Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias to Produce & Lead the Cast of Netflix’s Animated Feature “I, Chihuahua”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is luchando

The 45-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian and actor will produce and lead the voice cast of Netflix’s animated feature I, Chihuahua.

Gabriel Iglesias

The project will be Maya and the Three creator Jorge Gutiérrez’s first animated feature for Netflix.

Written by Gutiérrez, Doug Landale and Candie Kelty LangdaleI, Chihuahua is billed as the ultimate underdog tale of Chacho, a scrappy masked Luchador Chihuahua, who embarks on a hilarious and action-packed journey around the world to fight for his family. After learning his beloved home is in danger, Chacho dons a Lucha Libre mask to become Luchacho. Our masked underdog then enters an international fight tournament, competing against a hilarious and eclectic mix of animal fighters from all over the world, in the lead-up to a final, epic fight against the nefarious beast known as Chamuco, The Widow Maker. Iglesias will produce alongside Tim Yoon.

“I cannot wait for everyone to see this wonderful film that celebrates underdogs in and out of the ring! It has action, drama, laughs and twists & turns, like any great Lucha storyline movie should have,” said Iglesias. “When I first had the idea of a Lucha Libre cartoon, there was no one else I wanted to partner with other than Jorge Gutierrez. He has a brilliant mind that can expand this story in unimaginable ways.”

“After The Book of Life and the amazing experience on Maya and the Three, I’m now thrilled to collaborate with [VP Animated Films] Melissa [Cobb], [VP Animated Films] Gregg [Taylor], [Director of Animated Films] Tito [Ortiz] and all my friends at Netflix Animation on my follow up animated feature: I, Chihuahua! And to finally tag team a movie with my good friend and creative partner Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is a dream come true!” added Gutiérrez. “Our internationally epic and heartfelt film will be a hilarious love letter to Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) movies, fighting video games and underdog sports films. I don’t want to overpromise, but this will be the greatest masked Chihuahua film ever made! What a time to be alive!”

Iglesias is one of America’s most successful stand-up comedians, performing to sold-out concerts around the world, and is also one of the most watched comedians on YouTube, with almost a billion views and more than 25 million fans across social media.

He is currently on his Gabriel “Fluffy” Back On Tour and will make history from May 6-7, as he’s the first comedian to perform at Dodger Stadium.

Iglesias previously collaborated with Gutiérrez as part of the cast of both The Book of Life and Maya and the Three and has also featured in such series as Disney+’s Monsters at Work and ABC’s Cristela, while leading his own Netflix sitcom, Mr. Iglesias.

He has also lent his voice to animated (or partially animated) films including Space Jam: A New LegacyUglyDollsFerdinandThe StarCocoThe Nut Job and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by NatureSmurfs: The Lost Village and Norm of the North. Additional film credits include Magic MikeMagic Mike XXL and A Haunted House 2.

Gutiérrez is an Emmy– and Annie Award-winning animator, painter, voice actor, writer and director whose Mesoamerican fantasy series Maya and the Three debuted on Netflix last year. That series won two Annie Awards upon its premiere, including the prize for Best Children’s TV/Media, with Gutiérrez moving to expand his relationship with the streamer, in writing, directing and producing new animated films, series and interactive projects across preschool, kids & family and adult animation.

Born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana, the CalArts graduate has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture. He was the director and co-writer of the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life for Fox, which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe nomination, and was also the writer-director behind the Emmy-nominated VR short Son of Jaguar for Google. Gutiérrez also created the multiple Emmy Award–winning animated series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon, alongside his wife, Sandra Equihua.

Bobby Cannavale to Star Opposite Bill Burr in the Comedy “Old Dads”

Bobby Cannavale is reporting for (old) dad duty…

The 51-year-old half-Cuban American actor will star in the original comedy film Old Dads.

Bobby CannavaleWritten, directed and co-starring comedian/actor Bill Burr, the film centers on a middle-aged father (Burr) and his two best friends (Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine) who after selling their company to a millennial, find themselves out of step and behind the times as they hilariously struggle to navigate a changing world of culture, career and fatherhood.

Burr and Ben Tishler penned the script and are producing with Bill Block, Monica Levinson and Mike Bertolina.

Production on the film, Burr’s feature directorial debut, kicked off in Los Angeles this week.

