Disney Channel Orders “Descendants: The Royal Wedding” Animated Special Starring Sofia Carson

Sofia Carson is getting animated…

Disney Channel has ordered Descendants: The Royal Wedding, an animated special starring the 27-year-old Colombian American actress/singer as Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen.

Sofia Carson

In addition to Carson, the Descendants special, set to premiere this summer, will feature a number of stars including Dove Cameron and Booboo Stewart.

The special will also pay memory to late cast member Cameron Boyce. The actor, who appeared as Carlos, died in July 2019 of epilepsy. He was 20. The absence of Boyce’s character will also be acknowledged.

Descendants: The Royal Wedding will follow Auradon’s epic social event, the marriage between Cameron’s Mal and Mitchell Hope’s Ben. Also reprising their roles for the special are Sarah Jeffery, Melanie Paxson, China Anne McClain, Jedidiah Goodacre, Anna Cathcart, Dan Payne, Bobby Moynihan and Cheyenne Jackson.

Descendants introduced a fantasy world of stories and characters anchored in Disney mythology. For the past six years, it captivated young viewers and grew to become among Disney Channel’s biggest entertainment franchises ever. It had the benefit of immensely talented stars, who we now welcome back for this animated ‘Royal Wedding’ special that will bridge the audience to what we hope will be a new chapter of compelling ‘Descendants’ stories and characters yet to come,” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television.

Descendants: The Royal Wedding, by Sara Parriott & Josann McGibbon and Ricky Roxburgh, is based on the Descendants movies by Parriott and McGibbon.  The special is produced by Le Cube with Salvador Simó is set to direct.

Sofia Carson to Star in the YA Romance “Purple Hearts”

Sofia Carson is in a purple haze…

The 27-year-old Colombian American actress & singer will star opposite Charles Melton in director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum’s YA romance Purple Hearts about two star-crossed lovers.

Sofia Carson

Adapted from Tess Wakefield’s novel by Tony Award-nominee Kyle Jarrow and Liz Garcia, Rosenbaum will direct the story of aspiring singer-songwriter Cassie and military man Luke, who in spite of their apparent differences, fall hopelessly in love.

Purple Hearts provides hope that two people with such differing world views, stuck in the same place, forced to fight the same fight, might be able to learn a little about each other’s beliefs, get over their own bullshit, start to understand each other and just maybe fall in love. It’s a very timely, emotional story – truly a romance for the ages,” says Rosenbaum.

Carson will also write and perform the film’s original soundtrack.

The film is produced by YA-book-to-screen specialists Alloy Entertainment, known for content including Everything, EverythingGossip GirlPretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries.

Principal photography is due to start in May 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Best known for her role as Evie in Disney’s Descendants franchise and Freeform series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Carson recently made her feature debut in Netflix movie Feel The Beat. Next up she will star alongside KJ Apa in pandemic thriller Songbird, produced by Michael Bay.

Kenny Ortega Signs with A3 Artists Agency

Kenny Ortega has new representation…

The 70-year-old Spanish American prolific director, choreographer and producer has signed with A3 Artists Agency.

Kenny Ortega

Ortega earned a Primetime Emmy for choreography and a DGA Award for his work on the Disney Channel’s High School Musical.

High School Musical 2 drew over 17 million viewers when it premiered on Disney Channel, making it the most watched program in cable telecast history. He’s also the executive producer for the film’s soundtracks.

Disney’s High School Musical 3, which made the leap from television to the big screen, opened to $42M at the domestic B.O., marking the biggest theatrical box office opening for a musical in history. The film earned more than $252M globally off an $11M budget.

Ortega directed and choreographed the Descendants trilogy, Newsies, and Hocus Pocus, and choreographed classic films like Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Pretty in Pink, among others.

Other recent work includes A Change of Heart, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again for Fox and The Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Special for Freeform.

On September 10, Netflix will release Ortega’s next directorial project Julie and the Phantoms, a family musical comedy based on a Brazilian television series.

It’s the first title under Ortega’s new multi-year deal with Netflix. He’s also set to direct and produce a feature musical adaptation of Elise Primavera’s book series Auntie Claus, under the pact.

In addition to his Emmy for High School Musical, Ortega earned two others for choreography and variety/music/comedy program direction for the XIX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Last year he received the prestigious Disney Legends Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His other honors include The Fred & Adele Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Fosse Award, American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, MTV Video Music Award, American Music Award, among many others.

