Anya Taylor-Joy Among Cast for Illumination’s ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Film

Anya Taylor-Joy is preparing for her next royal excursion…

Illumination and Nintendo have announced the powerhouse voice cast for their upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film, which includes the 25-year-old Argentine American actress.

Anya Taylor-Joy

Taylor-Joy, who earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in Queen’s Gambit, will star as Princess Peach in the film, which will hit cinemas on December 21, 2022.

Playing the fraternal, mushroom digesting plumbers and squashers of turtles are Chris Pratt as Mario and Charlie Day as Luigi.

Playing bad guy Bowser is Jack BlackKeegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.

“Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character,” reads the release.

The co-financed feature between Universal and Nintendo will be directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who previously collaborated on the animated series Teen Titans Go! and the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

The film’s screenplay will be written by Matthew Fogel, whose credits include The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Illumination feature Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Future offshore release dates will be announced.

“Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date,” said Chris Meledandri who is also an outside director of Nintendo.

“We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game. The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen,” said Miyamoto.

Super Mario Bros. is a huge franchise play for Universal and Illumination. Already, there’s a Super Mario Bros. land open at the Universal Japan theme park with others under construction at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando.

The movie has been a long awaited revival for fans. There was a live action movie in 1993 starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as baddie King Koopa. There was also in the late 1980s The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! animated series which starred Captain Lou Albano as the voice of Mario and Danny Wells as the voice of Luigi.

Mario Brothers was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, Nintendo’s chief engineer in 1983. Super Mario Bros. the subseries, was launched in 1985. It is the best-selling video game franchise of all time, with more than 758.06 million copies of games sold, including 388.92 million for the Super Mario games alone.

Edgar Ramirez to Star in Eli Roth’s Film Adaptation of “Borderlands” Video Game

Edgar Ramirez is heading to the borderlands

The 44-year-old Venezuelan actor will portray Atlas in Eli Roth’s adaptation of the bestselling video game Borderlands for Lionsgate.

Edgar Ramirez

Ramirez joins Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Haley Bennett, and Jack Black. In the game, Atlas is a business titan and arms manufacturer, and the most powerful person in the universe.

“What an incredible honor to have an actor of Edgar’s caliber, talent, and charisma playing opposite Cate Blanchett and this remarkable cast,” Roth said. “Atlas has to be a truly magnetic personality, someone with charisma and charm but that air of menace underneath it all. I’ve been a fan of Edgar’s since his early performances and he continues to amaze me with each dramatic turn. We want to create something wild, fun, and very different from anything they’ve seen from Edgar before. I am so, so excited to work with him.”

In the film, Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.

Based on the game from Gearbox and 2K, one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time, welcome to Borderlands.

“The force of Edgar’s presence and the strength of his talent as an actor make him an ideal choice to play Atlas, a character who controls the fate of so many in the Borderlands universe. He’s the perfect addition to this perfect cast,” said Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

Borderlands is one of the world’s most successful video game franchises, with more than 68 million units sold-in worldwide, including over 24 million units of Borderlands 2, which is the highest-selling title in the history of 2K. The most recent installment, Borderlands 3, which launched in September 2019 and was recently released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, has sold-in more than 12 million units worldwide and was honored with the award for Best Multiplayer Game at Gamescom 2019 and Best Ongoing Game at Gamescom 2020.

The latest draft of the screenplay is by Craig Mazin.

Ramirez has stayed busy over the past year, most recently starring opposite Jennifer Garner in Netflix’s Yes DayHe was also recently seen in HBO’s critically acclaimed limited series, The Undoing. He will next star in Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Universal’s The 355.

Fat Joe to Appear on the Upcoming “MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon”

Fat Joe’s got hart… And, he’s ready to share it with the world.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper, whose real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena, will take part in the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, the upcoming two-hour special hosted by Hart that reimagines the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual variety show fundraiser.

Fat-Joe

Fat Joe joins a lineup of talent additions that includes Don Cheadle, Common, Cindy Crawford, Whitney Cummings, Stephen Curry, Zachary Levi and Kelly Rowland.

The special, which will benefit the MDA and Help From the Hart Charity, streams live on Saturday from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET on Hart’s LOL Network and its digital platforms YouTube and Pluto TV, as well as on TikTok, Triller and Twitch.

SiriusXM will air an encore of the show on its Laugh Out Loud Radio channel on October 26 at 4:00 pm ET and again the next day at 10:00 am ET.

The telethon will feature entertainment, comedy, musical performances and MDA’s Let’s Play For a Cure gaming elements, a gaming stream hosted by Zedd running simultaneously. A Telethon Showcase to celebrate the members of the neuromuscular community and hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Jann Carl will follow the two-hour main show. It will stream on the MDA’s Facebook page.

As a warmup, an MDA-hosted online auction on CharityBuzz featuring items from Serena Williams, Curry and others launches Friday at mda.org/telethon.

