Lionsgate & Grindstone Entertainment Acquire Rights to “The Duel,” Starring Maria Gabriela de Faria

Maria Gabriela de Faria’s latest project is going global.

Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment have acquired the rights to the comedy The Duel, starring the 31-year-old Venezuelan actress and singer, in North America, as well as all other English-speaking and Latin American territories.

María Gabriela de FaríaExecutive produced by and starring Dylan Sprouse, the film will hit theaters via Lionsgate and Iconic Releasing at the end of July.

In support of its release, a number of cast members will be in attendance this weekend at the Indy 500 parade, which will include a car and racing helmets themed to the film.

Those expected to attend include Sprouse, Hart Denton, de Faria, Rachel Matthews and Christian McGaffney.

Marking the directorial debut of Justin Matthews Luke Spencer Roberts, the co-writers of Amazon’s Upgraded, who also penned the script, The Duel is about a modern friend group falling apart and the craziest way to deal with it: by bringing back dueling.

Also starring Callan McAuliffe, the film watches as his character Woody finds out his best friend Colin (Sprouse) has been sleeping with his girlfriend, challenging him thereafter to an old-school duel. Now ensnared in this bizarre situation, their friend group becomes entangled with an eccentric antique shop owner (Patrick Warburton) obsessed with the past, a cocaine dealer, and a pig, taking them across the border to a mysterious and stunning estate.

Denny Love and Ronald Guttman also star.

The film is produced by Zachary Spicer, Gordon Strain, Joe Matthews and Justin Matthews. Spicer’s Indiana based Pigasus Pictures produced all principal photography.

Stated Grindstone Entertainment CEO Barry Brooker, “This movie is crazy fun, unpredictable and hilarious. Moviegoers will love spending time with these characters in this extremely funny story.”

de Faria’s previous credits include The Moodys, Deadly Class and Vikki RPM.

FKA twigs to Star in Lotfy Nathan’s “The Carpenter’s Son”

FKA twigs has landed a heavenly role…

The 36-year-old part-Spanish British singer, songwriter, actress and dancer will star opposite Nicolas CageNoah Jupe and Souheila Yacoub in Egyptian-American director Lotfy Nathan’s The Carpenter’s Son, which will explore the rarely told story of the childhood of Jesus with a horror take.

FKA TwigsParis-based Cinenovo and L.A.-based Spacemaker are producing the film. Goodfellas is overseeing international sales apart from in North America, which it will co-rep with Anonymous Content and WME.

Nathan has taken inspiration from the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas for the screenplay. Dating back to the 2nd Century AD, the text recounts the childhood of Jesus.

Per the official synopsis, “The Carpenter’s Son tells the dark story of a family hiding out in Roman Egypt. The son, known only as ‘the Boy’, is driven to doubt by another mysterious child and rebels against his guardian, the Carpenter, revealing inherent powers and a fate beyond his comprehension. As he exercises his own power, the Boy and his family become the target of horrors, natural and divine.”

FKA twigs, a Grammy-nominated artist, will take the role of the Mother.

She previously won praise for her performance alongside Jupe in Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy and will soon be seen as the female lead opposite Bill Skarsgård in Lionsgate’s remake of The Crow.

The Carpenter’s Son is scheduled to shoot this summer.

Julie Viez is producing under the Cinenovo banner with Alex Hughes and Riccardo Maddalosso at Spacemaker and Cage on behalf of Saturn Films.

The film is coproduced by Alain de la Mata and Christopher Granier-Deferre for Bluelight.

Ariana Greenblatt to Star in Lionsgate’s “Now You See Me 3”

Prepare to see Ariana Greenblatt in an exciting new project…

The 16-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress has joined the ensemble cast of Lionsgate’s Now You See Me 3.

Ariana Greenblatt,Greenblatt will star alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Mark Ruffalo, who are all expected to return.

Dominic Sessa and Justice Smith have also joined the cast.

Ruben Fleischer will direct the film. Eric Warren Singer, Seth Graham Smith and Mike Lesslie penned the script.

Plot details are still unknown at this time.

The film will be the third installment of the Now You See Me franchise, which has grossed $687 million worldwide. Bobby Cohen and Alex Kurtzman of Secret Hideout are teaming up again to produce.

Greenblatt is on a roll following her smash hit Barbiewhich grossed $1.3 billion at last year’s box-office and was also nominated for best picture.

Next up she has Lionsgate’s Borderlands where she stars opposite Cate Blanchett. She also played young Ashoka in Ashoka for Disney and Lucasfilm.

