Lin-Manuel Miranda to Appear on Disney+’s Series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing messenger

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actor, filmmaker, composer and lyricist has landed a key guest-starring role on Disney+’s upcoming series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Based on Rick Riordan’s bestselling book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell), who’s just coming to terms with his newfound divine powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. With help from his friends Grover (Aryan Simhadri) and Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries), Percy must embark on an adventure of a lifetime to find it and restore order to Olympus.

Miranda, who is a fan of the Percy Jackson books along with his son, will play Hermes, the messenger god who looks out for travelers and thieves, and is a bit of a trickster himself. He is charismatic & boisterous, the life of the party. Unfortunately, his charm does not do much to heal his strained relationship with his son, Luke (Charlie Bushnell). He’s hesitant to help Percy and his friends on their quest as sometimes getting involved is more trouble than it’s worth.

In addition to series regulars Scobell, Simhadri, Jeffries and Bushnell, Miranda joins previously announced guest stars Megan Mullally, Virginia Kull, Glynn Turman, Jason Mantzoukas, Timm Sharp, Dior Goodjohn, Olivea Morton, Adam Copeland, Suzanne Cryer and Jessica Parker Kennedy.

The series is currently in production in Vancouver and is expected to premiere exclusively on Disney+ in 2024.

Riordan and Jon Steinberg wrote the pilot, and James Bobin directs.

Miranda is a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning songwriter, actor, director and producer. Creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights, his additional Broadway credits include Freestyle Love SupremeBring It On: The Musical and the 2009 revival of West Side Story. His TV and film credits include tick, tick… BOOM!, Vivo, the feature adaptation of In the HeightsEmmy-winning Hamilton, His Dark Materials, Fosse/Verdon, We The People and Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Miranda earned guest actor Emmy nominations for Curb Your Enthusiasm and as host of Saturday Night Live, and Oscar nominations for Best Original Song for Moana, Mary Poppins Returns and most recently Encanto.

20th Century Studios to Stream Auli’i Cravalho’s Supernatural Teen Comedy “Darby and the Dead” on Hulu

Auli’i Cravalho’s latest project is headed to Hulu…

20th Century Studios has announced that its supernatural teen comedy Darby and the Dead, starring the 21-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Riele Downs, will stream exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ under the Star banner in all other territories on December 2nd.

Auli’i CravalhoThe film formerly titled Darby Harper Wants You to Know is about a high school student who moonlights as a spiritual messenger. After suffering a near-death experience as a young girl, Darby Harper (Downs) gains the ability to see dead people. As a result, she becomes introverted and shut off from her high school peers and prefers to spend time counseling lonely spirits who have unfinished business on earth. But all that changes when Capri (Cravalho), the Queen Bee of the school’s most exclusive clique, unexpectedly dies in a freak hair straightening accident, resulting in the obvious cancellation of her upcoming “Sweet 17.”

Auli’i CravalhoCapri, however, pleads with Darby from the other side to intervene and convince Capri’s friends to proceed with the party as planned. In order to appease the wrath of the undead diva, Darby must emerge from her self-imposed exile and reinvent herself — which along the way allows her to find new joy back in the land of the living.

The film also stars Chosen Jacobs, Asher Angel, Wayne Knight, Derek Luke and Tony Danza.

Darby and the Dead was directed by Emmy nominee Silas Howard. Becca Greene wrote the script, which was based on a story by Wenonah Wilms.

Cravalho made her acting debut as the voice of the titular character in Disney’s Moana. Her other credits include Rise, All Together Now and Crush.

“Moana” Star Auliʻi Cravalho’s “How Far I’ll Go” Breaks Into YouTube’s Billion Views Club

Oh how far Auliʻi Cravalho has gone…

The 21-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer/actress, who rose to acclaim after voicing the lead character in Disney’s Moana, has earned a spot in YouTube’s coveted Billion Views Club.

Auli’i CravalhoCravalho entered the club with the official video for “How Far I’ll Go,” her signature power ballad for the acclaimed animated film.

According to a statement from YouTube, an impressive number of people have been watching Cravalho’s beloved character embark on her big sea adventure in the past 12 months, with the video averaging more than 350,000 views a day.

With its new milestone, “How Far I’ll Go” now matches the billion views status of fellow Moana track “You’re Welcome,” performed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s cocky but lovable demigod, Maui.

