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).

Villafañe to Portray Gloria Estefan in the Broadway Musical “On Your Feet!”

It’s a Miami Sound Machine moment for Ana Villafañe

The Cuban-American singer, dancer and actress has been cast as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet!, the highly anticipated Broadway musical about the Latin music superstar and her equally talented husband, producer Emilio Estefan.

Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra

Villafañe, who attended the same Miami high school as la Estefan, wasn’t able to make the open casting call last fall but sent a video audition, according to an announcement Monday from the production team. She got the call to audition for director Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray) and the Estefans, and was cast in the show.

She’ll star opposite Josh Segarra, who will portray Emilio.

The musical — a rare Latino-themed Broadway offering that will surely benefit from Estefan’s global status — is based on the life story of the seven-time Grammy-winning singer and her husband, who owns 19 of his own Grammys. It’s slated to open at Broadway’s Nederlander-operated Marquis Theatre on November 5, following previews beginning October 5. I

n addition to staging by Mitchell, the show will have choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis), with a book by Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). Prior to Broadway, the show will try out at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre from June 2-July 5.

“She walked into the room, and I immediately thought to myself – ‘this is it’,” Mitchell said of Villafañe in a prepared announcement. “Not only was she beautifully reminiscent of a young Gloria, but she embodied her energy and spirit in such a captivating way. And then she fully rose to the occasion by giving a sensational audition.”

Villafañe’s film and television credits include Magic City Memoirs (executive producer Andy Garcia), Los Americans and the upcoming Hulu original series South Beach: Fever as well as the female lead in Max Steel (Mattel), set for global release this summer.

Segarra has appeared in New York in Second Stage Theater’s Dogfight and Lysistrata Jones. On television, he stars in USA’s comedy series Sirens and has a recurring part on NBC’s Chicago PD as well as PBS’ The Electric Company, and guest appearances on Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s The Following. This summer, he’ll appear in the Judd Apatow feature film Trainwreck.

The company will also feature Andréa Burns (In The Heights) as Gloria Fajardo (Gloria’s mother); Alma Cuervo (Beauty And The Beast) as Consuelo (Gloria’s grandmother); Alexandria Suarez as Little Gloria; and Noah Johnston as little Emilio.

David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, On The Twentieth Century) has designed the sets, with costumes by Emilio Sosa (Porgy & Bess), lighting by Kenneth Posner (Wicked, Hairspray), sound by Steve Kennedy and projections by Darrel Maloney. The show is produced by James L. Nederlander and Estefan Enterprises Inc., in partnership with Bernie Yuman.

In anticipation of a wide-ranging social media campaign to publicize the show, the production also released three videos about the Estefan’s and the making of the musical.

DaCosta to Star in NBC’s “Chicago Fire” Spinoff “Chicago Med”

Yaya DaCosta is ready to go on call…

The 32-year-old part-Brazilian American actress, who recently portrayed Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic about the late singer, is set to star in NBC’s Chicago Med, the proposed ensemble medical drama spinoff from Chicago Fire.

Yaya DaCosta

DaCosta and the other cast members of the potential spinoff will be introduced in Episode 19 of Chicago Fire this season.

DaCosta will play Maggie Seaver (formerly Emily Sexton), an attractive nurse who begins to date Chicago Fire‘s Kelly (Taylor Kinney), with whom she has a history dating back to high school.

Like with Chicago PD, which also started as a planted spinoff from Chicago Fire, the Chicago Med  episode is conceived/written by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Dick Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD franchise for Universal Television.

“There will be an event that brings Chicago Med within Chicago Fire,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA last month.

DaCosta, who had been sought for pilots after following her breakout role as Whitney Houston, also appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. She is with Gersh.

Seda’s “Chicago PD” Renewed for a Second Season

It looks like Jon Seda will serve and protect another season…

NBC has given an early renewal to freshman drama series Chicago PD, which stars the 43-year-old Puerto Rican actor as Detective Antonio Dawson, an Intelligence Unit detective.

Jon Seda in Chicago PD

Chicago PD, which also stars Sophia Bush and Jason Beghe, is a spin-off of the network’s popular drama Chicago Fire.

The series, shot entirely in Chicago, focuses on uniformed police patrol officers and the Intelligence Unit that pursues the perpetrators of the city’s major street offenses.

Chicago PD premiered on January 8, 2014 to 11 million viewers. It’s currently averaging 12.04 viewers per episode.

Olivo Cast as Jon Seda’s Wife on NBC’s “Chicago PD”

America Olivo is headed to the small screen in one of this season’s most anticipated spinoffs…

The 35-year-old part Chilean and part Spanish/Basque actress, singer and model has joined the cast of NBC’s midseason drama Chicago PD, a spinoff of the hit series Chicago Fire.

America Olivo

Olivo will recur as Laura Dawson, a businesswoman and the wife of Antonio Dawson (portrayed by Jon Seda).

Olivo, best known as a member of the band Soluna, has previously starred on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Warehouse 13, Friday the 13th and the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.

Seda to Star on NBC’s “Chicago Fire” Spinoff “Chicago PD”

Jon Seda is switching sides…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actor will be starring in NBC’s Chicago Fire spinoff series Chicago PD.

Jon Seda

Seda, who appeared in seven episodes as Chicago Police Department detective Antonio Dawson, will be joined by Sophia Bush, Patrick Flueger, Jesse Lee Soffer and Jason Beghe on the spinoff.

The NBC midseason drama will center on the workings of the Chicago police department’s investigative team.

Seda, best known for portraying Detective Paul Falsone on NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, has appeared on Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Treme, The Closer and Hawaii Five-O.