Tanya Saracho Among Top TV & Film Creators Demanding More Latinx Representation in Hollywood

Tanya Saracho is calling for more Latinx representation in Hollywood…

The Mexican playwright, screenwriter and actress is among some of the top creators in television and film who are demanding for change when it comes to Latinx representation as Hispanic Heritage Months comes to an end.

Tanya Saracho

In an open letter to Hollywood more than 270 Latinx showrunners, creators, and television and feature writers, including Saracho, Lin-Manuel MirandaGloria Calderon-Kellett, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Steven Canals, John Leguizamo, Linda Yvette-Chavez, Carolina Paiz, Marco Ramirez, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and more are calling for systemic change in the entertainment industry.

The letter begins: “As we come to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in the midst of a global pandemic and continued racial injustice, many of us in the Latinx community have found it difficult to celebrate. Inspired by the activism of the Black and Indigenous communities, many of whom also identify as Latinx, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Black, Native and Indigenous writers, co-signing their WGAW Open Letters and echoing their demands for systemic change in our industry.”

“As Latinx Showrunners, Creators, TV and Feature Writers, we are incensed by the continued lack of Latinx representation in our industry, especially among the Black and Indigenous members of our community,” the letter continues. “Our stories are important, and our erasure onscreen contributes to the persistent prejudice that prevents real change in this country. This prejudice is not as overt as the one that keeps immigrant children in cages and separates families at the border, or as violent as the racism that is killing our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members at the hands of police.”

“But when we are onscreen, we’re often relegated to stereotypes or villains. And as a recent​ ​New York Times OpEd​ states, ‘White elites cannot muffle a huge, vibrant community for decades and not expect consequences. For Latinos in the Trump era, these consequences are deadly, from Hurricane Maria to the Walmart shooting in El Paso and the pandemic, as well as soaring hate crimes.’”

The letter points out that the Latinx community makes up 18.3% of the U.S. population but it is not reflected in film and TV. There are only 4.7% feature writers and 8.7% TV writers that are Latinx. As Latinx writers move up to Showrunner level, the stats only get more dismal. “By refusing to tell our stories AND by refusing to put us in charge of telling them — Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion,” the letter remarks.

This is even further supported by a recent study from CAA and Parrot Analytics, which shows that even though television shows are a lot more diverse than they were three years ago, not all racial and ethnic groups were equally well represented in scripted debuts. Latinos and Hispanics remain significantly underrepresented despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country.

While there are shows like One Day At A Time that having managed to get multiple season orders, there have been other Latino-fronted shows in the past years, like The Baker and the Beauty and United We Fall — that have been canceled before getting the chance to find their footing beyond one season.

The letter can be summarized with three words included heavily throughout: “We are tired.”

The open letter does not mince words with the demands and draws out exactly what needs to be done including creating stories for and about the Latinx community by Latinx creators; greenlighting Latinx-fronted projects; respecting all aspects and intersections of the Latinx cultural representation; and hiring Latinx creators for non-Latinx projects.

The letter, which was posted on social channels with the hashtag #EndLatinXclusion, closes with “Stories are powerful. Stories change the world. Let’s get on the right side of history so we can continue to create needed change and tell captivating stories together.”

This initiative was launched by the Untitled Latinx Project (ULP) founded by Saracho. It’s an all-Latina advocacy group formed to increase representation of Latinx created stories for television. The goal of this call to action was uniting the professional community of Latinx writers, creators and showrunners.

Read the letter in full here.

Gina Torres to Star in ABC’s Supernatural Drama Pilot “The Brides”

Gina Torres is vampin’ things up…

The 50-year-old Cuban American actress will lead the cast of The Brides, ABC’s supernatural drama pilot from Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina developer/executive producer Roberto Aguirre-SacasaBerlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Gina Torres

Written by Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Maggie KileyThe Brides, a sexy contemporary reimagining of Dracula, is a family drama with a trio of powerful female leads at its heart. With strong horror elements, The Brides is a vampire soap about empowered, immortal women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their nontraditional family.

Torres plays Cleo Phillips. One of the three Brides of Draculaand the leader of this vampire trio, Cleo is an imperious woman with a queenly manner —understandably, as she was a queen in her former life who was turned by Dracula after the death of her husband. Now a maven of New York City real estate, Cleo is challenged professionally by a mysterious newcomer — even as her ties to her sisters are dangerously fraying.

While the focus will be on the women, the character of Dracula is featured in the show.

Torres recently played Jessica Pearson, first on USA Network’s popular original series Suits and then in the network’s Chicago-set spinoff series Pearson, which Torres headlined and executive produced. The role has earned Torres an ALMA Award, an Imagen Awardand the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series.