The world has loved the music of Moana since it came out six years ago: “How Far I’ll Go” — which is performed by Alessia Cara — peaked at No. 56, while “You’re Welcome” reached a high of No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2017.

The soundtrack — which features music written by Oscar-nominated Encanto composer Lin-Manuel Miranda — made history for weeks spent at No. 1 on Billboards soundtracks chart.

Disney is finding similar love for its latest animated project, Encanto, and the songs sung by its cast of magical characters. Also composed by Miranda, We Don’t Talk About Bruno” just topped the Hot 100 chart for the second week in a row, and is currently the music behind a couple of wildly popular TikTok trends.

The full soundtrack has sat atop the Billboard 200 for four weeks and counting.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Tops Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters Chart for First Time in His Career

It’s a songwriting first for Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican multi-hyphenate tops Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters chart dated January 15, reigning as the top songwriter in the U.S. for the first time due to his work on six songs on the latest Billboard Hot 100, all from the new smash Disney animated film Encanto.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Leading his haul is “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which soars from No. 50 to No. 5 on the Hot 100, becoming just the fifth song from a Disney animated film to reach the top five.

It follows Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle’s “A Whole New World” from Aladdin (No. 1, one week, 1993); Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (No. 4, 1994); Vanessa Williams’ “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas (No. 4, 1994); and Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” from Frozen (No. 5, 2014).

The song also earns the Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner, among Miranda’s numerous other career honors, his first top 10 on the Hot 100 as a songwriter (or in any capacity).

Here’s a look at all six of Miranda’s writing credits on the current Hot 100. Notably, he is the only credited writer on all six entries.

Rank, Artist Billing, Title
No. 5 (new high), Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto Cast, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”
No. 14 (new high), Jessica Darrow, “Surface Pressure”
No. 62 (debut), Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz & Encanto Cast, “The Family Madrigal”
No. 67 (debut), Diane Guerrero & Stephanie Beatriz, “What Else Can I Do?”
No. 82 (debut), Stephanie Beatriz, “Waiting on a Miracle”
No. 83 (debut), Sebastian Yatra, “Dos Oruguitas”

As four of the songs above debut on the latest Hot 100, Miranda has now written 13 Hot 100-charting hits. Prior to Encanto, he penned four Hot 100 entries from the Disney film Moana, two charity singles and a mash-up.

Here are all seven of Miranda’s Hot 100-charting songs, as a writer, outside of Encanto (ranked by peak position):

Peak Position, Artist Billing, Title (co-songwriters in addition to Lin-Manuel Miranda), Peak Year
No. 20, Lin-Manuel Miranda feat. Artists for Puerto Rico, “Almost Like Praying” (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim), 2017
No. 41, Auli’i Cravalho, “How Far I’ll Go,” 2017
No. 49, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt, “Found / Tonight” (Benj Pasek, Justin Paul), 2018
No. 56, Alessia Cara, “How Far I’ll Go,” 2017
No. 65, Dwayne Johnson, “You’re Welcome,” 2017
No. 72, Jennifer Lopez & Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Love Make the World Go Round” (Mike Molina, Melody Hernandez, John Mitchell, Nelson Kyle, Marcus Lomax, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Jennifer Lopez), 2016
No. 93, Opetaia Foa’i & Lin-Manuel Miranda, “We Know the Way” (Opetaia Foa’i), 2016

The soundtracks for Miranda’s projects also have successful histories on Billboard‘s charts, with Encanto surging to No. 1 on the latest Billboard 200, up 76% to 72,000 equivalent album units in the tracking week ending January 6, according to MRC Data.

Additionally, Miranda ties at No. 3 on the latest Hot 100 Producers chart with collaborator Mike Elizondo, as the pair co-produced all six Hot 100-charting Encanto hits.

The weekly Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot 100; plus, genre-based songwriter and producer charts follow the same methodology based on corresponding “Hot”-named genre charts. As with Billboard’s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).

Kid Cudi Makes Oscar’s Short List in Best Original Song Category for “Just Look Up” & “Guns Go Bang”

Kid Cudi is thisclose to earning an Oscar nomination (or two)…

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has cut its Original Song Oscar category list to 15 songs that made the shortlist, with the 37-year-old half-Mexican American Grammy-winning singer/actor having two songs still in the running.

Kid Cudi x Ariana GrandeKid Cudi’s collaboration with Ariana GrandeJust Look Up,” co-written by the singers, from the film Don’t Look Up is still under consideration.

