Maluma Releases Surprise New Album “Papi Juancho”

Maluma’s earning extra papi points…

The 26-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter has surprised the world with the release of his latest album, Papi Juancho, which was released at midnight on August 21.

Maluma

Maluma, who was recently named to Variety’s Power of Your Hollywood list, recorded most of the set during the COVID-19-imposed lockdown with his longtime producer collaborators and co-writers The Rude Boyz (Kevin ADG and Chan “El Genio”).

“All I could do during lockdown in Medellin was work alone in my studio,” Maluma told Billboard in an exclusive interview. “That’s why this album has so much of my true essence; because I did so much of it alone.”

Papi Juancho, a title that plays off of Maluma’s nickname of “Juancho” (short for Juan Luis), features a handful of duets with old and new school reggaetón stars, from Ñejo y Dálmata to Myke Towers and Yandel. But the bulk of the songs are pure Maluma, ranging from romantic to raunchy street, experimenting with new, acoustic sounds and, as usual, boasting deceptively simple lyrics that evoke conversations with friends.

The 22-track album has plenty of hits, as well as a few hidden gems, like the must-hear tracks “Medallo City,” “Hawái,the first single release off the album, “Vete Vete,”featuring Ñejo y Dalmata, and “Madrid.”

https://open.spotify.com/album/0p2yf6DucEgvj8Uk8KXJJv?si=tg3n6ewQQl6oxyC5BfIEWQ

Maluma will perform at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Melissa Barrera to Star in “Scream 5”

Melissa Barrera is ready to Scream…

The 30-year-old Mexican actress, who recently ended her three-season run on Starz’s Vida, has landed akey role in Scream 5.

Melissa Barrera

Barrera is the first new cast member to be announced for the anticipated Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures relaunch.

Friends alum and legacy cast member Courteney Cox will be reprising her role in the franchise as dogged reporter Gale Weathers alongside David Arquette, who is coming back as Dewey Riley. Neve Campbell, who portrayed Sidney Prescott in the slasher film, told press in May that she was in talks to join the movie.

Cameras are due to roll in Wilmington, North Carolina, this fall and the project is due to wrap by year’s end. Additional casting is underway on the ensemble horror.

Scream 5 is being directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.

Creator Kevin Williamson and Chad Villella are executive producing.

The Scream franchise, through four films dating back to 1996, has grossed more than $600M at the global box office. The late Wes Craven directed all four movies. Williamson wrote the original film as well as Scream 2 and Scream 4.

Barrera, who was named to Variety’s 10 Latinxs to Watch list earlier this year, will next appear in Warner Bros.’ film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical hit In The Heights. That film is due for release next year.

This fall she’ll star as the title character in the film Carmen, the modern-day reimagining of the classic opera. The movie will mark the feature debut of Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied and will feature music from composer Nicholas Britell and Grammy winner Julieta Venegas.

Adam Valdez to Receive One of Variety’s Artisan Awards

Adam Valdez is a true artisan

The Latino Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor will be one of the honorees at Variety’s sixth annual Artisans Awards, which celebrates those essential to the filmmaking process and who’ve exhibited the most exciting and innovative work of the year in their respective fields.

Adam Valdez

Valdezis being recognized for his work on Disney’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau. Valdez, along with Rob Legato, serves as the film’s visual effect supervisor. 

Previously, he has worked on the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And he nabbed an Oscar for his work on Jungle Book, also directed by Favreau.

The tribute evening will take place during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday, January 19 at the Lobero Theatreand will be moderated by Variety’s senior VP and awards editor, Tim Grayand Variety’s artisan editor Jazz Tangcay.

The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs from January 15 through January 25.

Diego Boneta to Star in Collin Schiffli’s “Die in a Gunfight”

Diego Boneta is ready for a (gun)fight

The 28-year-old Mexican actor/singer has joined the cast of Collin Schiffli’s “Die in a Gunfight,” according to Variety.

Diego Boneta

Boneta would star opposite Alexandra Daddarioin the film, with the pair playing star-crossed lovers whose romance is upended by familial tensions. 

The film follows a young man (Boneta) who falls for the daughter (Daddario) of his father’s nemesis in New York City. 

