Gerardo Celasco to Star in Quibi’s Drama Series “Swimming with Sharks”

Gerardo Celasco has gone swimming

The 37-year-old Salvadoran American actor has been cast opposite Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger in Quibi’s drama series Swimming with Sharks.

Gerardo Celasco

Billed as a contemporary update of George Huang’s 1994 film that both celebrates and skewers the Hollywood studio system, the Lionsgate-produced series is written and produced by Kathleen Robertson, and directed by Tucker Gates, with Chris Cowles also producing.

In the series adaptation with a female twist, Lou (Shipka), a young female assistant, works for Joyce (Kruger), a sole female studio head, at a company filled with manipulators, schemers and intrigue, but little do they know Lou is poised to outwit them all.

Celasco will play Miles, a moderately talented artist and the husband of Joyce Holt (the big moneymaker in the household). Miles and Joyce have a complicated relationship based on love, money and power.

Celasco, who rose to acclaim on NBC’s Passions, co-stars in the upcoming Foxthriller series neXt. He’s known for his multi-season arc on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder

Starz to Premiere Season 3 of Melissa Barrera’s Series “Vida” in April

Melissa Barerrais breathing more lifeinto Starz’s lineup this April…

The network has announced that Season 3 of its original series Vida, starring the 29-year-old Mexican actress/singer, will premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9:00 pm. 

Melissa Barrera

Six episodes of the East L.A.-set drama will air week-to-week on Starz in the U.S. and Canada and on StarzPlayacross Europe and Latin America.

The show created by Tanya Saracho was renewed for a third season less than a week after its Season 2 premiere in May 2019; the show has continued to boost Hispanic viewership numbers at the Lionsgate-owned network. 

The new season wrapped filming in Los Angeles in November, and was written by an all-Latinxwriters room and helmed by Latina directors Jenée LaMarqueand Saracho.

In addition to Barrera, Vidastars Mishel PradaSer AnzoateguiChelsea RendonCarlos Mirandaand Roberta Colindrez

The upcoming season returns with Emma (Prada) and Lyn (Barrera) riding on the heels of success. The bar is booming and their love lives are actually flourishing… until the Hernandez sisters discover a long-buried family secret that ruins their hard-won peace. They find themselves face to face with old ghosts and new enemies, all while deciding if they can continue together as a family or if they should move on alone, for good this time.

Vida, which won last year’s GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy series, centers on Emma and Lyn, sisters who return home to their old neighborhood after their mother’s death to discover very little is as they thought it was, taking on issues of gender, gentrification, economics, representation and family.

Saracho returns as showrunner and executive produces the series.

Mauricio Ochmann Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Mauricio Ochmann has new representation…

The 42-year-old Mexican American actor and telenovela star has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) for representation in all areas.

Mauricio Ochmann

Ochmann’s credits include El Señor de los Cielos and its spinoff El Chema, the latter being the highest rated television show in Telemundo history. 

His feature film credits include Hazlo Como Hombreand Ya Veremos, both of which have been hits in Mexico, grossing around $10 million each. 

His next U.S. release will be Y Como Es El, a two hander with Omar Chaparroreleasing in April via Pantelion/Lionsgate.

The actor is currently shooting in Mexico on Salvador Espinosa’s Netflixoriginal Ahi Te Encargo.

Alongside acting work, Ochmann is moving into directing, having helmed English language short Diaz. He’s now developing his feature debut.

Ochmann and his wife Aislinn Derbez, also an actor, run their production company A Toda Madre Entertainment, which has several features in development, including one with Sony Pictures.

Lionsgate to Develop R.J. Palacio’s Graphic Novel “White Bird: A Wonder Story” Into a Feature Film

R.J. Palacio will see her latest project on the big screen.

Lionsgate is set to develop the 56-year-old Colombian American writer and New York Times best selling author’s graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story into a feature.

RJ Palacio,

White Bird, which hit bookstores this week via Alfred A. Knopf,inhabits the same universe as Palicio’s acclaimed work Wonder, which centered on young Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences, and his transition to a mainstream elementary school.

The Wonderfeature was a critical and commercial success, starring Julia RobertsOwen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay.

Wonderproducers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films, as well as Palacio, will once again produce the adaptation.

White Birdfollows a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Recounted by Grandmere to her grandson, Julian, a character already known to those familiar with Wonder, Grandmere’s story about her childhood—her fairy-tale life before the war, how everything abruptly changed when the Nazi’s occupied France, and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned becomes her savior and best friend — is transformational for Julian. It is his evolution, as well as Grandmere’s extraordinary story, that helps White Bird movingly demonstrate the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives.

