Rey Gallegos Joins Cast of Rosario Dawson’s Limited DC Comic-Based Series “DMZ”

Rey Gallegos is in the Zone… the demilitarized zone.

The Mexican actor will star in HBO Max’s DMZ, a limited series based on the DC comic series from Ava DuVernay, Roberto Patino and Warner Bros. Television.

Rey Gallegos

Gallegos joins a cast that includes Rutina Wesley, Mamie GummerNora Dunn and Henry G. Sanders.

Also joining stars Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt are Venus Ariel, Jade WuAgam Darshi and Juani Feliz.

Joining the creative team are filmmaker Ernest Dickerson and Emmy winner Carly Wray.

Dickerson will direct and executive produce three episodes of the four-part series. DuVernay directed the first episode and executive produces the series.

DMZ is set in the near future, when America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. It chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (Dawson) to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (Bratt), the popular, and deadly, leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome.

The drama will examine the stark political and cultural divide in American society, where Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone there has lost…hope.

Ariel will play the series regular role of Nico, a foul-mouthed scavenger with a hankering for mischief.

Gallegos will play Cesar, a ruthless and devoted consigliere who’ll stop at nothing to secure his gang’s authority in the DMZ.

Feliz will play Carmen, the fearless and fiery partner to the biggest bad in the DMZ, and a critical source of power and community in her native Spanish Harlem.

They join previously announced cast members Hoon Lee, Jordan Preston Carter and Freddy Miyares.

DMZ is produced by DuVernay’s Array Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Gallegos previous credits include Gang Related, American Sniper and Spider-Man 3.

Carmen Marrón to Direct Episode of Ava DuVernay’s Drama “Queen Sugar”

It’s a sweet opportunity for Carmen Marrón

The Mexican-American writer/director will helm an episode of Ava DuVernay’s drama Queen Sugar for Season 6.

Carmen Marrón

Marrón joins a list of series helmers that includes, Lisa France, Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, Cierra Glaude, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Marie Jamora, Shari L. Carpenter, Shaz Bennett and Stephanie Turner.

Queen Sugar, currently in production in New Orleans, is set to premiere later in the fall.

The addition of the nine directors continues DuVernay’s commitment to hiring an entirely woman-led directing team for the show. The latest addition brings the series’ total women director count to 42 filmmakers, 39 of whom are first-time television directors.

Set in rural Louisiana and the fictional community of St. Josephine, Queen Sugar focuses on the trio of Bordelon siblings, played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Rutina Wesley and Kofi Siriboe, and their extended family.

Also joining as a recurring character is Marquis Rodriguez.

He will play Isaiah, a college student wise beyond his years who befriends Micah West.

Queen Sugar, created by DuVernay, airs Tuesday nights on OWN.

Camila Moreno to Star in Ava DuVernay’s Superhero DC Drama Pilot “Naomi”

Camila Moreno has landed a super role…

The Latina actress and Hollywood newcomer has been cast in Ava DuVernay’s superhero DC drama Naomi.

Camila Moreno

Moreno joins a cast that includes Kaci Walfall as Naomi, Alexander Wraith, Cranston Johnson, Barry Watson, Mouzam Makkar, Mary-Charles Jones, Aidan Gemme, Daniel Puig and Will Meyers.

Based on the eponymous comic book series that debuted in 2019, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell, the show follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.

Amanda Marsalis will direct and co-executive produce the pilot, from DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television.

Naomi, the network’s latest DC adaptation, comes from DuVernay and Arrow writer and co-executive producer Jill Blankenship.

HBO Max Gives Series Order to Rosario Dawson’s Futuristic Drama “DMZ”

Rosario Dawson is heading to the demilitarized zone

HBO Max has given a series order to Ava DuVernay and Roberto Patino’s DMZ, starring the 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist.

Rosario Dawson

HBO Max ordered four episodes of the limited series, a futuristic drama set amid a second American civil war and based on the DC Comics series.

Production on the series is scheduled to start in 2021.

DMZ stars  Dawson and Benjamin Bratt in the lead roles, alongside Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares and Jordan Preston Carter.

DMZ is set in the near future, when America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. It chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (Dawson) to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (Bratt), the popular, and deadly, leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome.

The drama will examine the stark political and cultural divide in American society, where Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone there has lost…hope.

Patino, who will write all episodes and showrun the series, wrote the pilot episode, which was directed by DuVernay. Patino and DuVernay serve as executive producers on the series.

DMZ is produced by DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this epic to the screen with my boundary-pushing partners at WBTV and HBO Max, a sublime cast led by Rosario and Benjamin, and my partner and friend, the inimitable and ever-inspiring Ava DuVernay,” said Patino. “DMZ offers up an explosive playground which, more than anything else, exalts the resilience of community and the human spirit. I can’t wait to welcome the die-hard fans of the comic books and new viewers alike to this intoxicating, haunting and inspiring world.”

Dawson’s television credits include The Mandalorian, Briarpatch and Jane the Virgin. She’ll soon appear in the upcoming miniseries Dopesick.

Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Freddy Miyares to Star in the HBO Max Pilot “DMZ”

Freddy Miyaresis getting comic-al

The 25-year-old Latino actor has been cast in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming HBO Max pilot DMZ, an adaptation of the DC comic book series.

Freddy Miyares

Miyares will star opposite Rosario Dawsonand Benjamin Brattin the project.

DMZ is set in the near future where Americais embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattana demilitarized zone — hence the title of the seriesThe show chronicles the journey of fierce medic Alma Ortega (Dawson), who saves lives while desperately searching for her lost son. As she contends with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land, she becomes the unlikely source of hope.

