Author Archives: Natalie Abrams

Once Upon a Time alum Ginnifer Goodwin to star in ABC pilot Steps

By | March 7, 2018

Once Upon a Time alum Ginnifer Goodwin is returning to ABC to star in the comedy pilot Steps, EW has learned.

Steps follows four adults in three different houses who raise three kids after two divorces… together. Goodwin will play Bea, a modern hippie who’s in tune with her spirit and who is a great listener. Bea is a parent coach, making her perhaps the most-equipped to handle three kids with her new husband Paul, her ex-husband (Barry Rothbart), and his ex-wife. She has a fantastic ability to understand others — except the odd times when it fails completely.

Goodwin, who also starred on Big Love, portrayed Snow White on Once Upon a Time until the end of season 6. (Read our exit interview with her here.) The show was subsequently rebooted in season 7, which will now be the show’s last. Goodwin is not the only OUAT star to land a pilot: Her real-life husband Josh Dallas will star in NBC drama Manifest, while Rebecca Mader has signed on for NBC comedy Like Family.

Steps hails from writer Kristin Newman, who will executive produce with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks, Pontus Edgren, Felix Herngren, and Todd Holland, who will also direct the pilot.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bosses writing season finale as a SERIES finale

By | March 6, 2018

The end of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be nigh.

With the ABC superhero drama on the bubble, executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell tell EW that they’re writing the final episode of the fifth season as a series finale.

“Right now, we’re writing a series end,” Bell says, “because as far as we know, this could be it.”

Though S.H.I.E.L.D. has undergone yet another creative resurgence this season — setting the show in space in a future where the earth has been destroyed, and now returning to the present to save the planet — the series is only averaging 3.6 million total viewers and a 1.1 in the coveted 18-49 demo, season-to-date. ABC boss Channing Dungey said during the Television Critics Association press tour she was “cautiously optimistic” about the fates of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Once Upon a Time, though the latter was later announced as now being in its final season.

All that said, the powers that be over at S.H.I.E.L.D. say they will complete the story while also leaving possibilities open. “We’ll never end something without the potential for more story,” Tancharoen says. “That’s how we’ve ended every season, because whenever we’ve come to the end of all the season’s past, we go into that mostly not knowing until the very last minute, so we’re basically doing the same thing to close out season 5. It can fit well as a possible series finale, and it can fit well as just another season’s end.”

Whedon adds: “You always want to leave the idea that there’s more stories, it’s a question of whether or not we will tell them. We have our end, and we’ll stick to it regardless, and we think it’ll work either way.”

The move comes as the series, which will hit its landmark 100th episode on Friday, recently revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s fearless leader Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is apparently dying, bringing the show full circle from Coulson’s resurrection following his death during Marvel’s The Avengers.

It appears the show is on track to use Coulson’s fate as a potentially series-ending arc, rather than introducing some new MacGuffin. “What we don’t want to do is get to the end of the series and have gone off of something where you’re like, ‘Well, now it makes no sense,’” Whedon says. “We want there to be a sense of resolution for the audience and a reward for the audience for being on this whole journey. We don’t want to leave them hanging with something that didn’t get paid off. That being said, not everybody is going to die in the finale, so those people will live on with stories to tell.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays air 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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The Blacklist first look: Aram is going into the field

By | March 6, 2018

Aram will go somewhere he’s never gone before during this week’s episode of The Blacklist — and EW has an exclusive first look.

While the Task Force investigates a mysterious woman involved in a viral outbreak, Aram (Amir Arison) is going to leave the safety of the Post Office for some actual action in the field.

“Aram is finally stepping out from behind the desk!” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp tells EW. “His character is now officially ‘field trained,’ so we’ve been looking for opportunities to test his skills — and the first pop quiz is this week. But this won’t be Agent Mojtabi’s only turn in the field. Twisted scenarios lie ahead, I can assure you of that.”

The Blacklist airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Dove Cameron on that shocking Ruby reveal

By | March 2, 2018

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Read at your own risk!

Dove Cameron made her debut during Friday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and boy, did she make a memorable first impression.

After Team S.H.I.E.L.D. returned from the future, they were basically lured into a trap by Hale’s team, led by a mysterious masked assassin who uses a chakram to shockingly cut off Yo-Yo’s arms. The future has come true! The person under that mask? Hale’s daughter, a.k.a Cameron’s character Ruby! EW turned to the actress to get the scoop on this surprising turn.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How much did they tell you about this character during the casting process?
DOVE CAMERON: I think they auditioned loads of actresses. I didn’t get called in and get any special information. I just went in like anybody else would, and they told me nothing, basically. The sides, the script that they gave me, was this one-page monologue — and I can’t tell you what it was because I think it reveals some stuff down the line. But the monologue itself was clearly fictitious. It didn’t end up making the scripts, the scene never happened. It was just a test scene so none of us would really know any information about the show. My favorite thing in the world as I’ve gone through my career is if I don’t know anything about the character — obviously, if she has a lisp, a left eye twitch or broken left, you’re going to know how to play those things, because they’re very specific. If it says, “She’s very intelligent and mysterious,” then it’s up to interpretation. I’ve learned to play those characters in a way that I would want to see them done, almost as if I was director.

