Daniel Dominguez has another reason to get animated…
The Latino writer and producer is co-writing the adult animated comedy series Oaklandia, featuring Snoop Dogg in the voice cast, for Amazon. Chris “Comedian CP” Powell is co-writing the series.
The animated series is set in Oakland, California. Produced by Amazon Studios, while Snoop Dogg and his manager and business partner Ted Chung executive produce alongside Vince Vaughn, Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsley for Wild West Picture Show Productions and Dominguez and Powell.
Dominquez is the head writer and executive producer for season two of HBO Max’s Michael B. Jordan animated series Gen:Lock.
He has written for television in the live-action, animated, adult and kid space since 2011. His credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, Big Hero 6: The Series and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants.
The next chapter of Welcome to the Blumhouseis ready to deliver thrills while highlighting some of today’s emerging and inclusive talent in front of and behind the camera, including the 39-year-old Mexican actor.
Amazon Prime Video has unveiled The Manor, Black as Night,Madres, starring Huerta, and Bingoas the final four films in the eight-film genre anthology. The quartet will debut on the streaming platform in 2021.
Welcome to the Blumhouse kicked off at the beginning of October with its first slate of films including The Liefrom Veena Sud, Black Boxfrom up-and-coming writer-director Emmanuel Osei-KuffourJr., Evil Eyefrom emerging filmmakers Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, and Nocturne from filmmaker Zu Quirke.
“Coming off the successful launch of the first four films of the program, which has surpassed our expectations, we are excited to reveal the next chapter coming in 2021,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “The spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat thrills continues in this next collection of titles that will surely entertain, surprise and shock our global customers.”
“We’re thrilled to see how audiences around the world have responded to the films in the Welcome to the Blumhouse slate,” said Jeremy Gold, president of Blumhouse Television. “We couldn’t be prouder of the work of these talented filmmakers, cast and crew on all the movies…and we’re excited to introduce the next wave of films and the incredible filmmakers at their helm.”
The second round of thrillers continues the anthology’s original, elevated, genre storytelling that is a Blumhouse signature. Centered around unsettling themes of institutional horrors and personal phobias, the films tap into people’s deepest fears, presenting a distinctive vision and unique perspective.
Similar to the first four films of the program, the slate continues with a thruline, making it the first-ever program of Amazon Original movies on Prime Video that are thematically connected.
Here are details about the final four films and the talent behind them.
The Manor is written and directed by Axelle Carolyn, and stars Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison, Nicholas Alexander, Jill Larsen, Fran Bennett and Katie Amanda Keane. After suffering a stroke, Judith Albright moves into a historic nursing home, where she begins to suspect something supernatural is preying on the residents. In order to escape she’ll need to convince everyone around her that she doesn’t actually belong there after all. Executive produced by Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Lisa Bruce, Sandy King and Richard J Bosner.
Black as Night is directed by Maritte Lee Go and written by Sherman Payne. The cast stars Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, Craig Tate, Keith David, Mason Beauchamp, Abbie Gayle and Frankie Smith. A teenage girl with self-esteem issues finds confidence in the most unlikely way, by spending her summer battling vampires that prey on New Orleans’ disenfranchised with the help of her best friend, the boy she’s always pined for, and a peculiar rich girl. Executive produced by Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Lisa Bruce, Maggie Malina and Guy Stodel.
Madres is directed by first-time feature director Ryan Zaragoza and written by Marcella Ochoa & Mario Miscione. Starring Tenoch Huerta, Ariana Guerra, Evelyn Gonzalez, Kerry Cahill, and Elpidia Carrillo. A Mexican-American couple expecting their first child relocate to a migrant farming community in 1970’s California. When the wife begins to experience strange symptoms and terrifying visions, she tries to determine if it’s related to a legendary curse or something more nefarious. Executive produced by Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Lisa Bruce, Sanjay Sharma and Matthew Myers.
Bingo is directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero and written by Shane McKenzie & Gigi Saul Guerrero, along with Perry Blackshear. In the Barrio of Oak Springs live a strong and stubborn group of elderly friends who refuse to be gentrified. Their leader, Lupita, keeps them together as a community, a family. But little did they know, their beloved Bingo hall is about to be sold to a much more powerful force than money itself. Executive produced by Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman and Raynor Shima.
The 19-year-old Latina transgender actress will be taking part in Blumhouse’s first-ever BlumFest, a virtual event featuring panels of talent from the studio’s upcoming movies, both big screen and PVOD, and more.
The virtual event will take place Thursday, October 29 at 10:00 am PT on Blumhouse’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
“This year has sidelined a lot for all of us, but Halloween is a treasured season at Blumhouse, so we conceived BlumFest to celebrate with our fans via a virtual event that will feature exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage on an upcoming release or two,” said Jason Blum, Blumhouse’s CEO and founder.