Meanwhile, Kid Cudi’s song “Guns Go Bang,” co-written with Jay-Z for the film The Harder They Fall is also still in the running for a nomination.

Lin-Manuel Miranda could also pick up another Oscar nod.

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican multi-hyphentate, who earned a nomination in the Best Original Song category in 2016 for his Moana single “How Far I’ll Go,” is still in the running for his single “Dos Oruguitas” from Disney’s Encanto.

A total of 84 songs were eligible in the category this year.

Here’s the full shortlist, with final nominations to be announced February 8 ahead of the ceremony March 27 at the Dolby Theatre.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“So May We Start?” from Annette
“Down To Joy” from Belfast
“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road
“Automatic Woman” from Bruised
“Dream Girl” from Cinderella
“Beyond The Shore” from CODA
“The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen
“Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days
“Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall
“Be Alive” from King Richard
“No Time To Die” from No Time to Die
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from Respect
“Your Song Saved My Life” from Sing 2

Warner Bros. Animation Releases First Trailer for Diego Luna’s Animated Film “DC League of Super-Pets”

It’s a super time for Diego Luna.

Warner Bros. Animation has released the first official trailer for its upcoming DC League of Super-Pets, starring the 41-year-old Mexican actor/director/producer.

Diego LunaProduced by and starring Dwayne Johnson, the film finds one (Super)man’s best friend his only hope. After Superman (John Krasinski) is sidelined by Lex Luthor, the Man of Steel’s faithful companion, Krypto, sets out to save the day.

While Superman has Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League at his side, Krypto has only “a bunch of shelter pets” who, luckily, have been imbued with superpowers.

Johnson plays Krypto, while his ragtag band is made up of Ace (Kevin Hart), a hound who has super strength; PB (Vanessa Bayer), a pig named who can grow to a massive-size instantly; Merton (Natasha Lyonne) a turtle with super speed; and Chip (Luna), a squirrel who can shoot electricity from his tiny fingertips.

“My best friend is in trouble and you have to help me,” says Krypto, rallying the troops. What follows is an adventure full of challenges, surprises and potty humor.

The project reps Johnson’s second with DC after the New Line/DC movie Black Adam, in which he plays the title character, with his Seven Bucks producing.

DC League Of Super-Pets marks the Johnson’s third theatrically-released animated film, after Planet 51 and Moana.

Luna has previously been part of the voice cast of The Book of Life and Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans.

Disney Branded Television Gives Green Light to Auli’i Cravalho’s Animated Series “Hailey’s On It!”

Auli’i Cravalho’s on it…

Disney Branded Television has given a series green light to Hailey’s On It!, an original animated comedy-adventure with the 20-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer leading the voice cast.

Auli’i CravalhoThe project hails from longtime writing and producing partners Devin Bunje and Nick Stanton and Disney Television Animation.

Cravalho, who rose to acclaim in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana, voices the title character, Hailey; along with Manny Jacinto as Scott, Hailey’s best friend; and Gary Anthony Williams as Beta, an artificially intelligent operating system from the future.

Hailey’s On It! is slated to debut in 2023.

Auli’i Cravalho, Hailey's On It

Created and executive produced by Bunje and Stanton, Hailey’s On It! follows Hailey Banks  (Cravalho), a risk-averse but resourceful teenager on a mission to complete every item on her long list of challenging (and sometimes impractical) tasks in order to save the world. Hailey will be pushed outside her comfort zone to discover the greatness within as she systematically conquers her fears, whether she is winning a sand-building competition, wrestling a honey badger, eating a raw onion, or facing her ever-growing and complicated feelings toward her best friend, Scott (Jacinto).

“Nick and Devin began their writing careers at TVA nearly 15 years ago and have now come full circle returning to their TVA roots to launch their first animated series,” said Meredith Roberts, SVP and general manager, Television Animation, Disney Branded Television. “The series’ fast-paced comedy, heart and grounded stories about two best friends, who happen to get caught up in extraordinary circumstances, made it a perfect fit for Disney.”

Cravalho’s previous credits include the NBC drama series Rise and the Netflix drama film All Together Now.

Auli’i Cravalho to Star in High School Coming-of-Age Film from Hulu, Maya Rudolph & Natasha Lyonne

Auli’i Cravalho is crushin’…

The 20-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer will star opposite Rowan Blanchard in a high school coming-of-age romance from Hulu, Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne’s Animal Pictures and American High.

