Juan Meza-León to Direct Animated Film “Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios” for HBO Max Latin America

Juan Meza-León is bringing Batman south of the border…

HBO Max Latin America has ordered an original animated feature-length film, directed by the 44-year-old Mexican filmmaker, that takes the DC Comics character to Mexico.

Juan Meza-León The streamer will launch the Dark Knight story Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios.

The animated feature comes from Warner Bros. Animation and DC in partnership with Anima and Chatrone.

In the time of the Aztec Empire, Yohualli Coatl — a young Aztec boy — experiences tragedy when his father and village leader, Toltecatzin, is murdered by Spanish Conquistadors. Yohualli escapes to Tenochtitlan to warn King Moctezuma and his high priest, Yoka, of imminent danger. Using the temple of Tzinacan, the bat god, as a lair, Yohualli trains with his mentor and assistant, Acatzin, developing equipment and weaponry to confront the Spaniard invasion, protect Moctezuma’s temple, and avenge his father’s death.

In addition Meza-León serving as director, the film also features José C. García de Letona, Aaron D. Berger, Carina Schulze and Fernando De Fuentes as producers.

The film will be produced entirely in Mexico, feature local talent and showcase the region’s abundant art. Sam Register and Tomás Yankelevich serve as executive producers.

Alejandro Díaz Barriga, a consultant specializing in Mesoamerican studies and ethnic history of Mexico and the Andean region, will work with the creative team to ensure that the indigenous representation portrayed in the film is appropriate and relevant.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Encanto” Soundtrack Reaches Fifth Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 

It’s an enchanting five for Lin-Manuel Miranda

Walt Disney Records’ Encanto soundtrack, containing eight original songs written by the 42-year-old Puerto Rican Tony Award-winning star and produced by Mike Elizondo, spends its fifth nonconsecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, becoming the soundtrack with the most weeks atop the chart since Disney’s own Frozen ruled for 13 nonconsecutive weeks in 2014.

Encanto

With their totals at No. 1 (so far), Frozen and Encanto boast the most, and second-most, weeks at No. 1, respectively, among soundtracks in the 21st century.

Encanto earned 110,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending February 10 (down 2%), according to MRC Data.

Of Encanto’s 110,000 equivalent album units earned, SEA units comprise 91,000 (down 3%, equaling 134.82 million on-demand official streams of the set’s songs), album sales comprise 17,000 (up 5%) and TEA units comprise 2,000 (down 28%).

Encanto continues to be powered largely by streaming activity for its songs, including its five top 40-charting hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (which spent its second week atop the February 12-dated chart), “Surface Pressure,” “The Family Madrigal,” “What Else Can I Do?” and the Academy Award-nominated “Dos Oruguitas.”

Notably, Encanto is one of only six soundtracks to spend at least five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the last 30 years. Before Encanto, there was Frozen (13 weeks, 2014), Titanic (16, 1998), Waiting to Exhale (five, 1996), The Lion King (10, 1994-95) and the Whitney Houston-led The Bodyguard (20, 1992-93). (Before that, the last soundtrack with at least five weeks at No. 1 was Prince’s Batman in 1989, with six weeks at No. 1.) The soundtrack — and overall album — with the most weeks at No. 1 is West Side Story, with 54 weeks atop the list in 1962-63.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by MRC Data. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.

Gina Rodriguez Joins Voice Cast of Spotify’s “Batman Unburied” Scripted Podcast Series

Gina Rodriguez is unburying her latest project…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican actress will join the cast of Spotify’s upcoming Batman Unburied scripted podcast series.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who won a Golden Globe for her work on Jane the Virgin, will voice the character of Barbara Gordon.

Rodriguez, who has featured on Netflix’s animated series Big Mouth, will play the daughter of former police commissioner Jim Gordon and star detective for Gotham PD.

Throughout the series, Barbara will grapple with her own ethics, as she tries to keep within the lines of police work yet is finding herself drawn to Batman’s self-styled method of justice.

She said she was excited to be going on this “sonic adventure” with the “iconic” role.

She joins a cast that already includes Winston Duke as Bruce Wayne and Jason Isaacs as Wayne’s loyal butler and right-hand man, Alfred.

Rounding out the cast of David S. Goyer’s take on the Caped Crusader is Sam Witwer (Supergirl) as Gotham’s cannibalistic serial killer, The Harvester, Emmy Raver-Lampman (The Umbrella Academy) as Kell, a sultry medical student helping Bruce while hiding a few secrets of her own, Jessica Marie Garcia (On My Block) as Barbara Gordon’s partner Renee Montoya – she’s smart enough to pick up Barbara’s bullshit, but begrudgingly puts up with her shady behavior and Jim Pirri (Penguins of Madasacar) as Arnold Flass, a corrupt cop who uses his badge for his own person gain.

Hasan Minhaj stars as The Riddler, Lance Reddick is Thomas Wayne, Toks Olagundoye is Martha Wayne, John Rhys-Davies is Dr. Hunter, and Ashly Burch is Vicki Vale.

