Ruth Franco Signs First-Look Deal with MGM to Develop More Spanish-Language Originals

Ruth Franco is looking to develop more Spanish-language projects in Hollywood.

The Spanish talent manager has signed a first-look deal with MGM to help them ramp up Spanish originals.

Ruth Franco

The multi-year deal will see Ruth Franco Talent and the Hollywood studio develop Spanish-language and English-language scripted series across platforms internationally and in the U.S.

Franco represents a slew of some of Spain’s biggest actors, directors and screenwriters and will develop shows under the deal in partnership with Talent on the Road and World Talent House.

It comes as MGM International Television Productions bolsters its global production slate, which includes projects like Michael Hirst’s Billy the Kid, John Griffin’s sci-fi horror series From, Amazon YA pilot order Shelter from Harlan Coben and The Reunion, an adaptation of French author Guillaume Musso’s novel La Jeune Fille et la Nuit.

Franco said that the deal would be a “turning point” for Ibero-American talent and would create “synergies with the American market”.

Diego Piasek, SVP, Head of Development & Current Series, MGM International Television Productions, said, “In today’s highly competitive market, our partnership with Ruth Franco will give MGM unparalleled access to some of the most prestigious writers, directors and actors from Latin America and Spain, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Together with Ruth we will not only develop local-language originals, but also look to provide a pipeline to Hollywood and beyond for her clients. This is a key strategic partnership for us as we continue to expand our content capabilities and talent relationships on both a local and global scale.”

Manolo Cardona Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Manolo Cardona has new representation…

The 44-year-old Colombian actor, the star of Netflix’s acclaimed series Who Killed Sara?, has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

Manolo Cardona,

The Hollywood agency will represent Cardona in all areas, including his on screen roles and his Mexican production company 11-11.

Cardona plays lead Alex Guzmán in the Mexican mystery thriller, known locally as ¿Quién mató a Sara?, which recently aired its second season and is expected to return for a third season.

In the series, which is one of the streamer’s most successful non-English language dramas, Cardona plays Guzmán, who after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, is hellbent on finding out who killed his sister Sara and getting revenge on the Lazcano family who wronged him.

He’s also set to star in Apple TV+ drama series Now and Then opposite Marina de Tavira.

Previously, he starred in Netflix’s Narcos, Mexican drama Maria Magdalena and Colombian series 2091.

Cardona owns, with his brother, Mexican television and film production company 11-11 and UTA will help amplify the company’s presence in the U.S. market.

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

Gloria Estefan to Star in “Father of the Bride” Reboot

Gloria Estefan is circling the mother of a role…

The 63-year-old Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman is in talks to star opposite Andy Garcia in Warner Bros. and Plan B’s Cuban-American reboot of the Father of the Bride films.

Gloria Estefan

Directed by Gaz Alazraki, the film is being penned by Matt Lopez. Estefan would play Garcia’s wife, with Adria Arjona tapped to play the bride-to-be.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film. While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy film and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

WB execs thought it was a long shot that Estefan would be interested, but between Lopez’s script and Garcia’s and Alazraki’s involvement, the opportunity for Estefan was simply too hard to pass up.

“A resounding YES was my answer to the invitation to join my good friend, the incredibly talented Andy Garcia, for this new and wonderfully warm and funny incarnation of the classic, Father of the Bride! I’ve been a fan of director Gaz Alazraki since I saw his record-breaking comedy Nosotros Los Nobles and can’t wait to experience how he brings this amazing script by Matt Lopez to life,” Estefan said.

Estefan’s music has people running to the dance floor for decades going all the way back to when she was the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine and “Conga” hit the airwaves in 1985. Since then her musical library could rival any singer in the world, and Hollywood has been no stranger to using her music in dozens of movies. Estefan has rarely made the jump to the big screen herself, with this only being the third time she has acted in a movie. She made her acting debut opposite Meryl Streep in 1999’s Music of the Heartalso providing the Oscar-nominated song of the same title. Most recently she appeared in Kenny Ortega’s A Change of Heart.

Diego Calva to Star in Damien Chazelle’s Hollywood Period Feature “Babylon”

Diego Calva is heading to Babylon

The Mexican actor will join the ensemble cast of Damien Chazelle’s Hollywood period Paramount feature Babylon.

Diego Calva

Calva joins the previously announced cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jovan Adepo and Li Jun Li.

The project, which is set for a Christmas Day 2022 release and a January 6, 2023 expansion, is an R-rated drama, set in the shifting moment in Hollywood when the industry turned from silent film to talkies.

In addition, Calva has signed with WME.

The Mexico City native has starred in the Netflix series Unstoppabland will appear in the upcoming season of the streamer’s Narcos: Mexico

He previously starred in I Promise You Anarchy, which was screened at the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The feature from Julio Hernández Cordón won several awards at festivals like Mix Brasil, Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Lisbon International Film Festival, Costa Rica International Film Festival with Calva receiving the Best Actor award at the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, Cuba.

Rodrigo Prieto Awarded Vilcek Prize in Filmmaking by Vilcek Foundation

Rodrigo Prieto is a trailblazer…

The 55-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated cinematographer is the recipient of the 2021 Vilcek Prize in Filmmaking, according to the Vilcek Foundation.

Rodrigo Prieto

The award is part of the Vilcek Foundation Prizes, which are bestowed in a range of categories each year, in celebration of the outstanding contributions of immigrant trailblazers, within the arts and sciences.