David Castañeda to Star in Lionsgate’s Female-Driven “John Wick” Spinoff “Ballerina”

David Castañeda is arabesque-ing his way into a new role…

The 34-year-old Mexican American actor will star in Lionsgate’s female-driven John Wick spinoff Ballerina amid reshoots abroad.

David CastañedaCastañeda’s casting comesas word has emerged of a Wick series in the works.

Ballerina watches as a young female assassin (Ana de Armas) trained in the traditions of the Ruska Roma seeks revenge against the people who killed her family — as did Wick against those who have done him wrong, in films released between 2014 and 2019. After signing a new deal with Lionsgate expanding his oversight of the John Wick franchise, of which he was the architect, Chad Stahelski is working with Ballerina helmer Len Wiseman to shape new action sequences for the film.

Written by Shay Hatten, based on characters created by Derek Kolstad, the film will also star Anjelica Huston, Gabriel Byrne, the late Lance Reddick, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Norman Reedus, Ian McShane, and Keanu Reeves.

The film is now slated for release on June 6, 2025 after being delayed recently by a year.

Castañeda stars opposite Tom Hopper, Elliot Page and more on Netflix’s hit series The Umbrella Academy, which returns for its fourth and final season on August 8th.

Recently seen opposite Natasha Lyonne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Peacock’s Poker Face, the actor prior to that appeared in Antoine Fuqua’s Netflix film The Guilty starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Other notable film credits include Sicario: Day of the Soldado and End of Watch.

David Labrava Signs with The Green Room for Representation

David Labrava is making room for new representation…

The 61-year-old Latino actor, who starred on Sons of Anarchy and Mayans M.C., has signed with The Green Room for representation.

David Labrava

Labrava is best known for his portrayal of Happy Lowman- the assassin in the biker drama from Kurt Sutter, FX’s Sons of Anarchy, since the show’s inception in 2008 to its conclusion in 2014 for a total of seven seasons.

He began his journey on the series as a technical advisor to day player to finally a series regular who also co-wrote the Season 4 episode “Hands.” Additionally, he contributed to the success of the show by writing “Fat Bob’s Blog” on the FX website for seven years.

The Miami native reprised the popular character Happy in the show’s spinoff series Mayans M.C., co-created by Sutter and Elgin James, for three seasons. He was one of the last surviving members of the original M.C. until his demise in the final season.

“I am extremely excited to be back at The Green Room. Alex is a class act, always has been. Big things are coming. I am writing every day, and grateful to be working with a team of talented people bringing art and culture to a planet that so desperately needs it,” Labrava tells Deadline in an exclusive statement.

Labrava wrote, starred in and directed his first feature film entitled Street Level in 2015. Based on a true story, Street Level is a modern-day love story about two junkies exploring drug addiction and survival on the streets of Los Angeles. It starred many of his Sons co-stars including Drea de Matteo, Kristen Renton, Mark Boone Junion, Emilio Rivera, Robert Patrick and Danny Trejo; in addition to Marilyn Manson, Charisma Carpenter and Chuck Zito.

His additional film credits include the Swedish film 1% The Voice Within, directed by Jesper Sanneving, in the 2020 feature film Hunters Moon directed by Michael Caissie and in 2022Shadows from Lionsgate.

Although he’s recognized for his on-screen portrayals, Labrava is nary far from a pen and paper—or his laptop. He has a best-selling novel through Amazon entitled Becoming A Son and has recently completed his second novel Trust Issues which is being printed at the time of this writing.

His forthcoming novel puts everyday people in some not-very-normal situations. It’s about the magic of love and the power of trust and two people wielding both.

Colman Domingo to Star as Joe Jackson in the Michael Jackson Biopic “Michael”

Colman Domingo has landed a father of a role…

The 54-year-old Belizean-Guatemalan American actor, who recently earned his first-ever Oscars nomination, has landed the role of Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson in Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International’s Michael Jackson biopic Michael.

Colman DomingoJoe Jackson was known for his hard-driving management and often controversial parenting of the Jackson 5. Domingo joins Michael Jackson’s real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson, who is playing his King of Pop uncle in the Antoine Fuqua-directed film from Oscar-winning producer Graham King and his GK Films. Three-time Oscar nominee John Logan wrote the screenplay.

“Few actors present themselves with Colman’s screen presence and force of will,” said King. “We’re so fortunate to have an actor with his undeniable talent portraying Joe Jackson on screen. We couldn’t be more excited to have him join us on this journey.”

