Vanessa Rubio Upped to Series Regular on Netflix’s “Cobra Kai”

Vanessa Rubio is stepping things up…

The 37-year-old Colombian-American actress has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s Cobra Kai.

Vanessa Rubio 

Starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, the Karate Kid sequel series is one of the streamer’s most popular shows.

Rubio has portrayed Carmen Diaz since Season 1, appearing in 16 episodes. Carmen is Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) hard-working mother who would do anything to protect her son.

The third season recently premiered in January, hitting No. 1 worldwide on Netflix. The first three seasons of Cobra Kai are now streaming on Netflix with the fourth season production underway in Atlanta.

Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (Zabka).

Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Westbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins in association with Sony Pictures Television. Macchio and Zabka also serve as executive producers.

In addition to Cobra Kai, Rubio recently appeared in the second season of Netflix’s Bonding.

Her other previous TV credits include Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings and Master of None, WGN’s Gone and NBC’s Deception.

Her film work includes How To Be Single, The Hudson Tribes and The Girl is in Trouble.

Kate del Castillo Starring in Womanhunt Thriller “Cold, Dead Hands”

The chase is on for Kate del Castillo

The 48-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star has teamed up with former Netflix VP Erik Barmack to produce and star in the womanhunt thriller Cold, Dead Hands (working title).

Kate del Castillo

The film is set up at del Castillo’s Cholawood Productions, Barmack’s Wild Sheep Content and Top Dead Center Films, headed by Gary and Julie Auerbach, creators of the film.

Gary Auerbach directs the film, which went into production on January 4, shooting in Utah.

The film opens with del Castillo’s character waking up in a log cabin in deep forest, having been drugged and abducted. A message on a stereo tells her to press play.

“I’m a hunter,” a voice says, explaining she’s been placed there because she’s a “worthy prey.” There’s a snow mobile five miles from the cabin. If she makes it to that, she wins. There’s no civilization around and nothing in the cabin of value to her, the voice warns. But he’ll give her a couple of minutes heads start.

Co-starring Marc Blucas, the film naturally packs multiple twists and a backstory about why del Castillo’s character is such worthy prey and the moral choices she had to make to escape the first time round.

The movie is written by Julie Auerbach, as well as Kevin Tavolaro and co-written by Blucas.

This is “the story of a woman who lives through unspeakable hardships in her life yet she identifies as a survivor, not a victim,” del Castillo tells Variety, adding that her character shows “a tremendous amount of strength, courage, intelligence and compassion, all admirable traits innate to our culture” and that she “personally relates to this character particularly in how she overcomes her fears and refuses to let her past define her.”

The movie catches del Castillo coming off Bad Boys for Life, where she stars opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and del Castillo’s starring role on Season 2 of La Reina del Sur.

During its transmission, ending July 2019, the sophomore season kept Telemundo broadcast network among the top three networks in the U.S. regardless of language in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demos in the 10 p.m. Monday-Friday berth.

First Trailer Released for HBO Max’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” Featuring Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali is back in Bel-Air

The first trailer has been released to the 41-year-old half-Afro-Panamanian actress’ upcoming The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion.

Tatyana Ali

Will Smith posted the trailer for the special, which will debut on HBO Max on Thursday, November 19.

A highlight of the trailer features the surprise appearance of actress Janet Hubert, who played the NBC comedy’s original Aunt Viv and has, over the many years since, made her anger over the decision well known.

“I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of Fresh Prince without Janet,” Smith tells the surprised other members of the reunited cast.

In addition to Smith, Ali and Hubert, the unscripted special, shot on the old sitcom set, features Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro as well as recurring co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff. The cast also pays tribute to the late James Avery, who played patriarch Philip. Avery died in 2013.

Taped on the 30th anniversary of the original series premiere date, the special also includes a candid sit-down chat between Smith and Hubert, their first in 27 years.

Produced by Westbrook Media, the reunion will launch exclusively on HBO Max on November 19. HBO Max is the exclusive SVOD home of the full original series library in the US, debuting on the platform when it launched in May. Marcus Raboy directs the special. Raphael Saadiq serves as executive music producer.

Smith also is developing a Fresh Prince drama reboot at Peacock.

Randy Arozarena Becomes First MLB Player to Hit Nine Home Runs in Single Postseason

Randy Arozarena is still making history…

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball outfielder and Tampa Bay Rays rookie has become the first player to hit nine home runs in a single postseason after taking Los Angeles Dodgers starter Julio Urias deep to right field in the fourth inning of Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night.

Randy Arozarena

Arozarena already holds the rookie hit record for a single postseason, set in Game 3, while breaking a four-way tie for most home runs.

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager also homered in Game 4 and has eight this postseason.

Arozarena later scored the winning run on Brett Phillips‘ walk-off single, as the Rays beat the Dodgers 8-7 in Game 4 to even the World Series at two games apiece.

Arozarena actually fell down rounding third base, but after Dodgers catcher Will Smith couldn’t handle the relay throw, the Rays’ rookie was able to make it home with the winning run.

