Robert Rodriguez to Direct Ben Affleck in the Action Thriller “Hypnotic”

Robert Rodriguez is ready to thrill…

The 51-year-old Mexican American filmmaker is set to direct Ben Affleck in the action thriller Hypnotic.

Robert Rodriguez

The film centers on a detective who, while investigating a string of impossible high-end heists, becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.

The big budget film, which is reportedly set at $60m-$80m, comes from Studio 8 and Solstice Studios. And it’s the first project greenlit under a partnership between the two companies. 

Production is slated for April.

Rodriguez, Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinovand his colleagues Guy Danellaand John Grahamwill produce the film with Solstice, which will handle US distribution and launch international sales beginning at American Film Market.

“Working with Ben on his award-winning projects, including Argoand The Town, I have seen how his versatility and creativity has made him one of the most talented filmmakers both in front of and behind the camera,” said Robinov. “It’s very meaningful to be collaborating with Ben again on this uniquely riveting suspense thriller, and I know he and Robert will make a terrific film together.”

Rodriguez’s previous credits include El MariachiMachete, theSpy Kidsfranchise, Sin Cityand Sin City: A Dame to Kill Forand Alita: Battle Angel. 

Prieto to Make Feature Directorial Debut with the Revenge Thriller “Bastard”

Rodrigo Prieto is stepping into the director’s chair…

The 51-year-old Mexican cinematographer, who has worked on films such as Martin Scorcese’s Silence and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, will make his directorial debut with the revenge thriller Bastard.

Rodrigo Prieto

Based on an original script penned by Bill Gullo, Bastard is a taut revenge thriller with a riveting antagonist at its core, set against a looming flood that will ravage the small town of Bird’s Point, Missouri.

A Mexico-City native, Prieto started his career shooting television commercials at the age of 22 before moving into features in 1992. He broke out into the film scene with his work on Amores Perros, which kicked off his collaboration with director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Prieto boasts a top-notch list of film credits including Julie Taymor’s Frida; Curtis Hanson’s 8 Mile; Spike Lee’s 25th Hour; Iñárritu’s 21 Grams and Babel; Oliver Stone’s Alexander; Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play; Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces; Francis Laurence’s Water for Elephants; Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo; Lee’s Brokeback Mountain; Ben Affleck’s Argo; and a clutch of Scorcese titles.

He’s most recently worked on HBO series Vinyl and Silence, the latter of which saw him earn an Oscar nomination.

Prieto directed his first short film Likeness, starring Elle Fanning, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Mendez Signs with the United Talent Agency

Tony Mendez is a Hollywood darling…

The 72-year-old retired CIA officer, the man played by Ben Affleck in Argo who orchestrated the plan to smuggle six diplomatic workers out of Iran, has signed on with the United Talent Agency.

Tony Mendez

Mendez – who earned a Scripter Award for Argo, an award given to the screenwriters and the author of the material on which the script is based – has written three memoirs about his CIA experiences. His Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA was one of two sources for the film’s screenplay.

UTA will represent Mendez and his wife Joanna, also a former CIA agent, in film, television and all other media.

Mendez’s Argo experience was a well-kept secret until it was declassified, and the CIA power couple had other undercover adventures.

UTA will be working closely with the couple’s publishing agent and producing partner to represent them as well as the declassified stories from their careers.

Mendez’s Master Of Disguise was the first-ever memoir from a top operative to be authorized by the CIA.

The couple also wrote Spy Dust, a true-life thriller that talks about how they fell in love and got married during the last chapter of the Cold War.

The Mendez’s, who helped advise the development of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, continue to train and consult to the agency community.

Mendez Wins Scripter Award

Tony Mendez has picked up his first-ever Hollywood award…

The 72-year-old former CIA technical operations officer, who Ben Affleck portrays in his Oscar-nominated film Argo, won the 25th Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for best literary film adaptation this weekend at a gala held at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library. Mendez shared the award with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio and journalist Joshuah Bearman, who wrote an article entitled “The Great Escape” for Wired.

Tony Mendez II

The Scripter Award goes to both the screenwriters and the author of the material on which the script is based. Although there are normally 5 finalists, this year featured six because of a tie in balloting.

The Scripter Award is only given for adaptations, not for original screenplays, but it still has a prime slot during the final Academy balloting period. Argo beat out the other Scripter Award nominees: Beasts of the Southern WildDramatist Lucy Alibar, who wrote the play Juicy and Delicious, and screenwriter Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alibar; Life Of PiNovelist Yann Martel and screenwriter David Magee; Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and screenwriter Tony Kushner; Perks Of Being A Wallflower Stephen Chbosky, author of the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as the screenplay based upon the book; Silver Linings PlaybookAuthor Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell.

There were a total of 82 screenplays in the field of candidates for the USC Libraries Scripter Award, which was established in 1988 by the Friends of the USC Libraries as a way to celebrate writers and writing, honoring the year’s best adaptation of printed words into film.

Delgado Receives Costume Designers Guild Award Nod

Paco Delgado continues to receive kudos for his costume design work on Les Misérables

The Spanish costume designer, who earned his first Oscar nomination earlier this month, has picked up a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination.

Paco Delgado

Delgado is nominated for a CDG Award in the Excellence in Period Film category for overseeing the creation of more than 2,200 outfits for the cast of Tom Hooper‘s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Les Misérables.

Here’s a look at the nominees in Delgado’s category:

Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran
Argo – Jacqueline West
Les Misérables – Paco Delgado
Lincoln – Joanna Johnston
Moonrise Kingdom – Kasia Walicka-Maimone

Winners of the 15th annual CDG Awards will be announced February 19 in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, where costume designer Eduardo Castro will receive a career achievement award.

