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Picard Won’t Be A Sequel To Next Generation

In late January, Patrick Stewart’s return as Jean-Luc Picard will be available for Star Trek fans young, old, and highly opinionated to enjoy. Everyone who watches will likely draw comparisons to Stewart’s past work as the Enterprise captain. Those hoping for a massive Star Trek: The Next Generation follow-up series will be happy to see all the former stars featured, but executive producer Akiva Goldsman has expressly stated that fans shouldn’t go in expecting an official sequel to the beloved show.

Akiva Goldsman revealed that while there are shades of Star Trek: The Next Generation to be found in Star Trek: Picard, the upcoming CBS All Access series is altogether something different. Goldsman revealed the change is intentional, and that the idea was never to make this a direct successor to Patrick Stewart’s prior Star Trek series.

Many of the actors involved with Star Trek: Picard have previously stated that this series wouldn’t be a return to Next Generation form, but rather a project that melds past and present incarnations of Star Trek. More specifically, that process involves adopting elements seen in Star Trek: Discovery, which entails some elements that current fans have deemed controversial.

Controversial or not, Akiva Goldsman told Hollywood Outbreak that this is the way of Star Trek. Each series has a certain responsibility with its story, and Star Trek: Picard has a little bit extra going for it thanks to its effort to modernize this chapter of the Star Trek franchise by taking on elements from more recent projects. According to Goldsman:

It will be interesting to see how older generations of fans respond to Star Trek: Picard, especially after the early backlash that Star Trek: Discovery faced. That being said, Discovery seemed to warm over a few formerly cold hearts with its jump to the future going into Season 3, as well as with how it wrapped up some key plot points that would’ve otherwise conflicted with original Star Trek canon. Picard presumably won’t have similar story conflicts from the outset, but it still might inspire some fans to take issue with this series for not being similar in structure to past Star Trek efforts.

Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, January 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series this winter season, and for more on what’s happening in the world of television and movies.

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Trending News

Billie Eilish Launches Sustainable Merch Collection With H&M

Billie Eilish’s iconic style has made a pretty significant impact in the fashion world — in more ways than one. While her oversized fits might have already inspired a few choices in our closets, she has also used her platform to bring more attention to environmental issues — and her latest merch collection merges both spirits perfectly.

Starting 2020 with a bang, the”Bad Guy” singer has teamed up with fashion giant H&M to launch a new, affordable Billie Eilish merch line — and sustainability plays a pretty big role. In the collection, Billie’s trademark green makes an appearance alongside creams and blacks, all on a range of oversized t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirt dresses, joggers and more. The best part? It’s all made from sustainable materials.

Billie isn’t the first musician to collaborate with H&M. Stars from Ariana Grande to Shawn Mendes have previously released merchandise through the retailer, though she is the first to make a pointed effort to make her collection sustainably sourced.

“Billie Eilish is obviously an inspiring artist, but also someone a lot of people around the world admire for her personal style and empowering way of expressing her values,” Emily Bjorkheim, H&M’s Head of Design Divided, said in a statement. “We want to enable her fans to step into her world and feel empowered to freely express their style as well.”

This isn’t Billie’s only effort for going green. Before her debut performance on Saturday Night Live back in September, Billie teamed up with host Woody Harrelson to deliver a message about climate change, later posting the video to her Instagram. She also made an effort to make her upcoming world tour sustainable, soliciting help from experts to figure out how to make the experience as Earth-friendly as possible for both her and her audiences.

The new selection of Billie Eilish merch officially drops today, January 2, and you can pick up your favorites pieces either at your local H&M or through the H&M website.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Billie Eilish Used a Basketball as a Purse

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Lifestyle

Luigi’s Mansion 3 Is a Scary and Charming Addition to Nintendo Games

Luigi’s Mansion is one of those series that seemingly came out of left field. When it was announced that Luigi would be getting his own star role for the GameCube launch, people were dubious. What came was nothing like any Mario game before it, and it has stuck with fans ever since, albeit through scattered releases and easter eggs in other Mario franchises. So when a full-console third installment was announced last September, people lost their minds. Luigi’s Mansion 3 has that Nintendo polish we know and love: The mansion is gorgeous, the character animations are stylized, and the music is unbelievably good. While it may not scare you like Resident Evil or The Last of Us, there is still some low-level eeriness. So if you’re too old for trick-or-treating and too chickenshit for other horror games, this is the perfect pick for your Halloween gaming.

