Français | English | Español | Português

Spain Sport

Former Spain striker David Villa is to join Japanese top-flight club Vissel Kobe after leaving Major League Soccer side New York City. | 12/1/18
Former Spain striker David Villa is to join Japanese top-flight club Vissel Kobe after leaving Major League Soccer side New York City. | 12/1/18
The decision to move the Copa Libertadores final to Spain is a failure of leadership, organization and governance. But it also is a precedent teams and fans may come to regret. | 11/30/18

A version of this story about “Champions” first appeared in the Foreign Language Issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Javier Fesser’s film “Champions,” a huge hit in Spain, finds a hotheaded professional basketball coach sentenced to community service working with a team of mentally disabled players, all of them played by nonprofessional actors.

The film is Spain’s entry in this year’s Oscar foreign-language race, and this interview is one of a series of conversations TheWrap had with directors of the foreign contenders.

Also Read: Oscars Foreign Language Race 2018: Complete List of Submissions

What led you to this story?
JAVIER FESSER: This is my fifth feature film, and the first time I have worked with a screenplay that was not my idea originally. Three years ago, I read the screenplay and fell in love with the characters. Not with the story, with the characters. I felt myself so close to this positive point of view. It was the first time that I felt, “I am the right person to tell this story.”

What was the casting process like?
It was more than a casting. We spent more than four months meeting people, with the amazing help of associations and basketball teams for the disabled. For me, the casting was the way to know deeply their lives, their families, their thoughts.

Usually in casting, you are looking for the perfect actors to play the roles that you already wrote. In this case, it was the opposite. After casting, the original author and I rewrote the entire screenplay using the personalities of the people, their experiences, their real lives. I was forgetting my imagination, and taking everything from them.

Also Read: Oscars Give More Power in Foreign Language Voting to LA Members (Exclusive)

In the movie, the coach has to impose a discipline on his players that they’re not used to. In the shooting, did you have to do the same thing with your actors?
I felt a lot of times like the coach in the story, yeah. When you’re working with actors, you do a take and another take and another take. You can modify and change things. But in this case, in every take there is some brilliant thing that it is not possible to reproduce.

Did you do much rehearsal?
No, no. Because they are not actors. My job was not to teach them how to act, but to create a comfortable environment, an atmosphere that they feel comfortable to be themselves. So rehearsal was for me, not for them.

I had to put my level very, very high. The things that happen in front of the camera are often very touching, very beautiful things, and you have to be at that level to catch them.

To read more of TheWrap’s Foreign Language Issue, click here. | 11/17/18
The coach, who led Real Madrid to as many losses as wins, was blamed for leaving Spain’s World Cup effort in chaos in service of his personal ambitions. | 10/30/18

The world’s top female athletes, leaders in sports media and industry influencers gathered this week not only to talk about their love of the game, but also issues central to the current cultural environment.

The ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit held at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California, and hosted by “SportsCenter” co-anchor Sage Steele featured keynote speakers including Danica Patrick, Candace Parker, Michael Ian Black and the gold medal-winning U.S. national ice hockey team.

With the #MeToo movement having launched shortly after the 2017 Summit and the Kavanaugh hearing still dominating headlines — gender equality, sexual assault, workplace harassment and female empowerment steered the discussion more than ever.

Also Read: ESPN+ Passes 1 Million Paid Subscriber Mark in Less Than 6 Months

Despite tackling serious issues impacting all women, ESPN talent such as Sarah Spain, Julie Foudy, Hannah Storm, Cari Champion and Mina Kimes also added some light-hearted fun into the mix when they took to the stage.

From an intimate performance of Andra Day’s empowerment anthem “Rise Up” and the brave stories of sexual assault survivors, to LeBron James’ manager/best friend Maverick Carter telling everyone to “be selfish” and ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro dropping “Top Gun 2” casting news, here are some of the top thought-provoking and conversation-sparking quotes:

Maverick Carter with Cari Champion

Maverick Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment and “UNINTERRUPTED” with co-creator LeBron James
[On breaking into the entertainment industry]: “It is all about telling the story. We thought that if we stuck with the most authentic version of ourselves and LeBron kept doing his main thing (basketball) then we could build something lasting. If you build something on bulls–t then you’re screwed.

“The key to making any deal is to be very clear on what you want — that is the easy part — but also understanding what the other side actually needs. Everyone has to leave the room feeling good and not like they’ve been taken advantage of. The fact of the matter is people are very selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with that and selfish gets a bad rap.”

[On if LeBron will ever run for president: “Right now, he is focused on being a great basketball player … I don’t see him focusing on it [politics] right now. But who knows what’s in the future. He’ll be 34 in December, so who knows how much longer he’s going to play basketball. You never know what’s next with that guy.”

Also Read: Alex Rodriguez, Maria Menounos Take the Wheel for 'Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs' Web Series (Video)

Danica Patrick and Hannah Storm/ Dan Stark for ESPN

Danica Patrick, former IndyCar and NASCAR driver
“I was never conscious of being the fastest girl out there, it was about being the fastest driver. There was no gender attached to it.”

[On retiring from pro racing]: “I came to the realization that what made me happy wasn’t really racing. It was wasn’t like I’d wake up thinking about about it every single day. Would I go to a race track for fun? Heck no! Last year, having my winery launch, my clothing line launch and then my book came out — all these things were happening at the same time.” [One being asked to host the 2018 ESPYs]: “I think I said ‘me?!? You get Justin Timberlake to do that, not me.’ Saying yes was the scariest part. If something is equally as exciting as it is scary then go for it. You will never have growth unless you have pain. One part of the growth was having confidence in myself, so I said yes. We’re not scared of change, what we’re scared of is leaving something behind. You have to shift your mindset and ask, ‘but what if it’s better?'”

Also Read: How Alex Gibney's ESPN Docuseries 'Enhanced' Tackles Moral Dilemmas of Modern Technology

Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield/Robby Klein for ESPN

U.S. national ice hockey team gold medalists Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield
[On threatening to boycott the 2017 world championships]: “Our sport needed major change in many areas … most importantly how they [USA Hockey] treated women in our sport. It was the culmination of many years of mistreatment, we did it to help the next generation coming up through the rinks … we had to dig down and come together to stand up for what we’re fighting for.

“We’re trying to change a culture. We’re trying to change behaviors that have been around for many years. There’s accountability on both sides. For us, it’s continuing to push the envelope, and for them, it’s being receptive to what we’re trying to accomplish together moving forward.”

