People in the news

Michelle Obama reads to kids online

NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama launched a series of online video readings for kids with the classic picture book “The Gruffalo,” which the former first lady called the story of a mouse who uses his “wit and imagination” to get the best of a fox and other would-be predators.

“Mondays with Michelle Obama” is part of the PBS KIDS Read-Along series, and will continue through May 11. It can be seen at noon on the Facebook and YouTube pages of PBS KIDS and the Facebook page of Obama’s publisher, Penguin Random House.

The livestream of Obama reading “The Gruffalo” quickly received tens of thousands of likes on Facebook. Other celebrities who have given readings during the coronavirus pandemic include Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Garner and Demi Lovato, who also read “The Gruffalo.”

‘The Batman’ release delayed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Warner Bros. is delaying a batch of theatrical releases including “The Batman” and “The Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”

The studio said Monday that “The Sopranos” film will be pushed from September to a March 2021 release, while “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson will be delayed four months to Oct. 2021.

Many studios have shuffled release dates due to both shuttered productions and the closure of movie theaters to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This year also lost the Will Smith drama “King Richard,” which has been moved back a year to Nov. 2021, and a biographical drama about Black Panthers activist Fred Hampton set for August which now has no release date.

Baz Luhrmann’s yet-to-be-titled Elvis film that Tom Hanks was shooting in Australia when he and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 was delayed a month to Nov. 2021.

The studio has not abandoned summer 2020 entirely, however. Warner Bros. still has Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” dated for July 17 and “Wonder Woman 1984,” which was pushed back from June, for an Aug. 14 theatrical release.

And one film even moved up on the calendar: The DC superhero film “The Flash” is now expected in June 2022 instead of July.

Royal couple won’t work with tabloids

LONDON (AP) — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they will no longer cooperate with several British tabloid newspapers because of what they call “distorted, false or invasive” stories.

Meghan and Prince Harry have written to the editors of The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror saying they won’t “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.” They say stories based on “salacious gossip” have upended the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike.

By Kerry Minor

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