Matt Lopez Signs Multi-Year Overall Deal with ABC Signature

Matt Lopez has an exciting new deal…

The Latino screenwriter, the creator/executive producer of ABC’Promised Land, has signed a multi-year overall deal with ABC Signature, the studio behind the upcoming multigenerational Latinx family drama.

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ABC Signature is part of Disney Television Studios.

Lopez’s Promised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about the Sandovals, a Latinx family vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley, premiering on January 24, 2022, on ABC.

The series’ all-Latinx cast (including desi dating apps and Christina Ochoa) and majority Latinx crew are filled with people whose stories resemble the Sandoval family.

“‘La familia’ is how the cast and crew of Promised Land refer to each other, and it’s how I think of Jonnie Davis, Tracy Underwood, and their amazing team — as my creative family, said Lopez in a statement to Deadline. “The courage and integrity they have shown in supporting this show make it clear that ABC Signature is committed to telling compelling stories in fresh and exciting ways, and it’s where I want to continue to work and create for years to come.”

Added Davis, President of ABC Signature, “Matt Lopez is homegrown Disney talent, who has worked on the feature side for years. His upcoming Promised Land is a love letter to his family, especially his Cuban grandfather. When he shared this personal story with us and our friends at ABC, we all knew this had to be a television series, and we believe it will be the first of many from this unique and talented writer.”

Lopez’s other recent projects include the upcoming feature film Father of the Bride, a reboot of the classic film franchise, for Warner Bros. and Plan B starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan; the family comedy Alexander, for Disney + with 21 Laps and Henson Co; and Wraith, a horror-thriller for Netflix.  Matt created and executive produced the television series Gone.

His additional writing credits for the big screen include The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Race to Witch Mountain, and Bedtime Stories.

Lopez segued into writing and producing through the Disney Writers Program after a career as an attorney and business affairs executive for DreamWorks.

Gloria Estefan to Star in “Father of the Bride” Reboot

Gloria Estefan is circling the mother of a role…

The 63-year-old Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman is in talks to star opposite Andy Garcia in Warner Bros. and Plan B’s Cuban-American reboot of the Father of the Bride films.

Gloria Estefan

Directed by Gaz Alazraki, the film is being penned by Matt Lopez. Estefan would play Garcia’s wife, with Adria Arjona tapped to play the bride-to-be.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film. While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy film and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

WB execs thought it was a long shot that Estefan would be interested, but between Lopez’s script and Garcia’s and Alazraki’s involvement, the opportunity for Estefan was simply too hard to pass up.

“A resounding YES was my answer to the invitation to join my good friend, the incredibly talented Andy Garcia, for this new and wonderfully warm and funny incarnation of the classic, Father of the Bride! I’ve been a fan of director Gaz Alazraki since I saw his record-breaking comedy Nosotros Los Nobles and can’t wait to experience how he brings this amazing script by Matt Lopez to life,” Estefan said.

Estefan’s music has people running to the dance floor for decades going all the way back to when she was the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine and “Conga” hit the airwaves in 1985. Since then her musical library could rival any singer in the world, and Hollywood has been no stranger to using her music in dozens of movies. Estefan has rarely made the jump to the big screen herself, with this only being the third time she has acted in a movie. She made her acting debut opposite Meryl Streep in 1999’s Music of the Heartalso providing the Oscar-nominated song of the same title. Most recently she appeared in Kenny Ortega’s A Change of Heart.

Adria Arjona to Star in Warner Bros. & Plan B’s Reboot of “Father of the Bride”

Adria Arjona is heading down the aisle…

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress will star as Andy Garcia’s daughter and the bride-to-be in Warner Bros. and Plan B’s reboot of Father of the Bride

Adria Arjona

Gaz Alazraki has been set to helm the studio’s new reboot, which will revolve around a Cuban-American family, with Matt Lopez penning the script.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film.

While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy film and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

Dede Garner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce for Plan B Entertainment. Garcia will executive-produce.

Arjona’s breakout role came on Legendary’s Pacific Rim: Uprising, where she co-starred opposite John Boyega and Scott Eastwood. She would follow that up with key roles in Life of the PartyTriple Frontier and most recently in the Michael Bay action pic 6 Underground.

She can be seen next in Sony’s extended Marvel Universe film Morbius, which also stars Jared Leto and Matt Smith.