Miramax has come aboard to produce in conjunction with Burr’s All Things Comedy.

“I’m very excited to start shooting Old Dads,” said Burr. “This comedy is based on my own and my co-writer, Ben Tishler’s, lives. Miramax has been awesome to work with and I think people are really going to like this movie.”

“Burr is one of the top comedic voices of his generation and he has written a script that’s not just unwaveringly funny, but also full of heart and unfiltered cultural commentary,” added Miramax CEO Bill Block. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with him and this fantastic cast, including Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine.”

Cannavale will next be seen in Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe film Blonde, toplined by Ana de Armas, also featuring in Netflix’s upcoming Big Mouth spin-off Human Resources.

The actor recently featured in the casts of Illumination and Universal’s Sing 2 and Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers. He’s also appeared in such series as HomecomingMr. RobotAngie TribecaWill & GraceMaster of NoneVinylNurse Jackie and Boardwalk Empire.

His additional film credits include SuperintelligenceThe Jesus RollsThe IrishmanMotherless BrooklynAnt-Man and Ant-Man and the WaspFerdinandJumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, I, TonyaThe Fundamentals of CaringDaddy’s HomeDanny CollinsAnnieAdult BeginnersChefBlue JasmineWin WinThe Other GuysBrief Interviews with Hideous MenPaul Blart: Mall CopSnakes on a PlaneFast Food Nation and The Station Agent.

William Morris Endeavor (WME) Signs Gina Rodriguez & Her Production Company

It’s a new endeavor for Gina Rodriguez

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actress and her production company I Can and I Will Productions, run by Molly Breeskin, in all areas.

Gina Rodriguez

The Golden Globe-winning former Jane the Virgin star was previously at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Rodriguez played the title role in the CW series Jane the Virgin for 100 episodes, winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy in 2015.

Rodriguez recently starred in the Focus Features title Kajillionaire opposite Evan Rachel Wood and Richard Jenkins. The Miranda July directed feature made its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Rodriguez’s upcoming projects include the Netflix film Awake and the miniseries Lost Ollie for the streamer.

She has starred in Sony/Screen Gems’ Miss Bala and the Netflix feature Someone Great, a film in which she also served as a producer.

Her voice can be heard in the title role of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego, and she also had starring voiceovers in Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky’s Ferdinand, Warner Brothers’ Smallfoot and Scoob, and Sony’s The Star.

In addition to her acting career, the native Chicagoan and NYU Tisch School alum is a driving force for inclusion and the empowerment of women in all ways, particularly in the entertainment industry. This passion led her to create her production company, I Can and I Will Productions, with a mission directly reflecting her commitment to create art and tell stories from those who are traditionally unseen and unheard.

The company has finished its second season of Diary of a Future President where Rodriguez directed, produced, and performed as the future president.

With her family, she established the We Will Foundation, which aims to uplift and champion underprivileged youth through arts, education, scholarship funding, and financial literacy.

Gina Rodriguez to Star Opposite Zachary Levi in the Comedy Adventure “Lost and Found”

Gina Rodriguez has (lost &) found her next project…

The 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning Puerto Rican actress and former Jane the Virgin star is set to star in Amazon Studios’ comedy adventure Lost and Found.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez will star opposite Zachary Levi, with Steve Pink set to direct. Pink and Jeff Morris wrote the script, about a headstrong lawyer and an off-the-grid renegade who reluctantly team up to find a long-lost buried treasure by the Mississippi River.

Levi is producing through his Wyldwood Studios along with Rodriguez and Molly Breeskin under their banner I Can and I Will Productions, and Pink through his Pink Machine banner.

Rodriguez most recently starred in Kajillionaire for Focus Features, the Netflix rom-com Someone Great and Scoob! 

Her past past films include Deepwater Horizon, Ferdinand, Annihilation and the Miss Bala remake.

She voices the title character in the Netflix animated action-adventure series Carmen San Diego and is producer of the Disney+ series Diary of a Future President.

Guillermo del Toro Earns Three Academy Award Nominations for “The Shape of Water”

Guillermo del Toro is this year’s Oscar darling…

The nominees for the 90th Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning, with the 53-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s highly acclaimed fantasy love story The Shape of Water leading all nominees with 13 nods, including three nods for the man behind the movie.

