Matt Lopez to Serve as Executive Producer & Showrunner of CBS’ “Sheriff Country”

Matt Lopez has gone country…

The Latino television writer and producer has joined CBS’ recently picked up drama series Sheriff County as executive producer and showrunner.

Matt LopezThe Fire Country spinoff, headlined by Morena Baccarin, is slated to debut during the 2025-26 season, with a writers room expected to open in late summer.

Sheriff Country was introduced when Baccarin guest starred in an April episode of the mothership series

Like the Fire Country pilot, the planted spinoff was written by Joan Rater and Tony Phelan from a story the duo co-wrote with series’ star Max Thieriot, whose real-life experiences inspired Fire Country.

Thieriot also directed the backdoor pilot episode.

The offshoot also is following Fire Country‘s leadership pattern.

While Grey’s Anatomy alums Rater and Phelan are executive producers and a writers room fixtures on the mothership series, Tia Napolitano was brought in as day-to-day showrunner. Lopez is taking on the duties for Sheriff Country. He was already in negotiations when CBS in May announced a series pickup for the spinoff.

Sheriff Country stars Baccarin as straight-shooting sheriff Mickey Fox, the stepsister of Cal Fire’s division chief Sharon Leone (Diane Farr of Fire Country), who investigates criminal activity as she patrols the streets of small-town Edgewater.

The series, from CBS Studios, is executive produced by Thieriot, Phelan, Rater, Lopez as well as Jerry Bruckheimer and KristieAnne Reed for Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Lopez created, executive produced and served as showrunner of ABC’s 2022 family drama series Promised Land.

His feature writing credits include Max’s top-rated original Father of the Bride, from Warner Bros., and several Disney movies, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Lopez is a former entertainment lawyer and DreamWorks business affairs executive.

Adria Arjona to Star in Ed Brubaker’s Graphic Novel Series “Criminal”

Adria Arjona is getting criminal

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican actress has joined the cast of Ed Brubaker’s graphic novel series Criminal  in a series regular role.

Adria ArjonaArjona joins previously announced cast member Richard Jenkins.

Criminal is an interlocking universe of crime stories based on the multi-Eisner Award-winning graphic novel series created by Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

Arjona will bring to life Greta, a sharp-tongued top-level car thief and driver and the widowed mother of Angie. Ever since her husband died in a bank job gone bad, Greta has been battling with herself about how to escape the only life she’s ever known – and the only place she’s ever thrived. The problem is, she’s good at this. She’s looking for a big score, a lump of money she can use like a gun to shoot her and Angie out of this life and into another one.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden will direct the first four episodes.

The series is executive produced by Brubaker and Jordan Harper, alongside Phillips, Sarah Carbiener and Phillip Barnett.

Legendary Television will also serve as an executive producer. The series is produced by Amazon MGM Studios.

Arjona can currently be seen in Richard Linklater’s Netflix movie Hit Man starring alongside Glen Powell. Before that, she starred as “Bix Caleen” in the Disney+ hit series, Andor, a prequel to Star Wars’ Rogue One film.

Arjona played a recurring role in HBO’s True Detective Season 2, Netflix’s Narcos and HBO’s Irma Vep, a limited series based on Olivier Assayas’ 1996 feature film.

Up next, she’ll be seen in Zoe Kravitz’s directorial debut film Blink Twice as well as Los Frikis, a film she stars in and executive produces.

Additionally, she will star alongside Wagner Moura in the feature film adaptation of Francisco Goldman’s bestselling book Say Her Name and Jayro Bustamante’s dystopian thriller El Sombreron opposite Edgar Ramirez.

Prior film credits include Father Of The Bride, Sony’s Marvel franchise Morbius, Netflix’s Sweet Girl, Michael Bay’s Six Underground, Marco Perego Saldana’s feature The Absence Of EdenPacific Rim: UprisingLife of the Party and Triple Frontier.

Gaz Alazraki & Colleagues Launch New Production Company Maquina Vega

Gaz Alazraki has launched a new production company… 

The 41-year-old Mexican director has partnered with Alisa TagerMark Alazraki and Moises Chiver create Maquina Vega, a new production company with offices in Los Angeles and Mexico City, which will provide a pipeline between the English and Spanish-speaking worlds.