Prieto, a Mexican native, has established himself over the years as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after DPs. Boasting credits including Amores Perros and Brokeback Mountain, he’s known for his collaborations with renowned directors including Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Julie Taymor, Oliver Stone and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

A three-time Academy Awards nominee most recently recognized by the Academy for his groundbreaking work on Scorsese’s The Irishman, Prieto has also received accolades for his work from BAFTA, the American Society of Cinematographers and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Known for his unconventional camerawork, and his remarkably detailed, evocative compositions, the DP grew up with a visual artist for a mother and an aeronautical engineer for a father. Thus, in his own career, he would come to balance technology with artistry, aiming with each new project to create a distinctive and visceral, cinematic experience. “That combination…is something that I have in my DNA,” Prieto says, “utilizing technology and different techniques to create art.”

Established in 2006, as a means of championing diverse perspectives—thereby advancing the arts and sciences—The Vilcek Foundation has thus far awarded over $5.8 million to immigrants from 56 different countries.

“As leaders in the arts, we have a responsibility to promote diversity by making space, providing access, and amplifying the artistic contributions of marginalized groups and individuals,” Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel says. “The Vilcek Prizes in the arts and humanities enable us to speak to the value of immigration for our society in a non-politicized way.”

This year, other prize recipients include geneticist Ruth Lehmann, chemical biologist Mohamed Abou Donia, entrepreneur (and former presidential candidate) Andrew Yang, and a number of filmmakers—among them, Juan Pablo González, Miko Revereza and Nanfu Wang.

González has been awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking for the artistic rigor and deep emotional engagement that he brings to his immersive and intimate explorations of his hometown in rural Mexico.

Up next for Prieto is Scorsese’s sprawling crime drama, Killers of the Flower Moon. Set in 1920s Oklahoma, the Apple Original Film centers on an investigation into a string of brutal murders within the Osage tribe. Eric Roth wrote the script, adapting an acclaimed work of nonfiction by David Grann.

Jon Seda Rejoins Cast of NBC’s Drama Pilot “La Brea”

Jon Seda is heading back to La Brea

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican actor has rejoined the cast of NBC’s drama pilot La Brea.

Jon Seda

Seda, who will star opposite Eoin Macken and Natalie Zea on the series, was originally cast in the project a year ago and released in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Hollywood newcomer has joined the cast of the pilot.

In La Brea, written by David Appelbaum, when a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens in Los Angeles, it tears a family in half, separating mother (Zea) and son (Martin) from father and daughter. When part of the family find themselves in an unexplainable primeval world, alongside a disparate group of strangers, they must work to survive and uncover the mystery of where they are and if there is a way back home. (The family’s last name has been changed from Wolcott to Harris.)

Seda plays Dr. Sam Velez (originally Dr. Benjamin Glass). The father of a teenage girl, he carries himself like the general of an Army. Santiago plays Veronica. Very rigid and formal, she does her best to comfort and protect her younger sister.

Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, is the studio, producing with Keshet Studios.

Seda starred for seven seasons on the Chicago franchise as Detective Antonio Dawson. One of the original stars of the franchise, he started off as a recurring on the mothership Chicago Fire before he was spun off to Chicago P.D. He also appeared for a time on the short-lived legal drama spinoff Chicago Justice. He previously played Nelson Hidalgo on Treme.

Santiago, a graduate of Northwestern University and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, has appeared in numerous stage productions including the All-Female Macbeth (Red Bull Theater), Othello (Shakespeare in the Park, Romeo & Juliet (Huntington Theatre), and most recently the Public’s mobile Shakespeare production of Measure For Measure.

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.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Portray Desi Arnaz in Amazon & Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem may soon be saying, “Lucy, I’m Home!”

The 51-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Desi Arnaz opposite Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Amazon and Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem

The film centers on the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars. Having penned the screenplay, Academy Award winner Sorkin also will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists.

The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director as well over the summer.

After The Trial of the Chicago 7 bowed on Netflix in October, Being the Ricardos began to gain momentum with Kidman and Bardem quickly interested in the couple behind television’s first family. Deals still need to close for both actors, but even if and when they do, when production will start is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push productions throughout the country.

After years as one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters with such classics as A Few Good Men, Moneyball and his Oscar-winning The Social NetworkSorkin has found himself more and more behind the camera as well. His directing debut was the drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and he followed that up with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Bardem most recently starred in The Roads Not Taken and can next be seen in Legendary’s DuneHe also is set to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Roku Acquires Quibi’s Programming, Including Nicole Richie’s “Nikki Fre$h” Series

Nicole Richie is freshening up Roku

Roku has acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the portfolio of Quibi’s programs, including the 39-year-old part-Mexican American actress & television personality’s series Nikki Fre$h.

Nicole Richie

In its biggest original programming foray to date, Roku’s acquisition covers most of the recently shuttered mobile-only streaming venture’s library, while some daily news shows aren’t part of the package.

A key draw for Roku is the talent, a roster including Richie, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.

The lineup includes titles like Most Dangerous Game, Dummy, Murder House Flip and the Reno 911 reboot, starring Carlos Alazraqui.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though the valuation is said to be less than $100 million, according to insiders. Roku shares rose 5% to $398.60 on the news. At one point early in the trading day, they reached $402.81, an all-time high.

The programming will be available for free starting later this year. Shows will have advertising, as they did on the $5-a-month Quibi service, and they’ll be housed on the Roku Channel. The hub for free and premium streaming channels, including 150-plus free live, linear offerings, has become a mainstay of the company’s strategy since Roku launched it in 2017. By the fourth quarter of 2020, it was being viewed by households representing an estimated 61.8 million people, the company said, double its reach at the end of 2019.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”