Danny Trejo to Star in the Action Film “Pug”

Danny Trejo is runnin’ with the big dogs…

The 78-year-old Mexican American actor and Machete film series star has joined the cast of the action film Pug.

Danny TrejoThe film, which hails from writer-director Jason Velo, has wrapped production.

Trejo will co-star alongside Mark RolstonDanielle Vega, Wolfgang Bodison and Velo in the film.

Pug centers on a gifted young ex-con who tries to return to the boxing ring after his release from prison, thereby catching the eye of a local crime boss who intends to sign him. When he refuses the order to take a dive during a fight, he puts his newfound love interest, family and entire future in the mob’s crosshairs.

Keli Price is producing for Price Productions, alongside Velo for Below The Line Entertainment, Aaron Bennett and Edwin To, with Wave Motion Pictures’ Scott Huneryager serving as exec producer.

Trejo’s previous credits include Desperado, Heat and the From Dusk Till Dawn film series.

The CW Orders Six Additional Scripts of Robert Rodriguez’s Zorro Reboot Project with a Female Lead

Robert Rodriguez’s Zorro television project with a female lead is one step closer to becoming reality.

The CW has ordered an additional six scripts for the long-gestating Zorro reboot from the 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker/writer, bringing the script total to 7.

Robert RodriguezIn addition to Rodriguez, the CW’s gender-swapped reimagining of the classic masked vigilante character also hails from writer-director Rebecca Rodriguez, Sean Tretta (Mayans M.C.), Ben Silverman and Howard T. OwensPropagate and CBS Studios.

The CW has not specified what the next step would be for Zorro if the network brass are happy with the new scripts, but a straight-to-series order is likely.

This is a variation of the straight-to-series model, which the network has employed with a different degree of success over the past two years.

The CW’s Zorro is a new incarnation of the project, which was in development at NBC during the 2020-21 cycle, with Tretta as a new addition to the brother-and-sister writing team of Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez.

Co-penned by the trio and to be directed by Rebecca Rodriguez, in Zorro, a young Latinx woman seeking vengeance for her father’s murder joins a secret society and adopts the outlaw persona of Zorro. The story by Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez was already in place when Tretta, who has an overall deal at CBS Studios, came on board earlier this cycle to write the script.

Tretta, who also will serve as showrunner, and Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez will executive produce with Silverman, Owens and Rodney Ferrell for Propagate.

Propagate originally set out to develop a Zorro TV series with a female lead in 2019 as one of the company’s first projects under its first-look deal with CBS Studios. The idea’s first incarnation, written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., was set up at NBC, as was the 2020-21 version with Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez, which also had Sofia Vergara attached as an executive producer. She is no longer involved in the project.

Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct The Mask of Zorro and cast Antonio Banderas as the title role before leaving the feature project.

In TV, he currently serves as an executive producer-director on Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett. He previously developed and executive produced the series adaptation of his movie From Dusk Till Dawn for his television network El Rey and also executive produced the Spy Kids animated series offshoot for Netflix. He recently directed an episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Rebecca Rodriguez’s recent directing credits include episodes of HBO Max’s Doom PatrolNBC’s Debris, TNT’s Snowpiercer and Showtime’s The Chi.

Cheech Marin to Star in the Bobby Farrelly-Directed Film “Champions”

Cheech Marin is a champion

The 75-year-old Mexican American actor will lead Champions, a recently-wrapped film that Bobby Farrelly directed for Focus Features and Gold Circle Entertainment.

Cheech MarinMarin stars alongside Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson and Matt Cook.

Champions is based on the Goya Award winning Spanish film Campeones, which Universal Pictures International released in 2018.

It centers on a stubborn and hotheaded minor league basketball coach who is forced to coach a Special Olympics team when he is sentenced to community service.

Actors with intellectual disabilities rounding out the cast to ensure authenticity in the storytelling include Madison Tevlin, Joshua Felder, Kevin Iannucci, Ashton Gunning, Matthew Von Der Ahe, Tom Sinclair, James Day Keith, Alex Hintz, Casey Metcalfe, Bradley Edens and Champ Pederson.

Mark Rizzo penned the script.

Focus Features will distribute the film domestically, with Universal Pictures handling its international release.

Marin is an actor and comedian who broke out in the ’70s, alongside Tommy Chong, as one half of the comedy duo Cheech & Chong. He’s appeared in such films as MachetePlanet TerrorGrindhouseTin CupFrom Dusk Till Dawn, DesperadoGhostbusters IIBorn in East L.A.After Hours and Up in Smoke, along with series including Elena of AvalorLodge 49 and Jane the Virgin.

Sony Acquires Rights to Gabino Iglesias’ Novel “The Devil Takes You Home”

Gabino Iglesiasdevilish work will be brought to life…

Sony has reportedly picked up the Latino author/filmmaker’s novel The Devil Takes You Home in a competitive situation, a project that Cuban filmmaker Alejandro Brugués will adapt and direct.

