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Woody Harrelson jokes about new role in Star Wars spinoff

Woody Harrelson recently confirmed he's playing Han Solo's mentor in the next "Star Wars" movie, but the actor jokes about his own ability to lead.

"I wouldn't choose me," the actor shrugged and then laughed at the premiere of "Wilson" at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Harrelson will play Garris Shrike. He also said the movie, which doesn't yet have a title, begins shooting in March.

It also stars Aiden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. Donald Glover will play Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke has been cast as well but in an unknown role. The movie is scheduled to come out in May 2018.

As for "Wilson," it's adapted from a graphic novel of the same name about a curmudgeon, played by Harrelson, who reconnects with his long lost ex-wife, played by Laura Dern, and discovers they have a daughter he didn't know about.

Dern also walked "Wilson's" red carpet on Sunday; a day earlier, she participated in the Women's March in Park City.

"I feel hopeful with the daily reminder that we peacefully protest, that we believe in our own internal revolution, that we honor our constitution and human rights which are women's rights and civil rights," she said.



South Dakota museum awarded ownership of Presley guitar

A federal judge ruled Monday that a South Dakota museum is the legal owner of a guitar played by Elvis Presley.

The Martin D-35 guitar has been on display at the National Music Museum in Vermillion since 2013. It had been donated by collector and musician Robert Johnson (not the legendary blues artist). But months later, Tennessee-based collector Larry Moss contacted the museum saying he was the rightful owner and the donor was not in a position to give away the guitar.

The National Music Museum asked a judge in July 2014 to declare it the legal owner of the guitar.

A judge ruled Monday that Moss never owned the title, never possessed the guitar and never paid for it, and didn't take legal action during his three-year wait for the instrument. The museum received the guitar's title in 2013 and is the legal owner, the court found.

Presley played the guitar during his 1977 tour and gave it to a fan in St. Petersburg, Florida, when it was damaged. Presley died six months later.

"We are elated to receive this judgment on the guitar," National Music Museum Director Cleveland Johnson said in a statement. "We're thrilled that our passionate commitment to it will ensure that it stays at the NMM for the enjoyment of our future visitors. We are the most suited to the guitar's safeguarding and physical preservation. It's in the best hands."

Gospel singer Vicki Yohe apologizes for Trump posting

A gospel singer is apologizing to her fans after posting an image on her social media account suggesting that Jesus was returning to the White House under President Donald Trump.

Vicki Yohe, known for her song "Because of Who You Are," posted the meme on Instagram on Saturday, but then removed it after getting flooded with criticism from fans. She posted a note Monday on Facebook saying she did not mean to imply that former President Barack Obama was not a Christian. She wrote that she was wrong and regrets it.

Yohe, who is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said in an interview Monday that she has a lot of black fans and she was insensitive to their feelings and she hopes they will forgive her.

A song goes viral after Women's March on Washington

MILCK , whose real name is Connie Lim, led some two dozen singers Saturday in her song "Quiet," which is about overcoming physical and sexual abuse. The lyrics include the lines, "A one-woman riot/Oh, I can't keep quiet."

Film director Alma Har'el wrote on Facebook that she chanced upon the singers and captured footage of them performing. As of Monday afternoon, her clip had been seen more than 9 million times.

The song is part of a social media campaign for #ICantKeepQuiet, which hopes to raise awareness against abuse of women and minorities.

Review: Train's new CD is stuck in the same soft-rock track

Some people simply adore Train. Others simply loathe them. The band's new album is unlikely to change anyone's mind.

The band — now without lead guitarist and founding member Jimmy Stafford — has returned with an unmemorable, fluffy and yet desperately needy soft-rock CD, "a girl a bottle a boat."

Train, the band behind "Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)" and "Meet Virginia," is once again as edgy and raw as a Labradoodle puppy. If Train was an article of clothing, it would be mom jeans.

Take "Play That Song," the new CD's first single. It's instantly cloying and catchy — the way "Hey, Soul Sister" was — until you realize they've swiped the melody from "Heart and Soul," the Hoagy Carmichael tune kids learn to play on the piano. Fans will adore it. Others will consider it a crime against rock.

