Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- In Los Angeles this afternoon, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and the cast of Avengers: Endgame -- Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner -- were immortalized together in the cement floor outside of the famed TCL Chinese Theater.
Famed film critic Leonard Maltin emceed the festivities and assembled the Avengers in front of their respective cement spots. As per tradition, each star signed their names using a wooden stylus, before plopping their hands into the wet stuff, which they did on Downey's count of three.
This was the second imprint for Downey, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first hero. The man who'll be forever known as Iron Man had his hands placed in cement there for the first time in 2009.
Samuel L. Jackson, who is part of the Marvel Universe thanks to his recurring role as Nick Fury, had previously been immortalized at the theatre, as have actors who have starred in various Marvel movies over the past 10 years, including Mickey Rourke, Michael Douglas, and Anthony Hopkins.
Stan Lee, the comics legend who creator or co-created so many of the big-screen heroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thor, was inducted in 2017. He died in 2018.
Incidentally, TCL Chinese Theater was a part of the MCU in another way: It was leveled by an explosion from one of The Mandarin's underlings in Iron Man 3.
Avengers: Endgame officially opens on Friday, though many theaters are showing it Thursday evening. Marvel Studios, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.
Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Will Smith is his own worst enemy in the first trailer for Ang Lee's action thriller Gemini Man.
In the first promo, released on Tuesday, Smith is introduced as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin who is targeted by someone who can "seemingly predict his every move." Brogan soon learns that the young operative is himself.
"I think I know why he's as good as you," says Smith's co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead to an aging Brogan. "He is you."
Although both characters are played by Smith, CGI allows Smith to appear noticeably different -- and younger -- in the promo, as a slowed-down, distorted version of Alphaville's "Forever Young," is played in the background.
Gemini Man, also starring Clive Owen and Benedict Wong, is set to hit theaters October 11.
ABC(CHICAGO) -- The two Chicago brothers who claim Jussie Smollett paid them to help stage what police deemed a "hoax" attack filed a defamation lawsuit on Tuesday against the Empire actor's lawyers.
Abel and Ola Osundairo filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago, accusing Smollett's attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian of making false public statements about them which have damaged them both emotionally and economically.
The suit alleges that Gerogos and Glandian continued to foster the myth that the attack on Smollett was real, and portrayed the brothers as the perpetrators, defaming them in statements to the media. But according to the brothers, Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose."
The Osundairos' brothers lawsuit says that due to the attention and the negative comments from Smollett's attorneys, they haven't been able to find work, and their livelihoods have been negatively affected. They are suing Geragos and Glandian for $75,000 each.
In a statement to ABC News, Geragos and Glandian said, "At first we thought this comical legal document was a parody. Instead this so-called lawsuit by the brothers is more of their lawyer driven nonsense, and a desperate attempt for them to stay relevant and further profit from an attack they admit they perpetrated."
The statement continues, "While we know this ridiculous lawsuit will soon be dismissed because it lacks any legal footing, we look forward to exposing the fraud the Osundairo brothers and their attorneys have committed on the public.”
As previously reported, Chicago police allege that Smollett paid the brothers to help him stage the January 29 attack. The actor stands by his story that he had nothing to do with the attack, but he was subsequently charged with filing a false police report.
The charges were later dropped in exchange for the actor forfeiting his $10,000 bond. He was supposed to have reimbursed the city of Chicago $130,000, but he has not; the city is now suing him.
Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- With some predicting Marvel Studios' ultimate team-up movie, Avengers: Endgame, could have the world's first billion dollar global opening weekend, theater chain AMC is trying to meet ticket demand with 'round-the-clock screenings.
The previous box office record holder was Endgame's cliffhanger predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, which took in more than $257 million domestically last year.
Presales for Endgame have shattered the $100 million in advanced tickets scooped up back in 2015 by fans anticipating Star Wars: The Force Awakens by about $20 million, as has been reported.
On April 2, the day Avengers tickets became available, demand Thanos-snapped servers for AMC theaters and online retailer ATOM, and caused "virtual lines" on Fandango.
