Holly to Bolly: James Cameron confirms Avatar sequels coming in 2020, Happy Days star Erin Moran dies aged 56, and more

Powered by automated translation

James Cameron confirms Avatar sequels coming in 2020

James Cameron has set the release dates for the next four Avatar sequels, with the first coming in 2020.

The movie's Facebook page posted a photo of Cameron and his massive film crew, who have been working on all four films simultaneously. The post said Avatar 2 will hit theaters December 18, 2020, and Avatar 3 comes a year later, on December 17, 2021.

The franchise then takes a three-year hiatus before returning with Avatar 4 on December 20, 2024, and Avatar 5 on December 19, 2025. The first sequel had been expected in 2018 but Cameron this year said that timetable wouldn't be met.

The original 2009 Avatar film has netted over $2.7 billion (Dh9.9 billion), centering on the conflict between humans and the blue-skinned alien race Na'vi of Pandora. – AP

Subhash Ghai driven by passion not money

National-Award winning filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who recently hosted a special screening of his classic film Karz, says he has always been driven by passion and not a desire for fame and fortune.

"I'm a director who is experimental by nature." he says, "Whenever I've worked on a subject for my film, they were ahead of its time. The same thing happened with Karz. People told me that the film would not do well at the box office. But if I have to follow the box office formula, how will I make a difference?"

Ghai is a director known for the use of situational music in his movies including Pardes, Taal, Yaadein and Kisna. He is currently focused on training youngsters about filmmaking in his Whistling Woods International Institute. - IANS

Happy Days star Erin Moran dies aged 56

Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, has died at the age of 56.

A statement from the sheriff’s department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher “received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined that Erin Moran Fleischmann was deceased. An autopsy is pending.”

"Such sad sad news. RIP Erin," Happy Days star Ron Howard tweeted. "I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens."

A Burbank, California native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in Happy Days as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Howard. - AP

Reese Witherspoon speaks out against elephant poaching

Sparkly, exquisite diamonds were the draw but Reese Witherspoon’s thoughts were with something much larger - elephants.

The Oscar-winner attended a party in New York to celebrate Tiffany and Co. and said she backed the jewelry company’s commitment to stop global trafficking and demand for elephant ivory.

“I’ve had the great opportunity to work with elephants in my career, and spend a lot of time in Africa with elephants. I love that they are doing so much for conservation, and helping save the elephants,” said Witherspoon.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants are killed every year for their tusks. Last year, Tiffany & Co. partnered with the Elephant Crisis Fund to raise money to fight for the elephants. - AP

Hollywood agent Sandy Gallin dies aged 76

Sandy Gallin, an agent and talent manager who guided the careers of such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Cher and Nicole Kidman, as well as being a TV, movie and Broadway producer, has died in Los Angeles. He was 76.

Gallin died after a long battle with multiple myeloma, according to close friend Bruce Bozzi. “We lost a shining light this morning,” Bozzi wrote on Instagram in tribute.

Other Gallin clients included Neil Diamond, Joan Rivers, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Renee Zellweger, Lily Tomlin, Martin Lawrence, Paul Lynde and Howie Mandell.

He helped produce such films as 1991's Father of the Bride and 1994's I.Q starring Tim Robbins, as well as the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He earned a Primetime Emmy Award in 1980 for producing The Miracle Worker, starring Melissa Gilbert. - AP

Neelam Gill to accompany Justin Biber at India gig

Indian-British supermodel Neelam Gill will be joining Grammy Award-winning singer Justin Bieber on his maiden tour of India next month.

Bieber’s highly anticipated India Purpose Tour will be held at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on May 10.

Gill, who is a muse of the fashion house Burberry and whom has worked with rapper Kanye West in the past, will arrive in town on May 7 with 23-year-old Bieber.

“The Purpose Tour in India will be represented by a mix of Hollywood and Bollywood personalities.” says Arjun Jain, director of the tour’s promotion at White Fox India.

English actress-model Elarica Johnson, best known for her role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is also set to host Bieber's India gig. - IANS