Raúl Castillo to Star in Paramount‘s “Smile” Sequel

Raúl Castillo has a new reason to smile

The 46-year-old Mexican American actor has been cast in Paramount‘s Smile sequel.

Raul CastilloCastillo is among a list of new cast additions that includes Miles Gutierrez-Riley, who starred in The Wilds.

The film’s plot and character details are being kept under wraps.

The duo joins the previously announced cast: Naomi Scott, Lukas Gage, Kyle Gallner, Rosemarie DeWitt and Dylan Gelula.

Smile writer and director returns for the second installment to again direct from his own script, with Temple Hill producing.

Smile 2 is currently slated for release on October 18, 2024, when it will go up against a still-unnamed title from Universal Pictures.

Going on to gross over $217M in theaters, even if it was initially set up for release on Paramount+, Smile was one of the great, unexpected box office successes of 2022. One of several original studio horror films of late to expand into a franchise, it tells the story of Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), a psychiatrist who becomes increasingly convinced she is being threatened by an uncanny entity, after witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient.

Castillo most recently starred in the Amazon film Cassandro opposite Gael Garia Bernal. He’s set to appear in HBO‘s Mark Ruffalo-led series, the Untitled Brad Ingelsby Task Force Project (w/t), currently in pre-production.

Prior television credits also include HBO’s Looking, Starz’s Vida and Netflix’s Atypical to name a few; Army of the DeadCha Cha Real SmoothKnives Out and We The Animals are among his film credits.

Gutierrez-Riley made his TV debut in the second season of Prime Video’s The Wilds, where he portrayed Ivan. In September 2022, Miles he starred in Paramount’s film adaptation of On The Come Up, which made its world premiere on the opening night of TIFF. Next up, he will star opposite Corey Fogelman in Tommy Dorfman’s directorial debut I Wish You All the Best, premiering at SXSW in March. It has also been announced that Gutierrez-Riley will star in Disney+’s WandaVision spinoff, Agatha: Darkhold Diaries.

Jaume Collet-Serra to Direct Blumhouse’s “The Woman in the Yard”

Jaume Collet-Serra is hitting the yard…

The 49-year-old Spanish film director and producer and Black Adam filmmaker will direct Blumhouse’s The Woman in the Yard, starring and executive-produced by Danielle Deadwyler.

Jaume Collet-Serra

The project reteams Collet-Serra and Deadwyler, who recently collaborated on the Netflix thriller film, Carry On.

The film, which has a plot line under wraps, is set for theatrical release on January 10, 2025.

“I’ve been trying to find the right project to work on with Jaume, in our system, for over a decade. The Woman in the Yard is the perfect match, a film that’s ambitious in scope but modest in budget that combines Jaume’s vision with the incomparable Danielle Deadwyler. Together with my friend Stephanie Allain, this is a real dream team and I’m excited to collaborate with them on the film,” said Blumhouse boss Jason Blum.

The Woman in the Yard is written by Sam Stefanak. Blum and Allain are producers on the film. Collet-Serra, Deadwyler, Gabrielle Ebron, Scott Greenberg and James Moran are EPs. Haley Pigman and Jungyoon Kim are the executives covering the film for Blumhouse.

The Woman in the Yard is a Blumhouse production for Universal. 

Collet-Serra’s other credits include House of Wax, Orphan and The Shallows, as well as the Liam Neeson-led thriller films Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night and The Commuter.

Laz Alonso Signs with Independent Artist Group for Representation

Laz Alonso is going independent

Independent Artist Group has signed the 49-year-old Afro-Cuban American actor for representation.

Laz AlonsoAlonso is best known for starring on the hit Amazon series The Boys, centering on vigilantes’ efforts to take down a group of corrupt superheroes, which returns for its fourth season this year.

On the show developed by Eric Kripke from the same-name comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Alonso portrays the vigilante Mother’s Milk, sharing the screen with Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty and more.

He’s also currently voicing the title character on Netflix’s animated series My Dad the Bounty Hunter,.

Alonso’s past television credits include A&E’s cult hit Breakout Kings, Starz’s Power Book II: Ghost, TNT’s Southland, NBC’s Deception and The Mysteries Of Laura and Spectrum Originals’ L.A.’s Finest.