“Stand up for what is right and what you know. Stick together and create the change.”

Sarah Klein, Jordyn Wieber and Mina Kime/Rob Klein for ESPN

Sarah Klein and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber, survivors of sexual abuse from Dr. Larry Nassar
[Wieber on being abused from eight years old]: “Most of us don’t know childhood sexual abuse is happening while it is happening. A lot of us would have said then he was a good guy. At first I didn’t want to think about it, I’d block it out. I remember saying ‘he did that treatment to me but I wasn’t sexually abused.’ I didn’t want to go through the shame that I was sexually abused and let it happen.

“Everybody protected him and that makes me so angry — my motivation is to make sure no one goes through this again. That culture has to change. Coaches need to care about kids more and not about winning. The point of sports is not just to win.”

[Klein on testifying against Nassar]: “He was my loved one, my friend, my trusted advisor. I was 38 when the Indy Star article came out, and it took me time to realize … he had told me it was OK, that was all I ever knew. The article was the ‘aha moment’ of all aha moments. One in four women are sexually abused, most of us don’t get the chance to look at our abusers in the eye. I had to walk my eight-year-old self to that podium in court. It was a redefining moment for my identity … I was able to walk away as a woman.”

Jimmy Pitaro, Sage Steele and Rachel Epstein/ Dan Stark for ESPN

Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN president
[On the future growth of ESPN]: “We have to appeal to a younger audience, and if we don’t all of us will be in trouble. And I am speaking to all of us as an industry. We have to first and foremost protect the core audience, but also be creating products and services for the younger generation, and a very important component of that is girls. One of my biggest priorities is the brand, making it more relevant and for the younger generation.”

Also Read: ESPN Lands Knockout 7-Year Rights Deal With Top Rank Boxing

[On workplace equality]: “We have done a good job in terms of diversity but not always a good job at inclusion. I heard it and we’re doing something about it. Women cannot feel like they’re on the team and not in the game.”

“One of the things that I love about ESPN is it’s heart. So much that we do is about heart … telling those stories that get you emotional and gives you goosebumps. Sports is the great unifier. You forget about all the nonsense and the divisiveness that is out there right now.”

[On his wife, actress Jean Louisa Kelly’s career success]: “My wife is doing ‘Top Gun 2.'”
Related stories from TheWrap:

Former ESPN Host Jemele Hill Joins The Atlantic

ESPN+, Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Media Partner on Original Series 'The Boardroom'

ESPN+ Passes 1 Million Paid Subscriber Mark in Less Than 6 Months | 10/4/18
Great Britain men's wheelchair basketball team reach the semi-finals of the World Championships with a 67-62 victory over Spain. | 8/22/18

Mixed martial arts league Combate Americas is launching its own TV studio, TheWrap has learned exclusively, making it the first MMA organization to start a production company. Veteran foreign film producer Stan Jakubowicz will run La Jaula Studios, which will create content for both linear television and digital platforms.

“Our mission with La Jaula Studios is to tell the bold, untold and unfiltered stories of the real-life heroism behind Combate’s fighters and their communities,” the Hispanic fight league and media company’s president, Jacqueline Hernandez, told TheWrap. “Stan’s proven creative expertise and uncontainable passion for this sport make him a perfect fit to lead La Jaula.”

La Jaula Studios, which will be based in New York, plans to target its content toward Hispanic millennials and Generation Z. Shows and other short-form content will be produced in Spanish, English and Portuguese, which production taking place in Latin America, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and the U.S., among other regions.

Also Read: Alberto Del Rio: 90 Percent of WWE Wrestlers Have Never Been in a Real Fight

La Jaula Studios will offer a variety of programming, including lifestyle-documentary to scripted series, feature films, short-form digital, social and mobile content – and customized, sponsor-branded interstitials that will air during highly-watched Combate Americas live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) television and digital events. This content will offer brands and advertisers a unique opportunity to connect with Combate Americas’ audience.

Jakubowicz’s film credits include “La Mujer de Mi Hermano,” “The German Doctor,” “Visitantes” and “El Inca.”

He has been Emmy-nominated as a television producer.

Also Read: ESPN Becomes Sole TV Home to UFC in $1.5 Billion Mega-Deal

Here are La Jaula’s initial projects, with descriptions in the company’s own words:

“Rootas “(working title, pictured above): A docuseries chronicling the lives of six Combate Americas fighters on their journey told first-hand through their eyes. The first episode will feature Mexican MMA superstar Erik “Goyito” Perez, as he heads to an unfamiliar world — Thailand — to train under legendary Muay Thai champion Buakaw Banchamek, a fighter whose unmatched speed and devastating knockout power in the ring has transformed him to one of the most sought-after commodities in the fight world.

“The Real Deal” A major motion picture and docuseries chronicling the life and career of Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano, the only female fighter and only Puerto Rican fighter in history to win five world boxing championships in five different weight divisions, as she sets her sights on achieving another unprecedented feat — becoming the first fighter in history to win a major MMA world championship while simultaneously retaining a world boxing title.

Related stories from TheWrap:

UFC's Andrea 'KGB' Lee Apologizes After Defending Husband's Swastika Tattoo (Photo)