'Luigi's Mansion 3'

Right when you start Luigi’s Mansion 3, before the mansion is even spooky yet, the Mario brothers, toads, and Peach say real, actual words—and more of them than I was prepared for. Warning: This may be scary to some. It haunts that middle ground between cute and Philips CD-i nightmare. Luigi continues to speak independent words, my favorite being “doggy,” which provides an important piece of cannon for the series. Luigi is now more articulate, and arguably intelligent, than Mario. Sure, Mario can run and jump and save the princess with no fear, but Luigi’s too smart for that. He sees what there is to fear in their nightmarish mushroom world, and he knows those monsters can take him out.

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On one of the game’s tutorial paths, I got my fair share of spooks. Luigi’s Mansion loves its spiders and rats, which are already much scarier than the ghouls, but Nintendo went too far with this one. While looking through a hole in a wall, I heard shuffling and crawling getting louder and louder. I kept waiting for whatever secret was about to be revealed to me, and then it happened: A disgusting golden spider crawled right across my screen. I screamed, Luigi screamed, and then I thoroughly patted down my couch cushions to be sure nothing could hurt me.

I screamed, Luigi screamed, and then I thoroughly patted down my couch cushions.

While the spider almost made me quit the game, it did showcase another one of Luigi’s Mansion 3’s strengths—the phenomenal sound design, which is some of the best sound I’ve heard in a game, from spiders crawling to furniture shaking. Beyond just the audio atmosphere, the music is remarkable. (A personal favorite of mine is the jazzy rendition of the titular theme song.) Each of the floors has drastically different themes, which makes each thrilling to explore. And with each comes music that’s totally correct. There’s a maestro stage with classical music, and a mall stage with a goofy security guard named Kruller and that rad ’80s buddy cop music.

And then there are the jump scares around the mansion. Maybe you pass a painting and it falls and shatters, or you open a drawer and a wicked face flies out with sparks spewing everywhere. It’s all very cute, but it may also get you to flinch. It’s this type of intense world-building and care that Nintendo keeps injecting into its games to make them addictive—a surprise (literally) around every corner.

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The mansion harbors a ton of unique bosses, from that mall cop Kruller (yep, probably a donut pun) to the Mad Maestro Amadeus Wolfgeist, and every boss battle also works as its own independent puzzle that can sometimes take some serious thinking to figure out. Due to Luigi’s deep arsenal of tools, there are often several ways to accomplish any given task. You can flash multiple ghosts to suck them all up at the same time or pick one victim and use that ghost to bash the others. Sometimes, you may want to use the black lite, tag team with Gooigi, or use the suction shot. Regardless of how you choose to tackle them, Luigi’s Mansion definitely opens itself up to different play styles. The game also features several multiplayer modes and co-op.

Nintendo is getting exhausting, with its constant releases of top-tier games, and with such a game-heavy end of the year, you’ll definitely have some hard choices to make on what to play next. Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Switch is a must. It’s pure charm. But, you know, spooky too. Obviously, it comes out on October 31.

Cameron Sherrill is a designer and writer for Esquire.com, where he covers technology and video games.

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Lifestyle

Fallen Order Gameplay Emphasizes Lightsaber Combat, Says Stig Asmussen

A lightsaber is a one-hit killing machine. Stig Asmussen, the director of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, reminded me of that when I asked him how his team at Respawn Entertainment was able to make their ambitious new Star Wars game feel so distinctive. “We had to create these systems that would force the player to unlock the enemy to allow for that one hit kill,” Asmussen said. Instead of mindlessly cutting through waves of enemies, the gameplay in Fallen Order is full of lightsaber-enhanced grappling bouts. You’re forced to take on one opponent at a time—and these strategic little duels can even extend into entire boss battles. It’s what he refers to as “thoughtful combat.”

Respawn’s dedication to creating brutal, yet intuitive lightsaber combat makes Fallen Order among the most promising Star Wars games in years. Lightsaber blades are devastating in Fallen Order. Cutting through the obstacles and enemies of the game’s exotic planets, there is a sense of real danger surrounding these glowing swords. But while the combat gameplay is loud and chaotic, it’s also refreshingly minimal, initially centered around just two buttons: attack and block/parry. It’s such a simple, well-built system that I barely needed a tutorial before firing up the campaign.