Deadline reports 29 AMC theaters will be open around-the-clock starting Thursday -- technically a day before the film officially opens Friday. Eighteen AMC theaters will pull those all-nighters Thursday through Saturday; 17 will pull a 72-hour marathon, staying open all day from Thursday night through Sunday.
Additionally, if Endgame's 3-hour-plus run-time isn't enough to test your mettle -- or your bladder -- three AMC theaters are showing all 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe films in a row: New York City's AMC Lincoln Square, Chicago's AMC River East, and AMC Metreon 16 in San Francisco.
Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.
ABC Radio(NEW YORK) -- After the immense backlash he experienced for his alleged hate crime hoax, Loni Love says she's hoping that her close friend Jussie Smollett will finally tell his side of the story.
Love revealed last week via Twitter that she had a "candid" conversation with Smollett. She tells ABC Radio that she encouraged a "raw" and "very emotional" Smollett to tell his truth.
"I told him, 'People need to hear your version of the story.' I still believe that people want to hear that," she recalls. "Because when I sent out my tweet people actually was like, 'If we never hear from him, we still are rooting for him. We still support him.'"
According to Loni, the Empire actor has had a difficult time since reporting that he was the victim of a hate crime. He was later charged with filing a false police report but prosecutors eventually dropped the charges. Still, Love says the ongoing criticism has taken its toll.
"Right now he's losing jobs," she reveals. "People don't realize he was working on projects. And now he's losing that because there's just this one side of the story."
She continues, "We don't really know the true facts. So, when he said what he said to me, I'm like, 'You know what? You need to say that to someone. You need to do an interview.'"
Loni says she'd give Smollett the entire hour of The Real if he wanted to speak his piece on her show, but she's not sure says she's not sure he's ready to do that.
"Maybe he will never speak on it. Maybe he'll just hope that it will just go away and he'll make a slow comeback," she says. "But, I do believe that when people hear what he has to say, some of that skepticism will leave."
Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television(LOS ANGELES) -- AMC's Better Call Saul will end at the end of its sixth season -- at least, that's what series star Giancarlo Esposito tells Collider.
"It's tricky with [co-creator Vince Gilligan]" says Esposito, who plays meth dealer Gustavo "Gus" Fring on the series. "If you look at the Breaking Bad model, he said five years, five seasons, but [with the split final season] it was really five and six."
Better Call Saul -- the Breaking Bad spinoff that serves as a prequel to the original show -- is currently in production on its fifth season. The show follows Bob Odenkirk's con-man turned small-time lawyer, Jimmy McGill, six years before the events of Breaking Bad, in which he played a criminal known as Saul Goodman.
Marc Horn/The CW(NEW YORK) -- Riverdale will officially say goodbye to Luke Perry's character on Wednesday, according to the show's creator, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa.
He tweeted Monday, "This week’s #Riverdale is the last episode Luke filmed. As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son. Wish these scenes could go on forever..."
Perry portrayed Fred Andrews, the father of the show’s star character, Archie Andrews, played by K.J. Apa, until his sudden death from a stroke in March at age 52. Riverdale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW
NBC(NEW YORK) -- Marvel's Avengers: Endgame opens nationwide Friday, and to mark the occasion, Jimmy Fallon gathered the film's cast on The Tonight Show to summarize the franchise's entire 21-film catalog in a parody of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."
In the pre-recorded segment, Fallon, impersonating Joel from the original "We Didn't Start the Fire" music video, was joined by original Avengers Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner -- who play Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Steve Rogers/Captain America and Clint Barton/Hawkeye, respectively -- along with Ant Man star Paul Rudd, Captain Marvel's Brie Larson, Iron Man's Don Cheadle, Guardians of the Galaxy's Karan Gillan, and Black Panther's Angela Bassett.
The Tonight Show clip ended with a touching tribute to the man who really did start the fire many years ago -- Marvel legend Stan Lee, who died at age 95 in November.
Last year, the cast of Avengers: Infinity War spoofed The Brady Bunch theme song with a parody called "The Marvel Bunch." That video, which featured the cast in the familiar opening of the classic 1970s sitcom, has been viewed over 21 million times.
Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.
