Gloria Estefan’s “Father of the Bride” Becomes HBO Max’s Biggest Ever Streaming-Only Film Debut

Gloria Estefan is celebrating a father of a debut… 

Father’s Day weekend proved to be the ideal launchpad for Warner Bros’ romantic comedy Father of the Bride, starring the 64-year-old Cuban singer/actress ad Andy Garcia.

Gloria EstefanThe film ended up being the biggest HBO Max movie premiere ever in its four days, specifically for a title that was exclusively made for the streaming service.

Father of the Bride was the No. 1 title across HBO Max around the world in its first four days since it launched on Thursday, June 16. The film also ranked among the top 10 most-watched title launches on HBO Max to date in Mexico, based on its first four days.

The fresh angle in this Latino take on Father of the Bride: The bride’s parents, played by Garcia and Estefan, are on the verge of a divorce.

Mexico ranks as the second-strongest country for Father of the Bride viewing on HBO Max to date, behind only the U.S.

As HBO Max looks to make its mark in Latin America, especially after a June 2021 launch in the region, a title like Father of the Bride fits the bill in appealing to both U.S. and local subscribers in its universal story of marriage and in-laws. Father’s Day weekend was the prime drop date for the Plan B production, and filmmaker Gary Alazraki is beloved in Mexico for his comedies like We Are the Nobles

Warner Bros. production executives were won over by screenwriter Matt Lopez’s fresh take on the romantic comedy/wedding genre. Warner Bros. development exec Paul Perez championed the scribe’s script and won support for it at a studio feature development retreat. Perez, who now has a production deal on the Burbank lot, mined the IP out of the studio’s portion of the pre-1986 MGM library; the 1950 Vincente Minnelli-directed title previously was licensed to Disney’s Touchstone label, which made the 1991 Steve MartinDiane KeatonMartin Short remake that also spawned a sequel.

Samba TV, which counts a sampling of 3M U.S. terrestrial TV households, not mobile, did not have ratings today for Father of the Bride due to the Juneteenth holiday.

Rachel Zegler to Star in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s (hunger) game on for Rachel Zegler

The 21-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning actress/singer and West Side Story star has joined the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the highly anticipated prequel to Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games

Rachel Zegler,Zegler is joining the Francis Lawrence-directed film in the lead female role of Lucy Gray Baird.

She joins recently announced Tom Blyth, who’s playing the young Coriolanus Snow, that role made famous by Donald Sutherland in the original trilogy.

Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

“When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills – she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray,” said Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in West Side Story, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation,” said Lawrence. “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

“Lucy Gray is an incredibly complex character, a performer who has to use every skill in her arsenal to survive. Our casting team, Deb Zane and Dylan Jury, spearheaded an exhaustive search, reading hundreds of actors in search of our perfect Lucy Gray. That search ended when Rachel Zegler blew the roof off with her depth and breadth of talent as an actor, singer, and performer. Rachel is utterly compelling; just like Lucy Gray, her voice and charisma command the stage while her inner strength and humanity transform those around her,” said Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson.

Lionsgate recently announced that the prequel will hit theaters around the world on November 17, 2023.

The entire Hunger Games franchise has grossed more $3 billion worldwide.

Lawrence previously helmed The Hunger Games films Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two. Jacobson is producing with her partner Brad Simpson, along with Lawrence. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller will serve as executive producers.

The latest draft of the screenplay is by Michael Lesslie, who is building on the work of Collins and Michael Arndt. The screenplay is based on Collins’ bestselling novel.

Zegler was lauded with Best Actress wins from the National Board of Review and the Golden Globes for her turn as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. She is next set to appear in DC Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu, which debuts in December.

She is currently filming the title role in Disney’s live action Snow White, directed by Marc Webb.

Stephanie Beatriz to Star in Peacock’s Live-Action Film Adaptation of “Twisted Metal” Video Game

Stephanie Beatriz is getting things twisted

The 41-year-old Colombian and Bolivian American actress will star in Peacock’s Twisted Metal, the live-action video game adaptation starring Anthony Mackie.

Stephanie BeatrizBeatriz will play the character of Quiet, a ferocious, badass car thief who acts purely on instinct – you couldn’t stop her any more than a manhole could stop a volcano. Coming from a community that oppressed her into silence, Quiet’s wish is to find her place in this dark, chaotic world. But when she becomes clouded by her need for revenge, Quiet forms an unlikely, antagonistic bond with John Doe (Mackie).