Former WWE Star Emma Reveals Why She Bailed on UK's Ring of Honor Tour

How Hulk Hogan Apologized to WWE Locker Room for N-Word Use (Audio) | 8/21/18
Spain’s top soccer league, looking to increase its audience and the value of its media rights, will venture where other leagues have been loath to go. | 8/16/18
The Portuguese soccer star will pay about $22 million in back taxes and fines, but will avoid serving any time in jail. | 7/27/18
On Thursday, July 26, many Russians could see the phantom of the good old iron curtain falling between Russia and the West. The news came from the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina. Last week, United Russia MPs proposed amending the federal law about the procedure to leave and enter the territory of the Russian Federation. In accordance with these amendments, the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs should hold mandatory accreditation of all companies rendering intermediary visa registration services to Russian citizens. In order to obtain accreditation, a visa issuance company is supposed to have representative offices in at least 20 regions of the Russian Federation, whereas the share of foreign participation in the authorized capital of the company should not exceed 20 percent. In addition, applicants should have certified technical means to process confidential information (including biometric personal data). The amendments also require at least three years of experience in collecting and processing documents for obtaining visas on behalf of diplomatic missions and consular missions.According to the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina, none of  existing operators can meet the criteria proposed in the draft law. For example, it is unclear how they should comply with the requirement of foreign participation. Presently, there are six companies that run visa service centers in Russia: VFS Global, GVCW - Greece, VMS - Italy, BLS - Spain, India, TLS - Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium and Pony Express. The information on each of these companies is available to the public in the state register of legal entities.It is unlikely that these companies can be replaced with Russian ones: even if they meet all other requirements, Russian companies will not have three years of experience in rendering visa services. Needless to say that the adoption of amendments will trigger a mirror response from other countries. In this case, big plans to attract foreign tourists to Russia, especially after the World Cup, may not materialize.To make matters worse, residents of Russians regions will have to come to Moscow to get a visa to a foreign country. They will also have to spend many hours standing in long lines to visa departments of foreign embassies, as it was practiced during the 2000s. In a nutshell, all this is nothing but bad news that, if it becomes real, will complicate the lives of all Russian travelers. The news triggered countless "iron curtain" discussions in social media in Russia. The "iron curtain" has many holes in it as Russia has visa-free regime with many countries. Yet, the curtain would be very strong when it comes to a trip to Europe or to the States. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Sergei Krivonosov, (United Russia) said that the Russian authorities, on the contrary, seek to minimize visa restrictions."At the initiative of the president, we are currently preparing proposals to simplify visa procedures. There are a number of countries that have already simplified the procedure to issue visas for Russian citizens. I haven't heard of the initiative that you're talking about. The State Duma's Subcommittee on Tourism (Sergei Krivonosov heads it - ed.) works to simplify visa procedures," the MP told Pravda.Ru. "We do want to make the procedure simpler, because we've had problems with bankruptcies of tour operators. We believe that an electronic visa can help. I am sure that there is no iron curtain of any type involved," Sergei Krivonosov added. Oleg ArtyukovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez was approached by the Spanish Football Federation about taking temporary charge of Spain at the World Cup, BBC Sport understands. | 7/18/18
There is an English soccer team which has toured the US and Spain, seen hundreds of thousands of fans tune into their weekend matches and played in some of the sport's most hallowed arenas against stars like Steven Gerrard. The team's captain alone h... | 7/6/18
Anna Kournikova shared adorable snaps of her and partner Enrique Iglesias' twins ahead of Russia and Spain World Cup soccer match on Sunday.
How did Russia celebrate a famous World Cup win over Spain? BBC Sport's Patrick Jennings found out watching from a bar in Samara. | 7/1/18
How did Russia celebrate a famous World Cup win over Spain? BBC Sport's Patrick Jennings found out watching from a bar in Samara. | 7/1/18
Russia’s Denis Cheryshev has spent most of his life in Spain—and it shows. | 6/25/18

Check out the week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities and characters.

A “Black Panther” fan-favorite and three soccer superstars had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past seven days.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement AI company, for a weekly look at some of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. The data below covers June 13-19 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Also Read: MTV Awards: Michael B Jordan's 'Shocked' He Won Best Villain With Roseanne Barr Out There (Video)

Of the big drivers of emotionality during the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, which generated 147,644 Emotional Reactions (ERs), one standout was Chadwick Boseman. He took home two awards for his performance in “Black Panther”: Best Hero and Best Actor in a Movie. Viewers particularly loved how he gave his hero award to James Shaw Jr., the man who stopped the Waffle House gunman earlier this year.

Also Read: Tiffany Haddish's Best Jokes From the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

That was so nice of @chadwickboseman to give him the award! #MTVAwards

— #TannehillSZN ???????? (@Richboyhawkins1) June 19, 2018


— bea ???? (@lovelytruce) June 19, 2018

He just gave away his award! What a man!!! Chadwick Boseman #mtvawards

— Brenda L Thomas (@AuthorBLThomas) June 19, 2018

How can you not love @chadwickboseman after that? Wow.

— Shannon Boorstein (@ShannyLou929) June 19, 2018

Also Read: World Cup 2018: How to Watch on TV, Online

Cristiano Ronaldo was by far the biggest driver of conversation during the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Spain and Portugal, which was broadcast on Fox and Telemundo and generated over 110,400 ERs. Although Ronaldo usually plays for Real Madrid, he joins Portuguese countrymen for the World Cup, and during the first match netted himself a hat trick, or three goals. Although the score ended up being tied at 3-3, viewers showered him with praise and adoration.


— Joaquin (@JNlatinoginga) June 15, 2018


— Daniel Watt (@Danwatt8) June 15, 2018

One word.


Take a bow Ronaldo!!! Unreal! ????????????????

— DAÛFIN (@daufinmusic) June 15, 2018

Ronaldo is good at soccer

— Scott Masterson (@cjanneyfan23) June 15, 2018

Two players stood out during the Germany vs. Mexico World Cup match (broadcast on Fox Sports and Telemundo with over 94,305 ERs): Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and Hirving Lozano, both on the Mexican team. Lozano managed to score the match’s only goal, giving Mexico a surprise upset victory over Germany, while Chicharito seemed to frustrate viewers over and over again.

Also Read: Trevor Noah Is 'a Little Turned on, but Mostly Scared' by Russia's World Cup Image Makeover (Video)

I’ve been saying it for a few years, Hirving Lozano is a baller.

— Matt Delao (@mattdelao) June 17, 2018

Hirving Lozano is a national treasure protect him at any cost !

— Bricosuave (@bricosuavecito) June 17, 2018

Chicharito with the horrible pass

— Charles (@CharlesDynasty_) June 17, 2018

Reason 9000 I hate Chicharito

— Q (@ItsDMcCumber18) June 17, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Roseanne Barr, Tiffany Haddish, Chadwick Boseman Make Time's 100 Most Influential People List

'Black Panther' Star Chadwick Boseman Surprises Grateful Fans on Fallon (Video)

Cristiano Ronaldo Slide-Tackles TV With 2 New Projects | 6/20/18
BBC Sport pundit and World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas spills the beans on the 2018 Spain squad in Russia. | 6/20/18
BBC Sport pundits heap praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after his memorable display secures Portugal a point against Spain in a six-goal World Cup thriller. | 6/16/18
BBC Sport pundits heap praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after his memorable display secures Portugal a point against Spain in a six-goal World Cup thriller. | 6/16/18
[Tunis Afrique Presse] Tunis/Tunisia -Line-up of Tunisia's soccer team at their last friendly ahead of the 2018 World Cup against Spain's Saturday evening (1945 Tunisian time) in Krasnodar. | 6/13/18
The Spanish soccer federation has fired coach Julen Lopetegui two days before the country's opening World Cup match against Portugal. | 6/13/18
The last time that Shakira spent a lot of time in the U.S. was when she coached Seasons 4 and 6 of  The Voice back in 2013 and 2014. These days the Colombian-born, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter makes her home in Barcelona, Spain, where she resides with her partner, Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, and their two […]

Universal has released “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” two weeks ahead of its U.S. release in 48 countries and has taken the No. 1 spot in all of them with $151.1 million grossed worldwide.