Miyares will be a series regular and play the character of Skel, the ruthless triggerman of one of the DMZ’s most powerful gangs, led by Parco Delgado (Bratt). He’s also a talented graffiti artist with a profound passion for art, which serves as his lasting connection to his humanity in a world where survival is predicated on power.

Miyares previously worked with DuVernay on the Emmy-winning Netflix series When They See Us, playing the adult Raymond Santana, one of the Exonerated Five

He recently appeared in the Showtime drama series The L Word: Generation Q. His other credits include appearances on Elementaryand The Code.

The project will be written and executive produced by showrunner Roberto Patino. DuVernay is set to direct and executive produce. The pilot is produced by ARRAY Filmworksin association with Warner Bros. Television.

Dascha Polanco to Star in the Superhero Thriller “Samaritan”

Dascha Polanco is a good Samaritan…

The 37-year-old Dominican actress is set to star in MGM’s superhero thriller movie Samaritan

Dascha Polanco

Polanco joins a cast that includes Javon ‘Wanna’ WaltonSylvester StalloneMartin StarrPilou Asbækand Moises Arias.

Walton will play a young boy who’s out to discover if a mythic superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier following a tragic event, is still alive.

Julius Avery is directing from a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut, with additional writing by Mark L. SmithZak Penn, and Chuck MacLean

The story is based on Schut’s original idea. 

The film is scheduled for release on December 11 via United Artists Releasingwith Universal handling foreign. 

Polanco portrayed Dayanara Diaz on Netflix’s Orange is the New Blackfor seven-seasons and starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix limited series When They See Us. She’ll soon be seen in her first lead film role in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iCreep, and Warner Brothers’ adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heightsthis summer. Her additional credits include the FXanthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Storyand films including JoyThe Perfect MatchThe Cobblerand Gimme Shelter

Arias first made a name for himself as series regular on the Disney Channel hit original series Hannah Montana, and has since gone on to appear in several Sundance films including Kings of Summer, The Land and Stanford Prison Experiment. Last year, he appeared in CBS Films’ Five Feet Apart as well as the Sundance World Dramatic Competition Special Jury Award winner Monos and the SXSW opening weekend film The Wall of Mexico

Marquis Rodriguez Joins the Ensemble Cast of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Prequel Pilot

Marquis Rodriguez is upping his Game

The Latino actor has joined the ensemble cast ofHBO’s Game of Thrones prequel pilot.

Marquis Rodriguez

Rodriguez joins a new list of series regular additions that includes John SimmRichard McCabe, John Heffernanand Dixie Egerickx.

The drama pilot hails from writer Jane Goldmanand author/GOT co-executive producer George R.R. Martin.

Created by Goldman and Martin and written by Goldman based on a story by her and Martin, the untitled prequel takes place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. It chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend — it’s not the story we think we know.

The five join previously announced series regulars Naomi WattsJosh WhitehouseNaomi AckieDenise GoughJamie Campbell BowerSheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah,Georgie HenleyAlex Sharp,Toby Regboand Miranda Richardson.

Rodriguez will next be seen in the Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, from director Ava DuVernay. He most recently guest-starred on NBC’s Manifest and appeared in recurring arcs on NBC’s Chicago Fire, andMarvel Studios/Netflix’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist crossover episode. His film credits include Saturday ChurchLandlineand 3 Generations.

John Leguizamo to Star in the Novel-Based Film “Harry Haft”

John Leguizamohas landed a new role…

The 54-year-old Colombian actor has been cast in Harry Haft, the Barry Levinson-directed film based on the novel Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano by Alan Scott Haft.

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo joins a cast that includes Danny DeVito, Vicky Krieps, Peter SarsgaardSaro Emirzeand Dar Zuzovsky.

The group joins previously announced titular star Ben Foster as production is currently underway with plans to shoot on location in Hungary and New York.

Justine Juel Gillmer penned the screenplay. It’s based on the true story of a man (Foster) who is driven by his love of a woman to survive the unimaginable horrors of the German concentration camps. An SS Officer (Billy Magnussen) forces Harry to fight to the death against fellow prisoners in gruesome gladiatorial boxing matches. Harry finally escapes and makes it to New York. Haunted by his memories and guilt over his survival, he fights boxing legends, like Rocky Marciano, in the hopes that his name will get noticed and he will find his first love again.

Leguizamo next co-stars in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries about the 1989 Central Parkjogger case, which was just re-titled When They See Us.

John Leguizamo to Star in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix Limited Drama Series “Central Park Five”

John Leguizamo is Central Park bound…

The 53-year-old Colombian actor/comedian is set to star in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series Central Park Five.

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo joins a cast for the four-part dramathat includes Michael K. Williams and Vera Farmiga.

The limited series sprawls from 1989 when five Harlem teens were incorrectly convicted first in the media and then twice in the courts for the brutal rape of a jogger in the NYC park to 2014 when Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise saw their names finally cleared.

Having been vilified by the likes of Donald Trump back in the late 80s and forced to spend years in jail each, the five sued New York City and settled for just over $40 million about four years ago. Before you take another breath, take into account that sum that works out to around $1 million for every year they collectively spent tossed behind bars for a terrible crime they never committed

Emmy winner, recent Special Tony Award winner and Bloodline star Leguizamo has signed on as Raymond Santana Sr., father of another one of the falsely accused boys of color.

Currently in pre-production in NYC and with principal photography starting in early August, Central Park Five also reunites its creator DuVernay for the fifth time with Selma cinematographer Bradford Young, who recently shot Solo: A Star Wars Story.Working with writers Robin Swicord, Attica Locke and Michael Starrbury, DuVernay co-penned each episode of the series.

The Queen Sugar EP and ARRAY founder is directing every episode of the timely drama.