The series, which marks one of the highest profile scripted podcasts to date, is a psychological thriller that takes listeners deep into the mind of Bruce Wayne introducing a slew of dark twists and turns with a number of classic Batman Super-Villains.

When audiences meet Bruce Wayne he is a forensic pathologist, working in the bowels of Gotham Hospital and tasked with examining the victims of The Harvester, a gruesome serial killer preying on Gotham’s citizens. Not only will the Super-Hero be forced to face his own mental demons, but he will also have to overcome them in order to save the citizens of Gotham as his alter-ego Batman.

Writers include Eric Carrasco (Supergirl), Saladin Ahmed (Foundation), Rebecca Klingel (The Haunting of Hill House) and Stranger Things writers’ assistant Graham Westerson.

Alex Kemp directs.

Briarcliff Entertainment Acquires US Rights to Raúl Castillo’s Latino Superhero Film “El Chicano”

El Chicano will be sweeping into theaters next year…

Briarcliff Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the Latino superhero film with an all-Hispanic cast, including star Raúl Castillo.

El Chicano

The action film tells the story of twin brothers Diego and Pedro (both played by Castillo), who grew up together on the streets of East Los Angeles. As adults, their lives took radically different paths as Diego became a celebrated detective for the LAPD, and Pedro turned to a dead-end life of crime. When clues start connecting Pedro’s death to a case Diego is working on, a mythological figure from his youth, The Ghetto Grim Reaper, draws Diego in deeper than he ever expected. He becomes that figure, a Hispanic version of Batman or Black Panther.

The film also stars George Lopez, Aimee Garcia, Emilio Rivera, Kate del Castillo, Mr. Criminal, Noel G. Marco Rodriguez, Marlene Forte, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sal Lopez, David Castañeda and Armida Lopez.

El Chicano marks the feature film directorial debut of 25-year veteran stuntman Ben Hernandez Bray, who co-wrote the script with Joe Carnahan.

Carnahan was frustrated waiting for Bad Boys 3 to come together, he succumbed to Bray’s rationale and bailed on one franchise in hopes of starting another.

“I was frustrated with Bad Boys 3, and Ben had been talking about this for a decade,” Carnahan said. “He would tell me that 25% of movie tickets are purchased by Latinos, and so where are their big heroes? We wrote this on spec, and these white oil and gas guys from Canada gave us the money to make it at an under $8 million budget. It got an amazing response at the L.A. Film Festival. We believe in this, and that it can find a big audience and launch a franchise.”

Said Bray: “Just the fact that we’re making this announcement during Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the vital and important presence of Hispanics and Latinos in North America, is wonderful to me. The time is now for a film like El Chicano. A Latino superhero franchise is long overdue, but to have the forces of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo, Tom Ortenberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventurain the mix just makes it even sweeter and well worth the wait!”

The film will be released theatrically on March 22, 2019, with a reported target of 600-800 screens.

Fox Renews Morena Baccarin’s “Gotham” for Fourth Season

Morena Baccarin is staying in Gotham for another year…

Fox has renewed its flagship drama Gotham, starring the 37-year-old Brazilian American actress, for a fourth season.

Morena Baccarin

Based on characters from DC Comics, the Batman prequel is executive produced by Bruno Heller, who developed the series, Danny Cannon and John Stephens.

In addition to Baccarin, who portrays Leslie Thompkins, the series’ large ensemble cast includes Ben McKenzie, Donal LogueDavid MazouzSean Pertwee, Robin Lord TaylorErin RichardsCamren BicondovaCory Michael SmithJessica LucasChris ChalkDrew PowellMaggie GehaBenedict Samuel and Michael Chiklis.

Lima to Star in CW’s Superhero Series “Supergirl”

Floriana Lima has landed a Super-sized role…

The Latina actress has landed a series regular role on the CBS-turned-CW superhero series Supergirl.

Floriana Lima

Lima will portray Maggie Sawyer, a character inspired by the historic gay DC Comics character.

Created by John Byrne, Maggie was first introduced in 1987 as a captain of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit where she was a highly skilled member of the Science Police, the division of the police department that deals with metahumans.

Additionally, Maggie was revealed to be a lesbian in the Superman titles, making her one of the first openly characters in mainstream comics. She later went on to become romantically involved with another famous female superhero, Batwoman, in addition appearance in several Batman titles.

On the Warner Bros.-produced Supergirl, Maggie will be a detective for the National City Police Department who takes a special interest in the cases involving aliens.

Supergirl executive producer Greg Berlanti, who is also an EP on Arrow, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year about the importance of being all inclusive. His DC Comics shows have changed the ethnicity and sexuality of several iconic comic book characters to better reflect present day, like Supergirl‘s Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Arrow‘s Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum), respectively.

“I wanted to contemporize these comics that I loved growing up and have them reflect the society that we live in now,” Berlanti said. “It’s still about working in some of those very real qualities so that everyone feels represented.”

