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.

Lorenza Izzo Signs with M88 for Representation

Lorenza Izzo has new representation…

The 32-year-old Chilean actress and producer has signed with M88 and its sister company Uncmmn for representation.

Lorenza IzzoIzzo will next be seen in Greg Mottola’s Miramax comedy, Confess, Fletch, opposite Jon Hamm.

She can currently be seen in HBO Max’s Emmy-winning comedy series Hacks, and in Lissette Feliciano’s award-winning film Women Is Losers, which was released by HBO Max after premiering in competition at SXSW. Izzo also produced the latter title, in which she stars opposite Shang-Chi‘s Simu Liu.

Izzo has previously appeared on the film side in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winner Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood; Universal and Amblin’s The House with a Clock in Its Walls, opposite Jack Black and Cate Blanchett; and writer-director Dan Fogelman’s multigenerational Amazon drama, Life Itself, opposite Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde.

She also starred opposite Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas in the Lionsgate psychological thriller Knock Knock, from director Eli Roth.

Izzo also recently starred on the television side in John Logan’s Penny Dreadful spin-off, City of Angels. Additional TV credits include AMC’s Feed the Beast, in which she starred alongside David Schwimmer and Jim Sturgess, the Gaumont/Netflix series Hemlock Grove, Hulu’s Dimension 404 and the fourth and final season of Hulu’s Casual.

Izzo is well known in Chile for starring in a pair of comedies from director Nicolas Lopez: Que Pena Tu Boda and Que Pena Tu Familia.

She continues to be represented by ICM and Viewpoint.

Former WME Partner Phillip Sun and Macro Founder & CEO Charles D. King launched M88 in 2020, with an eye toward supporting the work of the next generation of artists and cultural leaders. Sun leads the firm with partners Oronde Garrett and Gaby Mena.

Lionel Messi: The World’s Highest Paid Latino Athlete

Lionel Messi is breaking the bank…

The 32-year-old Argentine soccer star is the highest-paid Latino on Forbes’ list of this year’s The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes.

Lionel Messi

Messi comes in at No. 3 on the list, behind Roger Federer and Cristiano Ronaldo, with earning reported at $104 million.

The Futbol Club Barcelona star’s earnings includes his $72 million salary with his team, as well as  $32 million in endorsements, including his lifelong deal with Adidas.

Nipping on Messi’s heels… Neymar.

The 28-year-old Brazilian footballer, on a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain through June 2022 worth $350 million, comes in at No. 4 with combined earnings of $95.5 million. 

Nike‘s Jordan Brand signed Neymar as its first soccer ambassador in 2016. In March 2020, its film unit released a movie about his life.

Messi and Ronaldo had previously held the No. 1 spot in three of the past four years.

Rafael Nadal comes in at No. 27 on the list.

The 33-year-old tennis star has combined earnings of $40 million. The greatest clay court player of his generation captured two of Grand Slam titles in 2019, his 12th French Open title and fourth U.S. Open.

Here’s a look at the Latino athletes making this year’s top earners list.

No. 3:  Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $104 million
No. 4:  Neymar, Soccer, Brazil, $95.5 million
No. 27:  Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain, $40 million
No. 30:  Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, $37 million
No. 46:  Andres Iniesta, Soccer, Spain, $29.6 million
No. 56: Oscar, Soccer, Brazil, $27.5 million
No. 67: David de Gea, Soccer, Spain,  $25.7 million
No. 69: Alexis Sanchez, Soccer, Chile, $25.6 million
No. 79: Al Horford, Basketball, Dominican Republic, $24.4 million
No. 100: Sergio Ramos, Soccer, Spain, $21.8 million

Pedro Pascal to Star in Barry Jenkins’ New Film “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Pedro Pascal is hitting the street…

The 42-year-old Chilean actor has been cast in If Beale Street Could Talk, director Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to his Oscar Best Picture winner Moonlight.

