David Bowie's son announces arrival of first child

Duncan Jones tweeted that his wife gave birth earlier in July, having previously revealed late singer knew about the pregnancy

David Bowie's son announces arrival of first child
Duncan Jones announced the pregnancy in February, one month after his father’s death. Photograph: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones has announced the birth of his child six months after the musician’s death.

In a tweet Jones said that his wife, photographer Rodene Ronquillo, had given birth to their son Stenton David Jones earlier in July. The child would have been Bowie’s first grandchild.

The tweet featured a cartoon showing three generations of the Jones men. In a later tweet he also paid tribute to his wife whom his described as “warrior woman and every day my hero”.

Their son is named in honour of Bowie’s family – David in tribute to his grandfather and Stenton after David Bowie’s own father, Haywood Stenton Jones.

The couple announced the pregnancy in February, one month after Bowie died of cancer, with a drawing of the foetus and the words “I’m waiting” in the speech balloon. The tweet also revealed that the late musician knew about the child before his death in January. “One month since dad died today. Made this card for him at Christmas. Due in June. Circle of life. Love you, granddad,” he captioned the photo.

Film director Jones, 45, is Bowie’s eldest child, and the only child from his marriage to his first wife, Angie. Jones directed the Warcraft film released in May as well as the sci-fi thriller Source Code and the Bafta-winning Moon.

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Prince: judge rules out 30 potential heirs to singer's estate

Minnesota court orders genetic testing for six purported family members, including half-siblings, a niece and grand-niece

Prince: judge rules out 30 potential heirs to singer's estate
A judge overseeing Prince’s estate has ordered genetic testing on his sister, three half siblings, a woman who claims to be his niece and a possible grand-niece. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Reuters

A Minnesota judge overseeing Prince’s estate narrowed down the wide pool of potential heirs for the late superstar’s fortune on Friday, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.

Carver county judge Kevin Eide’s order requires genetic testing for Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, plus three half-siblings: Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John Nelson. Ken Abdo, the lawyer for the three half-siblings declined to comment. Tyka Nelson’s attorney did not immediately return a call.

Eide also ordered testing for Brianna Nelson, who has claimed to be Prince’s niece, and possible grand-niece Victoria Nelson. The pair has claimed Briana Nelson’s father was Prince’s half-brother. Their lawyer, Andrew Stoltman, declined to comment.

It’s unclear why the judge did not order testing for Omar Baker or Alfred Jackson, two men who were listed as half-brothers in the original petition for the court to name a special administrator to the estate. But Eide’s order includes a note that the court “is not aware of any objection or dispute” that all six siblings or half-siblings are legitimate heirs.

Jackson’s lawyer, Justin Bruntjen, declined to comment. A lawyer for Baker could not be immediately reached.

Prince died 21 April of a drug overdose. The process of determining his heirs and dividing up his estate has fallen to the courts because he had no known children and left no will. A DNA test has already ruled out a Colorado prison inmate who claimed to be Prince’s son.

Barring any others who could come forward claiming ties, Eide’s order drastically limits who may benefit from Prince’s fortunes — an estimated $300 million or more — or gain control of his legacy.

Among those excluded from potential heirship in Eide’s order are five unidentified people who claim that Prince was their biological father. One woman, who said she was adopted, claimed Prince was her father because “based upon the general description of the lifestyle of her biological parents, her fascination with the decedent and physical similarities.”

The order also tosses out a handful of claimants who alleged that Prince’s father was someone other than John L Nelson, who is listed in court records as Prince’s father.

Among those claimants was Venita Jackson Leverette, whose lawyer, James Selmer, called Eide’s decision “a travesty” and said he is considering an appeal. Selmer said that his client would be banned from undergoing testing while a man serving an eight-year prison sentence in Colorado was given a DNA test.

“The better course would be to allow people that have a plausible connection to him to have a blood test,” he said.