The fifth film in the “Jurassic” franchise was particularly a big hit in South Korea, where it has made $27.2 million and has set a new opening day record and a studio opening weekend record. Other top markets include the U.K. ($19.9 million), France ($10 million), Spain ($9.5 million), and Germany $9.1 million. All of these countries have teams that will be competing in the FIFA World Cup next weekend, and Universal has released the film there to give it a strong runway before the international soccer tournament kicks off.

Also Read: How Summer Blockbusters Are Dribbling Around the World Cup Schedule

Jurassic World is a genre of one, and each film within this franchise is engineered as a global event,” said Duncan Clark, Universal’s President of International Distribution.  “Audiences gravitate to the nostalgia, storytelling and spectacle, and from this outstanding foundation we are set for a lengthy international playout, with major markets–including China, Australia, Latin America and North America–yet to open.”

On IMAX screens, “Fallen Kingdom” made $8 million from 277 locations, and is expected to make much more when the sequel arrives in China on June 15. After that will come Australia and Brazil on June 21, and North America on June 22.

While “Fallen Kingdom” isn’t expected to match the then-summer record $1.67 billion the first “Jurassic World” made worldwide in 2015, the film is well on its way to becoming Universal’s next big billion dollar hit as they attempt to restore the “Jurassic” series to the tentpole franchise status it enjoyed in the 90s. In the U.S., “Fallen Kingdom” is projected for an opening of $130-140 million.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Film Review: Dinos Return in a Sequel Drained of Suspense

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Ready to Devour $130 Million on Opening Weekend

'Jurassic World' Ride to Swap in for 'Jurassic Park' One at Universal Studios (Video) | 6/10/18

Next week, the FIFA World Cup will kick off in Russia and, inevitably, monopolize the attention of countless millions of soccer fans worldwide. So if you’re a Hollywood studio with a major summer blockbuster coming out over the next four weekends, how do you work around the biggest single-event sports competition in the world?

Universal and Disney have adopted differing release strategies for their respective “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp” to deal with the singular World Cup challenge. Particularly in Europe, where several major markets have teams expected to make runs deep into the tournament. For Universal, that’s a large reason why “Fallen Kingdom” is being released this week in 48 countries, well before American audiences get to see it.

Duncan Clark, Universal’s head of international distribution, says Europe will get “Fallen Kingdom” two weeks ahead of the U.S. in order to give the film eight days in theaters before the World Cup kicks off. Eight of the countries in this first release wave will have teams competing in the Cup’s opening weekend, including defending champion Germany.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Crumbled at the Box Office

“The first couple of weeks there are games every day, but once you get to the playoff rounds the matches happen every three days or so,” he said. “Sometimes you have a matchup at that point between two major teams, but on the flipside you could have a top country in a match that isn’t a must-win or is against a nominal opponent.”

One territory that studios won’t have to worry about is South America. Even though Argentina and Brazil are perennial World Cup contenders, the time zone difference — the farthest-west part of Russia is 6 hours ahead of Brazil — means that those countries will be watching Neymar and Messi compete in the morning, well before primetime for movie theaters.

Disney, meanwhile, has two films that will be competing against the World Cup: “The Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” For the Mouse House, working their release dates around Europe’s passion for footy is a simple repeat of the release strategy it used three years ago when the first “Ant-Man” hit theaters in July.

Also Read: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Ready to Finish Off 'Solo'

Back then, “Ant-Man” came out in the U.S. three weeks after Pixar’s “Inside Out,” a film that grossed $857 million worldwide. Disney always puts out summer Pixar films during weekends that coincide with kids in different countries being out on school break.

This meant that for “Ant-Man,” Disney had to treat the film differently than they do for most Marvel movies, where release dates are kept close together — in part to mitigate spoilers — and the film is released in the U.S. after a large suit of other countries. Instead, the U.S. was part of the first wave of release in mid-July, with 25 other countries getting “Ant-Man” in the following weeks.

So for “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” which will come out in the U.S. on the same weekend as the World Cup quarterfinals, Disney will stretch out the overseas dates to give Scott Lang some distance from “Incredibles 2.” Most notably, major soccer nations like France, Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., Spain, and Portugal will get the film after the World Cup final takes place on July 15.

Also Read: New 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Teaser Unleashes Ghost (Video)

Clark says that while the World Cup is always something that can’t be ignored when releasing summer flicks, the rapid popularity growth of sports over the past decade has given him and his peers plenty of experience dealing with it.

“For a long time now, we’ve been used to competing with sports events  as the broadcasting deals for the World Cup and the Olympics and other big sports have gotten bigger and bigger,” he said. “Two years ago, we were scheduling our films around the Olympics and the Euro Cup, and we did well with ‘The Secret Life of Pets.'”

“Sports have become so pervasive year-round, but they have a pretty fixed schedule and we know how to handle them.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Film Review: Dinos Return in a Sequel Drained of Suspense

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Ready to Finish Off 'Solo'

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Ready to Devour $130 Million on Opening Weekend | 6/8/18

Discovery and the PGA Tour have struck a massive $2 billion deal for tournament rights outside of the United States through 2030. That’s a lot of green — and we’re not just talking about the putting surfaces.

The pricey (and lengthy) alliance, which tees off next year, will result in about 2,000 hours of content annually and nearly 150 tournaments, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup. It will grant Discovery the exclusive non-U.S. television and multiplatform rights to all PGA Tour golf events by 2024 — here is a timetable for implementation:

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain
Poland, South Korea
Belgium, China, Germany, South Africa
Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Sweden, UK

Also Read: Former 'Deadliest Catch' Skipper Blake Painter Found Dead at 38

About those multiplatform rights: Together, Discovery and the PGA Tour will develop a new PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service to serve 220 markets and territories.

“Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA Tour to create something that has never been done before,” David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said. “The long-term partnership between the PGA Tour and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes. Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the U.S.”

