Hulu Releases New Trailer for “Nine Perfect Strangers,” Starring Bobby Cannavale

It’s a strange(r) time for Bobby Cannavale

Hulu has released a new teaser for Nine Perfect Strangers, the upcoming eight-episode “elevated suspense drama” starring the 51-year-old half-Cuban American Emmy-winning actor.

Bobby Cannavale

In addition to Cannavale, the series also stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten, Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto.

Based on the book by Big Little Lies author Liane MoriartyNine Perfect Strangers takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director, Masha (Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies.

As Hulu describes, these nine perfect strangers have no idea what is about to hit them. And as depicted in the teaser, graves will be dug.

The series comes from co-showrunners David E. Kelley and John-Henry Butterworth. Jonathan Levine directs all eight episodes.

The series is co-written by David E. Kelley, John Henry Butterworth and Samantha Strauss.

Nine Perfect Strangers premieres on Hulu on August 18.

Edgar Ramírez to Star in Netflix Series “Florida Man”

Edgar Ramírez is headed to the Sunshine State

The 44-year-old Venezuelan actor will star in Florida Man, which has received a formal eight-episode series from Netflix.

Edgar Ramirez

Ramirez, the star of the streamer’s popular film Yes Day, will headline the hourlong series from veteran television writer/producer Donald Todd and Jason Bateman & Michael Costigan’s Aggregate Films.

In Florida Man, created by Todd, when a struggling ex-cop (Ramírez) is forced to return to his home state of Florida to find a Philly mobster’s runaway girlfriend, what should be a quick gig becomes a spiraling journey into buried family secrets and an increasingly futile attempt to do the right thing in a place where so much is wrong. The series is described as a wild odyssey into a sunny place for shady people in the spirit of Body Heat and Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight.

The series is not related to limited series Florida Man starring Joel Edgerton, which is in development at Anonymous Content. It’s based on Tom Cooper’s novel, with Graham Gordy writing.

Ramírez stars opposite Jennifer Garner in Netflix’s movie Yes Day, which was estimated to be seen by 53 million households in the first four weeks. He recently starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in HBO’s high-rated and award-winning limited series The Undoing. He soon will begin production on Borderlands and next will star in Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Universal’s The 355.

Ramírez is a two-time Golden Globe nominee for his performances as Carlos the Jackal in Carlos and as Gianni Versace in American Crime Story

AMC Offers First Look at Alejandro Amenábar’s First Television Series “La Fortuna”

Alejandro Amenábar’s fortune is being finalized…

AMC has released the first stills from the 48-year-old Spanish-Chilean Oscar-winning film director, screenwriter and composer’s first television series La Fortuna, which is in the final stages of production in Spain and the U.S.

Alejandro Amenábar

Based on Paco Roca and Guillermo Corral’s graphic novel El Tesoro del Cisne Negro, the story centers on young diplomat Alex Ventura who teams with a combative public official and a brilliant American lawyer to recover treasure stolen by Frank Wild, who travels the world plundering historic items from the ocean.

Stanley Tucci plays Wild, while Spanish actor Álvaro Mel features as Ventura. Spain’s Ana Polvorosa stars as Ventura’s colleague in work and adventure, Lucia. Rounding out the cast are Clarke Peters as attorney Jonas Pierce, and British actress T’Nia Miller, who plays attorney Susan McLean. Karra Elejalde, Manolo Solo, Blanca Portillo and Pedro Casablanc also appear.

Alejandro Amenábar’s La Fortuna

The six-part MOD Pictures-produced series will premiere in 2021 on AMC in the United States, Canada, UK, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as Movistar+ in Spain.

Alejandro Amenábar’s La Fortuna

Amenábar, who directs, won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2005 for The Sea Inside, while he directed Nicole Kidman in 2001’s The Others.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Portray Desi Arnaz in Amazon & Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem may soon be saying, “Lucy, I’m Home!”

The 51-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Desi Arnaz opposite Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Amazon and Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem

The film centers on the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars. Having penned the screenplay, Academy Award winner Sorkin also will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists.

The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director as well over the summer.

After The Trial of the Chicago 7 bowed on Netflix in October, Being the Ricardos began to gain momentum with Kidman and Bardem quickly interested in the couple behind television’s first family. Deals still need to close for both actors, but even if and when they do, when production will start is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push productions throughout the country.

After years as one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters with such classics as A Few Good Men, Moneyball and his Oscar-winning The Social NetworkSorkin has found himself more and more behind the camera as well. His directing debut was the drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and he followed that up with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Bardem most recently starred in The Roads Not Taken and can next be seen in Legendary’s DuneHe also is set to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Ariana DeBose’s Musical “The Prom”

Ariana DeBose is heading to prom

Netflix has released the first trailer for Ryan Murphy’s musical The Prom, starring the 29-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Ariana DeBose in The Prom

The plot centers on four Broadwayactors who’ve seen better days who come up with a publicity opportunity to reignite their careers by flying to a small town in Indiana to help a lesbian student banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom.

The adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated stage musical has a screenplay from original playwrights Chad Beguelinand Bob Martin.

In addition to DeBose, who competed on So You Think You Can Dance, the all-star cast includes Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Jo Ellen Pellman, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Nico Greetham, Logan Riley, Nathaniel J. Potvin, Sofia Deler, and Kerry Washington.

The film will launch on the streaming service on December 11.

Netflix Releases New Photos of Ariana DeBose’s Musical Film “The Prom”

Ariana DeBose is heading to the big dance

Netflix has released new photos for the film adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated musical The Prom, starring the 29-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican actress and Broadway star.

Ariana DeBose in The Prom

The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, will arrive on Netflix on December 11.

It stars Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, Nicole Kidman as Angie Dickinson, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, DeBose as Alyssa Greene, Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Hawkins, Kerry Washington as Mrs. Greene, Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan.

Featuring a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin and a score by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, the musical tells the story of an Indiana high schooler barred from bringing her girlfriend to the prom—and the group of eccentric Broadway folk who infiltrate the town in an earnest, misguided attempt to fight the injustice.

The Prom opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018. The musical played 23 preview and 309 performances before closing August 11, 2019, earning seven Tony Award nominations.

The production, directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw, starred Tony winner Beth Leavel, Tony nominees Christopher Sieber and Brooks AshmanskasCaitlin Kinnunen, Isabelle McCallaAngie Schworer, Micahel PottsJosh Lamon, and Courtenay Collins.

DeBose’s theater credits include Bring It On, Motown: The Musical, Pippin and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

Oscar Isaac to Lend Voice to HBO Max’s “A World of Calm” Series

Oscar Isaac is helping bring the calm…

HBO Max has ordered A World of Calm, featuring the 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor’s voice.

Oscar Isaac

The series is based on Calm, a popular sleep and meditation app, and will be narrated by several big names like Isaac.

The 10-episode order, co-produced by Calm and Nutopia, is HBO Max’s first brush with the health and wellness space and 

From the creators of the Calm app and Nutopia, the series combines mesmeric imagery with narration by A-list stars like Isaac, Mahershala AliIdris ElbaNicole Kidman, Zoë KravitzLucy LiuCillian Murphy and Keanu Reeves.

Here’s the logline: A timely antidote for our modern lives, each half-hour episode takes audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Building on Calm’s Sleep Stories– bedtime stories for grown-ups – each relaxing tale is designed to transform how you feel. Viewers will be transported into tranquility through scientifically engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage to naturally calm the body and soothe the mind.

“With the considerable amount of stress and chaos we are all experiencing at this particularly challenging time, we could all use a bit of guided relaxation, and A World of Calmis here to help,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP Non-fiction and Kids Programming at HBO Max.

“Although this collaboration has been in the works for many months,” said Nutopia CEO and founder Jane Root, “this series has been entirely created during quarantine using Nutopia’s worldwide network of award-winning cinematographers and filmmakers. We hope this series of serene stories will bring a sense of much needed calm to audiences.”

Added Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith: “Calm started life as a meditation app, but the brand has evolved far beyond that. We are delighted to bring the magic behind our audio Sleep Stories to the screen for the first time. These experiences are visual Valium and will help people relax and unwind during these stressful times.”

Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Antonio Banderas to Receive International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Antonio Banderas is a shining star… 

The 59-year-old Spanish actor will receive the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s International Star Award, Actor for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas

“Throughout his career Antonio Banderas has garnered international acclaim and world recognition from his memorable performances,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas gives another deeply moving performance as aging film director Salvador Mallo going through a creative crisis as he reflects on the choice’s he’s made throughout his life.”

Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier BardemNicole KidmanHelen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan

Banderas, who recently earned a Goya Award nomination for his performance in Pain and Glory, will join the previously announced honorees Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award), Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award), Martin Scorsese Sonny Bono Visionary Award), Charlize Theron( International Star Award, Actress) and Renée Zellweger(Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress).

From Sony Picture Classicsand presented by El DeseoPain and Glory tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered.

The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Galaon Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.

Banderas’ next project is Dolittle

Ismael Cruz Cordova to Star in HBO’s Limited Series “The Undoing”

Ismael Cruz Cordovais Undoing things…

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast opposite Nicole KidmanHugh Grant and Donald Sutherland in The Undoing, HBO’s high-profile six-episode limited series written by David E. Kelleyand directed by Susanne Bier.

Ismael Cruz Cordova

An adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book You Should Have Known, The Undoingcenters on Grace Sachs (Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist, has a devoted husband (Grant) and young son (Noah Jupe) who attends an elite private school in New York City. Overnight a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

Cordova will play Fernando Alves.

The cast also includes Edgar Ramirezand Lily Rabe.

Cruz Cordova recently starred in Miss Bala for SonyMary Queen of Scots for Focus Films and Berlin Stationfor Epix