Natalie Morales to Star in Warner Bros. “The Little Things”

Natalie Morales is celebrating the little things…

The 34-year-old Cuban American actress has joined the cast of Warner Bros.The Little Things opposite Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek.

Natalie Morales

The film follows Deke (Washington), a burned-out Kern County, CA. deputy sheriff who teams with Baxter (Malek), a crack LASD detective, to nab a serial killer. Deke’s nose for the “little things” proves eerily accurate, but his willingness to circumvent the rules embroils Baxter in a soul-shattering dilemma. Meanwhile, Deke must wrestle with a dark secret from his past. Jared Letois in talks to join in the role as the serial killer in the project from writer-director John Lee Hancock.

Morales will play a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department detective working for Baxter.

She most recently starred on NBC’s Abby’s sitcom. The Parks and Recreation alum also starred in Fox’s Stuber alongside Kumail Nanjiani. She also appeared in Fox Searchlight’s Golden Globe-nominated Battle of the Sexes opposite Emma Stoneand Steve Carell. Morales was a regular on Fox’s The Grinder. She also recently directed her second episode of Room 104 for HBO.

Rosario Dawson to Star in “Zombieland 2”

Rosario Dawson will seeing, and fighting, dead people…

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban-American actress is set to join Zombieland 2, the next installment of the Sony Pictures post-apocalyptic zombie comedy that will feature original stars Woody HarrelsonJesse EisenbergEmma Stone and Abigail Breslin.

Rosario Dawson

Ruben Fleischer returns to direct the sequel fresh off of the blockbuster success of Venom.

Written by original Zombieland scribes Paul Wernickand Rhett Reese, the sequel centers on the comic mayhem that stretches from the White Houseand through the heartland. The zombie slayers must face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. Most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family.

Dawson joins franchise newcomers Zoey Deutchand Avan Jogiawith filming slated to begin this week. 

Zombieland 2 hits theaters on October 11.

Dawson can be seen as Claire Temple in five of the Netflix Marvel series: Jessica JonesLuke CageDaredevilThe Defenders and Iron Fist

Up next, she toplines the USA Networkcrime anthology series Briarpatch.

Bardem to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Academy Awards

Javier Bardem has a date with Oscar

The 47-year-old Spanish actor, who won an Academy Award for his role in No Country for Old Men, will serve as a presenter at the 89th Academy Awards on February 26.

Javier Bardem

In addition to Bardem, the latest list of presenters includes

Amy Adams, Riz Ahmed, John Cho, Dwayne Johnson, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Emma Stone and Charlize Theron, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Previously announced presenters include Halle Berry, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon and Hailee Steinfeld. 

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the ceremony live.

Larrain’s “Jackie” Joins the Film Slate at This Year’s AFI Fest

Pablo Larraín’s latest film will get the AFI Fest treatment…

The 40-year-old Chilean director’s latest film Jackie has joined the American Film Institute’s slate of AFI Centerpiece Galas at this year’s AFI Fest.

Pablo Larraín

From Fox Searchlight and starring Oscar winner Natalie Portman, the film will screen on Monday, November 14, at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Jackie, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, is an intimate portrait of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, which takes us into the iconic First Lady’s world during the difficult days immediately following her husband’s assassination.

Jackie

Noah Oppenheim penned the screenplay.

In addition to Portman, the film stars Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and Oscar nominee John Hurt. 

Jackie joins previously announced Mike Mills-directed 20th Century Women; Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven; and Damien Chazelle-helmed La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

The AFI Fest runs from November 10-17.

Morales to Star in Fox Searchlight’s Tennis-Themed Film “Battle of the Sexes”

It’s game, set and match for Natalie Morales

The 31-year-old Cuban American actress has been cast in Battle of the Sexes, Fox Searchlight’s film about the historic 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Natalie Morales

Emma Stone and Steve Carell will play the leads, while Morales will portray Rosie Casals, a one of “The 9” — the first women to form their own tennis league and go on tour. She became good friends with King and supported her leading up to the big match with Riggs.

Jonathan Faris and Valerie Dayton are directing the film from a script by Simon Beaufoy.

Morales currently co-stars on Fox’s The Grinder, and her credits also include Trophy Wife, Parks and Recreation, Girls and 90210.

Smollett to Star in Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant”

There’s an out of this world opportunity for Jussie Smollett

The 32-year-old Brazilian American actor/singer has joined the cast of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant as producers round out the main cast ahead of production, which is now being eyed to start next month.