The four Prince siblings or half-siblings ordered to undergo genetic testing all claim John L Nelson as their father. Susan Link, head of estate planning for Minneapolis-based firm, Maslon, said the judge may have ordered them to be tested because of the claimants who said John L Nelson wasn’t actually Prince’s father — even though he threw out those claims.

The two that don’t need to be tested — Baker and Jackson — claim relation to Prince through a common mother, Mattie Shaw, but different fathers.

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Matt Damon and The Great Wall: the latest targets of whitewashing on film

The Jason Bourne star battles monsters in the trailer for China’s most expensive film, causing online commentators to ask why a white man is playing the lead

Matt Damon and The Great Wall: the latest targets of whitewashing on film
Matt Damon: whitewashing the great wall? Photograph: Supplied

Earlier this year, the Hollywood remake of classic Japanese anime Ghost in Shell caused controversy by casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, as did Marvel’s Doctor Strange for signing up Tilda Swinton to play a character depicted as Tibetan in the comics. Now, the forthcoming blockbuster The Great Wall finds itself embroiled in the same type of whitewashing controversy, for casting Matt Damon in a film depicting an epic battle on the titular Chinese structure.

The Great Wall is the first English-language film directed by Zhang Yimou, who made House of Flying Daggers and Hero, and the most expensive production completed in China, with a budget of $150m. A Chinese/American co-production, its diverse cast includes Willem Dafoe, Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal, Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau and Turkish actor Numan Acar. But it’s Damon’s participation – as what appears to be the film’s lead in the first trailer, which debuted on Thursday – that courted immediate criticism.

The trailer sets up the basic plot of Yimou’s fantasy epic. Set over 1,000 years ago in China, The Great Wall imagines a mythical past where an elite force fight to defend humanity from giant dragons trying to breach the 5,500-mile stone structure erected by several dynasties’ worth of soldiers and slaves. Damon’s mercenary soldier, sporting ancient Chinese war gear, is the only character who speaks in the trailer, growling in voiceover: “I was born into battle. I fought greed and gods. This is the war I’ve seen worth fighting for.”

The Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato wrote that the Jason Bourne star looks to be portraying a typical white savior archetype, recalling Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans, Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves, and many other examples.

A number of Twitter users were quick to voice their concerns, with one saying: “At what point do you think the people who made The Great Wall going to realize casting Matt Damon as a lead was a mistake?” Another called the trailer “#whitewashing at its finest.”

Before the teaser’s debut, Yimou told Entertainment Weekly that The Great Wall is “first and foremost, an English-language film, and a Hollywood blockbuster”.

“What I really want is to bring Chinese color and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with,” he added. “We are using Hollywood film-making to introduce Chinese culture.”

On casting Damon, Yimou said he feels “very fortunate” to have worked with the actor. “He is very creative and smart and contributed so much to the dialog,” he said about the Oscar winner.

Damon, meanwhile, remains a major draw in China: his last film, The Martian, performed exceedingly well in the world’s second-largest film market.

The Great Wall is also not the first Chinese production fronted by a white star: Christian Bale led the 2011 war drama The Flowers of War; Adrien Brody and John Cusack faced off alongside Jackie Chan in 2015’s Dragon Blade; while Joseph Fiennes recently stopped by the Cannes film festival to tout his performance in China’s unofficial sequel to Chariots of Fire.

This spring’s big-budget flop Gods of Egypt faced a similar backlash for featuring a predominantly white cast, as did Ridley Scott’s 2014 biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, for the same reason.

The Great Wall opens 17 February 2017.

Justin Bieber 'turned down $5m' to play at Republican national convention

GOP donors were to bankroll the pop star’s fee but according to reports he spurned the offer on the advice of his manager, who supports Hillary Clinton

Justin Bieber 'turned down $5m' to play at Republican national convention
Justin Bieber says no to GOP. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

This week’s Democratic national convention attracted a starry roster of performers, including one of the world’s biggest pop acts, Katy Perry. Third Eye Blind, meanwhile, were the most popular band to perform during the Republican national convention last week – but they used the opportunity to lambast the GOP.

