Today’s Showbiz Highlights August 18,2014


1.  The “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” phenomenon finally caught on with celebrities over the weekend . . . in a major way.  A ton of them did it, including:  Selena GomezJustin BieberTaylor SwiftJennifer LopezCarrie UnderwoodSteven Spielberg,Oprah and even 86-year-old Ethel Kennedy.

2.  ROBIN WILLIAMS was a big video game player, and even named his daughter Zelda after the “Legends of Zelda” games.  Well, thanks to an online petition, a character in “World of Warcraft” is going to be named after Robin.  And there’s another petition to get him a character in the next “Zelda” game.

3.  Actor ROB SCHNEIDER thinks prescription medication may have led to ROBIN WILLIAMS’ suicide.  He Tweeted, quote, “Now that we can talk about it #RobinWilliams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s.  One of the side effects is suicide.”

4.  NEIL PATRICK HARRIS is denying rumors that his relationship with his fiancé David Burtka is on the rocks.  He posted a photo of David with their twins on Instagram . . . with the caption:  Quote, “I couldn’t be more in love with my family.  Any reports to the contrary are woefully mistaken.  #Grateful.”   The “National Enquirer” reported that Neil and David have ended their engagement after eight years together . . . but apparently, that’s not the case.



5.  JIM PARSONS is denying a “National Enquirer” report that he got gay-engaged.  He posted a photo of him and his longtime boyfriend on Instagram . . . with the caption, quote, “Me and Todd in 2003.  Still very happy today . . . and NOT engaged!  #JustFYI #NationalEnquirerMakes[Stuff]Up #Duh.”

6.  WNBA star BRITTNEY GRINER just got gay-engaged to her girlfriend Glory Johnson.  Brittney is 6-foot-8, and plays center for the Phoenix Mercury.  Glory is 6-foot-3 and plays forward for the Tulsa Shock.  Brittney proposed last Thursday night.

7.  CHRISTINA AGUILERA has pushed another bundle of joy out of her baby chute.  She gave birth to a daughter on Saturday.  There’s no word on her name yet.   This is her first child with her fiancé Matt Rutler.

8.  JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Tweeted a birthday message to MADONNA, where he called her, quote, “my mother chucking ninja” . . . and got BLASTED for it, because “ninja” is viewed as a replacement for the N-word.  He ended up taking it down.

9.  DENZEL WASHINGTON reportedly partied so hard during a vacation with his wife last month that he had to DETOX when he got home.  A so-called “source” says it wasn’t just the booze he needed to get over.  He had all manner of toxins cleansed from his system.

10.  “The Expendables 3” bombed at the box office, bringing in just $16.2 million in 4th place.  That’s less than half of what the first “Expendables” made in 2010.  “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” came in #1 for a second week, earning another $28.4 million, while “Let’s Be Cops” debuted in 3rd place with $26.1 million, and “The Giver” made $12.8 million in 5th place.

11.  Someone supposedly leaked pictures of what the Stormtrooper helmets will look like in “Star Wars 7”.  They’re very similar to the originals, but more modern and streamlined.

We have very reliable information that the images below represent how some of the Imperial Forces will appear in JJ Abrams’ Star Wars film.


The sequel Stormtrooper helmet feels like a natural continuation from the original, but there are distinct differences. The helmet is not symmetrical – there’s only one breather/vent on the bottom near the mouth, on his left side. The black “mouth” area under the white nose plate appears to be a cloth/mesh (which you can better see in the detail shot below). The eye lenses are still separate, but set into a black frame to connect them and give the illusion of one single piece.


A couple people have referred to this as a “Jungle Trooper,” but I have a few good reasons to believe that this is actually an update to the Empire Strikes Back’s Snowtrooper. This new helmet has a flared dome and a single thin horizontal eyepiece to it (as we first saw described at Making Star Wars) and appears to have a removable face mask.


As with the X-Wing that was highlighted in the Force for Change commercial, they’re borrowing heavily from the original trilogy production concepts of Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston with these designs.

They’ve slowly won me over more and more with each piece of information. Shooting on film instead of digital? I like it. Rumors that Drew Struzan is doing the poster? I’m listening. John Williams scoring? Keep going. Bringing back Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie? That has to make everyone as happy as it’s made me. After seeing these designs I am even more hopeful. It genuinely feels like Abrams is approaching Episode VII in way which respects both the fans and the original films themselves.

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UPDATE: We’ve gotten a lot of referral clicks from the RPF – a site dedicated to replicas of movie props and costumes – and naturally, they have an additional prop image in their thread mentioning our story:

Stormtrooper helmet-2-2

Here you can see that the vent is only on the left side of the face, and a slotted vent on top of the dome. These helmets feel like Star Wars in a way that the clone troopers never did. It’s an exciting time to be a fan – and who thought we’d ever be able to say that again?

12.  ROBERT PATTINSON hasn’t been around too long, but even with a limited résumé, it’s hard to believe he considers Edward from “Twilight” his most difficult role.  But he says, quote, “To do it for five movies, it’s really hard to think of stuff that’s maybe not boring.  Especially if you don’t die.  Because what’s the drama?”

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