Alvaro Bedoya Nominated to Serve on Federal Trade Commission

Alvaro Bedoya could be trading up…

The Peruvian-American privacy advocate and visiting professor of law at Georgetown University, has been nominated as one of five commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission.

Alvaro Bedoya

The White House announced Joe Biden’s nomination of Bedoya on Monday.

If confirmed, Bedoya likely will be another staunch advocate of taking robust action to rein in the power of big tech platforms.

He’s the founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. The White House noted that his Bedoya’s research and report on facial recognition technology that paved the way for new restrictions on the use of the practice.

Bedoya would succeed Rohit Chopra, who Biden has selected to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Biden nominated another advocate of strong enforcement, Lina Kahn, who has been critical of the growth of large tech platforms, and appointed her to chair the commission after her confirmation. Among other things, the FTC is reviewing Google’s proposed acquisition of MGM.

Bedoya previously served as the first chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.

He is a naturalized citizen born in Peru, and co-founded the college scholarship Esperanza Education Fund. He’s a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Ruth Franco Signs First-Look Deal with MGM to Develop More Spanish-Language Originals

Ruth Franco is looking to develop more Spanish-language projects in Hollywood.

The Spanish talent manager has signed a first-look deal with MGM to help them ramp up Spanish originals.

Ruth Franco

The multi-year deal will see Ruth Franco Talent and the Hollywood studio develop Spanish-language and English-language scripted series across platforms internationally and in the U.S.

Franco represents a slew of some of Spain’s biggest actors, directors and screenwriters and will develop shows under the deal in partnership with Talent on the Road and World Talent House.

It comes as MGM International Television Productions bolsters its global production slate, which includes projects like Michael Hirst’s Billy the Kid, John Griffin’s sci-fi horror series From, Amazon YA pilot order Shelter from Harlan Coben and The Reunion, an adaptation of French author Guillaume Musso’s novel La Jeune Fille et la Nuit.

Franco said that the deal would be a “turning point” for Ibero-American talent and would create “synergies with the American market”.

Diego Piasek, SVP, Head of Development & Current Series, MGM International Television Productions, said, “In today’s highly competitive market, our partnership with Ruth Franco will give MGM unparalleled access to some of the most prestigious writers, directors and actors from Latin America and Spain, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Together with Ruth we will not only develop local-language originals, but also look to provide a pipeline to Hollywood and beyond for her clients. This is a key strategic partnership for us as we continue to expand our content capabilities and talent relationships on both a local and global scale.”

Dascha Polanco to Star in the NBC pilot “Dangerous Moms,” Based on Spanish Series “Señoras del (h)AMPA”

It’s a dangerous time for Dascha Polanco

The 38-year-old Dominican actress has been cast as a co-lead opposite Shanola Hampton in the NBC pilot Dangerous Moms, from Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television.

Dascha Polanco

Written by Janine Sherman Barrois and based on the Spanish series Señoras del (h)AMPA, Dangerous Moms is an off-center dark dramedy about four diverse mothers — two of them played by Hampton and Polanco — who accidentally kill the queen bee of their school’s PTA during the demonstration of a new high-end food processor.

The story becomes a female anthem about friendship and family as it tells the story of one completely unprepared group of women who must juggle their everyday lives while their worlds are turned upside down.

Polanco will play Pia, the impeccable nemesis of Monique (Hampton). Pia is the No. 1 salesperson for the state-of-the-art TurboThunder3000 food processor and a popular mommy blogger. She also is the landlord of a few apartment buildings in the community, which she hopes to gentrify.

Barrois executive produces with Rachel Kaplan, Intrigue Entertainment’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter as well as Arantxa Écija from Mediaset España Comunicación and Santi Botello from Producciones Mandarina SL, who produced the original series.

Polanco, currently co-starring in Warner Bros. In the Heights, is best known for her work on Orange Is the New Black, for which she shared in three comedy ensemble SAG Awards.

She’s set to star in the upcoming MGM superhero thriller film Samaritan, opposite Sylvester Stallone, and will make her leading film role debut in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iGilbert.

Netflix Renews Diego Boneta’s “Luis Miguel: La Serie” for Third & Final Season

There are more Luismi moments in Diego Boneta’s future…

Netflix has renewed the 30-year-old Mexican singer/actor’s Luis Miguel: La Serie for a third and final season.

Diego Boneta

The announcement comes ahead of the series’ Season 2 finale.

The musical biopic series, a production of MGM and Gato Grande Productions, a joint venture between MGM and Mexican entrepreneurs Miguel Alemán Magnani and Antonio Cue, is touted as the only officially authorized series about the fiercely private titular international Latino sensation and multi-platinum artist.

In Season 2, returning lead Boneta stars as the Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning Puerto Rican-born Mexican singer Luis Miguel.