“This is an exciting next step for the PGA Tour, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner,” added Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour. “This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf. It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”

Also Read: Jon Hamm's Impression of Ray Romano Playing Golf Is Simply the Best (Video)

The partnership will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, who is president and general manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture. His management team will include the PGA Tour’s Thierry Pascal as head of distribution.

Kaplan previously was an executive vice president at Eurosport Digital, where he helped grow the Eurosport D2C business to over 1 million subscribers. Prior to joining Discovery, Kaplan was a senior vice president of global media distribution for the NBA.

“I am incredibly excited to work with David Zaslav and JB Perrette to take international coverage of PGA Tour golf to the next level,” Kaplan said. “We can’t wait to get started and build a world-class global platform and long-term distribution strategy to turn the vision of this partnership into a reality. By joining forces with the outstanding PGA Tour team, led by Jay Monahan and Rick Anderson, we have a unique opportunity to build an amazing product that will serve the fans with the golf content they love on every screen.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Discovery Lost Money in Q1 Due to Huge Scripps Deal

Discovery Boss David Zaslav's Pay Rose Above $42 Million Last Year

Rich Ross Out at Discovery: Company Unveils Post-Scripps Senior Executive Team | 6/4/18
BBC Sport looks back on Nigel de Jong's 'karate kick' into Xabi Alonso's chest during the 2010 World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain in South Africa. | 5/1/18

Richard Gere has found love again with new wife Alejandra Silva.

The 68-year-old actor married the 35-year-old activist in a secret ceremony earlier this month after first reconnecting in 2014 and dating since then. The two live together in New York and often pose together for her Instagram in sweet photos.

A source close to the couple says the two married “weeks and weeks ago” and are “extraordinarily happy.”

“They’re so comfortable with each other, have fun together and are looking forward to their future together,” the source tells PEOPLE.

Read on for what we know about Gere’s third wife.

They’ve known each other since she was young

Silva believes the universe is on her side when it comes to her relationship with the Pretty Woman star. The activist told Hola! in 2015 that Gere had been a family friend and they had known each other for over a decade. Silva said they were immediately attracted to each other the moment they reconnected years later.

“Our karma was attracted the moment we saw each other,” she said. “I’m not ignoring our age difference and what it means to be with a Hollywood star, but when there’s such a strong karmic energy, the problems disappear.”

Her dad is a successful businessman and soccer club VP

Silva’s dad, Ignacio Silva Botas, was the Vice President of Spanish soccer club Real Madrid from 1995-2000. Before that, Botas was a successful businessman who moved his family to Madrid when Silva was a child.

Silva ran in Madrid’s elite circles while she was young and attended some of the top private schools in the city. She also was close to Real Madrid players due to her dad’s affiliation and was romantically linked to player Roberto Carlos.

She runs a foundation to combat homelessness in Spain

Silva runs Rais Fundacion, a non-profit aiming to eradicate homelessness in Spain in five years (the word rais means roots in Spanish). The activist often speaks about her mission and told Hola! back in 2015 that she has gone method to understand the problems homeless people face in her country.

“I’ve slept on the street to understand the struggle of the homeless,” Silva said. “I’m not scared of rolling up my sleeves and diving into work. If I do something, I put 100% effort in. If I can’t I’d rather not do it.”

Activism is a common passion the newly-married couple share. The foundation hosted a screening of Gere’s movie The Dinner in December 2017 and he often attends events benefitting Rais with Silva. She told Hola! that Gere’s philanthropic instinct is one of the things that draws her to the actor.

“What I love most about him is his humanitarian side. He’s a very empathetic person,” she said.

She has a son from her previous marriage

Just like Gere, Silva has a son from her last marriage. She welcomed 5-year-old Albert in December 2012 with ex-husband Govin Friedland, the son of American billionaire Robert Martin Friedland. The couple used to reside in Italy with their son until divorcing in 2014.

Silva opened up about her long distance relationship with Gere in 2015, revealing that the two would see each other when they’re kids were with their exes. Gere shares 17-year-old son Homer with ex wife Carey Lowell.

“It’s hard to coordinate, but we don’t go more than 20 days without seeing each other,” she told Hola!.

Silva has since moved to New York to live with Gere, where she posts pictures of the family out on walks. She even posted an adorable shot of Gere walking with Albert on his shoulders.

The two often get cozy on her Instagram

Silva’s Instagram is filled with loving shots of the two amidst her posts about her humanitarian work.

“So grateful to have you in my life, extraordinary and special human being, you have my life, making me see what is really important. Undeniable! love you with all my heart,” she wrote about her now-husband. | 4/23/18
MADRID — On March 5, Spain’s top soccer division, La Liga, along with Amazon Prime Video and Mediapro, Southern Europe’s largest independent TV content creator, announced a new docu-series focused on the league, “Six Dreams.” Sat between representatives from the two media giants, both of whom are likely candidates to bid in upcoming TV rights […] | 3/8/18
Spanish police say an officer has died after clashes between police and soccer fans before a Europa League match on Thursday. | 2/22/18

The “quad king” reigns.

Eighteen-year-old Nathan Chen rebounded on Saturday from back-to-back disappointments in his first two Olympic skates to land six quadruple jumps in a single routine — something that no one here has ever done before.

Almost all of them he spun off fast and easy as a top, showing the same skill that has twice made him the U.S. figure skating champion. It was a fitting if surprising finale to his last competitive appearance at the 2018 Winter Games.

After Chen finished his free skate (which aired Friday night stateside), the crowd in South Korea’s Gangneung Ice Arena roared to their feet for a standing ovation as he appeared visibly pleased, even relieved, in the middle of the rink

Gold medalist Tara Lipinski, providing commentary for NBC, declared, “He’s superhuman.”

Deviating from his planned routine (and, he said, without consulting his coach first), Chen decided to add the sixth quad not long before he took the ice.

“I literally had nothing to lose,” he told reporters afterward. “I had already made a bunch of mistakes. If I make a couple of mistakes in long, so be it. I just decided to go for it.”

“Definitely, there was a lot about redemption,” he said. “Honestly, I just wanted to leave here satisfied with what I have done, and I definitely am.”


Chen landed cleanly on five out of the six quadruple jumps and slipped the landing on another, putting a hand to the ice, but he still fit in all four rotations.

Such a quad-heavy performance earned him a score of 215.08, which combined with his middling short program score of 82.27, gave Chen a total of 297.35 in the men’s event — strong enough for a while for the No. 1 spot, though he was eventually pushed down to fifth.