Daddario and Boneta join a cast that includes Olivia Munn

Die in a Gunfightwas written by Andrew Barrerand Gabriel Ferrari, who previously collaborated on Ant-Man and the Wasp.

“This is the time for a film like Die in a Gunfight,” said Culmination’sTom Butterfieldin a statement. “It is a classic love story wrapped in an electric, modern action/thriller setting. With this terrific creative group, we are excited to make the True Romanceof this generation.”

Boneta starred in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Agesand in the biographical series Luis Miguel, which he also executive produced. He’ll next be seen in Terminator: Dark Fatealongside Arnold Schwarzeneggerand Linda Hamilton, and just wrapped production on Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunterstarring Milla Jovovichand Ron Perlman.

Dan Hernandez Lands on Variety‘s 10 Screenwriters to Watch List

It’s turning out to be a banner year for Dan Hernandez

The Latino writer/producer has been named to Varietys 2019 class of 10 Screenwriters to Watch.

Dan Hernandez

Hernandez is recognized alongside Benji Samit for co-penning the action-adventure comedy Pokémon Detective Pikachu, starring Justice Smithand Ryan Reynolds.

Hernandez and Samit join an honorees list that includes Krysty Wilson-Cairns(1917),Chinonye Chukwu(Clemency),Stephany Folsom(Toy Story 4), Shay Hatten(John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum), Amanda Idoko(Breaking News in Yuba County), Shia LaBeouf(Honey Boy), Andrew Lanham(Just Mercy), Edward Norton(Motherless Brooklyn), and Cat Vasko (Queen of the Air).

Previous honorees include Oscarwinners Jennifer Lee(Frozen),Geoffrey Fletcher(Precious),Charlie Kaufman(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Julian Fellowes(Gosford Park) as well as Emmywinners Lena Dunham(Girls),Evan Goldbergand Seth Rogen(This Is the End), Ken Daurioand Cinco Paul(Despicable Me), Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci(Star Trek), and Danny Strong(The Butler).

Hernandez’s other writing credits include The Tick1600 PennOne Day at a Timeand Super Fun Night.

Cardi B Lines Up Las Vegas Residency at the Palms Casino Resort

Cardi B is heading to Sin City…

The 26-year-old half-Dominican American rap sensation is the latest artist to line up a Las Vegas residency at the Palms Casino Resort. so is a great show for people who like to go to Casinos to be able to gamble, although you can also do bets online if you’re interested, and learning how to play craps could be essential if you want to make some money on these Casino websites.

Cardi B

Cardi B will perform a string of dates this spring at the casino’s forthcoming day and night club, KAOS.

KAOS officially opens in April after a $690 million renovation. 

While Cardi B hasn’t yet publicly addressed the residency, the venue her residency in a graphic on its website

While Cardi B’s KAOS residency dates are not yet available, the Palms confirmed to Variety that the rapper will perform five-to-six shows over the course of the next year, with the first appearance expected to be scheduled in the spring.

Cardi B joins a fleet of artists likeLady GagaJennifer LopezGwen Stefani,AerosmithBilly Idoland Britney Spears– who recently postponed her upcoming residency – to schedule an extended engagement in Las Vegas.

Cardi B will next take the stage February 2nd at Atlanta’s Super Bowl Music Festand at the Grammy Awards

Emma Gonzalez Gives Emotional Speech at Variety’s Power of Women Event

Emma Gonzalez is encouraging women to rise up and vote…

The 18-year-old Cuban American activist and gun reform advocate was among the honorees at Variety’s Power of Women event, an annual event that recognizes some of Hollywood’s most philanthropic women whose efforts have made a significant impact to their chosen charities and causes.

Emma Gonzalez

During her speech, Gonzalez reflected on the myriad of school shootings that have taken place over the past several years. Gonzalez couldn’t hide her raw emotions as she shared her own experiences with the effects of gun violence, before calling upon audience members to use their public platforms to take a stand for gun regulation.

Eight months after surviving the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Gonzalez said she can still feel the pain she experienced that day as if it’s happening right now.