The latest talent additions to the lineup join previously announced guests including Garcelle Beauvais, Aloe Blacc, Jack Black, Usain Bolt, Bryan Cranston, Adam Devine, Josh Gad, Liz Gillies, Aldis Hodge, Edwin Hodge, Michael B. Jordan, DJ Khaled, Daniel Levy, Loni Love, Leslie Mann, Jillian Mercado, Robin Thicke, Gabrielle Union Wade and John David Washington.

Jonathan Krisel is directing.

 

Quibi to Stream All-Star Remake of “The Princess Bride” Featuring Jenna Ortega

It’s a royal moment for Jenna Ortega

Starting Monday, Quibi will stream an all-star remake of The Princess Bride filmed by actors at home while in quarantine, including the 17-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega

In addition to Ortega, the re-creation will feature an A-list cast that includes couples Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner,Common and Tiffany HaddishNeil Patrick Harris and David Burtka and Chris Pine and Annabelle Wallis, along with Hugh JackmanJennifer GarnerElijah Wood, Jon HammBeanie FeldsteinLucas HedgesJack BlackDavid OyelowoKeegan-Michael KeyPatton OswaltJosh GadAndy SerkisDiego LunaTaika Waititi and Zazie Beetz and more.

Directed by Jason Reitman, the project will see Common playing the heroic Westley (originated by Cary Elwes), Haddish as Princess Buttercup (first played by Robin Wright), and Jackman as the villainous Humperdinck, to name a few.

The Princess Bride’s director, Rob Reiner, will also appear in the remake, along with Fred Savage, who reprises his role as the grandson in the film.

Beginning June 29, Quibi will release chapters of the made-at-home movie daily for two weeks.

The remake also is aiding a good cause. As part of the project, Quibi has donated $1 million to chef José Andrés’ charity World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to those who have been most affected by the coronaviruspandemic.

The remake of The Princess Bridewas first reported by Vanity Fair.

George Lopez to Take Part in Comedy Fundraiser for Feeding America

George Lopez is helping to feed America

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor will take part in the Byron Allen-driven comedy fundraiser for Feeding America.

George Lopez

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 10 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, with NBCbroadcasting the show. 

In addition to Lopez, the program will include participation from Sebastian Maniscalco, JB SmooveJim GaffiganJudd Apatow, Jack BlackCedric the EntertainerWhitney CummingsJim GaffiganBrad GarrettWhoopi GoldbergKevin James, Sarah Silverman and Kenan Thompson.

Others taking part include Kevin HartChris RockAdam SandlerEddie MurphyBilly Crystal, Marlon WayansHowie MandelTiffany HaddishBrad GarrettTaraji P. HensonLouie AndersonMargaret Cho, Kenan ThompsonMarc MaronJon LovitzCaroline RheaByron AllenBilly Gardell, Tim MeadowsJamie KennedyBill Engvalland Sheryl Underwood.

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group television production division Entertainment Studios and Funny or Die will be producing the live-streaming comedy event.

The fundraiser will support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America

Additionally, the event will livestream on the Allen Media Group TV networks Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, as well as on the free streaming service app Local Now.

Pre-recorded comedy segments will be featured during the three-hour event. Committed to appearing are Hart, Sandler, Murphy, Rock, etc.

Allen, founder/chair/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group, said the benefit will help hungry people who are straining the resources of the nation’s food banks during the pandemic shutdown. 

“Laughter is often the best medicine, and we are extremely motivated to bring attention to issues of food insecurity, and to assist in providing meals to families across the country who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said Wednesday.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”

Rebecca Delgado to Launch “The Alarmist” Podcast on Earios

Rebecca Delgadois about to ring the Alarm(ist)…

The Puerto Rican actress/writer will be part of the inaugural slate for female-focused podcast network Earios.

Rebecca Delgado

Delgado’s podcast is entitled The Alarmist. The Good Placeactress sits down with a guest to analyze and scrutinize history’s greatest disasters, from the sinking of the Titanic to the break-up of The Beatles, to find out what went wrong and who is to blame. 

Delgado’s podcast joins a roster that includes projects by Love creator Lesley ArfinMargaret Choand Glow’sKimmy Gatewood 

Earios was set up by former UTAand WME comedy agent Priyanka Mattoo, who also ran Electric Dynamitewith Jack BlackMaria Blasucciand Amanda Lund.

Last year, the company successfully raised money through a Kickstartercampaign and secured enough to launch 12 shows this year. It has also partnered with podcast company Acastto launch the slate, which will launch three shows at the start of July and will run new shows every couple of weeks.

It’s designed to produce female-fronted podcasts after Lund and Blasucci, who previously hosted their own independent shows, failed to find podcast companies run by women even though over 30% of shows are hosted or co-hosted by women and women make up half of podcast listeners.

