Gael Garcia Bernal to Star as Saul Armendariz, aka the Liberace of Lucha Libre, in the Biopic “Cassandro”

Gael García Bernal is hitting the ring to play a Lucha Libre legend.

The 41-year-old Mexican actor/filmmaker will star in Cassandroan independent feature from Oscar winning and two-time Emmy nominee filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.

Gael García Bernal

Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.

Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.

Ultimately, Armendáriz would take the new ring name of Cassandro, from a Tijuana brothel keeper Cassandra whom he appreciated.

In January 1991, after bad press that he was going to wrestle El Hijo del Santo in the UWA World Welterweight Championship, Armendáriz reportedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a razor blade, but was saved.

The title match occurred a week later and Armendáriz credits it as the match that earned him the lucha libre community’s acceptance.

While Cassandro failed to win the UWA World Welterweight Championship from El Hijo del Santo, he managed to win his first title, the UWA World Lightweight Championship in October 1992, by defeating Lasser, becoming the first exótico in history to hold a championship in UWA.

Bernal, who will star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new secret movie from Universal, will shoot that movie first before stepping into the ring for Cassandro, which is eyeing a November start in Mexico.

Cassandro will rep the feature narrative directorial debut for Williams, who took home the Oscar for his short docu Music by Prudence in 2010, and recently was nominated at the Emmys a second time, this time in Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special category for the HBO doc The Apollo. That movie, which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, follows the historic and famed Harlem NYC venue and its legacy.

“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspirational stories about outsiders and uplift the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen. The true story of Cassandro, Saúl Armendáriz, was one I knew I wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to being able to bring Saúl’s story to a wide audience,” said Williams.

Williams wrote Cassandro with Emmy-winner David Teague and Julián Herbert (Satelite).

Bernal is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and winner for the Amazon series Mozart in the JungleHe was part of the SAG ensemble nominated cast of Paramount’s Babeland a BAFTA nominee for Focus Features’ 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries

The filmmakers are reportedly in talks with Amazon to acquire Cassandro once complete, but that deal is contingent on several factors before it’s a negative pick-up.

Gina Rodriguez’s “Scoob!” to Stream on HBO Max Next Week

Gina Rodriguez’s latest project is headed to HBO Max

Warner Bros. feature animated film Scoob!, featuring the 35-year-old Puerto Rican actress voicing the character of Velma, will stream on HBO Max on June 26.

Scoob!

Scoob!opted to have a PVOD and digital ownership release instead of a theater rollout due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, 

The film was first scheduled for theaters on May 15 before segueing for a 48-hour rental PVOD period price of U.S. $19.99, and EST price of $24.99.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for these ‘meddling kids’ and their dog,’” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president TNT, TBS, and TruTV

Scoob!tells the backstory of how these beloved friends met and formed Mystery Inc. It’s a perfect addition to our kids and family offering and will sit alongside beloved original Scooby-Doo episodes.”

Unlike Universal’s near $100M grossing (probably more now) domestic PVOD release of Trolls World Tourno numbers were leaked out about how Scoob! did, it reportedly made about 35% to 40% less than Trolls World Tour.

In addition to Rodriguez, the film’s voice vast includes Zac EfronWill Forte and Amanda Seyfried.

Documentary on the Life of Danny Trejo to be Released in the UK

Danny Trejo’s life story is headed overseas…

The 75-year-old Mexican American actor’s journey from a life of crime to a life in the movies is being told in a new documentary feature. And, now the film has landed on a UK release date.

Danny Trejo

Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo tells the story of how Trejo went from a life of crime – and his time in prison – to getting his acting break and how his career evolved from there. 

The film has been directed by Brett Harvey, and includes contributions from Trejo himself, Robert RodriguezMichelle RodriguezCheech Marinand Danielle Trejo.

The film has been picked up by Universalin the UK, which will be releasing it on digital download from June 22nd. No word yet on whether a DVD and Blu-ray release will follow.

Here’s the official synopsis:

From an early life of drugs, armed robbery and hard prison time, to the red carpets of Hollywood blockbusters and helping troubled addicts, this is the story of one of the most inspirational transformations of human character ever put to film. With a host of celebrity interviews, never-before-seen footage and personal testimony from Danny and his closest family and friends, audiences will witness the birth of aHollywoodicon who became a symbol of hope to people around the world. To this day, Danny continues to council recovering addicts and speak at state prisons. After 46 years of sobriety, he never forgets his roots and pays forward that which has been bestowed on him.

Josh Segarra to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Night School”

Josh Segarra is heading to night school…

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star as the male lead opposite Shanola Hampton in NBC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Night School, based on the hit 2018 Universal movie. 

Josh Segarra

The project hails from Marlonco-creator Christopher Moynihanand the film’s star-producer Kevin Hart, producer Will Packerand director Malcolm D. Lee.

Segarra was tapped for Night School as he just became available when Netflix canceled the RuPaul-starring dramedy series AJ and the Queen after one season.