Pedro Pascal

KiKi Layne stars in the film, which is based on the James Baldwin novel along with Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King.

Layne plays Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first child to term.

Jenkins adapted the book and is producing via his Pastel label with Annapurna Pictures and Plan B.

Pascal, who starred as Oberyn Martell on HBO’s Game of Thrones, was most recently on the big screen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

He’ll next appear in Sony Pictures’ The Equalizer 2.

Ciro Guerra Executive-Producing Netflix’s First Colombian Original Series

Ciro Guerra is (net)flixing out about a Colombian first…

The 36-year-old Colombian filmmaker and screenwriter is set to executive produce Netflix’s first Colombian original series.

Ciro Guerra

Guerra, who received an Oscar nomination for his film Embrace of the Serpent, will work with Narcos producer Dynamo on the project, which will debut worldwide in 2019.

Written by Carlos Contreras, the as-yet untitled series will follow a young detective and her partner deep into the Amazon, on the border of Brazil and Colombia, to investigate a series of bizarre murders. They soon realize that there’s more mystery to the jungle than the deaths, as they encounter an enigmatic indigenous tribe with an incredible secret that they will take great risks to protect.

Composed of eight hour-long episodes and shot entirely in 4K, the series will showcase the country’s geographic diversity and magnificent landscapes, as well as the region’s complex social and environmental climate.

“We are thrilled to be launching our first Colombian original, featuring great Colombian filmmakers and producers,” said Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Originals. “From 2011, we have been committed to providing a great service in Colombia, and this show, with local talent, will add to our incredible slate of originals throughout Latin America.”

“This is a great opportunity to expand the reach of our local stories and share them with global audiences. Netflix is an extraordinary platform that we are thrilled to collaborate with, and we think this new show will be a great first step in that direction,” added Guerra.

The new series joins a growing slate of original productions being filmed in Latin America, including Ingobernable, Club de Cuervos, La Casa de las Flores, Edha, Narcos, Samantha!, O Mecanismo, O Matador, 3% and Coisa Mais Linda, among others.

Production is slated to begin summer 2018.

Moreno Joins Cast of the Drug Biopic About Griselda Blanco, “The Godmother”

Catalina Sandino Moreno is heading back into the drug world…

The 33-year-old Colombian actress, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the drug-themed drama Maria Full Of Grace, has joined the cast of the drug biopic The Godmother.

Catalina Sandino Moreno

Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film is the true-tale biopic about Colombian cocaine queenpin Griselda Blanco. The film stirred media interest after it was announced that Zeta-Jones was cast in the lead role.

Moreno earned an Academy Award nod for playing a drug mule in Maria Full Of Grace and recently hit the small screen in Red Band Society. She’ll next appear in a recurring role on TNT’s Falling Skies.

In addition to Moreno, the film will also star Oscar Jaeneda, who recently appeared in the film Cantinflas, as well as Jon Bernthal (Fury) and Mehdi Dehbi (A Most Wanted Man).

The Godmother is set to begin filming next spring. Eva Sørhaug is directing from a screenplay by Frank Baldwin.

Cruz Named 2013 Best Body by Fitness Magazine

Penélope Cruz is fit to be honored…

The 39-year-old Spanish actress has been selected by Fitness magazine as the 2013 “Best Body

Penelope Cruz

The designation comes after Cruz’s pregnancy and the birth of her daughter Luna in July.

While other celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock made the list of hottest celeb bodies, the Oscar-winning actress grabbed the magazine’s no.1 spot.

E! Online reported that the stunning actress credits “following a Mediterranean diet, taking women protein bars, following myfitnesshub.com fitness guides, dancing and chasing after her kids for getting her back into shape after both pregnancies.”

In a recent interview with WSJ Magazine, Cruz says she’s “lucky and grateful” for being a mom, a wish she always had.

“It changes everything in your life,” she said. “It’s also going to change the way you approach your work and the way you understand a character like this because she is obsessed with becoming a mother but her body is not working that way and she has to live with the frustration.”

