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Parasite actor found dead at 48



South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has been found dead, authorities have confirmed to the BBC.

The actor, 48, was found unconscious in a car in one of Seoul’s main parks on Wednesday.

It is unclear if Lee took his own life, but police said they received a report that he had left home after writing a note.

He had been under investigation for alleged drug use since October.

In Parasite, Lee played the patriarch of the wealthy Park family which is infiltrated by members of a poor family posing as unrelated individuals. The vicious social satire won four Oscars, including best picture.

(BBC News)


Stars to return for first Shrek film for 16 years




Shrek’s long-awaited return has been confirmed, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz all set to return for the lovable green ogre’s first film for 16 years.

A plotline for the movie is yet to be revealed, but Myers will play the title character, Diaz will voice Shrek’s wife Princess Fiona and Murphy will return as sidekick Donkey.

Announcing the news, DreamWorks Animation said on X: “Not too Far, Far Away… Shrek 5 is coming to theatres on July 1 2026 with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz.”

The first film was released back in 2001, and won the first Oscar for best animated feature film.

It was a huge hit for DreamWorks, making $487m worldwide at the box office.

Shrek 2 was released in 2004, Shrek The Third came out in 2007, and Shrek Forever After hit cinemas in 2010.

Shrek 5 will in fact be the seventh film in the wider franchise, after Antonio Banderas’ character had two spin-off films – Puss In Boots and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.

It is unknown whether Bandreas will be back for Shrek 5.

Murphy hinted in an interview with Collider last month that Donkey could also be getting his own spin-off movie.

He also said work on Shrek 5 started “months ago”.

“I recorded the first act, and we’ll be doing it this year, we’ll finish it up,” he said.

“Shrek is coming out and Donkey’s gonna have his own movie.”

(BBC News)

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Hollywood icon Paramount agrees $28bn merger deal




One of Hollywood’s oldest companies, Paramount Global, has agreed to merge with independent film studio Skydance Media.

Under the deal, Paramount’s non-executive chair Shari Redstone will sell her family’s controlling stake in the company in a complex transaction that will result in a new firm worth around $28bn (£21.9bn).

It marks the end of an era for the Redstone family, whose late patriarch, Sumner Redstone, transformed a chain of drive-in cinemas into a vast media empire.

As well as Paramount, the group includes the television networks CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

“Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment,” Ms Redstone said in a statement.

According to the company its TV channels have a global reach of over 4.3 billion subscribers across more than 180 countries.

The merger would combine Paramount, home of classic films such as Chinatown and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with its financial partner on several recent big releases, including Top Gun: Maverick and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Under the agreement, Skydance will invest around $8bn in Paramount, including paying $2.4bn for National Amusements, which controls the group.

National Amusements owns just 10% of Paramount Group’s shares but accounts for almost 80% of its voting rights.

Paramount said it expected to close the deal by the summer of next year.

Paramount Global traces its origins back more than a century to the founding of Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1914.

The studio has made many hit films, including the Godfather, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible series.

But the entertainment giant has struggled over the past decade. Paramount Global’s shares have fallen by more than 75% in the last five years.

Skydance is owned by David Ellison, the son of Larry Ellison, who founded US technology giant Oracle.

The announcement came after eight months of negotiations that saw Redstone holding talks with a number of potential partners including Sony and private equity firm Apollo.

In April, Paramount’s chief executive Bob Bakish left the company after clashing with Ms Redstone over the planned Skydance deal.

The deal comes as the global entertainment industry is being transformed by the video-streaming revolution.

(BBC News)

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Arundhati Roy wins PEN Pinter Prize for ‘powerful voice’




Indian author Arundhati Roy has said that she is “delighted” to have been awarded this year’s PEN Pinter Prize.

Set up in memory of playwright Harold Pinter, the award is for writers of “outstanding literary merit” who take an “unflinching” look at the world.

The announcement comes weeks after officials in India approved action against Roy under anti-terror laws for comments she made 14 years ago.

Roy is a Booker Prize-winning author and has written about human rights issues in India as well as war and capitalism globally.

English PEN chair Ruth Borthwick praised Roy for telling “urgent stories of injustice with wit and beauty”.

“While India remains an important focus, she is truly an internationalist thinker, and her powerful voice is not to be silenced,” Borthwick said.

Roy, 62, is an outspoken writer and activist and could face prosecution by the Narendra Modi government for comments she made in 2010 about Kashmir – a controversial topic in India.

She is a polarising figure and has often been targeted by right-wing groups for her speeches and writings.

Roy has been outspoken in her criticism about the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s alleged targeting of Muslims and has also spoken about India’s declining press freedoms during Mr Modi’s tenure.

She will receive the PEN Pinter Prize on 10 October in a ceremony co-hosted by the British Library.

The prize was set up in 2009 by English PEN, a charity that says it defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature.

Previous winners include Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard and Carol Ann Duffy.

On winning the prize, Roy said: “I wish Harold Pinter were with us today to write about the almost incomprehensible turn the world is taking. Since he isn’t, some of us must do our utmost to try to fill his shoes.”

Roy has written numerous books and non-fiction essays, but she is best known for her novel, The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997.

(BBC News)

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