Jesse Garcia to Star in the Eva Longoria-Directed “Flamin’ Hot” Film

It’s a flamin’ hot time for Jesse Garcia.

The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Quinceañera star has landed the lead role in Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.

Jesse Garcia

Garcia will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, while Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy.

Flamin’ Hot tells the true life story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the snack that disrupted the food industry and became a pop culture phenomenon.

Desperate Housewives actress and Telenovela, Grand Hoteland Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.

“It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically,” said Longoria in a statement. “I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican-Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”

Also new to Flamin’ Hot is scribe Linda Yvette Chavez who has come aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick-penned screenplay. Chavez is the creator of Netflix’s Gentefied and she’s also adapting I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at the streamer for America Ferrera’s upcoming directorial debut.

Garcia appears in the Searchlight Pictures title Under the Same Moon, alongside Kate del Castillo and Ferrera. He has been widely recognized for his role in the highly acclaimed Quinceañera winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as Carlos, Garcia was nominated and won the prestigious ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts) as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007. Garcia can also be seen in The Avengers.

Gonzalez is a Chicana actress and East Los Angeles native. She grew up singing with the band Quetzal, (which has been a noted force in the Chicano movement), was one of the original dancers on Jamm X Kids for the WB and has been appearing on TV since the age of 10. She is most known for her roles in Gentefied, Vida, Shameless, and Legion. She was recently cast in the ABC pilot, Bucktown starring opposite Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie. Gonzalez also has a YouTube page with videos dedicated to her thoughts on spirituality, self-love, peace, positivity and living life as a Latina.

Roselyn Sánchez Cast in Peacock’s Upcoming Dramedy Series “Armas De Mujer”

Roselyn Sánchez is armed and ready…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer/songwriter and producer has been cast in Peacock’s upcoming dramedy series Armas De Mujer.

Roselyn Sanchez

Sanchez, who starred in Devious Maids and Grand Hotel, joins a roster of newcomers that includes Sylvia Sáenz and Jeimy Osorio. 

They join previously announced Kate del Castillo in the series set for premiere later this year.

Armas De Mujer hails from the team behind Telmundo’s hit La Reina del Sur, which stars del Castillo.

Created by José Luis Acosta, in Armas De Mujer, four women suffer their worst nightmare after the police arrest their husbands for being linked to the same criminal organization. Accustomed to a life of abundance, they will now need to join forces in the most unusual manner.

del Castillo stars as Ángela, the wife of the cartel’s accountant and the fortuitous leader of the group of women who have gone from being care-free wives living in luxurious homes, to using all the weapons at their disposal just to survive.

Sánchez portrays Sofía, the tough wife to the cartel’s assassin. Sáenz plays Viri, wife to one of the top chiefs in the hierarchy of the cartel. Osorio is Esme, the independent and courageous wife to the head of the cartel’s assassins.

Armas De Mujer is produced by Telemundo Global Studios. The series is directed by Enrique Begné and Claudia Pedraza.

Facebook Watch Renews Gloria Estefan’s Interview Series “Red Table Talk: The Estefans”

Gloria Estefan isn’t leaving the (red) table anytime soon…

The 63-year-old Cuban singer-songwriter, producer, actress and entrepreneur’s Red Table Talk: The Estefans, a spin-off of Jada Pinkett Smith’s interview series, has been renewed for an additional 12 episodes.

Gloria Estefan, The Estefans

Facebook Watch has ordered the supersized order after the first season debuted in October 2020.

The series is hosted by Grammy winner Estefan, her daughter and rising musician Emily Estefan and El Gordo y La Flaca host Lili Estefan.

New episodes will debut later this year on Facebook Watch and will highlight the three generations of women, as they come together with family, celebrity guests and experts.

The first season featured discussions with Michelle RodriguezRosie O’Donnell, the family of Vanessa GuillénKate del Castillo and Lele Pons.

Red Table Talk: The Estefans is produced by Westbrook Studios with Pinkett Smith, Estefan, Ellen Rakieten and Miguel Melendez serving as executive producers.

“We’ve missed you, Red Table Talk: The Estefans fans and can’t wait to see you again. Taking on the iconic Red Table has been an immense privilege and enlightening journey for myself, Emily, and Lili,” said Gloria. “We look forward to continued exploration, growth, and healing in our upcoming episodes – and with my red gavel, much more than the ‘rhythm’ is gonna get you.”

Red Table Talk creator and executive producer Pinkett Smith added, “It’s been an honor to work with Gloria and her family on a project that means so much to all of us. By inviting us into their lives, with such honest and vulnerable conversations, the Estefans have touched the hearts of people everywhere, shining the light on topics that aren’t traditionally discussed in the Hispanic community. We are looking forward to the new episodes of Red Table Talk: The Estefans. We hope you will join The Estefans and the entire Red Table Talk community as we continue the journey of healing with important, honest conversations that hopefully will inspire understanding, unity and encouragement all over the world.”