On the new 11-song disc, Train tries some doo-wop ("Valentine"), some faux-Coldplay ("Drink Up"), dance-pop ("Lost and Found") and a bombastic piano ballad ("You Better Believe"). But it's all so very limp, especially coming off their completely unnecessary remake of "Led Zeppelin II" last year. Even the album's comma-less title — apparently advocating drunken boating? — doesn't really fit the vibe.

The best song is "Working Girl," but it's marred by typically atrocious lyrics that rhyme "game" with "Aspartame" and "never been" with "Ritalin." Still, lead singer Patrick Monahan does have this advice for anyone firmly anti-Train: "If you don't like it, let me get the door for you."


Mark Kennedy is on Twitter at

Soulja Boy charged with felony weapons possession

Los Angeles prosecutors on Monday charged Soulja Boy with felony weapons violations stemming from a police search of his home last month that found an assault weapon and a stolen police handgun.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Monday that it had charged the rapper, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way. He pleaded not guilty Monday to two felony weapons possession charges and a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Way was arrested last month by Los Angeles police. He was still on probation for a previous firearms case and was not supposed to possess any weapons.

Prosecutors said a search of his home found a Mini Draco AR-IS assault weapon and a Glock 21 handgun.

Authorities have said the handgun was reported stolen from a Huntington Beach, California, police vehicle.

Soulja Boy is best known for his 2007 hit "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" and for his recent appearances on VH1's "Love and Hip Hop."

Attempts to reach a representative for the rapper were not immediately successful and there is no information on whether he has an attorney.

Influential Estonian choral composer Veljo Tormis dead at 86

Veljo Tormis, a prolific Estonian composer whose innovative choral works helped propel his Baltic nation's drive to restore independence, has died at the age of 86.

Tormis died Saturday from long-term illnesses in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, Mariliis Rebane of the Estonian Composers' Union told the AP.

Tormis was considered a national icon in Estonia where choral music has been central to the culture going back to hundreds of years under Swedish and German rule.

Estonia's budding independence drive in the 1980s was dubbed the Singing Revolution for the massive and peaceful rallies when crowds often sang in old-form, chanting styles popularized by Tormis.

Tormis' haunting yet beautiful a cappella compositions typically incorporated a chanting, runic style that conjured up images of shamans and now-forgotten ancient peoples along the Baltic Sea shores.

His works garnered international acclaim after Estonia regained independence in 1991, with choirs from Korea to the United States performing his music.

Tormis' best known and most performed work, "Curse Upon Iron," became an unexpected staple in an unexpected place: The Oregon City High School in suburban Portland. Amy Aamodt, the school choir director at the time, explained how the choir first took on the difficult piece around 2010 with hesitancy as they sang in the original Estonian — but then quickly became enthralled.

"Even when we were learning his music, I would look up and there would be tears in the kids' eyes. ... Something just clicked about his music," an emotional Aamodt said in a phone interview Monday after learning from a reporter about the composer's death. "The piece was so much deeper than any of us could have imagined."

"Curse Upon Iron" is an ode to the horrors of war written for choir and hoop drum in which singers are instructed in the score to spin, crouch and shriek at points, adding to its power. The Estonian lyrics speak of the curse of war and its weapons: "Wretched iron! ... You flesh eater, gnawer of bones!"

The effect when the student choir performed the work, even though the words were foreign to everyone in the audience, was universal, recalled Aamodt.

"I would look out — and the parents were crying," she said.

Soft-spoken and modest, Tormis described his compositions as keeping alive the memories of ancient peoples, whose cultures and languages have long since died.

"It is not I who makes use of folk music. It is folk music that makes use of me," he was quoted as saying on several of his albums.

Born Aug. 7, 1930, Tormis got his diploma from the Moscow Conservatoire in 1956, wrote symphonic music and other mainstream forms early in his career, but increasingly focused on ancient forms after researching music going back centuries of the Estonians and Finns, as well their lesser-known relatives, such as the Liivs and Ingrians.

Tormis is survived by his wife, Lea, and one son, Tonu.


