x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Joss Whedon to write and direct Avengers sequel

Plus computer Marvin Hamlisch dies; Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master to debut in Venice; Jamaica to honour the late reggae star Peter Tosh; and Italian fashion maven Anna Piaggi dies.

Joss Whedon. Matt Sayles / AP
Joss Whedon. Matt Sayles / AP

Joss Whedon has been hired again for a sequel to The Avengers. The news came on Tuesday from Walt Disney's CEO Robert Iger, who confirmed that Whedon is returning to write and direct. Iger also said Whedon is helping to develop a Marvel-based TV series for Disney. The Avengers, which came out in April, is the year's biggest hit, taking nearly US$1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) at the worldwide box office. * AP

Composer Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68

Marvin Hamlisch, the composer behind a string of Broadway and Hollywood hits including A Chorus Line, The Way We Were and The Sting, died in Los Angeles on Monday. He was 68. The cause of death was not disclosed. Hamlisch was one of the few artists to collect all the most coveted prizes in American popular culture, including three Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, four Emmys and a Tony. In Hollywood, Hamlisch created soundtracks for films including The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Sophie's Choice (1982) and Frankie and Johnny (1991). * AFP

Anderson's The Master to debut in Venice

The Venice Film Festival says the US director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master will be the 18th film competing for its coveted Golden Lion award. The film, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, will premiere on September 1. The festival announced the remaining 17 competing films last month. By recent tradition, the title of the final "secret film" is delayed. The 69th Biennale opens on August 29 with Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Anderson directed Magnolia and There Will Be Blood. * AP

Jamaica to honour the late reggae star Peter Tosh

The late reggae legend Peter Tosh will receive Jamaica's third-highest national honour, the Order of Merit, in a ceremony in October. Tosh was killed in 1987 by robbers who broke into his Jamaican home. He was a founding member of The Wailers, the trio with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Tosh and Marley wrote the black power anthem Get Up, Stand Up. He left the group to pursue a solo career in the 1970s, releasing hard-hitting albums such as Equal Rights. * AP

Italian fashion maven Anna Piaggi dies

The Italian fashion icon and journalist Anna Piaggi, who wrote for Vogue Italia magazine and inspired the German designer Karl Lagerfeld, died on Thursday at her Milan home, Vogue Italia said in a statement. She was 81. Piaggi, who was famous for lighting up the front rows of fashion shows with her eccentric style, eye-catching blue hair and theatrical make-up, was credited with shaking up the fashion world. Lagerfeld revered her creations, once writing that "Anna invents fashion. She automatically dresses herself as we will dress ourselves tomorrow". In 2006, London's Victoria and Albert Museum put on an exhibition of Piaggi's extensive wardrobe collection. * AFP