At ABC, Torres co-starred on the Shondalanddrama series The Catch, recurred on Revenge and toplined the 2016 pilot The Death of Eva Sofia ValdezAngel and Firefly alumna Torres also did an arc on HBO’s Westwood.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Signs New Multi-Year Deal with Warner Bros. Television

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasahas landed a major deal…

The 44-year-old Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer who is currently the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and the key creative force behind Warner Bros. Television’s growing Archie comics-based TV universe, has signed a massive new multi-year overall deal with the studio. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

No details are being disclosed but the pact is said to be for five years, and it’s in the high eight figures. 

Under the agreement, Aguirre-Sacasa will develop, write, and produce new series through his banner, Muckle Man Productions, while also continuing as executive producer/showrunner on WBTV series Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,as well as pilot Katy Keene, co-developed with Michael Grassi.

Shortly after he was named Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics in 2014, Aguirre-Sacasa teamed with WBTV-based Berlanti Prods. to bring the Archie characters to television. He is the developer/executive producer behind Riverdale, which has been a major hit for the CWand Netflix, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which quickly established itself as a breakout for Netflix, and the co-developer/executive producer on the Riverdale spinoff pilot Katy Keene, which has been garnering solid early buzz at the CW.

Before becoming Archie Comics COO, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote two of the company’s best-selling horror series: Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. He previously worked for Marvel Comics, scripting the adventures of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, and the Fantastic Four.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s TV series writing-producing credits include Fox’s GleeHBO’s Looking and Big Love, as well as a stint on WBTV/Berlanti Prods.’ Supergirl.

Aguirre-Sacasa is an accomplished screenwriter and playwright. He penned the feature remakes of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, as well as the musical adaptation of American Psycho, which had runs in London and on Broadway

Aguirre-Sacasa was part of the team that was brought in to overhaul Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. This summer, Pasadena Playhouse will produce his prep school thriller, Good Boys and True, and he wrote the book to the Broadway-bound Magic Mike the musical, with Brian Yorkey (lyrics) and Tom Kitt(music).

Aguirre-Sacasa’s Brides of Dracula-Themed Project Lands Pilot Production Commitment at NBC

NBC is taking a bite out of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s latest project…

The Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter and comic book writer’s gothic soap opera drama with top television producer Greg Berlanti, Brides, has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Written by Aguirre-Sacasa, Brides is described as a sexy reimagining of Dracula as a family drama with a trio of strong, diverse female leads, a show about empowered women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their non-traditional family.

The project hails from Warner Bros. Television and studio-based Berlanti Productions, with Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti and Sarah Schechter executive producing.

Known in popular culture as the Brides of Dracula, the three characters, originally introduced in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, are portrayed as beautiful and powerful female vampire “sisters” who reside with Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania where they use their charm to seduce and bewitch men before preying on them. They manage to entrance Van Helsing too before he shakes off their spell and kills them. The characters are a staple in the Dracula mythology and have appeared in most Dracula screen adaptations, headlining the 1960 British movie The Brides Of Dracula.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s project imagines what would have happened if Van Helsing had not killed the three brides of Dracula. What if they survived for centuries and are now living in New York City?

Brides expands the relationship between Aguirre-Sacasa, chief creative officer of Archie Comics, and Berlanti. The two teamed last season for Riverdale, a live-action drama based on the characters from the Archie comics. The project, originally set up at Fox, recently relocated to the CW where it is in active development.

Aguirre-Sacasa previously worked for Marvel Comics, did stints on HBO’s Big Love and Looking and Fox’s Glee, and wrote the feature remakes of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown as well as the Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of American Psycho.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s Drama “Riverdale” Headed to the CW

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Archie is moving…

Riverdale, a one-hour drama based on the iconic Archie comic book characters, is moving to the CW.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

The subversive take on the well-known franchise’s wholesome town of Riverdale and residents Archie, Betty, Veronica, as well as Josie and the Pussycats, originally was being developed at Fox.

Greg Berlanti still is exec producing via Berlanti Productions, in association with the Nicauraguan-American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer.

Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Comics’ chief creative officer, is writing the pilot.

“When Greg and I started talking about bringing these characters to life, our first thought was that the best home for them would be the CW,” Aguirre-Sacasa told Deadline. “It took a little longer for us to get there, but now that we’re here, it’s feeling terrific.”

In addition to shepherding Riverdale, Aguirre-Sacasa also is a consulting producer on Supergirl. Aguirre-Sacassa might be best known for writing Afterlife with Archie, in which the Riverdale gang is visited by the undead, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has been described as the more “nuanced” of the two titles and tracks Sabrina’s encounters with witches and covens.

Archie Comics recently relaunched its flagship character with a new Archie #1. Like Riverdale, the new comic, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Fiona Staples, is a reboot of the classic.