Mina Lefevre, Head of Development & Programming, Facebook Watch said, “Each episode of the Estefans has been truly impactful, and Gloria, Emily and Lili have opened up the Red Table to a whole new audience. The Estefans tackled complex issues with vulnerability, awareness, and poise that truly resonated with our audience. I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring to the Red Table in 2021.”

Kate del Castillo Starring in Womanhunt Thriller “Cold, Dead Hands”

The chase is on for Kate del Castillo

The 48-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star has teamed up with former Netflix VP Erik Barmack to produce and star in the womanhunt thriller Cold, Dead Hands (working title).

Kate del Castillo

The film is set up at del Castillo’s Cholawood Productions, Barmack’s Wild Sheep Content and Top Dead Center Films, headed by Gary and Julie Auerbach, creators of the film.

Gary Auerbach directs the film, which went into production on January 4, shooting in Utah.

The film opens with del Castillo’s character waking up in a log cabin in deep forest, having been drugged and abducted. A message on a stereo tells her to press play.

“I’m a hunter,” a voice says, explaining she’s been placed there because she’s a “worthy prey.” There’s a snow mobile five miles from the cabin. If she makes it to that, she wins. There’s no civilization around and nothing in the cabin of value to her, the voice warns. But he’ll give her a couple of minutes heads start.

Co-starring Marc Blucas, the film naturally packs multiple twists and a backstory about why del Castillo’s character is such worthy prey and the moral choices she had to make to escape the first time round.

The movie is written by Julie Auerbach, as well as Kevin Tavolaro and co-written by Blucas.

This is “the story of a woman who lives through unspeakable hardships in her life yet she identifies as a survivor, not a victim,” del Castillo tells Variety, adding that her character shows “a tremendous amount of strength, courage, intelligence and compassion, all admirable traits innate to our culture” and that she “personally relates to this character particularly in how she overcomes her fears and refuses to let her past define her.”

The movie catches del Castillo coming off Bad Boys for Life, where she stars opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and del Castillo’s starring role on Season 2 of La Reina del Sur.

During its transmission, ending July 2019, the sophomore season kept Telemundo broadcast network among the top three networks in the U.S. regardless of language in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demos in the 10 p.m. Monday-Friday berth.

Telemundo Renews Kate del Castillo’s “La Reina del Sur” for Third Season

Kate del Castillo’s reign will continue…

Telemundo has renewed La Reina del Sur for a third season with the 47-year-old Mexican actress set to reprise her iconic role as Teresa Mendoza.

Kate del Castillo

“I love playing Teresa Mendoza and am proud of the success of La Reina del Sur, the series that unleashed a new genre in Spanish language television,” del Castillo said. “Each season, Teresa Mendoza’s character evolves and gets more interesting. She is a very human character with her own flaws and imperfections. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun playing her, and I’m curious to see what will happen in this new season. She’s a woman I learn from in every season and every episode, who continues to surprise me.”

The first season of the series, based on Arturo Perez-Reverte’s novel, launched in 2011 and returned for a second season in 2019. 

The second season picked up eight years after the events of the season one finale with Mendoza pregnant and unsure of her future. When La Reina returns, it emerged that she’s disappeared into the U.S. Federal Witness Protection Program and is currently living in Italy under the name of Maria Dantes with her daughter Sofia.

Last year, del Castillo said she “hated” the fact that she had to have a double for Mexico-set scenes of the  narco drama after she became a major player in the El Chapo saga, helping to set up a meeting between Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán and Sean Penn in 2015.

But she’ll now be able to return to Mexico if the series films there. 

La Reina del Suris a high-level production that has taken us to shoot all over the world season after season. But yes, if the story takes us to Mexico next season, I will be there. I’m so excited,” she added.

Showrunner Marco Santana, who’s also president of Telemundo Global Studios, said that the company was currently in the script and overall development phase of the new season. 

“We are working with an incredible group of writers to bring to life the continuation of a thrilling and involved story that we are all very excited for,” he told Deadline. “We have filmed La Reina del Suraround the world. It’s a story that travels through different locations, and season three won’t be an exception. We are planning for, and are hopeful that, by the time we begin production in 2021, restrictions due to the coronavirus will have eased.”

The third season will start production early next year, as long as production can resume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third season will be a co-production between Telemundo Global Studios and Netflix; Telemundo holds rights in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, while the streamer airs the series globally.

La Reina del Suris Telemundo’s most successful ‘Super Series’, used to differentiate it from its traditional long-running telenovelas.

