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Holy Trilogy

New ‘Star Wars’ Plot Revealed?

Thirty years after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ the new ‘Star Wars’ films may tell the story of Han Solo and Princess Leia's twins and, of course, the temptation of the Dark Side.

"A satisfying sequel is difficult to pull off. Many geniuses have defeated themselves through hubris."—Abed Nadir, Community

"Objection, your honor. The pod race was pretty cool."—Lawyer, Clerks: The Animated Series


The Daily Beast

Questions of Science

Why Is It Cool to Hate Coldplay?

Hearing Coldplay premiere its new album ‘Ghost Stories’ before a small group in L.A. (where you could have sensed Chris Martin’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s impending divorce) makes it clear that hating the band says more about you than them.

Circle May 19 on your calendar. That’s the day British megaband Coldplay will officially return from wherever it hibernates when it isn’t promoting an album and begin, yet again, to promote an album. This one is called Ghost Stories. The first two singles, “Magic” and “Midnight,” have already materialized online. Next up: magazine covers, late-night TV, the requisite stadium tour. Singer Chris Martin will appear as a “key advisor” on The Voice, where he will presumably show contestants how to add at least one falsetto part to every song. Global ubiquity will ensue.


Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at Air Canada Centre on July 23, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (George Pimentel/WireImage)

Not incidentally, May 19 is also the day Serious Music Fans will remember that they’re supposed to hate Coldplay and rush to the Internet, the airwaves, and the local pub circuit to remind the rest of us how vast and all-consuming their hatred is. Yet again.

Man or Muppet?

The Muppets’ Music Maestro

Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie is behind the music of 'Muppets Most Wanted.' He gives us his best Swedish chef impression and shares his dream for a Miss Piggy and Celine Dion Vegas show.

Bret McKenzie is probably the only guy alive who identifies as part elf, part Conchord, and part Muppet. The actor and musician, known as one half of New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, is also fan-fiction favorite Figwit in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and the maestro behind every original song for The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted. McKenzie’s songs are wry, self-aware, and often self-deprecating (Muppets Most Wanted’s opening number begins with the lines “We're doing a sequel / That's what we do in Hollywood / And everybody knows / The sequel's never quite as good”), but the man clearly knows what he’s doing: He won an Oscar for Best Song for writing “Man or Muppet,” the ballad sung by Jason Segel and his Muppet brother Walter in the 2011 film.

Bret McKenzie

Zachary Scott Photography; Courtesy New York International Children's Film Festival

The Daily Beast caught up with McKenzie at the New York International Children’s Film Festival—where, along with Walter, he hosted a sing-a-long for a theater full of kids armed with glow sticks, whistles, plastic maracas, and fake mustaches—to talk about making Muppet music, his non-reunion with fellow Conchord and Muppets Most Wanted co-star Jemaine Clement, and his (lack of) Elvish skills.

Watch Out

Game of Thrones’ Bisexual Villain

He’s hedonistic, fearless, and wants the Lannisters’ heads on a platter. Get to know the man behind your new favorite character on HBO’s bloody and sexy saga.

There’s a scene early on in Season 4 of Game of Thrones, the wildly popular HBO-stewarded goulash of blood, sex, and swords, that epitomizes Oberyn Martell—a seductive, mysterious new character on the series better known as “the Red Viper.”


Pedro Pascal and Indira Varma in a scene from season 4 of "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

Oberyn is laying in bed naked with his de facto lover, the striking, bodacious Ellaria Sand, as well as his newly appointed piece, a strapping young man.

“Everyone has a preference,” the man says, probing Oberyn about whether he prefers the company of a man or a woman.

“Then everyone is missing half the world’s pleasure,” he replies.


Why Did Gwyneth and Chris Split?

The end of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s marriage is sudden, but it’s definitely no surprise. A history of the events leading up to the “conscious uncoupling.”

Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s nearly 11 year-long marriage is over.


Gwyneth Paltrow, left, and Chris Martin are seen at the 3rd Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala on Jan. 11, 2014 at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)

“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate,” reads a statement posted on Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop (which subsequently crashed from all the web traffic). “We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separated…We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner. Love, Gwyneth & Chris.”