On the film side, he’s been seen portraying the villain Fenix opposite Vin Diesel in multiple Fast & Furious titles, also appearing in James Cameron’s Avatar. Other notable big screen credits include the Jason Statham action thriller Wrath of Man, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. AnnaStomp the YardJarhead and Constantine.

Additionally, Alonso has executive-produced titles including Alan JacobsTIFF drama Down for Life, in which he starred alongside Danny Glover, and the indie thriller Detained co-starring Abbie Cornish. He heads up the production company Abundancia Pictures as CEO and continues to be represented by Authentic Talent and Literary Management and attorney Rick Genow at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.

Christian Nodal Among Artists Set to Perform at Billboard Presents THE STAGE at SXSW

Christian Nodal is hitting The Stage in Austin, Texas…

Billboard has announced its return to South by Southwest (SXSW) for three star-studded concerts running Thursday, March 14, through Saturday, March 16, with the 25-year-old Mexican musician, singer and songwriter among the artists scheduled to perform.

Christian Nodal,Billboard Presents THE STAGE at SXSW will kick off with a night dedicated to R&B headlined by singer-songwriter and producer PARTYNEXTDOOR on March 14; on March 15, a night celebrating Latin music will feature TJ the DJ and Nodal; and on March 16, a dance-centric night will kick off with DJ Sober before electronic giant ILLENIUM takes the stage.

Nodal has won three Latin Grammy Awards, a Lo Nuestro Award, two Billboard Latin Music Awards and a Latin American Music Award.

Additional talent will be announced at future dates.

Billboard Presents THE STAGE at SXSW takes place at Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park in Austin. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

Billboard will report live from SXSW 2024, which takes place March 8-16 in Austin.

SXSW began in 1987 and has continued to grow with each passing year into a must-attend event for those in the music, film and tech industries.

Last March, Billboard Presents THE STAGE at SXSW featured performances from rapper-singer Lil Yachty with opening acts Lola Brooke and Armani White; Latin stars Feid and Eladio Carrión; and electronic giants Kx5 (Kaskade x deadmau5).

Later in the year, the inaugural SXSW Sydney took place, bringing the festival to Australia for the first time. Japanese girl group XG headlined Billboard’s THE STAGE at SXSW Sydney.

Gerardo Ortiz Earns 13th No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay Chart with “Ahí No Era”

It’s Lucky No. 13 for Gerardo Ortiz

The 34-year-old Mexican American Regional Mexican singer-songwriter has notched his 13th No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart as “Ahí No Era” advances 4-1 on the list dated February 17.

Gerardo OrtizAfter a week in the top 10, Ortiz’s single crowns the list following a robust 40% gain in audience impressions, to 7.5 million, earned in the U.S. in the tracking week ending Feb. 8, according to Luminate.

As “Ahí No Va” advances, it unseats Xavi’s “La Diabla” from the lead after one week in charge. The latter dips 1-2 with 6.7 million, that’s a 29% decline from the week prior.

With 13 No. 1s to his account, Ortiz still has the second-most among soloists, behind Christian Nodal’s 15 No. 1s. Among all acts, Calibre 50 has the most, with 24.

Here’s the list of the acts with the most No. 1s since the Regional Mexican Airplay chart launched in 1994:

24, Calibre 50
19, Banda MS de Sergio Lizarraga
18, Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga
18, Intocable
17, La Arrolladora Banda el Limon de Rene Camacho
16, Conjunto Primavera
16, Los Tigres del Norte
15, Christian Nodal
13, Gerardo Ortiz
12, La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas

As “Ahí No Era” lands at the summit, Ortiz becomes just the sixth soloist to rule Regional Mexican Airplay in the past year.

He joins Christian Nodal (“Un Cumbión Dolido” in June 2023), Alejandro Fernández (“No Es Que Me Quiera Ir” and “Difícil Tu Caso,” last August and November respectively), Carin León (“Indispensable,” last August-September), El Fantasma (“La Vida Cara,” last September), Eden Muñoz (“Como En Los Viejos Tiempos,” January 27-dated list), and Xavi (“La Diabla,” chart dated February 10).