I really wanted to see Ruby be kind of unhinged, just fully off her rocker, that she’s angry and is almost like a murderer. I played her basically like a murderer, someone you wouldn’t want to run into on the street. They seemed to like that interpretation, but I really didn’t know anything about the character, and it ended up being great because Ruby is clearly is some form of an assassin. But they didn’t tell me anything because it’s Marvel. They’re very secretive, as they should be. As the season went on, I was very pleased to see where Ruby goes, what happens to Ruby — it’s a very challenging character. She’s got every layer in her, so you can say whatever you want about Ruby and it would probably be, to some degree, correct and, to some degree, not so on the money. She’s a wild card.

Because we know she’s been locked away, is that because of her killer instinct, or does she have actual powers?
I can’t speak to the powers thing. You’re going to have to stay tuned about that. But I can say why she’s locked away is because Hale is afraid of what she can do. Clearly, by the end of the first episode, Hale has raised this girl. She can’t be older than 18, and she’s raised this girl probably since birth, probably since she could talk, to be an assassin, to be this murderous, crazy, skilled assassin. You see her throw the chakram. That’s a blade, that’s not like Captain America’s shield with safe edges. So for her to throw it like that, and then for her to catch it in as much time as it would be to get ahead of Yo-Yo’s speed, and how much force it must be coming her way, for her to catch it between her fingers and not slice her hand in half? That girl is skilled. That girl is not someone who you would want going up against you. The fact that she trained her daughter like that to keep her in line, she’s got to be strict with her, she’s got to keep her caged, because if she mutinied, something bad could happen. I think Hale fears that she could kill her.

Ruby cut off Yo-Yo’s arms. Will you be actively avoiding Twitter Friday night in fear of fan ire?
I’m going to be all over Twitter! It has nothing to do with me as an actress. I think if people hate me, that’s a good thing. If they leave this episode feeling super heartbroken over Yo-Yo’s arms and couldn’t stand to look at me and wish I’m not on the show anymore, that’s a great thing. You never bring on a villain to be liked. I’m excited, actually. Yo-Yo also loses her arms in the comics, so they had to fulfill that in some way, so I feel lucky that I was the one they trusted to pull off a big plot point. I feel badass.

Can you talk about why Ruby is so obsessed with Daisy?
Ruby’s obsession with Daisy is layered. Take somebody who is a massive fan of somebody — we’ve heard these stories before, and they’re very sad stories about how a love and an obsession can turn very sour in relationships, especially in a fan-celebrity relationship. It’s almost like the line between hatred and love can be very, very thin. Ruby doesn’t do anything halfway, and she’s very calculated and very unfeeling. So for her to be fixated on you is never, ever a good thing. Nobody is ever like, “Aww, that’s so sweet, she’s such a big fan.” It’s like, “Oh no, she has zeroed in on you.” There’s a love for Daisy, in some way. It’s a twisted love. I can’t tell you anything, really, about that relationship, but it’s definitely not straightforward.

Can you tease at all what their first meeting might look like?

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Once Upon a Time bosses on that heartbreaking sacrifice

By | March 2, 2018

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk.

Returning from its midseason hiatus, Once Upon a Time kicked off the final 12 episodes of the series with a pretty large sacrifice.

During the hour, Mother Gothel cut a deal with Zelena (Rebecca Mader) to use the resurrection amulet to save Lucy (Alison Fernandez), but Victoria (Gabrielle Anwar) stole it in hopes of getting Gothel to return her daughter Anastasia (Yael Yurman). Little did she know, Gothel planned to kill Ivy (Adelaide Kane) in order to save Lucy, so Victoria sacrificed herself, taking Ivy’s place in the ritual and ultimately dying as Lucy came back to life.

“The show is about how evil is made, it’s not born,” executive producer Edward Kitsis says of Victoria’s death. “We see that Gabrielle originally was trapped in the tower and became this villain, and yet in this moment what we wanted to do is the relationship between Ivy and her was a tough mother-daughter relationship, but when it really came down to it, she wasn’t willing to sacrifice it. At the end of the day, she was able to reclaim who she was. That’s always been a message on the show, which is, this is not a show where we expect you to be perfect, this is a show where we all say, ‘Everyday we make mistakes, but it’s how you come back from them,’ so we felt like that was a fitting ending.”

The move is somewhat surprising as Victoria, a.k.a. Lady Tremaine, was originally billed as the rebooted seventh season‘s big bad — though it was later revealed that mantle belongs to Mother Gothel, who achieved that with the unwitting help of Ivy. “We love the idea of the relationship between a mother and daughter, where from the audience’s perspective, we think for the first half of the season, you really feel that Gabrielle is the villain of the year and this terrible person,” executive producer Adam Horowitz says. “Hopefully we pulled the layers back enough to make you understand her a little more, and just as you do, the focus is going to shift. Part of it is seeing how this affects Ivy and where this pushes her next.”

Kitsis adds: “Ivy now has to deal with what happens when you spend your entire life hating someone and then you realize you shouldn’t have, they really liked you, and now where do you put that hate?”

But Victoria is not the only victim of the hour as a mysterious person kills the doctor who had only just discovered that Henry (Andrew J. West) is actually Lucy’s father. This episode-ending twist speaks to what EW previously revealed in Spoiler Room: There’s an awake fairy tale character that is out for revenge and starts killing people. “That is what the next few episodes are going to be about: Who is the killer?” Kitsis says, noting there will be much more death ahead. “Someone is, we will find out, killing witches. While Gothel is trying to assemble a coven, someone is trying to knock them off. That is what we’re going to be seeing for the next little bit.”

