Andy Garcia to Star in Netflix’s “The Pain Hustlers”

Andy Garcia is hustlin’…

The 66-year-old Cuban actor has joined the cast of David Yates’ Netflix film The Pain Hustlers.

Andy GarciaGarcia will star opposite Emily Blunt, Chris Evans, Catherine O’HaraJay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James and Chloe Coleman.

The film billed as tonally similar to The Big ShortAmerican Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street follows Liza Drake (Blunt), a high-school dropout dreaming of a better life for her and her young daughter. Liza lands a job with a failing pharmaceutical startup in a yellowing strip mall in Central Florida. Her charm, guts and drive then catapult the company and her into the high life, where she soon finds herself at the center of a criminal conspiracy with deadly consequences.

Netflix acquired global rights to the film written by Wells Tower for $50M out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Garcia is an Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee whose recent film credits include Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s Father of the BrideGuy Ritchie’s actioner Wrath of Man; the comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, with Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo and Jamie Dornan; the romantic drama Words on Bathroom Walls, with Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell; Clint Eastwood’s crime drama, The Mule; Sacha Gervasi’s Emmy-nominated TV movie My Dinner with Hervé for HBO; Ol Parker’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; and the comedy Book Club, with Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen.

The actor’s credits on the television side include RebelFlipped and Ballers.

He’ll next be seen in the romantic drama What About Love with Sharon Stone, Lionsgate’s The Expendables 4 and Focus Features Book Club 2: The Next Chapter, among other projects.

Disney Releases New Trailer for Edgar Ramirez’s “The Jungle Cruise”

Edgar Ramirez is cruisin’…

Disney has released a second trailer for The Jungle Cruise, the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed film starring the 44-year-old Venezuelan actor as the villain alongside Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.

Edgar Ramirez,

The long delay is the result of repeated release date changes. What was originally an October 2019 release became a more blockbuster-friendly July 24, 2020 debut. But then came COVID-19 and the film finally landed in its current July 30, 2021 slot. The movie will also be available day-and-date on Disney+ Premiere Access for $29.99.

The new trailer offers a lot more onboard action than the first, as Johnson’s skipper Frank Wolff and Blunt’s intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton journey downriver in search of an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities. The duo has a close call with a giant waterfall, a submarine — yes, a sub in a remote tropical river — and, of course, zombie conquistadores.

The vibe of the film is a mash-up of Disney’s own Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Indiana Jones and The African Queen – with a dash of Fitzcarraldo.

The trailer — set to the Creedence classic “Run Through the Jungle” — dropped one day after Disneyland officials announced the reopening of the titular ride on which the movie is loosely based. The revamped Jungle Cruise will debut at the Anaheim park on June 16.

Glenn Ficarra & John Requa and Michael Green came up with the story for The Jungle Cruise, with Ficarra & Requa penning the screenplay. Ramirez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti also star.

The film is produced by John Davis, John Fox, Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia and Beau Flynn.

Disney to Release Veronica Falcon’s “Jungle Cruise” in July

Veronica Falcon is cruising into summer…

Disney’s Jungle Cruise, starring the 54-year-old Mexican actress and choreographer, will debut in theaters and Disney+ Premier on July 30.

Veronica Falcon

Led by Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, the movie is based on the Disney theme park attraction.

Disney+ Premier means that the movie will be available for in-home purchase to Disney+ subscribers for $29.99 in those territories which have the streaming service.

Previously, it looked like the Jaume Collet-Serra directed film was destined strictly for theaters.

The film also stars Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall, Dani Rovira and Quim Gutiérrez.

“On JULY 30th JUNGLE CRUISE hits theaters AND your homes worldwide,” wrote Johnson on Instagram. “It’s a pleasure to say WE’RE BACK IN THEATERS! And it’s a pleasure to say, WE WILL ALSO COME TO YOU!  Join my ace Emily Blunt (the female Indiana Jones) and myself on THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME as our DISNEY’s JUNGLE CRUISE hits theaters and your living rooms ON THE SAME DAY – JULY 30th. The most important thing with our movie was to ALWAYS take care of families around the world by giving you options to watch it. Audience first. Let’s own our 2021 comeback as we get back into the swing of life – ALL ABOARD!! #JUNGLECRUISE #Disney. In theaters AND in your living rooms on Disney+ Premiere Access on JULY 30th!!! And a big @teremana toast of gratitude from deep in my bones to a 20 year career dream come true.”

Jungle Cruise is written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, Josh Goldstein, Michael Green, and John Norville.

Cruz Attached to Star in Todd Solondz’s New Project “Love Child”

Penélope Cruz is getting ready for Child’s play…

The 42-year-old Spanish actress is attached to star in Todd Solondz’s new project Love Child.

Penelope Cruz

Cruz would star opposite Edgar Ramírez, who starred in the Roberto Duran boxing biopic Hands of Stone.