“It is the show that propelled the network to the top of the charts and kicked off Telemundo’s Super Series franchise as the most successful Super Series in the network’s history,” said Ronald Day, EVP, Entertainment, Telemundo Networks. “It was the show that redefined Hispanic media and set a new standard in our content offering. There is a tremendous fan base for the first two seasons and for Teresa Mendoza, the iconic character played by Kate del Castillo, so we knew we had to bring her back.  This is a series that resonates with the new Latino of today who craves for contemporary cutting-edge narratives coupled with strong characters in a premium-level production. The first two seasons were wildly successful on linear and across all platforms, so as we continue to look at all new IP through an omnichannel lens, it made a lot of sense to bring La Reina back.”

“The return of La Reina del Surcomes at a great time when we continue to shape a new era in Hispanic media with content exclusively made for Latinos living in the US looking for culture-centric stories that are both American and Latino,” Day added.

Kate del Castillo Among Artists Participating In “Cuídate y Cuéntate” Virtual Concert

Kate del Castillo wants you to be counted…

The 47-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star is joining fellow Latin stars and personalities for the upcoming Cuídate y Cuéntate virtual concert.

Kate del Castillo

The online event is set to raise awareness on how Latinos count, contribute and come together for civic actions during a global pandemic, while completing the Census 2020.

Produced by UNO Productions and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, the two-hour live stream event hosted by Nour Milla and Rafael Sigler will shed light on Latino civic power and their participation in the census.

Confirmed artists include Lupillo RiveraOzomatliNinel CondeDiego VerdaguerAna VictoriaAngélica MaríaAngélica ValeArthur Hanlon, and Horóscopos de Durango, to name a few. 

In addition screen and radio stars like del Castillo, Edward James OlmosEl Piolin, and many more will participate.

Angélica Salas, CHIRLA’s executive director, and Diana Colín, its political director, are expected to take part in the conversation on how to ensure civic power in the COVID-19 era.

“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated two major realities: how much immigrants and Latinos contribute to our society, especially in challenging times, and how important participating in Census 2020 is so we can challenge all the inequality that still exists,” Salas said in a statement. “The beauty that these artists make as they come together for the Cuídate y Cuéntate virtual concert is a sign of hope that as we all complete Census 2020, the nation flourishes.”

Cuídate y Cuéntate will take place at 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 23 via a nationwide broadcast on LATV Network with a simulcast on YouTubeFacebook, and IGTV. The show will also air on Meruelo Media‘s KWHY 22.

Eréndira Ibarra to Star Opposite Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix 4”

Eréndira Ibarra is enterting the matrix…

The 34-year-old Mexican actress will be reuniting with Sense8 co-creator Lana Wachowski in the Warner Bros./Village Roadshow sequel The Matrix 4, which is expected to begin filming this year.

Eréndira Ibarra

Ibarra will be joining franchise returnees Keanu Reeves (Neo), Carrie-Anne Moss(Trinity), and Jada Pinkett Smith(Niobe) as well as newcomers Jessica HenwickNeil Patrick HarrisToby Onwumere, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who is rumored to be playing young Morpheus. Henwick is buzzed to play a female Neo-like character.

Wachowski will direct and co-write the screenplay with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. Wachowski is producing with Grant Hill, who executive produced Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions. The Matrixtrilogy has grossed more than $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office.

Ibarra joined the first and second seasons of Netflix’s Sense8 in the role of Daniela Velázquez. 

She also starred in the Kate del Castillo Netflix series Ingobernable and the Amazon Prime series El CandidatoShe studied at the artistic studio in Casa Azul.

Kate del Castillo to Star in the Off Broadway Production of Isaac Gomez’s “the way she spoke”

Kate del Castillois ready to take the stage…

The 46-year-old Mexican actress, who starred in Telemundo’s wildly popular La Reina del Sur series, will return to the New York stage this summer in the Off Broadway production of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke, directed by Jo Bonney as the next Audible Theater production at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

Kate del Castillo

Previews begin on Monday, July 8, with opening night set for Thursday, July 18. The Minetta Lane, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, is home base for Audible’s live performances, with productions recorded and released by Audible as audio plays.

the way she spoke follows an actress who enters a theater, picks up a script, and begins to read a story that reveals “disturbing and haunting accounts of the murder of thousands of women in Juarez, Mexico and one playwright’s journey of discovery and responsibility.” 

According to Audible’s description, “As lines blur between theatricality and reality, intense and provocative questions are raised and demand deeper examination. Based on a series of intimate interviews, this one-woman play demonstrates the power of speaking truth, even as it considers the implications of doing so.”

Kate Navin, Audible Artistic Producer, called Gomez’s play “deeply moving,” and that del Castillo’s “raw and inspiring performance is sure to captivate our live audiences in New York City and resonate with Audible members everywhere.”