2019 Star Wars Celebration
Stig Asmussen speaks at the panel for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order during April’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.Barry BrecheisenGetty Images

In George Lucas’s original Star Wars film trilogy, lightsabers are unstoppable weapons to behold. They’re heavy, crackling with power, and in the hands of the wrong individual, they seem treacherous. Even the most casual Star Wars fans can recall the anguish in Luke Skywalker’s face after Darth Vader eviscerates the young Jedi’s hand clean off the bone with his sizzling red lightsaber. It’s moments like this that make lightsabers among the most memorable—and crushing—weapons in film history.

Video games have long tried to bottle up the phenomenon of the lightsaber. THQ’s Jedi Power Battles from 2000 offered a zany, arcade approach to lightsaber dueling. The combat, however, more closely resembled the hyper-powered nonsense of Lucas’s prequel trilogy than the series’ more samurai-inspired origins. Games like The Force Unleashed and Knights of the Old Republic immersed players in narratively rich swordsman tales with boundless Jedi abilities. You could obliterate the playing field in Force Unleashed, and waggling around multiple yellow lightsabers in Old Republic was fun.

But Lucas’s franchise has always been known for its down-to-earth, introspective feeling. And Fallen Order is the first Star Wars game to really investigate the humanity behind the whirring laser swords. Unlike the lead players of previous Star Wars games such as Shadow of the Empire‘s Dash Rendar or Jedi Knight‘s Kyle Katarn, its protagonist Cal Kestis doesn’t move like a rigid block of polygons. His neck bounces when he runs. He’s emotive. When he ignites his lightsaber, his hand jolts at the impact. You can feel the influence of strikingly human games like Last of Us and God of War here.

Time will tell if Fallen Order will fulfill the lofty expectations of the ever-demanding Star Wars fanbase. But whether the game succeeds or not, one thing seems clear after I spent a few hours in the main campaign: The lightsaber combat in Fallen Order is absolutely killer. I sat down with Asmussen to talk about how Respawn put together a fighting style that makes their upcoming title feel more nuanced and singular in gameplay than any Star Wars game before it.

Esquire: We’ve always wanted a Star Wars game with good lightsaber combat. The combat system in Fallen Order seems simple and to the point. How did your team go about crafting it?

Stig Asmussen: First, we wanted it to feel grounded. And we wanted it to be something that reflected the journey that the hero is going on, which is also the journey that the player is going on as well. You’re a student. You’re learning. You don’t know how to do everything at first, but over the course of the game, your skillset grows, and the student eventually becomes a master. Really, it comes down to: If it’s going to be grounded, it’s not the amount of moves, it’s how you use the moves you have and how they are used as a response to the enemies, how you’re evaluating your timing windows and planning your attacks.

You don’t know how to do everything at first, but over the course of the game, your skillset grows, and the student eventually becomes a master.

ESQ: Was one of the main initiatives of Fallen Order to make a game that perfected lightsaber combat?

SA: Outside of crafting a real Star Wars story, that’s right up there. We needed to have what we called “thoughtful combat.” We wanted the player to, just like a Jedi, be patient. To walk into a situation and analyze things and think, “What’s the best approach?” One of the early things that we had to crack was: How do we make a fight like this feel compelling, knowing that the lightsaber is basically a weapon that will, one hit, kill your enemy? So, we had to create these systems that would force the player to unlock the enemy to allow for that one hit kill. That’s why we brought things in like block meters, that’s why we allowed the player to reflect blaster bolts from ranged enemies—but also if you time it correctly, send the bolt back at them.

Then what it becomes is each enemy unit has their own purpose. And when you start to put them together in different combinations, then the player really has to think. They have to be very honest in how they are responding to the different enemies’ positions and what their roles are.

ESQ: Were there any Star Wars games that your team took inspiration from?

SA: We looked at as many as we could. I think there was a sale on Steam. Very early on, you could get, like, every single Star Wars game for twenty bucks. We had played these games before, growing up, but we stopped for a week and really started looking at the old Jedi Knight games, even looking at a game like Knights of the Old Republic, because I think they really nailed story. They nailed atmosphere. So yeah, we look at those games and pulled what was working from them and tried to help that influence the work that we were doing.

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Asmussen says the player must be patient when engaging enemies in lightsaber combat, just like a Jedi.Courtesy

ESQ: Were there games outside of Star Wars that were an influence?

SA: Yeah. Countless games.

ESQ: You worked on the God of War series.