Netflix Releases Music Video Teaser for Madison Reyes’ “Julie and the Phantoms”

Madison Reyes is livin’ on the Edge…

Netflix has released a music video teaser from Kenny Ortega’s new musical-dramedy Julie and the Phantoms, starring the young Latina actress.

Madison Reyes

The acoustic performance features Reyes and the rest of the main cast singing “Edge of Great,” an original song from the show’s soundtrack.

Created by Ortega, who directed Disney’s High School Musical and Descendants, the series will start streaming on Netflix on September 10.

Reyes stars as Julie, a high schooler who lost her passion for music after her mom died last year. But when the ghosts of three dreamy musicians (played by Charlie Gillespie, Jeremy Shada and Owen Patrick Joyner) from 1995 suddenly appear in her mom’s old music studio, Julie feels her own inner spirit begin to reawaken and is inspired to start singing and writing songs again. As their friendship with Julie grows, the boys convince her to create a new band together: Julie and the Phantoms.

Though the show is based on Julie e os Fantasmas, a Brazilian television series for children produced by Rede Bandeirantes in partnership with Nickelodeon Brazil, EP and choreographer Ortega said the Netflix original will not follow the original too closely. Ortega said “we were given complete license to explore through the boundaries of what it was and to begin anew. That’s what excited me. This was really a completely new exploration of the idea.”

Playing the titular role, Reyes disclosed that providing visible role models that reflected her identity is what drove and inspired her to play the character of Julie.

“I definitely push myself to follow my dream more for my family and also for my little sister. I wanted her to have someone she could look up to that looked like her and that she could have a connection with whether it be my ethnicity or curly hair. It was about making sure that my sister had somebody that she could look up to. I wanted to be that role model for her. That was what motivated me to follow my dreams,” said Reyes.

Booboo Stewart, Cheyenne Jackson, Carlos Ponce, Sonny Bustamante, Jadah Marie, Sacha Carlson and Savannah Lee May round out the cast.

Some episodes of the single-camera series are directed OrtegaThe series hails from Ortega’s one-year deal with Netflix, which he inked last year.

Netflix to Release Madison Reyes’ “Julie and the Phantoms,” From Kenny Ortega, in September

Madison Reyes is ready to rock…

Netflix has released new details on its upcoming musical series from Kenny OrtegaJulie and the Phantoms, starring the Latina actress

Julie and the Phantoms

Reyes has been cast as the lead of the live-action series, which will premiere on September 10. She plays Julie, a high school student who lost her passion for music after her mom’s death a year earlier. 

But when the ghosts of three dreamy musicians (Charlie GillespieJeremy ShadaOwen Patrick Joyner) from 1995 suddenly appear in her mom’s old music studio, Julie feels her own inner spirit begin to reawaken, and she’s inspired to start singing and writing songs again. As their friendship with Julie grows, the boys convince her to create a new band together: Julie and the Phantoms.

Julie and the Phantoms

Booboo StewartCheyenne JacksonCarlos PonceSonny BustamanteJadah MarieSacha Carlson and Savannah Lee May round out the cast. 

Ortega, who helmed Disney’s High School Musical and Descendants films and Michael Jackson’s This Is It, will direct some of the episodes of the single-camera series

The series is part of a multi-year Netflix deal Ortega signed in 2019.

Sofia Carson to Star Opposite KJ Apa in the Pandemic Thriller “Songbird”

Sofia Carson is flying high…

The 27-year-old Colombian American actress/singer will star opposite KJ Apa as star-crossed lovers in the pandemic thriller Songbird, which began filming last week in Los Angeles.

Sofia Carson

Told from street level through the eyes of the characters, Songbirdtakes place two years into the future, as a lockdown has been re-implemented after a more serious virus continues to mutate. In a feeble attempt to keep the sickness contained, the city has been split into haves and have nots. 

Songbird follows an essential worker (Apa) who has a rare immunity, a delivery man who delivers goods and hope throughout the city. Like the vast majority of the population, his girlfriend (Carson) is locked within her home, and the couple have no ability to physically be together. 

To be with the one he loves, he must overcome martial law, murderous vigilantes and a powerful, well connected family, helmed by a matriarch (Demi Moore) who will stop at nothing to protect her family and maintain her way of life.

Carson and Apa join the previously announced cast of Moore, Bradley WhitfordCraig RobinsonJenna OrtegaPaul Walter Hauser, and Peter Stormare

Adam Mason is directing off a screenplay he co-wrote with Simon Boyes. The film hails from Adam Goodman and Michael Bay.

