Alonso Starring in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit-Themed Crime Drama Project

Laz Alonso has a Motor City state of mind…

The 42-year-old Afro-Cuban American actor is starring in Kathryn Bigelow’s crime drama Untitled Detroit Project.

Laz Alonso

The film is set against the backdrop of Detroit’s 1967 riots and explores systemic racism in urban Detroit.

In addition to Alonso, the film also stars Jeremy Strong, Chris Chalk, Austin Hébert, Ephraim Sykes, Nathan Davis Jr., Malcolm David Kelley, Peyton Alex Smith and Leon Thomas III.

The crime drama, now in production, was penned by Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal.

Nolasco Starring in HBO’s Family Drama “Mogadishu, Minnesota”

Elvis Nolasco is heading to Minnesota…

The Dominican actor has been cast in HBO’s drama pilot Mogadishu, Minnesota, written, directed and executive produced by rapper K’naan Warsame.

Elvis Nolasco

Executive produced by Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Lockers Kathryn Bigelow, the family drama grapples with what it means to be American – among the Somalis of Minneapolis.

Along with Nolasco, who starred on two seasons of ABC’s American Crime, the pilot will also star K.C. Collins, Rif Hutton, Ezana Alem, Hanad Abdirahman Abdi, Selam Tadese, Prince Abdi, Yusra Warsama and Liya Kebede. All will be regulars if the pilot is picked up to series.

Nolasco will portray Liban, the uncle of one of the characters and the proud owner of Liban’s Classy Hookah. He’s an upright citizen who prizes the family’s reputation above all else. He is not pleased when his brother, Bisbaas, returns to town.

Shooting begins this October in Minneapolis.

Contreras to Pen Warner Bros.’ Historical Thriller “Principia”

Christian Contreras has landed a pen project.

Warner Bros. has acquired Principia, a pitch that will be scripted by the Latino actor/screenwriter, with David Goyer producing through his Phantom Four Productions banner with Kevin Turen.

Christian Contreras

The logline is being kept under wraps, but the project is based on actual events.

A high-concept historical thriller in the vein of The Prestige, Principia involves Isaac Newton and the hunt for a notorious criminal.

Contreras, an American who lives in London and has acted in Fury, The Fifth Estate and Zero Dark Thirty, just came to Hollywood a couple of weeks ago with an idea he wanted to write. He signed with WME and Grandview Entertainment, and Goyer heard the pitch late last week and set it up with Warner Bros that night.

Ramirez to Star Opposite Matthew McConaughey in the Mining Drama “Gold”

Edgar Ramirez is ready to mine his own business…

The 37-year-old Venezuelan actor, who starred in Zero Dark Thirty, will star opposite Matthew McConaughey in Black Bear Pictures’ upcoming mining drama Gold.

Edgar Ramirez

In the Stephen Gaghan-helmed project, Ramirez will portray geologist Michael Acosta opposite the Oscar winner’s role of prospector Walsh.

Written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman and based on the true story about the 1993 Bre-X Mineral Corporation mining scandal, the film revolves around the unlikely pair traveling to the Indonesian jungle in search of the highly valued soft metal of the title.

Production begins in June with filming in New York, New Mexico and Thailand.

Best known for playing 1970s terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez in the 2010 miniseries Carlos, a role that earned him the César Award for Most Promising Actor, Ramirez’s more recent credits include David O. Russell’s Joy opposite Jennifer Lawrence and the Alcon reboot of Point Break, both of which are set for Christmas Day releases this year. Additionally, the actor stars as boxer Roberto Duran in the biopic Hands of Stone opposite Robert DeNiro. Hands of Stone is scheduled to hit the big screen in October.

Dawson Reportedly in the Running to Join HBO’s “True Detective”

It seems Rosario Dawson may be headed to pay cable television…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban American actress is reportedly among the actresses in the running to join HBO’s True Detective season 2.

Rosario Dawson

According to The Wrap Dawson is among the list of at least seven more actresses being considered for the role after Elisabeth Moss and Rachel McAdams were previously eying the part.

In addition to Dawson, who appears in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the site says Jessica Biel (“Total Recall“), Malin Akerman (“Watchmen“), Jaimie Alexander (“Thor“), Kelly Reilly (“Eden Lake“), Brit Marling (“The Keeping Room“) and Oona Chaplin (“Game of Thrones“).

Insiders say Moss and McAdams should not be ruled out of contention yet. At some point, Jessica Chastain was linked to the part too, but reps for the Zero Dark Thirty (2012) actress quickly denied it.

In addition to a female lead, the upcoming new season of the Nic Pizzolatto-created anthology series will feature three male leads. Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn are said vying for the roles.