According to TMZ, the Republicans had also attempted to book Justin Bieber, by offering the star $5m to play a 45-minute set at a venue near where the convention was held.

The money, allegedly bankrolled by GOP donors, was to be paid “up front” before Bieber arrived – with the donors also expected to cover production expenses. The one supposed condition: that Bieber could say nothing disparaging about Republican nominee Donald Trump or the party. He was allegedly assured that the performance would not be political, and that he didn’t have to publicly endorse Trump in order to take part.

Should he have accepted the offer, it would have marked Bieber’s biggest single payday.

Sources connected with CAA, the talent agency which represents the singer, told TMZ that Bieber seriously considered the offer. His manager, Scooter Braun, is said to have suggested that Bieber display a Black Lives Matter banner while performing – an idea the GOP shot down.

In the end, Bieber reportedly turned the show down at the behest of Braun, who is an avid Hillary Clinton supporter, having hosted a fundraiser in Los Angeles that attracted Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Tom Hanks.

TMZ also reports that Republican officials tried further to entice Bieber by claiming LeBron James would attend an event near the convention welcoming the GOP, and, like Bieber, would not be required to announce a political stand. James’s team are said to have told Braun that they would not be in Cleveland for the convention, and urged Bieber not to attend.

Bryan Adams retains record for longest time at UK No 1

Rapper Drake is knocked off after 15 weeks at top of charts, having been poised to equal Adams’ 16-week record

Bryan Adams retains record for longest time at UK No 1
After 15 weeks atNo 1 with his single One Dance, the Canadian rapper Drake had been poised to equal Adams’ 16-week record but has been knocked off the top spot on Friday by a song called Cold Water by Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and MØ. Photograph: PA

It was a very close-run thing, but Bryan Adams can sleep easily once more. Twenty-five years (yes, really) since the Canadian singer spent four months at the top of the UK charts with his earworm Everything I Do, I Do It for You, it had seemed as if his record was at last about to be equalled.

But at the very last hurdle, another challenger has fallen. After 15 weeks at No 1 with his single One Dance, the Canadian rapper Drake had been poised to equal Adams’ 16-week record. Instead, the song has been knocked off the top spot on Friday by a song called Cold Water, a collaboration between Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and MØ.

Prince and Victoria Wood were still alive when Drake’s single first became number one on 15 April, and his reign at the top of the charts has encompassed the entire EU referendum campaign, Leicester City’s premiership victory and the full run of the new series of Top Gear.

Ultimately, however, it proved no match for the Adams anthem, soundtrack to the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which the singer has said he completed with co-writer Mutt Lange inside 45 minutes. “It was a moment that I’ve only felt a few times,” he has said. “It’s the moment when you know it’s a good song, you don’t know if it’s a hit, you just know it’s good.”

Bryan Adams retains record for longest time at UK No 1
Drake performs in Atlanta, Georgia. Photograph: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Atlantic Record

Britain, in fact, had a lucky escape: in Adams’ home country, the song stayed at No 1 for 39 weeks.

Cold Water enters the No 1 spot with 102,000 combined sales to date, which includes 5.56m streams (equating to 5,560 physical sales) and 47,000 downloads, according to the Official Charts Company.

The popularity of Drake’s track on streaming services may have been boosted by the fact that it has no official music video, making it less appealing to listen to on YouTube. Unlike in some other parts of the world, YouTube streams don’t count towards the UK charts.

Though Cold Water is Major Lazer and MØ’s first British chart-topping single, it is Bieber’s fourth.

“We can’t believe we have our first No 1, and are amazed at the support from the UK,” Major Lazer told OfficialCharts.com. “We have a lot more for you coming this summer!”

Earlier this year, Bieber, who is also Canadian, set a British chart record of his own, holding the number one, two and three spots with Love Yourself, Sorry, and What Do You Mean, a feat never previously accomplished.

