Sarah Shahihas been paired up with a Rock-in’ co-star…
The 40-year-old part-Spanish actress has joined the cast of New Line and DC Films’ highly anticipated Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson in the title role. Aldis Hodge is also on board to play Hawkman with Noah Centineo set to play Atom Smasher.
Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Johnson alongside Emily Blunt in Disney’s Jungle Cruise, will helm. Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions are producing with Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo.
The character is one of DC’s most popular anti-heroes and plot details are being kept tightly under wraps. It is the second New Line/DC film following 2019’s critical and commercial smash hit Shazam!. The two characters, Shazam and Black Adam, are arch rivals in the DC Universe.
In the film, Shahi will play a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq.
Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani wrote the latest draft. Adam Sztykiel wrote the previous draft.
Shahi is currently shooting the Netflix series Sex/Life and received critical acclaim for her performance in the Showtime series City On A Hill. Her TV credits include The Rookie, Reverie, Person of Interest, The L Wordand Fairly Legal.
The 51-year-old Cuban American businesswoman and producer, her former husband Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners have bought the XFL, a twice-unsuccessful professional football alternative to the NFL fronted by WWE chief Vince McMahon, for $15 million.
Garcia and her business partners were selected as the winning bidder for the assets controlled by Alpha Entertainment, the parent company of the XFL.
The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday. Assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, the acquisition is expected to close on or shortly after August 21.
In announcing the deal, Garcia and her fellow projected new owners said they have secured “the ability to option live entertainment intellectual property for further expansion across sports, live events and original entertainment programming.”
The XFL, which had two single-season attempts to go up against the NFL, one in 2000 and the second this year, was fronted by McMahon and the WWE, which owned a 23.5% stake in the league. After starting its season in February, the XFL was forced to shut down due to COVID-19 in March. It filed for bankruptcy in April.
“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility” Garcia said. “Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”
Johnson has a connection to the sport, having played college football at Miami.
“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things – my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans,” Johnson said. “With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”
Jeffrey Pollack, president and COO of the XFL, called it a “Hollywood ending” to the process of seeking a sale.
Garcia and Johnson are co-founders of Seven Bucks Companies, a multi-platform enterprise pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies and digital networks.
RedBird was founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Cardinale. He has orchestrated a range of major sports deals over the past 20 years involving his clients and teams like the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys as well as leagues like the NFL.
The XFL was the latest in a long line of failed attempts to dislodge the NFL from its perch as the No. 1 sports league in America. Football fans haven’t tuned in en masse for leagues like the Alliance of American Football, the United States Football League or the World Football League.
The first XFL season, in 2000, provided a brief summertime splash in the ratings for NBC, which was a part-owner of the league at the time, before quickly fading.
The latest iteration of the XFL differed from the first attempt in that it didn’t try to amp up the violence or present more scantily clad cheerleaders. Kickoffs, a routine feature of games that experts have linked to high rates of concussions, underwent a dramatic change in the XFL, with teams lining up close to each other so as to eliminate running-start collisions. Other innovations included microphones on the sidelines, enabling fans to follow the game in more detail.
Anthony Robles’ life story is headed to the big screen…
Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions has teamed up with 101 Studios on Unstoppable, a film that tells the inspiring story of the 31-year-old Latino wrestler.
Despite being born with only one leg to a single-parent family living on the wrong side of the tracks, Robles overcame every obstacle to become an undefeated collegiate wrestling star, three-time All-American, 2011 NCAA National Champion, two-time ESPY Award winner and a National Wrestling Hall of Famei nductee.
John Hindman wrote the script, based onUnstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion, a 2012 memoir Robles wrote with Austin Murphy.
“Words cannot express how honored I am to have my story made into a film. Because I was born missing my leg, my entire life I’ve had to deal with people having low expectations of me,” says Robles. “When I got into wrestling, most people thought it was impossible for me to become even an average wrestler. I’m hopeful that people who see Unstoppable will walk away believing that you should never let your challenges define you. If you have a goal, go after it with everything you’ve got. Nothing is impossible.”
“Our entire Seven Bucks team is passionate about sharing stories that inspire and resonate on a global scale. We’ve had an eye on Anthony’s story for a long time and have been deeply moved by his perseverance that proves nothing is impossible. The powerful themes of redemption and tackling life’s obstacles are very familiar to us, we are excited to bring this triumphant underdog story to life.
“Anthony’s story is really special and reveals the passion, determination and fearlessness needed to overcome challenges,” Seven Bucks’ Hiram Garcia added. “Investing in the right stories with universal appeal is a huge priority for us at Seven Bucks, but more importantly, we want to share stories like Anthony’s that motivate the world.”
David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, said the company was “moved and inspired by Anthony’s triumphs on the mat, but—even more so—his triumphs of spirit and determination in his personal life. Unstoppable embodies the types of films that we want to bring to the screen: films that resonate universally because of their power to connect with audiences.”
The project will follow a fast track to production.
Simone Garcia Johnson is getting a Golden opportunity…
The 16-year-old half-Latina model has been named Golden Globes Ambassador, formerly called Miss Golden Globes, for next year’s awards show, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Garcia Johnson is the daughter of Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and entertainment and media mogul Dany Garcia.
“As we look forward to the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members decided to expand this role to embody the HFPA’s philanthropic efforts year round,” said HFPA President Meher Tatna. “The honoree will now be referred to as the Golden Globe Ambassador, and we could not think of a better representative than Simone to carry on this tradition, as her values closely reflect everything the HFPA stands for.
Garcia Johnson also announced her partnership with GlobalGirl Media as part of her new title.
“I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a household with strong role models and feel so honored to represent the HFPA for its 75th Anniversary,” she said. “As the newly minted Golden Globe Ambassador, I hope to serve as a role model to young people everywhere and empower them to speak out on issues they are passionate about.”
NBC will air the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards live at 8:00 pm ET Sunday, January 7, from the Beverly Hilton. The show will be delayed in the West.