Lin-Manuel Miranda Makes Cameo Appearance in & Composes Song for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais having an out of this world experience…

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor, lyricist, singer, actor and playwright is officially part of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was officially released on Friday.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Miranda makes a small cameo appearance as a Resistance fighter in the popular Lucasfilmfranchise, according to a still from Entertainment Weekly

But that’s not all… The Tony Award-winning composer also composed a secret song in the film with producer J.J. Abrams.

“It’s got a nice beat & you can dance to it,” says Miranda of the track. 

Miranda previously composed “Jabba Flow” for Abrams’ last Star Wars installment, Episode VII – The Force Awakens from 2015.

Guillermo del Toro Receives Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Guillermo del Toro is a star… And he has the hardware to prove it!

The 54-year-old Oscar-winning filmmaker saw his star unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fameon Tuesday. 

Guillermo del Toro

The ceremony took place just a few days before the release of the latest film he’s written and produced, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

At the ceremony del Toro told the large crowd of fans to always celebrate their “weirdness.” He remembered coming to Hollywood as a young man and admiring the stars of Boris KarloffLon Chaney and Alfred Hitchcock.


“What I felt with those stars is there were people who were as weird as me and they were here. And it gave me hope,” said del Toro. “This star is for you, all of you who that feel weird.”

Fellow filmmaker and longtime friend J.J. Abrams celebrated del Toro at the unveiling.

“You are a mind-bendingly, brilliant creator, a curator of the most remarkable collection of art, a man who tells stories of unlikely heroes with hearts almost as large as his own,” said Abrams.


sel Toro also spoke about being an immigrant from Mexico, and encouraged everyone to believe in the possibilities in life, not the obstacles.

“Do not believe the lies they tell about us,” said del Toro. “Believe in the stories you have inside and believe that we all can make a difference.”

del Toro is known for a number of well-known films, including Pan’s LabyrinthThe Shape of Water and Hellboyamong many others. Shape of Water earned the filmmaker two Academy Awards for best picture and best director.

de Toro’s star is the 2,669th awarded on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Guillermo del Toro to Write & Direct the Action Film “Zanbato”

Guillermo del Toro has a new fighton his hands…

The 54-year-old Mexican filmmaker is attached to write and direct the action movie Zanbato for Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.

Guillermo del Toro

The logline is under wraps. Zanbatocenters on a young girl with lethal fighting skills. del Toro posted the news on his Twitter account that the project has been in development for the past six years without leaking, adding, “We are still developing steadily.”

del Toro also said Friday that he’s in pre-production on Pinocchiofor Netflix, on which he’ll make his animated feature film directing debut in a stop-motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy. Netflix and del Toro announced in October that he would write and produce the film, set in Italy during the 1930s, when fascism was on the rise.

del Toro is also producing Scott Cooper‘s Antlersat Fox Searchlight, and Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkatCBS Films

He won Academy Awardslast year for producing and directing The Shape of Water.

Miranda Contributes Cantina Music for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The Force has awakened Lin-Manuel Miranda

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican actor, composer and writer, currently earning raves on Broadway for his latest award-winning musical, Hamilton, has partnered with Star Wars’ latest direct J.J. Abrams to make some music.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Theater and sci-fi geeks alike freaked when Abrams let the news slip on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (Nov. 30), revealing that Miranda will be lending his talents to new cantina music for Episode VII, aka Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“I go to see [Hamilton] with our son and at intermission, Lin-Manuel Miranda comes up to me and says, ‘Hey if you need music for the [Star Wars] Cantina, I’ll write it,” recalls Abrams. He notes that composer John Williams, who helmed the original cantina scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, declined to tackle the task this go-round.

Miranda, who’s Hamilton is currently dominating Broadway — and the Billboard charts — with its R&B, pop and rap-influenced take on the story of Alexander Hamilton, described the process via Twitter.

“We did. Worked on it between 6pm & 7:30 on 2 show days for the past 2 months. JJ is the best. Can’t wait to see,” tweeted the In The Heights creator to his followers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters in three weeks (opening December18).

Miranda is responsible for Disney’s upcoming animated film Moana. His other composing credits include The Electric Company and Sesame Street.

Rodrigo Lands a Villainous Role on HBO’s “Westworld”

Rodrigo Santoro is heading west(world)

The 38-year-old Brazilian actor has landed a villainous role on HBO’s Westworld.

Rodrigo Santoro

Santoro joins the Anthony Hopkins– and Evan Rachel Wood-starrer, which is inspired by Michael Crichton‘s 1973 film of the same name.

The drama is billed as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. Hopkins stars as Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and chairman of the board of Westworld, who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park — and unorthodox methods of achieving it.

Wood portrays Dolores Abernathy, the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West — who is about to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.

Santoro will portray the terrifying and brutal with a dark sense of humor Harlan Bell, Westworld’s perennial “most wanted” bandit. He subscribes to the theory that the West is a wild place, and the only way to survive is to embrace the role of predator.

