Tessa Ferrer to Star in Apple TV+’s New Basketball-Themed Drama Series “Swagger”

Tessa Ferrer’s got some serious swagger

The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress and former Grey’s Anatomy star has joined the ensemble cast of Apple TV+’s new basketball-themed drama series Swagger.

Tessa Ferrer

The project, which hails from NBA superstar Kevin Durant and Imagine’s Brian Grazer, stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis.

Ferrer will be a series regulars alongside Isaiah Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, 32-year-old part-Afro-Dominican actor Tristan Mack WildsCaleel Harris, Latino actor/producer Jason Rivera, Solomon Irama, Ozie Nzeribe and James Bingham.

Written and directed by Bythewood, who also serves as showrunner, Swagger is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences. It explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption. Off the court, the show reveals what it’s like to grow up in America.

Wilds will portray Alonzo Powers, the grassroots division leader at a major shoe company.

Ferrer will portray Meg Bailey, a former basketball player and coach for the rival team.

Rivera will play Nick, a player from Puerto Rico with the drive to become the best player in the country.

The drama is co-produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios.

STXtv Developing Chicano-Themed Series “Once Upon a Time in Aztlan” to Star George Lopez

George Lopez has a little Timeon his hands for an ode to California’s Chicano culture…

STXtv is developing Once Upon a Time in Aztlan, a new television series anchored by the 59-year-old Mexican American actor/stand up comedian.

George Lopez

The project includes the participation of  famed photographer Estevan Oriol and iconic Los Angeles-based artist Mister Cartoon aka Mark Machado.

Michael Connolly, under his Mad Hatter Entertainment banner, brought the elements together. 

Lopez is in final talks to star and executive produce the project through his Travieso Productions, with Javier Rodriguez writing the pilot. Oriol and Cartoon will executive-produce.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Cartoon, Estevan, Jada and Michael for this series and developing a show with STXtv,” Lopez said. “Cartoon and Estevan are the DaVincis of our community; they have been the street chroniclers of our uniquely Chicano story … our American story. I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the team to expand their canvas to capture the diverse stories and people that make our culture and community so amazing, colorful and vibrant.”

This authentic L.A.-based series examines a family coming to terms with the falsehoods of the American Dream and their ability to defy expectations.

“I want to create a vision of Los Angeles inspired by my tattoos and murals that enriches and showcases the culture, opening it up to new audiences,” Cartoon said. “Putting together the dream team of Latino street culture and a collection of creative minds headed up by George Lopez, who is born and raised in L.A. and is an icon of our community. George’s experience and sense of humor acts as a foundation for this team.”

The pilot will be directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, who helmed Eva Longoria and Demián Bichir in the Blumhouse/Imagine East L.A.-set drama, Lowriders.During that production, he worked closely with Oriol and Cartoon, who were also involved in the production. 

Oriol and Cartoon’s longtime collaborators Mark Suroff and Marco Valadez, who produced LA Originals, also will serve as executive producers with Connolly.

“I’m looking forward to developing this with Cartoon, George, Jada and Michael,” said Oriol. “STXtv truly gets what it takes to develop a real show that can only be made in LA. This is the dream team. Period. It doesn’t get more authentic than this and I’m proud and privileged to be invited on this ride.”

Lopez recently released his first Netflix comedy special

He previously starred in Lopez for TV Land and Saint George for FX. And he had a talk show that ran from 2009-11. While his hit comedy George Lopez, whichended in 2007, ran on ABC, STXtv will zero in on buyers in the cable and streaming markets.

Cartoon is L.A.’s legendary tattoo artist, designer and cultural icon whose stylish and influential global work has been featured on countless celebrities including Kobe BryantEminemDr. Dre50 CentBeyoncéLewis HamiltonSnoop Dogg and many others. Cartoon also designed the logos for Cypress Hill and Eminem’s Shady Records, and his résumé includes cutting-edge designs for Nike, the LA Clippers and T-Mobile and others.

Oriol is an internationally celebrated photographer, director and urban lifestyle entrepreneur. Beginning as a tour manager for Cypress Hill and House of Pain, he developed a passion for photography as he documented life on the road to become hip-hop’s best-known chronicler; his work has been showcased in bestselling books, select galleries, and institutions, including the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives,Mesa Contemporary Art CenterPetersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ and New York’s Art in the Streets exhibit. He has photographed Eminem, Kim Kardashian, Cypress Hill, Dennis HopperBlink-182Forest Whitaker, Robert De NiroAl PacinoKendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Danny Trejo, among many others. He most recently executive produced the film Lowridersand directed the hit Netflix documentary L.A. Originals.

L.A. Originalswas critically acclaimed and extremely successful, introducing new fans to the world to Oriol and Cartoon.

Maldonado & Pentatonix Release Music Video for Their Take on John Lennon’s “Imagine”

Kirstie Maldonado is imaging a unified world…

The 24-year-old half-Mexican, part-Spanish American singer and her fellow Pentatonix members have released a simple-yet-impactful music video with a message for their cover of John Lennon’s classic “Imagine.”

