x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Emma Watson denies role in film of Fifty Shades of Grey

Plus: River Phoenix's final film to premiere 20 years after his death, Lil Wayne takes up the skateboarding lifestyle, Ricky Gervais turns English teacher, and La Toya Jackson to get a reality show.

Emma Watson. Hubert Boesl / dpa / Corbis
Emma Watson. Hubert Boesl / dpa / Corbis

Emma Watson quashed rumours she's starring in the film adaptation of the bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey. "I haven't read the book, I haven't read a script, nothing," Watson, 22, told The Sun. "I've literally never even received a phone call." She said family members called her to confirm the reports. "I told them just because there are 60 articles on the internet doesn't mean it's any more true than if there are three or four." * IANS

Phoenix's film to screen 20 years after death

Nearly two decades after his death, River Phoenix's last movie Dark Blood will premiere on September 27 at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht. The Dutch director George Sluizer had finished four-fifths of the movie when Phoenix, playing one of the three main roles, died of drug-induced heart-failure on October 31, 1993. The 86-minute film was left unfinished until the 80-year-old Sluizer's deteriorating health prompted him to restart post-production two years ago. It was finished in January this year. * AFP

Lil Wayne swaps rap for skateboarding

More than a decade after he first picked up the mic, the hip-hop star Lil Wayne is giving rap a rest to focus on his passion for skateboarding. "I thought it'd be a hobby - and what happened is, it's a lifestyle. To be fully committed, you have to live that lifestyle. So rap is taking a back seat," said the Grammy-winning artist, who turns 30 next month and counts the US president Barack Obama among his fans. * AFP

Gervais to launch web series Learn English

Ricky Gervais is working on an online series called Learn English with Ricky Gervais, he announced on his blog. The show co-stars his frequent collaborator Karl Pinkington. Though Gervais didn't describe the series, he said he had finished the pilot episode, which "turned out great". He wrote: "I'm going to put the first one free as a taster then work out the best way to distribute." He said he hopes to subtitle the show in "as many languages as possible". * AP

La Toya Jackson to get reality show

Oprah Winfrey has tapped La Toya Jackson to star in her own reality show. Life with La Toya, described as a look inside Jackson's personal life, will air next year on Winfrey's TV network, OWN. Winfrey also announced a slate of celebrities sitting down with her for forthcoming episodes of her show Oprah's Next Chapter, including Stephen Colbert, Bette Midler, Jennifer Hudson and Kelsey Grammer. * AP