James Myers will oversee the project on behalf of Lionsgate.

Wonder, which was released in 2017, grossed over $305 million worldwide, while the novel, released in 2012, spent seven years on the New York Times bestseller list. Recently, Lionsgate, Broadway producer Jill Furman, and Palacio announced that the title is being developed into a stage musical.

Palacio’s books have sold more than 15 million copies with editions published in 53 languages.

Eugenio Derbez & His Clan to Star in the Reality TV Series “De Viaje Con Los Derbez”

Eugenio Derbez is taking the familia on vacation…

The 58-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmakerand his thespian family are the subjects of the under-the-radar reality television series De Viaje Con Los Derbez.

Eugenio Derbez

The unscripted docu-comedy series, about a Derbez family vacation to Morocco, will launch in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on October 18 via Pantaya, Lionsgate and Hemisphere Media Group’s Spanish-language SVOD service, and will stream internationally on Amazon Prime Video.

The half-hour Spanish-language episodes will see a camera crew follow the Derbez family on the surprise vacation, offering a behind-the-scenes look at their adventures and escapades.

It will mark the first time the entire family of performers, who reach nearly 70M followers on social media, will be seen together on television.

The star-studded family consists of Derbez’s wife/actress Alessandra Rosaldo, their daughter Aitana, Derbez’s older actor sons Vadhir and José Eduardo and actress daughter Aislinn Derbez (La Casa de Las Flores) with her husband Mauricio Ochmann (Ya Veremos) and their daughter Kailani.

The series is produced in association withLionsgate by Derbez and Ben Odell’s 3Pas Studios as well as Katy Wallin and Stephanie Bloch Chambers’ Wallin Chambers Entertainment, who both have TV deals with Lionsgate. 3Pas Studios also has a first look deal with Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films.

Derbez, Odell, Wallin and Bloch Chambers will serve as executive producers. 

“I’m thrilled to be working with our Lionsgate friends in bringing my reality series to Pantaya and Amazon Prime Video,” said Derbez, who is best known for box office hits Instructions Not IncludedHow To Be A Latin Lover and the remake of Overboard, as well as a string of popular Spanish-language TV series.

He continued, “When they learned that I was planning to take my entire family on a surprise trip to Morocco, they had the crazy idea of documenting our adventures. We have always tried to keep our personal lives private so we were all really nervous about doing this but I think our audience will love it. They will finally know that we are just as crazy and dysfunctional as any family!”

“Eugenio has delivered a string of box office hits for Pantelion Films, and we couldn’t be more excited to have the creative mastermind behind them helming our first original unscripted television series,” said Pantaya and Pantelion Films CEO Paul Presburger.

De Viaje Con Los Derbez is the perfect example of the synergies we aim to create across the company and our focus on empowering talent to tell their stories through different mediums,” added Lionsgate SVP and Head of Unscripted Programming Alice Dickens-Koblin.

Naya Rivera’s YouTube Drama Series “Step Up: High Water” Surges in Viewership

Naya Riverais stepping up her game on the internet…

YouTube and Lionsgate’s hit dance drama series Step Up: High Water, starring the 32-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress and former Glee star, has surged in viewership for its Season 2 premiere. 

Naya Rivera

The first episode of the sophomore season has drawn 11.5 million views in the seven days since its March 20 debut, according to YouTube. Compared with the first episode of Season 1, which drew 1.3 million viewers through seven days following its January 31, 2018 debut, the Season 2 premiere is up 884% over the first season.

Based on the successful film franchise from Lionsgate, Step Up: High Water follows several students at a cut-throat performing arts school in Atlanta. 

Series regulars Rivera, NE-YO, and Faizon Loveare back for Season 2, along with newcomers Ashley GreeneRobin Givensand Jeremy Copeland.

Multi-platinum recording artist and entrepreneur Rick Rossis set to guest star as himself. Todrick Hallwill also make a cameo playing himself. JaQuel Knightwill choreograph episode three as well as make a cameo playing himself.

Step Up: High Water is created and executive produced by showrunner Holly Sorensen (Recovery Road, Make It Or Break It).Adam ShankmanJennifer Gibgotand Meredith Milton, all producers of the original Step Up films, executive produced season one, along with Channing Tatumand Jenna Dewan, who both co-starred in the original Step Up film. All have returned to executive produce for the second season.

