Carlos López Estrada Co-Directing Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Feature “Raya and the Last Dragon”

There’s a bright raya of light for Carlos López Estrada.

The 31-year-old Mexican-American music video, commercial and film director will co-direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon, starring Kelly Marie Tran as titular heroine.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Raya and the Last Dragon is set in the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra and follows a warrior who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world. Tran is part of the voice cast that includes Awkawafina, who plays a dragon in human form named Sisu.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Lopez Estrada will co-direct the film with Don Hall, Paul Briggs and John Ripa.

Playwright Qui Nguyen serves as a co-writer with Adele Lim on the project.

“As filmmakers, Don and Carlos bring a combination of animation know-how and emotional storytelling to Raya and the Last Dragon, bringing our fantasy adventure to surprising, original, and dynamic heights,” said Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee. “They both saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character, played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran. And no small feat, directors Don and Carlos, writers Qui and Adele, and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home.”

Raya and the Last Dragon is set to debut on March 12, 2021.

Lopez Estrada, who earned a Latin Grammy in the Best Short Form Music Video category for directing Jesse & Joy’s “Me Voy” music video, previously directed Blindspotting.

Lionel Messi: The World’s Highest Paid Latino Celebrity

Lionel Messi isn’t just making goals… He’s makin’ some serious bank…

Forbes magazine has released its list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities, with the 32-year-old Argentine professional footballer coming in at No. 5 with $104 million, making his the highest-paid Latino celebrity in the world.

Lionel Messi

Messi has been awarded both FIFA‘s Player of the Year and the European Golden Shoe for top scorer on the continent a record six times. His 438 goals, including 36 hat tricks for Barcelona, is a club and La Liga record.

Neymarcomes in at No. 7…

The 28-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team, had reported earnings of $95.5 million.

Jennifer Lopez is the highest-paid Latina celebrity on Forbes’ list.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar,one of the more popular celebrities when it comes to endorsements, had earnings of $47.5 million. She has deals with VersaceDSWQuay sunglasses and her own fragrances.

The multi-hyphenate also produced and starred in the 2019 film Hustlers.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has made Forbes’ list for the first time…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican Broadway star had reported earnings of $45.5 million.

The Hamilton creator and star added to his haul from the Broadway hit in February when Walt Disney paid $75 million for the rights to air the filmed version of his Founding Father musical. 

Other Latino/a celebrities making the list include Howie Dorough (along with his fellow Backstreet Boys), Sofia VergaraRobert Trujillo (along with his fellow Metallica band mates), Rafael Nadal and Canelo Alvarez.

Here’s a look at the Latino/as making this year’s list:

No. 5 Lionel Messi, $104 million
No. 7 Neymar, $95.5 million
No. 56 Jennifer Lopez, $47.5 million 
No. 62 Lin-Manuel Miranda, $45.5 million
No. 64 Backstreet Boys, $45 million
No. 71 Sofia Vergara, $43 million
No. 78 Metallica, $40.5 million
No. 80 Rafael Nadal, $40 million
No. 91 Canelo Alvarez, $37 million

Lin-Manuel Miranda Receives Saturn Awards Nomination for “Mary Poppins Returns”

It’s an out of the world honor for Lin-Manuel Miranda

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor, composer/lyricist and Broadway legend has earned his first-ever Saturn Awards nomination.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Miranda earned the nod for in the Best Supporting Actor in a Film category for his acclaimed role in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.

Last year, Miranda earned his first-ever Golden Globesnomination in an acting category his the same role.

Wilson Cruzhas also picked up his first Satellite Awards nomination…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican actor is nominated in the Best Supporting Actor in Streaming Presentation category for his role in CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery.

The Saturn Awards prides itself in honoring genre entertainment since 1973 when it was started by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, who will retool the fan-favorite awards show by moving it from June to September 13. 

Because of that change, the eligibility window for this year’s nominations is based on a 16-month eligibility period from March 1, 2018 to July 7, 2019, rather than the usual 12 months. 

As part of the reorganization, the show also will move to the Avalon Theatrein Los Angeles. A first-time streaming partner will be announced shortly in order to increase the global reach of the show as well.

Here’s a look at the Latino nominees:

Best Supporting Actor in a Film: 
Josh Brolin Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
John Lithgow Pet Sematary (Paramount)
Lin-Manuel Miranda Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney Studios) 
Lewis Pullman Bad Times at The El Royale (20th Century Fox) 
Jeremy Renner Avengers: Endgame (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios) 
Will Smith Aladdin (Walt Disney Studios) 
Steven Yeun Burning (Well Go USA)

Best Supporting Actor in Streaming Presentation: 
Wilson Cruz Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access) 
Michiel Huisman The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix) 
Timothy Hutton The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix) 
Doug Jones Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access) 
Ethan Peck Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access) 
Maxwell Jenkins Lost in Space (Netflix) 
Michael Sheen Good Omens (Amazon)

Jenni Rivera’s Family Releases New Single by the Late Singer “Aparentemente Bien” to Commemorate Her 50th Birthday

Jenni Rivera’s family is commemorating her 50th birthday in a special way…

The Riveras havedebuted a new emotional ballad recorded at the prime of the late singer’s career before she died in a plane crash in 2012. 