In the end Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu took the top spot, making him the first repeat men’s gold medalist in more than 60 years. Following him were Shoma Uno, also of Japan, Spain’s Javier Fernandez and China’s Boyang Jin.

Judged by the free skate alone, however, Chen ranked first. He missed the podium only because of such weak results in the short program on Friday. His longer second program catapulted him from 17th place after the short to fifth, and for a time he had spectators wondering if he would eek out a spot on the podium after all.

To a throng of reporters on Saturday afternoon Chen explained how, in the hours before the free skate, he considered and ultimately decided to attempt six quads: “It was sort of an anger thing. I was just like, ‘Aw screw it, I’m going to try it.’ ” He thought about it before falling asleep after his short program and then committed himself the next morning.

With hindsight, he conceded that his earlier performances at the Games had been shaken by the pressure of the global spotlight.

But once he fell so far it was as though he could forget about trying to reach so high.

“I think, honestly, putting down a rough short program and being so low in the placement just took the pressure away from me,” he said.

Nathan Chen about his six-quad free: "I already fell so many times… I just decided to go out there and throw down and see what happens." #PyeongChang2018

— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) February 17, 2018

“I no longer felt like I was striving for that first-place spot,” he continued. “It mostly was just me being out on the ice and enjoying myself, playing to the crowd and really soaking in the Olympic experience.”

Gone were his nerves, he said.

“After putting down such a disastrous short program and being so, so low in the ranking — lower than I am usually ever — allowed me to completely forget about results,” he said, “and I was able to completely enjoy myself out on the ice and getting rid of expectations helped a lot.”

Chen’s teammate Adam Rippon, with whom he shares a coach, spoke warmly of Chen’s comeback after his own free skate.

“I skate with Nathan every day and he has had such a rough effing week,” Rippon, 28, told the press. “And for him to kind of put that all behind him and skate so well today — I saw him before I had my six-minute warmup and he was in street clothes and I gave him a huge hug and I said, ‘I’m so proud of you.’ The weight of the world was on him.”

After Chen’s skate, the kudos poured in online from skating royalty.

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

What?!?!?! Completely inhuman display of ridiculousness!!! 6 quads…beautiful skating. Guys beyond. Congratulations @nathanwchen (excuse my chicken scratch) #bowdown #figureskating

— Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) February 17, 2018

Chen – Complete package good for you. This is who we waited for. Like Beyonce you're back on the stage

— Dick Button (@PushDicksButton) February 17, 2018

REDEMPTION! @nathanwchen Throws down a PHENOMENAL Free Skate. So happy for him!
He did it! #courage #awesome

— Scott Hamilton (@ScottHamilton84) February 17, 2018

Chen, a Salt Lake City native, wraps up his first Olympics on a positive note after a series of surprising errors marred his first two appearances, seemingly getting worse the longer he skated.

Considered Team USA’s best hope for a figure skating gold medal before heading to South Korea, Chen fell last week during his short program in the skating team event.

In a reprisal of that routine on Thursday, Chen fell again — and then again. Afterward he told reporters he “made as many mistakes as I possibly could have.”

“It was rough again,” he said then. “I still need some time to think about it. It happens, and I guess I try to move on from here.”

It remained unclear how Chen would recover just a day after his free skate, having already claimed he was correcting from the first short program to the second and then turning in an error-prone performance.

But pull it off he did, proving the worth of the “quad king” nickname that has followed him around in headlines (and as a star of NBC’s Olympics promotion).

RELATED VIDEO: Kids Interview the 2018 Winter Olympic Athletes

Chen is now the first skater to complete six quads (five clean) in a single program, the first to do so in an Olympic event and the first — and only — skater to be able to land five of the six kinds of quad jumps, in which skaters must spin a full four times in the air.

Only one other competitor even attempted something similar in Korea: fellow American skater Vincent Zhou, 17, who nearly landed all five planned quads in his own Olympic free skate on Saturday, finishing sixth.

After he competed Saturday, Chen was asked about a return to the Winter Games in 2022. As a child, he memorably resolved to make the Olympics in 2018 and did so. What next?

“I still haven’t been able to stitch up the dream that I have had,” he said. “Although I am here, I want to be on the top of the podium someday.”

As bronze medalist and retired skater Tim Goebel told Wired last week of Chen: “He has defined the current limit of the sport.”

“For the time being,” Goebel said, “he’s set the standard.”

The Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit | 2/17/18

This preview focuses on private, invite-only events aimed at a professional industry audience of stakeholders in the Academy Awards.

As soon as Oscar voting closes on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PST, the Academy’s prohibition on “non-screening events” ends. Party season begins again. Here’s a first look at the top gatherings of nominees and creative ensembles before and after Jimmy Kimmel hosts the big show on Sunday, March 4.

Also Read: Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year's Oscars

The Oscar Concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Logline: The great Michael Giacchino (an Oscar-winning Academy Governor) led a team making fresh arrangements of this year’s nominated scores. The L.A. Phil will perform them live with film clips.

Tickets: Unlike everything else from here down, this is open to the public. Tickets start at $43.

Vanity Fair, Barneys New York, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Cocktail Party
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Cocktail with one of the season’s buzziest films, “Call Me by Your Name,” while servicing one of the mag’s many advertising clients touching Oscar week.

Global Green’s 15th Anniversary Oscar Party
Neuehouse Hollywood

Logline: The CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will be honored but the Oscar-winning environmentalist himself is not expected. Stepping into the spotlight instead: Sophia Bush, Elisabeth Röhm, Sharon Lawrence and Ed O’Neill.

Thursday, March 1

Cadillac Celebrates the 90th Academy Awards
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Michael Patrick’s soiree always draws a mix of familiar faces (Zoe Saldana, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Joel McHale) and some news ones (Angela Sarafyan, Jay Ellis) at one of the most social industry gatherings of the week.

Connection: As the Academy’s official wheels, Cadillac will be shuttling nominees and presenters across town all week to many of the events listed below.

Gersh Oscar Party
Chateau Marmont Penthouse

Logline: The agency and Tequila Don Julio 1942 will raise a glass to the agency’s nominees Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins.

Lookout: I don’t envy the elegant face of the Chateau, Anya Varda, and her team that night. March is coming in like a lion.

Also Read: 'Faces Places' Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

Vanity Fair and Lancôme Paris Toast Women in Hollywood
Soho House

Logline: Oscar week doubles as a debut for Graydon Carter’s successor, new top editor Radhika Jones. The high-end cosmetics brand will make a donation to Time’s Up on behalf of the guests, who include Ava DuVernay.

