Danny Pino to Appear on Soundtrack for Film Adaptation of Broadway Musical “Dear Evan Hansen”

Danny Pino isn’t just starring in Dear Evan Hansen… He’s also appearing on the soundtrack.

Universal has announced the track list for the film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, with the 47-year-old Cuban American actor among the talents appearing on the album.

Danny Pino

Pino appears on the film’s track “Requiem,” alongside Kaitlyn Dever and Amy Adams.

The soundtrack, which will be available on September 9 – the same day as the film’s theatrical release via Interscope Records, will also feature Sam Smith with Summer WalkerSZACarrie Underwood with Dan + Shay, Finneas, and Tori Kelly. They’ll be performing reimagined versions of the musical’s Tony Award-winning songs and as well as original recordings from the film’s score.

Dear Evan Hansen

Songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul also wrote original tracks for the movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. The album also features 16 tracks that include recordings by the film’s cast.

“Pasek and Paul’s songs from the Dear Evan Hansen stage play are so amazing and timeless — newly recorded by our film’s cast for the soundtrack (and freshly produced by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Alex Lacamoire and Dan Romer, and supervised by Jordan Carroll) — and they’re now also complemented by two new original songs written for the film (with one of them co-written and performed in the film by Amandla Stenberg),” Mike Knobloch, president of global film music and publishing at Universal Pictures, tells Billboard.

Pino portrays Larry Mora in the film.

 

Universal to Release Michelle Rodriguez’s “Fast and Furious 10” Next Easter

Michelle Rodriguez can expect a furious Easter…

Universal has set a release date of April 7, 2023, for Fast and Furious 10, starring the 43-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress.

Michelle Rodriguez

That returns the Fast & Furious franchise to its Easter weekend stomping ground where F7the highest grossing title in the series was launched in 2015 to $147.1M domestic, and ended at $353M domestic, $1.5 billion global.

Universal followed with Fate of the Furious in 2017, which notched the third biggest global debut of all-time at $541.9M (before ending at $1.2 billion worldwide).

Vin Diesel is expected to announce the title at some point in the future on social media.

Universal’s F9released on a theatrical window, is the highest grossing movie during the pandemic around the world with $681.5M. The film was the first Hollywood title during the Covid-19 era to surpass $500M overseas this past weekend. F9 repped series filmmaker Justin Lin’s return to the IP after an eight year absence in the director’s chair.

No other casting confirmations or plot lines are known about the tenth film in the franchise, but there’s a lot of speculation that Diesel, Jordan Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Michelle Rodriguez and Jason Statham are returning.

J Balvin Partners with Hasbro for the Brand’s First Celebrity Figure, the “J Balvintron” Transformer

J Balvin is experiencing a career Transformer-ation

The 36-year-old Colombian singer, known as the “Prince of Reggaeton,” is getting his own Transformers figure.

J Balvin

On July 13, Hasbro will make available for pre-order the “J Balvintron,” a 7-inch tall figure with two mini cassette accessories inspired by Balvin’s Energía and Vibras albums that transform into a condor and a tiger to create a mash-up J Balvintron 3-pack. The figure also wields a blaster, and incorporates Balvin’s signature rainbow colors and smiley face icon.

While Hasbro has previously partnered with brands like Marvel and Universal to create figures from their respective universes, the J Balvintron is the first figure created with a musical artist or actual living celebrity since Hasbro launched its collaborative program in 2019.

J Balvin, Hasbro, J Balvintron, Transformer

The figure, which will be available exclusively on the NTWRK platform as a limited edition, will retail for $69.99.

“I’ve loved Transformers since I was a kid so this was a dream come true,” Balvin told Billboard.

“The J Balvintron Transformers that are coming out are a reflection of my dream toy. Ever since the proposal came to me I had this vision in mind.”

The Transformer proposal came to Balvin via livestream shopping platform NTWRK, which is known for its exclusive, celebrity-partnership product drops, and which had a strong relationship with both Balvin and Hasbro.

“NTWRK approached J Balvin and Hasbro with the idea to collaborate with Transformers because Balvin is a huge fan of Transformers and we thought it would be an amazing fan experience and cultural moment — For Balvin and Transformers fans,” says president Moksha Fitzgibbons.

Balvin, whose affinity for games in general is well known, was excited.

“I asked them to include elements from my past albums in the design. This is why they have two cassette options, one for Vibras and then one for Energia,” he says. “The colors, the names, I suggested all of these to them for inspiration. When we were in the process of making the design, Colores had just come out so we wanted to make many different color options.”

Evan Brooks, the designer in charge of the Balvintron, knew the singer was a big G1 Transformer fan, so his starting point was Soundwave, a popular Gen 1 transformer whose best-known disguise is as a cassette player. Brooks designed two small cassette players that transform into Balvin albums. Because the cassettes are usually animal-themed, “We looked at his tatoos and saw he had four or five tigers. We ran it past him and had one of them turn into a tiger that turns into Vibras, and the other one is a condor that turns into Energia.”

