Rosario Dawson to Lead Virtual Online Table Read of Holiday Classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Rosario Dawson is bringing the wonderful

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist will star opposite  Jason Sudeikis in an all-star virtual online table read of the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

Rosario DawsonThe special event will benefit The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC), which promotes mental health and enrichment programs to children with special needs and their families.

The one-night-only event is set for December 5, with a cast that also includes Mark Hamill, Martin Sheen, Mandy Patinkin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Phil Lamarr, Ben Mankiewicz, Ron Funches, Ed Harris, and Sudeikis’ real-life uncle George Wendt. The Cheers actor will play Uncle Billy to Sudeikis’ George Bailey.

The Asner benefit is presented in partnership with Turner Classic Movies and sponsored by MeTV, and this year also will honor Mike Darnell, President of Unscripted and Alternative Television at Warner Bros., and his family.

The cast will include Darnell’s daughter and Social Director of TEAFC, Chelsea Darnell, autistic actors Spencer Harte and Domonique Brown along with neurodivergent TEAFC members Ryan Booth and Lucas Salusky. Victor Nelli will return to direct. Tom Bergeron hosts.

“My father’s passing has left an indescribable hole in my heart,” said Matt Asner, son of Ed Asner & Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center. “For our annual fundraising gala this year, I want to honor my father’s legacy as both a legendary actor and a staunch advocate for people of all abilities.”

Tickets start at $25, with commemorative holiday gift items also available. Also planned is a silent auction and a musical intermission.

The live virtual table read begins at 5:00 pm PT on Sunday, December 5. Ticket information can be found here.

Freddie Prinze Jr. to Star Opposite Aimee Garcia in Untitled Netflix Holiday Rom-Com

Freddie Prinze Jr. is getting into the holiday spirit…

The 45-year-old part-Puerto Rican actor will star opposite Aimee Garcia in an untitled Netflix holiday rom-com to be directed by Gabriela Tagliavini.

Freddie Prinze Jr.

The film centers on Angelina, a pop star feeling career burnout, who escapes to grant a young fan’s wish in small town New York. There, she not only finds the inspiration to revitalize her career, but also a shot at true love.

Jennifer C. Stetson and Paco Farias wrote the original screenplay, with Michael Varrati handling revisions.

German Michael Torres is producing for GMT Films, alongside Lucas Jarach, with Eric Brenner serving as the film’s executive producer.

Prinze Jr. currently voices multiple characters for Adult Swim’s animated series Robot Chicken, and stars in Peacock’s reboot of Punky Brewster. The actor has previously appeared in series including GEGG WARS: Galaxy of CrimeStar Wars RebelsBones24 and Freddie. He’s appeared on the big screen in Vanessa Parise’s Jack and Jill vs. the World, Warner Bros.’ live-action Scooby-Doo films, the original I Know What You Did Last Summer and more.

Garcia is a SAG Award nominee known for her series regular role as Ella Lopez in Netflix’s Lucifer. She will next be seen in the second season of Hulu’s Woke and in Richard Gray’s Western Murder at Emigrant Gulch opposite Gabriel Byrne.  She has also appeared on the TV side in Rush HourDexterVegasGeorge Lopez and more. Her additional film credits include The Addams Family (2019), Saint JudyWhat They HadRoboCop (2014) and Spanglish.

Adria Arjona to Star in & Executive Produce the Drama “Los Frikis”

Adria Arjona is getting Friki

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress will star and executive produce the drama Los Frikis

Adria Arjona

Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz will be writing and directing the film.

The film is based on the true story of punk-rock teenagers in Havana who deliberately inject themselves with HIV to escape the oppression of “Special Period” Cuba.

Arjona has a busy year ahead, which includes a leading role in the Star Wars series Andor starring Diego Luna.

She can be seen next in Sony’s Morbius opposite Jared Leto and Matt Smith.

She is also set to play the bride in Warner Bros.’ new Father of the Bride film starring Andy Garcia.

Michael Peña to Star on Season 4 of Amazon Prime Video’s Series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”

Michael Peña is getting Jack’ed…

The 45-year-old Mexican American has joined the cast of Amazon Prime Video’s series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski, for the fourth season.

Michael PeñaThe series was renewed for a fourth season, ahead of the series’ Season 3 premiere.

No word yet on Peña’s role.

Production recently wrapped on Season 3, and a premiere date will be announced later.

