Marc Menchaca to Star in Apple TV+’s Limited Series “The Big Cigar”

Marc Menchaca is going undercover…

The 46-year-old half-Mexican American actor has joined the cast of Apple TV+’s six-episode limited series The Big Cigar, which is centered on Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton.

Marc MenchacaMenchaca, who most recently starred on Netflix’s Ozark, will star alongside André Holland, Don Cheadle, Alessandro Nivola and Tiffany Boone in the project.

Based on the eponymous Playboy magazine article by Joshuah Bearman, the series tells the extraordinary, hilarious, almost-too-good-to-be-true story of how Newton relied on his best friend, Bert Schneider (Nivola), the Hollywood producer behind Easy Rider, to elude a nationwide manhunt and escape to Cuba while being pursued into exile by the FBI.

Menchaca will portray Agent Sydney Clark. A former lawyer and Vietnam vet from Oklahoma, Clark lives undercover as a dirty hippie while pursuing Newton, who is wanted on charges of killing a teenage prostitute.

NAACP Image Award winner Janine Sherman Barrois is serving as The Big Cigar‘s showrunner. Jim Hecht wrote the show’s first episode, with Cheadle directing and executive producing the first two.

The show hails from Warner Bros. Television, where Barrois and her Folding Chair Productions are under an overall deal. Barrois and Hecht are executive producing alongside Bearman, Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector through their production company Epic, a division of Vox Media Studios.

Menchaca is best known for his scene-stealing turns as Jack Hoskins on HBO’s hit series The Outsider, and as Russ Langmore on the Emmy-winning Netflix drama series Ozark.

He will next be seen in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, HBO’s miniseries The White House Plumbers, John Hyams’ thriller Sick and Gareth Edwards’ sci-fi pic True Love for New Regency.

 

His additional television credits include Black MirrorHomelandMacGyverBlue BloodsChicago P.D.Sleepy HollowThe Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, CSI and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Úrsula Corberó to Star Opposite Kevin Hart in Netflix’s “Lift”

Úrsula Corberó’s career is getting a Lift

The 32-year-old Spanish actress and model, who rose to acclaim on Netflix’s The Money Heist, will star in Kevin Hart’s Netflix-film “Lift.”

Ursula CorberoCorberó is among a stellar cast that includes Sam Worthington, Burn Gorman, Jean Reno and Jacob Batalon.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D’OnofrioBilly Magnussen, Yun Jee Kim, Viveik Kalra and Paul Anderson are also on board.

Gary Gray will direct the film, with Dan Kunka and Jeremy Doner penning the script. Netflix landed the package last year.

Hart will play a master thief who is wooed by his ex-girlfriend and the FBI to pull off an impossible heist with his international crew on a 777 flying from London to Zurich.

Lift falls under Hart and HartBeat Productions’ creative partnership with Netflix.

John Leguizamo to Star in Paramount+’s Series “American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials”

John Leguizamo is going back on trials

The 61-year-old Colombian actor will star in American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials, Paramount+’s follow up to the 2018 miniseries.

John LeguizamoLeguizamo will reprise his role in the new series.

David Costabile and J. Smith Cameron are among the stars joining the series. Giovanni RibisiJohn HoogenakkerKeean Johnson and Abbey Lee also star.

Paramount Network’s Waco, fronted by Taylor Kitsch, explored the events in February 1993 in Mount Carmel, a small religious community when a raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) on David Koresh and his followers, known as the Branch Davidians, led to a massive standoff and the death of dozens.

American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials will explore the wide-ranging fallout following these events and the uneven scales of justice the surviving Branch Davidians faced.

It will also delve into how the horrific events fueled the emerging ‘Patriot’ movement, which ultimately led to the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history – the Oklahoma City bombing.

Leguizamo will reprise his role as Jacob Vasquez, an ATF agent who worked undercover during the lead up to Waco.

Michael Shannon, an exec producer on the series, will also reprise his role as Gary Noesner, an FBI hostage negotiator who has PTSD from the failed negotiations with the Branch Davidians in Waco.

