Scarlett Johansson received so much backlash for her decision to play transgender massage-parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill in the mob thriller “Rub and Tug” that she has withdrawn from the project. Scarlett is no stranger to controversy, after playing a white-washed Asian character in “Ghost in the Shell” (2017), which didn’t do well at the box office. Ironically, it would’ve been for the same director of “Ghost in the Shell,” Rupert Sanders.
John Krasinski, fresh off his success producing, directing and starring in “A Quiet Place,” will co-produce (and probably direct and star) with Matt Damon in “The King of Oil,” based on the bestselling book “The King of Oil: The Secret Life of Mark Rich.” Rich was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on Clinton’s final day in office. Rich died in 2013 at 78. *** “Sopranos” fans rejoice! The prequel has found a director in Alan Taylor, who helmed multiple episodes of the original series as well as “Game of Thrones,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Terminator: Genisys.”
“It: Chapter Two” is in the works with Bill Hader playing the grown-up Richie Tozier (played by Finn Wolfhard) and James MacAvoy (as a grown-up Bill Denbrough (played by Jaeden Lieberher). Bill Skarsgard returns as “It.”
Tim Allen’s series “Last Man Standing (which he produced and starred in) ran for six seasons on ABC. Now it’s returning, but to Fox, not ABC. Coincidentally, 20th Century Fox produces the show. However, they’ve lost two cast members: Molly Ephraim, who played middle daughter Mandy, and Flynn Morrison, who played grandson Boyd. When the show was canceled, they were released from their contracts and opted not to return. Their roles will be recast.
*** Jeff Goldblum is having no trouble finding film roles at age 65. In 2017 he appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” and in 2018 was busy with a plum voice role in Wes Anderson’s animated film “Isle of Dogs,” with Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton and Bill Murray. He also has starring roles in “Hotel Artemis,” with Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown and Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the new “Star Trek” movies. Jeff played opposite the original Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy, in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978). He currently can be seen in the $1 billion wonder “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
Goldblum was Oscar nominated in 1996 for “Little Surprises,” a short live action film he directed, with Julie Harris and Rod Steiger. He’s been married three times, once to Oscar-winner Geena Davis (1987-1990), but it’s his current marriage to Emilie Livingston that has produced a son (in 2015 at 62) and a daughter (at 64). Fatherhood at 62 is pure Gold(blum).