SA: Yeah, I worked on God of War 1 through God of War 3, and obviously that made an influence on me, not only on a design standpoint, but from a production and “how you make games” approach—the standard for where your bar is, what kind of quality, that kind of thing. But, to be honest with you, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say Star Wars influenced the work that I did on God of War games and other games that I’ve worked on. So, it’s funny that it goes full circle.

When we’re creating different mechanics for the game, you look at countless other games and we say, “Hey, we need to get this certain feature of this mechanic stood up, here’s an example of something in another game. That should be what we’re striving to get to. And then, once we get there, how do we evolve it and make it our own?” We did that across the board. And I’m a strong believer in rapid prototyping, and rather than just noodling in on one aspect and getting it just right, trying to work horizontally and trying to get a lot of things working at once, so we can assess how they all work together, and then building them up from there. Finding the synergy between them.

'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order'

‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’

$50.94
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ESQ: You’ve mentioned something about the combination of the fun and the drama, that it creates the Star Wars magic. What is that secret ingredient that makes a Star Wars story?

SA: You know what? I don’t know yet. I’ve learned a lot from working with Lucasfilm, and the team has as well. I think there’s just something that feels right. It’s like, “Oh! We’ve got it!” But I don’t know that there’s a formula that I’ve put together on my end that’s like, “Add this, a dash of that, and you get Star Wars.” It’s more of a feel thing.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Video Editor
Dom Nero is a writer and video editor based out of Astoria, NY.

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Technology

Google just beat humans at spotting breast cancer — but it won’t replace them

Google is developing artificial intelligence to help doctors identify breast cancer, according to a research paper published in Nature today. The model, which scans X-ray images known as mammograms, reduces the number of false negatives by 9.4 percent—a hopeful leap forward for a test that currently misses 20 percent of breast cancers, as reported by The New York Times.

Today, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, beat out only by lung cancer in its deadliness and overall prevalence. Early detection is the best defense most people have in identifying and treating the disease. Yet while mammograms are the most common detection tool, they miss a large number of cases. “Mammograms are very effective but there’s still a significant problem with false negatives and false positives,” Shravya Shetty, a researcher at Google who co-authored the paper, tells The Verge.

In the study, which Google funded, researchers used anonymized mammograms from more than 25,000 women in the UK and 3,000 women in the US. “We tried to follow the same principles radiologists might follow,” Shetty says. According to Google’s blog post, the team first trained AI to scan X-ray images, then looked for signs of breast cancer by identifying changes in the breasts of the 28,000 women. They then checked the computer’s guesses against the women’s’ actual medical outcomes.

Ultimately, they were able to reduce false negatives by 9.4 percent and cut down false positives by 5.7 percent for women in the US. In the UK, where two radiologists typically double-check the results, the model cut down false negatives by 2.7 percent and reduced false positives by 1.2 percent. “The model performs better than an individual radiologist in both the UK and the US,” Christopher Kelly, a scientist at Google who co-authored the paper, tells Wired.

The system was not perfect. While researchers found that AI outperformed doctors in identifying breast cancer in most cases, there were also instances where doctors flagged cancer that the model originally missed. “Sometimes, all six U.S. readers caught a cancer that slipped past the AI, and vice versa,” Mozziyar Etemadi, a researcher at Northwestern University and another co-author of the paper, tells The Wall Street Journal.

Still, Google says it’s hopeful the system can eventually be used in clinical settings. “We’re very excited and encouraged by these results,” says Daniel Tse, a product manager at Google who also co-authored the paper. He tells The Verge that the team is currently working to ensure the findings can be generalized across populations. “There’s obviously quite a bit of nuance when you put this into clinical practice,” he adds.

Google has been careful to frame this project as one that will help radiologists, not replace them. “They each bring their own strength, it’s complementary,” says Shetty. “There are a number of cases where the radiologists catch something that the model misses, and vice versa. Bringing the two together could strengthen the overall results.”

The project is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to expand into the field of healthcare. Earlier this year, the tech giant partnered with Ascension to gain access to the health records of millions of American citizens. That project came under fire after a whistleblower alleged the health records were not being anonymized. For the breast cancer study, Google partnered with clinical researchers in the US and UK, and used data that had already been de-identified.

