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The Journal Gazette

  • Abrams

  • Bisset

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:00 am


Director returning to 'Star Wars'

Wire services

J.J. Abrams is returning to “Star Wars” and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of “Episode IX.”

Disney announced Abrams' return on Tuesday. After several high-profile exits by previous “Star Wars” directors, Lucasfilm is turning to the filmmaker who helped resurrect the franchise in the first place.

As the director of “The Force Awakens,” Abrams rebooted “Star Wars” to largely glowing reviews from fans and more than $2 billion in box office. Abrams initially said that would be his only film for the franchise.

Special on way

Bruno Mars is getting his own TV special, a first for the Grammy-winning superstar.

Atlantic Records and CBS announced that “Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live At The Apollo” will air Nov. 29 on CBS. The special was taped at the Apollo Theater in New York's Harlem.

Mars, who is producing the special, also taped performances and interactions with New Yorkers throughout the city.

Stars lined up

John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and Conan O'Brien are headlining this year's Stand Up for Heroes fundraiser, Nov. 7 in New York, to benefit injured veterans and their families.

Stand Up for Heroes is the brainchild of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, who was nearly killed in 2006 during an attack in Iraq.

Thrill is gone

Special set of skills or not, Liam Neeson says he's finished making thrillers.

Neeson said that he plans to stop even though it's hard to turn down the lucrative offers he gets thanks to his box-office success in the three “Taken” films, as well as other thrillers. Neeson believes he's simply getting too old to be an action hero.

“The thrillers, that was all a pure accident,” Neeson said. “They're still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I'm like, 'Guys, I'm sixty-f---ing-five.' Audiences are eventually going to go, 'Come on.'”

Neeson still has two upcoming thrillers he's already shot, but he says they will be his last.

Back for more 

Warner Bros. and DC have signed Patty Jenkins for the “Wonder Woman” sequel after lengthy negotiations, Variety first reported Monday.

Jenkins will direct, produce and co-write the sequel and become the highest-paid female filmmaker ever, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot, is the year's second-biggest movie domestically ($410 million) and seventh-biggest worldwide ($810 million). The release has also set the domestic and worldwide box office records for a movie solo-directed by a woman and a live-action film directed by a woman.

Happy birthday

Among today's celebrity birthdays: Singer Peter Cetera is 73. Actress Jacqueline Bisset is 73. Singer-guitarist Dave Mustaine is 56. Actress Louise Lombard is 47. Singer Fiona Apple is 40. Actor Ben Savage is 37. Singer Niall Horan is 24. Actress Lili Reinhart is 21.