Esai Morales to Star in DC’s “Titans” Series

Esai Morales has landed a Titan-ic role…

The 56-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast in the series Titans.

Esai Morales

He’ll portray Deathstroke, the fan-favorite assassin and archenemy of Teen Titans leader Dick Grayson.

The Titans, the first original programming franchise for the DC Universe subscription steaming site, launched in September and finished its first season in December. The weekly show follows the superhero squad that’s led by Batman’s former sidekick, Robin, aka Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), and includes the hot-tempered alien princess Starfire (Anna Diop), the mysterious empath Raven (Teagan Croft), and the green-skinned shape-shifter Beast Boy (Ryan Potter).

That Titans line-up of characters was introduced with much fanfare in the pages of DC Comicsback in 1980. The team, created by Marv Wolfmanand George Perez, didn’t have to wait long to find their signature antagonist: Deathstroke the Terminatorwas introduced in issue No. 2 of The New Teen Titans in December 1980.

The character bio from the show’s producers: “Slade Wilson is known for being DC’s deadliest assassin. While serving his country, Slade became an elite soldier before government testing enhanced his physiology to near superhuman levels, putting him on a path of darkness and revenge. To his family, Slade is a father and husband, but to the rest of the world, he is feared by many as the infamous Deathstroke; selling his services to the highest bidder as the ruthless assassin that never gives up and never misses.”

The character is well known to fans of the popular Teen Titans animated series from Cartoon Network as well as the show’s 2018 tie-in feature film Teen Titans Go! to the MoviesDeathstrokehas also been portrayed by Manu Bennett in 36 episodes of The CWseries Arrow while Joe Manganiello (True Blood) appeared as the assassin in the 2017 feature film Justice League but only with an uncredited cameo.

The DC Comics character represents an interesting footnote in Marvel Comicshistory. The character Deadpool, portrayed by Ryan Reynoldsin the popular R-rated Foxfilm franchise, was created by Fabian Niciezaand Rob Liefeldin 1990 as a thinly disguised version of the DC villain. Not only do the characters share similar costumes, Deadpool’s alias is Wade Wilson, which in fact rhymes with Slade Wilson.

Adding a bit more confusion, both Deadpool and Deathstroke have similar attributes to Deadshot, a DC Comics villain introduced in the 1970s and portrayed by Will Smithon the big screen in Suicide Squad in 2016.

Morales, rose to acclaim in his feature film breakthrough role as Bob Morales in Taylor Hackford’s La Bamba, the landmark 1985 biopic about Ritchie Valens.

Morales’ feature film credits include Bad BoysMi FamiliaFast Food NationThe LineThe Disappearance of Garcia Lorcaand Gun Hill Road, a film he executive produced and starred in. Gun Hill Road was a grand Jury Nominee at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2011. Most recently he starred in Sony’s Superfly and the indie film The Wall of Mexico.

Morales’ recent television credits include Ozark (Netflix), Mozart In The Jungle (Amazon Prime), Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), and Chicago PD (NBC). Morales also had notable credits over the years on shows such as NYPD Blue (ABC), Miami Vice (NBC), Fame (NBC) Law and Order: SVU (NBC), Caprica (Syfy), and Criminal Minds (CBS).

David Fumero Lands Role on Spectrum’s “Bad Boys” Spinoff Series “L.A.’s Finest”

It’s a Finest hour for David Fumero

The 45-year-old Cuban actor has landed a recurring roles on L.A.’s Finest, Spectrum’s 13-episode series starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.

David Fumero

The spinoff from the Bad Boys movie franchise hails from writers Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier, Sony Pictures Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Television and 2.0 Entertainment.

It follows Burnett (Union), who last was seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. She now has left her complicated past behind to become an LAPD detective. Paired with a new partner, Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mom with an equally complex past, Burnett is pushed to examine whether her unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret. These two women don’t agree on much, but they find common ground when it comes to taking on the most dangerous criminals in Los Angeles.