Meanwhile, in another victory for the veterans, Jeff Lynne’s ELO achieved their first No 1 album since 1979’s Discovery and Time in 1981. More than a decade after its original release, and in the wake of their Legend set at Glastonbury, ELO’s All Over the World – The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra compilation climbs from No 7 to No 1 in the UK album charts.

“Thirty-five years between No 1 albums! I’m totally amazed. Thanks to everyone that made it possible,” Jeff Lynne told OfficialCharts.com.


Nick Jonas in talks to join Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji reboot

Jonas’s casting in film dubbed as ‘reimagining’ of the 1995 classic starring Robin Williams would mark the pop star’s biggest foray into acting

Nick Jonas in talks to join Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji reboot
Nick Jonas might be entering the world of Jumanji. Photograph: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Pop star and actor Nick Jonas is close to joining Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in a reboot of Jumanji, the 1995 family fantasy starring Robin Williams.

Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher) will be taking over from the director of the original, Joe Johnston. His remake is once again based on the award-winning adventure book by Chris Van Allsburg, about a magical board game that unleashes havoc upon the world after some curious youngsters find it hidden in an attic.

Johnson told Entertainment Weekly Kasdan’s film will be a “new reimagining of this amazing story” that will honor Williams – who played Alan Parrish, a jungle dweller captured inside the game – in some way. For Johnson, the project marks an onscreen reunion with Hart, who he appeared with the comedy Central Intelligence this summer.

The original was a moderate hit, grossing over $260m worldwide, while its 2005 loose sequel, Zathura, directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, underperformed, making only $64m globally.

Jonas, best known as a singer-songwriter, has in recent years been beefing up his acting résumé, courting strong notices for his performance as a boxer in the TV show Kingdom, and most recently in the fratboy hazing drama Goat, which premiered to warm reviews at the Sundance film festival in January.

Sony Pictures plans to release the new Jumanji on 28 July 2017.

Practically perfect: Meryl Streep to play Mary Poppins' cousin in Disney sequel

Reuniting with Emily Blunt, the actor will play Topsy Tartlet, a supporting role who didn’t feature in the 1964 Julie Andrews version of PL Travers’s book

Practically perfect: Meryl Streep to play Mary Poppins' cousin in Disney sequel
Meryl Streep at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

Meryl Streep is set to sing once more, joining Emily Blunt and Hamilton star Lin Manuel-Miranda in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.

Sources have told Variety that Streep is being lined up to play Poppins’s cousin by marriage, Topsy Tartlet. Topsy is a maid who, in PL Travers’s Mary Poppins Comes Back, marries Arthur Turvy – so changing her name to Topsy Turvy. The character did not feature in the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, which Travers famously hated.

Mary Poppins Returns would reunite Streep for the third time with Blunt, who has been cast as Poppins, after 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada and 2014’s Into the Woods. The director of the latter film, Rob Marshall, is also in charge of the new Poppins. A new soundtrack has been composed for the movie, featuring original songs.

Mary Poppins Returns will be set in 1930s London and features Poppins helping the now grown Banks children through a bereavement.

Jai Courtney's Suicide Squad prep: magic mushrooms and cigarette burns

The Australian star took an extreme approach to his role as Captain Boomerang, while other cast members tattooed each other and Jared Leto gifted a dead pig

Jai Courtney's Suicide Squad prep: magic mushrooms and cigarette burns
Crazy gang … the Suicide Squad cast, Jai Courtney far right. Photograph: Clay Enos/Warner Bros.

Suicide Squad star Jai Courtney prepared for his role as gun-for-hire Captain Boomerang by eating magic mushrooms and stubbing cigarettes out on his arms, according to Empire magazine.

The Australian star told the magazine that he was on a Skype call with director David Ayer when he experimented with drug use and self-harm to get into character.

“That night I happened to eat some mushrooms,” said the actor. “I did self-inflict some burns.”

Courtney has previously said he was told by Ayer to “find your inner shitbag” when approaching the role of the caustic, aggressive (and – in the DC comics – racist) Boomerang. But he also revealed to Empire that the director had introduced an unusual means of developing the character’s look.