From Cobra Kai writer Michael Jonathan SmithTwisted Metal is a half-hour, high-octane action comedy, based on an original take by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about a motor-mouthed outsider offered a chance at a better life, but only if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. With the help of a trigger-happy car thief, he’ll face savage marauders driving vehicles of destruction and other dangers of the open road, including a deranged clown who drives an all too familiar ice cream truck.

Alongside Mackie and showrunner Smith, executive producers also include Kitao Sakurai—who will also direct multiple episodes—Reese, Wernick, Will Arnett, and Marc Forman via their Electric Avenue production company, Jason Spire of Inspire Entertainment, Peter Principato of Artists First, Asad Qizilbash, and Carter Swan from PlayStation Productions, Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios.

The series is co-produced by Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Beatriz most recently made a splash as the voice of Mirabel in Disney’s Encanto. Prior to that, she starred in Matthew Dunster’s hit theatrical production 2:22 on London’s West End and also played Carla in the Warner Bros. film adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical In The Heights.

Beatriz is best known for playing fan-favorite Detective Rosa Diaz in the NBC comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine throughout the show’s eight-season run.

Disney’s Onyx Collective Orders Don Francisco’s Limited U.S. Latino History-Themed Docuseries “Gigante”

Don Francisco is bringing a gigantic Latin immigrant-themed project to life…

Disney’s Onyx Collective has ordered the four-part limited docuseries Gigante from the 81-year-old Chilean television host (real name: Mario Kreutzberger) and Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado filmmakers Alex Fumero and Kareem Tabsch.

Don FranciscoGigante will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories at a future date.

Spanning through four distinct eras in U.S. Latino history, Gigante tells the story of how immigrants from different Latin American countries created a tenuous alliance that would come to harness the social capital, economic prowess, and political influence that forever changed the United States. With the unfettered participation of Don Francisco, access to 53 years of Sabado Gigante archives, and interviews with A-list celebrities, Gigante explores how the longest-running variety show in the history of television helped shape a new demographic and became a political force.

“To say we are enthusiastic about this project would be an understatement,” said Jihan Robinson, vice president of Nonfiction, Onyx and Freeform. “Don Francisco and this series played such a huge role in the lives of the Latinx community and have left a lasting impact on this country. We are thrilled it has found a home with Onyx and to continue the Sabado Gigante legacy.”

Emmy Award-winner Don Francisco is the creator and star of Sabado Gigante, the iconic Spanish-language game show that ran for 53 seasons on Univision earning the Guinness World Record for longest-running variety program.

“I’m at a time in my life where it is more interesting looking backward,” shared Don Francisco. “Where I have the full perspective of not only my 60 years as a professional but also where I’m able to fully analyze Don Francisco and Sabado Gigante’s record-breaking run and what it meant to so many people. I’m beyond happy to have the opportunity to tell the story with this amazing team and thankful to Onyx for helping us bring our show to a brand new audience.”

Tabsch serves as executive producer and director alongside Fumero, who serves as executive producer and showrunner under their Trojan Horse banner. The series is a Foton.Pictures production. The concept was conceived by Fumero and Tabsch.

“Hispanics. Latinos. Latinx. Whatever you may call us or whatever we may call ourselves, so few people understand who we are and where we came from — including us,” Tabsch shared. “Gigante is the definitive Latino origin story told through the lens of Sabado Gigante, one of the most beloved programs in the Spanish-speaking world and a staple in all our homes. The series will tell how a Chilean Jewish immigrant in Miami managed to shape the way that millions of other immigrants from dozens of nationalities across the Western Hemisphere identified themselves, bringing us all closer together and forever changing the face of the United States and Latin America in the process.”

“This is an extremely personal project for us and is very much part of our DNA as a company,” adds Carlos Enrique Cuscó, CEO of Foton.Pictures. “Bringing impactful and relevant stories to the foreground with such hugely talented creative partners like Kareem and Alex is the reason we got into this business. To now partner with Onyx Collective and get the opportunity to share our story as Latinos, with the participation of Don Francisco, is a dream come true. We could not be more honored to be producing this ambitious project with Onyx Collective and Trojan Horse.”

