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Campari America(LOS ANGELES) -- While actor Ryan Reynolds made headlines in February for buying Portland-based spirits company Aviation Gin, his red-suited alter-ego Deadpool just snagged his own booze-based promotional gig, for Tequila brand Espolòn.

"We are excited to announce that the loquacious anti-hero Deadpool, will assume the role [of our] Creative Director for Culture ‘n Stuff," said Christine Moll, Marketing Director for the tequila brand's parent company Campari America, in a statement.

"While Deadpool has absolutely zero experience in marketing anything other than himself, Espolòn has taken brave, bold chances with marketing in the past and so will entrust Deadpool to bring his self-declared 'creative genius' to a movie-themed ad campaign."

The Merc with the Mouth himself admits in a statement he's taking the job for, well, mercenary reasons --"I needed the money" -- but also took a jab at Reynolds himself: "There is absolutely no reason why that Canadian gobstopper is getting all the glory. I’m a legit superhero. He’s just some guy who’s famous thanks to those two girls and that pizza place," -- the latter a reference to Reynolds short-lived sitcom.

Deadpool has already started earning his keep, with a series of ads that fit the cheeky character perfectly. One shows a cut-out Deadpool head hastily taped on a bathing woman's body, and the legend, "Anytime is bath time with Espolòn." 

Deadpool 2 hits theaters nationwide on May 18th.

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ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) -- Kerry Washington is slaying Essence's May issue as one of the "Woke 100."

Washington is named Essence's "woke honoree" in the issue, joining the list of those who are changing the game in film, television, social justice and more. A few of those nominees include Tarana Burke, Jemele Hill, Anita Hill, the late Erica Garner, Robin Thede, Gabrielle Union, Lena Waithe, and Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter.

Washington, who last week took her final bow as Washington D.C. fixer Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal, is also reflecting on what her hit character has meant to her.

“I feel like whenever I play a character, I feel she comes into my life to teach me something," Washington said. "I’ve never had the privilege of playing a character for this long, but of the many things Olivia Pope has given me is this sense that anything’s possible, that there’s always a way through.”

Essence's May issue hits newsstands nationwide Friday, April 27.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- It's game on for Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and company, as Sony has greenlit a sequel to the 2017 blockbuster, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

The announcement was made at Sony's CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas on Monday, according to Variety.

The film starred Johnson and Hart, along with Jack Black, and Marvel movie star Karen Gillan as video game avatars to a group of high school students who are mysteriously sucked into the game. 

The movie outperformed expectations, earning $400 million stateside and nearly $1 billion worldwide -- becoming Sony Pictures' highest-grossing film ever.

The sequel is slated for a December 2019 release.

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Photo by: Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank(NORTH CAROLINA) -- Night Court and Cheers actor Harry Anderson was killed by a stroke, according to a coroner's report obtained by TMZ.

The 65-year-old actor, who had suffered a long bout of flu and a series of strokes earlier this year, the gossip site notes, suffered what's called a "cardioembolic cerebrovascular accident" -- essentially, another stroke -- on April 16, before he was found unresponsive by his wife in their home in Asheville, North Carolina.

The ruling appears to confirm what Anderson's good friend and fellow actor, Philip Proctor, wrote in a Facebook post the day of Anderson's death that he, "passed away quietly in his sleep of unknown causes after contacting the flu several months ago and experiencing some mild strokes while in hospital."

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Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- As Black Panther star Letitia Wright gears up for the release of the Avengers: Infinity War on Friday, where she will reprise her role of Wakandan princess Shuri, fans of the young actress are wondering if Shuri finally made it to Coachella.

If you recall in Black Panther, King T'Challa took Shuri to California to share his plans for opening up a community center in Oakland. Of course, Shuri had other ideas for her trip to Cali, hoping that her big brother would instead take her to the annual music festival in Indio, California.

"No, it did not happen," Wright tells ABC Radio. "You know why I haven't been to Coachella? Because I'm here."

Wright is referring to her recent press trip to New York, where she was promoting the upcoming Avengers. On the subject of Coachella, Wright says she did end up seeing "clips" of the performances, but still feels frustrated that she missed the big event.