Diego Boneta, Luis Miguel: The Series

The show also features Macarena Achaga as ‘Luismi’s’ daughter Michelle Salas; Fernando Guallar as Mauricio Ambrosi; Pablo Cruz Guerrero as Patricio Robles; Juan Ignacio Cane as José Pérez; Teresa Ruiz as Azucena; Valery Sais as young Michelle and Axel Llunas as her younger brother.

The series intimately explores the difficulties Miguel faced to balance his family and his professional life and public persona, from the start of his flourishing career as a child star up to the early aughts.

Details about Season 3’s cast have yet to be confirmed.

The second season of “Luis Miguel: La Serie” was directed by Humberto Hinojosa and Adrian Grunberg, with scripts by Daniel Krauze, Ana Sofia Clerici, Anton Goenechea, Diego Ayala, Karin Valecillos and Paulina Barros.

Mark Burnett, Carla González Vargas, Pablo Cruz and Boneta executive produced.

It premiered worldwide on Netflix on April 18 and consisted of eight, hourlong episodes. Other Season 2 stars include Sergio Basteri; Camila Sodi; Cesar Bordon; Juan Pablo Zurita; Cesar Santana; Martin Bello; Lola Casamayor; Pilar Santacruz; Kevin Holt and Gabriel Nuncio.

Mark Burnett, current chair of MGM Television Group, helped develop the series and led Gato Grande in its first scripted project aimed at the burgeoning U.S. Hispanic market.

Luis Miguel: La Serie was first distributed in Latin America and Spain by Netflix in 2018.

Salma Hayek to Star in MGM & Scott Free Production’s Feature “House of Gucci”

Salma Hayek is House-bound…

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress has joined the cast of House of Gucci, the feature film from MGM and Scott Free Productions currently in production.

Salma Hayek

Hayek joins an all-star cast that includes Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto and Jack Huston, with Ridley Scott directing.

“So happy to have my good buddy Salma join our wonderful cast,” said producer Giannina Scott. “I’ve been talking with her about this Gucci project for 20 years. Now it’s happening and she is a part of it. Rid and I are thrilled.”

Ridley and Giannina Scott will produce via their Scott Free Productions banner.

The film tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga), the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (Driver), plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renowned fashion designer Guccio Gucci. Hayek will play Pina Auriemma, who was a clairvoyant friend of “Black Widow” Reggiani, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison after her trial in 1998.

Roberto Bentivegna penned the script. House of Gucci will be released in the U.S. via MGM’s distribution joint venture United Artists Releasing on November 24. The film will be distributed internationally via Universal Pictures.

Hayek next can be seen in Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguardwhich will bow on June 16. She also has Marvel’s The Eternals coming out on November 5 and recently was seen in Amazon’s Bliss. 

MGM in Exclusive Talks for Jared Leto’s Supernatural Thriller “Adrift”

Jared Leto is (a)drifting away…

MGM is reportedly in exclusive negotiations for the supernatural thriller Adrift, with the 49-year-old part-Spanish American Oscar-winning actor and singer attached to star and Darren Aronofsky on board to direct.

Jared Leto

Jason Blum will produce the film, which saw MGM was extremely move fast to be in pole position to land the package. Details behind the financing are unavailable since the deal hasn’t officially closed.

Blum will produce through his Blumhouse Productions along with Leto and Emma Ludbrook via their production company Paradox, as will Carla Hacken through her Paper Pictures banner.

The film is based on a short story by Koji Suzuki, who wrote The Ring. Aronofsky and Luke Dawson will be co-penning the script. Insiders close to the package say Leto identified the project and he and Ludbrook pursued the rights for 10 years before bringing to Blum and Aronofsky.

The story is set in the dead calm of the open sea, where a fishing boat discovers an abandoned yacht with a strange distress call. A deckhand agrees to take lone control of it while it’s towed into port, but soon he discovers why the rest of his more experienced crew members call it a “Ghost Ship.”

No production start date has been set as a script still needs to be written and scheduling needs to be worked out.

Leto currently appears in The Little Things for Warner Bros. starring opposite Denzel Washington and Rami Malek. That film dropped today in theaters and on HBO Max. He also is developing a handful of projects including a sequel to Tron: Legacy, which has him attached to star and Garth Davis on board to direct. He can also be seen in the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Morbius

Hulu Renews Alexis Bledel’s Drama Series “The Handmaid’s Tale” for Fifth Season

Alexis Bledel will have more tale to tell…

Hulu has renewed its flagship drama series The Handmaid’s Tale, starring the 39-year-old half-Argentinian American actress, for a fifth season.

Alexis Bledel, Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale

The news, which Bledel and her cast mates shared on social media, comes ahead of its Season 4 premiere on the streamer.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States.

The series, produced by MGM Television and internationally distributed by MGM, stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Bledel, Ann Dowd, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, Bradley Whitford, and Sam Jaeger.

In season four, June (Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.

The drama was nominated for 54 Primetime Emmy Awards over its first three seasons, winning 15, including best original drama, the first drama series win from a streaming service, lead actress in a drama series for Moss and outstanding guest actress in a drama series for Bledel.

Bledel has earned two additional Emmy nods for her performance on the series.

Kid Cudi Launches Production & Music Management Company ‘Mad Solar’

Kid Cudi is expanding his entertainment empire…

The 36-year-old half-Mexican American Grammy-winning recording artist and actor, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, has partnered with Dennis Cummings and Karina Manashil to launch the production and music management company Mad Solar with the backing of Bron, which provides corporate back office and production support, including financing, marketing, and sales.

Kid Cudi

“Beyond excited to be launching my production company Mad Solar and partnering with Bron, whose creative vision and storytelling has transformed the industry,” Mescudi said. “I am so very proud of the slate that we are developing and can’t WAIT for you all to see what we got cookin’.”

Mad Solar is producing the upcoming Netflix animated series Entergalactic, which Mescudi co-created alongside Kenya Barris. Based on original music by Mescudi, the series, which Mescudi writes, executive produces and stars in, follows a young man on his journey to discover love.

Additionally, Mad Solar has teamed with A24 and Bron Studios on the horror film X. Written and directed by Ti West, X stars Mia Goth, Mescudi and Jenna Ortega. Mescudi is an executive producer on the film, which will begin production early 2021.

“Scott Mescudi’s growth as a creative and an entrepreneur has been impressive,” said Aaron L. Gilbert, Bron chairman. “For Bron, the strategic relationship with Mad Solar is key in our efforts to support the entertainment industry’s top creatives, as well as expand Bron’s access to the best in class music and sports talent through Mad Solar’s management division.”

Mescudi can be seen in Season 3 of HBO’s Westworld and Nick Jarecki’s indie feature Dreamland opposite Gary Oldman. He also had a key supporting role in MGM’s Bill & Ted Face The Music and played one of the leads of Luca Guadagnino’s HBO series We Are Who We Are.

Universal Announces Plans to End Michelle Rodriguez’s Fast & Furious Franchise with Two Final Films

It’s the beginning of the end for Michelle Rodriguez.

Universal Pictures is planning to wrap up its Fast & Furious core film franchise, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress, with two final movies that will bring to a close a franchise.

Michelle Rodriguez The Limit

The Fast & Furious films have revved their way to become the highest-grossing movie series in the studio’s history. Justin Lin, who’s in post-production on F9, is in talks to direct the final two installments and bring a saga that began nearly 20 years ago to a close.

It’s early days on when this will begin production but it seems likely they will tell a big story over two films that will focus on franchise patriarch Vin Diesel and bring back Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang.

F9 — which is the fifth film in the franchise directed by Lin and which premieres next Memorial Day — continues the storyline of the core cast and Charlize Theron, and adds John Cena, Helen Mirren, Grammy-winner Cardi B and reggaeton star Ozuna. They are just beginning to put the final two vehicles together. There’s speculation that Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham — core cast members who peeled off for the F&F spinoff Hobbs & Shaw after Johnson and Diesel had a falling out — will be back for the finale.

There’s also an opportunity to pull off the motorhead’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, a configuration that might include Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, also part of the ensemble earlier in her career.

It might not have seemed probable back when The Fast & Furious launched the franchise in 2001 with Diesel and Paul Walker as lead-footed protagonists, but the entire series has eclipsed Jurassic Park to become Universal’s biggest. The eight movies and the spinoff have grossed around $5.7 billion; Jurassic is also over $5 billion and has its next installment, Jurassic World: Dominion, shooting in London.

The Fast franchise survived the tragic death of cornerstone star Walker, but it’s always good to end the race before the vehicle runs out of gas. There are still plans for other movie spinoffs and TV shows, so there will be no call for the studio to be calling Kars for Kids to cart away a junker.

It is likely that the final two installments will be produced by Diesel through his One Race Films banner, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Lin, Neal Moritz, Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend and Samantha Vincent. They are the producers of F9.

Lin berthed his Perfect Storm Entertainment banner at Universal in a multi-year overall film and TV deal in late summer, and these two films will likely keep him busy for a long time.

Universal Moves Release Date of Michelle Rodriguez’s “F9” to Memorial Day 2021

Michelle Rodriguez is getting some push back…

Universal Pictures has announced plans to move F9, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress, to May 28, 2021, which is Memorial Day weekend.

Michelle Rodriguez F9

The move comes after MGM moved its James Bond pic No Time to Die, starring Ana de Armas, to April 2, 2021 — which had been the release date for this latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise.

In March, F9 drove out of its original May 22, 2020 global day-and-date release amid the coronavirus lockdown. The studio had previously reserved that April 2021 date for Fast & Furious 10.

Justin Lin returns to direct F9 a cast that includes Rodriguez, who portrays Letty Ortiz, Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Cardi B and Ozuna.

The entire franchise, including spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, through nine movies counts $5.9 billion at the worldwide box office.