Solondz, the man behind Wiener Dog and Welcome To The Dollhouse, writes and directs the project, which is described as a dark and hilarious twist on the classic Oedipal theme.

The story follows 11-year-old Junior, a delusional aspiring Broadway star with an inappropriate obsession with his mother Immaculada. After orchestrating an accident that nearly kills his abusive father, he encourages Nacho, the handsome man living in the family’s guesthouse, to court his mother and become his new dad. But when the two fall in love, Junior becomes so jealous that he is no longer the subject of his mother’s attention that he hatches a plan to frame Nacho for his father’s murder.

The film is currently in pre-production.

Cruz recently joined the cast of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express, based on Agatha Christie’s beloved murder mystery novel. She’ll join an ensemble cast including Michael Peña, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Judi Dench. She’s also in Escobar with husband Javier Bardem in a film that examines the love affair between drug lord Pablo Escobar and Colombian journalist Virginia Vallejo.

Ramirez recently starred alongside Emily Blunt in The Girl On The Train, adapted from Paula Hawkins’ bestselling book, and Gold with Matthew McConaughey, the adventure mining story. He’s also got a role in Netflix’s sci-fi pic Bright with Will Smith and Noomi Rapace.

The Associated Press Names Miranda Its Entertainer of the Year

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t just the man of the hour… He’s the man of the last 8,000-plus hours.

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor, playwright, composer, rapper, and writer, bested Beyonce, Adele and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, among others, to earn the honor of The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year, voted by members of the news cooperative and AP entertainment reporters.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. Miranda has had a banner year, winning a Pulitzer Prize and a pair of Tony Awards.

The Hamilton writer-composer also earned a Golden Globe nomination, won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, wrote music for a top movie, and inspired a best-selling book, a best-selling album of Hamilton covers and a popular PBS documentary.

“There’s been more than a little good luck in the year itself and the way it’s unfolded,” Miranda said after being told of the honor. “I continue to try to work on the things I’ve always wanted to work on and try to say yes to the opportunities that I’d kick myself forever if I didn’t jump at them.”

Miranda joins the list of previous AP Entertainer of the Year winners who in recent years have included Adele, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey and Betty White.

The animated Disney juggernaut Frozen captured the prize in 2014, and Star Wars won last year. (Miranda wrote one of the songs in The Force Awakens.)

When he hosted Saturday Night Live in October, he somewhat tongue-in-cheek acknowledged the rarity of having a theater composer as host, saying: “Most of you watching at home have no idea who I am.”

But that has definitely changed… Miranda was virtually everywhere in popular culture this year — stage, film, TV, music and politics — engaging on social media as he went. Like a lyric he wrote for Alexander Hamilton, it seemed at times that the non-stop Miranda was working as if he was “running out of time.”

Julio D. Diaz, of the Pensacola News Journal, said Miranda “made the whole world sing, dance and think. Coupled with using his prestige to become involved in important sociopolitical issues, there was no greater or more important presence in entertainment in 2016.”

Among the things Miranda did this year are asking the U.S. Congress to help dig Puerto Rico out of its debt crisis, getting an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, performing at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Broadway, lobbying to stop gun violence in America, and teaming up with Jennifer Lopez on the benefit single “Love Make the World Go Round.”

He and his musical Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in June, but perhaps his deepest contribution that night was tearfully honoring those killed hours before at an Orlando nightclub with a beautiful sonnet: “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside,” he said. “Now fill the world with music, love and pride.”

He started the year onstage in the Broadway hit Hamilton (which in 2015 had won a Grammy and earned Miranda a MacArthur genius grant) and ended it with a Golden Globe nomination for writing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, which was on top of the box office for three weeks this month, earning $165 million.

“I’ve been jumping from thing to thing and what’s been thrilling is to see the projects that happen very quickly kind of exploding side-by-side with the projects I’ve been working on for years,” Miranda said.

Though theater fans have long cherished his fluency in both Stephen Sondheim and TupacHamilton helped Miranda break into the mainstream in 2016. The groundbreaking, biographical hip-hop show tells the true story of an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who rises to the highest ranks of American society, performed by a young African-American and Latino cast.

The cast went to the White House in March to perform songs from the show for the first family and to answer questions from school children. A version of the show opened in Chicago in October and a production is slated to land in California next year and in London soon.

Erin O’Neill of The Marietta Times said Miranda dominated entertainment news this year but, more importantly, “opened a dialogue about government, the founding of our country and the future of politics in America.”

There’s more Miranda to come in 2017, including filming Disney‘s Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt (due out Christmas 2018) and an ambitious TV and film adaptation of the fantasy trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle.

“I’m back in a planting mode after a harvest,” Miranda said, laughing.

Miranda to Perform at One-Night Only Broadway Show Benefiting Hillary Clinton’s Hillary Victory Fund

Lin-Manuel Miranda is stumping for Hillary Clinton

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor and Hamilton star/creator has joined the list of Broadway and Hollywood stars teaming up for a one-night only Broadway performance benefiting the Hillary Victory Fund.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda joins a lineup that includes Julia Roberts and Hugh Jackman, all appearing in support of Clinton.