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Movies

Fans Are Obsessed With Cillian Murphy In A Quiet Place 2’s Trailer

Yes, that was Cillian Murphy in the official trailer for A Quiet Place‘s sequel, titled A Quiet Place: Part II. The first part of the trailer, which just came out on New Year’s Day, is basically a full scene from “Day 1” before the world went to crap. Later, we get another sneak peek scene set in the aftermath, with Cillian Murphy’s character covering Evelyn Abbott’s (Emily Blunt) mouth. The A Quiet Place 2 trailer shows several scenes with Murphy’s new character, including when he sees that Evelyn has a baby. We also see more with fellow newbie Djimon Hounsou, who replaced another great actor for that role.

Cillian Murphy gets the final line of the A Quiet Place 2 trailer: “The people that are left are not the kind of people worth saving.”

Since John Krasinski’s character won’t exactly be featured in A Quiet Place 2 — save through any further flashbacks to BEFORE — Cillian Murphy might have the lead supporting role. This is clearly Emily Blunt’s film, along with the remaining Abbott family, but Murphy’s fans were delighted to see him in the trailer — and appreciated his gritty new look:

Cillian Murphy got himself trending after the trailer came out, and not just here in the U.S.:

Cillian Murphy getting dirty was apparently a major draw…

… which maybe isn’t so surprising considering how much The Walking Dead fan base, for example, appreciates guys like dirty Daryl Dixon.

However, this Cillian Murphy fan broke out photos from his past projects like Peaky Blinders, Peacock, and Broken to illustrate the actor’s range:

Here’s more appreciation for his acting, as opposed to just his looks:

Part of why Cillian Murphy fans are losing their minds over his appearance in A Quiet Place 2‘s trailer is because he doesn’t make that many major movies, not anymore at any rate. He’s still part of the Peaky Blinders series but he’s been making smaller movies for the past few years.

Dunkirk came out in 2017, and that was his last major movie, a reunion with director Christopher Nolan after The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception. Most of his eclectic filmography is filmed with roles in indie films like Breakfast on Pluto or dramas like The Wind That Shakes the Barley. But he’s pretty dang good in a thriller, as anyone who watched Red Eye could tell you.

If you haven’t seen A Quiet Place: Part II‘s official trailer, check it out:

I’m sure we’ll get at least one other trailer from writer/director John Krasinski before the movie’s release date. In addition to Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott, A Quiet Place‘s sequel also stars Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott and Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott.

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Politics

Trump: Pelosi A “Highly Overrated Person,” “Should Be Ashamed Of Herself” | Video

President Trump predicted 2020 will be a great year for the United States as he entered a New Year’s Eve party at his Palm Beach, Fla. resort Mar-a-Lago. At a press conference Tuesday night, Trump weighed in on the U.S. embassy attack in Baghdad, impeachment, and more.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The impeachment thing is a hoax. It’s a big fat hoax. We had 196-0 with Republicans, we had 3 Democrats come over, 1 actually joined our party as you know…

We did nothing wrong. Read the transcripts. Or you could also do something else, you could go and speak to the president of Ukraine. The president of Ukraine said loudly and boldly, and I appreciate his statement, he said many times there was no pressure…

We have tremendous Republican support. What the Democrats did in the House was a disgrace. What they did, how unfair it was, we didn’t get lawyers, we didn’t have witnesses, we didn’t do anything and still, we got 100% of the Republican votes and it was bipartisan because we got three Democrats. I think the impeachment thing, I call it ‘Impeachment-lite.’ It’s a disgrace. And Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself. She is a highly overrated person. I know her well. She is highly overrated…

As far as I’m concerned I’d be happy with a trial because we did nothing wrong. We didn’t even have a witness and we won 196-0. We didn’t even have a witness. That was all the Democrats’ witnesses.

Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician. He is corrupt. He got up, made a speech, said something I never said and when I release the transcript, which is absolutely a perfect, totally appropriate conversation with a very good man, a very good president, I hear he’s doing a great job, but a big reason he got elected was corruption. There’s tremendous corruption.

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Trending News

Watch the Trailer For “A Quiet Place Part II”

Welp, thanks to the official release of a debut trailer for A Quiet Place Part II, our 2020 is off to the most terrifying start. After previously sharing a brief teaser video, the first full-length trailer for the film has arrived, and yes, it’s totally unsettling.