Auli’i Cravalho

The untitled project follows an aspiring young artist forced to join her high school track team. She uses it as an opportunity to pursue the girl she’s been harboring a longtime crush on. But she soon finds herself falling for an unexpected teammate and discovers what real love feels like.

Kirsten King and Casey Rackham penned the script.

Cravalho rose to acclaim after voicing Disney’s animated Moana.

Auli’i Cravalho to Perform at PBS’ Televised Independence Day Celebration “A Capitol Fourth”

Auli’i Cravalho is embracing the independence

The 20-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer will perform at this year’s Independence Day celebration A Capitol Fourth, which will feature a pre-taped concert and live fireworks from Washington, D.C.

Auli’i Cravalho

The city has lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions, and President Joe Biden is planning an event at the White House that day, his goal for having at least 70% of the country with at least one COVID-19 shot.

But producers have been planning the show for months, with COVID-19 forcing them to set aside the traditional live concert on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

In addition to Cravalho, others who will perform at the event are Jimmy Buffett, Cynthia Erivo, Alan Jackson, Pentatonix, Jennifer Nettles, Train, Gladys Knight, Mickey Guyton, Ali Stroker, Jimmie Allen and Laura Osnes.

The National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Jack Everly, will perform John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare, honoring U.S. participation in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games. The orchestra and the Joint Armed Forces Chorus will accompany the fireworks with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Vanessa Williams will host the event, with Renee Fleming set to open the show with the National Anthem. The concert will honor men and women of the military, with other participants including the U.S. Army BandPershing’s Own,” the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The Joint Armed Forces Chorus and The Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

The concert, a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA-TV, will air on July 4 from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm ET on PBS, and it also will be broadcast to the American Forces Network. NPR stations also will air the event, and it will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and PBS.org through July 18.

Cravalho rose to acclaim as the voice of the title character in Disney’s computer animated musical Moana. Her other credits include NBC’s Rise and Netflix’s drama film All Together Now.

Auli’i Cravalho to Star in ABC’s Live “The Little Mermaid” Special

Auli’i Cravalho is heading under the sea

The 18-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer is set to star as Ariel in ABC’s The Little Mermaid live special.

Auli’i Cravalho

In addition to Cravalho, who rose to acclaim as the voice of the title character in Disney’s Moana, the special will also star Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian. 

The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!, featuring a mix of live action, animation and puppetry, will air on November 5 to mark the classic Disney animated feature’s 30th anniversary.

ABC originally announced in May 2017that it would stage a live production of the beloved underwater tale under the long-dormant Wonderful World of Disneybanner, which was slated for October 3, 2017. In August of that year, the network announced that the live event had been put on hold.

Since joining ABC last December as President of Entertainment, Karey Burke has expressed strong support for live specials. Her commitment was likely reaffirmed in May after the success of Jimmy Kimmel’s live staging of two classic Norman Lear sitcoms on the network, which spawned two more installments.

Burke today said that if The Little Mermaid is a success, it too can lead to do more live musicals based on Disneyfilm titles on ABC. “If it works, I expect we will do more of them and we will work closely with the feature department about timing,” she said.

Billed as a tribute to the original animated classic and its music, The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! will feature live musical performances by its star-studded cast interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film. 

The hybrid format will combine intricate sets and costumes created for the special with music from the original animated film and the Tony Award-winningBroadway stage version, composed by eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken

Howard Ashman’s film lyrics will also be showcased, with Glenn Slater, lyricist for the Broadway adaptation, as a contributor.

Cravalho is already in the extended Disney Princessesfamily having voiced Moana in the hit animated movie. 

Following her breakout role in Moana, Cravalho performed the film’s anthem, How Far I’ll Go, at the Oscarsand starred in the NBCmusical drama series Rise. It was just announced that she is the lead of the Brett Haley Netflixfilm Sorta Like a Rock Star

The announcement of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! going forward comes as Disney is gearing up for production of a live-action feature adaptation of The Little Mermaid for director Rob MarshallHamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Menken. Halle Bailey has been set as Ariel in the movie, Awkwafina as Ariel’s seagull friend Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s friendly fish pal Flounder, while Melissa McCarthy has been rumored for the role of UIrsula and Harry Stylesfor Prince Eric.

Burke is not worried about ABC’s live Little Mermaid special and the upcoming movie cannibalizing each other. “Ours is distinctly different from the feature film,” she said.