Jussie Smollett

Smollett joins a list of new additions to the cast that includes Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo and Callie Hernandez. They join previously announced cast members Micahel Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir and Danny McBride.

Plot details are mostly under wraps for what is the second of the planned three films at 20th Century Fox acting as a prequel trilogy to Scott’s Alien movies. Only Fassbender is confirmed to reprise his character from 2012’s Prometheus; it remains unclear whether Noomi Rapace will return.

Smollett plays Jamal Lyon on Fox’s hit primetime soap Empire, which is in the middle of its second season.

Meanwhile, Hernandez, who starred in Machete Kills, recently wrapped shooting Damien Chazelle’s La La Land at Lionsgate opposite Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Hernandez to Star Opposite Emma Stone in Lionsgate’s Musical Film “La La Land”

Callie Hernandez is La La Land bound…

The Latina actress has joined the cast of Lionsgate’s film La La Land.

Callie Hernandez

Damien Chazelle’s musical, set in contemporary Los Angeles, stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as the aspiring actress he falls in love with. The catch: the city that brought them together may tear them apart, as they soon discover that balancing love and art in such a cutthroat climate isn’t easy.

Hernandez, who has appeared in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, has been cast as on of Stone’s three roommates. The other two roommates will be played by Sonoya Mizuno and Jessica Rothe.

La La Land has already secured a July 15, 2016 release date.

The film originally had Miles Teller and Emma Watson in the works to star. Teller and Chazelle had teamed on Whiplash, and the writer-director penned La La Land before that movie, which landed a Best Picture nomination last year and won him the Adapted Screenplay Oscar. But Teller moved on and Lionsgate scooped up Gosling and Stone in April.

Hernandez’s other credits include television appearances on From Dusk Till Dawn and Members Only. She’ll next star in the upcoming film Cover Girl.

Leto to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards

It’s another night with The Actor for Jared Leto

The 43-year-old part-Spanish American actor, who picked up a SAG Award, also known as “The Actor,” last year for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, will serve as a presenter at Sunday’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Jared Leto

In addition to Leto, other presenters just added to the roster include Matthew Beard, Colin Farrell, Jeff Goldblum, Allen Leech, Lupita Nyong’o, Emmy Rossum, Andy Samberg, Liev Schreiber and Reese Witherspoon

They join previously announced Patricia Arquette, Adrien Brody, Ellar Coltrane, Kevin Costner, Laverne Cox, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eric Dane, Viola Davis, Carrie Fisher, Ethan Hawke, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, Felicity Jones, Rashida Jones, Michael Keaton, Lenny Kravitz, Matthew McConaughey, Edward Norton, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, J.K. Simmons, and Emma Stone.

The SAG Awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT.

González Iñárritu Earns Three AACTA International Award Nods

Alejandro González Iñárritu is flying high Down Under

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts has revealed its nominations for its fourth annual AACTA International Awards for film in seven categories, with the 51-year-old’s dark comedy Birdman leading the field with seven nods.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman

González Iñárritu, who penned and helmed the Birdman script, is nominated in the Best Director and Best Screenplay categories.

The film, starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone, is also nominated for Best Film.

Here’s the complete list of AACTA nominations:

Best Film
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

Best Direction
Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
The Imitation Game, Morten Tyldum
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Best Screenplay
Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Best Lead Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything 

Best Lead Actress
Essie Davis, The Babadook
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Ethtan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Naomi Watts, Birdman

González Iñárritu to Receive Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Alejandro González Iñárritu may have a little extra spring in his step after his latest award… 

The 51-year-old Mexican film director will receive this year’s Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival‘s 26th annual Awards Gala on January 3.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman

Inarritu, who has said that Birdman is a semi-autobiographical project, has already received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for his co-writing and direction of the project.

He previously received PSIFF‘s Director of the Year Award in 2007 for his work on Babel (2006).

Other previous recipients of the PSIFF prize include Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Robert Zemeckis for Flight (2012), Stephen Daldry for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), David O. Russell for The Fighter (2010), Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009), Sean Penn for Into the Wild (2007) and Alexander Payne for Sideways (2004).

“By creating the illusion that the film was shot in one take and directing award-worthy performances by Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and a star-studded cast, Inarritu,” PSIFF chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “Inarritu has created a brilliant and original dark comedy.”

The film festival will run January 2-12.