Gaz AlazrakiWorking with creators across countries and genres, the company will produce films and television series in both English and Spanish, bolstering emerging talents from Mexico and Latin America, while looking to increase the production of high-quality entertainment for Spanish-speaking audiences worldwide.

The Alazrakis come to Maquina Vega after launching Alazraki Entertainment in 2013 with the release of Gaz’s mega-hit Nosotros Los Nobles, a dark comedy which upon its theatrical debut became the highest grossing homegrown film ever released in Mexico. Following that up was Club de Cuervos, Netflix’s first Spanish-language original series, centered on football club Cuervos FC. Co-created, executive produced and directed by Alazraki, the show ran for four seasons and remarkably also led to the creation of a real soccer team in Pique’s King’s League Americas.

Gaz is coming off success with his Father of the Bride reimagining for Warner Bros and Plan B, which in 2022 drew HBO Max’s biggest-ever audience for a streaming-only film. Based in L.A., he serves as Lead Creative and Director of Maquina Vega and will continue to focus going forward on building his writing and directing slate in film and television.

Joining the company after serving as President of Anonymous Content Studios, Tager will also serve in that capacity at Maquina Vega, overseeing operations for both offices. Tager’s experience in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Africa, coupled with her fluency in English and Spanish, give her a unique skillset to build the production company.

A producer on Nobles and Club de Cuervos, Chiver will become Head of Production and Film Finance, overseeing the company’s internal production, third-party production services, and production financing from Mexico City.

Currently directing and exec producing the first season of Bienvenidos a la Familia for Netflix, the Mexico City-based Mark Alazraki will continue to oversee the company’s development and first looks, while building his slate as writer, director, and producer.

Also on board at the new company, as Head of Distribution and Finance, is Vicente García Cors, the former CFO of Twentieth Century Fox Mexico, who will grow Maquina Vega’s distribution division, working to release Mexican and international movies across Mexico and LatAm. Adrian Ituarte will serve as VP of Production, with Valeria de León as Director of Development.

Said Gaz Alazraki in a statement on the formation of Maquina Vega, “I’ve dreamt for many years about ways to create a home for my projects while also creating a destination for all the talented people we admire and would love to work with. I am incredibly excited to have Alisa as our partner who can lead us to achieve this opportunity and create this home.”

Tager noted that her decision to join forces with the Alazarakis and Chiver was “the culmination of so many things” she’s set out to do, “working with the most exciting international creators and companies, from development through production and distribution.” She added that she’s “confident that our combined reach and experience will position us to grow our footprint in the US and across the Spanish-speaking world. This is a unique opportunity to build something truly international with a global reach.”

Currently, Maquina Vega has first-look deals with Animal Politico, a prestigious online investigative newspaper out of Mexico, and Algarabia, a general interest magazine spotlighting short stories. The company also has a development deal with Editorial Planeta, the world’s largest Spanish-language publisher, and is building an online magazine to amplify new journalistic voices and generate new IP.

In addition to Bienvenidos a la Familia, current projects for the company include Club Perfecto, from writer-director Ricardo Castro and producer Jonathan Davis, which is in post at ViX; documentary Billy Meier, which is in production with Miguel Leon directing and Julio Rojas as writer-EP; an adaptation of Daniel Coronel’s novel Los Niños del Amazonas, in development with Candle Media’s Exile; and Bodas, from creator Erik Zuckerman, which is in development at ViX.

Diego Boneta Starring in the New Erotic Thriller Film “Follow”

Diego Boneta has lined up his next project…

The 33-year-old Mexican actor/singer will star opposite Martha Higareda in the new erotic thriller film Follow, a project they will also produce.

Diego BonetaFor Amazon Studios, the project hails from award-winning collaborators Fred Berger and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Piano’s Julio Chavezmontes and Gabriela Maire.

This is the first project from Boneta’s production banner Three Amigos’ overall deal with Amazon Prime.

Gonzalo Tobal will direct the film from a screenplay by Hipatia Argüero Mendoza. The film – in collaboration with Range Media Partners, Piano and Three Amigos – is set to begin filming in late January.

The film follows Sebastián (Boneta) a young, handsome and incredibly charming guy with an impeccable sense of style. He has used these weapons to become a master scammer, who preys on some of the richest and most famous women in Mexico. Alongside his faithful henchman Maclo (Alejandro Speitzer), Sebastián carries out his plans with great cunning. Before he can put an end to his bright career as a scammer, Carolina (Higareda), an enigmatic woman crosses his path. Captivated by her, Sebastian puts his retirement plans on hold to carry out one last scam.