Season 3 finds Jack Ryan (Krasinski) on the run and in a race against time. Jack is wrongly implicated in a larger conspiracy and suddenly finds himself a fugitive out in the cold. Now, wanted by both the CIA and an international rogue faction that he has uncovered, Jack is forced underground, crisscrossing Europe, trying to stay alive and prevent a massive global conflict.

In addition to Krasinski, returning for the third season of the dramatic series are Wendell Pierce as James Greer and Michael Kelly as Mike November.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is a co-production of Amazon Studios, Paramount Television Studios and Skydance Television.

Peña was most recently seen in Warner Bros’ live-action hybrid Tom & Jerry and can be seen next in the Roland Emmerich film Moonfall for Lionsgate and in the Paramount family/action pic Secret Headquarters.

On television, Peña also starred in the Netflix series Narcos; Mexico and in Fox’s Gracepoint.

Matthew López to Make Feature Directorial Debut with Film Adaptation of Best-Selling LGBTQ+ Novel “Red, White & Royal Blue”

Matthew López is embracing the red, white and (royal) blue

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter, who made history as the first Latinx playwright to win the Tony Award for Best Play, will make his feature directorial debut on the LGBTQ+ romantic comedy Red, White & Royal Blue.

Matthew Lopez

The Amazon Studios production is a film adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 best-selling novel of the same name.

It centers on a star-crossed power couple — the Latinx character of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the president of the United States, and his relationship with Prince Henry, grandson of the Queen of England.

López rewrote a draft of the script by Ted Malawer in addition to being tapped to direct the film.

Here’s the official logline: “What happens when America’s Prince falls in love with an actual prince? The film follows Alex Claremont-Diaz who, upon his mother’s election as president, was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, brilliant―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a long-running feud with his royal counterpart across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S.-British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagram-able friendship grows into something more meaningful than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could complicate his mother’s re-election campaign, upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?”

Lopez has a busy dance card. He’s penning a remake of The Bodyguard for Warner Bros., collaborating with songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Amber Ruffin on a musical-adaptation of Some Like it Hot, and scripting a feature film adaptation of the novel Leading Men, which centers on the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner

López will also executive produce the film.

The Inheritance, a two-part epic about the AIDS crisis, is set to make its Los Angeles premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in 2022. In New York, López’s work has been seen Off Broadway with The Whipping Man (Manhattan Theatre Club), and The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC Theater). He previously signed an overall television development deal with Amazon Studios in October of last year

Matthew López’s “The Bodyguard” Remake to Feature a Latina Starlet

Matthew López is planning to bring a Latina twist to his The Bodyguard redo.

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter is remaking the 1992 romantic thriller, which originally starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.

Matthew Lopez

But this time, the film will feature a brand-new storyline about an overnight Latina sensation.

López, the history making Tony Award-winning playwright of The Inheritance who will be writing the new film, tells Variety that he wants a Latina to front the project.

Unlike Houston, who portrayed Oscar-nominated actress and high-profile singer Rachel Marron dodging death threats and a stalker in the film, the new female lead of The Bodyguard will play an up-and-coming singer who realizes how much she needs protection after growing into her fame.

“It’s so much fun. When Warner Bros. approached me about the idea, I quickly said I would but I wanted the protagonist to be Latina. They agreed to that,” he said. “There’s been a lot of speculation about what I’d bring to the remake and some people were assuming that there’d be a gay storyline to it. Instead of focusing on an established star like the one Whitney Houston played, this is about a young Latina performer who has just become famous. It’s about how her life has changed because she is an overnight sensation. In the 21st century, that means she’s in immediate need of protection. It was important to me to use this opportunity to get Latin faces up on that screen and to get their stories told in a big way.”

Variety initially reported that Afro-Latina superstars Cardi B and Tessa Thompson were suggested for the film, to respectively go alongside Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth.

No official casting information has been publicly released.

Fernanda Urrejola to Star in the Thriller “The Woods”

Fernanda Urrejola is heading into the woods…

The 40-year-old Chilean actress will star opposite J.K. Simmons and Allen Leech in the thriller The Woods.

Fernanda Urrejola

Isabelle Anaya is also starring in the project.

Michelle Schumacher will direct from a screenplay she co-wrote with Carolyn Carpenter.

The film centers on a teenage girl suffering from anxiety due to a tragic event from her past who finds herself hunted through the woods by a sociopath on a murderous rampage.