The show, “Stronger Together,” features Chelsea Clinton as a special guest and Billy Crystal as host, appearing alongside familiar faces including Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Josh Groban, Angela Bassett, Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren, Sienna Miller, Bernadette Peters, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sarah Jones, Andrea McArdle and Ayodele Casel.

Organizers of the evening promise new duets and collaborations.

Michael Mayer, the Spring Awakening and Hedwig and the Angry Inch director whose Off-Broadway production of Love, Love, Love is now running, will direct the production, with Diane Paulus on board as special consultant. John Guare serves as script consultant, with Seth Rudetsky as musical director.

The event is set for October 17 at the St. James Theater, the Jujamcyn-owned venue currently occupied by “Something Rotten!,” which is dark on Monday nights.

Tickets are on sale on the Hillary Clinton website.

Peña Among Voice Cast Members of Hasbro and Lionsgate’s “My Little Pony: The Movie”

Michael Peña is ponying up to the sound booth…

The Mexican American actor has joined the voice cast of Hasbro and Lionsgate’s My Little Pony: The Movie

Michael Peña

Peña joins other voice actors: Sia, Uzo Aduba, Emily Blunt, Kristen Chenoweth, Taye Diggs and Liev Schrieber.

My Little Pony: The Movie is being scripted by Rita Hsiao (Toy Story 2, Mulan) and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic writer Meghan McCarthy and directed by Jayson Thiessen.

My Little Pony: The Movie is scheduled to land in theaters around the world on October 6, 2017.

Peña’s other voice credits include Turbo and Hell and Back.

del Toro to Star in “Sicario” sequel, “Soldado”

Benicio del Toro is ready to soldier on…

The 49-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star in Soldado, the second installment of the drug war thriller that began with 2015’s Sicario.

Benicio del Toro

Hailing from Lionsgate and Black Label Media, the sequel focuses on Alejandro Gillick, the shadowy protagonist played by del Toro, and Josh Brolin’s CIA agent Matt Graver, who in the first film established themselves as hell bent on hunting down cartel kingpins, no matter what.

Soldado, which was scripted by Taylor Sheridan, does not include the FBI agent character played by Emily Blunt in Sicario.

In the film, Gillick and Graver concern themselves with what is being smuggled across the border between Mexico and the U.S. in the tunnels used to move drugs and illegal immigrants. Those tunnels also can be used to bring terrorists into the U.S.

Italian director Stefano Sollima is the front-runner to direct the second installment. Denis Villenueve directed the first film.

Miranda In Talks to Join Walt Disney Studios’ “Mary Poppins” Sequel

Lin-Manuel Miranda may be ready for a little Chim Chim Cher-ee.

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, rapper and actor, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, is in talks to join the Walt Disney Studios’ planned sequel to Mary Poppins. Emily Blunt is in talks for the lead role, played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 film.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Disney had no comment, but a source with knowledge of the project says the untitled film will connect with Mary’s charges, Jane and Michael Banks, now grown and with Michael’s own three kids in need of a nanny. Mary and her “lamplighter” friend Jack — kin to Bert the chimney sweep played by Dick Van Dyke opposite Andrews in the film — help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing from their lives.

Miranda’s Disney ties already include the bar scene music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the score for the animated film Moana, coming in November.

According to the source, the new film will be set in Depression-era London and include material drawn from the seven Mary Poppins books writer P.L. Travers’ published between 1935 and 1988 following the initial novel.

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will be composing original songs and an all-new score. David Magee is attached to write the screenplay. Rob Marshall is attached to direct.

Disney and Marshall are working with the Travers estate, and Mary Poppins composer Richard Sherman is reputedly aware and supportive of the project. Word of the talks first appeared earlier today in Variety.

del Toro to Receive Heart of Sarajevo Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival

Benicio del Toro has a little extra heart…

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actor, an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, will receive the Heart of Sarajevo Award for his contribution to the art of cinema at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival.

Benicio del Toro

Previous recipients for the award, which was designed by French designer, filmmaker and festival patron Agnes B, include Angelina Jolie, Gael Garcia Bernal and Steve Buscemi.

del Toro will present Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s drama A Perfect Day, in which he has a starring role alongside Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko, at the festival’s open-air screening venue, where del Toro will receive the award in front of a 3,000-strong crowd. The film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

The actor will also hold a master class for the participants of Talents Sarajevo, a networking and training platform for emerging film professionals from South-East Europe and the Southern Caucasus.

del Toro won an Academy Award for supporting actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, and an Oscar nomination for his work in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s 21 Grams.

Reteaming with Soderbergh to star in Che, the biography of Che Guevera, del Toro’s performance won him the best actor award at Cannes in 2008.

Del Toro can be seen next starring in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, alongside Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, which is scheduled for a September 18 release by Lionsgate in the U.S.