Dania Ramirez to Star in Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” Sequel

Dania Ramirez is headed for the jungle…

The 39-year-old Dominican actress and former Devious Maidsstar has landed a role in Sony’s sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Junglewhich is being directed and co-written by Jake Kasdan.

Dania Ramirez

Ramirez joins a cast that includes members Dwayne JohnsonJack BlackKevin HartKaren Gillanand Nick Jonas, as well as new additions AwkwafinaDanny DeVitoand Danny Glover

Plot details are being kept under wraps. 

In addition to her lead role on Lifetime’sDevious Maids, Ramirez previously starred on television in ABC’s Once Upon a Timeand NBC’s Heroes.

Her film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and Premium Rush.

Trejo to Participate in This Year’s Red Nose Day Special on NBC

It’s a Rudolph-like moment for Danny Trejo

The 72-year-old Mexican American actor, best known for portraying villains and anti-heroes, has signed on for NBC’s Red Nose Day Special.

Danny Trejo

The fundraiser, which aims to help lift kids out of poverty, will be broadcast live on May 26 from 9:00 – 11:oo pm ET on NBC.

The special, hosted by Craig Ferguson, features comedy, musical performances and short films that shed light on children in need here at home and around the world.

Also scheduled to make an appearance on the special are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tony Hale, Iwan Rheon, Sterling K. Brown, Yvette Nicole Brown, Margot Robbie, Jane Lynch, Connie Britton, Jay Pharaoh, Mayim BialikEllen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Key & Peele, Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Ellie Kemper, along with Kristen Bell, Emma Watson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Rose Byrne, Blake Griffin, Emma Thompson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Steve Buscemi, Adam Devine and Ron Funches. Additional talent will be announced at a later date.

Created by Oscar nominee and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis, the idea of Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and awareness of poverty to save and change millions of lives.

Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion globally in the last 25 years, and in the UK has become a cultural phenomenon where people across the country come together to have fun, raise money and change lives.

Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015, and raised more than $23 million, with the money now at work in all 50 states and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.

Nickelodeon Renews Hurtado’s “School of Rock” for a Second Season

Ricardo Hurtado has another year of school left…

Four episodes into School of Rock‘s freshman run, the musical comedy series starring the 16-year-old Latino actor, has been renewed for a 13-episode second season by Nickelodeon.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 10.45.40 AM

The show, based on the 2003 Paramount Pictures film starring Jack Black, hails from Paramount Television. It marked the first series order for the then-newly launched TV division of Paramount Pictures, and a corporate synergy play between the Viacom companies.

School of Rock, which airs Saturdays, averages almost 2 million viewers a week. The second season, which starts production this month, will continue to mix comedy with cast performances of popular and original songs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 10.46.11 AM

School of Rock follows a group of rule-abiding students — Zack (Lance Lim), Lawrence (Aidan Miner), Freddy (Hurtado), Summer (Jade Pettyjohn) and Tomika (Breanna Yde) — who learn to take risks and reach new heights thanks to substitute teacher Dewey Finn (Tony Cavalero), a down-on-his-luck musician who uses the language of rock ‘n’ roll to inspire his class to form a secret band. Throughout the school year, the middle-school classmates navigate relationships, discover their unknown talents and learn lessons on loyalty and friendships.

Season 1 featured guest appearances from musical artists like Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) and the cast covering hits such as “Heart Attack” (Demi Lovato) and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Twisted Sister).

School of Rock is developed by Jim and Steve Armogida, who serve as executive producers with Jay Kogen (The Simpsons). The original movie’s director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin serve as executive producers, along with Eli Bush.

Beatriz to Perform at Young Storytellers Foundation Fundraiser

Stephanie Beatriz is ready for something big…

The 34-year-old half-Colombia/half-Bolivian actress is among the thespians who’ve signed up to perform at the Young Storytellers Foundation’s 12th annual The Biggest Show fundraiser.

Stephanie Beatriz

Taking place on October 24 at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California, The Biggest Show event takes selected screenplays from throughout the previous school year for a staging that also serves as the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser.

The non-profit Young Storytellers group sends volunteers into dozens of Los Angeles-area public elementary schools to work with fifth grade students on developing short screenplays.

Over the course of eight weeks, the students learn the basics of crafting a dramatic narrative by working one on one with mentors, many of them industry writers. At the end of the program, each student’s screenplay is brought to life at an evening event for family and friends with a group of volunteer actors.

In addition to Beatriz, one of the stars of Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the cast for this year’s The Biggest Show will also feature Keegan-Michael Key, Max Greenfield, Jack Black, Judy Greer, Tom Lennon and Jason Mantzoukas.

Brothers Randy and Jason Sklar will serve as hosts.

Young Storytellers Foundation was formed in 1997 by a group of film students that included future Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Brad Falchuk.

Beatriz’s credits include television appearances on The Closer, Modern Family, Southland, Jessie and Hello Ladies.