Follow also stars Ofelia Medina (El sueño de ayer), Alberto Guerra (Griselda), Stephanie Sigman (Murder City) and Regina Nava (Pacto de Sangre).

Follow has been a true passion project and I cannot wait to bring this iconic sexual thriller to life. As the first Three Amigos production through our Amazon deal, working with the entire Amazon team has been an absolute pleasure. We really built an incredible family of talented individuals that have made this movie possible. From our brilliant writer Hipatia Argüero, our irreplaceable producing partners Fred Berger and Julio Chavezmontes, to our captain and director Gonzalo Tobal. I cannot think of a better group of filmmakers to have on this project,” Boneta said in a statement.

Higareda added, “Having produced many comedy films, I was looking to explore a different angle on storytelling that can also be very appealing to the audiences while diving deeper into substance, and we trust that Follow will do both.”

Follow is a love letter to the golden era of erotic thrillers in the 90s, rejuvenated with the most seductive stars of our generation including Boneta, Higareda, Speitzer, Guerra and Sigman, not forgetting the cinematic icon that Ofelia Medina represents. With the experienced guidance of Julio Chavezmontes, Fred Berger, Josh Glick, Natalia Boneta, and the pen of Hipatia Argüero, we are eager to begin and share this exciting story with the world,” said Alonso Aguilar, Head of Prime Video for Original Productions in Mexico.

Boneta’s credits include Luis Miguel: The Series, At Midnight, Rock of Ages and Father of the Bride.

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.

Adria Arjona to Star in Zoë Kravitz’s Directorial Debut Film “Pussy Island”

Adria Arjona is island-bound…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actress will star in Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut Pussy Island.

Adria ArjonaArjona will star alongside Christian SlaterAlia Shawkat, Geena DavisHaley Joel Osment, Liz Caribel Sierra, Levon Hawke, Trew Mullen, Saul Williams, Cris Costa and Kyle MacLachlan.

The actors join an ensemble that also includes Naomi Ackie, Channing Tatum and Simon Rex, as previously announced.

The MGM genre film written by Kravitz and E.T. Feigenbaum follows Frida (Ackie), a young and clever Los Angeles cocktail waitress who has her eyes set on the prize: philanthropist and tech mogul Slater King (Tatum). When she skillfully maneuvers her way into King’s inner circle and ultimately an intimate gathering on his private island, she is ready for a journey of a lifetime. Despite the epic setting, beautiful people, ever-flowing champagne and late-night dance parties, Frida can sense that there’s more to this island than meets the eye. Something she can’t quite put her finger on. Something terrifying.

Pussy Island is currently in production in Mexico.

Arjona most recently starred as the female lead in Sony’s Marvel film Morbius, opposite Jared Leto. She can currently be seen in HBO’s Irma Vep opposite Alicia Vikander and in HBO Max’s Father of the Bride remake, and will make her Disney+ debut in the Star Wars series Andor on August 31st.

Sierra recently wrapped on Ellen, a miniseries from Automatik and New Regency in which she stars opposite Lin Shaye. Up next, she stars as Regina in the feature God’s Time, written and directed by Daniel Antebi, which made its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

Costa is an executive protection consultant who, like Hawke, is making his feature film acting debut.

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.

Ozuna Signs with William Morris Endeavor (WME)

Ozuna has new representation…

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed the 30-year-old Puerto Rican singer and rapper in all areas.

Ozuna“I am excited to collaborate with many of the top agents at WME to further connect with my incredible fans in inventive ways and continue to bring my culture to the masses,” the Puerto Rican singer born Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado said in a statement. “As an artist, I want to expand my brand and develop new and exciting opportunities together in all aspects of entertainment.”

His WME signing comes on the heels of the announcement of his 2022 global tour Ozutochi, which kicks off June 30 in Seville, Spain, and will make its way across Europe and the U.S. before wrapping on December 9 at the FTX Arena in Miami.

Ozuna kicked off 2022 with his Christina Aguilera duet, “Santo,” and dropped a trio of singles over the past few months, including “Deprimida,” “G-Wagon” and “Apretatio.”

Most recently, he released “Ceremonia,” which will appear in the upcoming HBO Max remake of Father of the Bride.