The first step in designing based on an actual person, says Brooks, is taking the visual elements that define the person and extrapolating them onto a robot. The biggest challenge, he says, was trying to balance Balvin’s many color associations.

“If you look at Balvin’s figure, I found his rainbow hair style very iconic. We went through ten iterations. The robot head has the five color break. We made sure the smiley face was present.”

The whole process, he says, was “very easy and very smooth,” with a bonus. Brooks, who hadn’t heard Balvin before, became a fan, and “Rojo” is now his favorite track.

The J Balvintron will only be available on the NETWRK App, which will premiere the figure along with an animated video and an interview with the Balvintron designers. Balvin will also promote the figure on social media.

Aimee Garcia to Star on Season 2 of Hulu’s “Woke”

Aimee Garcia is officially woke

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress has joined the cast of Woke.

Aimee Garcia

The Hulu series, co-created by Keith Knight and Marshall Todd, centers on Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris), an African-American cartoonist who finds himself on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes his life. With a newfound consciousness, Keef must navigate the new voices and ideas challenging him, all without setting fire to everything he’s already built.

In the comedy’s second season, Garcia will play Laura Salgado, a likable but formidable self-made Silicon Valley venture capitalist who is interested in working with Knight.

Garcia is currently appearing as Ella Lopez on Netflix’s Lucifer and recently voiced the character of Jodie Tartleton for Hulu series Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. After wrapping Lucifer’s sixth and final season, she co-wrote a sequel to 47 Ronin for Universal, in concert with New York Times bestselling author AJ Mendez. Garcia has also penned a Wonder Woman Black & Gold comic for DC, which will be released in August.

She also recently wrapped Holiday in Santa Fe, a TV movie in which she appears opposite Mario Lopez, and Richard Grey’s feature Murder at Emigrant Gulch, which also stars Richard Dreyfuss and Gabriel Byrne. This fall, the actress will star in Match Me If You Can, a romantic comedy that she also exec produced.

On the television side, Garcia’s other credits include Rush HourDexterVegasGeorge Lopez and more.

She has been part of the voice cast of the 2019 animated adaptation of The Addams Family, as well as Elizabeth Chomko’s What They Had and José Padilha’s Robocop.

Jennifer Lopez to Star in Netflix’s Sci-Fi Thriller “Atlas”

Jennifer Lopez will be fighting to save the world…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar will star in and produce the Netflix sci-fi thriller Atlas.

Jennifer Lopez

The film will be directed by Brad Peyton, with Aron Eli Coleite is writing the most recent draft of the script based off Leo Sardarian’s original script.

Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell will produce for Safehouse Pictures along with Peyton and Jeff Fierson for ASAP Entertainment, as well as Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina joining Lopez to produce through Nuyorican Productions.

The film follows Atlas, a woman fighting for humanity in a future where an AI soldier has determined the only way to end war is to end humanity. To outthink this rogue AI, Atlas must work with the one thing she fears most — another AI.

“I’m so honored to be working with Jennifer, Elaine and the rest of the team at Nuyorican Productions along with our partners Joby and Tory at Safehouse,” Peyton said. “Having the chance to direct Jennifer in the title role of this movie is a dream come true, as I know she’ll bring the incredible strength, depth and authenticity we’ve all come to admire from her work. Furthermore, Jeff and I are so excited to be back working with Scott, Ori and the entire team at Netflix. They have been nothing short of amazing to work with and we are blessed to have the opportunity to make another movie on the service.”

The film falls under the newly announced creative partnership between Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions and Netflix where Lopez, producing partner Goldsmith-Thomas and longtime manager Medina will produce a slate of films, television series, scripted and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers.

The first two announced projects both starring Lopez include The Mother, which is directed by Niki Carpo, and The Cipher, based on the novel by Isabella Maldonado.

Lopez can be seen next in the Universal rom com Marry Me opposite Owen Wilson and also has the Lionsgate action comedy Shotgun Wedding. Both films come out in 2022.

Marco Antonio Solís Signs Three-Year Worldwide Deal with Warner Chappell Music (WCM)

Marco Antonio Solís is going to the Chappell

The 61-year-old Mexican musician, singer, composer and record producer, one of the most respected, prolific and successful singer/songwriters in Latin music, has signed a three-year worldwide deal with Warner Chappell Music (WCM), according to Billboard.

Marco Antonio Solis

The deal covers future works as well as most of Solís’ vast catalog, which includes global hits like “Si No Te Hubieras Ido,” “Más Que Tu Amigo,” “O Me Voy O Te Vas,” and “A Donde Vamos a Parar.”

Solís, who writes alone, holds the record for most No. 1 albums (12) on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. He has also placed 50 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, including 11 No. 1s.

