Riverbank News - - ENTERTAINMENT - Write to Cindy at King Fea­tures Weekly Ser­vice, 628 Vir­ginia Drive, Or­lando, FL 32803; or e-mail her at let­ters@cindyelavsky.com. By Cindy Elavsky (c) 2018 King Fea­tures Synd., Inc.

Q: One of my fa­vorite shows was “Dead­wood” on HBO. Watch­ing that and “The So­pra­nos” was a rit­ual for me. Over the years I’ve heard ru­mors that it’s com­ing back, but noth­ing seems to come of it.

Any news? ~ David F., via email A: It’s fi­nally hap­pen­ing! Af­ter years of spec­u­la­tion and false starts, at the Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion press con­fer­ence in July, HBO pro­gram­ming pres­i­dent Casey Bloys an­nounced that a “Dead­wood” movie has been green­lighted. It is sched­uled to be­gin shoot­ing in Oc­to­ber, with a tentative spring 2019 re­lease. A big fac­tor for the de­lay was round­ing up the cast at the same time to film the se­ries. As Bloys ex­plained: “All of these peo­ple worked hard to get this to­gether. It’s been a lo­gis­tics night­mare get­ting all of the cast mem­bers’ sched­ules to­gether, but we are there.”


Q: Has there been any word on what is planned for “Star Wars: Episode IX” since the death of Car­rie Fisher? I can’t see how they can work around her death, and they def­i­nitely can’t re­cast such an iconic role. -- Kel­lie D., The Vil­lages, Florida

A: Car­rie passed away from car­diac ar­rest in De­cem­ber 2016 at age 60, just af­ter she had wrapped on “The Last Jedi.” How­ever, there has been word of a work­around from direc­tor J.J. Abrams, and he’s go­ing back two movies in the canon to make it hap­pen. He too knows that there is no “Star Wars” with­out Gen­eral Or­gana, aka Princess Leia. Abrams re­vealed in a state­ment: “We des­per­ately loved Car­rie Fisher. Find­ing a truly sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion to the Sky­walker saga with­out her eluded us. We have found a way to honor Car­rie’s legacy and role as Leia in ‘Episode IX’ by us­ing un­seen footage we shot to­gether in ‘Episode VII’ (‘The Force Awak­ens’).”

What that footage is and how it will play into the mythol­ogy is a tightly guarded se­cret, of course, but J.J. did let us know a few de­tails about “Episode IX,” which is sched­uled for re­lease in De­cem­ber 2019. Billy Dee Wil­liams re­turns to the fold in his role of Lando Cal­ris­sian; and, of course, Mark Hamill, An­thony Daniels, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Ny­ong’o and Domh­nall Glee­son all are re­turn­ing, with Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie join­ing the cast.

*** Q: Do you have any “Ozark” news? -- Nancy P., via email

A: At long last, the slow­burn, en­gross­ing Net­flix drama will re­turn Aug. 31 for its 10-episode sec­ond sea­son. And from the of­fi­cial log­line of sea­son two, you know this sea­son is go­ing to be filled with just as much nail-bit­ing drama as the first: “The stakes are even higher than be­fore, and the Byrdes soon re­al­ize they have to go all in be­fore they can get out.” I’m all tingly just think­ing about what’s in store for Jason Bateman, Laura Lin­ney and com­pany, aren’t you?

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