The series comes from creators, exec producers and showrunners Drew and John Erick Dowdle. It is designed to air in 2023 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the tragic events in Texas.

Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios exec producers also include Andrew Gettens and Lauren Mackenzie, who will also write, David C. Glasser, David Hutkin, Bob Yari and Ron Burkle.

Felix Solis to Star Opposite Niecy Nash in ABC’s Proposed “The Rookie” Spinoff

Felix Solis is reporting for duty…

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star opposite Niecy Nash in ABC’s proposed spinoff from The Rookie.

Felix SolisSolis will guest star alongside Kat Foster in a two-episode arc in the current fourth season of The Rookie, which will serve as a backdoor pilot for the potential spinoff of the series starring Nathan Fillion.

The yet-untitled project will expand beyond the current Los Angeles Police Department and revolve around the FBI.

The potential new series comes from The Rookie creator/executive producer Alexi Hawley, executive producers Terence Paul Winter and Mark Gordon and studios eOne and ABC Signature.

The planted spinoff, co-created and written by Hawley and Winter, follows the premise of The Rookie, which stars Fillion as John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the LAPD.

In the two embedded pilot episodes, Officer John Nolan (Fillion) and the LA division of the FBI enlist the help of FBI trainee Simone Clark (Nash) when one of her former students is suspected of terrorism following an explosion at a local power station.

Solis will play Special Agent Matthew Garza, a 20-year veteran of the FBI who has been a true believer in the “Agency way” his whole career. A senior agent on the cusp of being promoted to a leadership role, Garza is tough, smart and filled with a little too much self-importance.

The Rookie and the spinoff will exist in the same universe, allowing characters to move back and forth.

Solis was most recently seen as Omar Navarro in Netflix’s Ozark and in the recurring role of Ray Vera in Charmed.

Paloma Guzman to Recur on Starz’s “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”

Paloma Guzman has (power) booked a new project…

The Latina actress has landed a heavily recurring role in the Starz/Lionsgate Power prequel series, Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

Paloma GuzmanFrom creator and showrunner Sascha PennPower Book III: Raising Kanan takes viewers back to the ’90s and the early years of the now-deceased Kanan Stark, portrayed in Courtney Kemp’s original series by Curtis50 CentJackson.

Guzman will play Detective Regina Foyle, a veteran NYPD detective with a sensitive yet rugged side. She’s a contradiction in all the best ways.

Power Book III: Raising Kanan is executive produced by Kemp through her company End of Episode and Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television.

Penn is the creator/showrunner of Raising Kanan. Lionsgate Television produces the series for Starz.

Known for her role as Jacki Molina in Pretty Little Liars, Guzman recently wrapped filming a major recurring role on the upcoming season of Roswell, New Mexico.

Her previous credits include a recurring role on the final season of HBO’s The Deuce, as well as roles on Law & Order: SVU, FBI, Shades of Blue, among others.

Adam Rodriguez Among Six Original “Criminal Minds” Cast Members In Talks For Show’s Paramount+ Revival

Adam Rodriguez may be returning to his Criminal roots…

The 46-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actor is among the original cast members reportedly in final talks to star in the Criminal Minds revival for Paramount+.

Adam RodriguezIn addition to Rodriguez, other fan favorite cast members who’ve reportedly agreed to come back include Joe MantegnaKirsten VangsnessA.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster, subject to closing their deals and availability.

Contract talks with Rodriguez and the other original cast members have been put on hold, according to Deadline, as Criminal Minds lead studio, ABC Signature, is focusing on making a deal with the series’ longtime executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer.

Negotiations with Messer, who has an overall pact with the studio, are still ongoing, with the two sides getting closer to a deal.

A license agreement for a 10-episode new season of Criminal Minds has been reached between Paramount+ and the studios behind the crime drama, ABC Signature and CBS Studios.

Rodriguez and the other five originals represent the majority of Criminal Minds’ cast in its 15th and final season.