Jenni Rivera

Aparentemente Bien” is about a broken heart and shows an emotional side of the regional Mexican star who is heard having a heart-rending moment during the recording of the song.

“I was surprised she was crying,” says Jenni’s sister Rosie Rivera. “To allow herself to be so vulnerable. I think it’s an empowering song and she was living in the moment.”

The song was discovered by sibling Juan Riveraon a hard drive, among several others, about three years ago after his sister died. “It was like a puzzle,” says Rosie, referring to the discovery of the songs. “To hear Jenni’s voice with a new song is a spectacular feeling.”

The Rivera family decided to wait for the right moment before releasing the track, which will be followed by others in a span of about a year before a new album debuts, Rosie said. The new music is part of several projects that were recently announced, including a biopic, among other projects.

“We weren’t sure about releasing this music three years ago,” Rosie said. “We weren’t sure if the world was ready, if the kids were ready. We feel everyone is getting a better place and is ready for her 50th birthday (July 2), the golden year. We want to give her the best.”

The new song was written by “Despacito” co-writer Erica Enderand Alejandro Lerner. Ender met Rivera in 2009 at a Miami after party following the Billboard Latin Music Awardsand both talked about music and working together. Ender sent Rivera music for consideration.

“I didn’t hear anything from Jenni,” Ender tells Billboard. “When I recently heard the song I thought it was Jenni’s daughter singing. When her family told me it was actually Jenni it was so emotional. The lyrics of the song also relate to how people feel about her loss.”

Rosie calls this new chapter part of a “takeover year” as a gift to fans who will see and hear different sides of the singer with many surprises along the way. Marlon Villardirected the “Aparentemente Bien” video, which features a substantial cast, including the Rivera family, actors portraying real moments from the Long Beach, Calif.-born singer’s life and stories that fans have lived as well and continue sharing with the Riveras.

Villar conceived and directed Ricardo Arjona‘s first-ever animated music video “El Cielo a Mi Favor” in 2018. The new Rivera music video has aWalt Disneytouch featuring Villar’s vibrant style.

The filmmakers of the new video also traveled to Iturbide, Mexico, where Rivera died. This week’s launch includes a new Jenni Rivera makeup line and a day after Fourth of July, Rivera’s image and new music will be part of a Times Squarebillboard for the day through aSpotifycampaign. The digital music platform will also celebrate Rivera’s birthday with a video series going live on July 2.

“This is a way to feel my daughter again,” said Rivera’s mother Doña Rosa. “She’ll continue singing and we are happy about that, but it’s also bittersweet because I won’t get to see her. But I feel her in my heart.”

Rodriguez Joins Voice Cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Big Hero 6”

Genesis Rodriguez is a big hero in training…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan- and Cuban-American actress has been added to the voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ fall feature Big Hero 6.

Genesis Rodriguez

The film centers on a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion Baymax, who pull together a team of crime fighters to save the city of San Fransokyo.

Rodriguez will voice the character of Honey Lemon, a chemistry whiz. Don’t let her glasses and funky fashion fool you: Honey may be as sweet as her namesake, but she has a fire in her belly and a can-do attitude that make her pretty much unstoppable. Her knowledge of alchemy proves powerful, too, when the effusive brainiac becomes part of the “Big Hero 6” and creates clever concoctions that when thrown, can get her team out of nearly any jam.

In addition to Rodriguez, the voice cast includes Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung and Daniel Henney.

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney film to feature Marvel Comics characters and is adapted by Don Hall and Jordan Roberts from the Marvel comic mini-series of the same name, whose team and characters were created by Man of Action’s Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle.

Hall and Bolt‘s Chris Williams co-directed the film, which hits theaters in 3D on November 7.

Rodriguez Launching Animation Studio

Robert Rodriguez may soon become the Latino Walt Disney

The 43-year-old Mexican-American filmmaker—who recently announced an English-language general entertainment network aimed at Latino audiences—is launching Quick Draw Animation, an animation studio to be based in Austin, TX.

Quick Draw Animation, a partnership with London-based VMG Entertainment, will allow Rodriguez to develop, produce and green-light animated film and television projects.

“I started my career as a cartoonist when I created the Los Hooligans comic strip. It is nice to come full circle and return to animation,” says Rodriguez. “Quick Draw Animation will give me a whole new set of tools to create fantastic characters and to tell great stories.”

“We are thrilled to be working with a filmmaker of Robert Rodriguez’s caliber and stature,” said VMG Entertainment Chairman Mr. Ramkhumar Narasimhan. “Robert has created significant franchises such as The Mexico Trilogy, Sin City, Spy Kids and the Machete films; his prolific output and visual storytelling make animation a great fit for him.”

Quick Draw Animation has already started developing two animated features, each expected to start production in the next year. One of the new company’s first projects is a family focused animated feature; the other is the multi-media realization of Heavy Metal inspired by the cult animated film and long running magazine. Rodriguez teased the audience with a glimpse of what the next generation of Heavy Metal will look like at last year’s Quick Draw Comic-Con presentation.