Aguirre-Sacasa to Script Mark Burnett & Roma Downey’s Faust-Based Drama Series

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has landed a devilish project…

The Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter and comic book writer is set to pen a drama series based on the classic German legend of Faust.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

From husband and wife duo Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the executive producers of The Bible and the upcoming follow-up A.D., Faust is described as a faith-based medical procedural and a contemporary take on the popular tale about a scholar who sells his soul to the devil for ultimate knowledge, which will explore questions of faith and the supernatural in a grounded, realistic way.

Set in Washington, DC, the Aguirre-Sacasa-penned drama centers on an ambitious surgeon forced to confront a terrible truth: That he may lose everything good in his life—his job, his family, his very soul—when a diabolical stranger from his past arrives, to collect on a bargain they made thirteen years earlier.

Aguirre-Sacasa will executive produce with Burnett and Downey.

The series hails from Downey and Burnett‘s LightWorkers Media, the faith and family division of United Artists Media Group, Burnett and Downey’s joint venture with MGM and Hearst.

Aguierre-Sacasa serves as the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics. His film and television credits include Big Love, Glee and the 2013 Carrie remake.

Trailer Released for Gomez-Rejon’s Horror Meta-Remake “The Town That Dreaded Sundown”

It’s a dreaded time for Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is

MGM has released the first trailer for the Latino film and television director’s horror meta-remake The Town That Dreaded Sundown, which hails from producers Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Following the events of the low-budget 1976 slasher from Charles B. Pierce, The Town That Dreaded Sundown picks up decades after the Phantom Killer terrorized rural Texarkana when the murders start again and a teenager (Californication’s Addison Timlin) finds herself in the killer’s sights.

It’s Gomez-Rejon’s first time directing a feature.

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the film will have its first public screening this month at Austin’s Fantastic Fest before MGM’s Orion Pictures releases it in October.

Gomez-Rejon, who was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing For a Miniseries for American Horror Story: Coven, has directed several episodes of Glee and American Horror Story. He also directed an episode of The Carrie Diaries and the pilot for Red Band Society.

Aguirre-Sacasa & Duncan Sheik’s “American Psycho” Musical Heading to Second Stage

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s psycho project is headed to Second Stage.

The off-Broadway powerhouse has announced plans to present the U.S. premiere of the much-praised musical American Psycho, with a book by the Nicaraguan-Americanplaywright, screenwriter, and comic bookwriter, and music by Duncan Sheik.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

It’s a musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel of the same name, about excess, murder and flashing the right labels. The film adaptation of the same name was released in 2000 and starred Christian Bale.

The show, with staging by Rupert Goold and a starring performance by Matt “Dr. Who” Smith, opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season.

American Psycho Musical

For now, however, the show will begin performances in February 2015 and open in March at Second Stage’s West 43rd Street home base. It will be mounted in association with Act 4 Entertainment by special arrangement with Edward R. Pressman, who produced the film.

Aguirre-Sacasa, who was a Second Stage playwright in residence, has written for Glee and Big Loveand is Chief Creative Officer for Archie Comics.

On Broadway he’s best known as the book-writer for Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark.

Aguirre-Sacasa to Adapt Marisha Pessi’s “Night Film” for the Big Screen

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is ready to take on the night (film)

The 40-year-old Nicaraguan American playwright, screenwriter and comic book writer has been picked to adapt Marisha Pessl’s noir novel Night Film for Chernin Entertainment and director Rupert Wyatt.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Aguirre-Sacasa, one of the people who rescued the troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, has been working in every medium in recent years.

His work ranges from writing for Fox’s Glee to scripting the remake of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, as well as a screen version of Archie for Warner Bros. and writing the book for the Broadway musical adaptation of the Channing Tatum film Magic Mike.

In Night Film, a journalist investigates the suspected suicide of a young beauty, and discovers she is the daughter of a reclusive horror film helmer and that the girl was murdered and someone is bent on revenge.

Chernin bought the book in April and attached Wyatt, who directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes for the company.

Aguirre-Sacasa to Pen “Afterlife with Archie” Comic

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will be giving Archie, Betty, Veronica and the gang a taste of The Walking Dead.

The 39-year-old television and comic book writer will be writing a new line of Archie Comics. The Glee scribe will be injecting new death into the adventures of Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead: flesh eating zombies.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Aguirre-Sacasa will write Afterlife with Archie, which ponders a zombie apocalypse in Riverdale. The comic will run alongside the usual lines of Archie Comics.

Here’s how it happens: After Reggie runs over Jughead’s beloved pet Hotdog, he convinces Sabrina to hatch a spell to bring back the dog back to life. But when Hotdog bites Jughead, he soon craves flesh.

Archie Comics

Aguirre-Sacasa, who penned the upcoming Carrie remake starring Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore, said the new comic line “combines two of my great passions, Archie comics and horror comics.”

The first arc is called Escape from Riverdale. The second arc is called, brace yourself, Betty RIP.” He said the gore will be balanced with “elements that are quintessentially Archie.”

Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing credits include HBO’s Big Love and the comics Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing.