Vertigo Releasing Acquires “Your Monster,” Starring Melissa Barrera

Melissa Barrera’s monster hit is going global…

Vertigo Releasing has acquired Your Monster, starring the 33-year-old Mexican actress, from Bankside Films.

Melissa Barrera, Your MonsterThe debut feature from writer-director Caroline Lindy blends romantic musical elements with comedy-horror.

In addition to Barrera, the film also stars Meghann Fahy, Tommy Dewey, Kayla Foster and Edmund Donovan.

The story centers on Laura (Barrera), an actress who, after battling illness and a breakup, returns to her childhood home. There, she discovers a monster (Dewey) living in her closet. As they bond, the monster helps Laura confront her ex and reclaim a promised Broadway role. Their relationship evolves as Laura rediscovers her voice and embraces her inner strength.

Your Monster premiered in the Midnight section at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the Audience Favorite Award at the festival’s London edition.

Vertigo Releasing will distribute the film in the U.K. and Ireland in the fall.

Vertigo head of acquisitions and business development, Ed Caffrey, said: “We fell in love with Your Monster during Sundance so it was very exciting to see the Sundance London audience connect so strongly with the film. We can’t wait to bring it to U.K. cinemas.”

Your Monster is a Bombo and Merman Films production, in association with Gentile Entertainment Group, with international sales represented by Bankside Films.

Barrera’s previous credits include Abigail, Carmen and Scream 6.

Vertical Acquires North American Distribution Rights to Melissa Barrera’s “Your Monster”

Melissa Barrera is bringing her monster to North American theaters…

Following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the horror rom-com Your Monster, starring the 33-year-old Mexican actress and Tommy Dewey, has landed at Vertical for North American distribution.

Melissa Barrera, Your MonsterMarking the feature directorial debut of Caroline Lindy, who adapted the script from her own short film, Your Monster also stars Edmund Donovan, Kayla Foster and Meghann Fahy.

No word yet on a release date.

The film tells the story of the soft-spoken actor Laura Franco (Barrera), who is dumped by her longtime boyfriend (Donovan) while recovering from surgery and retreats to her childhood home to recover. With her future looking bleak, insult is added to injury when Laura discovers her ex is staging a musical that she helped him develop. But out of these gut-wrenching life changes emerges a monster (Dewey) with whom she finds a connection, encouraging Laura to follow her dreams, open her heart and fall in love with her inner rage.

“We were captivated by Caroline’s film at Sundance and thrilled it has made a home here at Vertical,” Vertical Partner Peter Jarowey said. “Marking her directorial feature debut, she has created a fantastic, fresh, genre-defying film that perfectly balances the mix of comedy, romance and horror topped off with a dash of musical theater that will captivate and delight audiences later this year.”

Stated Lindy: “I’m beyond thrilled to collaborate with Vertical on the release of Your Monster. Their strategies and commitment to innovative distribution aligns perfectly with our movie, and their passion for the film and desire to support my first feature means the world to me. The Sundance crowds were incredible, and I’m excited that more audiences will soon have a chance to see Your Monster in theaters and beyond.”

The film is produced by Foster, Lindy, Kira Carstensen, Melanie Donkers and Shannon Reilly, and executive produced by Bob Potter, Dewey, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford. Jackson Sinder, Jack Taylor Cox and Alex Peace-Power were co-producers.

Barrera received an honorable mention prize for her performance in Your Monster this past weekend at the Sun Valley Film Festival.

Bobby Cannavale Wins Best Performance in a Film Award at Sun Valley Film Festival for “Ezra”

Bobby Cannavale has another award-winning performance on his resume…

Organizers of the 13th annual Sun Valley Film Festival, which took place from February 28 to March 1, have announced this year’s juried film award winners, with the 53-year-old half-Cuban American Emmy-winning actor among the recognized.

Bobby CannavaleIn all, the festival screened 20 narrative and documentary features, 37 shorts and three episodics.

For his performance in Ezra, Cannavale received the inaugural best performance in a film award. The winner of an audience award, Ezra was met with a sold-out crowd during the festival’s opening night. The screening was followed by a Q&A with producer Jon Kilik and a live performance by Adrienne Ackerman.

Ezra had a second screening on March 2, which was followed by a Q&A with Cannavale and director Tony Goldwyn, moderated by Variety’s Tatiana Siegel.

Melissa Barrera received an Honorable Mention award for her performance in Caroline Lindy’s Your Monster.

Raul Sanchez and Pasqual Gutierrez’s Shut Up & Fish won the SVShorty Award, while Maggie ContrerasMaestra received an Honorable Mention prize in the Best Documentary Feature Film category.

Tiger Stripes and Maya and the Wave won best narrative and documentary feature film, respectively. Photographer and Abundance: The Farm Link Story also received audience awards.

During the festival, Annette Bening and David O. Russell received the Vision Award. The Pioneer Award went to Ted Hope, while Julia Cox received the High Scribe Award.

The Sun Valley Film Festival is set to return in 2025 from Feb. 26 to March 2.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Performance in a Film Award: Bobby Cannavale for his role in “Ezra”

Audience Award Winners

FEATURE WINNER: “Ezra,” directed by Tony Goldwyn
EPISODIC WINNER: “Photographer ‘Paul Nicklen & Cristina Mittermeier: Win or Die,’” directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin
SHORT WINNER: “Abundance: The Farmlink Story,” directed by Owen Dubeck

Best Narrative Feature Film
WINNER
: “Tiger Stripes,” directed by Amanda Nell Eu
HONORABLE MENTION FOR PERFORMANCE: Melissa Barrera in “Your Monster” directed by Caroline Lindy

Best Documentary Feature Film
WINNER
: “Maya and the Wave,” directed by Stephanie Johnes
HONORABLE MENTION: “Maestra,” directed by Maggie Contreras

One in a Million Awards
NARRATIVE WINNER: “Long December,” directed by Thomas Torrey
DOCUMENTARY WINNER: “Invisible Nation,” directed by Vanessa Hope

The SVShorty Award
WINNER
: “Shut Up & Fish,” directed by Raul Sanchez and Pasqual Gutierrez
SPECIAL MENTION: “The Sperm Bank,” directed by Margaux Susi

The Gem State Award
WINNER
: “The Balloonist,” directed by Heather Parkinson Dermott and Kai Barry

SVFF Film & Screenwriting Competition Winners

High Scribe Award
WINNER
: “Aman and Flor Against the Motherfucking World,” written by Emilie McDonald

SVJR Film Competition
HOT SHOT WINNER
: “The Overlocks’ Dilemma,” directed by Julian Felix Aaronson
2nd PLACE: “Happiness in the Palm of Her Hand,” directed by Ella Janes
3rd PLACE: “Anna McGee’s Wild Ride,” directed by Ava Bounds

The Gem State Jr. Award
WINNER: “Kenai River King,” directed by Bentley Allen Zylstra

Josh Segarra to Appear on Season 3 of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary”

Josh Segarra is headed back to elementary school…

Josh SegarraSegarra will portray Manny, a good-natured Philadelphia school district representative who aims to bring fresh perspectives to his role as a school ambassador.

The ABC hit comedy returns with two new episodes for premiere on February 7. The series picks up mid-school year and will consist of 14 episodes, following last year’s dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Segarra currently stars in the Apple TV+ comedy, The Big Door Prize, opposite Chris O’Dowd. In 2023, Segarra starred in Scream 6 opposite Courteney Cox, Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera. Last summer, he starred as “Lance” in the third season of the HBO Max comedy series and opposite Stephen Amell as “Brooks Rizzo” in the Starz wrestling drama series Heels.

In 2022, Segarra joined the Marvel universe and starred in the Disney+ series She-Hulk, alongside Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth and Ginger Gonzaga.

HanWay Films Boards Melissa Barrera’s Erotic Thriller “The One”

Melissa Barrera’s latest project has more support…

HanWay Films has boarded The One, an erotic thriller starring the 32-year-old Mexican actress and Nicholas Hoult and will launch sales at the Cannes Film Festival.

Melissa BarreraThe project comes from writer-director team Kevin Armento and Jaki Bradley and is billed as “a nightmarish horror about the romantic and psychological warfare waged by our beloved popular entertainment — and also begs the question… are we, the viewers, complicit?”

Barrera, who’s coming off box office horror hit Scream VI, leads the cast opposite Hoult.

Barrera plays Taylor, whose last-ditch effort to find love by becoming a contestant on a reality dating show begins to feel terrifyingly real as she becomes a finalist. Amidst an opulent beachfront setting, fairy-tale dates and champagne, “pursuit turns into obsession and rivalry turns into treachery as reality itself blurs.”

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales, with WME Independent and UTA co-repping the film for North America. Hoult also produces alongside Whitaker Lader via their production company Dead Duck Films.

Riley Keough will also produce with Gina Gammell via their production company Felix Culpa.

Barrera can be seen next in Your Monster and Anthony McCarten’s The Collaboration, based on the play of the same name.

Her other credits include appearing in Carmen opposite Paul Mescal, Netflix’s Keep BreathingAll the World is SleepingVida and Warner Bros. In the Heights.

Lana Condor is also starring.

“We’ve been dreaming up this project for years, and are thrilled to now bring it to life with our actual dream team,” said Armento and Bradley in a statement. “Nick, Melissa, Riley, and Lana are some of the most exciting talents around, and their passion for this film – shared by our incredible producing partners – has us even more eager to make this nightmare a reality.”

Melissa Barrera to Star in Radio Silence’s Untitled Monster Thriller

Melissa Barrera has reportedly landed a monster role…

The 32-year-old Mexican actress has been cast in Radio Silence’s Untitled Monster Thriller at Universal.

Melissa BarreraRadio Silence’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett, who directed the recent Scream films that Barrera has starred in, will helm the project with Scream producer Chad Villella serving as producer alongside William Sherak, Paul Neinstein and James Vanderbilt at Project X Entertainment.

The script was written by Stephen Shields, with revisions by Guy Busick.

Universal Monster films are rooted in the horror genre, with no restrictions on budget, rating or genre. They are not part of a shared interconnected universe, which allows each film to stand on its own. This new direction is filmmaker-driven, inviting innovative filmmakers with original, bold ideas for these characters to develop the stories and pitch them.

Radio Silence has been loosely developing the project since last year following the success of their first Scream pic, but given the success of that film, Paramount moved fast to get Scream VI up and running. While they began meeting with other talent, it became evident pretty quickly that Barrera was the perfect fit for the role following two successful shoots with the rising star and offered her the part.

Barrera is in theaters as the lead of Scream VI, which is the highest-grossing film of the franchise. She next will be seen this spring in the modern musical reimagining of Carmen, opposite Paul Mescal for Sony Pictures Classics.

Also upcoming for Barrera is God’s Country, directed by Egor Abramenko as his American directorial debut; Your Monster from Merman Productions; and The Collaboration written by four-time Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody), based off the acclaimed play.

She most recently was seen in the independent film All the World Is Sleeping as well as Netflix’s global hit Keep Breathing and STX’s supernatural thriller Bed Rest, which was also Barrera’s producorial debut.

Melissa Barrera & Jenna Ortega’s “Scream VI” Breaks Franchise Record with $44.5 Million Opening Weekend

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega are officially Scream queens…

The 32-year-old Mexican actress and singer and her 20-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American’s Scream VI collected $44.5 million in its opening weekend, a great start for Paramount and Spyglass Media’s long-running slasher film series.

Melissa Barrera & Jenna OrtegaThe ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts over two newcomers, Sony’s prehistoric sci-fi thriller 65 and Focus Features’ heartwarming comedy Champions, as well as last weekend’s victor Creed III.

 

The initial haul for Scream VI is frighteningly strong for the sixth installment in a franchise. Not only did it greatly improve upon the start of last year’s hit reboot Scream, which scored with $30 million, but it crushed the series’ opening weekend record, previously set by 2000’s Scream 3 with $34 million. Scream VI cost $35 million, so it’ll easily turn a profit in its theatrical run.

“It’s extraordinary to have this type of result after six films,” says Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution. “We blew away the opening of the last ‘Scream.’ That doesn’t happen.”

The R-rated “Scream VI” added another $22.6 million from 53 international markets, bringing its global tally to $67.1 million.

“Reviews and audience scores are very good, and international business should be solid,” says David A. Gross, who runs the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “27 years after launching in 1996, the franchise is healthier than ever.”

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Scream VI follows survivors of Ghostface’s murders as they leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. Courteney Cox, Barrera, Ortega and Hayden Panettiere return for the film, which is the first installment without Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott. The actor departed the film because she felt “the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.

”Opening weekend audience members skewed slightly male (51%), while 71% were between the ages of 18-24.

Melissa Barrera Starring in New Genre Film “God’s Country”

Melissa Barrera is heading to God’s country

Matt Reeves6th & Idaho is teaming up with ZQ Entertainment to produce God’s Country, a new genre film starring the 32-year-old Mexican actress and Scream reboot star.

Melissa BarreraThe film will mark the American directorial debut of Egor Abramenko.

The film, which will head into production this summer, will see Barrera playing a young Salvadoran woman who travels to Kentucky to meet her fiancé. What she uncovers is something sinister beyond comprehension, as her American dream curdles into a nightmare of biblical proportions.

Will Soodik wrote the script. Reeves and Rafi Crohn will produce for 6th & Idaho, alongside ZQ Entertainment’s Ara Keshishian and Petr Jákl (who financed the development), Adam Kassan (End of Watch), and Barrera.