Fumero will play Lt. Jason Calloway, an LAPD lieutenant with the Narcotics Division. He and Syd had a one-night stand that colors their occasionally adversarial relationship around the office. A good cop and a total pro; not above arresting any cop who crosses the line.

Union and Alba executive produce alongside co-showrunners Margolis, Sonnier, and Pam Veasey.

Fumero was a series regular on the Starz drama Power.

Fumero, who first began as an international fashion model for such fashion powerhouses as Versace, Armani, John-Paul Gauthier, and Dior, rose to fame on the ABCsoap opera One Life to Live.

Charter Communications Gives Straight-to-Series Order to Jessica Alba’s “LA’s Finest”

Jessica Alba is officially one of LA’s Finest

Charter Communications has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to LA’s Finest, the drama pilot starring the 37-year-old half-Mexican American actress and Gabrielle Union.

Jessica Alba LA's Finest

From writers Brandon Margolis and Brandon SonnierSony Pictures Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Television and 2.0 Entertainment, the series is set to premiere in 2019 exclusively on Charter’s Spectrum as the platform’s first major original series.

The series follows Burnett (Union), who last was seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. She now has left her complicated past behind to become an LAPD detective. Paired with a new partner, Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mom with an equally complex past, Burnett is pushed to examine whether her unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret. These two women don’t agree on much, but they find common ground when it comes to taking on the most dangerous criminals in Los Angeles.

The cast also includes Ernie Hudsonas Joseph Burnett, Zack Gilford and Duane Martin as Ben Walker and Ben Baines, and Ryan McPartlin as Patrick McKenna.

Sony Television took out the action pilot, a spinoff from the Bad Boys movie franchise, immediately after the project’s original network, NBC, passed on it.

Charter Communications quickly emerged as a likely potential home, starting talks with Sony just days later. With the deal in advanced stages, Sony Television has been selling LA’s Finest internationally.

“Charter has a strong passion for the project, and we could not be more excited,” ” said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television. “Immediately we knew this innovative new platform was absolutely the right home for L.A.’s Finest.”

With its title recognition and A-list stars, L.A.’s Finest will be used as a key launching piece in Charter Communications’s recently announced strategy to introduce high-end original content on its Spectrum cable systems. The company signaled its entrance in the original scripted series arena by signing co-production deals with AMC Networks and Viacomand by hiring seasoned TV executive Katherine Pope to lead its original content efforts by securing rights on a cost-effective basis. Charter already produces programming via its regional sports networks and its exclusive Spectrum News services. 

With elaborate action sequences, LA’s Finest was one of the highest-profile and most expensive pilots this season, with its budget said to be around $12 million. It is based upon the character Syd Burnett, originally created for Bad Boys II by Marianne and Cormac Wibberley and Ron Shelton and played by Union in the 2003 movie.

Union and Alba executive produce.

Peña Attached to Star in Film Adaptation of NBC’s Cult Classic “CHiPS”

Michael Peña is letting the chips fall where they may…

Warner Bros. has set actor/comedian Dax Shepard to write, direct and star in the film adaptation of the long-running television series CHiPS, with the 38-year-old Mexican American actor attached to play Frank “Ponch” Poncherello.

Michael Peña

CHiPS, whichran from 1977-83, centered on two officers who patrolled the highways of California on motorcycles in some scandalously tight khaki uniforms. Shepard will play Officer Jon Baker (played in the original by Larry Wilcox), with Peña starring in therole Erik Estrada originated. Rick Rosner created the NBC series.

This is the most serious Warner Bros. has been in turning CHiPS into a film. The studio attempted it years ago, after That ’70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama showed up in the office of executive Greg Silverman. Dressed in the signature tight-fitting uniform, Valderrama merely said, “Funny, right?” — and he walked out with a deal and an intention to play Ponch. But while television shows from that era like Starsky & Hutch and The Dukes Of Hazzard got movie transfers, CHiPS stalled out.

The new take is envisioned as much in the tone of Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon than a comedy. Shepard is known mostly in humorous roles and the series Parenthood. He’s actually a professional driver of racecars and motorcycles, and he expects to be performing his own riding and stunts.