Altitude Film Sales Acquires Worldwide Sales Rights to Carolina Gaitán’s Survival Thriller “Quicksand”

Carolina Gaitán could be heading to a theater near you…

Altitude Film Sales has boarded worldwide sales rights to the high-concept survival thriller Quicksand, starring the 38-year-old Colombian actress and singer, and will introduce first footage to buyers at Cannes next week.

Carolina Gaitán, QuicksandThe U.S.-Colombia co-production recently completed shooting in Bogota and is now in post-production.

The contained thriller, which is reportedly in the vein of The Shallows and 127 Hours, follows an American couple, on the brink of divorce, who travel to Colombia for a work conference. While on a hike through the rainforest, a storm causes them to become trapped in a pit of quicksand. Unable to move, it becomes a struggle for survival as they battle the elements of the jungle and a venomous snake, in order to escape.

Andrés Beltrán directed the film, which was written by Matt Pitts. The project is produced by Las Vegas-based production company Sangre Films, which is a joint venture between Colombian outfit Elemental Stories and U.S. companies 222 Pictures and Dawn’s Light Movies.

Mike Runagall of genre specialist Altitude noted: “We are thrilled to be bringing this fiendishly entertaining thrill ride to buyers and look forward to sharing the impressive first footage with them in Cannes.”

Gaitán, who voiced Pepa in Disney’s Encanto, leadsthe cast. Gaitán, whose credits also include Narcos, stars alongside Allan Hawco in the English-language movie.

Gaitán recently performed We Don’t Talk About Bruno live at the Academy Awards alongside her Encanto cast.

Hulu Releases Trailer for Eugenio Derbez’s “The Valet”

Eugenio Derbez is taking the keys this month…

Hulu has released the trailer for its original film The Valet, starring the  60-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmaker and Samara Weaving, which will premiere globally across Disney’s streaming services on May 20.

Eugenio Derbez, The ValetIn The Valet, world famous movie star Olivia (Weaving) faces a PR disaster when a paparazzi snaps a photo of her with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield). The hard-working valet Antonio (Derbez) accidentally appears in the same photo and is enlisted to pose as Olivia’s new boyfriend as a cover-up. This ruse with Olivia thrusts Antonio into the spotlight and unexpected chaos. In this fish out of water romantic comedy, two worlds and cultures collide as both Olivia and Antonio start to see themselves more clearly than ever before.

The Valet is an English-language remake of the hit 2006 French film of the same name.

It also stars Betsy BrandtCarmen Salinas Lozano, Amaury Nolasco, Marisol Nichols, Diany Rodriguez, Tiana Okoye, John Pirruccello, Ravi Patel, Noemí González and Lunay.

Richard Wong directed from a script by Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher, with Derbez and Ben Odell producing for 3Pas Studios.

Germaine Franco Wins ASCAP Composers’ Choice Award for “Encanto” Score

Germaine Franco is encantada

The Mexican American film composer, conductor, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and percussionist’s Oscar-nominated score for the acclaimed Disney/Pixar film Encanto has claimed the ASCAP Composers’ Choice Awards’ film score of the year honors at the 2022 ASCAP Screen Music Awards.

Germaine FrancoCristobal Tapia de Veer proved to be the big winner on the television front…

The Chilean-born Canadian film and television score composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist’s work for HBO Max’s series The White Lotus took home two Composers’ Choice awards for television score of the year and television theme of the year.

Honorees for the top rated television series category, which honor composers and songwriters for their themes and underscore from the highest rated series during calendar year 2021, include Josefina Severino and Carmenza Gomez for Café Con Aroma De Mujer, and Gil Novelo, Jorge Tena Martínez Vara, Jorge Jurado and John Sereda for the Mexican telenovela La Desalmada.

Winners for the Composers’ Choice Awards are voted upon by the ASCAP composer and songwriter community.

The awards were held virtually once again and started at noon E.T. on Monday, May 2.

The complete list of winners is available on the ASCAP website.

Ramón Rodríguez to Star in ABC’s Drama Pilot “Will Trent”

Ramón Rodríguez has found a new will to thrive…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast in the lead role of ABC’s drama pilot Will Trent, which now has been officially cleared for production.

Ramon RodriguezRodriguez will also be a producer on the project, which hails from 20th Television.

Rodríguez was approached just a couple of weeks after the series had received a cast-contingent pilot order in early February. Trent’s casting, which comes after lengthy negotiations, removes that contingency.