Horowitz adds: “The identity of the gloved perpetrator is a mystery. It’s not the mystery. It gets revealed probably sooner than you expect, but it’s opening a new story avenue.”

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Blindspot boss teases truth behind Project Dragonfly

By | March 2, 2018

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s episode of Blindspot. Read at your own risk!

Big secrets are about to come spilling out on Blindspot.

The main crux of Blindspot‘s third season has been Roman (Luke Mitchell) aiming to uncover the dirty secrets of the people Jane (Jaimie Alexander) has aligned with via her new tattoos. Viewers knew early on that Zapata (Audrey Esparza) and her CIA boss Keaton had been hiding some sort of secret having to do with some of the ink on Jane’s skin, and Friday’s episode offered up a major clue as to what it is.

When Nas (Archie Panjabi) returned to the team with new information, she covertly inquired whether Patterson (Ashley Johnson) in particular had discovered Project Dragonfly yet, noting that Zapata would become very unpopular among her friends once the truth came out.

“Project Dragonfly is a thread that we’ve been dangling since our season premiere this year,” executive producer Martin Gero tells EW. “It’s an ultra-secret CIA project that Keaton and Zapata are involved with, and they’re obviously worried about the rest of the team finding out.”

Suffice it to say, the truth will come out within the next few episodes, as Gero promises fans they won’t have to wait much longer for answers. “Once Zapata feels like it’s an inevitability that Patterson and Rich will put it together, she tries to get out in front of it, but the damage has been done,” Gero says, noting that while the truth won’t necessarily divide the whole team, “There will be a character or two that will feel very betrayed by Zapata.”

Blindspot airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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For the People casts Olivia Sandoval in fun Shondaland connection to Station 19

By | March 2, 2018

It’s all in the family for new Shondaland series For the People and Station 19.

Olivia Sandoval has been added to the For the People cast as a recurring guest-star, EW has learned exclusively.

Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, a.k.a. “The Mother Court,” the series follows brand new lawyers working on opposite sides — for both the defense and the prosecution — as they handle the most high-profile and high-stakes cases in the country, all as their personal lives intersect. Sandoval (Fargo, Modern Family) will play Celia Chavez, an assistant United States attorney.

So, what’s the Station 19 connection? Sandoval is the only daughter of actor Miguel Sandoval, who is a series regular on the upcoming Grey’s Anatomy spin-off. The father-daughter duo previously appeared on screen together on Medium.

For the People, which stars Britt Robertson, debuts Tuesday, March 13 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Scandal-Murder crossover: Olivia takes a step toward redemption

By | March 2, 2018

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder crossover.

Though Olivia Pope was ultimately able to help Annalise Keating score a big victory with her class-action lawsuit, it was Scandal’s leading lady who had a major breakthrough during the crossover with How to Get Away With Murder on Thursday.

The crossover picked up roughly three months after Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) fall from grace, just enough time that she might be back on the right path. The problem? No one believes she’s helping Annalise (Viola Davis) for entirely pure reasons. Instead, Mellie (Bellamy Young), Jake (Scott Foley), and Quinn (Katie Lowes) all think Olivia is attempting to use this case to return to power — and they’ll stop at nothing to prevent that, including leaking to the press that she was actually fired from the White House.

However, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is able to recognize — and ultimately prompt Olivia to do the same — that she actually is trying to push this case through because it matters. As she apologizes to the ones she’s hurt on TV, viewers get to see the season 1 Olivia Pope, the white-hat-wearing Gladiator who is truly fighting for good. In fact, after Quinn offers an olive branch of information, Olivia passes on a chance to blackmail a vote in their favor and instead insists the judge vote with his conscience. That vote brings the women to the Supreme Court, though we won’t hear the ultimate decision until the final two episodes of Murder’s fourth season.

Olivia Pope has a long way to go on her road to redemption, but this was certainly a start. And with only six episodes left in the series, the question remains whether Olivia Pope will ultimately get a happy ending. Read our interview with Washington to get scoop on that here.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET, followed by How to Get Away with Murder at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Once Upon a Time bosses drop major detail about series finale

By | March 1, 2018

When Once Upon a Time returns Friday, ABC will kick off the final 12 episodes of the show. But fans of the long-running fairy tale drama need to know one very important thing before the series finale: Not everything will be wrapped up.

After seven years, 156 episodes and countless twists on beloved fairy tale characters, the show will reach its conclusion in May, but fans who are hoping to get answers to the burning questions they’ve been asking for years should be prepared. “It’s less about tying up every loose end, it’s about the feeling, and that’s what we’re really striving for, which is the feeling of Once Upon a Time,” executive producer Adam Horowitz says.

Executive producer Edward Kitsis concurs, noting that the final run of episodes are more of a celebration of what everyone loves about the show. “It’s one last adventure,” Kitsis says. “It’s maybe seeing some old friends. It’s saying goodbye to the show and being reminded of all the things we love — if it was the twist on fairy tales, if it was the romance, if it was the swashbuckling, or if it was the magic. The last two hours for us is less about tying it up in a bow and just getting to hear the song sung one more time.” (And no, that doesn’t mean there will be another musical episode before the finale.)

The move not to provide definitive answers — seriously, what was the deal with Emma’s tattoo?! — feels reminiscent of the series finale of Lost, on which Kitsis and Horowitz previously worked. But the OUAT bosses insist it has nothing to do with the timing of when they found out the show would end, as they suspected from the start of the rebooted seventh season that this could be a possibility. “The finale was going to be what we were going to do, and then we’re just not doing cliffhanger,” says Kitsis, who reveals they did have a pitch for a potential season 8. “It was never heard,” he adds before quipping, “We’ll save it for the spin-off when they approach us in two years.”

Speaking of Lost, the OUAT bosses reminisced over a number of references they’ve slid into the show over the years. There have been Apollo bars, of course, but Once also included Mr. Clucks this season — and had Daniel Dae Kim voice the drive-thru guy. Emma’s VW Bug is a reference to Hurley’s van, and even their former Lost bosses Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have done voiceovers as a weatherman and a DJ. “At some point we should stop making Lost references, but we keep doing it,” Kitsis says. “I think we even have like three left coming up.”

With Horowitz and Kitsis on the precipice of wrapping up the series, it’s been a very emotional time in their writers’ room. “We have a lot of people who have been there for many years, some since the first season,” Horowitz says. “So it’s a lot of everybody wanting to go out with that feeling, the stuff that we’ve all loved, the romance, the adventure, the emotion of the show. We’re trying to make sure that we give the audience one last dose of that.”

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Can the future be prevented?

By | March 1, 2018

Can Team S.H.I.E.L.D. prevent the end of the world? That’s what Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will aim to answer when the show returns Friday night.

The future, as fans have come to see, is pretty bleak. Not only has the Earth been destroyed — ostensibly by our very own Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) — but most of the team ends up dead, save for Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), who is resurrected time and again to provide Kree villain Kasius (Dominic Rains) with prophetic details, all the while living a miserable existence after her arms were somehow chopped off. Can this future be prevented?

“Of course they want to prevent that,” executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen says. “But we’ve also established on the show that you cannot adjust what happens in time.”

The problem is that the team seems to be in a time loop, one in which Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) ultimately builds what amounts to a time machine that will eventually bring their past selves forward in time. But, as the future Yo-Yo revealed, they seem doomed to repeat the same mistakes that land them there every time — one of those mistakes being not letting Coulson (Clark Gregg) die. “Fitz believes that once you’re in a time loop, no matter what you do, you might think every time you’re going to break it, but you’re never going to break that loop,” de Caestecker says. “From my character’s point of view, there’s no breaking that.”

Even if they could break it, there’s no instruction manual that will prove them with answers as to how. “They have very few clues as to what really happens, so they don’t have a complete picture,” executive producer Jed Whedon says. “It’s not like they can just go and say, ‘Okay, if we can stop this one thing from happening, then none of the bad things will occur. A little bit of the mystery is how would we stop it if we could? And can we? That’s some of the stuff we’re going to explore in the back half.”

RELATED: Dove Cameron teases top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. role

All that said, Yo-Yo seems doomed to eventually suffer the same grim fate, which Cordova-Buckley says will be touched upon soon. “Is it preventable?” the actress says. “I can’t really say, because if I say it is, then it means it doesn’t happen, and if I say it isn’t, that means it does. So let’s hope it is preventable, but we’ll definitely explain why we saw her that way.”

That future is something Mack (Henry Simmons) will stop at nothing to prevent. “Mack is in a place where he doesn’t want to necessarily believe that that is the course of the future,” Simmons says. “Some characters believe that it’s inevitable, but Mack doesn’t believe that. He believes there’s a possibility to change the course of what may come.”

However, should the team end up going through the loop once more, it could provide the show a chance to address a fan theory that one of the future characters is related to our core group of heroes. “Maybe, we hadn’t even thought of that,” Whedon says coyly. “Probably, right? I don’t know. We’ll have to explore that idea.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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It takes two to tango: Gabrielle Anwar recalls memorable Scent of a Woman scene

By | March 1, 2018

To read more of the greatest untold stories of Hollywood’s biggest night, buy our special issue of Entertainment Weekly here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Al Pacino made his name in Hollywood with The Godfather, but the eight-time nominee’s one and only Oscar win came from his larger-than-life turn in the 1992 film Scent of a Woman.

A blind and suicidal Army veteran, Pacino’s Frank Slade ends up bonding with his reluctant caretaker, a prep-school student (Chris O’Donnell) whom he teaches to seize the day. Case in point: a memorable scene in which Frank confidently asks a gorgeous young stranger, played by a 19-year-old Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice, Once Upon a Time), to tango in the middle of a restaurant.

“It wasn’t something that I thought would become an Academy Award-winning performance for Pacino or would have such an effect on my career,” says Anwar, who explains that she went through a yearlong audition process that ultimately resulted in two days of work and became just seven minutes of the film.

However, after weeks of tango lessons, Anwar never actually rehearsed with Pacino. “I always thought that was really odd until quite recently when Chris told me that it was because wanted to keep a spontaneity and a freshness to the dance,” the actress says.

While Anwar has been asked to tango by numerous strangers since, no trip around the dance floor will ever compare to the thrill of the original. “It was a very romantic situation,” she says. “We were filming at , and it was just very fantastical.”

