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‘Apollo Solo’? Mid-production Star Wars Han Solo movie gets new director, Ron Howard

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The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive up that Ron Howard is getting the nod for the latest Star Wars tale. This flick is, like Rogue One, a “Star Wars story,” not part of the main plot which continues to follow Luke Skywalker & Co.

The as-yet untitled movie is about Han Solo, a younger Solo. The original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were sacked from the production after clashes with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who had the backing of Disney’s Lucasfilm head and executive producer Kathleen Kennedy.

And why should Disney put their trust in Lord and Miller over Kasdan? They shouldn’t. Lord and Miller are known for their comedic, freewheeling improvisational style. Kasdan prefers directors to shoot what’s written. Kasdan is a legend, having written my favorite Star Wars film, and perhaps favorite film of all time, “The Empire Strikes Back.

A few improvisations are fine (as when Harrison Ford famously changed “I love you, too” to “I know” in the carbonite scene), but Solo is Kasdan’s character. That’s a good thing, because George Lucas writes in a turgid, expository way that tends to ruin everything (“I hate sand”) except the original burst of genius in the original 1977 version.

With Lucas gone, Disney has few options to regain fan trust after his endless retcons, editing, and prequels. They must do what’s necessary keep the franchise vibrant (believe me, with $4 billion invested, they are very protective).

Rogue One received a makeover from Tony Gilroy after director Gareth Edwards finished shooting. At all costs, Star Wars-anything must be protected from any kind of box office disaster.

If Kasdan said Lord and Miller must go, well, that was that.

Ron Howard has a very soft touch, a way with drama, and two Oscars. He’s good with the actors, and his name lends gravitas to the production. And George Lucas likes him very much, although that means little to the Mouse.

Howard, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, will meet with the actors — Alden Ehrenreich is playing the iconic smuggler, Donald Glover is playing Lando Calrissian, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton also on the roll call — to soothe a rattled set and will pore over a rough edit to see what the project needs. Filming will resume on July 10.

In the end, Lord and Miller apparently had a more slap-stick, funny version of Solo in mind than Kasdan’s.

The creative clash, according to one insider, also came down to differences in understanding the character of Han Solo. “People need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish,” said that source.

Oh, and, Mr. Howard, for the record, Solo shot first.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Entertainment and Sports

LeSean McCoy domestic violence accusation: the “Hold My Beer” of recent NFL player scandals

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Players getting into trouble off the field is nothing new for the NFL, but the accusations levied against LeSean McCoy on Instagram tops the accusations made and found true against the likes of Ray Rice, Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, and countless others. This follows a recent arrest of former Seattle Seahawk, Brandon Browner, being charged with attempted murder. 

Shady McCoy is publicly accused of illegal drugs, PED, animal abuse, domestic abuse, and child abuse. The seriousness of the accusations alone could endanger his career. Like any person guilty or innocent, McCoy took to denying the accusations, claiming to have had no direct contact with them in months.

But the evidence is being gathered. Police say they are investigating a home invasion of the victim’s residence. So far, McCoy has not been named a person of interest.

Furthermore TMZ reports that the victim has lawyered up and named LeSean McCoy as the orchestrater of the attack. This changes the narrative from the original IG post, but in no way lessens the severity. As of now, McCoy stands accused of sending people to do this attack.

TMZ Report:

Delicia Cordon has hired attorney Tanya Mitchell Graham — who issued a statement saying Delicia was sleeping early Tuesday morning when a man entered her Georgia home and pistol whipped her.

Graham says the assailant demanded specific items of jewelry that had been given to her by McCoy — jewelry that McCoy had previously demanded she return to him. She claims the victim also sustained injuries to her wrist when the assailant tried to rip off her bracelet.

Graham claims before the incident, McCoy “would often suggest to Ms. Cordon that she could be robbed because the jewelry was expensive.”

Graham — who’s joined by associate attorneys Demetrius Price and Kiarra Brown — never straight-up accuses McCoy of criminal activity, but strongly implies it.

For example, Graham claims the assailant entered the house with NO signs of forced entry. She also claims McCoy changed the security system at the house and did not give Cordon access to the new one.

She also claims McCoy has a documented history of having other people do his dirty work for him — and references the time he allegedly ordered other people to evict her from his home in June and remove her furniture from the house.

Graham says despite the fact Cordon and McCoy have had a relationship since 2016, he has NOT called to check in on her since the details of the violent attack went public.

Final Thoughts

LeSean McCoy doesn’t have a reputation for being a model citizen. As Smitty of Barstool Sports notes:

The odds of Shady McCoy being guilty are high. That being said, the NFL doesn’t wait for due process. Otherwise Ezekiel Elliott wouldn’t have undergone a 6 game suspension. They will have to act as this scandal is prime to escalate and disrupt the storyline of the upcoming season.

Originally published on Startup Christ.

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Entertainment and Sports

NBA players choose collusion over competition

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In every other sports league, there is competition among the franchises. The NFL has new teams rising and falling every year. Baseball is a whole new season, come October. The NHL playoffs are perhaps the most exciting competition in all of sports. In college basketball, a 16 beat a 1. Yet in opposition to its fellow sports leagues, the NBA is entirely predictable.