The artist is also working on his fifth studio album, which will follow his sets Odisea, Aura, ENOC, and Nibiru, all of which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. Additionally, he’s placed over 100 entries in Hot Latin Songs, including five No. 1 hits: “Te Bote,” “Taki Taki,” “Otro Trago,” “China,” and “Mamacita.”

Paul Perez Signs Production Deal with Warner Bros.

Paul Perez has landed a new production deal…

The Cuban American film producer and former Warner Bros. development executive has agreed to a production deal at the Burbank, CA lot.

Paul PerezThe announcement comes as the Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan romantic comedy, Father of the Bridea project Perez spearheaded and produced at the studio, hits HBO Max on Thursday, June 16.

During his time at Warner Bros, Perez was involved with the development of Ready Player One, Dune and Doctor Sleep

He came to Warner Bros. after a development executive stint at Lionsgate’s Pantelion where he worked on the Eugenio Derbez hit movie, Instructions Not Includedwhich wound up being Mexico’s highest grossing export of all-time with $100.5M WW, as well as Spare Parts and No Manches Frida

Perez initially cut his teeth in the industry reading scripts for producer Ben Odell (now Derbez’s production partner at 3Pas Studios) and working in the Miami William Morris offices.

Father of the Bride is a project close to Perez’s heart given his Cuban American Miami heritage. He came to the property while combing through the Warner library in a quest to develop revamped IP. The project’s momentum swelled after Perez discussed it at a Warner Bros. development exec retreat, with the studio’s President of Production Courtenay Valenti ultimately taking to Matt Lopez’s screenplay.

The fresh angle in this Latino take of Father of the Bride: the bride’s parents played by Garcia and Estefan are on the verge of a divorce. Perez married the package with burgeoning Mexican filmmaker Gary Alazraki.

While recent audiences are familiar with the Steve MartinDiane KeatonMartin Short 1991 Touchstone remake (a hit back then grossing over $89M and spawning a 1995 sequel), the film was originally an MGM title released in 1950, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor.

Warners had inherited the title in their acquisition of the pre-May 1986 MGM library via their absorption of Turner Films in 1995. Disney had licensed the title during the ’90s and in recent years Father of the Bride’s underlying rights reverted back to Warners.

Perez under his new deal is also shepherding the new Training Day prequel at the studio. That film is set around the time of the L.A. Riots that followed after the infamous Rodney King verdict.

“Warner Bros. is thrilled that Paul Perez will have a first look producing deal with the studio,” says Valenti. “Paul is a valued colleague who spent several years in development and production at WB. During that time he showed extraordinary creativity and strategic thinking looking to reinvent several classic library titles. One of those titles is Father of the Bride. We love Gaz Alazraki’s film of Father of the Bride and are very grateful to Paul for beginning the film process with his idea for how to reimagine this wonderful world.”

Enrique Murciano to Star in Michelle Danner’s Courtroom Drama “Miranda’s Victim”

Enrique Murciano is heading to court

The 48-year-old Cuban American actor will star in Michelle Danner’s courtroom drama Miranda’s Victim.

Enrique MurcianoMurciano appears on a list of new cast additions that includes Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Quinn, Brent Sexton and Josh Bowman.

They join a stacked ensemble led by Abigail Breslin, which also includes Luke Wilson, Andy Garcia, Donald Sutherland, Ryan Phillippe, Mireille Enos, Kyle MacLachlan and Taryn Manning, as previously announced.

The film will tell the true story of Trish Weir (Breslin), who in 1963 was kidnapped and brutally raped by Ernesto Miranda (Quinn). Committed to putting her assailant in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation. Her case notably results in the establishment of the Miranda rights afforded to criminal suspects taken in police custody, to ensure the admissibility of statements made during interrogation, as part of subsequent criminal proceedings.

Murciano will portray Detective Cooley.

The film, written by George Kolber and J. Craig Stiles, is currently in production in New Jersey.

The production company involved is Navesink River Productions.

Murciano played Detective Marco Diaz on Netflix’s popular crime drama Bloodline and has also been seen on such series as PanicTell Me Your SecretsBriarpatch, The Blacklist, Hap and Leonard and Power. Notable film credits include Bright, Rough NightDawn of the Planet of the Apes and Black Hawk Down. He’ll next be seen in the HBO Max rom-com Father of the Bride and Netflix’s series The Night Agent.