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Far Cry 5 to release live-action short film on Amazon Prime

By | March 1, 2018

The world of Ubisoft’s highly-anticipated game Far Cry 5 will soon come to life, literally.

Ahead of the game’s March 27 debut, Ubisoft will release Inside Eden’s Gate, an original live-action short film set within the game’s fictional Hope County, Montana — and EW has an exclusive first look at the extended trailer (above).

The latest installment in the Far Cry franchise is an open-world thriller in which players are in the POV of a junior deputy in Hope County, which has been taken over by radical preacher Joseph Seed and his doomsday cult. It’s the player’s job to then gather rebel forces and oppose Eden’s Gate and their supposed holy war, which escalates from stealing land to kidnapping citizens.

The roughly 30-minute project, set to be released on Amazon Prime on March 5, will serve as a backstory for the game. Here’s the premise: Rumors of a cult, called The Project at Eden’s Gate, lure three video bloggers to Hope County as they follow leads on missing locals and other strange events. They’ll come face-to-face with Joseph Seed, played by Greg Bryk, the same actor who lends his voice to the in-game version of the cult leader. American Sniper‘s Kyle Wallner also appears in the short, which was produced in partnership with Amazon and Asylum, a division of Legendary Entertainment.

“At Ubisoft, we always strive to build worlds and narratives that actively engage our consumers both in and outside of our core gaming experiences,” said Tony Key, senior vice president of marketing and consumer experience at Ubisoft. “Our partnership with Asylum Entertainment provided a unique opportunity for the team to work with top-tier acting talent in Greg Bryk that bridges the consumers’ experience from the short film to the game.”

Far Cry 5 will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 27.

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Spoiler Room: Scoop on Chicago Fire, Once Upon a Time, Hawaii Five-0 and more

By | March 1, 2018

Want scoop on your favorite shows? Then come hang out in the Spoiler Room, where I attempt to satiate your need to find out what’s coming up on TV. If you want spoilers on a specific show, send Qs to my Twitter: @NatalieAbrams.

Any romance news from Chicago Fire? — Rayna
Funny you should ask! Indeed I do. I won’t say who, but a fan-favorite pairing is about to have a seriously steamy scene — literally! — in the final moments of the big Fire-P.D. crossover set for March 7 and 8. Showrunner Derek Haas described it to me as, “If you liked the scene in Titanic that happened below deck in an antique car…” so, yeah, it’s going to be hot.

Anything about Rumple and the Guardian please? Rumple’s the only Once Upon a Time character you haven’t asked about during the hiatus, so it’d be great if you asked one about him before Friday’s new episode! — Texas Oncer
Truly sorry, but I hope I can now over-deliver on the Rumple scoop: “We know that he has a very tough mission, which is to resist his darker impulses, so he can keep his heart clean and go back to Belle,” EP Edward Kitsis says. “That is going to be challenged. The thing is, as Weaver, or as Rumple or Gold, he is The Dark One, which wields the most powerful dark magic, and at some point, someone is going to want to take that knife. We’re going to see a couple people go after him in this second half and it’s going to be very tough for him to not punch back.” The OUAT bosses also promise they will answer why Rumple had reverted to his old self in that midseason flashback. “There’s more scaly Rumple to come, don’t worry,” EP Adam Horowitz adds.

Do you have any information about the storyline of the Hawaii Five-0 episode Alex O’Loughlin directed? — Belle
Yes, I finally do! During the episode, which is slated to air March 30, we will get resolution as to who shot Danny while he was infirmed. We’ll meet the woman who was married to his shooter and see the case from Danny’s past that changed his life forever. Also, Jimmy Buffet returns and we actually get to see O’Loughlin play guitar. Here are some fun BTS photos from O’Loughlin’s directorial debut:

So, I know this is just a KEY plot twist, but give me some good news about Phil Coulson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seriously, even if he gets to enjoy a hamburger would be great. — Elexis
Okay, so the way everyone was describing the 100th episode has even me worried about our fearless leader. EP Jed Whedon said the landmark hour is an “emotional episode and it was emotional making it.” But Clark Gregg himself says there is also some hope during the 100th, though he wouldn’t reveal if it has to do with him. “There’s been a big scary dagger of fate hanging over Coulson’s head all season and we’re going to find out the nature of that and what it means going forward,” Gregg says, referencing the deal with Ghost Rider. “That in itself would be enough drama for a 100th episode, but on top of that, we have an incredible device the writers have come up with where some characters from the past will appear. There is also a moment that many of us have waited a long time for. I won’t say what ‘ship it has to do with, but somebody’s ‘ship is going to reach a shore.”

Any scoop on anything throughout the rest of the NCIS: LA season 9? — Tony
I can exclusively reveal that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Michael McMillan will guest star in a spring episode as Donald Jenkins, a tech-savvy flight supervisor for a rocket and spacecraft company. When one of his rockets carrying a top-secret payload crashes in the Los Padres forest under mysterious circumstances, the team must question Donald and his employees on what they potentially might know.