Arjona was recently tapped for the female lead in the anticipated Rogue One spinoff series Andorwhich also stars Diego Luna and Stellan Skarsgard.

Natalie Morales to Star in & Produce CBS’ Comedy Pilot Based on Sarah Cooper Book

Natalie Morales is preparing for a successful next endeavor…

The 36-year-old Cuban American actress has been cast as one of the leads in CBS’ comedy pilot based on TikTok star Sarah Cooper’s book How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings.

Natalie Morales

Morales will star opposite Amy Landecker and Alice Lee in the pilot.

She’ll also serves as a producer on the pilot, from Cooper, Cindy Chupack, Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi.

Co-written by Cooper and Chupack and directed by Amy York Rubin, the Untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack Project revolves around three women at different stages in their careers at a male-dominated company — played by Morales, Landecker and Lee — who help each other navigate modern gender politics in their professional and personal lives.

Morales will play Joanna, a conflict-averse, people-pleasing middle manager at the small tech company Lucent Muse, whose new hire, Elyse (Lee), challenges her “go along to get along” career philosophy. She lives with her boyfriend of two years, a sweet, loyal guy who might be too sweet and loyal for her.

Morales’ acting credits include The Little Things and Dead to Me. She made her feature directing debut with this year’s Language Lessons, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at SXSW. She is an executive producer and director on Plan B, a feature comedy on Hulu that’ll be released in spring 2021; and she’s writing and producing an untitled comedy feature set in Miami from Universal.

Andy Garcia to Star in the Latinx-Themed “Father of the Bride” Reboot

Andy Garcia has landed the father of all roles…

The 64-year-old Cuban actor will star in Warner Bros. and Plan B’s reboot of Father of the Bride

Andy Garcia

Gaz Alazraki has been set to helm the studio’s new reboot, which will revolve around a Latinx family, with Matt Lopez penning the script.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film. While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy pic and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

“I’m very excited to join The Father of the Bride, a beloved film that has brought so much joy to so many over the years and to represent my Cuban culture and heritage in this story,” Garcia said. “I commend Warner Bros. for their foresight and celebrate this opportunity they have created. I am looking forward to my collaboration with our talented director Gaz Alazraki and producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner from Plan B. “

Dede Garner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce for Plan B Entertainment. Garcia will exec produce.

The veteran actor best known for roles in the Ocean Eleven franchise and The Godfather Part IIIGarcia can be seen next opposite Katey Sagal in the highly anticipated ABC drama Rebel.

Victoria Moroles to Star in the Natalie Morales-Directed Comedy “Plan B”

Victoria Moroles is a woman with a Plan (B) 

The 24-year-old Mexican American actress will star opposite Kuhoo Verma in Plan B, the comedy from actress/director Natalie Morales.

Victoria Moroles

Written by Prathi Srinivasan and Joshua Levy, the story takes place after a regrettable first sexual encounter, when a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland.

Plan B is said to a contemporary look at the adventure movie that has a diverse friendship at its center.

Hulu is behind the project that hails from Counterbalance Entertainment and American High.

Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg will produce via Counterbalance.

“Over 15 years after making Harold & Kumar, it feels like we’re having déjà vu. Kuhoo and Victoria are such a talented and dynamic duo. We can’t wait for audiences to join them on this hilarious and heartfelt ride,” said Hurwitz and Schlossberg.

Moroles’ previous credits include MTV series Teen Wolf and the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie.

Natalie Morales to Make Solo Feature Directorial Debut with “Plan B”

Natalie Morales is heading behind the camera…

The 35-year-old Cuban American actress, who most recently starred in the second season of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated series Dead to Me, will make her solo feature directorial debut with Plan B, a Counterbalance Entertainment and American High comedy that’s set up at Hulu.

Natalie Morales

Set to begin production next month in Syracuse, NY, the film follows a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend who, after a regrettable first sexual encounter, have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland.

Prathi Srinivasan and Joshua Levy penned the screenplay.

Morales has directed and starred in multiple episodes of HBO’s Room 104 from creators Jay and Mark Duplass. On the big screen, her recent credits include Fox’s Stuber with Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Warner Bros.forthcoming The Little Things drama with Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek.

