Gina Rodriguez to Star On Netflix’s Live-Action/Animation Hybrid Family Series “Lost Ollie”

Gina Rodriguez is getting lost in her work…

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican Golden Globe-winning actress has been cast in Netflix’s Lost Ollie, a live-action/animation hybrid family series based on William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg’s book Ollie’s Odyssey.

Rodriguez, who rose to acclaim on Jane The Virgin, will star opposite Jonathan GroffMary J. Blige, Tim Blake Nelson, Jake Johnson and Kesler Talbot in a mix of live action and voice roles in the series from Shannon Tindle, Peter Ramsey, producer Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment and Industrial Light & Magic.

Created, adapted and executive produced by Tindle, Lost Ollie follows a lost toy, searching across the countryside for the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend.

Groff will voice Ollie, a handmade toy rabbit stitched together from odds and ends. Ollie has a pure spirit with a heart of gold and never ruins a chance to make friends. He’s been best friends with Billy since forever, until one day he ends up in a resale shop with no way home. Though he’s often afraid of the unknown, Ollie puts on a brave face and sets off to find Billy, meeting other toys to help him along the way.

Rodriguez will play Momma. Billy’s mother Sharon is a loving woman who inspires creativity and imagination in her son. She makes sure to cherish their time together, teaching Billy all the things he’ll need to know to find happiness in the future.

Sony Pictures Animation & Columbia Pictures Release New Trailer for Luna Lauren Velez’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse”

Luna Lauren Velez is spinnin’ a new web…

Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures has unveiled a new trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, featuring the 53-year-old Puerto Rican actress as part of the voice cast.

Luna Lauren Velez 

The film, an animated take on the Spider-Manfranchise masterminded by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, will be released in theaters on December 14, with a New York Comic-Con appearance later this week in the offing.

After the success in June of the first trailer, which scored 44 million views in its first 24 hours, comes more of the storyline this time around.

It centers on a new Spider-Man, Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who discovers he is only the Spidey in his, well, “soggy, weird, gross” French Fry universe, as portals open and many other versions come through. Others include a past-his-prime Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) who acts as Miles’ mentor, Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Penny Parker and her robot SPDR (voiced by Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney).

In addition to Velez, the loaded voice cast also includes Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin and Liev Schreiber.

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman are the directors, and Rothman wrote the script with Lord who created the story.

Rodriguez to Appear on Discovery Channel’s “Shark After Dark”

Robert Rodriguez is shark bait…

The 46-year-old Mexican American filmmaker has been added to the list of guest for this year’s Shark After Dark, Discovery Channel’s live Shark Week late-night talk show.

Robert Rodriguez

Rodriguez joins a list of guests that includes Ashley Tisdale, Matt Walsh, Chelsea Handler, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Danny Trejo and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

This year’s crop of guests aren’t necessarily names with obvious shark connections, but some of the guests, including Tisdale, are rabid Shark Week fans, according to producers who trolled Twitter to find obsessive fans.

Tom Green is reprising his character, Blurb, the alien shark cousin of Bob The Shark, who once again will be played by Craig Ferguson’s CBS late night warm-up act, Bob Oschack. Bob The Shark was introduced during last year’s Shark Week and gained 33.7K Twitter followers.

Returning host Josh Wolf will lead viewers through an hour-long celebration of all things shark-related. The late-night show plays an important role in Discovery Channel’s Shark Week interactivity campaign.  During the program viewers can ask questions of/make comments about guests, including the shark experts who’ll be the first guest each night, commenting on that night’s shark-show lead-in.

Researcher/shark ecologist Paul Clerkin for instance, who’s a post grad at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, which runs the Pacific Shark Research Center and participates in a program run through the center to help save deep sea sharks brought up as catch by-product.

Shark Week launches on August 10.

Garcia to Star in “Let’s Be Cops”

Andy Garcia is joining the force…

The 57-year-old Cuban actor has been cast in 20th Century Fox’s Let’s Be Cops, an action comedy starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson.

Andy Garcia

The Luke Greenfield-directed picture will also star The Vampire DiariesNina Dobrev and James D’Arcy.

Let’s Be Cops centers on two friends (Wayans and Johnson) who impersonate police officers using rented uniforms, giving their lives a boost and some fun. However, they run into trouble when they cross a dangerous Russian mobster.

Garcia will play a seasoned detective who inadvertently becomes the boss of the two wannabes.

The film is scheduled to begin shooting in Atlanta this summer.

It’s Garcia’s first studio movie since 2007’s Ocean’s Thirteen. He’s been acting and producing more character-driven projects like his starrer Middleton, which also stars Vera Farmiga.

Annable to Guest Star on Fox’s “New Girl”

Odette Annable may be bringing the drama to Fox’s New Girl

The 27-year-old half-Cuban American actress has landed a guest-starring role on Zooey Deschanel’s hit sitcom.

Odette Annable

Annable will play a potentially recurring love interest for Nick (Jake Johnson), according to TVLine, which could throw a wrench in the blossoming love between Nick and Jess (Deschanel).

Annable will play Shane, a perky and preppy management school grad who is Nick’s new boss at the bar. Per the casting notice for the role, Shane “unabashedly” starts having a fling with her new subordinate.

Annable’s casting comes less than a week after Nick and Jess shared their first kiss.

Annable, whose credits also include Breaking In and Brothers & Sisters, will soon kick off a multi-episode arc in Cinemax’s new drama Banshee. She’s also set to appear in CBS’ new series Golden Boy later this year, as well begin shooting the film The Truth About Lies.

Méndez Esparza Receives Gotham Independent Film Awards Nod

Antonio Méndez Esparza is having a notable year…

Antonio Méndez Esparza

The 26-year-old Spanish filmmaker has earned a Gotham Independent Film Awards nomination in the Breakthrough Director category.

Méndez Esparza was recognized for his exceptional work on his debut feature film Aquí y Allá (Here and There).

Aquí y Allá

The film, which took top honors at the Critics’ Week sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival, centers on Pedro, a Mexican man who returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, after years of working in the US. He finds his daughters older, and more distant than he imagined, while his wife still has the same smile. Having saved money from two trips to the U.S., he hopes to now finally make a better life with his family, and even to pursue his own dreams on the side by starting a band: the Copa Kings.

Meanwhile, Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza has been recognized for her work on the feature film Safety Not Guaranteed, a film that centers on three magazine employees who head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

The 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian and her co-stars in the film – Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere, Kristen Bell, Jeff Garlin and Mary Lynn Rajskub – received a nod in the Best Ensemble Performance category.

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are handed out by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers.

The awards signal the kick-off to Hollywood’s awards season. In all, Gotham Independent Film Award nominations were given to a total of 26 films across six competitive categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

The Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, November 26th in Manhattan. In addition to the competitive awards, actors Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon, director David O. Russell, and Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll will each be presented with a career tribute.

Here’s a look at the categories with Latinos being recognized:

Best Ensemble Performance

– Bernie, Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey (Millennium Entertainment)
– Moonrise Kingdom, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban (Focus Features)
– Safety Not Guaranteed, Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere, Kristen Bell, Jeff Garlin, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Film District)
– Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher (The Weinstein Company)
– Your Sister’s Sister, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt, Mark Duplass (IFC Films)

Breakthrough Director

– Zal Batmanglij for Sound of My Voice (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
– Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky for Francine (Factory 25 and The Film Sales Company)
– Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin for Now, Forager (Argot Pictures)
– Antonio Méndez Esparza for Aquí y Allá (Here and There) (Torch Films)
– Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight Pictures)