What’s happening with Jim and Harvey on Gotham? — Marie
This season has certainly put their friendship to the test, but star Ben McKenzie seems to think that Jim’s latest fall from grace will help bring the two back together again. “Now that Harvey really knows what Jim has been up to, that’s something that can’t be buried between the two of them. That will be a part of the texture of their relationship moving forward forever,” McKenzie says, adding, “In a way, it almost bonds them closer in the sense that Jim was always able to look at Harvey with somewhat of a sense of being superior to him — that Harvey was a cop who played on the edges of legality and ethics. Now that Jim has crossed that line, he understands how one gets there better. It is a nice maturing of their relationship.” On another note, because I’m feeling photo-happy this week, here are some shots from the March 8 episode, which features Bruce having an unsettling dream:

Any new SVU scoop? — Jessica
I can exclusively reveal that Seinfeld alum Wayne Knight will guest star on SVU as the manager of a seedy motel that becomes a crime scene when an escort is raped. His episode is slated for April.

What do you have on the How to Get Away with Murder finale? — Bobby
After the crossover with Scandal,

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How to Get Away with Murder boss previews crossover with Scandal

By | February 28, 2018

The shows of Shondaland will collide Thursday night as How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal stage a crossover.

In the wake of her class action lawsuit hitting a major roadblock, Murder‘s Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) sought out Scandal‘s Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) at the close HTGAWM‘s most recent hour, which served as the official kickoff of the crossover and confirmation that these two worlds do co-exist — Liza Weil having played two different characters across both shows be damned!

During the Scandal hour of the crossover, Annalise and Michaela (Aja Naomi King) make their way to D.C. to seek Olivia’s assistance in fast-tracking a judicial reform class action to the Supreme Court, which will prove challenging considering Olivia’s recent fall from political grace. The Murder hour then features Olivia and Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.) helping Annalise argue her case in the nation’s highest court. How will these characters get along? EW turned to Murder boss Pete Nowalk to get the scoop:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Talk about what brings Annalise Keating and Olivia Pope together for the crossover.
PETE NOWALK: So, Annalise goes to Olivia to get help on her class action case, which has been denied and is basically shut down. She needs someone in D.C., someone very powerful to navigate the ins and outs in order to get this class action heard by the Supreme Court. Olivia doesn’t know who Annalise is, and Annalise knows of Olivia, but they don’t each other. So, there’s a lot of ground to cover there, and a lot of conflict to get through, before the two of them team up to take on this huge project.

How well do Annalise and Olivia initially work together?
That’s the fun of the episode. These are two really unique, strong-minded people. The other thing about them is that they both are used to giving orders, not taking orders, especially Annalise, so it’s going to be interesting to see if she can do that, if she can listen to someone else’s advice even if she disagrees with it. What’s awesome about the two hours is neither one of them gives up who they are, but they are both working for something bigger than themselves. I think it’s interesting to watch if they can put aside their own egos, put aside their own styles, to succeed and get this victory they both want.

Annalise and Olivia are two characters who have done some pretty bad stuff in their lives. Is that something they can bond over or at least recognize in each other?
Yes, I think they both recognize that there’s a lot more beneath the surface. But I do think these are two people who aren’t used to being vulnerable, especially in front of strangers. I don’t think they are going to dive too much into divulging their deepest, darkest secrets. What is interesting is that other people might expose those secrets to them. I think they will both find out a lot more about each other in ways that make them both uncomfortable.

What do you think they learn from one another?
Oh, they learn so much, I can’t wait for you to see it! I think they both learn to lean on other people and to ask for help, like the kindness of a stranger, really. I think that’s not comfortable for either of them, but again, I think what’s beautiful to see is that they both put aside their own crap in order to do something good for the world.

Annalise has been on a redemption tour this season. On the flip side, over on Scandal, Olivia has been hitting her darkest points. Might some of what Annalise has been trying to do rub off on Olivia a little bit?
When Shonda and I decided to do it, we really kept ourselves honest by making sure that the characters were going to meet each other in a place that made sense for both of them. You’re right that both of them have hit a low-point. Yes, Annalise has been struggling to redeem herself, but she hasn’t been getting there. Meanwhile, Olivia is not disgraced, but
I think she’s not working at the White House anymore and she’s in this transition period, and what’s cool is that they can both help each other get out of this place and dig themselves out of the ditch they’re both in.

When you teased the crossover in EW‘s Feb. 2 issue, there was mention that Rhimes had pointed to a scene that aired on Scandal last season that could lay the groundwork for these shows to crossover. Do you recall the scene in question?
Yes, I don’t remember the exact scene, but this is the deal: Annalise has been working on this criminal justice reform case to get people better defense, and Fitz and Marcus have been working for the same cause to reform criminal justice. What Shonda pulled up for me was a speech Fitz gave — I think it was his last interview before he leaves the White House — where he’s talking about this initiative and how he wants to work to improve the criminal justice system. I did not know that when we made this Annalise’s cause, but we’re like, “They are on the same wavelength, these two people can help each other.”

Will we actually get some resolution to the class-action lawsuit during the crossover or is that something you’ll answer in the final two episodes of Murder‘s fourth season?
You get the feeling of a resolution.

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Legends of Tomorrow: Constantine returning for finale

By | February 28, 2018

Constantine will return to the Waverider before season’s end.

Matt Ryan has officially signed on to appear in the season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, EW has learned.