Jai Courtney's Suicide Squad prep: magic mushrooms and cigarette burns
Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad. Photograph: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

“I turned up to discuss my look, expecting we’d have a long discussion and slowly he refine it,” says Courtney, “David [Ayer] just walked right in, picked up some clippers and started shearing chunks of hair off my head, Eventually he said, ‘You look like bad news.’ Then he left.”

Suicide Squad, a supervillian movie about a nefarious bunch of meta-humans rounded up by the government to save the world, is fast turning into this year’s The Revenant when it comes to stories of extreme preparation. Many of the cast tattooed each other with the word “SKWAD” on set, while Jared Leto, who plays a new iteration of The Joker, reportedly got so into character that he instructed an assistant to present the rest of the cast with a dead pig, before gifting his co-star Margot Robbie (who plays Harley Quinn) a live black rat.

Leto, along with Will Smith (who plays the eagle-eyed sniper, DeadShot) reportedly had access to an on-set therapist after Ayer encouraged them to get deep into their roles. The director, previously known for the second world war tank movie Fury and the LA cop drama End of Watch, apparently also instructed cast member Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje to listen to audio recordings of the Japanese cannibal killer Issei Sagawa and told Joel Kinnaman to watch graphic military videos that the actor described as “horrific shit”.

Viola Beach debut album posthumously released

Families of British band members killed in car crash in Sweden say releasing album is best way to celebrate their lives

Viola Beach debut album posthumously released
Viola Beach perform at KoKo, London, in January. Photograph: RMV/Rex/Shutterstock

The debut album from Viola Beach, recorded before the four band members were killed in a car crash in Sweden, has been released.

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and their manager, Craig Tarry, were killed in February when their hired car plunged more than 80ft into a canal in Sodertalje, 18 miles from Stockholm.

Their debut single, Swings & Waterslides, entered the official singles chart after their deaths, and topped the iTunes chart.

Viola Beach debut album posthumously released
The album cover.

Now their eponymous first album has been released on the band’s own record label, Fuller Beans Records, and is made up of nine songs including Swings & Waterslides and new single Boys That Sing.

A statement from the band’s families said: “We are tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in such a short space of time. Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music. We believe the best way to celebrate our sons’ lives is to release an album of their songs.

“This is their legacy and we know deep in our hearts that the boys would want the world to listen to the music they poured everything into. This was only the beginning for them and these nine songs were written with every intention to be shared, heard and, most of all, enjoyed.

“We hope that it brings you as much happiness listening to it as we know it did to them making it.”

In June, Coldplay performed Boys That Sing as part of their Glastonbury headline slot in a tribute to “all the bands that don’t exist any more”.

Singer Chris Martin said: “We’re going to create Viola Beach’s alternate future for them and let them headline Glastonbury with their song. So Kris and Jack and River and Tomas and their manager Craig, this is what would have maybe been you in 20 years or so and I hope we do this song justice.”

The band, who were aged between 19 and 32, were killed when their Nissan Qashqai went through the barrier of a bridge that had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

The music magazine NME said Viola Beach’s album would “leave a smile on your face”.

The publication’s review said: “Viola Beach’s name will always be synonymous with tragedy, but at least now we have a document of who this band were – and what they might have achieved.”


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Pink Floyd to release rarity-packed 27-disc set of their early years

The Early Years 1965-1972 will include Syd Barrett tracks never officially released, as well as the soundtrack recording called ‘the Floyd holy grail’

Pink Floyd to release rarity-packed 27-disc set of their early years
Vegetable men … Pink Floyd in 1967 Photograph: Dezo Hoffmann/REX FEATURES

Thought that 18-CD set of everything Bob Dylan recorded in 1965 and 1966 was the last word in period-specific artist box sets? Think again. Pink Floyd have announced a new box set, The Early Years 1965-1972, which will comprise 27 discs – both CDs and DVD/Blu-ray discs. It will contain seven hours of previously unreleased live audio, and more than 15 hours of video. The Early Years 1965-1972 is released on 11 November.