Kirstie Maldonado & Pentatonix

In the video, the a cappella group, Maldonado and her group mates each holds up a sign with a word that describes them personally, and then flips it over to reveal another word that can be applied to them more generally.

The phrases include “LGBTQ+,” “Man,” “Jewish,” “American,” “Black,” “Christian,” “Latina” and “Woman.”

Pentatonix’s cover of the song will be included on their upcoming album PTX Vol. IV – Classics, which will be available on April 7 and also includes their Grammy-winning collaboration with Dolly Parton on the country singer’s classic hit “Jolene.”

At the end of the video, each of the five members grabs a board and writes a letter on it. Then they flip them over in unison to spell out a single word: “H-U-M-A-N.”

Chavarria Signs with Paradigm Talent Agency

It’s a paradigm shift for Gabriel Chavarria

The Honduran American actor has signed with the Paradigm Talent Agency.

Gabriel Chavarria

Chavarria stars in the upcoming Universal Pictures film Low Riders, and he’s the male lead on Hulu’s drama series East Los High.

In the feature from Imagine and Blumhouse, Chavarria plays an East LA teen immersed in the world of lowrider cars and street tagging while caught between his traditional father (Demian Bichir) and his estranged gangbanger brother, who both are competing in the annual lowrider “Supershow.”

Chavarria’s other recent credits also include Aquarius, Prime Suspect, Southland and the feature Teacher of the Year.

Boneta to Star in Fox’s Comedy-Horror Series “Scream Queens”

Diego Boneta is a scream king…

The Mexican actor-singer has been cast as one of the male leads in Scream Queens, Fox’s comedy-horror series created by Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

Diego Boneta

The project revolves around a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders.

Boneta is reportedly set to portray a bookish but handsome guy in the first installment of the anthology series slated for fall.

Boneta, who starred in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, joins an ensemble cast that includes Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Nick Jonas, Keke Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Ariana Grande and Abigail Breslin.

Boneta will next be seen in CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and the Imagine feature Pelé.

Cannavale In Talks to Appear in the Melissa McCarthy-Starrer “Spy”

Bobby Cannavale has his spy on a new movie role…

The 43-year-old half-Cuban American actor is in talks to join the cast of Spy, the Melissa McCarthy action comedy from director Paul Feig.

Bobby Cannavale

The film, which at one point was titled Susan Cooper, centers on a CIA analyst who goes into the field to find the person responsible for the death of her lover.

Jude Law is already on board as the ill-fated lover, a suave super-spy, while Jason Statham will play an overconfident yet clumsy spy. Also in the cast are Rose Byrne and British comedienne Miranda Hart.

Cannavale is in negotiations to portray one of the villains, an Italian lothario.

Feig will direct the film from a script he wrote.

Cannavale, who won a Primetime Emmy for his performance on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, also appears in Jon Favreau‘s upcoming indie Chef.

He has Imagine, a drama with Al Pacino and Annette Bening, and Annie, Sony‘s remake starring Jamie Foxx, in the can and was recently cast in Martin Scorsese’s untitled rock ‘n’ roll HBO pilot.

 

Cannavale to Star Opposite Cameron Diaz in “Annie”

It’s the hard-knock life for Bobby Cannavale

The 43-year-old half-Cuban American has signed on to star in Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment’s in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie.

Bobby Cannavale

Cannavale, currently nominated for two Emmy Awards, joins Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne in the Will Gluck-directed film.

Cannavale, who most recently appeared in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, will play a bulldog political adviser to Foxx’s character as he makes a mayoral run in New York.

The film is set for release on Christmas Day 2014.

Gluck is currently revising the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna. It’s based on the comic strip and the musical stage play Annie, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

Cannavale will next appear in the Jon Favreau-directed Chef opposite Favreau and Scarlett Johansson, and the Dan Fogelman-directed Imagine with Al Pacino, Jennifer Garner and Annette Bening.

Cannavale In Talks to Star in the John Lennon-centric “Imagine”

Bobby Cannavale could very well be imagining his next role…

The 42-year-old half-Cuban-American actor is in talks to star in the John Lennon-centric story Imagine, the directorial debut of Dan Fogelman, the writer behind Cars and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Bobby Cannavale

Imagine centers on an aging rocker (portrayed by Al Pacino) who discovers a letter written to him by the late John Lennon and decides to alter the course of his life.

Along with Cannavale, Annette Bening is in negotiations to board Imagine. Meanwhile, Pacino, who had been previously attached, is in the process of closing his deal to star in the movie.

Bening would play Pacino’s love interest, while Cannavale would play Pacino’s son, a very normal man compared to the rocker with whom he has an estranged relationship.

Fogelman plans to being filming Imagine in July.

Cannavale appeared in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. And, he appears in the film Lovelace. He’s also in talks to join Jon Favreau in the filmmaker’s indie, Chef.