The actor was already slated to pop back up as John Constantine in episode 15, but will now also appear in the finale, though details on what brings him back into the fold are being kept under wraps. Rumors of his appearance were first teased when Nick Zano posted a photo on Instagram, in which a man who looks like the demonologist detective appeared.

Ryan won’t be the only familiar face popping up in the season ender. Jonathan Schaech will also reprise his role as Jonah Hex, while Franz Drameh will return as Jax. The latter exited Legends as a series regular earlier this season after the other half of Firestorm, Stein (Victor Garber), was killed off the show. But with the fire totem bouncing around, could Jax somehow get his powers back?

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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Meet A.P. Bio star Lyric Lewis, your new comedy crush

By | February 28, 2018

From an early age, Lyric Lewis knew she was funny.

Her nickname as a child was motormouth, because of her penchant for rattling off everyday facts with oddball inflection just for laughs. In Living Color and Saturday Night Live were must-watch TV of her youth, Jennifer Coolidge and Kim Wayans her comedy icons.

“I always felt like that’s what I wanted to do, was be a bit goofy while acting at the same time,” says Lewis, who was actually a classically trained theater major at Syracuse University. One day during her freshman year, a substitute teacher taught a class on clown acting, giving Lewis her formal introduction to improv. “That was the first time that I really got even the slightest taste. After that I was like, ‘Okay, I really just need to research the people that I love and do the type of comedy that I want to do.’”

That led the now 32-year-old actress to Hollywood, where she quickly rose up the ranks of The Groundlings improv troupe before booking the new MADtv. That gig lasted only a season, but Lewis didn’t let the setback slow her momentum. In fact, she was in the middle of testing for another pilot when she got the call that she’d snagged the role of saucy history teacher Stef on A.P. Bio. “It was literally as the other people were coming out to bring me in the room. My team had to talk me through how to leave gracefully and not rub it in anybody’s face that I got it,” says Lewis. “It was incredible, and I cried outside in the parking lot. I felt like the sky was bluer, the trees were greener. It was crazy, because this is what we all want. In a weird way, it’s still surreal when they’re like, ‘All right, it’s done, you have a job now.’ It’s crazy.”

Now she and costars Mary Sohn and Jean Villepique steal the show as Midwest educators working with a philosophy professor (Glenn Howerton) who begrudgingly moves home and becomes a high school science teacher. “Stef is very funny,” Lewis says of her character. “I feel like she has a great sense of humor. She’s actively dating very weird men, which would’ve been very reminiscent of a younger, not engaged Lyric. She’s adventurous in that sense and she loves to teach. She’s very much strong-minded. She’s not afraid to do little side hustles to make extra money. I feel like I have a lot of those qualities.”

But Lewis’ career goals don’t top out with the success of A.P. Bio. “I love Tiffany Haddish. I tell people that I’m available to play her sister whenever,” she says with a laugh. “Tiffany, girl, I’m available for drinks — or anything!”

A.P. Bio airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Sarah Shahi returning for season-ending Chicago Fire arc

By | February 27, 2018

Sarah Shahi is slated to return to Chicago Fire for a season-ending arc.

The Person of Interest alum will reprise her role as Renée Royce for at least three episodes at the end of season, EW has learned exclusively.

Shahi first appeared on the NBC drama in season 1, when her character was rescued by Firehouse 51 after a car accident. Renée became romantically entailed with Severide (Taylor Kinney), though they quickly broke it off when she moved to Spain. She briefly returned in season 2 with news that she was pregnant, but when it turned out to not be Severide’s baby, the duo broke up for good.

When the character returns, Renée shows up to the firehouse because she needs some fire expertise for a law case she’s working on and thinks of Severide — and wants to make it up to him for the way she left in season 2. Of course, this comes at a very inopportune time for Severide.

The actress, whose credits also include Life and The L Word, will next star on NBC’s new drama Reverie, which does not yet have a premiere date.

Chicago Fire airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Once Upon a Time original cast member returning in final season

By | February 27, 2018

Another original cast member has booked a return trip to Once Upon a Time before the show’s series finale.

Jared Gilmore, who briefly appeared in the rebooted seventh season’s premiere, is slated to return in episode 20 as young Henry Mills, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis told press following a screening of Friday’s midseason return.

“We’re very excited to have Jared back,” Horowitz says. “He is, in a lot of ways, the heart and soul of this show. He grew up literally on the show, so it’s really wonderful to see him back.”

The hour, which centers around Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Henry, flashes back to the time before Henry left Storybrooke, paving the way for Gilmore to once again take up the mantle of young Henry, who has been portrayed as an adult by Andrew J. West this season. “At the opening of the year, when we saw him get on the motorcycle, it was like a different Jared,” Kitsis notes. “We’re going to show an episode with him before that in Storybrooke with Regina.”

“We think it’s a really sweet, emotional mother-son story, ” Horowitz adds.

That does indeed mean the show will be returning to its roots, even temporarily. “I would be depressed if I had to go the whole year without seeing Storybrooke again,” Kitsis says. “So yes, we are going to see Storybrooke again.”

Whether that means we’ll see other original cast members remains to be seen. “Once is home to everyone, so there’s an open invitation to every actor who has been on the show to come back in the finale,” Kitsis says. “We’ll see who’s available. But throughout the year, we’re going to see some familiar faces as well.”