Elsewhere, “Ahí No Era” pushes 14-4 on the overall Latin Airplay ranking, for Ortiz’ 17th top 10. The song becomes his highest peak since “Regresa Hermosa” reached an equal No. 4 high in 2016.

Rita Moreno to Star in the Indie Horror Thriller “Theirs”

Rita Moreno is preparing to scare up a new audience…

The 92-year-old Puerto Rican award-winning actress, dancer and singer has been cast in Theirs, an indie horror thriller going into production in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer.

Rita Moreno,But she isn’t the only Latina artist joining the project.

Roselyn Sanchez, who most recently starred in the Fantasy Island reboot,

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, producer and writer and Moreno will star alongside Harvey Keitel and Udo Kier in the project.

Written by Juan Pablo Reinoso and to be directed by Sonja O’Hara, the film centers on a mother who, after a lifetime of grappling with abusive men and a bitter divorce, finds hope for herself and her teenage daughter in a new home, only to quickly find their newfound freedom tested by malicious secrets within its walls.

Keli Price will produce for his Price Productions, alongside Reinoso for LookBook, and David Bond for Dark Elegy Films. Tom Biolchini will serve as the film’s executive producer.

Recent credits for EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Award) winner Moreno include dark comedy The Prank, out March 15, as well as Fast X, Netflix’s Family Switch80 for Brady and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, to name a few.

Most recently starring on the Fox series Fantasy Island, Sanchez has also been seen in prominent roles on shows like Grand HotelDevious Maids and Without a Trace.

Zión Moreno to Star in American High and Hartbeat Hulu’s “Prom Dates”

Zión Moreno has secured a prom date(s)

The 28-year-old Mexican American actress and Gossip Girl reboot star has been cast in Prom Dates, an American High and Hartbeat Hulu film.

Zión MorenoChelsea Handler, John Michael Higgins, Julia Lester, Antonia Gentry, Kenny Ridwan, JT Neal, Jordan Buhat and Terry Hu also star.

The film will hit the service this spring.

The Kim O. Nguyen directed, D.J. Mausner scripted film follows best friends Jess and Hannah (Gentry and Lester), who make a pact at 13 to have the perfect senior prom. Despite the impending changes that college will bring over the next four years, the two are committed to honoring their prom pact. But with only 24 hours left before the big event, everything falls apart when they break up with each of their dates. Jess and Hannah are left with one night to find new dates and live out their middle-school fantasies.

Producers are Jeremy Garelick, Will Phelps and Molle DeBartolo for American High; Kevin Hart, Bryan Smiley and Luke Kelly-Clyne for Hartbeat; and Mickey Liddell and Pete Shilaimon for LD Entertainment. EPs are Kevin Healey and Thai Randolph for Hartbeat, Michael Glassman for LD Entertainment, and Mausner and Andrew Reyes. Jason Zaro will serve as co-producer for Hulu and Axelle Azoulay as associate producer.

Moreno plays Heather, a college party girl who grabs life by tegh horns. The actress has appeared on Max’s Gossip Girl and Netflix’Control Z.

Mausner currently serving as a staff writer on Nickelodeon’s Max and the Midnights and consulting on various projects for Netflix Animation. They previously won a Canadian Screen Award for best writing in a variety sketch comedy series for their work on CBC/IFC’s Baroness Von Sketch Show. Additionally, they were featured in the 2023 CBS TALENT SHOWCASE and starred opposite Ruby Rose, Paris Berelc and Barbie’s Hari Nef in the Amazon/Lionsgate comedy feature 1UP.

American High’s collaboration with Hulu Originals has resulted in seven original films and one acquisition, which launched to critical and consumer acclaim, including hit films such as Pete Davidson’s lead debut, Big Time Adolescence, Natalie Morales’ Plan B and the company’s first-ever sequel, It’s a Wonderful Binge — directed by The Binge scribe, Jordan VanDina, in his feature directorial debut.

Prom Dates marks the eighth film under the original first-look slate deal with American High for Hulu.

Goodfellas Handling International Sales for Berenice Bejo’s “Mexico 86”

Berenice Bejo’s latest project is one step closer to hitting theaters around the globe…

Goodfellas has acquired the worldwide sales rights to thriller Mexico 86, starring the 47-year-old French-Argentine Oscar-nominated actress.

