Alejandra Guzman to Star on Season 2 of Pantaya’s Spanish-Language Series “El Juego de Las Llaves”

Alejandra Guzman is gearing up for some el juego…

The 52-year-old Mexican Latin Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and actress has joined the Season 2 cast of Pantaya’s hit Spanish-language scripted series El Juego de Las Llaves.

Alejandra Guzmán 

Guzman joins a roster of cast newcomers that includes Laura Leon and Cristián de la Fuente.

Also joining the ensemble cast are Barbara Lopez, Michelle Rodriguez and Gustavo Egelhaaf.

El Juego de las Llaves streams on Pantaya, a Lionsgate and Hemisphere Media Group joint venture, in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and internationally via Amazon Prime Video.

El Juego de las Llaves is a provocative half-hour Spanish-language scripted series that follows four long-lasting couples and friends who decide to swing, and are left to face the impact of their decisions in the comedic aftermath.

The all-star cast includes Maite Perroni, Sebastián Zurita, Marimar Vega, Horacio Pancheri, Humberto Busto, Hugo Catalan, Ela Velden and Fabiola Campomanes.

Guzman, known for her television role in Una familia con suerte, most recently served as a coach on La Voz… Mexico and La Voz in the U.S., the Spanish-language versions of the singing competition The Voice.

Leon has appeared in telenovela hits like Dos mujeres un camino, El premio mayor and Mujeres engañadas, whose theme songs she also sang and have become classics of Latinx pop culture.

de la Fuente has had leading roles in Amor bravio, Quiero amarte and Sueño de amor. He has also appeared in a number of English-language film and television series including In Plain Sight, Driven, Basic and CSI: Miami.

El Juego de Las Llaves was created by Marisa Quiroga and developed by Patrick McGinley, Veronica Bellver and Corazon FilmsSandro Halphen, alongside Amazon Prime Video and Pantaya.

Directors on season 2 include Kenya Marquez, Javier Colinas and Roberto Fiesco.

The series is produced by Pantaya and Corazón Films.

Juanes to Host Star-Studded Christmas Musical Special “Celebremos: Eterna Navidad”

Juanes is getting into the holiday spirit…

The 45-year-old Colombian superstar and his wife Karen Martínez are set to host a star-studded Christmas special that will stream only on Pantaya, according to Billboard.

Juanes

Titled Celebremos: Eterna Navidad, the musical event — produced by streaming service Lionsgate‘s Pantaya, Universal Music GroupElefantec Global and Plataforma — will feature performances by Alejandro FernándezDanna PaolaGloria Trevi and Los Tigres del Norte, among many others.

“We all need a little extra Christmas cheer this year and what better way to bring people together than by a holiday special featuring joyful music and celebrity fun,” said Mario Almeida, Pantaya vice president of programming, development, and acquisitions. “We are excited to be working with the biggest names in Latinx entertainment and to partner with Pepe Baston’s Elefantec Global, Plataforma and Universal Music Group.”

The holiday special will also include other guests, including actors Aislinn Derbez, Ana De La Reguera, Sebastian Zurita and Ricardo O’Farrill, and renowned chefs Benito Molina and Solange Muris.

Celebremos: Eterna Navidad premieres December 4 on Pantaya and can be streamed across the U.S., including Puerto Rico.

Jennifer Lopez to Star Opposite Armie Hammer in the Lionsgate Action-Comedy “Shotgun Wedding”

It’s wedding bells and shotgun shells for Jennifer Lopez

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar will star opposite Armie Hammer in Lionsgate’s action-comedy Shotgun Wedding.

Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore will direct from a screenplay by Mark Hammer and Liz Meriwether.

“Jennifer and Armie’s irresistible magnetism, separately and together, make them the perfect pairing for this action comedy,” said Erin Westerman, president of production for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. “They are both incredibly funny actors that can also deliver on the action, but what sets this movie apart is the way their infectious chemistry commands the screen. You can’t take your eyes off them.”

The film follows Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Hammer), who gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as the couple begin to get cold feet. And if that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage.

Lopez will produce the film alongside her Nuyorican Productions’ colleagues Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina.

Production is expected to begin early next year. The film will be presented at the upcoming AFM.

Lopez can be seen next in highly-anticipated Universal rom-com Marry Me opposite Maluma and Owen Wilson.

She recently received rave reviews for her work in the STX film Hustlers.

Ángel Gómez to Direct Screen Gem’s Genre Film “The Pope’s Exorcist”

Ángel Gómez is bringing the thrill to the Vatican

The 32-year-old Spanish filmmaker has been set by Screen Gems to direct The Pope’s Exorcist, a genre film that’s based on the exploits of Father Gabriele Amorth.

Ángel Gómez

He’s the legendary Italian priest who was the Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, and performed over 100,000 exorcisms for the Church.

Chester Hastings and R. Dean McCreary wrote the screenplay.

Michael Patrick Kaczmarek, Jeff Katz of Worldwide Katz and Loyola Productions president Eddie Siebert, SJ are producing. Eric Paquette, Michael Bitar and Giselle Johnson will oversee for Screen Gems.

Gómez made his directing debut on Voices and has become a leading voice of Spanish horror. The film was well received in its theatrical run in Spain and it premieres next month on Netflix.

Gomez cut his teeth directing award-winning shorts including Affection and Behind. He’s developing the latter as a feature at Lionsgate with Ghost House and Ground Control.

Screen Gems previously acquired life rights to Chief Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth from Kaczmarek and Loyola and that includes his two international bestselling memoirs, An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. Father Amorth, who died in 2016, left behind a trove of detailed accounts of his exploits pulling the devil out of people all over the world.

Father Amorth said relatively few of the exorcisms he performed qualified as true demonic possession, but he said his favorite film was the William Friedkin-directed The Exorcist, and that director turned the priest’s life work into the 2017 documentary The Devil and Father Amorth.

Omar Chaparro & Son Emiliano to Star in Pantaya’s Motorcycle Docuseries “Chaparreando”

Omar Chaparro is hittin’ the road…

The 45-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and television host is set to star in a motorcycle docuseries for the Lionsgate-backed streaming service Pantaya.

Omar Chaparro

Pantaya, a joint venture between the U.S. studio and Hemisphere Media Group, has ordered the six-part series titled Chaparreando.

The series will follow Chaparro, who starred in Detective Pikachu and Overboard, and his teenage son Emiliano on a motorbike journey through Mexico. Chaparro shares the countryside and colorful characters of his native state of Chihuahua to teach his son about his own roots.

The series, which will launch on Pantaya on October 15, is produced by 3Pas Studios with Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odell executive producing alongside Chaparro.

“Omar is a friend and constant collaborator with us at 3Pas.  He’s a comedic force of nature but this show is not just funny as hell, it’s an immigrant’s love letter to his country,” said Odell and Derbez.

“Omar has been a great partner on No Manches Frida, Overboard and other Pantelion hits, and the Pantaya team has been searching for the right vehicle for him. We were happy to find it in his own motorcycle. Collaborating on Chaparreando with 3Pas, Omar and his son Emiliano, and the production team was a joy and we know audiences will share that excitement when they watch with their own families,” said Mario Almeida, Pantaya Vice President of Programming, Development, and Acquisitions.

Chaparro co-hosted the Mexican version of Netflix’s Nailed It!,

Lionsgate Acquires Rights to Diego Luna’s Drama “Wander Darkly”

Diego Luna will be wandering into North America…

Lionsgate has acquired the North American rights to Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly, starring the 40-year-old Mexican actor/producer and Sienna Miller.

Diego Luna

Luna’s drama, which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, will have a multi-platform release this fall from Lionsgate.

The story revolves around Luna’s and Miller’s characters, who after a traumatic accident leaves a couple in a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through the duality of their shared moments. By reliving fond recollections from the beginning of their romance while also navigating the overwhelming truths of their present, they must rediscover the love that truly binds them together.

 “I am thrilled that Wander Darkly has found its home with Lionsgate,” said Miele. “It was a dream to bring this story to life with such an incredible team and the ever-brilliant Sienna Miller and Diego Luna. Seeing audiences’ powerful reactions at Sundance was moving and humbling and we can’t wait to share the film with audiences later this year.”

 “The film is a visually stunning thrill ride through the complexities of love and loss between Sienna and Diego, who deliver wonderful and very moving performances,” said Lauren Bixby, VP Acquisitions at Lionsgate. “Tara weaves mystery and intrigue into a modern-day parable and we could not be more excited to work with her and the rest of the filmmaking team on the release campaign.”

Starz Orders Television Spinoff of Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs’ Film “Blindspotting”

There’s more blindspotting in Rafael Casal’s future.

Starz has ordered a television spinoff of the 35-year-old half-Latino writer, performer and producer and Daveed Diggs’ feature Blindspotting to series.

Rafael Casal

Jasmine Cephas Jones, who starred in the original Lionsgate film, will reprise her role and will also serve as a producer.

The film, which was released in 2018, is being spun off as a half-hour dramedy with Casal serving as showrunner in addition to having a recurring role.

Casal and Diggs wrote and produced the feature, as well as starred in it, and will now write and executive produce the television series.

The series centers on Ashley, played by Cephas Jones, who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister.

“Let us put you up on game, bruh. No description will encompass the complexity of a ‘Blindspotting’ series, ya dig? So just get juiced, ‘cuz it stars Jasmine Cephas Jones, it’s set in Oakland and we’re making it, so it’s lightweight finna to be hella good and the soundtrack will indeed slap. Oh Boy,” said Casal and Diggs.

“Rafael, Daveed and Jasmine created a beautiful film that we believe will translate perfectly into a compelling series for Starz,” added Christina Davis, President, Original Programming, Starz. “This provocative and powerful narrative couldn’t be more timely, and in picking up the story from Ashley’s perspective, we will be able to shine a light on so many of the important social issues that the characters and the audience continue to grapple with.”

Marisol Nichols’ Real-Life Work in the Fight Against Sex Trafficking Being Developed Into a TV Series by Sony Pictures Television

Marisol Nichols’ important work off camera has inspired a television series…

The 46-year-old half-Mexican American actress, who has starred on the CW’s drama series Riverdale, has spent the last few years working as an undercover agent in the fight against sex trafficking.

Marisol Nichols

And now Sony Pictures Television has optioned the rights to her story for a television series.

Nichols revealed her unusual side hustle in a long-form story in May’s Marie Claire.

In the article, written by Erika Hayasaki, she revealed that for the past six years she’s been hunting child sex predators. She has been working undercover with agents from the FBI, Operation Underground Railroad and local law enforcement to serve as the “bait” for sting operations domestically and internationally.

She has played the part of a parent pimping out a child, or, depending on what the situation calls for, the role of a child being pimped out to a guy who thinks he’s about to have sex with a 12-year-old.

Nichols, who will next star in Lionsgate’s Saw reboot Spiral next year, has taken part in numerous child sex stings around the world over the last few years.

Nichols, who has appeared on shows like 24, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, began to work in the world of human trafficking after her career slowed down around 2012.

She subsequently started a nonprofit, Foundation for a Slavery Free World, in 2014, and has regularly spoken publicly about the subject.

Sony Pictures Television is in the early stages of developing the project, which will see Nichols executive produce and likely star in the story.

Gael Garcia Bernal’s “Chicuarotes” to Open This Year’s Virtual Hola México Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal’s latest project is getting the Hola México treatment…

The 12th annual Hola México Film Festival, the largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico, will take place virtually and exclusively on Lionsgate and Hemisphere’s Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya from September 11-20, with the 41-year-old Mexican actor/producer’s Chicuarotes kicking things off.

Gael García Bernal

The festival will feature 20 movies, starting off with Chicuarotes, directed and produced by Garcia Bernal.

The film, which played at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival last year, centers on a pair of young boys from poor backgrounds who perform clown acts on public transportation to make ends meet. The story takes a turn when the young boys begin to rob passengers.

The program will include contemporary features, documentaries, genre fare and family movies, and will include Q&A’s, ‘virtual red carpets’, an awards ceremony and will try to mirror the physical festival in an online way as much as possible.

Other films forming part of this year’s lineup include Matias Meyer’s Amores Modernos, Kenya Marquez’s Asfixia, Marcelino Islas Hernández’s Clases de Historia, Emilio Santoyo’s El Deseo de Ana and Rodrigo CervantesLos Paisajes.

Hola Mexico

“As a result of the current pandemic, we wanted to ensure our industry and filmmaking community continues to connect and develop their careers, even if that cannot happen safely in-person,” commented Samuel Douek, founder and director of the Hola México Film Festival.

The festival’s mentor program Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today will be a live online program directed to TFT alumni.

Click here for the complete lineup.

Shalim Ortiz to Appear in Starz & Lionsgate’s “Power” Spinoff “Ghost”

Shalim Ortiz is seeing ghosts

The 41-year-old Dominican and Puerto Rican actor and singer has landed a recurring role in Starz and Lionsgate’s Power spinoff Ghost.

Shalim Ortiz

The spinoff picks up shortly after thePowerseries finale, with Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) working to get his mother Tasha (Naturi Naughton) out of jail after she took the fall for her son in James St. Patrick/Ghost’s (Omari Hardwick) murder.

Ortiz will play Danilo Ramirez, an NYPD officer stationed in the Tejadas’ backyard of Queens, NY. Ramirez will find himself torn between the duties of his badge and duty to the ones he loves.

Mary J. Blige and Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith also star.

Executive produced by series creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp (End of Episode) and Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson (G-Unit Film and Television), Ghost also stars Power alum Shane Johnson once again as federal prosecutor Cooper Saxe.

Ortiz most recently appeared in ABC’s Grand Hotel. He previously starred on Starz’s Magic City

His other notable television credits include CSI: MiamiCold Case and NBC’s Heroes

On the film side, Ortiz has appeared in The Winged Man and Bad Ass, among others.