The creative team includes Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Emilio Sosa (costume design), Lap Chi Chu(lighting design), Elisheba Ittoop(sound design), and Aaron Rhyne(projection design).

del Castillo, set to co-star with Will Smithand Martin Lawrencein 2020’s Bad Boys For Life, has been a popular star of Mexican television since her teens, but her performance on La Reina del Sur in 2011 became a cultural phenomenon. A second season launched last month. The series, produced by Telemundo and Spain’s Antena 3, is a primetime serial that chronicles del Castillo’s Teresa character, a Mexican woman who rises to great power through international drug trafficking (Alice Bragaplays the character in USA Networks’ American version Queen of the South).

del Castillo’s other credits include Jane The VirginUnder the Same MoonThe 33All About Nina, and the upcoming Bad Boys For Life.

Off-screen, del Castillo made international news when, after controversially tweeting about El Chapoin 2012, the actress was contacted by a lawyer for the Mexican drug lord to discuss a biopic about him (El Chapo, it turned out, was a del Castillo superfan, with a stockpile of La Reina del Sur DVDs found at the safe house raided by Mexican intelligence agencyCISEN.) Later, del Castillo helped arrange the meeting between El Chapo and actor Sean Penn.

Eduardo Marturet & the Miami Symphony Orchestra Record La Reina del Sur 2’s Soundtrack in Collaboration with Alberto Slezynger

Eduardo Marturet is giving Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur telenovela sequel a Hollywood-level soundtrack.

The 65-year-old Venezuelan conductor and composer’s Miami Symphony Orchestra has recorded LaReina del Sur soundtrack in collaboration with Latin Grammy-nominated composer and musician Alberto Slezynger.

Eduardo Marturet & the Miami Symphony Orchestra

Slezynger wrote the score with members of the team at his production company Personal Music.

“The idea was to produce the music using the highest Hollywood standards,” Slezynger said in a statement.

“When we have the symphony, aside from creating a fabulous sound, we get a product produced by human beings as it happens on a scene or on set. We don’t have robots, we have real people,” Marturet added.” 

It’s the first time that the Miami Symphony Orchestra has recorded a soundtrack.

Season two of the spectacularly successful show re-visits drug trafficker Teresa Mendoza (Kate del Castillo), eight years after she disappeared into the U.S. government’s witness protection program. 

Shot on location in eight countries, the La Reina del Sursecond season is a co-production between Telemundo and Netflix.

Telemundo will air the show in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, while Netflix has exclusive rights in the rest of the world. 

The original La Reina del Surwas Telemundo’s most successful series ever. 

For La Reina del Sur 2, the Spanish-language network will expand the show’s reach by airing it across its platforms with English-language subtitles. Telemundo Global Studios’ President Marcos Santana is the show’s Executive producer and showrunner.

La Reina del Surs Season 2 premieres April 22 at 10 p.m. on Telemundo.

Briarcliff Entertainment Acquires US Rights to Raúl Castillo’s Latino Superhero Film “El Chicano”

El Chicano will be sweeping into theaters next year…

Briarcliff Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the Latino superhero film with an all-Hispanic cast, including star Raúl Castillo.

El Chicano

The action film tells the story of twin brothers Diego and Pedro (both played by Castillo), who grew up together on the streets of East Los Angeles. As adults, their lives took radically different paths as Diego became a celebrated detective for the LAPD, and Pedro turned to a dead-end life of crime. When clues start connecting Pedro’s death to a case Diego is working on, a mythological figure from his youth, The Ghetto Grim Reaper, draws Diego in deeper than he ever expected. He becomes that figure, a Hispanic version of Batman or Black Panther.

The film also stars George Lopez, Aimee Garcia, Emilio Rivera, Kate del Castillo, Mr. Criminal, Noel G. Marco Rodriguez, Marlene Forte, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sal Lopez, David Castañeda and Armida Lopez.

El Chicano marks the feature film directorial debut of 25-year veteran stuntman Ben Hernandez Bray, who co-wrote the script with Joe Carnahan.

Carnahan was frustrated waiting for Bad Boys 3 to come together, he succumbed to Bray’s rationale and bailed on one franchise in hopes of starting another.

“I was frustrated with Bad Boys 3, and Ben had been talking about this for a decade,” Carnahan said. “He would tell me that 25% of movie tickets are purchased by Latinos, and so where are their big heroes? We wrote this on spec, and these white oil and gas guys from Canada gave us the money to make it at an under $8 million budget. It got an amazing response at the L.A. Film Festival. We believe in this, and that it can find a big audience and launch a franchise.”

Said Bray: “Just the fact that we’re making this announcement during Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the vital and important presence of Hispanics and Latinos in North America, is wonderful to me. The time is now for a film like El Chicano. A Latino superhero franchise is long overdue, but to have the forces of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo, Tom Ortenberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventurain the mix just makes it even sweeter and well worth the wait!”

The film will be released theatrically on March 22, 2019, with a reported target of 600-800 screens.