Penned by Moynihan and directed by Phill Lewis, NBC’s Night School revolves around a unique mix of adults at a night school GEDprep class who unexpectedly bond over their shared experience and find themselves helping one another both inside and outside of the classroom.

Segarra will play Teddy Walker, a charming salesman. The role was played by Hart in the movie. Hampton plays the teacher, Carrie Dawes, portrayed by Tiffany Haddishin the film.

In addition to Hampton, Segarra joins previously cast Ian GomezCollette WolfeJames Earland Joe Massingill.

This marks Segarra’s return to NBC and Universal Televisionafter recurring on the network and studio’s drama series Chicago P.D. several years ago. The Orange Is the New Blackalum has been recurring on CW’s Arrow as Adrian Chase/Prometheus; on Comedy Central’s The Other Two as Lance, Brooke’s simple-minded ex-boyfriend; and on Fox’s holiday event series The Moodys

Ana de Armas’ Bond Debut Delayed as “No Time to Die” Release Moved to November Due to Coronavirus

Ana de Armas’ big Bonddebut will have to wait…

With the coronavirus affecting the box office, MGMEon and Universal are postponing the next James Bondmovie, No Time to Die from its UK and international release date of April 2 and its U.S. Easter weekend global day-and-date of April 10.

Ana de Armas, No Time to Die

The 25th 007movie will now open on November 25, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

“MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilsonand Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of No Time to Diewill be postponed until November 2020. The film will be released in the U.K. on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the U.S. launch on November 25, 2020,” said a statement given exclusively to Deadline by the three studios.

The decision to move the film to November is purely an economic decision, and not one based on growing fears over the coronavirus. 

Bond is a day-and-date worldwide release, and with the franchise back in the hands of MGM fully post Sony’s distribution of the last four Daniel Craigmovies, along with Universal, all parties involved need to have all foreign territories working at their maximum in order for the latest Bond to be a continued box office success. For a tentpole of this size and scope, that kind of decrease in business would have a significant and detrimental impact on the film’s ultimate global take.

All together, the last four Craig 007 movies – SpectreSkyfallQuantum of Solaceand Casino Royale— have grossed $3.2B in the overall near $7B franchise, with Skyfallbeing the highest grossing film of all-time in the 58-year-old series at a whopping $1.1B. Failing at the box office is not an option for Bond, and for the studios to stick to their original release plan would be a disservice to their partners in exhibition.

No Time to Die features Craig in his fifth and final outing as the fictional MI6 agent. It’s directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal PurvisRobert Wade, Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Léa SeydouxBen WhishawNaomie HarrisRory KinnearJeffrey WrightChristoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with de Armas, who portrays Paloma, a CIA agent assisting Bond, joining the cast. Other new additions include Rami MalekLashana LynchDali BenssalahDavid Dencik and Billy Magnussen.

Daniel Bruhl to Star in German-Language Adaptation of Novel “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Daniel Bruhlis a Frontrunner…

The 41-year-old half-Spanish actor is set to star in and produce the first-ever German-language film version of the landmark German novel All Quiet On The Western Front

Daniel Brühl

The intriguing new version of the WWI story will bring together Bruhl, BAFTA-winning director Edward Berger, and producers Malte Grunertand Daniel Dreifuss.

One of the best-selling German novels of all time, Erich Maria Remarque’s poignant story follows three youngsters who voluntarily enlist in the German army. Full of excitement and patriotic fervor, the boys enthusiastically march into a war they believe in. But once on the Western Front, they discover the soul-destroying horror of war. Their preconceptions about the enemy and the rights and wrongs of the conflict crumble. On the countdown to Armistice, the novel’s protagonist must carry on fighting until the end, with no purpose other than to satisfy the top brass’s desire to end the war on a German offensive.

The novel was famously adapted by Universal and Lewis Milestonein 1930 and went on to win Oscars for Best Pictureand Best Director.

The plan is to shoot the $20M-budgeted film at the end of the year in Belgium and Germany. Goodbye Lenin!and Rushactor Bruhl is attached for the ensemble cast and will be an executive producer. 

Casting is underway for the main role of Paul Baumer. The leads will likely be newcomers or emerging actors.

The English-language script, which is being translated into German, comes from Lesley Pattersonand Ian Stokell who first optioned the book rights almost a decade ago. 

In-demand German filmmaker Berger told us, “People want authenticity. There is no way this film could be made today in a language other than German. It’s actually remarkable to think there has never been a German-language version. It’s a real hole in our film history. Telling a truthful version of the story is so important to us. We’re thinking of it as being in the tradition of movies like Downfalland Das Boot.”

Ana de Armas to Star in the Spy Drama “Wasp Network”

Ana de Armasis expanding her Network

The 30-year-old Cuban actress will co-star in Olivier Assayas Wasp Network, the spy drama based on Fernando Morais’ book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War

Ana de Armas

de Armas joins previously announced cast members Edgar RamírezPenélope CruzPedro Pascal,Wagner Moura and Gael García Bernal.