Gabino Iglesias

Brugués is a director on El Rey’s From Dusk Till Dawn series and recently helmed the thriller The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy starring Peyton List, Rachel Nichols and Austin Stowell.

Iglesias’ novel follows Mario who has but no choice, but to be a hitman to cover his family’s bills, especially his daughter’s medical tab. He’s presented with an offer: One last score that will either pull him out of poverty forever or put a bullet in the back of his skull. A man named Juanca needs help stealing $2 million dollars from a drug cartel. Together, they begin a journey to an underworld where unspeakable horrors happen every day.

The project and its storyline are still in early development.

Iglesias is a writer, journalist, professor, and literary critic living in Austin, TX. He wrote the critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels Zero Saints and Coyote Songs, which racked up nominations for the Bram Stoker Award, the Locus Award and the Wonderland Book Award.

Coyote Songs was lauded with the Wonderland Book Award. Iglesias has also served as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards twice and the Millions Tournament of Books.

Brugués’ feature directing credits include the segment “The Thing in the Woods” from 2018’s Nightmare Cinema, Juan of the Dead and Personal Belongings.

Alex Rosario is the executive on the project at Sony.

Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network to Begin Streaming on the Roku Channel

Robert Rodriguez is livin’ a new stream

The 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker’s El Rey Network, which is making a rare transition from cable television to free streaming, has set a deal for crucial real estate on the Roku Channel.

Robert Rodriguez

Starting tomorrow, the network founded by Rodriguez will start streaming as a 24-7 linear offering on the Roku Channel, one of more than 190 on the free outlet.

Launched in 2013 as a result of the agreement reached by Comcast and NBCUniversal with regulators yielding new commitments to diverse programming options, El Rey targeted young, English-speaking Latino viewers. It wound down its nearly decade-long run on traditional pay-TV at the end of 2020, having peaked at 40 million households. While other channels have gone dark on cable and returned as digital properties, El Rey is one of the first to attempt such a shift during the streaming era.

The Roku Channel, which has 40,000 on-demand film and television titles in addition to its linear offerings, reaches households with 70 million people. Since launching in 2017, it has become a leading home for free, ad-supported streaming, ranking as the No. 6 overall streaming site in a June Nielsen gauge of household reach. In the spring, Roku Channel launched an original programming banner, whose initial slate includes Quibi titles acquired last January.

With recent data suggesting that 60% of Hispanic viewers regularly stream free, ad-supported services, several other programmers have jumped into the fray. Pluto and Tubi have launched Spanish-language efforts and Univision (initially an investor in the El Rey network) just launched PrendeTV. But El Rey’s backers see little overlap in their streaming effort, which trades as the network always has on Rodriguez’s personal tastes and eclectic resume as the director of an eclectic roster of films from Spy Kids to From Dusk Till Dawn to Sin City.

El Rey does not plan an initial investment in original programming, with its 150 hours of originals almost entirely consisting of previously produced fare. The Roku Channel will be the exclusive first AVOD destination for Rodriguez’s feature film Red 11, which had a festival circuit run. Rebel Without a Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School will be another exclusive, starting in the first quarter of 2022. Other shows from El Rey include The Director’s Chair, featuring conversations between Rodriguez and guests like John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino; and Cutting Crew, which is centered at a barbershop outside of Philadelphia; and El Rey Nation, a geek-fandom panel series.

Roku VP of Programming Rob Holmes told Deadline in an interview that the arrangement would give El Rey access to “millions of engaged streamers.” In the streaming world, he added, networks need to do four things well: deliver compelling programming; create a compelling user experience; acquire and retain users; and then monetize those users. Most programmers are comfortable with only the first of the four, he said.

“You’ve seen huge investments from big folks like Disney,” he said, “but there are many people who aren’t prepared to do those other three things. Recognizing that, they can be very successful at doing that first thing, which they’ve always been good at. …. They can rely on the Roku Channel to bring these other three capabilities and do it at a really big scale.”

Cinedigm, a specialist in streaming, joined forces with El Rey to take its network into the digital realm and refine the user experience. Unlike many other cable networks during the 2010s, El Rey never built an authenticated TV Everywhere app.

John Fogelman, CEO of FactoryMade Ventures and a co-founder of El Rey, told Deadline Rodriguez had been envisioning a leap to streaming since at least 2020. The environment “feels much more right” than cable, he said, but “it just wasn’t available when we started.”