For the sequel, Emily Blunt returns to her role as Evelyn Abbott, and her character is once again joined by her children, Marcus Abbott (Noah Jupe) and Regan Abbott (Millicent Simmonds). Arriving in theaters on March 20, 2020, the sequel naturally picks up where the first film left off, and has the Abbott family attempting to outrun the monsters lurking and waiting to hear any sound of life.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if their continued escape will go as planned, and when the family meets some additional survivors, including two played by Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou, they’re warned that anyone else hiding might not be worth rescuing. The clip is only two minutes long, but it’s packed with heart-pounding action, including Evelyn accidentally triggering a trap that emits just enough sound to draw the attention of some monsters. Luckily, Cillian’s character is there to save the day.

An official synopsis for A Quiet Place Part II also warns of other dangers, reading, “Forced to venture into the unknown, they [the Abbotts] quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.” Those eager for a fright will have to wait and see what additional threats are out there when the film arrives later this year, but it is worth noting that a new movie almost didn’t happen. Director John Krasinski had explained his reasoning for previously avoiding a second film, saying, “My hope is people want to revisit this world and revisit those stakes and those rules to have to abide by. Most sequels are a hero and villain returning, but there’s no story behind it. It’s basically, ‘Let’s give the audience the character they want.’ And I think the brilliant thing about ‘A Quiet Place’ is there’s a world.” Consider us officially eager, and scared, to return to the Quiet Place world.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: A Quiet Place Part 2 Teaser Trailer Is Already Too Scary

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Movies

‘Cats’ could lose $100 million at the box office

The big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Cats could be set to lose in excess of $100million after a dismal debut at the global box office.

Tom Hooper’s musical, which stars the likes of Taylor Swift, James Corden and Judi Dench, has taken just $38million (£28 million) after two weeks in theatres.

It is currently sitting in eighth place at the US Box Office with $4.8million, but now overall losses could be heading towards the $100 million mark.

According to Variety, the film will lose about $71 million if it fails to make $100 million worldwide ($40 million domestic, $60 million abroad), which is thought to be an increasingly unlikely feat.

The film’s chances of awards success have also been diminished, after Universal removed the controversial film from its ‘For Your Consideration’ page.

Director Tom Hooper also revealed that a hugely critical response to the film’s first trailer made Hooper and his team go back to the drawing board and largely remake the film.

In a three-star review, NME said that Cats “stops short of disaster”, but admitted that the film still had its faults.

“There’s plenty to scoff at. One recurring moment sees the cats brushing their faces together in a show of affection, but it’s delivered with all the warmth of a hook-up at a furry convention,” our review stated.

“Elsewhere, the plot is often nonsensical and occasionally unbelievable – seasoned haters of musical theatre will find little to change their mind.”

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Technology

FDA expected to ban most flavored e-cigarette pods

All flavored e-cigarette pods except menthol and tobacco are expected to be banned by the Food and Drug Administration, which could announce the plans this week, according to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

The flavored pod ban would be a step back from the nearly complete flavored vape ban the Trump administration initially floated back in September, as lung injuries from vaping were on the rise. There are two notable changes: menthol flavoring would be allowed, in addition to tobacco; and the flavor ban would only be applied to pods — flavored nicotine liquids could still be sold for open tank systems, according to the reports.

The ban is meant to curb the rise in teenage vaping. Because open systems are seen as less popular among teens, the administration is focusing on pods — like those used by Juul — which are believed to be driving teen usage. The exemption is also a response to some odd political pushback: after the initial call for a broad flavor ban, vaping groups claimed that such a ban would hurt President Trump electorally in 2020. The messaging apparently worked.

During remarks last night, Trump said the vaping ban would be announced “very shortly.”

He also said the flavor ban would not be permanent. Flavors would be removed “for a period of time,” checked for safety, and could return to the market if they were deemed to be safe. “Hopefully if everything’s safe they’re gonna be going very quickly back onto the market,” Trump said.

Initial reports about the FDA’s ban don’t mention safety checks or a potential to return to the market. Trump seems to be conflating multiple issues going on with vaping right now, so it’s not entirely clear what the agency will announce. Trump appears to be referencing the vaping lung injuries that have now killed more than 50 people, but this ban isn’t meant to address that issue. The lung injuries do not appear to be caused by flavored pods, but seem to stem from various liquids, sometimes from black market brands, designed for open systems.

“We have to protect our families,” Trump said. “At the same time, it’s a big industry, we want to protect the industry.”

Juul has already stopped selling all flavored pods except menthol and tobacco in anticipation of the ban, but the ban would still cut out flavored pods from competitors, like Njoy, which offers watermelon and blueberry nicotine pods.

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