Mendez Nominated for Scripter Award…

Tony Mendez has gone from decorated CIA agent to writers’ award nominee…

The 72-year-old Mexican American retired CIA technical operations officer, the man portrayed by Ben Affleck in Argo, has earned a Scripter Award nomination.

Tony Mendez

The award is bestowed by the Friends of USC Libraries and honors the screenwriter or screenwriters of the year’s most accomplished movie adaptations, as well as the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based.

Mendez is nominated for writing The Master of Disguise, which chronicles his on-scene management of the “Canadian caper” during the Iran hostage crisis, in which he rescued six American diplomats from Tehran in November 1979.

Along with  Mendez, Joshuah Bearman, author of the article “The Great Escape,” and screenwriter Chris Terrio are nominated for Argo.

Winners will be announced on February 9 at USC.

Delgado Earns First Academy Award Nomination…

Paco Delgado has a date with Oscar…

The Spanish costume designer has earned his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Costume Design category for his impressive work in Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper‘s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Les Misérables.

Paco Delgado

Delgado, considered a favorite to earn an Oscar nod all season, oversaw the creation of more than 2,200 outfits for the cast of the epic film. He recently opened up about his designs in an online featurette.

Meanwhile, Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda has picked up his second Oscar nomination for his work Ang Lee’s adventure drama Life of Pi. He’d previously earned a nod for 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Pablo Larraín earned his firstAcademy Awardnomination in the Best Foreign Language Film categoryfor directingthe Spanish-language drama No, starring Gael García Bernal as an in-demand advertising executive who develops a campaign that helps overthrow Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime.

Mexican sound mixer José Antonio García, who earned critical acclaim for his sound mixing Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel, earned his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Sound Mixing category for his work on Ben Affleck’s Argo.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man – the critically acclaimed film which tells the story of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez – in the Best Documentary Film category.

Click here for a complete look at this year’s nominees.

The 85th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on February 24 on ABC.

Bardem Receives BAFTA Award Nomination

Skyfall’s Javier Bardem is a hit in England…

The 43-year-old Spanish actor, who masterfully plays the villain in the latest James Bond film has followed up his London Film Critics’ Circle nod with a BAFTA Award nomination.

Javier Bardem

Bardem was revealed as a candidate in the Best Supporting Actor category during the announcement of nominees by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Bardem, who previously won a BAFTA Award in 2007 for his performance in No Country for Old Men, will face off against Argo’s Alan Arkin, Django Unchained’s Christoph Waltz, The Master’s Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lincoln’s Tommy Lee Jones.

Bardem’s nomination is one of eight nominations for Skyfall, which is now the highest-grossing film in United Kingdom history.

Meanwhile, Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn’s Searching for Sugar Man, the documentary about Mexican-American musician Rodriguez was nominated in the Best Documentary category.

Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda earned a BAFTA Award nomination, the second of his career, for his work on Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.

Spanish costume designer Paco Delgado earned his first BAFTA Award nomination for his costume design work on the film adaptation of Broadway’s Les Misérables.

The BAFTA Awards ceremony will take place on February 10.

Here’s a look at the Latino nominees and their competition:

THE IMPOSTER Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis
MARLEY Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel
McCULLIN David Morris, Jacqui Morris
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

CHRISTOPH WALTZ Django Unchained

LIFE OF PI Claudio Miranda
LINCOLN Janusz Kaminski
SKYFALL Roger Deakins

ANNA KARENINA Jacqueline Durran
GREAT EXPECTATIONS Beatrix Aruna Pasztor
LINCOLN Joanna Johnston

Mendez Discusses His The Real-Life Mission Depicted in “Argo”

He’s the decorated CIA officer portrayed by Ben Affleck in this year’s critically acclaimed film Argo… And now Tony Mendez is opening up about the real-life mission depicted in the film.

Tony Mendez II

The 72-year-old Mexican American American retired CIA technical operations officer and the six “house guests” as they were known appear in an intriguing featurette about Argo.


Mendez was decorated for his on-scene management of the “Canadian caper” during the Iran hostage crisis, in which he rescued six American diplomats from Tehran in November 1979. Posing as a Canadian film crew of a fake Hollywood production, Mendez and his “crew” were accompanied by a CBC cameraman. As part of their cover, the diplomats carried passports issued by the Canadian government to document them as Canadian citizens.

The successful mission was declassified in 1997, finally allowing all the key players to talk about it for the first time.

Producer/Director Affleck stars as Mendez, and in this featurette he and the six “house guests” as they were known, along with the actors who portray them, detail the extraordinary rescue and the movie version that has now earned more than $100 million at the box office.

Bardem Recognized by the London Film Critics’ Circle

It appears that crime does pay, at least for Javier Bardem

The 43-year-old Spanish actor – who earned an Oscar for playing a psychopathic assassin in No Country for Old Men – has picked up another nomination for his villainous role in Skyfall.

Javier Bardem

The London Film Critics’ Circle nominated Bardem in the Best Supporting Actor category for playing the main antagonist in the latest James Bond film.

Bardem, who received a SAG Award nomination earlier this month, will face off against Argo’s Alan Arkin, PrometheusMichael Fassbender, The Master’s Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lincoln’s Tommy Lee Jones.

Meanwhile, Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda has been nominated in the Technical Achievement Award category for his work on Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi. And the critically acclaimed Searching for Sugar Man, a film about Mexican American singer Rodriguez, has been nominated in the Documentary of the Year category.

The London Film Critics’ Circle will hold its 33rd awards ceremony on January 20.