Ricky Martin Partners with Lin-Manuel Miranda & Hispanic Federation to Launch Advance Change Together Initiative

Ricky Martin is hoping to advance change in support of the LGBTQ+ community…

This week, the 50-year-old Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and actor has teamed up with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hispanic Federation have announced Advance Change Together (ACT), a new initiative to support Latinx-led LGBTQ+ organizations.

Ricky Martin“Mi gente, we are always more powerful together,” Martin said in a video shared on social media. “We must unite to fight against attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, and speak up for the most marginalized among us.”

According to a press release, the initiative “will empower and support organizations working on the frontlines to protect and serve LGBTQ+ Latinx communities.”

The announcement was made June 14 as Pride Month festivities continue and just days after the six-year remembrance of the 49 lives that were taken during the Pulse Club massacre in Orlando, Fla.

Jai Rodriguez to Star in Universal Pictures’ Groundbreaking LGBTQ+ Rom-Com “Bros”

It’s Bros time for Jai Rodriguez.

The 42-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor, musician and former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy co-host is starring in Nicholas Stoller’s groundbreaking LGBTQ+ rom-com Bros for Universal Pictures.

Jai RodriguezRodriguez is starring alongside previously announced cast members including Billy EichnerLuke MacfarlaneTS Madison, Miss LawrenceSymoneGuillermo DiazGuy Branum, Monica Raymund, Jim Rash, Harvey Fierstein, Bowen Yang, Amanda Bearse, Dot-Marie Jones and more.

Bros is the first romantic comedy from a major studio about two gay men. The film written by Eichner and Macfarlane is billed as a smart, swoony and heartfelt story about gay men—played by Eichber and Macfarlane—maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling towards love. Maybe. They’re both very busy. Pic is scheduled to arrive in theaters on September 30th.

Judd Apatow is producing the project alongside Stoller and Josh Church, with Eichner exec producing.

Rodriguez won an Emmy in 2004, as co-host of Outstanding Reality ProgramQueer Eye for the Straight Guy, and will also soon be seen in the Amazon series Bosch: Legacy.

He’s also appeared on series like The RookieEastsidersDollfaceThe Resident and Kingdom, among others.

His film credits include The Producers and The New Guy.

Anitta to Co-Headline Los Angeles’ L.A. Pride in the Park Celebration

Anitta is Pride-ing high

The 29-year-old Brazilian singer/songwriter will perform at this year’s L.A. Pride festivities.

Anitta,Christopher Street West — the non-profit organization behind L.A.’s annual Pride celebrations — announced a new slate of LGBTQ performers set to join them for their in-person music festival L.A. Pride in the Park.

In addition to Anitta, the lineup includes Syd, Chika, Michaela Jaé “MJ” Rodriguez, Rebecca Black, Bob the Drag Queen, Zolita, Alexander StewartEdward FrameGrag QueenAllison PonthierSan ChaRossiDrumaqMike Taveira, Boy Untitled, GessMalibu Barbie and A Club Called Rhonda.

Along with joining the lineup as a new performer, Anitta was announced as the event’s second headliner, alongside pop icon Christina Aguilera, who joined the Pride in the Park lineup back in March.

“We’re thrilled to have women, the majority of them LGBTQIA+ artists of color, lead our mainstage event to celebrate our return to Pride,” Gerald Garth, CSW’s vice president of community programming and initiatives, said in a statement. “Los Angeles represents a broad range of cultures, backgrounds and identities, especially across the BIPOC communities. Bringing influential and diverse artists is a nod to the many different people reflected within our community.”

Tickets for the daylong concert, which will take place on Saturday, June 11, at Los Angeles’s State Historic Park, are currently on sale, starting at $45 for general admission passes, and $200 for VIP passes. This year will also mark the return of Los Angeles Pride Parade, which was canceled for the first time in L.A. Pride’s 50-year history in both 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To see the full lineup and buy your tickets for L.A. Pride in the Park, click here.

Vico Ortiz Signs with Paradigm

Vico Ortiz has new representation.

The Latinx, non-binary and gender-fluid actor has signed with Paradigm.