It’s a bonanza for Pink Floyd fans, for the amount of unreleased material included. For the first time, the much-bootlegged Syd Barrett-era songs Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream get an official release.

Arguably more exciting for Floyd fans is the release of what has been described on messageboards as “the most obscure Pink Floyd recording of all” and “the Floyd holy grail”. The music in question is eight tracks the Barrett-era band recorded for the film-maker John Latham on 20 October 1967 in London, but which he decided not to use in his short film Speak. These tracks have, so far as can be told, never been bootlegged.

Nearly as exciting is the release of In the Beechwoods, a Barrett song recorded at the same time as Jugband Blues, from the second Floyd album A Saucerful of Secrets, which has previously surfaced in low-quality abridged form.

Pink Floyd to release rarity-packed 27-disc set of their early years
Pink Floyd … Think how long it will take you to work your way through that lot. Photograph: PR

The set is divided into six volumes, each of which will be released separately in 2017. Cambridge St/ation covers Barrett’s time with the band form 1965-1967, and also includes the band’s 1965 recordings. Germin/ation deals with the immediate post-Barrett period in 1968. Dramatis/ation contains music from 1969, including tracks recorded for but not used on the soundtrack to the film More. 1970 is covered by the Devi/ation set, which includes the first performance of the Atom Heart Mother album for the BBC. The 1971 Reverber/ation volume includes demos for Meddle, while the 1972 Obfusc/ation contains a remix of the Obscured by Clouds album. A bonus volume available only with the full deluxe set contains early BBC sessions, live recordings and three feature films scored by Floyd – The Committee, More and La Vallée (Obscured by Clouds).

The box also comes with the inevitable posters, pictures and replica 7in singles.

Those who feel a 27-disc set is too big for their shelves or too pricy for their bank balance can also get a 2CD highlights compilation. Needless to say, that does not feature Vegetable Man or Scream Thy Last Scream, or the John Latham session. So if you’re serious about your Syd, you’re going to have to shell out for the whole lot.

James Cameron calls Donald Trump a 'madman' over climate change denial

Ahead of a screening of his new film on global warming at the DNC, director calls Trump’s dismissal of environmental science ‘reckless and dangerous’

James Cameron calls Donald Trump a 'madman' over climate change denial
Director James Cameron at Comic Con. Photograph: Rob Latour/Rex Shutterstock

James Cameron has called Donald Trump a “madman” and criticised the Republican presidential candidate over his denial of climate change, according to the Associated Press.

The Avatar director, speaking ahead of the premiere of his new documentary short, Not Reality TV, at the Democratic national convention, said that Trump’s assertion that he would tear up the Paris climate agreement and his repeated dismissal of the science behind climate change was “incredibly reckless and dangerous”.

Cameron’s film, introduced at the DNC by Sigourney Weaver, who provided the voiceover, details how US workers have been affected by droughts and adverse weather in recent years. “Crops are failing, food prices are rising, our children are at risk,” says Weaver, before a victim of Hurricane Sandy describes how she lost her daughter to the storm.

James Cameron calls Donald Trump a 'madman' over climate change denial
Sigourney Weaver introduces James Cameron’s film at the Democratic national convention. Photograph: ddp USA/Rex Shutterstock

The film features well-known figures including Jack Black, Don Cheadle and the Pope, who is shown describing a planet teetering on the brink of “suicide”. Hillary Clinton makes a late cameo, but the starring role is saved for Trump himself, who is shown at various rallies ridiculing the idea of climate change. “We need some global warming,” he says at one point. “It’s freezing!”

In a statement, Cameron said: “We made this film to show the reality of climate change – how it’s directly affecting millions of people each day. As I’ve said before, to save our planet we need to mobilise like we did during the second world war – the threat to our country and children is that severe.”

“As an American, I am also deeply concerned about my family’s future, about our shared future as a nation,” said Weaver in her introduction to the documentary. “That future is at risk.”