Panels featured include:
Welcome to the Blumhouse – Join Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios and Blum for a lively convo about the collaboration between Amazon and Blumhouse on the recently launched movies The Lie, Nocturne, Evil Eye andBlack Box. Mamoudou Athie from the film Black Box will join the duo along with surprise guests. The four films are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
The Craft: Legacy – Writer-director Zoe Lister Jones and the film’s stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Luna will chat about the cult hit reboot. The movie will debut Wednesday on PVOD and electronic sell-through domestic, with a big-screen release abroad.
Freaky – Writer-director Chris Landon, stars Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, and Blum will chat about the body-swap horror comedy which hits theaters November 13 and select offshore markets via Universal.
Halloween Kills – Filmmaker David Gordon Green and the horror franchise’s scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, producer Malek Akkad from Trancas Films and Miramax producer Bill Block and Blum will converse about the October 2021 release.
The Good Lord Bird – Ethan Hawke, EP, writer and star of the Showtime series and Blum, who’ve worked together over several projects, will discuss their most recent collaboration.
J Balvin’s colorful life story will be told around the world…
Amazon Studios has picked up the worldwide rights to director Matthew Heineman‘s The Boy From Medellín, a portrait of the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and Latin music star.
The Endeavor Content-backed feature-length documentary follows Balvin, the “Prince of Reggaeton” and a Latin Grammy-winning performer, in the lead-up to a sold-out 2019 homecoming concert performance in Medellín, Colombia.
The acquisition deal comes ahead of the documentary’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11 via the Bell Digital Cinema platform.
“Representing my country, my city and Latin culture globally is a lifelong pursuit and I’m so proud to be a son of Medellín. I’m honored to be able to tell my story in this beautiful way and working with Matthew on this project was an incredible experience. Thank you to Amazon for making sure this story can be seen around the world,” Balvin said in a statement.
The Boy From Medellin — from Heineman, the director behind the biopic Private War — is produced by Our Time Projects and SB Projects.
“Filmmaker Matthew Heineman is a master of his craft, and beautifully depicts the perspective of an international music icon. We are thrilled to welcome Matthew back to the Amazon family and to share J Balvin’s story with our global customers,” Javiera Balmaceda, head of international originals in Argentina, Chile and Colombia for Amazon Studios, said in a statement.
J Balvin is one of today’s best-selling Latin music artists with sales of more than 35 million records (albums and singles) worldwide. His breakthrough came in 2014 with “Ginza” and the single “6 AM” featuring Puerto Rican singer Farruko, which peaked at number 2 on theBillboardHot Latin Songs chart.
Joaquin Castro is calling for a more diverse media…
In a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – chaired by the 45-year-old Mexican American politician and U.S. Representative for Texas’ 20th congressional district – is urging the commission to update its “Diversity in the Media: A Chart Book for Selected Industries” report, which hasn’t been updated since 2004.
The call to action furthers Castro and the CHC’s efforts to increase diversity in media and entertainment and to have a baseline of data for transparency and ultimately greater accountability in the industry.
The letter is addressed to EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon, as well as EEOC Commissioners Victoria A. Lipnic and Charlotte A. Burrows and discusses the importance of having a baseline of data for transparency and ultimately greater accountability.
The 2004 report lays out data on the diversity in media in three major categories: broadcasting, publishing and cable.
With the advent of streaming and the surge of digital content, the CHC points out that the media industry has “drastically changed” since the report was released over 16 years ago and it’s time that revisions be made.
Castro and the CHC requested the EEOC update the report no more than 60 days from the receipt of the letter. They also are looking for updates every 30 days until the final report is released.
The CHC broke it down and requested that the new report include:
Disaggregated data on race, ethnicity and gender by individual industry rather than the grouping format used in 2004.
New industries such as digital content and streaming provider
Updated data for all positions in each industry from entry level up to and including Executive level positi
When possible, data on salaries and wages disaggregated by race, ethnicity and gender for each of the employee categories, including Executive level positions for each industry.
“While discrimination and lack of equal opportunity for underrepresented groups is present in many fields, the media industry is unique in its ability to influence the broader culture and shape the perception of entire groups,” the letter stated. “When Latinos do not have the opportunity to shape the media’s depiction of our communities, it ultimately emboldens a misunderstanding of our communities that weakens the social fabric of American society. The CHC views greater transparency around employment data through publicly available information as critical to increasing representation for Latinos and other underrepresented communities.”
An updated report would hopefully help move the needle further as Hollywood tries to become more inclusive when it comes to talent in front of and behind the camera — specifically in a time when the country is seeing a social and civic reckoning.
It also comes after a blatant lack of Latinx representation when it came to Emmy award nominations, even though the television landscape was filled with Latinx-led shows like Vida, One Day At A Timeand Gentefied.