Vico OrtizOrtiz is a known for their work in HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death and The Sex Lives of College Girls, and Starz’s Vida.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz’s first breakthrough role was in Amazon Prime Video’s Transparent. They then appeared in recurring roles for Freeform’s The Fosters and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Netflix’s Lucifer. They appeared in Starz’s Vida, where their drag king alter ego Vico Suave made their screen debut.

Currently Ortiz is a series regular on Our Flag Means Death, appearing opposite stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby. They play Jim, the first non-binary pirate to exist in a period piece. Their additional credits include S.O.Z: Soldados o. Zombies, American Horror Story: 1984Criminal Minds9-1-1Ray Donovan and Jane The Virgin.

Beyond television, they were a co-lead in The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night, which premiered at TIFF in 2021. Ortiz also received a 2021 Queerties Award nomination for their performance in the buzzed about queer digital series, These Thems.

Beyond their on-screen work, Ortiz is an activist and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. They championed organizations including The Dru Project and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center..

Ortiz is a known for their work in HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death and The Sex Lives of College Girls, and Starz’s Vida.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz’s first breakthrough role was in Amazon Prime Video’s Transparent. They then appeared in recurring roles for Freeform’s The Fosters and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Netflix’s Lucifer. They appeared in Starz’s Vida, where their drag king alter ego Vico Suave made their screen debut.

Currently Ortiz is a series regular on Our Flag Means Death, appearing opposite stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby. They play Jim, the first non-binary pirate to exist in a period piece. Their additional credits include S.O.Z: Soldados o. Zombies, American Horror Story: 1984Criminal Minds9-1-1Ray Donovan and Jane The Virgin.

Beyond television, they were a co-lead in The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night, which premiered at TIFF in 2021. Ortiz also received a 2021 Queerties Award nomination for their performance in the buzzed about queer digital series, These Thems.

Beyond their on-screen work, Ortiz is an activist and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. They championed organizations including The Dru Project and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center.

Ariana DeBose to Executive Produce & Star in Jen Rivas-DeLoose’s “Two and Only”

Ariana DeBose has two (and only) reasons to smile…

The 31-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress, singer & dancer, who recently became the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award, will executive produce Screen Gems’ Two and Only, an original screenplay by Latina and LGBTQ+ writer Jen Rivas-DeLoose.

Ariana DeBose,The project is being developed as a star vehicle for DeBose.

Sad Unicorn’s Randall Einhorn and Jeremy Stern are producing the project, described as My Best Friend’s Wedding with a bisexual Latinx POV.

The project will be overseen at Screen Gems by Scott Strauss and Giselle Johnson.

DeBose won the Oscar, SAG Award, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story.

She’s currently in production on Sony Pictures’ Kraven, a role coveted by many up-and-coming talents, which DeBose landed after blowing away Sony execs. That film is set to release January 13, 2023. She also recently wrapped production on Matthew Vaughn’s action film Argylle from Apple, starring opposite Henry Cavill, Bryan Cranston, DeBose and Dua Lipa, and will also star in Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s space thriller I.S.Salongside Chris Messina and Pilou Asbaek.

DeBose earned a Tony Award nomination for her role as Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and she appeared alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda in the groundbreaking, Tony-winning Hamilton as a member of the original cast in both the Broadway and Off Broadway productions, as well as the Emmy-winning film version that was later released on Disney+. She also appeared in Ryan Murphy’s film adaption of the musical The Prom for Netflix and Lorne Michaels’ musical comedy series Ariana DeBose for Apple TV+.

Rene Rosado to Star in Sofia Yepes’ Indie Thriller “The Low End Theory”

Rene Rosado is theorizing

The Latino actor has joined the cast of the indie thriller The Low End Theory from Atomic Features Production.

Rene RosadoRosado is among a roster of cast additions that includes Eddie MartinezRicky Russert and actor/rapper Scotty Tovar.

They join previously announced lead Sofia Yepes who is also a co-writer and producer on the film.

The Low End Theory—based on a story by Yepes—centers around Raquel (Yepes), an aspiring beats producer in the low-budget hip-hop world moonlighting as a drug money launderer, who ends up stealing from her crime-lord boss to pay off debts owed by the woman with whom she is having an obsessive affair.