Marvel Studios/Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Avengers: Endgame had its world premiere Monday night in Los Angeles, amid intense hype and equal secrecy surrounding what is ultimately the end of this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, even the film's stars didn't how it ended.
Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, says the actors themselves were kept in the dark throughout the movie's production. "We got given our own pages and then this is the first time...I'll actually find out what happens, he told ABC News, before joking, "Hopefully, I'm in it."
"It's like buying a present for someone as group, but you don't know quite what the present is," added Captain America, Chris Evans. "So, as they open it you're like, 'Well, what, what, what'd we get 'em?'"
Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, wouldn't even tell his own kids, despite repeated pleas from his daughter. "She promises she won't tell anybody, but she's nine, and I don't believe her," he said.
Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, said watching Avengers: Endgame -- the culmination of the 21 films that preceded it --was a bittersweet experience.
"I feel like I've been waiting with the fans as well, just to see how this 10 years of time, of work has culminated into this one kind of final chapter," said Johansson. "And it feels like the end of something, but the beginning of something else."
Marvel Studios President Paul Feige was one of the few people associated with the film who did know the outcome beforehand. While he wouldn't reveal anything at the premiere, he promises fans the movie will deliver "all the feels," and hopes it leave them "satisfied" and "surprised."
Avengers: Endgame opens nationwide on Friday from Marvel Studios and Disney, parent company ABC News.
Jussie Smollett addresss the press March 26 following the announcement that charges against him had been droppped; Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Kim Foxx, the Cook County, Illinois state's attorney whose office made the decision to drop all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a hate crime attack against himself, has herself been receiving death threats, according to her office.
"We can confirm that the State's Attorney has received threats to her personal safety and security, a number of which have contained racially charged language," reads a statement released Monday by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, according to Chicago ABC affiliate WLS.
Smollett was indicted by a grand jury March 8 on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in connection with the alleged January 29 attack, which investigators say he staged. Smollett has insisted throughout the investigation that the attack wasn't staged.
It was announced March 26 that First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats had dismissed the charges against Smollett.
Texts from Foxx, released last week and which were sent during the Smollett investigation -- from which Foxx had recused herself -- show she felt the charges against Smollett were excessive.
"[W]hen people accuse us of overcharging cases... 16 counts on a class 4 [felony] becomes exhibit A," Foxx wrote, in part. She also compared Smollett's case to that of indicted alleged sex offender, R&B singer R. Kelly.
"Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts," texted Foxx, referring to Kelly. "Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it's indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn't mean we should."
In a statement last Friday, Foxx wrote, in part, "I am aware of recent editorials and commentaries urging the State’s Attorney’s Office to comment further on the circumstances surrounding the Jussie Smollett case. ...I am committed to assuring a transparent review of how this office functioned in the Smollett case."
The statement further notes that the Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General has agreed to perform a review of how the State’s Attorney’s Office handled the Smollett case, during which time, Foxx said, "I do not intend to comment publicly on the Smollett case."
ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) -- (NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SUNDAY NIGHT'S "GAME OF THRONES" EPISODE)
One of the most memorable scenes in last night's Game of Thrones episode comes when Maisie Williams' character Arya decides that before they all face certain death fighting the White Walkers, she wants to know what it's like to...well, you know.
She enlists her longtime pal Gendry -- the bastard son of the late king Robert Baratheon -- to help her find out. This results in her character's first-ever sex scene, and the first time she ever showed skin on the show. But as Williams tells Entertainment Weekly, she was totally in control of just how much she revealed.
"I got to the read-through and I'm reading the scene and thought, 'Oh, we're actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym,'" the 22-year-old actress tells EW. "[The showrunners] were like: 'You can show as much or as little as you want,' so I kept myself pretty private."
"I don't think it's important for Arya to flash. This beat isn't really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…" she adds.
Williams also revealed that when she first read the script, she "thought it was a prank," because the showrunners have sent the cast members fake scripts in the past. She told them "Yo, good one" -- but when they told her it wasn't a prank, she thought, "Oh f***."
As for whether or not the scene was necessary, Williams says, "It was really interesting because it's a very human relationship for Arya. This is something she's stayed away from, an emotion we've never really seen her engage with."