After the exits of six major cast members at the close of season 6, a number have familiar faces have returned briefly this year. Gilmore returned for the premiere; Jennifer Morrison returned in one episode that the producers called “an emotional swan song“; Emilie de Ravin, and Giles Matthey both returned for a Rumple-centric hour; and Rebecca Mader is reprising her role as the Wicked Witch for an arc in the back half of the final season.

When asked directly about the show’s former leading lady, Kitsis quashed rumors about her return. “Jennifer Morrison has not been confirmed to come back on any level,” Kitsis says, but left the door open. “We’re very hopeful to see a lot of familiar faces to the end. We haven’t confirmed anyone.”

“We expect to have some announcements in the coming weeks, but everybody is welcome back,” adds Horowitz.

Concluding with a bit of hope, as the ABC fairy tale drama tends to do, Kitsis says, “If the real question is, will the final couple hours remind us of the first six years, then the answer is yes. But does that mean everyone is coming back? No.”

Once Upon a Time returns Friday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Legends of Tomorrow boss on that long-awaited kiss

By | February 26, 2018

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Read at your own risk!

While the Legends of Tomorrow were busy playing pirates with Blackbeard, romance finally blossomed for Sara — a moment more than seven months in the making.

During Monday’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Sara (Caity Lotz) and Ava (Jes Macallan) went on their first date. And though it was adorably awkward and went awry thanks to a failed Legends mission and a drunk Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), it did culminate in a kiss between them.

Unlike Sara’s past romps with various figures throughout time — including her hookup with Constantine (Matt Ryan) last week — their slow build-up over the last 11 episodes of the season signals that Ava and Sara’s dynamic is anything but fleeting. Legends fans have been highly anticipating this moment since Comic-Con, after the show’s bosses promised Sara would settle down with a more solid love interest this year.

“When Jes Macallan came in to do her first chemistry read with Caity Lotz, it was evident how great a couple they would make on screen,” executive producer Phil Klemmer tells EW. “But the last thing we wanted to do was to make their relationship come too easily. After two seasons of Sara loving ‘em and leaving ‘em, we wanted to challenge her with something more than a one night stand with some random historical figure of the week. Although those are fun too. But the real challenge was, for ourselves as writers, to come up with a character worthy of Captain Sara Lance’s romantic interest — dare I say love? Thank God we found a performer like Jes to bring this person to life. I hope that our fans are relieved by the time Sara and Ava sit down for their date on episode because it was an awful long time coming. ”

Though Sara and Ava are now in the honeymoon phase, if you will, trouble abounds for the newbie couple. “This quiet story line in which they interact as two women on a first date, getting to know one another in a tranquil setting, isn’t destined to last because we have a pair of bombshell episodes coming up that force Sara and Ava independently to consider whether they are worthy of love,” Klemmer teases. “We know a lot about Sara Lance’s dark and tragic past. It only seemed fair that we complicate things for her love interest Ava Sharpe — which is not to say that we’re looking to force the two of them apart. We’re just looking to complicate things. Because let’s be honest… how many four beat ‘date night’ stories can you have on a time-traveling superhero show?”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Dove Cameron teases top secret role

By | February 26, 2018

Dove Cameron’s debut on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is upon us!

The Disney Channel alum will first appear in Friday’s episode as Ruby, the daughter of General Hale (Catherine Dent), though further details on her role are being kept under wraps. EW previously teased that Ruby has cunning intelligence and a mysterious obsession with Daisy (Chloe Bennet), which seems in line with the fact that her mother, a high-level government agent, has been desperate to locate Team S.H.I.E.L.D. Hale even shockingly killed two of her subordinates after Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) was able to escape captivity.

How does having a deceptive and dangerous mother like that ultimately influence Cameron’s character? “It’s very much affected Ruby,” the actress told EW at S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s 100th episode party Saturday. “Ruby idolizes her mother in a lot of ways, there’s definitely a lot of love there, but what would happen to the daughter of such a villainous character? It’s not something that’s just going to weigh lightly on her, so we’ll see how that unfolds as the season goes on.”

With the introduction of Ruby, executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen also promise we’ll finally get info on what Hale is really after in the coming episodes. “We’ll explore a little bit about why is the way she is and what motivates her, but also what having a mom like that does to a person,” Whedon says. “We’re really excited about that relationship.”

“And we’re really excited to have both of those actresses,” Tancharoen adds. “Dove Cameron is doing something like she’s never done before, so it’ll be interesting for everyone to see her.”

Cameron concurs, though she’s hard pressed to reveal how Ruby is so different from what she’s played before. “I think that everybody is the hero of their own story,” the actress says. “But Ruby definitely, you sense it in the first episode, she’s got a bit of an edge to her. I can’t really embellish on why it’s different than anything I’ve done, but it definitely is. I can back up their consensus — it’s very, very different than anything I’ve ever done.”

The one thing Cameron is not evasive about is her joy at getting to join the S.H.I.E.L.D. family. “It was amazing,” she says. “The cast is one of my favorite casts I’ve ever worked with. They’re such nice people, and I noted immediately when I joined the cast that it’s the most difficult show — you never get to see how hard these people work. It’s so physically, mentally, emotionally taxing, and it’s got a lot of drama going on, but the cast couldn’t be sweeter, closer-knit, better people. They’re just incredible people, and they’re so relaxed and friendly. I really felt like I’ve joined a family.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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