Newcomer Steven Caple Jr. to direct "Creed 2" instead of Sylvester Stallone

Maarten de Boer/2016 Sundance Film Festival Getty Images Portrait Studio(LOS ANGELES) -- Creed 2 has officially found its director.

According to Variety, Warner Bros. has tapped up-and-coming director Steven Caple, Jr. for the Michael B. Jordan-headlining film.  Caple's previous credits include last year's film The Land, and the TV series Class.

Ryan Coogler, who directed Creed, was initially expected to direct the sequel, but instead is in talks to come on as an executive producer while he wraps up his current film, Black Panther. Producer and co-star Sylvester Stallone was reportedly also considering directing, but according to Variety's sources, he decided against it after talking it over with Jordan and the movie's execs.

Jordan took to Twitter to share the Creed 2 update, writing, "Excited for Coogler to hand over the reins to Steven Caple, Jr. - our director for Creed 2! Can’t wait to bring you guys the next chapter of our story ... coming at you November 2018."

The upcoming film will follow Jordan's character, Adonis Creed, as he deals with his new-found fame, family drama, and his pursuit to become the champ.

In addition to Jordan and Stallone, Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson has also been confirmed for the sequel, reprising her role as Bianca.

Creed 2 is set to hit theaters on November 21, 2018.

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Mark Hamill compares "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" to "The Godfather"

Disney(NEW YORK) -- The reviews have started trickling in for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the eighth chapter in the Skywalker saga that began with 1977's Star Wars is getting an overwhelmingly positive response. 

The Tomatometer is strong with this one: The Last Jedi is currently hovering around 94% on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

While it remains to be seen what the fans think, one fan -- Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill -- tells ABC's Peter Travers he's very pleased with director Rian Johnson's film. 

"It has all these elements: there's suspense, and all the creatures, and the character relationships, and Benicio del Toro! Oh my gosh! And Laura Dern! It's just wonderful to see it put all together," Hamill says.

In the closing moments of The Force Awakens, Luke was finally found in self-exile by a powerful Force user, Daisy Ridley's Rey. The Last Jedi follows her training under a cautious Luke, while his fallen student -- and nephew -- Kylo Ren comes to terms with murdering his father, Han Solo, in The Force Awakens. This time, we learn more about the alien who showed him the dark side: the evil First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke. 

"To tell you the truth, there's so much in it!" Hamill enthuses about the film. "It's the longest Star Wars film ever at two and a half hours, but it doesn't feel that way. I remember when I first saw The Godfather, I could not believe it was as long as it was. I was never bored, or shifting in my seat. It just, it's like a bat out of hell." 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens Friday from Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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Joey Lawrence hints at possibility of "Blossom" revival

Joey Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank(LOS ANGELES) -- Whoa! Fans of the popular NBC sitcom Blossom, which ran from 1990 to 1995, will be thrilled to hear that there's a chance Blossom could be on its way back to television, according to former cast member Joey Lawrence. Lawrence starred as Blossom's jock older brother Joey. Blossom, of course, was played by current The Big Bang Theory actress, Mayim Bialik.

When Steve host Steve Harvey asked the 41-year-old actor if there was a possibility for a revival, Lawrence revealed, "There's been serious talk about it, believe it or not," He added, "Mayim and I have both said we'd be into it. We've talked to Don Reo about it, who created it. If there's a way in, then I think we're all down for it."

Lawrence continued, "The show ended where he went off to play baseball. He was a really good baseball player. So, I think he went and had a great career, probably got married several times because he was always going on dates."

But where would the character Joey be now? Lawrence said that in the reboot, Joey could return home after being away for a long time to find out who he is now. He explained, "Maybe his career is over, right? Mid to late thirties. And, he's gotta find something else to do with his life."

In October, the cast of the show including Jenna von Oy, who played Blossom's best friend Six, and Michael Stoyanov, who played Blossom and Joey's older brother Anthony, reunited for an Entertainment Weekly photo shoot.

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"Last Jedi" star Daisy Ridley says being a "Star Wars" veteran just makes things "scarier"

DisneyStar Wars: The Last Jedi finally arrives Friday.  It's the second Star Wars go-around for star Daisy Ridley, who made her debut as Rey in The Force Awakens, but she tells ABC News that being a Star Wars veteran didn't make her second time any easier.

"I think the second time around filming was scarier, because I had more of a sense of what it was," she says. "I had a sense of the fandom; I had a sense of the reaction to the film, everything; and so I had a lot of questions about the story."

Many of those questions, Ridley says, revolved around the relationship between her character and John Boyega's reformed Stormtrooper, Finn. 

"I was like, 'If Rey and Finn are the things that people really liked, how does it work if Rey and Finn aren't together for a lot of the film?'" she says. "So there were a lot of questions I had that made the filming process so scary."

Although Ridley's been part of the Star Wars family now for three years -- she was cast as Rey in 2014 -- she admits she hasn't fully geeked out on Star Wars. "Someone just told me about a novelization and I was like, 'I've never heard about this before,'" she acknowledges.

Speaking of Star Wars vets, The Last Jedi of course marks the final appearance of one of the series' beloved originals, the late Carrie Fisher.  Ridley says that Fisher's Leia is a major presence in The Last Jedi.

"I think even if the tragedy hadn't have happened, it's really emotional," Ridley says. "Her storyline is really emotional, but obviously there's added weight to everything now."

ABC News and Lucasfilm are both part of parent company Disney.

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Kym and Robert Herjavec announce they're expecting 1st baby together

David Livingston/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dancing with the Stars duo Kym and Robert Herjavec announced they are expecting their first baby together.

The 55-year-old Shark Tank star and his 41-year-old wife, a professional ballroom dancer he met while competing on the reality show, both took to Instagram to announce the big news on Monday.

The happy couple tied the knot in summer 2016 at a star-studded affair that included DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba as well as Lance Bass and Donny Osmond.

After getting engaged earlier that year, Kym Herjavec (nee Johnson) detailed the proposal on Good Morning America, which she said included rose petals and a surprise party.

"We were there to do Dancing with the Stars," Kym Herjavec said on GMA. "And it was a really nice way to meet, obviously. We had so much fun dancing together." 

Kym and Robert Herjavec met during season 20 of DWTS. According to People magazine, this will be the first child for Kym Herjavec and the fourth for Robert Herjavec.

A request for further comment from the couple wasn't immediately returned to ABC News.

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Meet the women competing for Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s heart on season 22 of "The Bachelor"

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- The 29 women who will be competing on the new season of The Bachelor include a business owner, a personal stylist, a nanny and a sports reporter -- and many work in real estate, the same profession as Arie Luyendyk, Jr., the man whose heart they are vying for.

The women range in age from 25 to 33 and hail from all over the country and Canada. Four have the name Lauren. Several are women of color. They are "dog moms" and pizza lovers, jetsetters and home cooks.

Luyendyk, a former racecar driver turned real estate broker, was revealed as the new Bachelor on Good Morning America in September.

"I just kind of went in with an open mind, open heart," Luyendyk said of his decision to become the Bachelor. "It just kind of hit me right now that I’m here."

35-year-old Luyendyk is no stranger to The Bachelor, having first appeared on season eight of The Bachelorette in 2012, when he tried unsuccessfully to win over Emily Maynard.

When Luyendyk tried to woo Maynard, he earned the nickname the "kissing bandit." He said he could live up to that nickname again if he finds "the right woman."

Season 22 of The Bachelor begins on January 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Here's the complete list of new Bachelor contestants:

Ali, 27, personal stylist, Dallas, Texas
Amber, 29, business owner, Denver, Colorado
Annaliese, 32, event designer, San Francisco, California
Ashley, 25, real estate agent, West Palm Beach, Florida
Rebecca (Becca), 27, publicist, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rebekah (Bekah), nanny, Los Angeles, California
Bibiana, 30, executive assistant, Miami Beach, Florida
Brianna, 25, sports reporter, Portland, Oregon
Brittane, 27, marketing manager, Los Angeles, California
Brittany, 30, tech recruiter, Austin, Texas
Caroline, 26, realtor, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Chelsea, 29, real estate executive assistant, Portland, Maine
Jacqueline, 26, research coordinator, New York, New York
Jenna, 28, social media manager, Raleigh, North Carolina
Jennifer (Jenny), 25, graphic designer, Chicago, Illinois
Jessica, 26, television host, Santa Monica, California
Kendall, 26, creative director, Los Angeles, California
Krystal, 30, fitness coach, San Diego, California
Lauren B., 25, technology salesperson, Dallas, Texas
Lauren G., 26, executive recruiter, Los Angeles, California
Lauren J., 33, recent master’s graduate, New Roads, Louisiana
Lauren S., 31, social media manager, Dallas, Texas
Maquel, 23, photographer, Orem, Utah
Marikh, 27, restaurant owner, Salt Lake City, Utah
D’Nysha (Nysha), 30, orthopedic nurse, Anderson, South Carolina
Olivia, 23, marketing associate, Chicago, Illinois
Seinne, 27, commercial real estate manager, Newport Beach, California
Tia, 26, physical therapist, Weiner, Arkansas
Valerie, 25, server, Nashville, Tennessee

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"The Voice" recap: The top eight artists perform for a spot in the finals 

NBC Universal(LOS ANGELES) -- The semifinals kicked off on Monday’s edition of The Voice, a show that saw the remaining eight artists compete for America’s vote, advised by their coaches, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson.

The eight semifinalists each performed a new song on his or her own, and a duet with another artist.

Here are the highlights of Monday night's show:

Adam Cunningham, representing Team Adam, lead off with Lonestar’s “I’m Already There.” Afterwards, Levine praised the performance, calling Cunningham “one of the top contenders in the competition."

Next up, Team Jennifer’s Noah Mac paired with Chloe Kohanski, from Blake’s team, for a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”

Team Jennifer’s Davon Fleming delivered his take on “Gravity,” by John Mayer. During rehearsals, Hudson advised Fleming to “feel” the song and stop trying to be “perfect.” All four coaches were on their feet after the performance, including Adam, who praised Davon for “scaling back” his delivery of the song. Jennifer agreed, telling Davon, “We felt you tonight.”

Team Blake’s country singer, Red Marlow, put everything on the line, tackling Vince’s Gill’s rangy “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” Miley called Marlow’s performance “authentic.” Blake said Gill was sitting somewhere “with a huge grin on his face.”

Next, Team Miley’s Brooke Simpson teamed up with Fleming for “Earned It,” by The Weeknd.

Another one of Blake’s artists, Keisha Renee, put her country/soul spin on Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most,” and received a vote of confidence from the band’s Gary LeVox, who FaceTimed her to say she was “gifted” and had “an amazing talent.” Afterwards, Miley complimented Renee for putting her own spin on everything she does. Blake called the performance “incredible.”

The next duet pairing featured Marlow and Cunningham covering The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.”

Kohanski returned for her solo performance, “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. Referring to a couple of her prior performances, Kohanski told Blake in rehearsals that she was “thinking a ’Landslide’ moment-meets-‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ moment.” Afterwards, Blake declared the performance Chloe’s best so far, adding that her voice was “iconic.”

Next, Renee joined Team Adam’s Addison Agen for their rendition of Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough.”

Mac then returned to the stage for his solo performance, “River,” by Bishop Briggs. Miley praised Noah for bringing “something youthful and modern to the show." Jennifer complimented Mac on believing in himself and commanding the stage the way he did.

Agen, the youngest artist in the competition at 16 years old, took the stage again with Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Addison’s coach, Adam Levine urged her to reach “as deeply as you ever have in yourself” and “swing for the fences.” Following the performance, Adam declared Addison “Is The Voice,” and “beyond that.”

Miley Cyrus’ last remaining artist in the competition, Brooke Simpson, closed the show with a song Cyrus hoped would showcase Simpson’s rock & roll side – Journey’s “Faithfully.” Afterwards, Miley urged America to vote for Brooke, explaining, “If [the show] is about ‘The Voice’…your winner is right here.”

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

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and girlfriend expecting baby number two

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson got an early Christmas gift this year -- the Fast and Furious star and his girlfriend Lauren Hashian are expecting their second child together.

The 45-year-old professional wrestler-turned-actor made the announcement Tuesday in an Instagram post that features his two-year-old daughter Jasmine sitting under a sign that says, "It's a girl!" written in large pink letters, followed by "Can't Wait to be a Big Sister and be the Boss!"

"Our Jasmine Lia would like to make a big announcement - IT’S A GIRL!@laurenhashianofficial and I are boundlessly grateful for this blessing as this spring we’ll welcome our second baby," reads the caption.

"Plus, Jazzy is excited to boss around and protect her lil’ sis," he continues. "And once again, big daddy is completely surrounded by beautiful estrogen and loving, powerful female mana. All girls. One dude. And a boy dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way. #ItsAGirl #GratefulMan #TequilaTime."

Johnson also has a 16-year-old daughter, Simone, with ex-wife Dany Garcia.

Johnson will next be seen in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, opposite Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale, opening nationwide December 20.

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Jimmy Kimmel brings son to show, makes plea for Children's Health program funding

ABC/Randy HolmesJimmy Kimmel returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night after a week off to be with his seven-month-old son, Billy, who underwent a second heart surgery last week, and he returned with a special surprise guest -- Billy himself.

Kimmel introduced the youngster, saying, "Look, he's fine everybody!  He may have pooped, but he's fine."

The host got choked up thanking last week's guest hosts, joking, "Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn't. It's unbelievable."

Kimmel, who used Billy's illness this spring to make a series of impassioned pleas to Congress to preserve Obamacare and improve affordable health care access, used Billy's appearance Monday night to make a similarly passionate plea for Congress to fund the Children's Health Insurance Plan. 

The plan, known as CHIP, covers uninsured children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don't have access to affordable health insurance. It covers nine million children and Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the program in September, despite the program's broad bipartisan support.

"I'm asking you, Billy's asking you to make two phone calls you shouldn't have to make.  Jam the House and Senate phones tonight and tomorrow, as long as it takes.  Tell them to take a break from tax cuts for a minute and fully fund CHIP immediately," he said.

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Lupita Nyong'o covers "Vogue" and talks pole dancing

Marvel(LOS ANGELES) --  Lupita Nyong'o has got some major moves. The Oscar-winning actress covers the January 2018 issue of Vogue and explains inside how a recent trip to a New York Club strip club inspired her to pick up pole dancing.

"It was incredible and sexy, and I thought, 'I need to learn how to do that,'" the Black Panther star says, referring to the dancers' acrobatics. 

"That's why I like to try new things, like pole-dancing," Lupita continues. "I value not being good at things, because children are not good at things."

While Nyong'o's opening up about some of her new hobbies, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress is still remaining tight-lipped about her love life.

"You can ask, but you definitely won't get an answer," she told Vogue regarding questions on whom she's currently dating. "There have been rumors and rumors and rumors about my love life," she says.  "That's the one area that I really like to hold close to my heart."

Check out Vogue's full interview with Lupita online.

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