“Nothing made sense in those days except for the fact that there was nothing to stop this from happening to anyone in a country with practically no gun safety laws,” she said.

Soon after, Gonzalez became a representative for the March for Our Lives organization, fighting for gun control legislation across America — a battle that Gonzalez said left her and her friends feeling “as though we are holding the country on our still-developing shoulders.”

Gonzalez also highlighted the presence of gun violence outside of the school environment, pointing to the numerous shootings at nightclubs, concerts, airports, and more. “Gun violence isn’t picky,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez went on to express gratitude that the voices of young people are finally being heard. “Before our voices were scoffed at and talked over. Now I’m an 18-year-old girl who’s here today,” Gonzalez said to claps from the audience. However, she also recognized that the people in the audience had the power to carry their voices further.

Gonzalez listed off the numerous victims of gun violence she met during her 64-day tour across America, including the victims of the Las Vegas and Charlottesville shootings, whose stories brought her to tears as she spoke.

Gonzalez then discussed some of the misconceptions surrounding March for Our Lives, making it clear that the organization is not trying to take away guns, before calling on audience members to use their own platforms to encourage more people to vote.

“Everybody in this room is in a unique position, because you are here, you have proven to hold power,” Gonzalez said. “To each of you powerful women I say this, you know that you are forces to be reckoned with, you can and have inspired peace and understanding and, most importantly, right now you can inspire your audience to vote. Now more than ever women need to continue to rise up.”

Carlos Saldanha Receives Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation Award

Carlos Saldanha is being heralded for his creative impact

The 52-year-old Brazilian director, producer and animator has been recognized with Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation award.

Carlos Saldanha

Saldanha has become one of the most successful tellers of animated stories of all time. His credits include Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rio and Rio 2, while he co-directed Ice Age and Robots. He’s Blue Sky Animation Studio’s secret weapon, having unleashed a string of worldwide blockbusters that have grossed more than $3 billion.

Saldanha even has Oscar cred with a nomimation for 2003’s animated short Gone Nutty, and an exclusive deal at Fox, where his BottleCap Productions calls home.

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro afforded Saldanha with a unique perspective of the world, and in particular, how it would come to shape his animation and filmmaking instincts and aesthetic.

“I was always a film buff,” Saldanha recalls. “Movies were always very special to me, but I never knew how to accomplish my goals. Blade Runner is my favorite film and I’ve seen it 20 times at least. I find it inspiring. So I went to college for computer science, but I was always very artistic. A friend showed me one of John Lasseter’s early CGI-animated shorts, and I was hooked, because this was how to bridge the elements together.”

The Ice Age franchise has cemented itself as one of the most popular in the medium, and Saldanha knows that he’s crossed over into something larger, capturing the imaginations of children (and adults) around the world, especially with the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, which has become the official mascot of Blue Sky Studios.

“When you’re a part of something that becomes that big for so many people, especially children, you can’t help but feel proud. Scrat was something unique to the creative process, in that he wasn’t originally defined in the script. He was an organic character who took shape as a result of creative group think. So it’s very special that he’s become so embraced, and it felt very natural for Scrat to become an integral part of Blue Sky,” Saldanha says. “We all loved those little noises he makes!”

Saldanha’s relationship with fellow filmmaker and Blue Sky head Chris Wedge has been instrumental to his career. “Chris is a visionary and working with him has been a tremendous experience,” Saldanha says. “We’re interested in telling relatable stories in an exciting and fresh way, and Chris brings a great attitude to the creative process.”

Following up the huge success of 2002’s Ice Age would prove to be interesting for Saldanha, who helped to craft 2005’s Robots, calling it a “transitional film for me, moving out of the Ice Age’world, and getting involved in something new. And that’s what we love to do, we love building worlds within our films. And with Robots, we got to do something a bit unique with the characters and setting.”

The two Rio films clearly mean a lot to Saldanha, who says he was “thrilled to infuse my Brazilian heritage into the film, and it was a big goal for me to show the city of Rio de Janeiro in a very colorful and bright fashion. These were projects that were very close to me on a personal level, so to be able to craft them in the way that we did, it was a joyous experience. It was very important for worldwide audiences to embrace these films. I wanted to create a mood and tone with no boundaries and a free spirit approach to the storytelling. This was a true passion project.”