Fuqua added, “Colman has such incredible range – he puts in the work to deeply inhabit his characters and understand their true essence and motivation. I’m grateful to be working with an actor with his passion and ability to portray the many sides of Joe Jackson: a husband, a father and a manager.”

Domingo said, “I’m excited to be a part of a film that explores both the complicated soul of the legendary Michael Jackson as well as his impact on music and culture as a global icon. Not only am I fortunate to have a rich, complex and flawed character to portray in Joe Jackson, but I also have a front row seat for Jaafar’s incredible transformation. After seeing him in rehearsal, my mind was blown. There is something divine about the way that Jaafar is channeling his late uncle. His talent and embodiment of Michael’s essence is simply on another level.”

Domingo’s turn in Rustin also earned him BAFTA, SAG Award and Golden Globes nominations. He’s also an Emmy winner for his guest role on HBO’s Euphoria and his recent work includes in Ma Rainey’s Black BottomZola, the newly conceived musical film version The Color Purple, as well as his just-completed starring role on Fear the Walking Dead.

Upcoming for the actor is Ethan Coen’s movie Drive-Away Dolls opposite Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp and Matt Damon, which arrives on February 23.

Later this year, he will be seen starring in the feature film Sing, Sing and in The Madness, a new Netflix limited series.

Michael will be produced by King and the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, John Branca and John McClain. It is getting an overseas release from Universal Pictures International (sans Japan, which Lionsgate is handling). The film bows day-and-date around the world on April 18, 2025.

Jenna Ortega’s “Miller’s Girl” to World Premiere at the Palm Springs Film Festival 

Jenna Ortega’s latest project will have its debut in the California desert…

Jade Halley Bartlett‘s Miller’s Girl, starring the 21-year-old Mexican American actress and Wednesday star and Martin Freeman, will make its world premiere at the 2024 Palm Springs Film Festival before it opens in theaters next month.

Jenna Ortega, Miller's GirlLionsgate and Point Grey Pictures are behind the movie, which marks the feature writing and directing debut for Bartlett, who wrote the original play in 2011 and adapted it into a screenplay that landed on the 2016 Black List.

Miller’s Girl will premiere at the festival on January 11 and open in cinemas beginning Friday, January 26.

Ortega, Freeman and Bartlett are set to attend the Palm Springs screening at the festival, which runs January 4-15. They will be a part of the fest’s Talking Pictures program that features post-screening Q&As with cast and creatives.

The film centers on the unraveling of a complex connection between lonely intellectuals: a failed writer named Jonathan Miller (Freeman) and his remarkable student Cairo Sweet (Ortega). When a creative writing assignment prompts uncomfortable realities, both realize they’ve blurred lines beyond the academic. The pic is about the imminent, inexorable attraction between characters who become both hero and villain in each other’s stories.

Bashir Salahuddin, Gideon Adlon and Dagmara Domińczyk also star.

Ortega’s hit Netflix series Wednesday will begin shooting in late April in Ireland, after Season 1 was shot in Romania. The first season ranks as Netflix’s most popular series of all time with 252.1 million views to date.

On the film front, Ortega recently confirmed that the Wednesday schedule means she won’t be able to return for the next installment of Scream, after she helped Scream VI this year to the horror franchise’s best opening grosses ever at $44.4 million in the U.S.

Ortega is next up opposite Ben Foster, Toby Wallace and Tommy Lee Jones in Brian Helgeland’s crime thriller Finestkind, which has its world premiere Tuesday.

She also has Beetlejuice 2 in the works for a September 2024 launch.

Rachel Zegler’s “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Wins U.S. Box Office Crown in Debut Weekend

Rachel Zegler is enjoying box office gold…

The 22-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning starlet’s The Hunger Games” prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes emerged victorious in a busy box office weekend.

Rachel Zegler, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,The Lionsgate film, which brings audiences back to the dystopia of Panem for the first time in nearly a decade, collected $44 million from 3,776 North American theaters and $98 million globally in its first weekend of release.

While initial ticket sales didn’t recapture the spark of the original franchise, which propelled Jennifer Lawrence to global stardom and inspired three sequels, they were enough to win the weekend over three fellow newcomers, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s threequel Trolls Band Together, Sony’s gory thriller Thanksgiving and director Taika Waititi’s sports comedy Next Goal Wins.

Although The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes opened significantly lower than its predecessors — each of the four Hunger Games installments launched to at least $100 million at the domestic box office — analysts believe the film is well positioned in its theatrical run. It cost $100 million to produce, more than the first Hunger Games but substantially less than the three sequels (with the final 2015 adventure costing $160 million).

“This is a very good opening for an action-adventure prequel,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “On average, prequels start with approximately half of the previous film’s opening, and this weekend’s figure is close to that.”

Zegler and The Gilded Age actor Tom Blyth star in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, based on the 2020 novel by author Suzanne Collins. It’s a standalone film in the $3 billion Hunger Games franchise, which takes place six decades before Katniss Everdeen bravely volunteered as tribute.

The story centers on a young Coriolanus Snow, who later becomes the tyrannical president of the dystopian Panem, as well as District 12 tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, whom he mentors in the 10th annual Hunger Games. Reviews have been mixed, with 60% on Rotten Tomatoes and a “B+” CinemaScore. Audiences were mostly young women; 65% were female and 73% were between the ages of 18-34.

It likely benefitted from a late-breaking boost in publicity (SAG-AFTRA granted the film an interim agreement days before the strike ended on November 9), which allowed the cast — including Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage and Euphoria star Hunter Schafer — the opportunity to promote the film before it arrived in theaters.

María Gabriela de Faría to Star as The Engineer in James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy”

María Gabriela de Faría is enhancing her legacy

The 31-year-old Venezuelan actress and singer has landed a breakout part, joining the cast of James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy.

María Gabriela de Faríade Faria, best known for roles in Fox comedies Animal Control and The Moodys, will portray Angela Spica aka The Engineer. Part of the Warner/DC flick’s villain team, Angie’s powers stem from nanotechnology built into her body. Created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, she’s the second DC character to bear the name of The Engineer and was first introduced in The Authority vol.1 #1 in 1999.

The first title in a revamped DC slate, marking Gunn’s first directorial effort as co-head of DC StudiosSuperman: Legacy will follow Superman as he looks to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.

Others in the ensemble, as previously announced, include David Corenswet as Clark Kent/Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner/Green Lantern, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, and Anthony Carrigan as Rex Mason/Metamorpho.

In a recent post on Threads, Gunn confirmed that the film will retain its release date of July 11, 2025, even after the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which have forced many other titles to push.

Gunn directs from his own script, drawing on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. DC Studios co-boss produces.

de Faría is best known on the feature side for a lead role in Lionsgate’s The Exorcism of God, a supernatural horror pic co-written and directed by Alejandro Hidalgo, which was released through Saban Films after world premiering at Fantastic Fest.

Prior to the Joel McHale-led Animal Control, which has been renewed for a second season, the actress was seen opposite Denis Leary and Elizabeth Perkins on dysfunctional family comedy The Moodys.

The rising talent found her first meaty TV role stateside on Deadly Class, Syfy’s show based on the same-name Image Comics series, from executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo.

Lionsgate Releases New Trailer for Rachel Zegler’s Hunger Games Prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

Rachel Zegler is fighting for her life…

Lionsgate has unveiled a new trailer for its The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which teases the 22-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning actress/singer’s fight for survival in the arena.

Rachel Zegler,The West Side Story actress stars as Lucy Gray Baird, the female District 12 tribute to the 10th Hunger Games, in the new film based on the books by Suzanne Collins, which launches in theaters November 17th.

Starring alongside Zegler is Tom Blyth, who portrays Coriolanus Snow, Baird’s mentor in this game of survival who finds himself torn between his duties to the Capitol and Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) and burgeoning feelings for his mentee.

It’s the annual reaping ceremony of the 10th annual games, set 64 years before the first film. Lucy represents impoverished District 12 and 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is her unwilling — at first — mentor. He’s much more conflicted in his views in this film, decades before he becomes Panem’s tyrannical president. “There have been some changes this year,” he is told. “Your role is to turn these children into spectacles, not survivors.”

But after Lucy commands all Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive ultimately will reveal who is a songbird and who is a snake.

Like the previous films, themes here are freedom and tyranny, good and evil, how both can co-exist and why people chose one over the other. “There is natural goodness built into all a us. We can step across that line into evil — or not,” says Lucy. Panem is full of cranes and construction — rebuilding a decade after a brutal civil war.

The prequel in the $3 billion-grossing global franchise will hit theaters around the world on November 17. Hunger Games franchise sequel producer Francis Lawrence directed and also will produce with the series producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.