The film, which will go before cameras in Havana at the end of this month, tells the true story of Cuban spies in the American territory during the 1990s, revealing the tentacles of a Florida-based terrorist network with ramifications in Central America and with the consent of the U.S. government.

de Armas’ credits include Blade Runner 2049War Dogsand Hands of Stone.

Her upcoming slate includes Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, opposite Daniel CraigChris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield and Michael ShannonUniversal/Working Title’s untitled Danny Boyle romantic comedy with Lily JamesKate McKinnonHimesh Patel, and Ed Sheeran; as well as The Night Clerk with Tye Sheridan and Helen Hunt.

Jenni Rivera Enterprises Agrees to Worldwide Distribution Deal with Sony Music Latin & The Orchard

The music of the late Jenni Rivera has a new home…

Jenni Rivera Enterprises has signed a worldwide distribution deal with Sony Music Latin and The Orchard to cover the late singer’s catalog.

Jenni Rivera

Rivera, a legend of Regional Mexican music through her career, died in a plane crash in December 2012, at the age of 43.

“In Sony Music Latin and The Orchard, we found exceptional partners for the next era of Jenni’s music,” said Jenni Rivera Enterprises CEO and Rivera’s sister, Rosie Rivera, in a statement. “Her music meant everything to her, and still does to so many people. Our commitment and highest responsibility is to maintain its integrity and impact. The Orchard and Sony Music Latin feel the exact same way.”

Between 1999 and 2012, Rivera released 12 studio albums and four live albums, five of which reached the top two slots on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart.

After her death, her popularity grew exponentially; two compilation albums and four additional live albums that were released in the four years following her passing all reached No. 1 on the Top Albums chart as well.

“Jenni Rivera’s contributions to the Regional Mexican genre are unparalleled,” The Orchard COO Colleen Theis said in a statement. “We are honored and excited to team up with Sony Music Latin and Jenni Rivera Enterprises to leverage our global network and bring her music to the world in a new way.”

As part of the deal, a “multi-tiered global marketing campaign” will be rolled out in order to push Rivera’s music and give it a new shine, according to a press release accompanying the announcement. Her music and catalog was previously distributed by Universal/Fonovisa, though, unusually, she had retained control of her masters throughout her career.

“We’re humbled and honored to be able to work alongside Rosie and [brother] Juan Rivera on Jenni’s legacy,” Sony Music U.S. Latin president Nir Seroussi said in a statement. “It’s an opportunity for her music to reach new audiences and for us to pay homage to a generation-defining superstar. She’s going to continue making history.”

J.J. Soria to Star in Crackle’s Drama Series “The Oath”

J.J. Soria is taking a special oath…

The 30-year-old Mexican American actor has landed a key role opposite Ryan Kwanten and Sean Bean in Crackle’s upcoming drama series The Oath, executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television.

J.J. Soria

Written and created by former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Halpin (Hawaii Five-0, Secrets & Lies), the 10-episode original series explores a world of gangs made up of those sworn to protect and defend and sheds light on corrupt and secret societies. They are nearly impossible to join — only a select few make the cut – but once inside, members will do what they must to protect one another from enemies on the outside and from within their own ranks.

Soria will play Officer Pete Ramos, partner and friend of Officer Steve Hammond (Kwanten), and second-in-command of the Ravens cop gang. Ramos is streetwise with a nervous energy and a family man who is driven by the need to prove himself worthy of his wife, who comes from wealth and privilege.

In addition to Kwanten and Bean, Soria joins previously announced cast members Cory Hardrict, Katrina Law and Arlen Escarpeta.

The premiere episode will be directed by Jeff T. Thomas.

Soria has a recurring role on TNT’s Animal Kingdom and Freeform’s The Fosters. His film credits include a starring role in Blumhouse/Universal’s The Purge: Election Year.

Rodriguez to Star in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim 2”

Shyrley Rodriguez is Pacifically inclined…

The 23-year-old Latina actress has been added to the cast of Legendary/ Universal’s Pacific Rim 2, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham’s 2013 sci-fi film that stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and Chinese actress Jing Tian.

Shyrley Rodriguez

Steven S. DeKnight directs the pic, which is currently in production with a storyline that has “a strong connection to China,” according to Jack Gao of Wanda, which owns Legendary and made the announcement today.

The film is scheduled to hit theaters on February 23, 2018.

Rodriguez, who can currently be seen on Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix musical series The Get Downhas also landed a role in the film Wheels, the directorial debut indie from Top Chef and Project Runway helmer Paul Starkman. The film follows Max, a teen from Brooklyn, who pursues his dream of becoming a DJ.

Rodriguez plays the love interest Liza, a neighborhood girl who is strong willed, street smart, and sees the good in the world.