Joining Santoro, Hopkins and Wood are Jeffrey Wright, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Angela Sarafyan and Simon Quarterman.

Person of Interest‘s Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote the pilot, will direct and executive produce alongside J.J. AbramsLisa Joy co-wrote the pilot and will exec produce.

 

Orci to Take the USS Enterprise Crew ‘Deep in Space’ in “Star Trek 3”

Roberto Orci is ready to go “deep in space.”

The 40-year-old Mexican film and television writer, producer and director, who will direct Star Trek 3, says the crew of the USS Enterprise will explore a new world in the next installment of the film franchise.

Roberto Orci

Orci said on the Humans from Earth podcast that the next film will take place “deep in space,” unlike J.J. AbramsStar Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, which he co-wrote.

“In [Into Darkness] they set out finally where the original series started,” he explained. “The first two films – especially the 2009 [Star Trek] – was an origin story. It was about them coming together. So they weren’t the characters they were in the original series. They were growing into them and that continues on in the second movie. So in this movie they are closer than they are to the original series characters that you have ever seen. They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space.”

USS Enterprise Star Trek

When asked about what alien might be seen in the upcoming third entry, Orci still played it coy as quoted by Badass Digest, “The Horta is actually the villain in the next one – no – they are in deep space now, so let’s see what’s out there.”

Of the possibility of having a gay character, he said, “It can be part of a character and not be the whole shebang…It doesn’t have to be like South Park, like ‘what have we learned today.’ It can be so normalized that it just exists. I agree it can’t be shoe-horned in. And it is not necessary for it to be the whole point of the thing. It is an ensemble and there is lots of people to represent so no one point of view should hog it.”

Star Trek 3 is slated for 2016.

Orci Reportedly In Talks to Helm the Next “Star Trek” Film

Roberto Orci may boldly go where J.J. Abrams has gone before…

The 40-year-old Mexican American film and television writer and producer is reportedly the clear frontrunner to replace J.J. Abrams as the director of the third installment of Paramount’s Star Trek series.

Roberto Orci

Following what it calls “an aggressive lobbying campaign,” Deadline.com reports that Orci and Paramount Pictures are in talks.

Orci was a co-writer and producer on 2009’s Star Trek and it’s 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

The news comes after Orci parted company with longtime partner Alex Kurtzman on film projects; they still continue to work on television projects together, including Sleepy Hollow and El Rey Network’s upcoming series El Matador.

It would Orci’s first time in the director’s chair, although he has plenty of experience on massive projects beyond Star Trek, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ender’s Game and Cowboys & Aliens.

Abrams had helmed the first two Star Trek films, but surprised Paramount officlas by agreeing to relaunch the Star Wars franchise and direct the first film at Disney.

Isaac to Star in the J.J. Abrams-Helmed “Star Wars: Episode VII”

May the force be with Oscar Isaac

The 35-year-old Guatemalan/Cuban actor is among the stars joining the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Oscar Isaac

Though casting rumors have been circulating for months about the upcoming prequel from filmmaker J.J. Abrams, an official cast announcement was made Tuesday on the movie’s official website by Disney and Lucasfilm.

Other newcomers to the Star Wars franchise include John Boyega, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley and Max von Sydow.

Original stars returning for the film include Harrison FordCarrie FisherMark HamillAnthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

“We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII,” Abrams said in a statement. “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Disney and Lucasfilm did not reveal who the newcomers will be portraying in the film, but Driver and Boyega are reportedly playing the film’s villain, who will be in the vein of Darth Vader, and the lead, respectively.

Episode VII will take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to open in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Pardo & Alonso’s “Revolution” Renewed for Second Season

It looks like Daniella Alonso and JD Pardo have hit pay-dirt… as long as their characters don’t meet an untimely end.

NBC has given an early renewal to its hit freshman series Revolution, which stars the 34-year-old Puerto Rican/Peruvian-American actress and 32-year-old Argentinean/Salvadoran American actor.

Daniella Alonso in Revolution

The network has given the sci-fi series a full-season, 22-episode pickup.

Revolution, the Monday night drama that centers on a family trying to reunite amidst a worldwide power failure, is executive produced by Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk.

JD Pardo in Revolution

Revolution is the season’s top-rated drama on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and the top-rated new series among those networks in adults 18-49, scoring a 4.6 rating, 12 share and 11.8 million viewers overall in “most current” averages for the season to date.

Pardo portrays Jason Neville on the series, while Alonso plays Nora Clayton.

Saldaña ‘Ready’ for Action in New “Star Trek Into Darkness” Trailer

Zoë Saldaña is ready to head into the darkness…

Or at least that’s what the 34-year-old Puerto Rican/Dominican-American actress says in the latest trailer for J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness.

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek Into Darkness

The clip for Paramount Pictures’ follow-up the blockbuster hit sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot appeared before showings of Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Saldaña is reprising her role as Nyota Uhura in the film.

Star Trek Into Darkness opens nationwide on May 17th.