family website,”

  • TV
  • Movies
  • Awards
  • Celebrity
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Comedian Wanda Sykes will host the 29th GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles next month.

The “black-ish” actress was the 2010 recipient of GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award for an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting acceptance. 

“Wanda Sykes’ humor, wit, and status as one of the most visible out women in Hollywood make her the perfect host for the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement on Wednesday. “At a time when LGBTQ acceptance and equality are eroding, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate the best in LGBTQ representation, and share a few laughs along the way.”

  • TV
  • Music

Katy Perry's most recent news cycle included a dead nun and yet, somehow, that wasn’t the low point of her week.

Perry courted controversy when, during Sunday’s premiere of ABC’s “American Idol” reboot, she laid a kiss on a 19-year-old contestant who said he had never been kissed before.

The awkward moment soon spiraled into a story, with some individuals questioning Perry’s action in light of the #MeToo movement.

  • Birthdays
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Why is it so hard for some people to reconcile beauty or sexiness with smart? There's so many women in the world who are complex, complicated people. I'm not saying I'm one of them, I'm just saying people tend to view through one lens.

Brandy performs on "Total Request Live" in 2000.
Brandy performs on "Total Request Live" in 2000. (Jim Cooper)

Rumors that MTV would be cancel “Total Request Live,” the rebooted afternoon show that gained popularity in the early 2000s, circulated Wednesday morning after staff members received a memo saying that the show would not return.

According to TMZ, employees were sent an email notifying them the show would not be returning in April after its February hiatus as planned. The email said that the show would “pivot to short form content that will be featured on social and digital platforms.”

But MTV later told the Times The show would continue.