Cruz described her choice to feed Luna naturally, making her the priority.

“I’m breastfeeding and don’t want to give her formula if I can avoid it,” she said. “When I get them to bed, I’ll think about what I want to eat. I’m only thinking about them now.”

The actress also recently discussed her new slim figure with Red magazine after giving birth to Luna.

“I think I’m very lucky that I can breastfeed my children because sometimes even if a woman wants to, she can’t,” she said. “I breastfeed my son for 13 months and I plan to do at least the same with my daughter. That’s an amazing thing for babies, but it’s also really good for the mother because it regulates your body again after pregnancy.”

Delgado Earns First Academy Award Nomination…

Paco Delgado has a date with Oscar…

The Spanish costume designer has earned his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Costume Design category for his impressive work in Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper‘s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Les Misérables.

Paco Delgado

Delgado, considered a favorite to earn an Oscar nod all season, oversaw the creation of more than 2,200 outfits for the cast of the epic film. He recently opened up about his designs in an online featurette.

Meanwhile, Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda has picked up his second Oscar nomination for his work Ang Lee’s adventure drama Life of Pi. He’d previously earned a nod for 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Pablo Larraín earned his firstAcademy Awardnomination in the Best Foreign Language Film categoryfor directingthe Spanish-language drama No, starring Gael García Bernal as an in-demand advertising executive who develops a campaign that helps overthrow Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime.

Mexican sound mixer José Antonio García, who earned critical acclaim for his sound mixing Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel, earned his first Academy Award nomination in the Best Sound Mixing category for his work on Ben Affleck’s Argo.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man – the critically acclaimed film which tells the story of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez – in the Best Documentary Film category.

Click here for a complete look at this year’s nominees.

The 85th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on February 24 on ABC.

Vega to Portray Maria Callas in “Grace of Monaco”

Paz Vega will soon be having an operatic Hollywood moment…

The 36-year-old Spanish actress will appear as the tempestuous opera singer Maria Callas in Grace of Monaco, who stars Nicole Kidman as Hollywood-actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly.

Paz Vega

Directed by Olivier Dahan—who helmed the Edith Piaf biopic La vie en rose, which earned Marion Cotillard an Oscar the film focuses on a six-month period in 1962 when Monaco was in a dispute with France and Princess Grace worked behind the scenes to prevent a coup. At the time, Grace came to know Callas, who was having an affair with Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis.

It’s Vega’s latest high-profile film project. She’s also set to appear in Pedro Almodovar’s upcoming, re-titled comedy, I’m So Excited.

 

Ruehl Cast in Fox’s “El Jefe” Pilot

HBO’s Luck may have run out of suerte… But that doesn’t mean Mercedes Ruehl’s luck has.

The 63-year part-Cuban actress, who was promoted from guest star to series regular or the second season of HBO’s recently cancelled drama series, will star opposite Ryan Hansen in Fox’s comedy pilot El Jefe.

Mercedes Ruehl

From writers David Guarascio and Moses Port, the project centers on the affable but lost upper-class 30-year-old Josh (Hansen) who, tossed out of his Brentwood home, moves in with his adoring longtime Latina nanny Delmi (Ruehl), a vibrant woman and a real life force “of sturdy peasant stock.”

Ruehl has experienced a rollercoaster week… After spending several years looking after her family, the Oscar and Tony winning actress was prepared to return to acting when she signed on as a series regular on Luck. But HBO suddenly ended the series on Wednesday following the death of a third horse on the set.

Ruehl wasn’t down and out though. After reading the script for El Jefe and meeting with the writers, Ruehl decided to sign on for the project. She’s expected to start production on the pilot on Monday, less than a week after Luck was cancelled.

In addition to Ruehl, Jessica Camacho has been cast in the pilot. She’ll play Lucia, the girlfriend of Delmi’s son (Victor Rasuk).