“For decades [Marco’s] music has transcended time, touching the lives of music fans across generations,” says Gustavo Menendez, president U.S. Latin & Latin America, WCM. “As both a songwriter and recording artist he’s made a massive impact, laying the foundation for many who have followed him in both the regional Mexican and Mexican pop space. It’s an honor to represent one of the most important and hugely influential Latin music catalogs of all time.”

Solís, who began his storied career as the lead singer and composer of regional Mexican group Los Bukis, eventually launched a solo career, standing out as one of only a handful of regional Mexican acts who have successfully crossed over into pop music. Beyond his success as a recording artist, with five Latin Grammys to his name, Solís was also a prolific songwriter who’s been covered by a veritable who’s who of Latin stars, including Maná, Paulina Rubio and Enrique Iglesias.

Long signed to indie label Fonovisa, which was eventually acquired by Univision and later, by Universal, Solís decided to go independent a few years ago and has been releasing music under his own label, Marbella.

Likewise, his songs have long fallen under his own Crisma publishing.

Universal to Release Penelope Cruz’s Highly Anticipated Femme Action Feature “The 355”

Penelope Cruz is heading to the 355 a week earlier…

Simon Kinberg’s femme action feature The 355, starring the 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress, will be released a week earlier, on January 7, 2022.

Penelope Cruz

The film was original scheduled to be released over MLK Weekend.

In the film, five women band together to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could thrust the teetering world into total chaos.

The film was bought by Universal for domestic distribution at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2018 for a reported $20M.

The foreign partners, arranged through FilmNation, are hoping for a global launch for what they hope will be another Bourne Identitylike franchise, this one led by an all female lead cast including Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, Cruz and Fan Bingbing, with Édgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan also appearing.

The 355 is directed by Kinberg. He co-wrote the screenplay with Theresa Rebeck.

Aimee Garcia to Co-Write Untitled “47 Ronin” Sequel with AJ Mendez

Aimee Garcia has the write stuff…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress and Lucifer star has been brought in to co-pen the upcoming untitled 47 Ronin sequel alongside New York Times bestselling author AJ Mendez for Universal 1440 Entertainment.

 

The action-fantasy film, which is being directed by Mulan‘s Ron Yuan, is thAimee Garciae follow up to the 2013 Universal Keanu Reeves movie which grossed over $151M WW.

The original film was directed by Carl Rinsch and written by Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini from a story conceived by Morgan and Walter Hamada. Also starring in that film were Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi and Ko Shibasaki.

Based on Chūshingura, 47 Ronin tells a fictionalized account of the titular 47 rōnin, a real-life group of samurai in the 18th century who set out to avenge the death of their master who was killed by a merciless shogun.

“AJ and I are excited to write a diverse and inclusive action film,” said Garcia. “Director Ron Yuan’s vision to blend martial arts, horror, cyber-punk and action was inspiring and we’d like to thank the team at 1440 for being so supportive.”

“As creators of color, we’re honored to be part of a modern, multicultural story with powerful female leads,” said Mendez.

Garcia currently stars on Netflix’s Lucifer, new episodes of which are dropping on May 28, and she’ll also star in Marvel’s MODOK, premiering on Hulu on May 21.

Mendez’s pilot script Home landed on The Black List’s inaugural Latinx TV List in 2020. She’s a former championship wrestler with the WWE.

Garcia and Mendez are the co-authors of the comic book series Glow, based on the Netflix property, and Dungeons and Dragons for IDW Publishing, as well as Wonder Woman for DC Comics coming out in July.

The duo recently launched Scrappy Heart Productions to create diverse stories with universal themes across all media. Currently, Scrappy Heart is adapting Crazy Is My Superpower, based on Mendez’s bestselling memoir.

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.

David Del Rio to Star in ABC’s Comedy Pilot “Maggie”

David Del Rio has landed his next role…

The 33-year-old Latino actor has been cast as a series regular opposite Rebecca Rittenhouse in the ABC comedy pilot Maggie, based on Tim Curcio’s short film.

David Del Rio

Del Rio will star joins a roster of cast newcomers that includes Chris Elliott, Ray Ford and Leonardo Nam. 

The project hails from Family Guy and Life in Pieces writer Maggie Mull, daughter of Clue actor Martin Mull, and Life in Pieces creator Justin Adler. 20th Century Fox Television produces.

Written by Mull and Adler, the single-camera comedy follows a young woman (Rittenhouse) who tries to cope with life while coming to terms with her abilities as a psychic. She can see everyone’s future, but her present is a mess.

Del Rio will play Ben. A gregarious guy, Ben has a heightened energy and is enlivened by new experiences and people. In this way, he’s Maggie’s opposite, but like Maggie, he has a romantic side that he tries to hide behind a sometimes overly confident veneer.

Del Rio most recently starred on ABC’s short-lived Latin-themed series The Baker and the Beauty.

On the film side, he can also be seen in James Gunn’s The Belko Experiment. His credits also include a supporting role in Universal’s Pitch Perfect, the indie Dead Drop opposite Cole Hauser, and Nickelodeon’s The Troop, on which he starred for three seasons.