Oregon City High School Performance of Tormis' "Curse Upon Iron":


Tarm, formerly AP's correspondent in Estonia, contributed from Chicago.

Actor killed while filming scene for Australian music video

An actor was killed Monday while filming a scene featuring several guns for an Australian band's music video, police said.

The man died at a bar in the Queensland city of Brisbane while filming the video by hip hop group Bliss n Eso. Members of the band were not on the set at the time, the group's management said in a statement.

During the scene, several actors fired their guns and the actor somehow received wounds to his chest, Queensland Police Detective Inspector Tom Armitt said. No one else was injured.

It was not immediately clear whether the guns were loaded with live ammunition or blanks, Armitt said. Blank cartridges can still cause injuries if fired at close range.

"I can't tell you whether they are live or real firearms," Armitt told reporters. "I can't tell you the type of ammunition that were being used. That will be a subject of the investigation."

Police did not release the actor's name.

Q&A: Meet 'Roxanne, Roxanne' breakout Chante Adams

Actress Chante Adams had just graduated from Carnegie Mellon University when she got a call from a casting agent who wanted her to audition to be the lead in the Roxanne Shante biopic "Roxanne, Roxanne." Adams had no feature credits to her name and a background in theater. But the agent saw something in her at CMU's senior showcase, where students perform in front of agents, managers and casting directors, and sought her out.

Soon enough, what began as "oh, cool, my first audition" became Adams' first film role in the anticipated pic about the life of hip-hop pioneer Roxanne Shante from director Michael Larnell. "Roxanne, Roxanne," which co-stars "Moonlight's" Marhershala Ali and Nia Long, and premieres Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival.


AP: How familiar were you with Roxanne Shante?

CHANTE ADAMS: Not very. I wasn't born until '94! Her era was definitely the '80s. I knew of her, I knew who she was. I had older siblings, and I kind of knew her through them and the hip-hop music they listened to. But I didn't know much about her, so after I got the first audition, I went straight into research mode. I saw the video for "Roxanne's Revenge" and was like "Oh my God, we kind of look alike!"

AP: You only had a week and a half from being cast to shooting. How did you prepare?

ADAMS: Hours and hours of research. I'm pretty sure I've watched very single video on the internet that exists of Roxanne Shante — every interview, every music performance, and just using that to get it down. I met her once before we started filming, and that was such an honor. I was so lucky to be able to do this biopic while she is still here so I can make sure I got it right.

AP: What did you talk about with Roxanne?

ADAMS: She was just telling me about her life. It was me, her, Nia Long and Michael. She was giving me pointers on the voice, and she was telling Nia about her mom. She told me she was going to be on set as much as possible, but there's some stuff that she won't be on set for because it's a little difficult to relive that. I understood that and understood that I had to take that into my own hands and do what I could with it. She was on set a few times a week, which I loved. Anytime I had a question or needed advice, it was awesome to have her right there. I could go straight to the source

AP: Was there a particular scene she helped you with?

ADAMS: There's a scene where she's stealing from a department store. I did the scene how I imagined you would steal from a department store, because I don't know. She was there and we were about to wrap and she told Michael "we need to do it again because she's not stealing right." She basically came over to me and taught me the correct way to steal clothes. She was like "No, you can't look at the clothes, you can't look at the bag, just grab it, keep your eyes up, you can't make it look suspicious." So she taught me the proper way to steal clothes from a department store.

AP: What's next for you?

ADAMS: Just to continue in the film world for right now. Ride the "Roxanne, Roxanne" wave and, you know, we'll see where it goes!


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

Madonna defends her anti-Trump speech at women's march

Madonna is defending her fiery, expletive-laden speech at the women's march, saying her words were "taken wildly out of context."

The singer said at the Washington, D.C., march Saturday that she had at times been angry after the election and had thought "an awful lot about blowing up the White House."

In a statement Sunday on Instagram , Madonna said she was trying to express there are two ways to respond to Donald Trump's election: with hope or with outrage. She said she hopes to effect change "with love."

Madonna wrote that she doesn't promote violence and people should listen to her speech "in its entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context."

Cable news networks broadcasting her speech cut away after Madonna used several expletives. MSNBC later apologized.

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