Return of the Bunny Boiler

In 1987, ‘Fatal Attraction’ had cinema audiences screaming, “Kill the bitch,” as Glenn Close terrorized Michael Douglas and family. The stage version, which just had its world premiere in London, features a more complex villain and the darker ending its creator wanted. SPOILER ALERT!

It’s taken more than a quarter of a century but Alex Forrest, the unhinged villainess in Fatal Attraction, has finally got her revenge.


Michael Douglas, Glenn Close star in "Fatal Attraction" 1987. (Paramount/Everett)

You may recall the melodramatic home invasion sequence at the end of the film; Alex, played by Glenn Close, is shot dead and, despite the husband’s infidelity, the Gallagher family lives if not totally-happily-ever-after, then at least intact. That Hollywood ending was a re-shoot, tacked on to the end of a brilliant psychological thriller by nervous studio executives.

The Iron Price

All Hail King Bieber Baratheon

While Joffrey Baratheon didn't have a private plane to hot box, there's no way he hasn't tried to make a bong out of one of those old dragon eggs.

Sophie Turner, better known as Game of Throne's Sansa Stark, has boldly gone where no GoT cast member has gone before, finally articulating the link between Joffrey Baratheon and Justin Bieber. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Stark called Justin Bieber "the Joffrey Baratheon of our time." For the Game of Thrones ignorant, Joffrey Baratheon is a spoiled little blonde king who spends more time sadistically playing with prostitutes than working on foreign policy (in GoT land, foreign policy=invading dragons). Joffrey's parents are actually twins, which serves to partially explain his amorality, general horribleness, and annoying snarky face.


Justin Bieber, on the other hand, has no excuse. Just like Joffrey, Bieber has displayed a lack of respect for the law, an inclination towards impish violence, and an alleged penchant for prostitution.

Bieber and Joffrey both have angelic faces that we kind of want to punch. They're both inexplicably wealthy and powerful, with beautiful girlfriends and proportionally smug attitudes. And while Joffrey Baratheon didn't have a private plane to hot box, there's no way he hasn't tried to make a bong out of one of those old dragon eggs. 

Luckily, because the Internet is a magical place that can predict all of our most pressing needs and desires, this Joffrey Bieber Tumblr already exists. While you gorge on this medieval feast of photoshopped wonders, remember to console yourself with the fact that Joffrey Baratheon is eventually going to probably get stabbed in the heart, or at least catch a serious case of chlamydia. As for Justin Bieber…hey, how's that deportation petition going?

No, It's Not Photoshopped

Branson's Nude Kiteboarding Pal

Richard Branson today reposted the celebrated picture of him kiteboarding with naked model Denni Parkinson clinging to his back, and we saw no reason not to do the same

Sir Richard Branson recently let it be known that he has made the move to Necker Island a full-time one—and after seeing these pictures, few will be in a position to blame him.


For here the multi-millionaire entrepreneur is pictured very much enjoying the high life as he kiteboards through the sparkling ocean waters with a nubile blonde clinging to his back.

Rock and Roll

My Friend Oderus Urungus

The dry-ice machine spewed fog, heavy thrash-metal guitar rumbled from the amps, and Dave emerged in fishnet stockings, a faux-fur loin cloth, and a spiked helmet and shoulder pads.

The first time someone explains to you what GWAR is, you might have a little trouble visualizing it. I know I did.


Vocalist Oderus Urungus performs in concert with GWAR at the Austin Music Hall on September 27, 2009 in Austin, Texas. (Gary Miller//FilmMagic)

I was on my way to band practice and had stopped to pick up a pack of cigarettes at a gas station in what was then the far exurbs of Washington, D.C., when I bumped into my friend Dave from high school.

On the Radio

Country Music’s Big Gay Moment

The Kickstarter campaign to fund openly gay musician Steve Grand’s debut album ‘All-American Boy’ is soaring. Is Nashville ready for its own Frank Ocean?

On July 2, 2013, little-known singer-songwriter Steve Grand YouTubed the video for his indie single “All-American Boy”, which the now 24-year-old Illinois-native made for a little over $7,000. “I’d never used a credit card before,” he recalled with a laugh. The video featured a chiseled Grand serenading an oblivious (but ultimately understanding) straight male friend, asking him to be his “All-American boy tonight/Where every day’s the 4th of July.” Seven days later, the song had gone hyper-viral and Grand was being written about by every media outlet in the country (I covered him here). It even rocketed him to a spot on Good Morning America, where they proclaimed him a “gay country star.”