The project reunites Yepes with Francisco Ordoñez, who wrote the screenplay for The Low End Theory and will also serve as the films’ director in his debut.

Yepes’ first on-screen role was in Ordoñez’s short film St. Paul, winner of the Imagen Foundation award.

“I grew up almost never seeing people that looked like me in the films I loved, and it’s my hope that we can now start to inhabit the classic Hollywood genres with our unique perspectives and experiences,” said Yepes in a statement to Deadline.  “In the years since Francisco first cast me in St. Paul, we have built a close-knit community of Latinx storytellers that have supported each other’s artistic endeavors, and this film is an outcome of that.”

Added Ordoñez, “Sofia and I have dreamt of bringing this project to fruition for many years, so it’s gratifying to arrive in a film climate that is finally supporting diverse and representative stories like this one. We hope that this film, while deeply personal, can also be universal in its appeal, both within our communities and beyond them.”

Described as a fresh take on a film noir, the movie is one of the first to take this classic genre and set it within the Latinx and LGBTQ+ world, and its crew will be heavily represented by these communities.

“This film is an exciting opportunity for our company to continue its focus on stories and filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities. As producers who came up on the creative side ourselves, our mission is to support, protect and empower these filmmakers to achieve their vision, and bring their distinct and compelling voices to the marketplace,” said producer Daniel Ragussis of Atomic Features.

The film is set to shoot in Los Angeles this summer.

Juan Pablo Di Pace to Make Feature Directorial Debut with LGBTQ+ Romantic Drama “For Another Time”

Juan Pablo Di Pace is heading behind the lens…

The 42-year-old Argentine actor and singer will make his feature directorial debut with For Another Time, an LGBTQ+ romantic drama inspired by true events in his life.

Juan Pablo Di PaceDe Pace’s film will be executive produced by television icon Norman Lear and his Act III Productions partner Brent Miller.

For Another Time is a coming-of-age story that follows Matías, a queer filmmaker who gets an unexpected invitation to revisit the family that forever influenced his past, forcing him to question the present while potentially changing his future.

Production on the film, set in Duino, Italy and Buenos Aires, Argentina, will kick off on February 26.

Di Pace will play the present-day version of Matías, with another as-yet-undisclosed actor to play a younger version.

Casting for additional roles is underway. Andres Pepe Estrada will co-direct and serve as the film’s editor.

Di Pace is producing under his Momento Films banner with Kristen Carroll, founder and CEO of SpoPro/Spotlight Productions and Immaterial Media.

“There’s a sacred tenderness in falling in love for the first time, often an all-encompassing event we can never reprise once it ends,” said Di Pace. “I wanted to explore the idea of memory and how we romanticize it, sometimes blinding our path to love in the present.”

“There’s no better backdrop for a love story—of any kind—than one that takes place in Italy,” said Lear and Miller in a joint statement. “We’re thrilled to support Juan Pablo’s vision of bringing a multicultural connection, regardless of age, gender or race, to the big screen. And we couldn’t be prouder to support independent film and those who are making it.”

“The buying power of the LGBTQ+ population—two thirds of them in the targeted 18-34 age range—is $1 trillion, second only to the 50+ demographic for disposable income, and they are clamoring for stories and quality productions that reflect their experiences and lifestyles,” added Carroll, whose production company SpoPro specializes in LGBTQ+ and diversity-forward programming. “We are excited to bring this inventive and nuanced story of love and self-discovery to a global audience.”

Di Pace, who competed on Dancing with the Stars, most recently starred as Kimmy Gibbler’s estranged husband, Fernando, on Fuller House, a spin–off series of Full House.

Matthew López to Make Feature Directorial Debut with Film Adaptation of Best-Selling LGBTQ+ Novel “Red, White & Royal Blue”

Matthew López is embracing the red, white and (royal) blue

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter, who made history as the first Latinx playwright to win the Tony Award for Best Play, will make his feature directorial debut on the LGBTQ+ romantic comedy Red, White & Royal Blue.