“Egor is an exciting emerging talent,” Reeves told Deadline, “and I’m thrilled to be making a monster movie together.”

Barrera is best known for her turns in Paramount/Spyglass’ Scream reboot, Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights for Warner Bros. and HBO Max and the acclaimed Starz series Vida.

She’ll next be seen in Scream VI, which is out March 10; Sony Pictures Classics Carmen with Paul Mescal; and the Anthony McCarten-scripted feature The Collaboration, based on the acclaimed play.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires North American Rights to Melissa Barrera’s Drama “All the World is Sleeping”

Melissa Barrera will be sleeping throughout the U.S.

Gravitas Ventures has picked up the North American rights to the drama All the World is Sleeping, starring the 32-year-old Mexican actress and Scream reboot star.

Melissa BarreraThe film is slated for release in theaters and on demand on March 17.

Written and directed by Ryan LacenAll the World is Sleeping follows Chama (Barrera), who as a young girl in New Mexico, strived to be different from her mother. Now in her twenties, she’s found herself falling into a similar cycle of generational addiction. This struggle then threatens her balance as a mother to her own daughter. As Chama tries to keep it all together, a harrowing accident will spiral her out of control, causing her daughter to be taken from her custody. With nothing left, she’ll have to confront her past in order to fight for a future — one that can either guide her closer to getting her daughter back or lead her deeper into this dangerous cycle.

The film also stars Jackie Cruz, Jorge Garcia, Kristen Gutoskie, Valentina Herrera, Lisandra Tena and Luis Bordonada.

“This film is not only based on the lived experiences of seven women with a history of addiction, it was made by them. Through a unique collaboration with the non-profit Bold Futures, their stories and input shaped this film throughout its development and production,” Lacen told Deadline. “As a director, whose own family has been affected by addiction, my intention was to create a film that felt truthful while unraveling in a unique, visually cerebral way. All the World is Sleeping is grounded in the axiom that while this is a movie, we understand that these moments are happening all around us. Hopefully it gets the audience talking.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing All the World is Sleeping to theaters and homes this upcoming March,” added Gravitas’ Senior Director of Acquisitions, Danielle Gasher. “Melissa Barrera delivers an incredible performance as a young mother battling addiction. We are proud to be the North American partner for such a hard-hitting drama.”

Barrera was introduced as Sam Carpenter — the daughter of Ghostface killer Billy Loomis, who comes to have her own brush with death — in 2022’s Scream relaunch from Paramount, and will reprise the role in the classic horror franchise’s latest entry Scream IV, out on March 10.

Also coming up for her is the Kwame Kwei-Armah film The Collaboration, based on the play of the same name, which has her starring alongside Paul Bettany, Daniel Brühl, Jeremy Pope and more.

Melissa Barrera to Star in the Warhol-Basquiat film “The Collaboration

Melissa Barrera has a new collaboration

The 32-year-old Mexican actress and singer will star in Muse of Fire’s WarholBasquiat film The Collaboration, based on the acclaimed play by four-time Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten.

Melissa BarreraBarrera will star alongside Jeremy Pope, Paul Bettany and Daniel Brühl in the project.

The Collaboration revolves around the relationship of the two iconic artists, starting in the summer of 1984. International superstar Andy Warhol (Bettany) and the art scene’s newest wunderkind, Jean-Michel Basquiat (Pope), agree to work together on what may be the most talked about exhibition in the history of modern art. But can these two creative giants co-exist with such opposing views of life and art?

Today, Warhol and Basquiat’s works sell for tens of millions.

Barrera will play the role of Maya, a formidable truth-teller who loves Basquiat and is wary of Warhol.

McCarten penned the screen adaptation of his play, which made its world premiere at London’s Young Vic Theatre in February, with Bettany and Pope as Warhol and Basquiat, respectively. Renowned theatre director and writer Kwame Kwei-Armah is making his feature directorial debut with the project, after directing the play in its original run.

Production on The Collaboration begins this month in Boston at Marina Studios’ Quincy location.

Once production on the Collaboration film has wrapped, the play will head to Broadway, with Kwei-Armah, Bettany and Pope again returning. December 20 has been set as opening night, with previews beginning at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on November 29.

Barrera is best known for her turns in Paramount/Spyglass’ recent Scream reboot, Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical In the Heights for Warner Bros. and HBO Max, and the acclaimed Starz series, Vida.

She more recently led Keep Breathing, the Netflix series, which rose to #1 on the streamer when it premiered in late July.

She’s currently in production on Scream 6, reprising her role as Sam Carpenter, and will next be seen in Benjamin Millepied’s musical Carmen, which is world premiering this month at the Toronto Film Festival.