Arvelo’s “The Liberator,” Starring Edgar Ramirez, Selected as Venezuela’s Oscar Submission for Foreign Language Film

Alberto Arvelo is one step closer to a possible Oscar nomination…

The Venezuelan filmmaker’s latest project The Liberator has been selected to be the country’s submission to the Foreign Language Film category for the next Academy Awards, according to the Venezuelan paper Ultimas Noticias.

The Liberator

The paper reports that a selection of Venezuelan film industry professionals voted on Arvelo’s film earlier this week.

The voting was reportedly divided between The Liberator and Mariana Rondon’s indie drama Bad Hair, winner of the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival last year.

An absolute rarity for local standards in terms of production value, The Liberator is a $50 million co-production between Spain and Venezuela about military and political leader Simon Bolivar, who commanded an army that freed a great part of the region from Spanish colonialism back in the 19th century, and is regarded as a forefather of South America, together with Argentine Jose de San Martin.

The epic period piece stars Venezuela’s most high profile international actor Edgar Ramírez (Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty) as Bolivar, with a score by the L. A. Philharmonic’s music director Gustavo Dudamel, and a script by Timothy J. Sexton, who co-wrote Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

The film’s unusually international crew also features Spanish cinematographer Xavi Gimenez (The MachinistAgora), production designer Paul D. Austerberry (Twilight Saga: Eclipse), costume designer Sonia Grande (Midnight in Paris) and editor Tariq Anwar (American Beauty, The King’s Speech).

The Liberator opened in Venezuela on July 24, selling more than 500,000 tickets to date.

The film is scheduled for US release on October 3.

Ramírez to Star as Roberto Durán in “Hands of Stone”

He’s played the god of war and a legendary Latino political leader… And, now Édgar Ramírez is set to portray a boxing champ.

The 36-year-old Venezuelan actor has signed on to star opposite Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone.

Edgar Ramirez

The drama, written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, centers on the life of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán, who was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” during his career.

Ramírez will portray Durán, while De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel in a drama that focuses on how each man changed the life of the other.

Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

The film is set during boxing’s Golden Era, when Durán was among top notch fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho and Vinny Pazienza.

The film’s focus will be on Durán’s incredible bouts with Leonard, culminating in an inexplicable ending of the famous fight where Durán quit in the ring and cried “No mas,” on a night when Leonard was having his way.

Hands of Stone will begin production in Panama this September.

“The story of Roberto Durán and Ray Arcel is not only a homage to the golden days of boxing; it is most importantly the story of a fatherless man who teaches every single one of us the true meaning of never giving up,” said the film’s producers.

Ramírez recently appeared in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and next stars in Libertador.

Rodriguez to Present at This Year’s WGA Award

Rico Rodriguez has a date with the Writers Guild of America

The 14-year-old Modern Family star, who just earned his third straight SAG Award for best comedy ensemble, has been confirmed as a presenter at the 2013 Writers Guild Awards (WGA Awards) Los Angeles ceremony later this month.

Rico Rodriguez

Rodriguez, an ALMA Award winner, will present alongside his Modern Family co-stars Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet.

Other presenters include Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, Private Practice’s Kate Walsh, Castle’s Stana Katic and Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler.

Nathan Fillion, the star of ABC’s Castle, will serve as the night’s host.

The WGA Awards will take place on Sunday, February 17, at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE.

Caballero Receives Art Directors Guild Nod for “The Impossible”

Eugene Caballero is earning praise from his peers for his work on Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible, about the 2004 tsunami…

The 42-year-old Mexican production designer, who won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction in 2007 for his work on Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, has earned a nomination from the Art Directors Guild (ADG) for Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film.

The Impossible II

Caballero is nominated in the Contemporary Film category. He’s up against the production designers on Flight, Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Zero Dark Thirty.

The ADG’s black-tie ceremony announcing the winners in all nine categories will take place Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills with Paula Poundstone serving as host for the fourth consecutive year.

NY Film Critics Circle Names Ramírez’s “Zero Dark Thirty” Best Film

Édgar Ramírez’s latest film is already proving to be an awards darling, even though it hasn’t been released in theaters yet…

Edgar Ramirez

The New York Film Critics Circle has named Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which stars the 35-year-old Venezuelan actor as a military member, its film of the year.

The group also named Bigelow its best director for the war drama, which centers on the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty came under criticism from various groups recently, claiming that Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were granted access to classified documents by the Obama administration while making the film, which chronicles the manhunt that led to the eventual killing of bin Laden in a Navy SEA raid.

Bigelow and Boal went on Nightline last week to deny they had received classified information. “I certainly did a lot of homework, but I never asked for classified materials; to my knowledge, I never received any,” Boal told Martha Raddatz.

Zero Dark Thirty, which also stars Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton, will be released in U.S. theaters on December 19.