Randy Arozarena

“All I was thinking about was just running hard,” Arozarena said through an interpreter. “Running hard as I could. Once I got to a certain spot, I saw that the ball got bobbled. I got sent home. I tripped. … I was actually trying to get back to third base because I knew we had already tied the game so, if anything, I was just trying to get in a rundown. Then, I saw the ball get past him, so I turned around and scored.”

Arozarena also holds the record for total bases in a single postseason. He singled to lead off the sixth inning Saturday night, tying Pablo Sandoval for most hits by any player in one postseason.

The 2020 playoffs featured an extra round, meaning Arozarena is playing in his 18th playoff game already.

Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Barry Bonds are the three other players — along with Seager — to hit eight home runs in a single postseason.

Adrian Martinez Signs with Innovative Artists

Adrian Martinez is getting innovative

The 48-year-old Latino actor has signed with Innovative Artists.

Adrian Martinez

Martinez was most recently a series regular on ABC’s Stumptown.

His other television credits include heavy recurring roles on CBS All Access’ No Activity and NBC’s The Blacklist: Redemption.

In film, Martinez will soon be seen in Disney+’s Lady and the Tramp, in Jamie Babbit’s The Stand-In opposite Drew Barrymore, and in Jordan Galland’s Leave Not One Alive opposite Bella Thorne.

He’s also had a major leading role in the feature film Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie.

Martinez continues to be repped by Vault Entertainment and Sarna & Associates.

Julio Urías Makes MLB History as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Game 7 Closer Against the Atlanta Braves

Julio Urías has etched his name into the annals of Major League Baseball history…

On Sunday night, the 24-year-old Mexican professional baseball player, a former child prodigy, pitched the Los Angeles Dodgers into the 2020 World Series.

Julio Urías

“It was his moment,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Urías entered the seventh inning of a tied game and retired the next nine Atlanta Braves batters in order, requiring only 39 pitches to do so. He blanked the over the final three innings of a 4-3 victory in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in Arlington, Texas.

With that, the left-hander became only the second reliever to close out a winner-take-all game with at least three no-hit innings. The other: Pedro Martinez in his famous six-inning performance in Game 5 of the 1999 American League Division Series for the Boston Red Sox against the Cleveland Indians.

It was Urias’ second win of the series, the first coming only four days earlier, when he threw 101 pitches in a Game 3 start.

His fastball touching 96 mph, he recorded his first three outs on only 10 pitches.

The quick seventh inning positioned Urías to earn the victory when Cody Bellinger launched a 94-mph sinker by Chris Martin into the right-field stands in the bottom of the inning.

Urías responded by navigating through the middle of the Braves’ order in the eighth inning. Their best hitter, Freddie Freeman, worked a nine-pitch at-bat, but Urías ultimately made him line out weakly to center field.

In Roberts’ mind, there was little question about who would pitch the ninth inning.

Kenley Jansen had pitched in each of the two previous games. This was Urías’ game to finish.

“I trust him,” Roberts said.

Urías forced Ozzie Albies to ground out. He made Dansby Swanson do the same. And when his changeup was lazily golfed to center field by Austin Riley, Urías raised his arms skyward.

Bellinger caught the fly ball, prompting Will Smith to approach the mound in celebration. Urías slapped Smith’s chest protector and embraced the catcher.

In the immediate aftermath of the victory, NLCS most valuable player Corey Seager marveled at Urías’ composure.

“That was his moment right there,” Seager said. “That was his game to win, and he went out and did it.”

HBO Latino’s “Habla Now,” Featuring Diane Guerrero, to Kick-Off the New York Latino Film Festival’s First-Ever Drive-In Showings

Diane Guerrero’s hitting the festival circuit…

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) has announced the lineup for the fest’s forthcoming hybrid edition, with HBO Latino’s Habla Now, featuring the 34-year-old Colombian American actress and author, as the Opening Night drive-in feature.

Diane Guerrero

The documentary special, the 15th installment of HBO Latino’s award-winning “Habla” series, features testimonials from US Latinos – celebrities, recognized professionals, and everyday Latinos – who share honest stories about being Latino in the U.S.

In addition to Guerrero, the storytellers include Arturo Castro, Nely Galan, Amara La Negra, Cristina Jimenez, Ozzie Areu, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Mariana Atencio, Laurie Hernandez, Justina Machado, Diane Guerrero, Carmen Carrera, José Andrés and many more.

In addition, Angel Manuel Soto’s Charm City Kings will have its New York premiere at the fest.

Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter, with a story by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, Charm City Kings marks the feature directorial debut follows the journey of 14-year-old Mouse who desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.

John Leguizamo’s Critical Thinkingwill also make its New York premiere. The film tells the true story of five Latinx and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.

This year’s virtual NYLFF will take place from September 14-20.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, festivals around the world have either canceled or pivoted to an entirely virtual program. NYLFF is one of the Latinx-based fests that continued with plans for the annual fest with the appropriate changes.

The 21st edition will be a combination of virtual events and in-person screenings that celebrate Latinx creators.

The fest will also host the first Latino drive-in experience to take place both in New York and in The Bronx.

This year’s festival features nearly 75 films representing more than 10 countries, spanning all genres including features, shorts, documentaries, web series and experimental films.