Guillermo del Toro

del Toro, who was previously nominated for Pan’s Labyrinth, picked up three nominations of his own.

He’s nominated in the Best Picture category as one of the film’s producers, as well as Best Director for helming the film, and Best Original Screenplay for co-penning the script with Vanessa Taylor.

The Shape Of Water has been one of the frontrunners this awards season, and del Toro accepted the nominations with typical vigor.

“Thank You to the academy and my peers for this moment of joy in a 25 year journey as a storyteller,” tweeted del Toro.

Carlos Saldanha picked up his second career Oscar nomination, his first in a major category.

The 52-year-old Brazilian filmmaker, who was previously nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category for Gone Nutty, earned a nod in the Best Animated Feature category for helming Ferdinand.

Sebastián Lelio has picked up his first Oscar nod.

The 43-year-old Argentinian-born Chilean film director earned the nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film for his critically acclaimed film A Fantastic Woman, which is only the second film from Chile to earn a nod in Oscar history.

The Academy Awards — hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second time — will air live on ABC on March 4.

Here’s the complete list of nominees:

Best Picture
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Actor
Timothée Chalamet — Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis — Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out
Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington — Roman J. Israel, Esq. 

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins — The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margo Robbie — I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan — Lady Bird
Meryl Streep – The Post

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer- All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water 

Best Original Screenplay
The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani)
Get Out (Jordan Peele)
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name (James Ivory)
The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber)
Logan (Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green)
Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)
Mudbound (Virgil Williams and Dee Rees) 

Best Cinematography
Blade Runner 20149
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water 

Best Film Editing
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Sound Mixing
Baby Driver (Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin & Mary H. Ellis)
Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill & Mac Ruth)
Dunkirk (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker & Gary A. Rizzo)
The Shape Of Water (Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern & Glenn Gauthier)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce & Stuart Wilson)

Best Sound Editing
Baby Driver (Julian Slater)
Blade Runner 2049 (Mark Mangini & Theo Green)
Dunkirk (Richard King & Alex Gibson)
The Shape of Water (Nathan Robitaille & Nelson Ferreira)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Matthew Wood & Ren Klyce)

Best Original Score
Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer)
Phantom Thread (Jonny Greenwood)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)
The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

Best Original Song
“Mighty River” — Mudbound (Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson)
“Mystery of Love” — Call Me By Your Name (Sufjan Stevens)
“Remember Me” — Coco (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez)
“Stand Up for Something” — Marshall (Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn)
“This is Me” — The Greatest Showman (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul)

Best Animated Feature
The Boss Baby
The Bread Winner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Best Costume Design
Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran)
Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran)
Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)
The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeria)
Victoria & Abdul (Consolata Boyle)

Best Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Animated Short Film
Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Negative Space
Lou
Revolting Rhymes

Best Documentary Feature
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Famous Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Best Documentary Short
Edith + Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Best Production Design
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul
Wonder

Best Live-Action Short Film
DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

“Coco” Co-Director Adrian Molina Named as a Finalist for This Year’s Humanitas Prize

Adrian Molina is in the running for a special prize…

The 32-year-old Mexican American screenwriter and storyboard artist has been named a finalist for this year’s Humanitas Prize.

Adrian Molina

Nine films from a combined 21 screenwriters will compete in three categories, a first this year. The award was created to honor film and TV writers whose work inspires compassion, hope and understanding in the human family.

The finalists are vying in the categories of drama, comedy, and family films, with three nominated films competing for each prize.

Molina, who served a co-director, screenplay writer, and lyricist on the Disney/Pixar hit animated film Coco, is nominated alongside his Coco colleagiues Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz and Matthew Aldrich.

Molina and company are nominated in the Feature – Family category, facing off against the people behind Ferdinand and The Breadwinner.

The Humanitas Prize winners will be announced February 16 during a gala at the Beverly Hilton.

Here are the 2018 Humanitas Prize finalists:

Feature – Drama

MUDBOUND
Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

THE POST
Written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Written by Martin McDonagh

Feature – Comedy

LADY BIRD
Written by Greta Gerwig

THE BIG SICK
Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED)
Written by Noah Baumbach

Feature – Family

COCO
Story by Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina, Screenplay by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich

FERDINAND
Story by Ron Burch & David Kidd and Don Rhymer, Screenplay by Robert L. Baird and Tim Federle and Brad Copeland

THE BREADWINNER
Screenplay by Anita Doron, Story by Deborah Ellis

Carlos Saldanha Receives Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation Award

Carlos Saldanha is being heralded for his creative impact

The 52-year-old Brazilian director, producer and animator has been recognized with Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation award.