The original series, created by Jeff Davis, follows a group of criminal profilers who work for the FBI as members of its Behavioral Analysis Unit, using behavioral analysis and profiling to investigate crimes and find perpetrators. The group is led by Senior Agent David Rossi (Mantegna) and includes Agents JJ Jareau (Cook), Tara Lewis (Tyler) and Luke Alvez (Rodriguez) as well as Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia (Vangsness) and Unit Chief Emily Prentiss (Brewster).

The classic broadcast procedural is being serialized for binge-driven streaming consumption, with the team coming back together to investigate a single case over 10 episodes in the new season for Paramount+.

Criminal Minds is among ViacomCBS’ most prized titles in the streaming era. It had been a top performer on Netflix since before the streamer started releasing viewership information. While Paramount+ has all 15 seasons, Netflix carries the first 12. They accounted for 33.9 billion minutes of viewing on the global platform, making it the most watched title on Netflix in 2021. Criminal Minds also was the third-most-streamed series in 2020 on Netflix behind The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, with 590M hours viewed.

Enrique Murciano to Star in Second Season of Netflix’s “The Night Agent”

Enrique Murciano has a new agent

The 48-year-old Cuban American actor has been cast as a series regular opposite leads Gabriel Basso and Luciane Buchanan in The Night Agent, Netflix’s political conspiracy thriller series.

Enrique Murciano

Murciano, known for his work in Bloodline, appears on a roster of new cast additions that includes Hong Chau, DB WoodsideFola Evans-Akingbola , Eve HarlowPhoenix Raei and Sarah Desjardins

Created by Shawn Ryan, the series is based on author Matthew Quirk’s 2019 New York Times bestseller.

The Night Agent is a sophisticated, character-based, action-thriller centering on Peter Sutherland (Basso), a low-level FBI agent  who works in the basement of the White House, manning a phone that never rings — until the night that it does, propelling him into a fast moving and dangerous conspiracy that ultimately leads all the way to the Oval Office.

Murciano plays Ben Almora, the measured, steady hand who guides the Secret Service in the White House.

Seth Gordon is set to direct the first two episodes of the series, which hails from Sony Pictures Television Studios, where Ryan and Gordon are under overall deals. Ryan will serve as showrunner of the 10-episode series, which he’ll executive produce via his MiddKid Productions. Gordon will executive produce through his Exhibit A banner.

Raúl Castillo to Star in FX’s Limited Series “Class of ’09”

Raúl Castillo is heading back to Class

The 44-year-old Mexican American actor has been cast in FX’s limited series Class of ’09.

Raul CastilloCastillo, who has starred in Looking and Army of the Dead, is part of a list of cast newcomers that includes Jake McDorman, Sepideh Moafi, Brian J. Smith, Jon Jon Briones, Brooke Smith, and Rosalind Eleazar.

They join previously announced leads Brian Tyree Henry and Kate Mara. Sunu Gonera is set to direct the first two episodes.

The series, which follows a class of FBI agents set in a near future where the U.S. criminal justice system has been transformed by artificial intelligence, comes from Tom Rob Smith, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson.

The eight-part series produced by FX Productions revolves around a group of FBI agents who graduated from Quantico in 2009 and are reunited following the death of a mutual friend. Spanning three decades and told across three interweaving timelines, the series examines the nature of justice, humanity, and the choices we make that ultimately define our lives and our legacy.

Moafi plays Hour; Smith is Lennix; Briones portrays Gabriel; Smith is Drew; McDorman portrays Murphy; Eleazar is Vivienne; Castillo portrays Amos.

Class of ’09 will air exclusively on FX on Hulu.

Moafi can currently be seen starring as Gigi Ghorbani in Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q, and will be seen in the forthcoming Apple TV+ drama In With the Devil.

Briones was most recently seen in the Ryan Murphy Netflix series Ratched opposite Sarah Paulson, Sharon Stone, and Judy Davis. On the film side, he recently wrapped production on Amblin’s Last Voyage of the Demeter as Joseph.