"I'm working hard for Avengers, you know, we have...to get our work in and then we go to L.A.," she explains. "Yeah, we're going to be in a room, while everybody is looking at Beyoncé or whoever else. But, I saw the clips."

Wright admits she's still clearly upset at missing the infamous #Beychella, where Beyoncé made history as the first black woman to headline the music festival and paid homage to HBCUs with her performance.

"I'm mad like jealous right now," she said. "So, we can change the subject."

The good news is Wright is staying optimistic about the situation and looking ahead.

"Yeah, it's cool though. Next year," she says. 

No word on whether King T'Challa will officially be her escort.

Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters this Friday. Marvel Studios, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

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Credit: Frank Masi - ©2017 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. (LOS ANGELES) -- We finally have our first real look at Venom, Sony Pictures' take on the shape-shifting Marvel Comics anti-hero.

The first trailer shows Mad Max and The Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy as dogged reporter Eddie Brock, who in the course of tracking down a story about a company dabbling in human experimentation becomes infected with a mysterious black goop that's actually an alien life form.

This so-called symbiote gives Brock superhuman powers, and can transform him into the hulking, titular black anti-hero creature that made its first appearance in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man comic back in the '80s.  The character was also seen in 2007's Spider-Man 3, with Brock played by former That '70s Show star Topher Grace, to mixed reviews.

Venom, which also stars Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Riz Ahmed, as well as Michelle Williams and Jenny Slate, opens October 5.

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ABC Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- ABC has revealed the premiere date for Viola Davis and her hubby Julius Tennon's docu-series The Last Defense.

ABC announced on Monday that it will premiere's the couple's series on Tuesday, June 12. at 10 p.m. ET.

Prior to the telecast, ABC will screen the first episode on Friday, April 27, at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The series, which offers an in-depth examination of a number of death-row cases, is designed to explore and expose flaws in the American justice system.

One of the stories in the series will look at the case of Julius Jones, a college athlete convicted of shooting a father of two at point-blank range.  In the episode, his attorneys race against the clock to get him a new trial before his execution date is set.

The Last Defense, executive produced by Davis and Tennon under their JuVee production banner, will tell its stories by "returning to the scene of the crime, re-interviewing witnesses and delving beyond the details of the crime and court proceedings."

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Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- The stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe assembled in Los Angeles Monday night for the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War.

The epic film, ten years in the making, united virtually every hero seen in the MCU to date, and fans -- both famous and not -- were eager to see who survives.

"It feels like the ending of a chapter," Marvel movie veteran and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D star Clark Gregg told ABC Radio. "I haven't seen much, it scares me when they say that. I make me feel like it's gonna be a terrifying and perhaps devastating experience tonight."

Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk, joked that the movie is historic, but not for the reasons you might think.  "It's not that it's 10 years or that it's 30 actors or that it's 19 movies: it's that none of us has seen the damn thing!"

Secrecy was key in making the film, and only one of its two stars actually read the whole script. Co-director Anthony Russo talked to ABC Radio about the need for secrecy.

"There are huge happenings," said Russo.  "There's big changes for characters um, it's like any love story, the ending is the most risiable part, the most surprising part. There are a lot of...thrills and surprises in this film...and we wanted all audiences to be able to experience those for the first time in the movie theater."

Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, put it simply: "I'm a fan, man, I want to sit down with my popcorn and I want to watch this movie. I want to enjoy it. I don't want to know what's gonna happen."

Avengers: Infinity War opens Friday from Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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Tyler Golden/NBC / 2018 NBCUniversal Media(LOS ANGELES) -- The Voice was live on Monday, with the top 12 artists competing for America’s vote, advised by their coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson. One artist will be sent home on Tuesday, based on America’s vote.

On Monday, each artist took the stage with a song that had a special meaning for them.

Here are the highlights of Monday night's show:

Team Adam’s Rayshun LeMarr kicked things off with his version of “When Love Takes Over,” by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland, explaining that like love, something takes over when he’s on stage that he can’t control. Adam told Rayshun afterwards, “In that moment, you became the frontrunner, because you’re the best performer in this group.”

Kaleb Lee, representing Team Kelly, chose Lonestar’s “Amazed,” for his performance, --  admitting that he originally chose it because he incorrectly thought it was his wedding song. However, the song still reminds him of his wife because it reminds him how “awesome” his wife is. Kelly acknowledged that Kaleb’s performance was a little “pitchy” at times, but blamed it on his emotional connection to the song getting the better of him. But that, she added, only made the performance more endearing.

Team Alicia’s Jackie Foster chose Brittney Spears’ “Toxic” because she has a thing for “bad boys.” Alicia, who during rehearsals described Jackie’s style as “somewhere between P!nk and No Doubt,” declared after the performance that Foster showed America who she really is, adding that her artist “nailed it.”

Spensha Baker, Team Blake’s country/soul artist, picked an emotional song from one of her favorite artists, Trisha Yearwood, “Down on My Knees.” The performance drew a standing ovation from all four coaches, including Blake, who noted that Spensha has finally learned how to control her nerves, allowing the full depth of her voice to come through.

Christiana Danielle, from Alicia’s team, also credited a toxic relationship for her song choice, “Say Something,” by A Great Big World. Keys said afterwards, “There’s not another person -- not just on this stage, but in this world” who sounds like Christiana.

Team Kelly’s soul singer D.R. King put his spin on Dido’s “White Flag,” Clarkson praised D.R. for making everything he sings sound effortless, urging America to send him on to the next round.

Sharane Calister, representing Team Adam, chose Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood,” explaining that, like the character in the song, she’s a survivor. Afterwards, Adam praised Sharane for her ability to take listeners on a journey with her.

Next up, country rocker Pryor Baird, representing Team Blake, tackled “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” by Keith Anderson, recalling that growing up in his tiny hometown of Orcutt, California, he’s picked a few wildflowers in his day. Blake joked afterwards, “Pryor is to a song like bulldozer is to trees,” explaining that he turns every song his sings into something completely different.

Brynn Cartelli, Team Kelly’s powerhouse 15-year-old powerhouse, delivered Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain,” explaining that her mother taught it to her when she was little. During rehearsals, Clarkson advised the teen to “tell the story, rather than making sure all the riffs are there.” Kelly said she was amazed that Brynn has “the craziest, eclectic taste in music” and manages to “nail all of it.”

When Adam Levine saved country singer Jackie Verna last week, he said he heard a song and pictured her singing it. On Monday, he revealed it was Avril Lavigne’s pop hit, “I’m with You.” Following the performance, Adam told Verna he was impressed by the way she was challenged with tackling a tough song and rose to the occasion.

Sanford, Carolina, native Britton Buchanan picked John Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” telling his coach Alicia during rehearsals that he’s lived every line of the song. Afterwards, Keys told the 18-year-old that his “destiny” was to perform on The Voice stage.

Team Blake’s Kyla Jade has a long history with her pick, Jennifer Hudson’s “One Night Only,” performing it night after night as a backup singer for the season-13 Voice coach. This time, however, she was front and center. After the performance, Blake, on behalf of himself and JHud, welcomed Kyla to the front of the stage.

The Voice returns Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Monday's episode of American Idol was the season's most dramatic yet, as we learned which six of the 14 finalists had been voted through to the top 10 by America, and which of the remaining contestants had to sing for their lives in hopes of being chosen by the judges.  In the end, we had our top 10:

Catie Turner -- Chosen by America
Dennis Lorenzo -- Judges' pick
Michael J. Woodard -- Chosen by America
Jurnee -- Judges' pick
Gabby Barrett -- Chosen by America
Ada Vox -- Judges' pick
Maddie Poppe -- Chosen by America
Michelle Sussett -- Judges' pick
Cade Foehner -- Chosen by America
Caleb Lee Hutchinson -- Chosen by America

Here's how it went down:

There were two sets of chairs onstage: the Victory Zone and the Danger Zone.  Over two hours, Ryan Seacrest revealed whether or not each contestant had been voted into the top 10 by America.  Those who were voted through got to sing a song without being judged, and then take a seat in the Victory Zone.   Those who weren't had to "sing for their lives," and their fates were revealed at the end of the show.

Michelle Sussett, the first contestants in the "Danger Zone," sang an original song called "I'm a Dreamer," with lyrics in both English and Spanish, which made a powerful statement about the immigrant experience. "This is my home and I love this country and I'm grateful to be here," said the Venezuelan singer.  Judge Katy Perry was thrilled that Michelle sang in Spanish, and she was the one who announced that she'd been chosen for the top 10.

Marcio Donaldson sang "Jealous" by Nick Jonas and it wasn't his best performance.  You could tell from the judges' comments that there was no way they were putting him through.

Garrett Jacobs sang "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and though Katy said it was the best he'd ever sounded, he wasn't chosen.

Dennis Lorenzo sang Maxwell's version of the Kate Bush song "This Woman's Work."  Katy called the performance "brilliant" and "dynamic" and said she'd fight for him; Lionel Richie said he didn't know what America was thinking by not putting him through.  Luke Bryan was the one who announced he'd been chosen for the top 10.

Jonny Brenns sang a compelling version of "Demons" by Imagine Dragons that got him a standing "O" from the judges; Katy praised him for looking like a rock star, but criticized him for not having enough stage presence. In the end, he failed to be put through.

Mara Justine sang "Love on the Brain" by Rihanna, which made Luke say that he was "in shock" that she wasn't voted through by America.  But Katy told the young teen that sometimes, it's just about timing, which was a big giveaway that she wasn't going to be chosen.  And she wasn't.

Jurnee sang "Never Enough," from The Greatest Showman, which made Katy utter a quote that she probably also said on November 9, 2016: "Never have I ever seen a woman more qualified for the job and still not get the job."  Lionel simply said, "I love you."  It was Lionel who announced that they'd picked her for the top 10.

Ada Vox was the last contestant to sing for their lives, and she sang -- what else? -- "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," so memorably delivered by American Idol alumna Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. 

To say she brought the house down is an understatement; after the performance, Katy took off her earrings and announced that she, Lionel and Luke were making an executive decision: They ordered her to go to the Victory Zone immediately.

After Ada was chosen, the remaining seven contestants had to wait to hear which three would be staying.  After Jurnee, Dennis and Michelle were declared the lucky ones, the rest of the pack were told by Katy, "Over 10 million people are watching this. So what are you gonna do with that information? You're going to launch off on your own."

On Sunday, the top 10 will perform Disney's greatest hits, and there will be the first-ever, coast-to-coast, live vote, with the results coming at the end of the show.


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ABC(NEW YORK) -- American Idol is bringing interactive TV to a whole new level with the first-ever simultaneous coast-to-coast voting system.

For the first time in television history, viewers on both the East and West coasts will be able to watch the show and vote for their favorite performers simultaneously.  They'll also be able to see the results by the show's end.

You'll be able to vote by text, via AmericanIdol.com/vote, and using the American Idol app. 

To compensate for the three-hour time difference, beginning Sunday April 29, the show will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern time and 5 p.m. Pacific, with an 8 p.m. replay for West Coast viewers.

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement, "As we head into the next phase of the American Idol competition, it only makes sense to let every viewer from coast to coast experience the magic of live television and have the ability to vote for America’s next superstar."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Neal Preston

(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga is making her movie debut in A Star Is Born, as an aspiring singer taken under the wing of a veteran star, played by Bradley Cooper.  While Lady Gaga already had the singing part down, Cooper didn't -- and he was shocked when Gaga insisted that if he didn't learn, it would be a dealbreaker.

According to Billboard, Cooper -- who's also directed the film -- told an audience at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, "She said right from the beginning that this was going to be a bargain: [She told me] 'I’m gonna rely on you to get a performance that’s honest out of me...and I’m gonna make sure you turn into a musician, because we’re going to sing everything live.'"

Cooper continued, "I thought, wait, what? She said, 'I can’t stand when I watch movies when they have music and you can tell when it’s pre-recorded and people are lip-syncing.' And she’s right. So that was terrifying, but I really relied on her."

So Cooper took music lessons for 18 months so he could play guitar and sing like an actual rock star.  He even filmed himself performing onstage at real-life music festivals like Glastonbury and Stagecoach.

"You can't hide when you sing," he said. "To me, the best way to express love is through singing and music. I knew that if I could marry that in a way, that'd be special. Lady Gaga is just kind of a revelation."

A Star Is Born hits theaters this October.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a father of three.

The Rampage star announced on Instagram Monday that he and his partner, Lauren Hashian, had welcomed another daughter, Tiana Gia, or Tia.

The two are also parents to two-year-old Jasmine; Johnson has a teenage daughter, Simone, from a previous marriage.

"Blessed and proud to bring another strong girl into this world. Tiana Gia Johnson came into this world like a force of nature and Mama @laurenhashianofficial labored and delivered like a true rockstar," Johnson wrote on Instagram.

"I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia’s delivery, it’s hard to express the new level of love, respect and admiration I have for @laurenhashianofficial and all mamas and women out there."

Johnson, 45, announced that Hashian was pregnant with a girl in December. In his Instagram post, he also wrote a message to the baby, promising to always take care of her.

"To my third and youngest daughter, Tiana Gia - like I did when your two older sisters Simone Alexandra and Jasmine Lia were born, you have my word, I’ll love, protect, guide and make ya laugh for the rest of my life," he wrote.

"Your crazy dad has many responsibilities and wears many hats in this big ol’ world, but being your dad will always be the one I’m most proud to wear."

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ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) -- It could possibly be the end of the road for Avengers star Anthony Mackie, who is set to reprise his role as Sam Wilson/Falcon on Avengers: Infinty War on Friday. While it's not confirmed which -- or if any -- Avenger will actually die in the epic battle with the film's villain Thanos -- there is some speculation that the Marvel Cinematic Universe may lose at least one of its good guys.

Although the notion is sobering to Mackie, he tells ABC Radio he's taking it in stride.

"It could potentially mean I'm unemployed," he laughs.

"The big thing for me is not so much if I live or die through the battle -- or literally if any lives or die through the battle -- it's just that the story is told."

As the film's release approaches, Mackie, like other MCU stars, remain tight-lipped about how the upcoming Avengers films -- Infinity War and the forthcoming as-yet-untitled 2019 Avengers film -- will ultimately affect the franchise. According to Mackie, there's really one thing that is for certain within the MCU -- it's "out of [the actors'] hands."

"I feel like, all of our producers have a very clear idea of what they want this movie to be and how they want these characters to continue," he explains. "So, it's you know, out of our hands. It's been a good ride, it's been fun. I love being an Avenger... but these two movies kind of tell the tale of what the next 10 to 15 years will be." 

Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters April 27. It's produced by Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

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Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Paula Patton is shooting down allegations that she's currently dating a happily married man.

In an interview with Hello Beautiful, Patton made clear that her boyfriend, Zach Quittman, has already split with his wife.

“I would just say when I met him he was separated from his wife and he’s in the process of divorce,” Patton said. “They’re still married as that happens. He told his wife a while ago and I told Robin," said Patton, referring to ex-husband Robin Thicke.  "[Quittman's wife] heard it from him first, not from anybody else. I let Robin know because he’s the father of my child and I thought he had a right to know that I had somebody, since the first time that we been divorced, that I wanted in my life and that I want my child to know.”

Page Six, however, reports that Quittman, a Malibu, California real estate developer, and his wife are not legally separated and that he's not even moved out of their house yet. According to Paula, that's not true.

“I would never go into any one else’s marriage and disrupt it in a million, trillion years," she said. "This man was already living in a different home.”

Patton, 42, says at this point in her life, she's all about living in her truth.  “The truth is, people don’t really care that much about you," she said. "They think about themselves. So they talk about you for a few seconds but then they’re on to their own lives."

She continues, "Start living your life the way you want to and people will respect you because you’re in your truth."

Patton's film, Traffik, is now in theaters.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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