Universal, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation Oscar Nominee Celebration Dinner

Gary Oldman and Leo DiCaprio buddied up at the Chateau at a party for “Darkest Hour” earlier this awards season. (Focus Features)

Logline: There’a pile of nominees and nominations here with Focus having a banner year (“Darkest Hour,” “Phantom Thread,” and “Victoria & Abdul”).  A year ago, Universal was not scheduling Oscar week plans for “Get Out,” but after Jordan Peele’s commercial and critical hit took off, that all changed.

Friday, March 2

British Consul General Michael Howells’ Film is Great Reception
British Consul General’s Residence in Hancock Park

Logline: Don’t tell the ultra-nationalist xenophobes. The foreigners are already here.

There are U.K.-born nominees in 17 of the 24 Oscar categories and representation in five of the top races: Best Picture (“The Darkest Hour,” “The Phantom Thread,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manvill), Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman), and Director (Christopher Nolan).

Feature: Host Michael Howells gave one of the best speeches of this awards season at BAFTA’s Golden Globes weekend Tea Party. Take note and shut up when he addresses his backyard.

Also Read: Royal Wedding Chatter at BAFTA: Hollywood-Royal Merger 'Is Great News' (Photos)

Pours: Even the bar is British. Sponsors include Silent Pool Gin, Aberlour Whiskey, Chapel Down (English Sparkling Wine), Seedlip (non-alcoholic spirit) and Fever Tree tonics.

Emma Stone hosts Women in Film’s Celebration of the 2018 Female Oscar Nominees
Crustacean, Beverly Hills

Power Women: Emma Stone and Patty Jenkins in a Party Report file photo from the AFI Life Achievement Award. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Logline: The reigning Best Actress winner (and in the famous flub, also announced as the Best Picture winner) joins Women in Film president Cathy Schulman and the community of female nominees from both sides of the camera.

The industry’s reckoning of institutionalized gender inequality and systemic sexual assault engulfed Hollywood, and Schulman’s been sounding the alarm for years. How WiF addresses the state of the industry on its biggest weekend will set the tone for what happens as as we turn the page to a new “industry year.”

Also Read: 'Crashing' Star Jamie Lee on Comedy in the #MeToo Era: 'Things Are Not That Funny Right Now' (Video)

Friday evening, Private Residence

Who’s Who: Kobe Bryant, the champ of this year’s Oscars gatherings, should be there. Add nominees Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, Guillermo del Toro, Dee Rees, Christopher Nolan, Luca Guadagnino, Hans Zimmer, James Mangold and Michael Green to the list and call it a top crowd.

Bonus: The agency will also raise a glass to nominated projects “Call Me by Your Name,” “Mudbound” and “The Square,” all of which hail from Endeavor Content.

Saturday, March 3

Film Independent Spirit Awards
A Tent on the Beach: 1550 Pacific Coast Highway Lot 1 North Santa Monica

(Mikey Glazer)

Logline: The industry’s booziest daytime bash of the year. Everyone heeds Film Independent President Josh Welsh’s mantra to “leave the thank-you notes at home,” adding to a celebratory day that begins in the lounges outside the main tent as early as 11 a.m.

Sony Pictures Classics Annual Oscar Nominees Dinner
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

January 2017 at Sundance: Luca Guadagnino, Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Walter Fasano (TheWrap)

Why they will be smiling: This is the finish line. The “Call Me by Your Name” troika — Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and director Luca Guadagnino — end the 14-month promotional tour that started back at Sundance 2017.

Other Nominees: SPC will also toast its two foreign language nominees, “A Fantastic Woman” (from Chile) and “Loveless” (from Russia).

MPTF’s Annual “Night Before”
Fox Studios

Logline: The MPTF is where the gatekeepers and power brokers in the industry convene on the night before the Oscars. This is an invite worth fighting for. Make a big donation and step in to Jeffrey Katzenberg’s circle.

Sign of the times: YouTube joins the list of blue-chip corporate sponsors.

Oscars Viewing Parties on Sunday, March 4

*Top Invite* – 2018 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Custom built complext in West Hollywood Park

Logline: The most choice invite if you’re not seated in the first 15 rows of the Kodak Theatre itself.

Do: drink top-shelf champagne and feast on cuisine from a Michelin three-star restaurant in Spain with a great cross section of Hollywood.

Don’t: Don’t try to take any pictures of Sir Elton or stand too close to his head table. You may be excused for asking frequent guest Robert Kraft what happened in the Super Bowl. By 8:45 or so, trophy winners start pouring in as the telecast on screen comes to you.

Charity Component: Contributing to the EJAF mission, presenting sponsor BVLGARI is donating a 13 carat white gold diamond necklace, the “BVLGARI DIVISSIMA” to the live auction.

Wow Booking: Greta Van Fleet. This is a return to prime form for the EJAF, welcoming a big up-and-coming band heralded as a savior of guitar rock, not a nostalgia act. Because all 42 of the headlining dates on their first U.S. tour sold out in advance and they’re headed to Coachella, the four Michigan boys are a choice dessert on the evening.

Byron Allen’s Second Annual Entertainment Studios Gala
Beverly Wilshire

Logline: Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx will perform at the benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last year’s inaugural event raised $1 million, and “Byron hopes to raise even more again this year,” a rep for Entertainment Studios tells the Party Report.

Also Read: Oscars Box Office: Can Best Picture Contenders Turn Nominations Into Big Bucks?

IMDb Live Viewing Party
Neuehouse in Hollywood

Logline: This is part party, part live broadcast. Dave Karger, Kevin Smith and other IMDb talent will provide live commentary on the show that will stream across IMDb platforms.

Guests: About 300 industry types.

Notables: Last year, Issa Rae and Aisha Tyler were among the crowd about a mile away from the actual show.

Mercedes-Benz Viewing Party
Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

Logline: The Four Seasons is an Oscars week base camp, so this is sort of like watching the golf tournament from the clubhouse. Last year was a mixed bag of names from Housewives (Kandi Burruss) to 1980s basketball star Ralph Sampson, to ESPN’s man in L.A., Stan Verrett.

Also Read: Syria Blocks 'Last Men In Aleppo' Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

Nordstrom Local Oscar Viewing Party for the Fashion Industry
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

Logline: With New York’s fashion week two weeks in the rearview mirror, the style set can kick back here before hitting the after parties.

Oscars After-Parties

The Academy’s Governors Ball
Dolby Ballroom above the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland

Logline: They have a lot of “make-up” homework to do after last year’s Governors Ball drowned in the surreal wake of the Oscars envelope flub.

Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills

Radhika Jones (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Logline: It’s the first outing for new Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones (above). She steps into the bridge of a ship that Graydon Carter built and is already making waves. On Feb. 15, a round of layoffs included Jane Sarkin and Beth Kseniak, two founding mothers of VF Oscar night that has been the “toughest invite in town” over the past 24 years.

Also Read: Editor Purge at Vanity Fair, Glamour: More Than 15 Ousted

On the brighter (or sadder?) side of “recently separated” news, single Jennifer Aniston should be there. Forget the Brad Pitt sequel rumors. Please, let her show up with Angelina Jolie.

Details on other late night soirees to come.

Please send invites, updates, and details to the party and event contributor Mikey Glazer here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year's Oscars

Syria Blocks 'Last Men In Aleppo' Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

'Faces Places' Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

Kobe Bryant, Diversity Talk Dominate Oscar Nominees Luncheon | 2/16/18
Nine Saudi players have headed to Spain ahead of this summer’s World Cup as part of an agreement between the Saudi Arabian soccer federation and La Liga. | 2/9/18
BBC Sport brings you live coverage of Great Britain's World Group tie against Spain in the Davis Cup on TV, online and mobile app. | 2/1/18

Britain’s Aardman ranks alongside Pixar and Studio Ghibli as one of this generation’s greatest animation studios, from early shorts like “Creature Comforts” to the ongoing adventures of Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit to such beloved features as “Chicken Run” and “Arthur Christmas.” So it’s more than a little disappointing that Aardman’s latest, “Early Man,” is so crushingly mediocre.

When a studio has made some of the finest animation in the history of cinema, it’s quite a letdown to describe their new movie as better than the “Ice Age” series but not quite up to “The Croods.”

Like those other titles, this is a tale of cavemen, although in this case the Stone Age comes butting up against the Bronze Age. And while there are countless paths by which one could portray such a clash of cultures, Aardman vet Nick Park and a trio of writers decided the best way to tell this story was with … a soccer game. (Sorry, football.)

Also Read: 'Animaniacs': Hulu, Warner Bros. Partner on '90s Cartoon Reboot

Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) is a member of a tribe that subsists on rabbit; it’s a bit of a miracle that they have managed to survive since, despite their smooth teamwork as hunters, they would appear to be fairly inept. (To say nothing of the fact that one little bunny is expected to feed a dozen or so people.) Despite the tribal chief (Timothy Spall) poo-poohing Dug’s dreams of hunting mammoths, mammoths come to them as the beasts of burden of Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), a higher-up in a nearby kingdom that has fully embraced bronze mining and production.

Dug and his friends are kicked out of the valley by Lord Nooth’s mining interests, and Dug realizes the only way to get his home back is to challenge Lord Nooth’s champion football team to a match. The cavemen are hopeless at first, but Goona (Maisie Williams) — who dreams of being the first female footballer — whips the knuckle-dragging team into shape. But can Dug still lead the squad after he realizes that his tribe’s ancestors not only invented football but were also terrible at it? Will Lord Nooth’s cheating keep these underdogs from winning the day?

Also Read: Oscars' Sci-Tech Awards Go to Animation, Rigging, Crane Systems

Had “Early Man” chosen to satirize sports-movie tropes rather than merely indulge in them, the results might have been more fun. There’s so much familiarity to the proceedings that by the time we get to the requisite kid-movie messaging (you are not a slave to destiny, teamwork is good), it’s all the more apparent that there aren’t enough solid jokes or interesting characters or careful plotting to distract us from the inevitable.

The titular early men (and women) are mostly interchangeable, and even our protagonist Dug never really changes or learns all that much over the course of the film. Over in the more civilized area, Lord Nooth isn’t a particularly interesting villain; he’s merely greedy and somewhat effete. Even the preening divas on his football team are fairly flat star-athlete archetypes.

Watch Video: Watch Hilarious 'Call Me by Your Name' and 'Monsters University' Mashup Trailer

It’s immediately apparent that the trademark Aardman humor is in short supply, since the first five minutes feels like leftover shtick from “The Flintstones” (baby crocodile clothespins) and Douglas Adams (the opening cards tell us we’re in “The Neo-Pleistocene Era” (beat) “near Manchester” (best) “around lunchtime”). The visuals and the character designs are unspectacular — those piggy noses on most of Dug’s tribe are distractingly awful — as is the high-profile voice cast.

Rob Bryden (“The Trip to Spain”) easily steals scenes as a message bird (which mimics its sender’s voice) and a pair of football commentators. (Their jokes about cricket and Man United will no doubt play better in the UK than in the States.)

There’s a mild chuckle every so often in “Early Man” — “You’ve barely touched your primordial soup!” — but overall the movie collapses in a heap of familiarity and lackadaisicalness. Park is an animation legend, but even the greats occasionally whiff it.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Donald Trump Is an Animated Idiot in Stephen Colbert's 'Our Cartoon President' Trailer (Video)

Bob Givens, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd Animator, Dies at 99

'She-Ra' Reboot, 'Boss Baby' Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

Women Animators Pen Open Letter on Sexual Harassment: 'This Abuse Has Got to Stop' | 1/14/18
[Foroyaa] Bakary Njie has said his goodbyes to Bulgarian football after spending four years there, Foroyaa Sport can report. | 1/12/18
A French soccer player went full-on blackface for an '80s costume party ... and quickly apologized for thinking it was okay. Antoine Griezmann -- a star striker for Spain's Atletico Madrid --- posted a photo and video of himself Sunday… | 12/18/17

Sport in Spain in the second half of 20th century has been dominated by football. Other popular sport activities include basketball, tennis, cycling, handball, motorcycling, Formula One, water sports, golf, and skiing. Spain has also hosted a number of international events such as the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1982 FIFA World Cup. With Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon championships in 2008 and 2010, the 2006 World Basketball Championship, the 2009 Basketball Eurocup, the 2008 Tennis Davis Cup, Atletico Madrid UEFA Europa League 2010, FC Barcelona European success in 2006 and 2009, the football team bringing home the Euro 2008 trophy & the 2010 FIFA World Cup trophy and Carlos Sastre's Tour de France triumph more recently, several papers have looked beyond Sastre's win to claim that Spain is enjoying something of a sporting "Golden Age"-similar to the Spanish 17th century domination in painting and literature.

From dbpedia, under creative commons CC-BY-SA | hosting | | |