Castillo can be seen starring in Adam Randall’s vampire thriller Night Teeth for Netflix as well as Army of the Dead from writer/director Zack Snyder. He’ll next be seen in Mattson Tomlin’s upcoming directorial debut, Mother/Androidwhich will premiere on December 17 on Hulu and The Same Storm, directed and written by Peter Hedges.

Amazon Studios Releases Extended Trailer for Javier Bardem’s Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Film “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem is embracing his moment of being a Ricardo

Amazon Studios has released the first extended look at the 52-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor’s Desi Arnaz and Nicole Kidman’s Lucille Ball in the new trailer for Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

The project is writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s peek behind the scenes of television’s pioneering sitcom I Love Lucy.

In the trailer, Ball and Arnaz are depicted at one of the couple’s many pivotal moments: This time, it’s the House Un-American Activities Committee’s investigation into Ball’s early ties to the Communist Party.

“We’ve been through worse than this,” Bardem’s Arnaz assures his wife. “We have?,” replies Kidman’s Ball in a throaty voice and with the perfect comic timing that would make Lucy a legend.

The trailer also unveils J.K. Simmons as William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance, and features a tense scene on the Lucy set as Ball makes her first appearance following news of the FBI investigation.

In addition to Kidman, Bardem, Simmons and Arianda, Being the Ricardos features Jake Lacy, Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat.

Amazon Studio’s Being the Ricardos opens in theaters on December 10, and premieres on Amazon Prime Video on December 21.

Frankie Loyal Upped to Series Regular on FX’s “Mayans M.C.”

There are more rides in Frankie Loyal’s future…

The 51-year-old Latino actor/producer has been upped to series regular on FX’s biker drama Mayans M.C. alongside Joseph Lucero and Vincent Vargas for season 4, which is scheduled to return in early 2022.

Frankie Loyal

Loyal, Lucero and Vargas took on larger roles in season 3, which saw their characters Hank Loza, Neron “Creeper” Vargas, and Gilly Lopez, respectively, flourish and develop into fully rounded characters with storylines fans embraced fully.

The trio have been a part of the series throughout its three-season run.

Mayans M.C., a spin-off series of the network’s hit Sons of Anarchy, follows a motley crew of Latino men who found a family in the motorcycle club charter Santo Padre on the California and Mexico border. While the story is about the M.C., it also features powerful female characters that are bold and powerful in their own right.

The character of E.Z. Reyes (JD Pardo) is at the center of the story as he finds his place in the gray area of a world that is mostly black and white.

It’s helmed by co-creator and executive producer Elgin James; and co-stars Clayton Cardenas, Danny Pino, Richard Cabral, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Sarah Bolger, Emilio Rivera, Edward James Olmos, Raoul Trujillo, Emily Tosta, and Sulem Calderon.

Loyal, whose character Hank serves as Sergeant-of-Arms to the M.C., guest-starred on FX’s Better Things opposite Pamela Adlon. On the big screen, he starred in The Deep End alongside Tilda Swinton and Goran Visnjic. He will next be seen in the drama feature Die Like A Man.

Lucero made his debut in the 2006 drama Gridiron Gang alongside Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, Moe McCrae, and Jurnee Smollett. He was also featured in Father G and the Homeboys, an award-winning documentary chronicling Father Greg Boyle’s work with Los Angeles’ toughest gang members. Lucero’s television credits include Dirt, ERThe ShieldCold Case, Criminal MindsThe CloserShameless, S.W.A.T., and FBI.

Vargas is a veteran of the U.S. Army that served three combat deployments who continues to serve his country today for the Army Reserve. In 2009, he became a Federal Agent with the Department of Homeland Security and was a Medic with the Special Operations Group.

He has starred and produced several films including Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace (co-executive producer), Not a War Story (executive producer), and Dads in Parks (writer). Vargas pulled double duty since season 2 on Mayans M.C. as recurring star and technical advisor.