Bérénice BejoThe film hails from Belgian-Guatemalan filmmaker César Diaz, who made waves with Guatemalan civil war disappearance drama Our Mothers, which won Cannes’ Caméra d’Or in 2019.

Mexico 86 stars Bejo as a Guatemalan rebel activist fighting against the corrupt military dictatorship, who is forced to flee to Mexico in 1976, leaving her son behind.  A decade later, he comes to live with her, forcing her to choose between her duties as a mother and her revolutionary activism.

Diaz has taken inspiration from his own personal story for the drama.

The film is produced by Need Productions with Tripode Productions, Pimienta Films and Menuetto Film.

Bejo earned a Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance in The Artist. Her other credits include The Past, Eternity and Sweet Dreams.

Front Row to Release Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund’s “City of Gold” in Middle East for First Time

Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund acclaimed Brazilian film is heading to Middle East theaters more than 20 years after its release.

Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment will release the iconic Oscar-nominated Rio de Janeiro gangland drama City of God across the Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the first time.

City of GoldCo-directed by Meirelles and Lund, film made waves back in 2002 for its realistic depiction of the rise of gang violence in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro with a young unprofessional cast.

Front Row originally released the film straight to DVD in the Gulf due to a variety of local restrictions but some two decades later is pushing on with a theatrical release in a sign of how the region is opening up.

Front Row’s planned February 22 release coincides with the 21st anniversary of the movie’s 2003 theatrical release following its Out of Competition world premiere at Cannes in 2002, and also ties in with a global re-release on February 23.

The initiative also coincides with Front Row’s 20th Anniversary.

“The film holds a special place in our hearts; it was our first acquisition, and at the time we couldn’t release it theatrically due to language restrictions imposed by cinemas, and also because we couldn’t afford the budget it needed to stand out, so it went straight to DVD,” says Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra.

“We’ve come a long way since, and City of God remains an unforgettable masterpiece that deserves to be seen on the silver screen. What better way of celebrating our 20th?”

Front Row is co-distributing City of God with The Festival Agency, led by Leslie Vuchot, who acquired the rights from Wild Bunch.

The partnership is part of drive by Front Row to release a number of classics in the Gulf region that were not presented on the big screen first time round.

City of God was nominated in four categories at the 76th Academy Award but went home empty handed. However, it regularly features on critics lists as one of the top films of all time and is ranked #25 on IMDB with an audience score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Enrique Iglesias Teaming Up with Miranda Lambert for New Single “Space in My Heart”

Enrique Iglesias is making a little space for country-tinged music…

The 48-year-old Spanish superstar is joining voices with country music star Miranda Lambert for the upcoming single “Space in My Heart.”

Enrique IglesiasOn Monday, February 12, Lambert posted a snippet of the upcoming single, which will be released in full on February 22.

On Instagram, Lambert noted, “Texas meets Spain! Can’t wait for y’all to hear this one.”

The snippet offers up a sultry come-on, with the two singing, “You don’t love me yet, but I know you will/ If you ever go I will never change/ There’s a space in my heart and it’s just your shape.”

Iglesias — known for his Billboard Hot 100 hits including “Bailamos” and “Be With You,” as well as songs like “Hero” and the Whitney Houston collaboration “Could I Have This Kiss Forever?” — was named one of Billboard‘Top-Grossing Latin Artists of All Time.

He’s notched eight chart-topping albums on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart, including Vivir (15 weeks at the chart pinnacle) and Sex and Love (16 weeks).

In collaborating with Iglesias, Lambert continues a lengthy linage of country-Latin collaborations.

In the 1980s, Enrique’s father, Latin music icon Julio Iglesias, earned country hits on collaborations with Willie Nelson, including the CMA Award-winning “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” as well as “Spanish Eyes.” Country trio Midland teamed with Jay De La Cueva for a Spanish-language version of its hit “Drinkin’ Problem.” Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood performed with Latin artist David Bisbal for the bilingual song “Tears of Gold,” while Kane Brown teamed with Becky G for a Spanish remix of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere.” In celebrating the 25th anniversary of his 1992 hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus collaborated with Caballo Dorado on a bilingual version of the song.