x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

James Cameron to release three Avatar sequels

Plus: Selena Gomez tops Billboard chart; Keith Urban returning as American Idol judge; Parks and Recreation loses two cast members; Louis Tomlinson signs with football team.

James Cameron. Getty Images
James Cameron. Getty Images

James Cameron is making three sequels to his film Avatar. The filmmaker had originally planned for only two sequels. “In writing the new films, I’ve come to realise that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen,” Cameron said in a statement. The three sequels will be filmed simultaneously beginning next year and will be released in December 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. – AFP

Selena Gomez tops Billboard chart

The American pop singer Selena Gomez topped the Billboard 200 album chart for the first time this week with her single Come and Get It, a track from the 21-year-old’s fourth album Stars Dance. Jay-Z, whose album Magna Carta ... Holy Grail topped the chart for two weeks, fell to second place. The Latin pop singer Marc Anthony’s Spanish-language album 3.0 debuted at No 5, the highest-selling opening week for a Spanish--language album since 2011. – Reuters

Keith Urban returning as American Idol judge

Keith Urban is coming back to American Idol, confirmed Kevin Reilly, the chairman of the Fox network. “He did a good job last year,” said Reilly, adding that Urban didn’t have a chance to show his personality. Reilly didn’t say why, but Urban was routinely overshadowed by bickering between his fellow judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, who departed along with Randy Jackson. But Reilly didn’t say anything about the other judges for the next season in January. Reilly said there have been discussions with Jennifer Lopez, a former judge, “but there is no deal with her or with anyone else”. – AP

Louis Tomlinson signs with English football team

The One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson has signed up to play a game for the English football club Doncaster, a team that plays in the second-tier League Championship. “This has been my childhood dream. I’m honoured,” said the 21-year-old. Tomlinson says he’s not leaving the band and likely will play in a reserve-team game to raise money for charity. – AP

Parks and Recreation loses two cast members

Parks and Recreation is losing two of its cast members. Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will leave the series after the 13th episode of the forthcoming sixth season. The show’s executive producer Mike Schur said: “Heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like the natural time to move them into the next phase.” On Parks and Recreation, their characters dated on and off and have decided to try to have a baby together. The series also stars Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and Aziz Ansari as employees working in local government in the US state of Indiana. – AP

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