Saldanha’s newest project, the animated adventure Ferdinand, hits screens December 15. It’s based on the classic children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, about a Spanish bull that would rather stop and smell the roses than participate in bullish activities. John Cena voices the title character, with Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez and Daveed Diggs among the other voice-over artists.

“We’re currently halfway through animation and it’s coming along fantastic. We’re so thrilled for people to see it as we’re having so much fun working on this particular story,” Saldanha says. He adds there will be a “wonderful musical component to the film,” as he’s again collaborating with favored film composer John Powell. “We really wanted to capture the richness of Spain, with vibrant and bold colors, so that the audience can really feel the atmosphere. And with John doing the score again for us, we’ll have something really special for the audience. We extended the original book but we retained what’s essential to the core story of a big bull with a really big heart.”

Saldanha was also asked to participate in the 2014 anthology film Rio, I Love You, with other celebrated filmmakers including Jose Padilha, Fernando Meirelles, Paolo Sorrentino and Guillermo Arriaga. “I had such a great time doing my short for Rio, I Love You,” Saldanha says. “I did it to test the waters, and I’m excited about tackling a live-action project in the future. I’m not sure what it’ll be exactly, but I love to challenge myself and keep things fresh. But I’ll never leave animation behind. That’s where my heart is.”

Jay Z Reportedly Co-Producing Film Adaptation of Miranda’s “In the Heights” Musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda is pairing up with one of music’s greats…

According to Playbill, Jay Z will serve as a co-producer for the film adaptation of the 37-year-old Puerto Rican actor, playwright, composer, rapper and writer’s Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights.

In The Heights

Harvey Weinstein reportedly announced the news at a pre-Oscars party on Sunday.

Last September, Jay Z joined forces with the Weinstein Company for the upcoming Spike TV docuseries TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.

In the Heights was a 2008 Broadway musical that earned a Tony Award for its story about Latino characters growing up in New York City’s Washington Heights. The eclectic film, reportedly directed by Jon M. Chu, is said to feature hip-hop, salsa and merengue, with the screenplay penned by Quiara Alegría Hudes.

In an interview with Variety last September, Miranda revealed that the shooting for the film would take place in the spring. The interview also indicated that the Hamilton star would not return as the play’s central character Usnavi — a Dominican bodega owner. While that might be a letdown for avid fans of the original musical, Miranda said that he would be open to tackle another role for the forthcoming film.

No official comment on the news from Jay Z and Miranda.

Mendonca Filho Named to Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” List

Keep your eyes on Kleber Mendonca Filho

The Brazilian film director, screenwriter and producer will be honored as one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch during the Palm Springs Film Festival in January.The full list, which spans the creative landscape and puts a spotlight on a mixture of independent and studio filmmakers, includes Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

Kleber Mendonca Filho

Mendonca Filho is being recognized for helming the Brazilian–French drama Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga as Clara, a retired music writer and the last resident of Aquarius building, who refuses to sell her apartment to a construction company that intends to replace it with a new edifice.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

“One of the most exciting things for me about the festival is being able to host Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch,” said Michael Lerman, the festival’s Artistic Director. “Not only is it a fantastic event, but it also nicely compliments our festival program with selections from our Talking Pictures and Awards Buzz sections, as well as the director of our opening night film The Sense of an Ending, Ritesh Batra. It’s an exciting list this year!” 

Here’s the complete list:

Maren Ade, (“Toni Erdmann”)
Ritesh Batra, (“The Sense of an Ending”)
Otto Bell, (“The Eagle Huntress”)
Julia Ducournau, (“Raw”)
Geremy Jasper, (“Patti Cake$”)
Barry Jenkins, (“Moonlight”)
Emmett and Brendan Malloy, (“The Tribes of Palos Verdes”)
Kleber Mendonca Filho, (“Aquarius”)
William Oldroyd, (“Lady Macbeth”)
David Sandberg, (“Lights Out”)

Previous 10 Directors to Watch include Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Christopher Nolan (Memento).

The list debuted in 1996 and the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2011.