“Star Wars: Episode VIII” has begun filming and has added Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern to its cast.
The Walt Disney Co. announced that “Episode VIII” started principal photography at London’s Pinewood Studios on Monday. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the “Star Wars” sequel will follow J.J. Abrams’ box-office smash “The Force Awakens.” It’s set for release in December 2017.
Joining returning cast members are the Oscar-winning del Toro, the Oscar-nominated Dern and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
The production start announcement was accompanied by a brief video that showed shooting picking up right where “The Force Awakens” left off. (Stop here if you don’t want to read a reference to the ending of “The Force Awakens.”) Johnson is shown directing Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on a remote island off the coast of Ireland.
Reality star battles stage-four cancer
Reality TV star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola says she veers between hope and depression as she fights stage-four brain and lung cancer.
Angela Raiola, part of the VH1 series “Mob Wives” and its spinoffs, said in a tearful interview airing Tuesday on “The Dr. Oz Show” that her family is her support and her reason to keep going.
“I look at my kids and my grandchildren and I know how much they need me,” Raiola told Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the syndicated TV series.
The mother of two and grandmother of six has undergone several surgeries since she was diagnosed last year with throat and lung cancer.
Raiola is the niece of the late Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, who was a reputed captain of the Genovese crime family.
Hughes to finish show in Paris
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has returned to Paris, saying he feels a “sacred” responsibility to finish the band’s show that was interrupted by gunfire.
Islamic extremists massacred 89 people at the band’s Nov. 13 performance at the Bataclan, which has been closed since the attacks across Paris that left 130 dead and 350 others wounded.
“There’s been just such an outpouring of support for us and love for us. It’s overwhelming. I just don’t want to let anyone down,” Hughes said of the band’s upcoming performance at the Olympia Theatre in Paris on Tuesday.
He made the remarks during an emotional interview with iTELE’s Laurence Ferrari on Monday.
The birthday bunch
Actor William Katt is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer James Ingram is 64. Actor LeVar Burton is 59. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 58. International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe is 57. Actress Elizabeth Olsen is 27.
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