Pose has been an Emmy favorite and although star Billy Porter was nominated, there was no love for show co-creator Steven Canals or series stars Mj Rodriguez and Indya Moore, who’ve delivered stellar work on the FX drama.
The new ABC comedy United We Fall features Latinx characters but with the cancellation of The Baker and the Beauty, there’s a glaring absence of shows with a majority Latinx cast on a major network.
Last fall, Castro led a congressional delegation to Los Angeles where the CHC met with several studios and streamers, talent agencies, as well as union and guilds. Congress has worked to include this language in almost all of the major funding bills during the Appropriations process and in the National Defense Authorization Act. The CHC has regular conversations with stakeholders regarding the state of the industry. Most recently the CHC had meetings with Amazon Studios and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as they develop their new 2025 diversity initiatives to ensure that Latinos are included in these goals on diversity.
The letter was signed by Castro, Robert Menendez (Co-Chair, Diversity Taskforce), Tony Cárdenas (Co-Chair, Diversity Taskforce) as well as members of Congress José E. Serrano, Ruben Gallego, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Juan Vargas and Nydia M. Velázquez.
Amazon Studios has picked up to series toA League of Their Own, a reimagining of Penny Marshall’s 1992 film, starring the 18-year-old Puerto Rican actress.
Hailing from co-creators Abbi Jacobson — who also stars —Will Graham and Sony Pictures Television, the hourlong series is described as a fresh approach to Marshall’s classic about the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
The series will follow new characters who embody the spirit of a generation of women who dreamed to play professional baseball.
“The show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the league and outside of it,” according to the streamer.
“28 years ago, Penny Marshall told us a story about women playing professional baseball that up until then had been largely overlooked. We grew up obsessed with the film, like everyone else. Three years ago, we approached Sony with the idea of telling a new, still overlooked set of those stories. With the help of an enormously talented team of collaborators, an amazing cast, and the devoted support of Amazon to this project, we feel beyond lucky and excited to get to bring these characters to life.” said Graham and Jacobson. “It took grit, fire, authenticity, wild imagination and a crackling sense of humor for these players to achieve their dreams. We’re hoping to bring audiences a story with all of those qualities.”
In addition to Delgado and Jacobson, A League Of Their Own also stars Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, and 34-year-old Argentine-Honduran actress from Mexico Roberta Colindrez, with recurring guest stars Molly Ephraim, Kate Berlant and Melanie Field.
“There’s no crying in baseball, or at Prime Video,” said Vernon Sanders, Co-Head of Television at Amazon Studios. “Will and Abbi have taken a classic movie, reimagining it for a new generation with new characters and their own fresh, modern vision on a timeless story of big dreams, friendship, love, and, of course, baseball. We’re so excited to partner with Sony to bring this emotional, exciting new series to our Prime Video customers around the world.” A League of Their Own hails from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television in association with Field Trip Productions.
The feature, directed by Marshall and scripted by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kelly Candaele and Kim Wilson, grossed $132 million worldwide. In 2012, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry.
“Abbi and Will have done a masterful job of reimagining this timeless classic. We are very thankful to our partners at Amazon for bringing this incredibly relevant and important story to audiences around the globe,” said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television.
Delgado’s previous credits include Justo antes de Cristo and Desaparecidos, as well as Pedro Almodovar’s drama Julieta.
Colindrez’s previous credits include appearances on Starz’s Vida, Hulu’s Mrs. America, and Amazon’s I Love Dick.
Amazon Studios has released the first trailer for Lili Reinhart’s coming-of-age drama Chemical Hearts, featuring the Dominican actress.
Based on the novel by Krystal Sutherland, the film hits Amazon Prime Video on Friday, August 21.
Reinhart plays Grace Town, a high school transfer student still recuperating, physically and emotionally, from a car crash that she doesn’t talk about. She meets classmate Henry Page (Austin Abrams), and, as the Amazon description says, Henry soon “learns the heartbreaking secret that has changed her life” and “finds himself falling in love with her — or at least the person he thinks she is.”
Written, directed and produced by Richard Tanne, Chemical Hearts also stars Peña, Sarah Jones, Adhir Kalyan, Kara Young, and C.J. Hoff.
Peña’s previous credits include 24: Legacy, Blue Bloods and The Enemy Within.
Amazon Studios and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are hosting a nationwide summer screening series “A Night at the Drive-In” with a line-up of features celebrating diverse voices in cinemas, including the 55-year-old Puerto Rican actress and activist’s Do The Right Thing.
The series kicks off on July 1 and runs through August 26. Attendance will be at no cost to local communities for the double feature-program. As part of the concessions for the screenings, all attendees will receive refreshments provided by Black and Brown owned businesses, which are Path Water, Pipcorn Popcorn and Partake Cookies.