Maggie Sawyer is one of several famed DC Comics characters coming to Supergirl for season two. Teen Wolf‘s Tyler Hoechlin has been cast as Kara’s cousin Clark Kent aka Superman, and Cougar Town vet Ian Gomez will play journalist Snapper Carr. Additionally, former Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter is set to appear as the President of the United States.

The character of Maggie Sawyer previously appeared in several episodes of former CW series Smallville, as played by Jill Teed.

In addition to the ABC drama The Family, Lima’s credits include Allegiance and The Mob Doctor.

Supergirl‘s second season premieres on Monday, October 10 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Fox Renews Baccarin’s Batman Origin Series “Gotham” for a Third Season

Morena Baccarin isn’t leaving Gotham just yet…

Fox has ordered a third season of the Batman origin story Gotham, based on the characters from DC Comics and starring the 36-year-old Brazilian-American actress.

Morena Baccarin in Gotham

From writer/executive producer Bruno HellerGotham follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Baccarin, who recently earned her first-ever MTV Movie Awards nominations for her role in another comic-based project, Deadpool, portrays Leslie Thompkins in a starring role.

While ratings figures have been down versus the show’s first season, Gotham has been doing a solid business in multi-platform viewing, averaging 9 million total viewers in Season 2, and has done well with male demos.

The series ranks among this season’s Top 10 entertainment programs overall among Men 18-49, and is among the season’s Top 5 broadcast dramas among Men 18-49 and Men 18-34.

“It takes a very special team to tell the tales of Gotham. For the past two seasons, Bruno, Danny and John have masterfully honored the mythology of Gotham and brought it to life with depth, emotion and memorable high drama,” said David Madden, Fox’s Entertainment president.

The next episode on March 21 will kick off the guest arc of Paul Reubens as Elijah Van Dahl, Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) father.

Carey In Talks to Voice Commissioner Gordon in “The Lego Batman Movie”

Mariah Carey may be going Bat-ty…

The 45-year-old half-Venezuelan American singer/actress is in talks to take on the role of Commissioner Gordon in The Lego Batman Movie, the spinoff of The Lego Movie from Warner Bros.

Mariah Carey

The studio is trying to keep everything under lock and key, but sources tell Deadline.com that Carey will join Ralph Fiennes (Alfred the Butler), Will Arnett (Batman), Michael Cera (Robin), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl) and Zach Galifianakis (The Joker).

Earlier this year, the Grammy-winning songstress aligned herself to a Christmas-themed movie pitch that New Line pre-emptively bought from RatPac Entertainment, writers David Diamond and David Weissman and producer Jon Shestack.

Carey will star in the yuletide themed pic., a natural for the woman who wrote and performed All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the insta-Christmas classic released in 1994 tune that has sold more than 14 million copies globally to become the biggest holiday perennial in recent memory and the biggest international hit of Carey’s career.

Her past screen credits include the Lee Daniels-directed Precious and the box office miss Glitter.

Olguín to Direct English-Language Version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

Jorge Olguín is (hunch)back with a new project…

The Chilean horror filmmaker is set to direct an English version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Jorge Olguín

The ambitious project, with a more than $2 million budget, could make Olguín a bigger name in the U.S.

“I really think it’s what will catapult [him] to the next level,” said Olguín’s U.S. agent Chris Sablan of Original Artists.

Sablan’s client Peter Carlisle is penning the screenplay for the film tentatively titled The Hunchback.

“Visually he wants to shoot it a la Sin City, but storywise it’s Batman meets Sherlock Holmes,” said Sablan.

Talks are underway between Sablan and potential U.S. co-producers.

Olguin is also on track to film Indolencia, a self-written project based on the true case of a serial killer who murdered 16 young girls in Chile’s Atacama Desert region.

“This is probably my next film, which will shoot in early 2015,” said Olguín.

In 2002, Olguín released Sangre Eterna, a vampire film that became a cult classic and one of the highest grossing Latin American horror films.

He most recently worked on Whispers in the Forest, Chile’s first 3D feature.

Baccarin Lands Role on Fox’s Batman Series “Gotham”

Morena Baccarin is headed to Gotham City…

The 35-year-old Brazilian actress, who earned an Emmy nomination for her acclaimed performance on Showtime’s Homeland, has joined the cast of Fox’s new Batman series Gotham.

Morena Baccarin

She’ll appear as a recurring actor this season and will become a regular in Season 2.

Baccarin will portray Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a gifted and dedicated physician who was a friend of Bruce Wayne’s parents, Thomas and Martha. She’s determined to use her skills to aid Gotham’s most in need, which currently means working at the newly opened Arkham Asylum’s Home for the Criminally Insane.

In addition to her medical skills, her coolness under pressure will serve her well as she finds herself drawn close to James Gordon and into more and more dangerous waters.

This marks Baccarin’s return to Fox ,where she previously co-starred on Joss Wheden’s Firefly. It was one of several cult sci-fi series Baccarin is known for, including Stargate SG-1 and V, which was produced by Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind Gotham.