Carlos Saldanha

Saldanha has become one of the most successful tellers of animated stories of all time. His credits include Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rio and Rio 2, while he co-directed Ice Age and Robots. He’s Blue Sky Animation Studio’s secret weapon, having unleashed a string of worldwide blockbusters that have grossed more than $3 billion.

Saldanha even has Oscar cred with a nomimation for 2003’s animated short Gone Nutty, and an exclusive deal at Fox, where his BottleCap Productions calls home.

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro afforded Saldanha with a unique perspective of the world, and in particular, how it would come to shape his animation and filmmaking instincts and aesthetic.

“I was always a film buff,” Saldanha recalls. “Movies were always very special to me, but I never knew how to accomplish my goals. Blade Runner is my favorite film and I’ve seen it 20 times at least. I find it inspiring. So I went to college for computer science, but I was always very artistic. A friend showed me one of John Lasseter’s early CGI-animated shorts, and I was hooked, because this was how to bridge the elements together.”

The Ice Age franchise has cemented itself as one of the most popular in the medium, and Saldanha knows that he’s crossed over into something larger, capturing the imaginations of children (and adults) around the world, especially with the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, which has become the official mascot of Blue Sky Studios.

“When you’re a part of something that becomes that big for so many people, especially children, you can’t help but feel proud. Scrat was something unique to the creative process, in that he wasn’t originally defined in the script. He was an organic character who took shape as a result of creative group think. So it’s very special that he’s become so embraced, and it felt very natural for Scrat to become an integral part of Blue Sky,” Saldanha says. “We all loved those little noises he makes!”

Saldanha’s relationship with fellow filmmaker and Blue Sky head Chris Wedge has been instrumental to his career. “Chris is a visionary and working with him has been a tremendous experience,” Saldanha says. “We’re interested in telling relatable stories in an exciting and fresh way, and Chris brings a great attitude to the creative process.”

Following up the huge success of 2002’s Ice Age would prove to be interesting for Saldanha, who helped to craft 2005’s Robots, calling it a “transitional film for me, moving out of the Ice Age’world, and getting involved in something new. And that’s what we love to do, we love building worlds within our films. And with Robots, we got to do something a bit unique with the characters and setting.”

The two Rio films clearly mean a lot to Saldanha, who says he was “thrilled to infuse my Brazilian heritage into the film, and it was a big goal for me to show the city of Rio de Janeiro in a very colorful and bright fashion. These were projects that were very close to me on a personal level, so to be able to craft them in the way that we did, it was a joyous experience. It was very important for worldwide audiences to embrace these films. I wanted to create a mood and tone with no boundaries and a free spirit approach to the storytelling. This was a true passion project.”

Saldanha’s newest project, the animated adventure Ferdinand, hits screens December 15. It’s based on the classic children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, about a Spanish bull that would rather stop and smell the roses than participate in bullish activities. John Cena voices the title character, with Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez and Daveed Diggs among the other voice-over artists.

“We’re currently halfway through animation and it’s coming along fantastic. We’re so thrilled for people to see it as we’re having so much fun working on this particular story,” Saldanha says. He adds there will be a “wonderful musical component to the film,” as he’s again collaborating with favored film composer John Powell. “We really wanted to capture the richness of Spain, with vibrant and bold colors, so that the audience can really feel the atmosphere. And with John doing the score again for us, we’ll have something really special for the audience. We extended the original book but we retained what’s essential to the core story of a big bull with a really big heart.”

Saldanha was also asked to participate in the 2014 anthology film Rio, I Love You, with other celebrated filmmakers including Jose Padilha, Fernando Meirelles, Paolo Sorrentino and Guillermo Arriaga. “I had such a great time doing my short for Rio, I Love You,” Saldanha says. “I did it to test the waters, and I’m excited about tackling a live-action project in the future. I’m not sure what it’ll be exactly, but I love to challenge myself and keep things fresh. But I’ll never leave animation behind. That’s where my heart is.”