Carson has more than 18 million followers on social media, over 1.5 billion streams of her music and over 2M subscribers to her YouTube channel. 

She currently stars in the Netflix feature film Feel the Beat. She previously starred as “Evie” in Disney’s Descendantsfranchjse and appeared on the Freeform series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

Carson is signed to Hollywood Records/Republic Records and recently released her latest single “Miss U More Than U Know”, which has clocked more than 4.5 million streams to date. Carson is a Global Ambassador for Revlon, and recently unveiled the Revlon x Sofia Carson Collection, an exclusive collection of her favorite Revlon lip products and nail polish. 

Sofia Carson to Star in Netflix’s Dance Film “Feel the Beat”

Sofia Carson is feelin’ the beat…

The 26-year-old Colombian American actress and singer  and Descendants star is set to star in Feel the Beat, a Netflix dance film being directed by Elissa Down.

Sofia Carson

The plot follows April (Carson), who, after failing to find success on Broadway, returns to her small hometown and reluctantly is recruited to train a misfit group of young dancers for a big competition.

In addition to Carson, the ensemble family film will also star Wolfgang NovogratzDonna Lynne ChamplinEnrico ColantoniLidya JewettEva Hauge, Johanna ColónSadie LapidusShiloh Nelson, Shaylee MansfieldJustin AllanKai ZenCarina Battrick, Brandon Kyle GoodmanKen PakDennis Andresand Amy Stewart.

Emmy-winning choreographer and former So You Think You Can Dance judge Mia Michaels is choreographing the film, which was written by Michael Armbruster and Shawn Ku

Filming is underway in Toronto. 

Carson soon will be seen reprising her role as Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White, in Descendants 3, which will premiere in August.

Her other credits include appearances on Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars spinoff PLL: The PerfectionistsFamous in Love, and Adventures in Babysitting.

Gina Rodriguez: The Best-Dressed Latina at the Oscars

She’s better known for her work on television… But, Gina Rodriguez proved to the night’s scene-stealer on the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards.

Gina Rodriguez

 

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane The Virgin star earned the title of Best Dressed Latina at the Oscars.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez turned heads in a plunging gold Zuhair Murad gown with shimmering accents.

Sofia Carson had the world seeing red… 

Sofia Carson

The 24-year-old Colombian American actress/singer and Descendants film franchise star, who served as a host of the Oscars: All Access live stream, wore a caped red dress from Giambattista Valli dress.

Carson paired her dramatic dress with Jimmy Choo shoes and a Chopard necklace.

Eiza González had a bright moment on the red carpet…

Eiza Gonzalez

The 28-year-old Mexican actress and singer turned heads in a backless yellow dress by Ralph Lauren, which highlighted her incredible figure.

Wearing her wavy hair down, Gonzalez added a large bracelet and a pair of drop earrings to the look, and she complemented it with silver-polished nails.

Gomez Receives Five Radio Disney Music Award Nominations

Selena Gomez hasn’t lost her Disney popularity…

The 24-year-old Mexican American singer/actress, who starred on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 – 2012, has earned five nominations for this year’s Radio Disney Music Awards.

Selena Gomez

Gomez, a six–time RDMA winner, is nominated in the best female artist, fiercest fans and best tour categories. She’s also up for best breakup song and best collaboration for “We Don’t Talk Anymore” with Charlie Puth.

Bruno Mars, meantime, has earned two RDMA nominations. The 31-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer is nominated for best male artist and best song that makes you smile for his hit single “24K Magic.”

Other Hispanic nominees include Fifth Harmony for best group and fiercest fans, Demi Lovato for best tour,a nd Camila Cabello for best collaboration for her single with Machine Gun Kelly, “Bad Things.”

Stuck in the Middle star Jenna Ortega is one of five hosts for this year’s awards show, alongside Hamilton star Jordan Fisher, Descendants actress Sofia Carson, Radio Disney host and singer Alex Aiono and country singer Kelsea Ballerini.

The RDMAs will take place on Saturday, April 29, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and the show will air the following day, April 30, at 7:00 pm ET on the Disney Channel. Voting is now open at Disney.com/RDMA.