Rodríguez most recently starred opposite Aubrey Plaza and served as producer on the Hulu pilot Olga Dies Dreaming, which isn’t moving forward.

In Will Trent, written by Liz Heldens and Dan Thomsen based on Karin Slaughter’s bestselling book series, Special Agent Will Trent (Rodríguez) of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations was abandoned at birth and endured a harsh coming-of-age in Atlanta’s overwhelmed foster care system. But now, determined to use his unique point of view to make sure no one is abandoned like he was, Trent has the highest clearance rate in the GBI.

Rodríguez’s Will Trent is a gifted GBI agent and a loner within the law-enforcement community who hides the severe dyslexia that went untreated during his traumatic childhood in foster care. But with the Bureau’s best clearance rate, he couldn’t care less if people don’t like him.

Heldens and Thomsen executive produce along with Slaughter and 3 ArtsOly Obst.

Rodríguez’s television series credits include Showtime’s The Affair and Netflix/Marvel’s Iron Fist and The Defenders. In features, he next will be seen starring in the horror film Lullaby from Annabelle director John R. Leonetti. He recently starred in Disney’s The One and Only Ivan alongside Bryan Cranston.

Hulu Releases First Look Photos of Eugenio Derbez’s “The Valet”

Eugenio Derbez is on valet duty…

Hulu has released the first photos from its original film The Valet, starring the 60-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmaker and Samara Weaving, which will premiere globally across Disney’s streaming services on May 20th.

The ValetEugenio Derbez, The Valet

Eugenio Derbez, The ValetIn The Valet, world famous movie star Olivia (Weaving) faces a public relations disaster when a paparazzi snaps a photo of her with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield). The hard-working valet Antonio (Derbez) accidentally appears in the same photo and is enlisted to pose as Olivia’s new boyfriend as a cover-up. This ruse with Olivia thrusts Antonio into the spotlight and unexpected chaos. In this fish out of water romantic comedy, two worlds and cultures collide as both Olivia and Antonio start to see themselves more clearly than ever before.

The Valet is an English-language remake of the hit 2006 French film of the same name.

The remake also stars Betsy BrandtCarmen Salinas Lozano, Amaury Nolasco, Marisol Nichols, Diany Rodriguez, Tiana Okoye, John Pirruccello, Ravi Patel, Noemí González and Lunay.

Richard Wong directed from a script by Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher, with Derbez and Ben Odell producing for 3Pas Studios.

Jessica Alba to Star In & Executive Produce Netflix’s Film Adaptation of “Confessions on the 7:45” Novel

Jessica Alba is headed to the confessional

The 40-year-old half-Mexican American actress and entrepreneur will executive produce and headline a series based on Lisa Unger’s international bestseller Confessions on the 7:45, currently in development at Netflix.

Jessica AlbaCharise Castro Smith, co-writer and co-director of Disney’s Oscar-winning amimated film Encanto, is attached to adapt Unger’s novel. She’ll also serve as showrunner and executive produces with Alba and 3 ArtsMichael Rotenberg and Oly Obst.

Confessions on the 7:45 is a psychological thriller in which a working mom (Alba) meets a stranger on a train as she’s commuting home who upends her life. As her life unravels and betrayals are revealed, she questions whether we can ever truly know the people closest to us.

Alba, a working mom herself, had a strong reaction when she read Confessions on the 7:45, leading to her involvement in the project.

“I could not put this book down. The moment I read the line, ‘If you want to keep a secret you must first hide it from yourself,’ I was hooked,” Alba said. “This book is about trying to bury secrets and the shame we carry until the truth exposes us. I can’t think of a more exciting person to partner with on this project. Charise is so ridiculously talented and truly gets every nuance under the skin of these characters and their web of lies.”

This would mark the second project Alba is starring in and executive producing for Netflix.

She also has the upcoming action thriller Trigger Warning. In the movie directed by Mouly Surya and produced by Thunder Road, Alba plays an active-duty Special Forces officer who takes ownership of her grandfather’s property after his sudden death.

Alba, a Golden Globe-nominated actress, advocate, bestselling author and founder of The Honest Company, has made more than 25 feature films that have earned a combined box office total of $800 million-plus, including Fantastic Four and Sin City.

In television, she and Gabrielle Union recently headlined and executive produced the action drama series, L.A.’s Finest, which has performed well on Netflix following its original run on Spectrum and Fox.

Alba is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Honest Life and co-author of A Bear to Share.