ABC/Lisa Rose(NEW YORK) -- Mel Brooks is no stranger to Broadway, having won three Tony Awards for The Producers, but now the EGOT-winning Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein director is staging a residency on the Great White Way.
Brooks will take center stage at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for what's described as a, "hilarious unscripted show combining off-the-cuff comedy, unbelievable personal stories, and film clips from some of his most memorable work."
Mel Brooks on Broadway will run June 17th & 18th; Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Tuesday, April 23 at 10 a.m. through www.TicketMaster.com.
A limited number of VIP experiences will be available for each performance.
Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After a fire devastated France's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral last week, the boutique cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse is helping the Paris landmark live on -- on the big screen.
Alamo will screen the 1939 classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame at select locations including Austin, Texas; New York; San Francisco; Denver, Colorado, and more. The screenings, the first of which will be tonight in Brooklyn, New York, will be free to members of the chain's Victory rewards cardholders.
"In times of loss, I want to spend time and reminisce and reflect. But I also have a strong desire to revisit, on the big screen, my favorite cinematic memory of Notre Dame," Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said in a statement.
"Bring your family, share with your friends, and let's all raise a glass to a global treasure, badly damaged but destined to triumphantly return."
It should be said that you're allowed to "raise a glass" because the theaters have fully stocked bars, and offer meal service.
Donations have flooded in to restore the cathedral to its former glory; ABC parent company Disney -- which produced an animated re-telling of Hunchback in 1996 -- is one of the donors, having pledged $5 million to the cause.
Here is the full list of participating Alamo Drafthouse theaters:
ABC(CHICAGO) -- Jussie Smollett's eldest brother Jojo is speaking out in defense of his brother, who's kept mum ever since the charges that he lied to police about a hate crime attack were dropped last month.
In a lengthy op-ed on BETtitled "What If Jussie Is Telling The Truth?," JoJo passionately defended his brother and commented on the "public persecution" that Jussie suffered after coming forward about the incident.
“Within less than three months, [Jussie's] life has been turned upside down as my family and I have witnessed him endure unrelenting attacks to his character and reputation,” JoJo wrote.
“This entire process quickly devolved from a focus on him as a victim of assault, to him being falsely accused and held responsible for a crime that was perpetrated against him.”
JoJo also revealed that his brother has been suffering from PTSD.
“Jussie is as strong as iron, but following an attack like this, there is a normal and natural amount of post trauma that mostly anyone should expect to suffer,” JoJo wrote.
“I have literally seen him violently awakening from night terrors, following the assault. Some of my siblings, as well as Jussie’s partner and closest friends have seen similar things.”
In the essay, JoJo made it clear that Jussie had no real motive to mastermind a hoax..
“To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous,” Jojo wrote, listing some of Smollett's projects and recent success.
“He wouldn’t need to roll around on the icy ground of a Chicago street, staging an attack on himself to make this happen.”
As previously reported, after the charges against Smollett were dropped, the city of Chicago filed a civil complaint against Smollett for his refusal to reimburse it $130,000 in overtime payments to police.
Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Avengers: Endgame comes out this week, and nobody's apparently more excited for the fans to see it than Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.
In a video interview with the U.K.-based outlet The Upcoming, Downey was asked what he thought of the still super-secret film. He said, "The last eight minutes of that movie were maybe the best eight minutes in the entire history of the whole run of them in a way...because everyone's involved. So I was delighted."
It's rumored that this is the last film in which RDJ will appear. The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Downey's turn in 2008's Iron Man.
It was now-Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige who dreamed of a connected MCU, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo helped shape it. They directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Captain America: Civil War, and both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
"Anthony and Joe are about the only two folks that I could imagine [directing the movie]," Downey says. "Forget just still having the respect of the cast and crew when we were done -- but not being either incarcerated or embalmed or in some other way permanently damaged, because just the physical and mental stripping of one's chi that it takes."
He adds, "You know these are years, and years, and years, and years. They've essentially been on a job for six, seven years now. And I love them. And they love The Avengers.
Avengers: Endgame comes out April 26 from Marvel Studios, which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.