Robert Rodriguez to Direct Ben Affleck in the Action Thriller “Hypnotic”

Robert Rodriguez is ready to thrill…

The 51-year-old Mexican American filmmaker is set to direct Ben Affleck in the action thriller Hypnotic.

Robert Rodriguez

The film centers on a detective who, while investigating a string of impossible high-end heists, becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.

The big budget film, which is reportedly set at $60m-$80m, comes from Studio 8 and Solstice Studios. And it’s the first project greenlit under a partnership between the two companies. 

Production is slated for April.

Rodriguez, Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinovand his colleagues Guy Danellaand John Grahamwill produce the film with Solstice, which will handle US distribution and launch international sales beginning at American Film Market.

“Working with Ben on his award-winning projects, including Argoand The Town, I have seen how his versatility and creativity has made him one of the most talented filmmakers both in front of and behind the camera,” said Robinov. “It’s very meaningful to be collaborating with Ben again on this uniquely riveting suspense thriller, and I know he and Robert will make a terrific film together.”

Rodriguez’s previous credits include El MariachiMachete, theSpy Kidsfranchise, Sin Cityand Sin City: A Dame to Kill Forand Alita: Battle Angel. 

Sarah Shahi Lands Recurring Role on Showtime’s Drama Series “City On a Hill”

The Hill(s) are alive for Sarah Shahi

The 39-year-old half-Spanish American actressand former Person of Interest star has landed a key recurring role opposite Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge in City On A Hill, Showtime’s upcoming drama series executive produced by Ben AffleckMatt Damonand Jennifer Todd

Created, written and executive produced by Chuck MacLean and based on an original idea by Affleck, City on a Hill is set in the early 1990s Boston, rife with violent criminals emboldened by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption and racism was the norm. 

The fictional account centers on assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge) who arrives from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran, Jackie Rohr (Bacon). Together, they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to involve, and ultimately subvert, the entire criminal justice system of Boston.

Shahi will portray Rachel Behnam, a street-smart investigator for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Produced by Showtime, City On A Hill also stars Jonathan Tucker, Mark O’BrienJill HennessyLauren E. Banks, Amanda ClaytonKevin Chapman and Tony nominee Jere Shea, with Kevin Dunnrecurring.

Production on the new 10-episode series will begin next month in New York and Boston, and will premiere later this year.

Shahi, who previously headlined USA Network’s drama Fairly Legal, co-starred as Sameen Shaw on CBS’ Person of Interest, played Carmen on The L Word, recurred on Chicago Fire, Pitch and most recently starred on Reverie.

Adria Arjona In Talks to Star in Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man Universe Film “Morbius”

Adria Arjona could be heading to the Spider-verse

The 26-year-old Guatemalan and Puerto Rican actress is in talks to portray Martine, the female lead in Sony Pictures’ feature film Morbius, which stars Jared Leto.

Adria Arjona

Daniel Espinosa is directing the Spider-Man Universe spinoff based on Marvel Comics’ antihero Morbius the Living Vampire.

Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane, the renowned biochemist Dr. Michael Morbius first debuted in the 1970s The Amazing Spider-Man#101 issue. He attempts to cure a fatal blood disease by injecting himself with a treatment serum derived from bats, which transforms him into the anti-hero Morbius. He has all the qualities of a vampire, including a taste for human blood.

In the comics, Martine, who is engaged to Morbius, becomes a potential victim to his bloodlust as he grapples with the transformation that has made him a weird laboratory version of the supernatural vampires of lore.

Sony has declined to comment on Arjona’s possible casting.

Arjona, who made television history as the first Latina and bilingual Dorothy in NBC’s short-lived series Emerald City, was most recently seen on the big screen in Universal’s Pacific Rim Uprising and the Melissa McCarthy-starrer Life of the Party.

Her upcoming projects include Netflix’s Michael Bay movie Six Underground opposite Ryan Reynolds and Corey Hawkins and Triple Frontier with Ben Affleck, as well as Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens series at Amazon.

Carlos Leal to Star in Netflix’s Film “The Last Thing He Wanted”

Carlos Leal has found the last thing

The Spanish actor will appear in Dee Rees and Netflix’s The Last Thing He Wanted.

Carlos Leal

Leal joins a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Willem DafoeBen Affleck, Toby Jones, Rosie PerezEdi Gathegi, and Mel Rodriguez.

Based on Joan Didion’s 1996 novel, the film follows journalist Elena McMahon (Hathaway) who finds herself on dangerous ground as the Iran Contra Affair’s arms for drugs plot reaches its tipping point.

Rees and Marco Villalobos adapted the screenplay.

Leal’s credits include the James Bond film, Casino Royale.

Production is currently underway in Puerto Rico.

Oscar Isaac to Star in the Netflix Drama “Triple Frontier”

Oscar Isaac is headed to a new Frontier

The 39-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor will star in the Netflix drama Triple Frontier.

Oscar Isaac

Isaac leads an all-star cast that includes Ben AffleckCharlie HunnamPedro PascalGarrett Hedlund and Adria Arjona.

The J.C. Chandor-directed drama centers on five friends whose loyalties are tested when they reunite to take down a South American drug lord, unleashing a chain of unintended consequences.

The film is called Triple Frontier because of its setting in the notorious border zone with Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, where the Iguazu and Parana rivers converge. That area is no longer considered as dangerous as it once was; tourists visit the area now.

Chandor has worked on the script and the location still borders Brazil.

It will shoot in Oahu, as well as in Colombia and California.

Prieto to Make Feature Directorial Debut with the Revenge Thriller “Bastard”

Rodrigo Prieto is stepping into the director’s chair…

The 51-year-old Mexican cinematographer, who has worked on films such as Martin Scorcese’s Silence and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, will make his directorial debut with the revenge thriller Bastard.

