Sofia Carson to Star in the YA Romance “Purple Hearts”

Sofia Carson is in a purple haze…

The 27-year-old Colombian American actress & singer will star opposite Charles Melton in director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum’s YA romance Purple Hearts about two star-crossed lovers.

Sofia Carson

Adapted from Tess Wakefield’s novel by Tony Award-nominee Kyle Jarrow and Liz Garcia, Rosenbaum will direct the story of aspiring singer-songwriter Cassie and military man Luke, who in spite of their apparent differences, fall hopelessly in love.

Purple Hearts provides hope that two people with such differing world views, stuck in the same place, forced to fight the same fight, might be able to learn a little about each other’s beliefs, get over their own bullshit, start to understand each other and just maybe fall in love. It’s a very timely, emotional story – truly a romance for the ages,” says Rosenbaum.

Carson will also write and perform the film’s original soundtrack.

The film is produced by YA-book-to-screen specialists Alloy Entertainment, known for content including Everything, EverythingGossip GirlPretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries.

Principal photography is due to start in May 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Best known for her role as Evie in Disney’s Descendants franchise and Freeform series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Carson recently made her feature debut in Netflix movie Feel The Beat. Next up she will star alongside KJ Apa in pandemic thriller Songbird, produced by Michael Bay.

Ash Santos to Star in HBO Max’s YA Drama Pilot “Red Bird Lane”

Ash Santos is seeing red (birds)…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress has been cast in HBO Max’s YA drama pilot Red Bird Lane, a project hailing from John Wells Prods.

The project will be led by Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, with Kiersey ClemonsIsidora Goreshter, Danny Huston, Fiona Dourif, Dizzie Harris and Tara Lynne Barr also starring.

Red Bird Lane, written by Sara Gran and directed by David Slade, is a psychological thriller that follows eight strangers who arrive at an isolate house, all for different reasons. Upon their mysterious and coincidental arrival, the strangers realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them.

Sarandon plays Catherine, a welcoming and beautiful hostess with a devious secret.

Santos will play Kesha, a soft-spoken, elegant, and hard as nails character. She came to the house to save a life.

Santos’ previous credits include FX horror anthology series American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Relationship Status and Wrapped Up In Christmas.

Marianly Tejada to Star in YA Mystery Drama Pilot “One of Us is Lying”

Marianly Tejada won’t be Lying low for long…

The Dominican-American actress has been cast in One of Us is Lying, the YA mystery drama pilot fo PeacockNBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service.

Marianly Tejada

In addition to Tejada, the ensemble cast includes Cooper van Grootel, Annalisa Cochrane, newcomer Chibuikem Uche, Jessica McLeod, Barrett Carnahan and Puerto Rican/Spanish actress Melissa Collazo. 

The project hails from NBCU’s UCP and John Sacchi’s 5 More Minutes Productions banner.

Written by Erica Saleh and based on Karen M. McManus’ bestselling novel, One of Us is Lying is the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Tejada will play Brownyn. Top of her class, Bronwyn is so focused on the future she rarely thinks about the present. Most classmates admire her more than they like her, and a few rivals wonder how far she’d go to get ahead.

van Grootel will portray Nate, the school’s most notorious drug dealer, a delinquent who lives alone with his alcoholic father. But that’s not the only reason he’s the police’s prime suspect.

Cochrane will play Addy. Addy makes high school look easy, but you don’t become the school’s most popular cheerleader without hiding secrets. If people really knew her, she fears, her whole world might fall apart.

Uche will portray Cooper. A dominant high school baseball pitcher, scouted by the major leagues, Cooper is on the verge of signing a life-changing professional deal – unless something (or someone) gets in his way.

McLeod is Janae. A punk outsider who hates her fake classmates, Janae is left angry and alone when her only friend is murdered. Rather than simply grieve his death, she promises to honor his bitter legacy.

Carnahan will play Jake, the captain of the football team and the boyfriend of Addy (Cochrane). Jake seems to have it all, but it’s never enough.

Collazo will portray Maeve, Bronwyn’s little sister, who developed a tough demeanor while losing years to a childhood fight with Leukemia. In remission now, she’s hungry to make up for lost time.

Jennifer Morrisonwill direct the pilot and also executive produce.

Tejada’s television credits include recurring roles on Orange Is The New Black and The Purge

Collazo recently recurred in Swamp Thing and plays the lead role in the upcoming feature film Lena and Snowball. 

One of Us is Lying is one of three pilot orders from Peacock, joining Punky Brewster, also from UCP, and Straight Talk.

Georgie Flores to Star in the Pageant Musical-Comedy “Dumplin”

Georgie Flores is getting Dump(lin)ed

The Mexican American actress has joined the cast of the Anne Fletcher-helmed pageant musical comedy film Dumplin.

 Georgie Flores

Kristin Hahn wrote the screenplay, which based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 YA novel of the same title. It follows Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), nicknamed Dumplin, a confident, plus-sized teen who, to spite her beauty pageant queen mom (Jennifer Aniston), enlists in a local pageant. What starts as an impulsive one-day protest snowballs as Will inadvertently becomes the inspiration for a ragtag group of teenage outcasts joining the pageant.

Liv and Maddie alum Dove Cameron, Luke Benward, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Maddie Baillio, Odeya Rush and Ginger Minj (RuPaul’s Drag Race) also star.

Flores most recently starred opposite Bella Thorne in Famous in Love.

Thorne to Star Opposite Patrick Schwarzenegger in the YA Film “Midnight Sun”

Bella Thorne is ready to ride off into the Sun(set)

The 17-year-old half-Cuban American actress-singer will star opposite Patrick Schwarzenegger in Midnight Sun, a Young Adult (YA) love story.

Bella Thorne

Based on a 2006 Japanese film, Midnight Sun centers on Katie (Thorne), a 17-year-old sheltered since childhood and confined to her house during the day by a rare disease that makes even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. Fate intervenes when she meets Charlie (Schwarzenegger) and they embark on a summer romance.

Scott Speer (Step Up: Revolution) is set to direct the film from a script by Eric Kirsten, with a September shooting start planned.

Thorne, a former Disney Channel star, recently signed on to the AwesomenessTV movie Shovel Buddies and is attached to the ABC Family drama project Famous In Love from Pretty Little Liars exec producer/showrunner I. Marlene King.

She’ll next appear on television on MTV’s new series Scream.