Fogelman said El Rey will aim to use Roku as the foundation for other streaming deals with other providers. The economics of digital distribution are different from traditional pay-TV, where programmers get a dual revenue stream via carriage fees and advertising. Streaming channels take part in a revenue share from both distribution and ads, but the margins are slimmer and the tech platforms control most of the viewership data. Along with the technical challenges involved in taking a channel from cable to streaming, Fogelman said the whole experience was tantamount to “ripping off the Band-Aid.”

Based on initial feedback through various channels, he said, viewers are grateful to have a chance to keep tuning in. “That beat-up crown that Robert designed” in the El Rey logo, Fogelman said, “really means a lot to a lot of people.”

Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD, The Roku Channel, said El Rey fits the Roku business model and the realities of streaming. Nine out of 10 U.S. Hispanic households are now streaming in the U.S., she said, making it “clear there is a growing demand for engaging, high quality Latinx entertainment. El Rey is changing the programming world in an exciting way that speaks to the future of audience discovery and engagement.”

Robert Rodriguez Signs Two-Year First Look Deal with HBO & HBO Max

Robert Rodriguez has sealed a new partnership…

The 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker has signed a two-year first-look deal with HBO and HBO Max, founder of Troublemaker Studios.

Robert Rodriguez

As part of the collaboration, Rodríguez will first bring projects to the cable company and streamer for potential development as original series. His son Racer Rodríguez will serve as lead development executive under the pact. Projects could potentially be completed at the studio’s production facilities in Austin, Texas.

“Robert’s masterful, high concept productions are a perfect match for our HBO Max audiences. We are excited to jump into this partnership and work on brand-new, provocative stories,” said Joey Chavez, executive vice president of original programming, drama, HBO Max.

Rodríguez said of the partnership, “It’s intriguing to be able to tap into the wealth of iconic IP available across the WarnerMedia portfolio and explore new stories to tell. I’m looking forward to a meaningful collaboration with the high caliber creative talent at HBO and HBO Max who have proven they’re willing to take risks, challenge norms and tell inclusive stories while producing a wide breadth of quality content.”

Rodríguez is currently the executive producer and director of the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, a spin-off of The Mandalorian. He’s known for his work as a writer, director, and producer of many notable films including DesperadoFrom Dusk Till Dawn, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin CityThe Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete, and Alita: Battle Angel.

Eiza González to Portray Iconic Mexican Star Maria Felix in Upcoming Film

Eiza González is preparing to portray a Mexican legend…

The 31-year-old Mexican actress and singer will star as iconic Mexican film star Maria Felix in a film from director Matthew Heineman and Linden Entertainment.

Eiza González

The team is looking for a Latin American writer to adapt Felix’s life for the screen.

González will portray Felix and also produce the film alongside Dana Harris and Nicole King for Linden Entertainment. Walter Rivera will executive produce the film on behalf of Felix’s estate.

Felix was one of the most successful Mexican stars of all time, and this is the first time her estate will be involved in telling her story. The actress starred in 47 movies in Mexico, France, Italy and Argentina and was the queen of the silver screen in Mexico, becoming known as “La Doña.”

Felix’s story is one that follows her from the rough Northern town of Sonora, to knowing the president of Mexico, Diego Rivera, artist Frida Kahlo and being awarded France’s highest cultural award, the Legion d’honneur.

Felix’s story is one of love and loss and an exploration of Mexican culture and religion, acceptance, womanhood and fame. It is a story of a girl from Alamos who becomes Mexico’s most unconventional muse.

Maria Felix

“Maria’s tenacity and fierce way of living through some of the hardest adversity I’ve witnessed has inspired me and many more,” González said. “I’m incredibly honored to be playing her and to be bringing her voice and story to the world.”

She added, “Maria constantly pushed boundaries and lived by her own rules, while the world tried to tear her down. I’ve always believed her life needs to be seen around the world, for people to learn more about how society depicts successful and driven women.”

Said Rivera: “We have long been searching for the right partner to tell Maria’s story, and we are proud to be partnering with Eiza González as she embodies so much of Maria’s strength, intelligence, passion, character and beauty. We know Eiza and this film has the power to influence change, much like Maria Felix did, and we know in Eiza’s hands, Maria Felix’s legacy will be portrayed in the most authentic light.”

González’s feature credits include Baby Driver, Hobbs & ShawNetflix’s Golden Globe-winning I Care a Lot, Godzilla vs. KongMichael Bay’s upcoming Ambulance and the television series From Dusk till Dawn.

Salma Hayek to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek will have a permanent place in Hollywood

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress and producer is among the 38 honorees invited to join the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who moved to Hollywood in 1991, rose to acclaim in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Frida.

But Hayek isn’t the only Latin honoree this year…

Tessa Thompson was selected in the Motion Picture category.

The 37-year-old Afro-Panamanian American actress gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

Her other credits include Sylvie’s Love, Men in Black: International, and Creed.

Ashanti has been selected in the Recording category.

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress was first discovered as a teenager and later signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002.

