‘Wicked’ movie release delayed, ‘Minions’ pushed to 2021

This image released by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures shows characters, from left, Kevin, Gru, voiced by Steve Carell and Stuart in a scene from “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”  (Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures via AP)

LOS ANGELES — “Wicked” fans are going to have to wait even longer to see Stephen Daldry’s film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical. Universal Pictures on Wednesday announced that another handful of theatrical release dates are shifting due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has bumped “Wicked” off the calendar entirely for the moment.

The studio said that “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which was unable to be finished for its planned summer 2020 release because of the outbreak, is being pushed back a year to July 2021. “Sing 2″ will now come out on “Wicked’s” original date of December 22, 2021.

Hollywood studios have been scrambling to revise business plans amid the pandemic, which has closed theaters nationwide and halted productions indefinitely. The summer movie season has already taken a hit, with the recent postponements of “Wonder Woman 1984,” “F9” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” And a handful of films have been taken off the calendar including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” Marvel’s “Black Widow” and the Tom Hanks World War II drama “Greyhound.”

Universal says that “Wicked” will be restored to the release calendar at a later time.

DOLLY DONATES, READS BOOK TO CHILDREN

Country icon Dolly Parton is making a big donation to help fund coronavirus research, as well as taking time out every week to read children’s books online to kids everywhere.

The “9 to 5” singer, actress and philanthropist tweeted Wednesday that she’s donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, for coronavirus research.

Additionally, she’s working with her charity, The Imagination Library, t o read a

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Taking his shot | Inquirer Sports

There was a year when Jordan Clarkson and Remy Martin would have played together—in the Asian Games in 2014—in a dream Gilas Pilipinas team that would have been littered with Filipino-Americans and would have reclaimed the gold medal in South Korea with ease.

Both point guards—who had glittering collegiate careers—could ultimately find themselves playing in one league if the 6-foot Martin does get selected in the next NBA Draft after foregoing his senior year with Arizona State and declaring availability for the coming proceedings where freshman Georgia guard Anthony Edwards looms as the hot top overall selection.

Like Clarkson, Martin is going for the big time after his junior year, and former Gilas coach Chot Reyes, who discovered both talents for what would have been that Asian Games team, admitted to being “surprised” by Martin’s move although he believes that “he could be selected late in the first round at best.”

Reyes said he has kept tabs of all of those players that were supposed to make that team—Clarkson, Martin, Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, Mo Tautuaa, etc.—and the current basketball landscape in the United States.

“He (Martin) has the talent and potential [to play in the NBA]. I was just surprised,” Reyes said of Martin’s Draft declaration. “I saw him even before he went to Arizona, he was still very young then. And I knew that he would have been a solid player for Gilas and a future NBA talent.

“Like the others that were supposed to be on that team, he (Martin) was very interested to play for the Philippines,” Reyes said.

The thing that prevented that team from coming together was the Asian Games rule that year that required players to have three years of residency in the country that they were playing for to become eligible.

“That

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‘Long-term’ backer boosts Azkals’ World Cup bid

The Philippines’ dream of making the World Cup could get a shot-in-the-arm soon with the entry of a new sponsor.

Azkals manager Dan Palami hinted that the team is poised to inking an agreement with a private company whose owner is one of the country’s most successful businessmen.

Palami is withholding details on the identity of the new sponsor pending the signing of the agreement, which he said will be “long-term.”

The talks, though, were stalled following the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But I am optimistic that we’ll be able to push through,” Palami said. “I have been helping the Azkals and Philippine football since 2010 with whatever resources that I have. This prospective sponsor is fueled by patriotism and a mission to bring football to greater heights.”

The Azkals are still in the thick of the fight in the 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying with three matches remaining in their schedule. They were supposed to play Guam last week, but Fifa has suspended all World Cup Qualifiers.

Palami said the entry of a new sponsor would immediately upgrade their training and recruitment of players with Filipino lineage.

“Our prospective sponsor has made an impact in terms of nation-building and is one of the most respected people in the business community,” he said.

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