Matthew Lopez

The Amazon Studios production is a film adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 best-selling novel of the same name.

It centers on a star-crossed power couple — the Latinx character of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the president of the United States, and his relationship with Prince Henry, grandson of the Queen of England.

López rewrote a draft of the script by Ted Malawer in addition to being tapped to direct the film.

Here’s the official logline: “What happens when America’s Prince falls in love with an actual prince? The film follows Alex Claremont-Diaz who, upon his mother’s election as president, was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, brilliant―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a long-running feud with his royal counterpart across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S.-British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagram-able friendship grows into something more meaningful than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could complicate his mother’s re-election campaign, upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?”

Lopez has a busy dance card. He’s penning a remake of The Bodyguard for Warner Bros., collaborating with songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Amber Ruffin on a musical-adaptation of Some Like it Hot, and scripting a feature film adaptation of the novel Leading Men, which centers on the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner

López will also executive produce the film.

The Inheritance, a two-part epic about the AIDS crisis, is set to make its Los Angeles premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in 2022. In New York, López’s work has been seen Off Broadway with The Whipping Man (Manhattan Theatre Club), and The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC Theater). He previously signed an overall television development deal with Amazon Studios in October of last year

Guillermo Diaz to Star in Universal Pictures’ Historic LGBTQ+ Film “Bros”

Guillermo Diaz is ready for Bros time…

The 46-year-old will star in Universal Pictures’ in Bros, which will make history as the first romantic comedy from a major studio about two gay men, and the first studio film featuring an entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast, with queer actors taking on queer roles, as well as all heterosexual characters.

Guillermo Diaz

Diaz will star opposite Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, TS Madison, Miss Lawrence, Symone and Guy Branum in the project.

Nicholas Stoller is directing the film, which he co-wrote with Eichner. The latter will make history of his own as the first openly gay man to co-write and star in his own studio film.

Bros is billed as a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about two gay men—played by Eichber and Macfarlane—maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling towards love. Maybe. They’re both very busy.

The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 12, 2022.

Judd Apatow is producing the project alongside Stoller and Josh Church, with Eichner executive producing. The film is a co-production of Stoller’s Global Solutions and Apatow’s Apatow Productions.

“I could not be more proud or excited about the historic nature of the all openly LGBTQ+ cast of Bros. After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalize both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast,” said Eichner. “And while Bros may be the first of its kind in several ways, my real hope is that it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors, beyond just being the wacky sidekick, token queer or a straight movie star’s ‘gay best friend.’ And beyond all of that, this cast is f*cking hysterical and you’re going to love them.”

Diaz is best known for portraying Diego “Huck” Muñoz in the drama series Scandal. Díaz has made guest appearances on Chappelle’s ShowLaw & OrderWeedsERBroad City, and Girls.

Victoria Cartagena to Portray Renee Montoya on the CW’s “Batwoman”

It’s a case of déjà vu for Victoria Cartagena.

The 36-year-old Latina actress has joined the upcoming third season of Batwoman as a new series regular, portraying DC hero Renee Montoya on the CW drama.

Victoria Cartagena

Cartagena’s character, Montoya, is a former GCPD officer who left the force when she could no longer stomach the corruption inside the department. She now runs the “freaks division,” which hasn’t seen a lot of action… until now. Righteous and pragmatic, and LGBTQ+, she’s a woman with a very personal (and mysterious) mission to help clean the streets of Gotham in the right way, by whatever means necessary.

Cartagena previously played Renee Montoya on Fox’s Gotham, though the universes are not connected.

In the June 27 Season 2 finale, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) has fully taken up the mantle of Batwoman with Kate Kane leaving Gotham in a search for her long-missing cousin Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). It also was revealed that Ryan’s biological mother, who was believed to have died in childbirth, is actually alive.

In addition to Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang and Camrus Johnson also star; original cast member Dougray Scott recently left the series. 

Batwoman is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros Television.

Cartagena’s other recent credits include a series regular role on Fox’s Almost Family, and recurring on M. Night Shyamalan’s Apple TV+ series Servant. She also recurred on the first season of NBC’s Manifest.