Gina Rodriguez’s “Kajillionaire” to Now Open in Limited Theaters on September 25

Gina Rodriguez’s kajillion will have to wait…

Focus FeaturesSundance Film Festival acquisition of Annapurna/Plan B’s Kajillionaire, starring the 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning actress and former Jane the Virgin star, will now open in select theaters on September 25, a week later than originally anticipated.

Gina Rodriguez

The Miranda July directed film will hit PVOD around October 16. Despite that, the film’s marketing will be driven toward its theatrical release, and the movie will continue to be available to cinemas while it’s on PVOD.

Written and directed by July, Kajillionaire follows con artists Theresa and Robert, who spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a kind stranger, Melanie (Rodriguez), into joining their next scheme, completely shaking up Old Dolio’s routine. Her unlikely connection with Melanie begins to challenge Old Dolio’s odd and stoic reality — and she finds herself suddenly caught between the only family she has ever known and the prospect of total freedom.

The film also stars two-time Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and three-time nominee Debra Winger.

 During the pandemic when the big circuits were closed, Focus Features played two titles on theatrical PVOD: Jon Stewart’s political comedy Irresistible and the Nisha Ganatra directed music drama The High Note.

Focus Features Releases Trailer for Gina Rodriguez’s Grifter Comedy “Kajillionaire”

Gina Rodriguez wants to be a kajillionaire

Focus Features has released the first trailer for KajillionaireMiranda July’s Sundance comedy about a family of grifters starring the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Jane the Virgin star.

Gina Rodriguez

“Most people wanna be kajillionaires,” Dad says in the clip. “That’s the dream. That’s how they get you hooked — hooked on sugar, hooked on caffeine. Ha, ha, ha, cry, cry, cry. Me? I prefer to just skim.” His daughter looks up and says, “So do I.”

Here is your logline: Con artists Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins) have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dollo (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam and steal at every opportunity.

“She learned to forge before she learned to write,” Pops boasts of Old Dollo. “Actually, that’s how she did learn to write.”

During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger (Rodriguez) into joining their next scam, only to have their entire world turned upside down.

July wrote and directed Kajillionaire as her first feature since 2011’s The Future.

The trailer features “Mr. Lonely,” a song performed by Angel OlsenEmile Mosseri, the latter being the film’s composer. 

Produced by Plan B and Annapurna Pictures,Focus Features plans to release the film in theaters in September.

Ana de Armas In Talks to Star in Film Adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Novel “Deep Water”

Ana de Armasmay soon find herself in deep water…

The 31-year-old Cuban-Spanish actress is in talks to star opposite Ben Affleck in the film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Deep Water.

Ana de Armas

The film, to be directed by Adrian Lyne, is described as an erotic thriller, right in the wheelhouse Lyne established with such blockbusters as Indecent ProposalFatal Attraction, and 9 1/2 Weeks. The filmmaker has long been intrigued with this project, first setting it up with Fox 2000back in 2013. New Regency bought control of the property last year, and this gives them another plum project to go with the James Gray-directed Ad Astra with Brad Pitt, and the Robert Eggers-directed The Lighthouse.

Affleck and de Armas are in negotiations to play Vic and Melinda Van Allen, an attractive young married couple whose mind games with each other take a twisted turn when people around them start turning up dead. The couple staves off divorce in a loveless marriage by allowing each to take lovers, but it becomes messy as Highsmith exposed the surface facade of American suburban life.

Zack Helm and Sam Levinson have adapted from the Highsmith novel.

Lyne is eyeing a November production start on Deep Water, which will be fully financed by New Regency

Pending all the pieces falling into place, the plan is for the film to go through its deal with Fox/Disney.

de Armas is having her moment in Hollywood. She is about to begin shooting the Andrew Dominik-directed Netflix film Blonde, in which she plays iconic actress Marilyn Monroe, with talks going on for Adrien Brody to play Arthur Miller and Bobby Cannavale to play Joe DiMaggio in a fictionalized look at her life. Dominik worked for years on this project, and looked at many actresses for the role of Monroe. He was intrigued when he saw de Armas in Blade Runner 2049, and they worked long and hard with a dialect coach to lose her Cuban accented inflection for Monroe’s breathy delivery before a screen test pleased Netflix and Plan B’s Brad PittDede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. She follows that film with the James Bond 25 film.