Steve Grand (Joem C. Bayawa)

Perhaps it would be more correct to say the gay male country star, since there has yet to be one in America (Canada, on the other hand, is home to sexy bear crooner Drake Jensen). But while the response from fans was instantaneous and overwhelming, critics opined that a single did not a star make, and that country music just wasn’t ready for an out gay man to top the charts.

Closing Time

How to End ‘Mad Men’?

The creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner says that ‘there is a shadow being cast over this whole season that started not just last season, but the first time we met Don.’

Speaking Monday afternoon by phone, Mad Men creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner confessed that it’s been “challenging” to find the right ending for his acclaimed 1960s Madison Avenue period piece, explicitly comparing the upcoming conclusion of AMC’s flagship drama to the controversial finale of The Sopranos, the previous series Weiner worked on, and implying that some viewers may not be immediately happy with Mad Men’s denouement, either.


Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

“There’s an immediate reaction to it and there’s a long-term reaction to it,” Weiner said. “If people behaved about The Sopranos the way they do now—with the reverence and understanding about what it was—it would have been a lot more pleasant for everybody involved. But there was such an uproar. Now we know that was the perfect ending for that show, and now we know that show is in the pantheon of the greatest shows ever. Did the ending affect that? Yeah. There are good ones and bad ones. As a writer, I want to end the story [of Mad Men] the way I think the story was told.”


Will Kim and Kanye Kill Vogue?


The Daily Beast

Is it a bravura business decision, or will it lead to an exodus of appalled readers? Unsurprisingly, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is not apologizing for putting Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover.

Usually it takes a major scandal to shake consumer confidence in a brand. But in the case of Vogue magazine it appears that all it took was putting Kim Kardashian on its cover. The reality show starlet graces the April issue in a wedding gown alongside her fiancé Kanye West.

The backlash has been swift and brutal. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar led the charge with a tweet that read “Well……I guess I’m canceling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???”

Apparently many are with her. As of this writing Gellar’s call for a boycott had been retweeted over 8,000 times and favorited by more than 11,000 people. But the outrage has not been limited to Twitter. Vogue’s Facebook page has been inundated with hundreds of angry messages. One reading, I’m done with Vogue. Subscription cancelled sick to death of Kanye and Kim used to be high fashion, your standards have been highly compromised!!!!!!” had received 146 Facebook likes so far.


Annie Leibovitz/Vogue

The ‘World’s Most Talked About Couple’ opens up to Vogue’s Hamish Bowles.

“The fast-cooling Los Angeles afternoon air is filled with the scent of eucalyptus and mimosa,” is how Vogue’s Hamish Bowles begins his cover story featuring "The World's Most Talked About Couple," Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, for the magazine’s April issue.

Photographed by the legendary Annie Leibovitz (who also shot the Kardashian Kollection for Sears campaign in 2011), the editorial spread of the “creative polyglot” and his fiancee, a “cultural phenomenon,” is a display of gratuitous excess. Kardashian dons an array of wedding dresses by Lanvin, Shiaparelli, and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton (who also designed Kate Middleton’s nuptials gown) as she poses alongside West and their daughter/muse, baby North.

“I put Kanye’s big chains around her, and I put a little Louis bag and some Jordans, and I was like, ‘What up, Daddy?’” Kardashian says of her daughter. West has even created a stop-frame video of North that makes it look like she is break-dancing.

Not Shock Value

‘Good Wife’s Perfect ‘OMG’ Moment

The showrunners promised that unlike George Clooney in ‘E.R.,’ characters wouldn’t be written off by being sent to Seattle. They really weren’t kidding. Warning: Spoilers.

ABC’s Scandal should take a note from The Good Wife. This is what a well-executed “OMG” moment actually looks like.


David M. Russell/CBS

Following its return from a Winter Olympics imposed hiatus, CBS had been teasing a three-episode event that would culminate in “the most shocking Good Wife moment ever.” And holy sh** did it deliver. Nothing could have prepared us for the final act of last night’s episode “Dramatics, Your Honor.”


The Story of Noah

Read the passage from the book of Genesis of the King James Version of the Bible that is the source of Darren Aronofsky’s new epic, ‘Noah.’

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.


Niko Tavernise

And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

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