Efron told CNN his decision to star in "The Greatest Showman" alongside Hugh Jackman boiled down to two factors: the director, Michael Gracey and the movie's message of inclusion. Efron plays Phillip Carlyle, a performer and business partner of P.T. Barnum, who launches what will eventually become the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Efron's character falls in love with Anne Wheeler, a mixed-race trapeze artist played by Zendaya. Phillip and Anne's interracial relationship courts controversy in the film and Efron wanted to use their love story to send a message to viewers. "That was one of the most important things to get across with this role and one of the most profoundly important things that Zendaya and I wanted to both get across and felt capable of in this part," Efron told CNN. "What else can you do through a musical other than spread love and communicate a message that you really care about?"Related: Hugh Jackman commands center stage in 'Greatest Showman'Despite the progress we've made since the 1800s, racial tensions still exist today and Efron hopes "The Greatest Showman" will help effect change. "We are still dealing with these issues today." he said. "There's no question that … we are dealing with certain aspects that are so antiquated and I love singing and celebrating that we can overcome these issues … I think that's what Phillip and Anne are all about."Efron's decision to return to the musical genre seems to be paying off. "The Greatest Showman" was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including best movie musical or comedy. For Efron, who came to fame for his leading role in the "High School Musical" franchise, his return to his musical roots hasn't been easy."It's not like riding a bike, you can't just remember instantly and pick up where you left off," he said. "These dances were leveled up for sure. The one with Hugh 'The Other Side,' I think we got it on take 56 or something like that. It was a long day at work. But it was nice when we finally got it. Efron also credits Gracey for his return to musicals. "The Greateat Showman" is the Australian director's first foray into feature films. Gracey previously worked as a visual effects artist and directed commercials. "Michael Gracey is someone I've always wanted to work with," Efron said. "I thought if there was any way I could add value or help him accomplish this movie then I wanted to. I heard Hugh was in it and that wasn't a bad thing either. Those are two of the greatest showman ever.""The Greatest Showman" hits theaters December 22.
The post Why Zac Efron chose 'The Greatest Showman' for his musical comeback appeared first on News Wire Now.
007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.
Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.
"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.
"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.
"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."
Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".
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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.
Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.
The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.
But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.
The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.
Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".
"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.
"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.
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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman
Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..
Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.
The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.
Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.
On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.
Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.
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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.
We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source
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