“Inspired by the resilience of the Latino community, NYLFF is proud to return with a fresh format featuring our first-ever drive-in experiences,” said Calixto Chinchilla, founder of NYLFF. “We are proud to serve as an important platform for Latino creatives to share culturally relevant stories about intersectionality, diversity, and lived experiences in this country. Gracias to our sponsors for continuing to support our community of content creators and movie-goers. While there’s much learned this year, one thing we can all agree, the culture continues!”

Click here the complete lineup for this year’s NYLFF.

David Blaine Breaks YouTube Original Live Event Record with Helium Balloon ‘Ascension’ Stunt

David Blaine has entered the YouTube record books…

The 47-year-old part-Puerto Rican illusionist, endurance artist and extreme performer’s live stunt Ascension, in which he flew over the Arizona desert using helium balloons, has shattered a YouTube record.

David Blaine, Ascension

This week’s stunt, which took place on Wednesday, was the most-watched YouTube Original Live Event to date, according to the video streaming platform, with over 770,000 peak concurrent viewers, besting Dear Class of 2020 (665k peak concurrents), The Creator Games Presented by MrBeast (662k peak concurrent), Will Smith: The Jump(more than 300k peak concurrents) and Taylor Swift: Lover’s Lounge (Live) (more than 185k peak concurrents).

“David Blaine exceeded expectations once again!” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, “What an inspirational moment for viewers all around the world and we’re so thrilled with what he accomplished today live on YouTube.”

The event streamed live exclusively on YouTube, which funded and produced the project.

Blaine lifted off shortly before 8:00 am PT and within 40 minutes had risen to a height of over 19,000 feet. He eventually reached a height of 24,900 feet and then parachuted to the ground. He completed the entire event within an hour.

The livestream event was hosted by YouTube creator and tech expert Marques Brownlee and featured appearances from Casey Neistat, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis, professional surfer Jamie O’Brien, among others, with a special appearance from David Blaine’s daughter, Dessa.

Blaine’s original plan was to fly over New York, but he decided to shift to Arizona because of weather concerns and logistical issues.

Nicky Jam to Release New Album, “Intimo,” in November

Nicky Jam is getting intimo

The 38-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American urban singer has revealed the cover of his forthcoming album Intimo, set to be released on November 1. 

Nicky Jam

This week, Nicky Jam unveiled the album title, cover and release date on Instagramwith the caption “My album and I.”

This year, Nicky Jam has been touring the U.S. with his Intimo Tourwhile filming the movie Bad Boys for Lifestarring Will SmithandMartin Lawrence, which is set to premiere on January 17.

Intimowill be Jam’s second album after his “comeback” with Fénix,which contains the hit “El Perdón.”

Kate del Castillo to Star in the Off Broadway Production of Isaac Gomez’s “the way she spoke”

Kate del Castillois ready to take the stage…

The 46-year-old Mexican actress, who starred in Telemundo’s wildly popular La Reina del Sur series, will return to the New York stage this summer in the Off Broadway production of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke, directed by Jo Bonney as the next Audible Theater production at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

Kate del Castillo

Previews begin on Monday, July 8, with opening night set for Thursday, July 18. The Minetta Lane, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, is home base for Audible’s live performances, with productions recorded and released by Audible as audio plays.

the way she spoke follows an actress who enters a theater, picks up a script, and begins to read a story that reveals “disturbing and haunting accounts of the murder of thousands of women in Juarez, Mexico and one playwright’s journey of discovery and responsibility.” 

According to Audible’s description, “As lines blur between theatricality and reality, intense and provocative questions are raised and demand deeper examination. Based on a series of intimate interviews, this one-woman play demonstrates the power of speaking truth, even as it considers the implications of doing so.”

Kate Navin, Audible Artistic Producer, called Gomez’s play “deeply moving,” and that del Castillo’s “raw and inspiring performance is sure to captivate our live audiences in New York City and resonate with Audible members everywhere.”

The creative team includes Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Emilio Sosa (costume design), Lap Chi Chu(lighting design), Elisheba Ittoop(sound design), and Aaron Rhyne(projection design).

del Castillo, set to co-star with Will Smithand Martin Lawrencein 2020’s Bad Boys For Life, has been a popular star of Mexican television since her teens, but her performance on La Reina del Sur in 2011 became a cultural phenomenon. A second season launched last month. The series, produced by Telemundo and Spain’s Antena 3, is a primetime serial that chronicles del Castillo’s Teresa character, a Mexican woman who rises to great power through international drug trafficking (Alice Bragaplays the character in USA Networks’ American version Queen of the South).

del Castillo’s other credits include Jane The VirginUnder the Same MoonThe 33All About Nina, and the upcoming Bad Boys For Life.

Off-screen, del Castillo made international news when, after controversially tweeting about El Chapoin 2012, the actress was contacted by a lawyer for the Mexican drug lord to discuss a biopic about him (El Chapo, it turned out, was a del Castillo superfan, with a stockpile of La Reina del Sur DVDs found at the safe house raided by Mexican intelligence agencyCISEN.) Later, del Castillo helped arrange the meeting between El Chapo and actor Sean Penn.