The line-up was curated by Jordan’s newly formed marketing arm 8788 and Outlier Society, every other week through the end of August.
“When Michael and our friends at Outlier proposed this idea, we instantly agreed there was no better time to celebrate these inspired films featuring diverse stories while bringing communities together to share in the experience” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “Drive-in theaters offer a unique experience in that they provide an inspiring and joyful communal experience while still maintaining safe social distance. A special thanks to our friends and colleagues at Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.”
“With this drive-in summer series, I hope that friends and families are able to not only enjoy, but to learn and grow,” said Michael B. Jordan, Principal of Outlier Society. “Now more than ever, amplifying Black and Brown stories means engaging culture to speak to hearts and minds about the world we live in. As we use this opportunity to reimagine community and proximity, I am excited that these films will be shared and celebrated all across the country.”
Do The Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, featured Perez in her breakthrough film performance as Tina. It will hit the drive-in on August 12 in the “Movies to Open Your Eyes” category.
Here’s a look at the featured titles and special themes:
Movies to make you fall in love: Love & Basketball (Warner Bros. / New Line) Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.)
Movies that make you proud: Black Panther (Disney) Creed (Warner Bros.)
Movies to inspire your inner child: Hook (Sony Pictures) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Movies to make you open your eyes: Do The Right Thing (Universal) Get Out (Universal)
Movies to make you laugh: Coming to America (Paramount Pictures) Girls Trip (Universal)
Participating theaters include: Vineland Drive-In – Los Angeles, CA Overlook Drive-In – New York, NY Solano Twin Drive-In – San Francisco, CA Sacramento Drive-In 6 – Sacramento, CA Las Vegas 6 Drive-In – Las Vegas, NV Shankweiler’s Drive-In – Philadelphia, PA Galaxy Drive-In – Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Showboat Drive-In – Houston, TX Ford Wyoming Drive-In – Detroit, MI Springmill Drive-In – Cleveland, OH South Drive-In Twin – Columbus, OH Jesup Drive-In Twin – Savannah, GA| Bengies Drive-In – Baltimore, MD Ocala Drive-In – Orlando, FL Parkway Drive-In – Knoxville, TN Midway Twin Drive-In – Cleveland, OH Glendale Drive-in – Phoenix, AZTransit Drive-In – Buffalo, NY Badin Drive-In – Charlotte, NC Monetta Drive-In – Augusta-Aiken, SC
The 45-year-old Latina television writer/producer, the co-creator and showrunner of Pop TV’s One Day at a Time has joined forces with Natasha Rothwell for We Were There, Too, a coming of age feature for HBO Max.
Rothwell, a writer and star on HBO’s Insecure, co-wrote the screenplay with Calderón Kellett.
They’ll produce the project with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.
The film is a classic 80’s coming of age story set in John Hughes’ Chicago, but in this story the Brat Pack is in the background, and for the first time the focus is on the Brown kids, the LGBTQ kids, the Black kids, the real outsiders, because they were there, too.
Calderón Kellett currently serves as co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer, director and actress on the critically acclaimed One Day At A Time, the reimagining of the classic 1970s sitcom from Norman Lear that moved from Netflix to Pop TV this season. She recently began a major overall deal with Amazon Studios.
The 39-year-old Mexican actor will star alongside Javier Bardem in the untitled Cortés and Moctezuma project from Amazon Studios and Amblin Television.
Yoshira Escárrega has also been cast in the project.
The limited series will be a four-hour epic drama that maps the inexorable march and eventual clash between Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortésand Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II, leading to the annihilation of an empire and tragic downfall of a civilization that took centuries to build, but less than two years to destroy.
Oscarwinner Bardem was announced in the role of Cortés last year and will also serve as an executive producer on the project.
Huerta will play Moctezuma, the Emperor of the Aztecs. Escárrega will play Marina, strategic partner, translator and consort to Hernán Cortés.
From Amazon Studios and Amblin Television, the limited series is created for television and written by Academy Award-winner Steven Zaillian and based on the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. The series is directed by Ciro Guerraand Cristina Gallego.
Bardem will executive produce alongside Zaillian, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and more.
Huerta recently wrapped filming a starring role in the Blumhousefeature film, Borderline, the latest installment in the Purge franchise. He’s known for his role as the infamous Rafael Caro Quintero in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, opposite Diego Luna and Michael Pena. He also appeared in a key role in the Paul Weitz-directed Bel Canto, which starred Julianne Mooreand Ken Watanabe.
Escárrega is a film and theater actress born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and a graduate of Escuela Nacional de Arte Teatral. Her latest work in television includes notable roles in Aquí en la Tierra directed by Gael García Bernal for Fox Premium Latinoaméricaand Dani Who for Paramount Channel Latinoamérica. She recently worked in films with acclaimed directors Alonso Ruiz Palaciosand Ximena Montemayor.