“I didn’t want to play any truly scary bad guys when our kids were young, partly because of how it might affect them if they saw the film and also because I didn’t want to bring that energy home with me after an intense day on the set,” Simmons said. But now that his two children are in college, Simmons has freed himself to unleash his inner villain.

Urrejola can currently be seen in Warner Bros.’ Cry Macho, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Peter Murrieta Adapting Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s Forthcoming Novel “Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta” as a TV/Film Project

It’s a (blood and) golden opportunity for Peter Murrieta.

The Latino two-time Emmy-winning television producer and writer is teaming up with Russell Binder’s Striker Entertainment to option and adapt Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s forthcoming novel Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta

Peter Murrieta

Set during the harsh and brutal but transformative era of the California Gold Rush, the book tells the story of real-life bandit Joaquin Murrieta, who was dubbed the ‘Robin Hood of the West’.

It follows how Murrieta, a romantic, charismatic young Mexican who, overcome by fear that his beloved Rosita will be forced into an arranged marriage, persuades her to join him as he follows his brother Jesús to the California gold fields where they encounter prejudice, hatred, and explosive violence – transforming Joaquin from an honest, hardworking miner into a bandit and the very spirit of vengeance.

The team said the book blends historical facts with untold family stories from direct descendants of Murrieta.

It will be released by Sundown Press in October this year. Peter Murrieta is also a co-author on the book.

Murrieta, who recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Television, will pen the screenplay.

“In the prefatory note to his epic Western novel Warlock, Oakley Hall wrote that ‘The pursuit of truth, not of facts, is the business of fiction,’” said Mariotte. “I have been fascinated by Joaquin Murrieta for nearly five decades, but it took connecting with Peter – who knows the real truth as much as it can be known— – o be able to tell the story the way it needed to be told.”

It’s not decided if the project will be a film or television program.

Murrieta’s credits include Netflix shows One Day At A Time and Mr. Iglesias. He was also an executive producer on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place and the creator of Warner Bros. series Greetings From Tucson.

Matthew López to Pen the Remake of Warner Bros.’ “The Bodyguard”

Matthew López is preparing for a new body(guard) of work…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican award-winning playwright and screenwriter, who earned a Tony Award nomination for The Inheritance, will pen the remake of Warner Bros’ 1992 blockbuster The Bodyguard.

Matthew Lopez

The original film, which starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston (who died in 2012), grossed $411M WW.

The new film is reportedly inspired by the 1992 romantic drama which followed a former Secret Service agent, played by Costner, who takes on the job of bodyguard to an R&B singer, whose lifestyle is most unlike a President’s.

The Bodyguard served as Houston’s big screen debut at the time.

The film’s original soundtrack is the top selling of all-time with 45M copies sold around the globe. The soundtrack won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and certified 18x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Two songs, “Run to You” and “I Have Nothing,” were nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars, but lost out to “A Whole New World” from Disney’AladdinThe film’s signature song “I Will Always Love You” went 8x Platinum in the U.S. selling 8M copies. Overall, it was the 15th-best selling album in the U.S., big shoes for this reboot, as yet uncast, to fill.

Lawrence Kasdan wrote and produced the original movie, which was directed by Mick Jackson.

Warner Bros. Acquires Global Rights to Jenna Ortega’s “The Fallout”

Jenna Ortega’s fallout will be felt globally…

Warner Bros. has picked up global rights to Megan Park’s SXSW multi-award-winning feature The Fallout, starring the 18-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega, The Fallout

The film will be released exclusively on HBO Max where the service is available globally, and be distributed by Warner Bros. in the balance of international markets.

The Fallout follows high schooler Vada (Ortega) as she navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family and friends, as well as her view of the world, are forever altered.

The cast also includes Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz, Julie Bowen and Shailene Woodley.

Park, an actress who starred in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager and made the music video “Watch” for Billie Eilish, made her feature directorial debut with Fallout, which won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Narrative Feature at SXSW, as well as the Brightcove Illumination Award (which lauds a filmmaker on the rise at the Austin, TX festival). Park also wrote the movie.

“Making The Fallout was a journey I never expected to take and one that has changed me forever,” stated Park. “If by seeing this film just one teen feels less alone, less afraid, or somehow understood, that will make the journey worth every step.”

“What Megan Park has created with The Fallout is a sensitive and moving story, marking a stunning debut behind the camera, with an exceptional young cast led by a revelatory and powerful performance by Jenna Ortega and an emotionally impactful turn from Maddie Ziegler,” said Carolyn Blackwood, Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.