Rodrigo Prieto

Based on an original script penned by Bill Gullo, Bastard is a taut revenge thriller with a riveting antagonist at its core, set against a looming flood that will ravage the small town of Bird’s Point, Missouri.

A Mexico-City native, Prieto started his career shooting television commercials at the age of 22 before moving into features in 1992. He broke out into the film scene with his work on Amores Perros, which kicked off his collaboration with director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Prieto boasts a top-notch list of film credits including Julie Taymor’s Frida; Curtis Hanson’s 8 Mile; Spike Lee’s 25th Hour; Iñárritu’s 21 Grams and Babel; Oliver Stone’s Alexander; Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play; Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces; Francis Laurence’s Water for Elephants; Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo; Lee’s Brokeback Mountain; Ben Affleck’s Argo; and a clutch of Scorcese titles.

He’s most recently worked on HBO series Vinyl and Silence, the latter of which saw him earn an Oscar nomination.

Prieto directed his first short film Likeness, starring Elle Fanning, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Mendonca Filho Named to Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” List

Keep your eyes on Kleber Mendonca Filho

The Brazilian film director, screenwriter and producer will be honored as one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch during the Palm Springs Film Festival in January.The full list, which spans the creative landscape and puts a spotlight on a mixture of independent and studio filmmakers, includes Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

Kleber Mendonca Filho

Mendonca Filho is being recognized for helming the Brazilian–French drama Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga as Clara, a retired music writer and the last resident of Aquarius building, who refuses to sell her apartment to a construction company that intends to replace it with a new edifice.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

“One of the most exciting things for me about the festival is being able to host Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch,” said Michael Lerman, the festival’s Artistic Director. “Not only is it a fantastic event, but it also nicely compliments our festival program with selections from our Talking Pictures and Awards Buzz sections, as well as the director of our opening night film The Sense of an Ending, Ritesh Batra. It’s an exciting list this year!” 

Here’s the complete list:

Maren Ade, (“Toni Erdmann”)
Ritesh Batra, (“The Sense of an Ending”)
Otto Bell, (“The Eagle Huntress”)
Julia Ducournau, (“Raw”)
Geremy Jasper, (“Patti Cake$”)
Barry Jenkins, (“Moonlight”)
Emmett and Brendan Malloy, (“The Tribes of Palos Verdes”)
Kleber Mendonca Filho, (“Aquarius”)
William Oldroyd, (“Lady Macbeth”)
David Sandberg, (“Lights Out”)

Previous 10 Directors to Watch include Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Christopher Nolan (Memento).

The list debuted in 1996 and the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2011.

Syfy to Premiere Ramos’ Futuristic Thriller “Incorporated” in November

Eddie Ramos is incorporating

Syfy is set to debut the futuristic thriller Incorporated, starring the 24-year-old Latino actor, on Wednesday November 30.

Eddie Ramos

Incorporated is set in a near future where corporations have unlimited power. Sean Teale stars as Ben Larson, a young exec who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a dangerous corporate world to save the woman he loves. Larson, though, isn’t the only one whose secrets might have deadly consequences.

In addition to Teale and Ramos, who portrays Theo, the series also stars Dennis Haysbert, Julia Ormond and Allison Miller.

Incorporated was created by Alex Pastor and David Pastor. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are among the show’s executive producers.

It’s produced by CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions.

Ramos’ previous credits include television roles on Teen Wolf, Real Husbands of Hollywood, NCIS: Los Angeles and Parenthood.

Miguel to Star in the Prohibition-Era Crime Drama “Live By Night”

Miguel is heading into the night

The 30-year-old part-Mexican American Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has joined the cast of Live By NightWarner Bros.’ Prohibition-era crime drama based on the Dennis Lehane novel that Ben Affleck is starring in, writing and directing.

Miguel

Live By Night uses some of the characters from Lehane’s sprawling period novel The Given Day and brings them into Prohibition.

The focus is Joe Coughlin (Affleck), the black-sheep son of a police captain who gets involved in escalating levels of organized crime. Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina and Zoe Saldana are among those already aboard.

Miguel will play Esteban, the brother of Saldana’s character, Graciella Suarez, a woman Coughlin meets as he becomes involved in organized crime in Tampa.

Affleck temporarily has put aside plans for Live By Night to play the Caped Crusader in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. (The studio currently has it undated 2017 after bowing out of a October 7, 2016, release slot). Affleck also is producing through his Pearl Street, along with Appian Way’s Jennifer Killoran Davisson and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Miguel is next up as a featured performer on Shining A Light: A Concert For Progress On Race In America, the A+E NetworksiHeartMedia special to air November 20 followed by a worldwide rollout. It will be recorded at LA’s Shrine Auditorium on November 18.

Earlier this year he was in negotiations to star in an untitled musical romantic drama from John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co., Furst Films and IM Global.

Molina to Star Opposite Gerard Butler in “The Headhunter’s Calling”

Alfred Molina has found his new calling

The 62-year-old half-Spanish actor has joined the cast of The Headhunter’s Calling, the drama starring Gerard Butler.

Alfred Molina

Mark Williams is directing the project, which is due to being shooting October 26 in Toronto.

In the film, Butler is playing a ruthless headhunter who is on the verge of achieving his dream, taking over the company he works for, when the sudden illness of his 10-year old son causes his personal and professional life to crash.

Molina will portray a lovable, unemployed engineer who is looking for a chance to shine.

Bill DuBuque, who wrote The Judge and the upcoming Ben Affleck movie The Accountant, penned the script.