David Del Rio to Star in ABC’s Rom-Com Pilot “The Baker and the Beauty”

David Del Rio has landed a beautyof a role…

The 31-year-old Latino actor has been cast as a series regular opposite Victor Rasuk and Nathalie Kelley in The Baker and the Beauty, ABC’s hourlong romantic comedy from Keshet StudiosUniversal Televisionand ABC Studios.

David Del Rio

Written by Dean Georgarisand to be directed by David Frankel, the storyline follows the impossible Miami love story between a simple baker (Rasuk) and an international superstar, Noa Hollander (Kelley). 

Del Rio will play Mateo Garcia, Daniel’s younger brother. 

His recent credits include supporting roles in The Belko Experiment and Pitch Perfect, the role of Putzie in Grease Live! and a starring role in Sean McNamara’s Lionsgatefeature Spare Parts opposite George LopezJamie Lee Curtisand Marisa Tomei

Lionsgate & MRC to Release Ana de Armas’ Murder Mystery “Knives Out” in November 2019

Ana de Armas has her knives out…

Lionsgate will partner with MRC to distribute worldwide Knives Out, the contemporary murder mystery starring the 30-year-old Cuban actress.

Ana de Armas

Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson wrote and is directing the film, which stars Daniel Craig as a detective trying to solve a murder.

In addition to de Armas and Craig, the killer ensemble cast includes Chris EvansMichael ShannonLakeith StanfieldJamie Lee CurtisToni ColletteChristopher PlummerKatherine Langford and Don Johnson.

Lionsgate has scheduled the film for nationwide release on November 27, 2019 for the Thanksgiving holiday corridor.

The film became possible when director Danny Boyleexited James Bond 25. While that film regrouped — Cary Fukunagais directing it — Craig suddenly had an open slot, and Johnson and his producing partner Ram Bergman took full advantage with an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery that Johnson wrote and was able to squeeze in before he and Bergman drill down on a new trilogy in the Star Wars universe.

de Armas previous film credits include Blade Runner 2049, War Dogs and Hands of Stone.

Rafael Casal to Write & Direct Lionsgate’s Sci-Fi Rom Com “First Sight”

Rafael Casal is has set his (first) sights on a new project…

The 33-year-old half-Spanish American actor will write and make his feature directorial debut on Lionsgate’s First Sight, a sci-fi romantic comedy about falling asleep to find the person of your dreams.

Rafael Casal

Casal will join forces with his Blindspottingco-writer, producer and star Daveed Diggs, and the film’s producers Snoot Entertainment, on the project.

Casal, a musician and poetic who appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry, was recently added to the cast of Bad Education starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney.

Mauricio Ochmann to Star in Pantelion Films’ Spanish-Language Comedy “Backseat Driver”

Mauricio Ochmann is driving into a new role…

Fresh off the huge Mexican box office opening of his comedy Ya Veremos, the 40-year-old Mexican American actor is joining Mexican comedian Omar Chaparro in the Spanish-language comedy Backseat Driver.

Mauricio Ochmann

Pantelion Films, 3Pas Studios and Alcon Entertainment are producing the film, which starts production in Mexico next month.

The film also stars Zuria Vega (Mi Marido Tiene Más Familia), Consuelo Duval (Netas Divinas), and Mauricio Barrientos (Qué Culpa Tiene El Niño).

It tells the story of mild mannered Tomás (Ochmann) who flies to Puerto Vallarta to seek revenge against the cabdriver (Chaparro) who has been having an affair with his wife (Vega). The film is a remake of the Filmline-produced Korean-language original Driving With My Wife’s Lover, which was written and directed by Kim Tai-Sik.

The feature is the latest project from Lionsgate label Pantelion and 3Pas Studios’ Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odellfollowing their collaboration on the Overboard redo and How To Be A Latin Lover.

Argentinian filmmaker Ariel Winograd (Sin Hijos) is directing from a screenplay by Paul Fruchbom (The Cool Kids). Derbez and Odell are producing under their 3Pas banner.

“3Pas is committed to supporting amazing creative voices across the U.S. Latinx community and Latin America,” said Odell. “We’re huge fans of Omar and Mauricio. Together, they form an unforgettable comic team under the direction of Ariel Winograd, who has helmed some of the best Spanish-language comedies of the decade.”

Ochmann’s credits include Telemundo’s hit telenovelas El Clon and El Chema.