The offseason has brought excitement with the long-anticipated relocation of LeBron James. But him landing in Los Angeles was the guess of most pundits amateur and professional. The Lakers are now a playoff contender barring injury. But even away from the Cavs, LeBron is still no match for Golden State.

Superteams are bad for sports

Having the best players fall on one team is fine and dandy when it is natural and done over time. The New York Yankees are among the top contenders in baseball. Contrary to stereotype, they are talented because they established an excellent farm system. It is completely fair for them to end up being the best (again). If Derek Jeter’s strategy works, the Marlins will turn themselves around.

The Warriors are a different story. Yes, they drafted well and traded well. But then they sign Kevin Durant, a top player. Then they sign DaMarcus Cousins, another top player. Cousins. Both of these players shamelessly sold out for the privilege of being on a winning team. Durant joining the Warrior is the equivalent of Ovechkin joining the Penguins. But he didn’t because he cares about his legacy and not his rings. Cousins was perhaps just as bad seeing as he took a deal well below his market value even if injured.

One cannot blame the Warriors for preserving their dynasty which increased the team value 19% in the last year according to Forbes. It’s good for their business, in a league where several teams can’t break past $20 million in operating income. But the league will suffer. The NBA has largely benefited from people enjoying the ride, but it’s inescapable how anticlimactic the end is. The Warriors win. The 2019 NBA finals is already similarly boring, in that, everyone who isn’t a hopeless dreamer already knows the outcome.

The NBA needs to save the competitiveness of its league. A handful of teams now compose the NBA, whilst the others are relegated to being developmental feeding grounds. Top players aren’t interested in rivalry with each other. Rather, they prefer to join forces even to the point of destroying the competition the league was known for. An NBA ring is depreciated in its value, at least if you are a Warrior. Yet players aren’t against colluding for a piece of jewelry at the expense of their honor. This fundamental cultural flaw won’t go away on its own. The NBA should strongly consider curbing this trend either through stricter salary caps or some other creative means.

So far they’ve been content to let ESPN dictate their trajectory and competitive strategy. It seems worth it to leave the elephant unaddressed so long as there’s a raging debate between Team Jordan and the Bronsexuals. Such contentment now has James in the same conference as the Warriors making 2019 a much less exciting finals.

Originally published on StartupChrist.com

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Entertainment and Sports

The AAF is the NFL’s newest worry

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Two months ago, the NFL’s long-term demise may have been spelled by the revival of the XFL. The XFL was initially a football league in 2001, but now Vince McMahon wants to revive it. While announcements about the XFL have been dormant since January, a new player is emerging and faster. The Alliance of American Football or the AAF has been formed and will play a 2019 season the week after the Superbowl.

The AAF, in contrast, Vince McMahon and the XFL have given more concise answers to the many questions asked. Make no mistake, the AAF is a substantially more potent threat than the XFL. The AAF not only is going to begin a year earlier but also has TV contracts ready with CBS. The AAF will also stream games and incorporate fantasy football.

The biggest reason the AAF is a threat is management. The AAF is founded by Charlie Ebersol, who has worked for the NFL and sports media. He even made a documentary as to why the 2001 XFL failed. The AAF also has a number of credible football players serving as executives and advisers. Among them are Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen, and Justin Tuck. The AAF also has the legendary team builder and executive Bill Polian. A B-List idea with A-Team management is a recipe for success in business. This is why the AAF has garnered the backing of venture capitalist firms such Founders Fund featuring the country’s top VC, Peter Thiel ad Cherning Group.

The AAF during its announcement stated that it would fill a void where the NFL ends in February. In this void, many sports fans stop watching sports and stop participating in fantasy sports. The AAF also wants to reach the large pool of college football players who don’t wind up in the NFL. Other sports have multiple professional leagues in the NFL.

The AAF will have 8 teams, 10 games, and a two-week playoff. In eliminating injuries and maintaining excitement, the AAF is eliminating the kickoff, and will instead start the 25-yard line. For teams seeking an onside kick, will have 4th and 10 on their 35. The extra point is eliminated; teams have to go for 2. Teams will have two replays a game. To speed the game, the play clock will be 30 seconds, matching the increasing pace of the game. The AAF will also change the way players are compensated with win bonuses, stat bonuses, and fan engagement bonuses. On top of these bonuses, the league will also provide scholarships for their future off the field.

For fans, the tickets and concessions will be cheap. This is in sharp contrast to the NFL where tickets prices are rising even for mediocre teams. TV timeouts will also be done away with. Commercials will only take place during natural breaks. In April the cities will be announced. Note: they’ve already been decided, but they want us talking about it later, something that isn’t happening with the XFL.

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Takeaway

Unlike the XFL, the Alliance of American Football announced its existence with far more questions answered. While the Alliance didn’t touch on the National Anthem or criminal records, they also answered far more questions about their gameplay than Vince McMahon’s vague announcement. While the NFL has a complement in the Alliance of American Football, this alliance may in years to come be a fierce competitor. In the meantime, rather than being disruptive, Charlie Ebersol and his staff are focusing on being useful. This strategy is far more conducive to long-term success.

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