That year, she was featured on Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule‘s “Always on Time,” both of which became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002; Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” were at numbers one and two, respectively.

Other Latin artists selected include Los Huracanes Del Norte and Angelica Vale.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominees at a meeting of the Walk of Fame selection committee and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors this week. Radio personality Ellen K, chair of the selection committee (and a past Walk of Fame honoree), announced the new honorees on the Walk of Fame’s website.

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world. “The panel did an amazing job choosing these very talented people,” said Ellen K. “We can’t wait to see each honoree’s reaction as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway.”

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before their selection expires. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the Walk of Fame website.

Here’s the full list of Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 honorees (using their full names as shown on their list):

Recording: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle, posthumous).

Motion pictures: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous)

Television: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Robert Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson.

Live theatre/live performance: Patti LuPone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale

Radio: Richard Blade

Sports entertainment: Michael Strahan

Alicia Sanz Signs with Range Media Partners for Talent Management

Alicia Sanz is expanding her range

The 33-year-old Spanish actress has signed with Range Media Partners for talent management.

Alicia Sanz

The star of the Amazon Prime series El Cid will continue to be repped by CAA, You Rock Talent; and Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver & Thompson.

Sanz is renowned for her turn as Paloma Iglesias in the second season of El Rey’s From Dusk Till Dawn from Robert Rodriguez.

Sanz is currently shooting Gideon Raff’s bilingual thriller series Now and Then for Apple TV+ opposite Rosie Perez, Maribel Verdú, and Marina de Tavira. Set in Miami with an all-Hispanic cast, the series explores the differences between youthful aspirations and the reality of adulthood, when the lives of a group of college best friends are forever changed after a celebratory weekend ends up with one of them dead. Now, 20 years later, the remaining five are reluctantly reunited by a threat that puts their seemingly perfect worlds at risk. Sanz will play Young Sofia, a younger version of Sofia (played by Maribel Verdú), a strong self-made lawyer whose life took an unexpected turn 20 years ago and is now hiding too many secrets.

Sanz starred opposite William Levy in the feature film En Brazos de un Asesino and in the Bradley Parker directed feature, The Devil Below. Other credits include the Netflix feature #RealityhighFox’s Shots Fired, James Cox’ Billionaire Boys Club and the independent thriller, Better Criminal.

Originally from Ceuta, Spain, Sanz landed her first leading role at the age of eight. She went on to make her TV debut as Lucía Elízondo Cortés on Antena3 Network’s hit drama Gavilanes, and subsequently starred in other popular Spanish series’ including Bandolera, Amar Es Para Siempre and Cuentame.

Atria Books to Publish Danny Trejo’s Memoir, “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood”

Danny Trejo is o-penning up about his life…

The 76-year-old Mexican American actor, whose credits include Desperado, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn and Con Air, will publish his memoir with Atria Books, according to the publisher. Titled Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood will be released on July 6.

Danny Trejo

The book will detail Trejo’s path from crime to prison, addiction, loss and unexpected Hollywood fame. With appearances in more than 300 films, the 76-year-old actor continues to book 10-20 roles a year. A 2020 Pete Davidson tribute to Trejo went viral.

“Danny Trejo is more than an actor for the millions of Mexican Americans, like me, who love him,” says Michelle Herrera Mulligan, senior editor at Atria Books. “He is a legend. A role model. The first Chicano action star. Someone we can always hold up as a hero who made it. One of my proudest acquisitions to date, this book shows us the difficult path it took to get him there, in unforgettable, literary detail.”

Trejo first used heroin at age 12, learning that loyalty only came through violence and peace was found in oblivion. For a period of time, he did stints in some of America’s most notorious prisons including San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad. Then he was offered a part as a boxer in Runaway Train, giving him the opportunity to choose a new path.

In Trejo, he describes how the difficult lessons he learned in childhood both saved his professional life and hindered his personal one, offering an inspirational and brutally honest look at his fascinating life. He shares how he rebuilt his life after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement and went on to become a success, hobnobbing with A-list celebrities and using his memories of his adrenaline-fueled robbing heists to inspire him as an actor.

“At 76,” Trejo says, “this memoir was an opportunity for me to be fearlessly honest for the first time about the terrifying brutality of my experiences in the hardest prisons in the world, the family secrets that tore lives apart, my personal bottom while I was in the hole in Soledad facing a possible death penalty charge, the role God played in turning my life around, my acting career that started at the age of 40 by simply showing up to a set to help another addict in need and how all of it shaped the person I am.”

Trejo is co-writing his memoir with his best friend of 20 years, actor Donal LogueTrejo will be published simultaneously in both English and Spanish and later will be adapted for a young-readers edition. The book also will be published simultaneously as an audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio.

Atria Books is an imprint of Simon and Schuster.