Is the Venice Film Festival Big Enough for Brad and Angelina? (No.)

Running into an ex at a party can be awkward. But imagine if the party is the Venice Film Festival and the exes are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. That potentially incendiary meet-cute could well happen, as both are starring in films that seem to be probable contenders in Italy. Pitt’s movie, Wolfs, doesn’t sound much like festival fodder — it’s a buddy comedy about rival crime-scene “fixers” who are both called to remove the same dead body, directed by the guy who made Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jon Watts — except that Pitt’s buddy in the film is George Clooney, a part-time Italiano who gets lots of love in Venice. Jolie, meanwhile, is starring in Maria, a drama about opera singer Maria Callas that couldn’t sound more like a festival flick if it were shot in Budapest by an experimental Chilean auteur (which it was: Pablo Larraín, a former judge on the Venice jury). The festival won’t announce its picks for weeks, but a veteran awards consultant tells THR there’s every reason to expect that Pitt and Jolie will both end up in La Serenissima. “If you’re the festival, you’d do everything you could to make that happen,” he says. “You’d have the whole world watching.” Still, even if they both come to Italy, it doesn’t have to be awkward for the two stars. “The festival can keep them apart,” says the consultant. “You can bet both Pitt’s and Jolie’s people will make sure they never get near each other.”

The stars, now in their eighth year of divorce, might come face-to-face in Italy.

Gravity Fell, But Might Come Back Up

Fans of Gravity Falls have been cheering rumors that the 2012-15 Disney Channel cartoon might be making a comeback. In a recent interview, Disney executive vp animation Meredith Roberts teased as much, revealing that the studio was “in conversations” with creator Alex Hirsch to revive the quirky series about goofball twins investigating paranormal activity in an Oregon town filled with supernatural shenanigans. But fans also know that since Hirsch ended the series after its second season, he hasn’t made life easy for his former Mouse House overlords. In 2022, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show’s debut, the animator tweeted some of his behind-the-scenes battles with Disney’s standards and practices department. “It has come to our attention that ‘hoo-ha’ is a slang term for vagina, please revise,” one S&P note read, to which an exasperated Hirsch replied: “It is a proper word meaning excitement or hullabaloo, and that is CLEARLY its meaning here. The context is an Owl-Themed restaurant called ‘hoo-Ha’s Jamboree.’ Not changing it.” Other notes included objections to the word “chub,” a reference to spin the bottle, and the name-dropping of Lucifer, which the studio thought might offend religious viewers. THR was unable to reach either Hirsch or Roberts for comment.

Glen Powell, Urban Legend

Would you believe it? It turns out the story Glen Powell told in a viral podcast clip — about how his sister’s friend went home with a guy who gave her a back rub with an abrasive lotion meant to tenderize flesh for human consumption and how the police later found bodies in his apartment — was total BS. Or, as urban legend scholar Joel Best more charitably puts it, “contemporary folklore.” Best, a University of Delaware professor — known for debunking the razor-blades-in-the-apples canard every Halloween since 1985 — spotted the telltale urban myth giveaways immediately. For starters, “How was this guy applying lotion? Was he wearing gloves?” Best, 77, warns social media wags not to be too hard on Powell, whom he’d never heard of (and who has gamely admitted to having been duped). “It’s a great story, and that’s the reason these things survive: You remember them,” he says. “We’ve all fallen for them at times. The whole point of these things is that they’re warnings that you’ve got to be careful, and that there are dangerous people in the world.” — JULIAN SANCTON


Leslie Jones Goes for Gold

Everybody has their favorite Olympic event — ours is Leslie Jones. Come July, the veteran SNL comic again will return to NBC to provide her own inimitable play-by-play of the Paris Games, just as she did from Pyeongchang in 2018. “When I was growing up, business closed for the Olympics,” she tells THR. “It was a big thing because everybody needed to support the athletes.” Jones’ official title for the broadcasts will be “chief superfan commentator,” but she began unofficially riffing on the Olympics during the 2016 Rio Games, when her homemade cheerleading video posts — conducted from her living room in Beverly Hills — first started going viral. NBC Sports took notice and flew Jones to Rio to finish out the tournament as a network commentator. But it’s not an easy gig, and Jones is already training for the challenges of Olympic commentating. “I work out every day just to keep me in shape,” she says. “Make sure that I sleep, drink a lot of water, stretch. Keep it happy, keep it light.” — CHRIS GARDNER

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