Here’s the complete list of the nominees:

“You Know You Love Them – Best Group”
​DNCE
Fifth Harmony
One Direction
The Chainsmokers (TCS)
Twenty One Pilots

“He’s The One – Best Male Artist”
Bruno Mars
Justin Bieber
Niall Horan
Nick Jonas
Shawn Mendes

“She’s The One – Best Female Artist”
​Ariana Grande
Katy Perry
Lady Gaga
Meghan Trainor
Selena Gomez

“The Bestest – Song Of The Year”
Cake By The Ocean –  DNCE
Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
Closer (f. Halsey) – The Chainsmokers (TCS)
Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya
Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes

“#SQUADGOALS – Fiercest Fans”
​Beliebers
Harmonizers
Mendes Army
​Megatronz
Selenators

“The Buzz – Breakout Artist Of The Year”
​Alessia Cara
Daya
DNCE
Hailee Steinfeld
​Kelsea Ballerini

“#TRENDING – Favorite Social Media Star”
Alex Aiono
Baby Ariel
Jacob Sartorius
Jake Paul
​Jiffpom

“The Freshest – Best New Artist”
Jon Bellion
Jordan Fisher
Julia Michaels
Noah Cyrus
Grace Vanderwaal

“So Happy – Best Song That Makes You Smile”
Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
Me Too – Meghan Trainor
​Handclap – Fitz & The Tantrums
24K Magic – Bruno Mars
Juju On That Beat – Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall

“XOXO – Best Crush Song”
Let Me Love You (f. Justin Bieber) – DJ Snake
On Purpose – Sabrina Carpenter
Starving (f. Zedd) – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey
Wild (f. Alessia Cara) – Troye Sivan
Yeah Boy – Kelsea Ballerini

“Stuck In Our Heads – Best Song To Lip Sync To”
Bacon – Nick Jonas
Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
Closer (f. Halsey) – The Chainsmokers (TCS)
No – Meghan Trainor
Work – Rihanna

“When The Beat Drops! – Best Dance Track”
Alone – Marshmello
Cold Water (f. Justin Bieber & MØ) – Major Lazer
Don’t Let Me Down (f. Daya) – The Chainsmokers (TCS)
Millionaire (f. Nelly) – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals
Never Forget You (f. MNEK) – Zara Larsson

“Heartbreak – Best Breakup Song”
I Hate U, I Love U (f. Olivia O’Brien) – Gnash
Make Me Cry (f. Labrinth) – Noah Cyrus
Shout Out To My Ex – Little Mix
Sorry – Justin Bieber
We Don’t Talk Anymore (f. Selena Gomez) – Charlie Puth

“Play It Again! – Radio Disney Country Favorite Song”
80s Mercedes – Maren Morris
​From The Ground Up – Dan + Shay
H.O.L.Y. – Florida Georgia Line
Peter Pan –  Kelsea Ballerini
Think of You (f. Cassadee Pope) – Chris Young

“The Bestest! – Radio Disney Country Favorite Artist”
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
​Kelsea Ballerini
​Maddie & Tae
Sam Hunt

“The Freshest! – Radio Disney Country Best New Artist”
Lauren Alaina
​Maren Morris
Old Dominion
RaeLynn
Temecula Road

“I’m With The Band! – Favorite Tour”
Hunter Hayes’ “21 Tour”
Justin Bieber’s “Purpose Tour”
Meghan Trainor’s “The Untouchable Tour”
Nick Jonas & Demi Lovato’s “Future Now Tour”
Selena Gomez’s “Revival Tour”

“Mashup! – Best Collaboration”
Beauty & The Beast – Ariana Grande & John Legend
We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth & Selena Gomez
Bad Things – MGK X Camila Cabello
Just Hold On – Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson
​I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – Zayn & Taylor Swift

Ortega to Direct the Disney Channel’s Live-Action Original Movie “Descendants”

Kenny Ortega will be bringing some evil descendants to life…

The 63-year-old Latino producer, director and choreographer, best known for directing the High School Musical trilogy, will be returning to the Disney Channel to helm the network’s Descendants.

Kenny Ortega

The network’s first live-action original movie tapping into Disney’s vault of classic fairytale characters, the contemporary adventure-comedy centers on the offspring of some of Disney’s most evil villains, introducing a modern generation of teenagers who question the evil that’s always been in their hearts.

“We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”

Descendants

Written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, Descendants is set in a present-dayidyllic kingdom, where the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. However, the evil teens face a dilemma: Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom?

Casting is currently underway, overseen by High School Musical casting directors Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, with production slated to begin in the spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel.