Josh Andrés Rivera to Star in Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” Prequel, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s Games on for Josh Andrés Rivera

The 27-year-old Latino actor has joined the growing ensemble cast of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Josh Andrés RiveraRivera will reunite with his West Side Story co-star Rachel Zegler, one of the film’s leads

The prequel centers on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who as we know will become the tyrannical President of Panem. He is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of 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 will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

Rivera will play Sejanus Plinth, a close friend of young Coriolanus Snow, and the mentor to a tribute from District 2.

Other castmembers include Jerome Lance who will play Marcus, the tribute from District 2. Ashley Liao will play Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’s closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11. Knox Gibson will play Bobbin, tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral, tribute from District 4; while Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor to a tribute from District 11.

Francis Lawrence is returning to the franchise to direct for a theatrical worldwide release on November 17, 2023. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also returning to produce for the franchise with Lawrence. Author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are executive producers. Michael Lesslie wrote the latest draft off Collins and Michael Arndt’s previous script based on the author’s bestselling novel.

Rivera played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning adaption of West Side Story. Rivera will next appear in Susanna Fogel’s adaptation of Cat Person, based on Kristen Roupenian’s buzzy short story published in The New Yorker. He shares the screen with Nicholas Braun, Emilia Jones and Geraldine Viswanathan.

Rivera was a series lead in the HBO Max pilot Vegas High, directed by Gillian Robespierre and produced by Michael Showalter.

He performed in the original company on the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton.

Paul Perez Signs Production Deal with Warner Bros.

Paul Perez has landed a new production deal…

The Cuban American film producer and former Warner Bros. development executive has agreed to a production deal at the Burbank, CA lot.

Paul PerezThe announcement comes as the Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan romantic comedy, Father of the Bridea project Perez spearheaded and produced at the studio, hits HBO Max on Thursday, June 16.

During his time at Warner Bros, Perez was involved with the development of Ready Player One, Dune and Doctor Sleep

He came to Warner Bros. after a development executive stint at Lionsgate’s Pantelion where he worked on the Eugenio Derbez hit movie, Instructions Not Includedwhich wound up being Mexico’s highest grossing export of all-time with $100.5M WW, as well as Spare Parts and No Manches Frida

Perez initially cut his teeth in the industry reading scripts for producer Ben Odell (now Derbez’s production partner at 3Pas Studios) and working in the Miami William Morris offices.

Father of the Bride is a project close to Perez’s heart given his Cuban American Miami heritage. He came to the property while combing through the Warner library in a quest to develop revamped IP. The project’s momentum swelled after Perez discussed it at a Warner Bros. development exec retreat, with the studio’s President of Production Courtenay Valenti ultimately taking to Matt Lopez’s screenplay.

The fresh angle in this Latino take of Father of the Bride: the bride’s parents played by Garcia and Estefan are on the verge of a divorce. Perez married the package with burgeoning Mexican filmmaker Gary Alazraki.

While recent audiences are familiar with the Steve MartinDiane KeatonMartin Short 1991 Touchstone remake (a hit back then grossing over $89M and spawning a 1995 sequel), the film was originally an MGM title released in 1950, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor.

Warners had inherited the title in their acquisition of the pre-May 1986 MGM library via their absorption of Turner Films in 1995. Disney had licensed the title during the ’90s and in recent years Father of the Bride’s underlying rights reverted back to Warners.

Perez under his new deal is also shepherding the new Training Day prequel at the studio. That film is set around the time of the L.A. Riots that followed after the infamous Rodney King verdict.

“Warner Bros. is thrilled that Paul Perez will have a first look producing deal with the studio,” says Valenti. “Paul is a valued colleague who spent several years in development and production at WB. During that time he showed extraordinary creativity and strategic thinking looking to reinvent several classic library titles. One of those titles is Father of the Bride. We love Gaz Alazraki’s film of Father of the Bride and are very grateful to Paul for beginning the film process with his idea for how to reimagine this wonderful world.”

Joan Smalls Signs with M88

Joan Smalls has new representation…

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican supermodel and actress has signed with M88.

Joan SmallsSmalls began modeling in 2007 and exploded onto the runway scene after walking in the Spring/Summer 2010 Givenchy Couture show.

A year later, she made history as Estée Lauder’s first Latina brand ambassador.

She’s also the face of David Yurman and Ralph Lauren.

In 2012, Smalls was awarded the title of “Model of the Year” at the ninth annual Style Awards and has been ranked the No. 1 model in the world on models.com.

In 2013, she entered Forbes magazine’s “World’s Highest-Paid Models” list for the first time, ranking at number eight with over $3 million in earnings.

Now as one of the most sought after supermodels, she’s partnered with major global brands like Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Moschino, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Tom Ford and Gucci.

Smalls has also been honing her craft as an actress working in 2017’s John Wick: Chapter 2 for Lionsgate and in Netflix’s hit romantic comedy Set It Up a year later.

On the small screen, she’s appeared in RuPaul’s Drag RaceLip Sync Battle, and Movie Night with Karlie Kloss.

Aside from her modeling career, she gives back to the community via involvement in various non-profit organizations, like The Fifteen Percent Pledge.

Smalls will continue to be represented by IMG and WME.

Tubi Renews La La Anthony’s Adult Animated Comedy “The Freak Brothers” for Second Season

La La Anthony has more Freak moments in her future…

Tubi has given a Season 2 renewal to The Freak Brothers, featuring the 39-year-old television personality, author, businesswoman, producer and actress, for premiere in December.

La La AnthonyThe streaming service has ordered eight episodes of the adult animated comedy – its first animated original series – based on Gilbert Shelton’s cult classic underground comic.

In addition to Anthony, its all-star voice cast includes Woody Harrelson, John GoodmanPete DavidsonTiffany Haddish, Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, Andrea Savage and rapper ScHoolboy Q. They are all returning for the second season.

The series’ renewal follows strong viewership for season 1, which the streamer says delivered nearly twice as many viewers as the No. 2 series on the platform in its first seven weeks (November 14-January 3).

Based on Shelton’s The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, the series chronicles the escapades of a trio of stoner anti-establishment characters and their cat who wake up from a 50-year nap after smoking a magical strain of weed in 1969, and must adjust to life with a new family in present-day San Francisco.

“We’re excited to bring back our favorite trio of Freaks – and their trippy pet Kitty – for another wild season,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi. “The Freak Brothers has received overwhelming reception since its debut in November and has been a key driver in our growing adult comedy offering, cementing Tubi as a destination for adult animation.”

Produced by WTG Enterprises and distributed by LionsgateThe Freak Brothers is executive produced by Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton, along with showrunners Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland.

“We’re thrilled to embark on another even more freaky trip with Adam Lewinson, Rachel Koehler and the fantastic teams at Tubi, Fox and Lionsgate. And we’re most excited for our fans to twist one up and enjoy Season Two,” said EP Solomon.

Critiquing the Establishment, while satirizing counterculture at the same time, Shelton’s comics sold more than 45 million copies in 16 languages. Starburns Industries and Pure Imagination Studios, the studios behind Rick & Morty and The Simpsons: Brick Like Me, handled the animation for Season One.

“We’re pleased to continue our ‘trip’ with Fox and Tubi on a hilarious second season of The Freak Brothers,” said Lionsgate President of Domestic Television Distribution Ryan Lowerre. “With a fresh and inventive spin for their second season, Freewheelin’ Franklin, Fat Freddy, Phineas T. Phreakers and Kitty are ready to continue to grow the show’s audience.”

Zoe Saldana to Receive “Star of the Year” Award at CinemaCon

Zoe Saldana is a shining star

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress will be among the honorees at CinemaCon’s Big Screen Achievement Awards.

Zoë SaldañaSaldana will receive a CinemaCon Star of the Year award as The Adam Project star prepares for the release of a slate of projects that includes a new David O. Russell filmKeyhole Garden, the Avatar franchise and a new Guardians of the Galaxy installment.

The Big Screen Achievement Awards will be held at CinemaCon headquarters at Caesars Palace on April 28 and will be hosted by Entertainment Tonight veteran Kevin Frazier from inside the Colosseum. The awards are designed to shine a spotlight on the big-screen achievements of actors and filmmakers.

Other honorees include Robert De NiroBilly Eichner, Abby Ryder Fortson and Glen Powell.

Additional honors are expected to be announced.

“CinemaCon may be the only time during the course of the year where the exhibition community gets to thank the creative world for providing the very best in the world of movies,” said Neuhauser. “Our roster of honorees this year represents an incredible scope of talent and to have one of the most legendary actors in the history of film being honored, that of course being Robert De Niro — well, it really doesn’t get better than that.”

The news comes just days before the big event that sees Hollywood studios and cinema operators gather in Las Vegas for the annual convention hosted by the National Association of Theatre Owners.

This year, all five major Hollywood studios plus Lionsgate and Neon will be touting their upcoming slates during their time on stage inside the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

CinemaCon, expected to draw upward of 6,000 guests, runs April 25-28. Partners this year include both the International Cinema Technology Association and National Association of Concessionaires.

Eugenio Derbez & His 3Pas Studios Sign with Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Eugenio Derbez is getting creative

The 60-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmaker and his production company 3Pas Studios have signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in all areas.

Eugenio DerbezDerbez has been on a hot streak following the announcement of multiple deals: a first-look deal with TelevisaUnivision’s streamer Vix, a development deal with Encantos for kids content, and a renewal of a first-look film deal at Lionsgate, to name a few.

The 3Pas Studios-produced bilingual series Acapulco for Apple TV+ was recently renewed for a second season.

Derbez is an award-winning actor, writer, director, producer, and philanthropist, who, along with former Pantelion Films executive and producer Ben Odell, built 3Pas Studios, a bilingual production company producing English and Spanish language content for global audiences.

3Pas has offices in Los Angeles, Miami, and Mexico City, where they also have its production services arm, Visceral. Composed of 22 employees, the studio services development and production across English and Spanish language movies, scripted and unscripted content, as well as entertainment for kids and families.

Next, 3Pas will move into podcasting, as well as new, non-media-related businesses.

In 2013, Derbez wrote, produced, starred in, and directed Instructions Not Included, which became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever, grossing more than $100 million on a $5 million budget.

Most recently, he starred in the Oscar-winning film Coda, which won Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards, in addition to Best Ensemble award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and three British Academy Film Awards, including Best Screenplay.

In addition to starring in and producing his own comedy shows throughout the past 25 years, Derbez has also starred in the 3Pas Studios’ hit movies How To Be A Latin Lover and Overboard as well as Miracles From Heaven, and Dora And The Lost City of Gold.

Up next, he will appear in The Valet, which 3Pas Studios developed and produced along with Lionsgate to premiere via Hulu on May 20th.

3Pas Studios’ other recent projects include Amazon’s De Viaje Con Los Derbez, and the Spanish-language version of LOL: Last One Laughing.

Paloma Guzman to Recur on Starz’s “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”

Paloma Guzman has (power) booked a new project…

The Latina actress has landed a heavily recurring role in the Starz/Lionsgate Power prequel series, Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

Paloma GuzmanFrom creator and showrunner Sascha PennPower Book III: Raising Kanan takes viewers back to the ’90s and the early years of the now-deceased Kanan Stark, portrayed in Courtney Kemp’s original series by Curtis50 CentJackson.

Guzman will play Detective Regina Foyle, a veteran NYPD detective with a sensitive yet rugged side. She’s a contradiction in all the best ways.

Power Book III: Raising Kanan is executive produced by Kemp through her company End of Episode and Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television.

Penn is the creator/showrunner of Raising Kanan. Lionsgate Television produces the series for Starz.

Known for her role as Jacki Molina in Pretty Little Liars, Guzman recently wrapped filming a major recurring role on the upcoming season of Roswell, New Mexico.

Her previous credits include a recurring role on the final season of HBO’s The Deuce, as well as roles on Law & Order: SVU, FBI, Shades of Blue, among others.

Eugenio Derbez’s 3Pas Studios Renews First-Look Deal with Lionsgate

Eugenio Derbez isn’t leaving the (Lions)gate

The 60-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmaker and his producing partner Ben Odell’s 3Pas Studios has renewed its first-look deal with Lionsgate.

Eugenio DerbezThe deal continues the longstanding relationship between the companies, which resulted in the breakout box office success of 2018’s Overboard ($91.2 million at the global box office).

The last three Derbez movies — including the blockbuster Instructions Not Included, released by Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films — made more than $250M off a $35M production cost before P&A.

Their latest collaboration is this summer’s Hulu Original The Valet, a remake of the eponymous French film. It stars Derbez, Samara Weaving and Max Greenfield. The studios are currently working together on several upcoming films, including the development project Unsafe House.

“Eugenio and Ben are productive and prolific producers who have delivered a wide range of hits to Lionsgate over the years and we are thrilled to be extending our relationship and excited about the projects we have in development together,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane. “Our previous collaborations have been tremendously successful, including Overboard, How to Be a Latin Lover, and Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S. We adore their humor and the way they develop stories and believe the best is yet to come.”

“Lionsgate has always understood the power of my core audience since I made Instructions Not Included, and supported me when I wanted to reach audiences around the world and started making movies in English, like Latin Lover and The Valet. Ben and I are grateful to Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, Erin Westerman, and the whole Lionsgate team for their tremendous freedom and support,” said Derbez.

“As we continue to position 3Pas as the market leader in producing content for one of the fastest-growing audiences in the United States and the world, renewing our deal with Lionsgate helps us to reach the broadest possible audience in a variety of ways,” added Odell.

Christian Navarro to Star in Melissa Miller Costanzo’s Indie “The List”

Christian Navarro has made The List

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actor and 13 Reasons Why star has been cast in Melissa Miller Costanzo’s indie The List, starring Halston Sage.

Christian Navarro

The comedy penned by Rob Lederer and Steve Vitolo centers on Abby (Sage), a woman who is about to get married, for whom everything is perfect. Until she finds out her fiancé has slept with a celebrity from his “free pass” list. To get her mind off things, Abby and her best friend Chloe come up with a crazy idea: Abby should pursue a celebrity from her own list. But things become complicated when she meets Jake (Navarro), a sweet and charming waiter at a neighborhood cafe, who gives her a fresh perspective.

Navarro is best known for his turn as Tony Padilla in 13 Reasons Why, the YA series which ran on Netflix for four seasons.

The actor recently wrapped production on The Devil’s Light, a Lionsgate horror thriller, which will premiere in 2022.

He’s also appeared in films including Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Bushwick, along with series including Vinyl, The TickRosewood and The Affair.

Michael Peña to Star on Season 4 of Amazon Prime Video’s Series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”

Michael Peña is getting Jack’ed…

The 45-year-old Mexican American has joined the cast of Amazon Prime Video’s series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski, for the fourth season.

Michael PeñaThe series was renewed for a fourth season, ahead of the series’ Season 3 premiere.

No word yet on Peña’s role.

Production recently wrapped on Season 3, and a premiere date will be announced later.

Season 3 finds Jack Ryan (Krasinski) on the run and in a race against time. Jack is wrongly implicated in a larger conspiracy and suddenly finds himself a fugitive out in the cold. Now, wanted by both the CIA and an international rogue faction that he has uncovered, Jack is forced underground, crisscrossing Europe, trying to stay alive and prevent a massive global conflict.

In addition to Krasinski, returning for the third season of the dramatic series are Wendell Pierce as James Greer and Michael Kelly as Mike November.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is a co-production of Amazon Studios, Paramount Television Studios and Skydance Television.

Peña was most recently seen in Warner Bros’ live-action hybrid Tom & Jerry and can be seen next in the Roland Emmerich film Moonfall for Lionsgate and in the Paramount family/action pic Secret Headquarters.

On television, Peña also starred in the Netflix series Narcos; Mexico and in Fox’s Gracepoint.