Ariana DeBose to Star in Apple Original Films’ Actioner “Argylle”

The spies have it for Ariana DeBose

The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer has joined the cast of Argylle, an action film from Apple Original Films and Matthew Vaughn’s Marv Studios.

Ariana DeBose

The film is currently in production in Europe.

DeBose, a Tony Award nominee, joins a cast that includes Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, and Grammy winner Dua Lipa, who is making her big screen debut.

The film—setting up a new franchise for Vaughn—follows the world’s greatest spy, Argylle, as he is caught up in a globetrotting adventure, which takes him from America to London and beyond.

It’s based on Elly Conway’s upcoming spy novel of the same name, which is set for publication via Transworld Publishers Ltd, a division of Penguin Random House, next year.

Vaughn is directing Argylle from a script by Jason Fuchs. Dua Lipa will also pen the film’s original title track and score.

“We have assembled an absolutely stellar cast to inhabit each of the wonderfully original and captivating characters in this thrill ride of a story,” said Vaughn. “We’re so excited that production is now off and running, bringing us closer to sharing this epic action spectacle with audiences around the world.”

DeBose earned her Tony nomination in 2018 for her turn as Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She also featured in the original cast of Hamilton, along with other Broadway titles including Bring It On: The Musical and Pippin.

She will next be seen portraying Anita in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, and can currently be seen in Apple’s musical comedy series Schmigadoon!.

Ashanti to Star In & Produce the Rom-Com “The Plus One”

Ashanti won’t be going it alone…

The 40-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress has signed on to star in and produce the romantic comedy The Plus One.

Ashanti

Ashanti will play Lizzie, whose only request of her “Male of Honor” Marshall is that he doesn’t bring his hated ex Marie to her destination wedding. But lovesick Marshall brings her as his plus one, and Marie does everything in her power to wreck Lizzie’s big day.

Filming is scheduled to start in December in Florida.

The film’s director and additional cast members have yet to be revealed.

Ashanti most recently starred in the Sony Pictures Worldwide acquisition Honey Girls, which wrapped in March.

Her movie credits to date include Coach Carter with Samuel L. JacksonThe Muppets’ Wizard of OzJohn Tucker Must Die and Resident Evil: Extinction.

The singer, who has sold more than 27 million records worldwide, will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.

Salma Hayek Shows Off Her Britney Spears-Inspired Dance Moves in New Instagram Video

Salma Hayek’s got the moves like… Britney.

The 54-year-old Mexican singer’s go-to soundtrack for shooting at trained killers in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard trailer… Britney Spears’ “...Baby One More Time.”

Salma Hayek

And now she’s taking her butt-kickin’ moves to the dance floor in her latest Instagram video.

Hayek is promoting her upcoming action-comedy film — also starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson — with a revised dance routine to Spears’ 1999 No. 1 smash that combines the original choreography from the music video with some stealthy defense techniques.

“Show me your #hitmanschallenge baby! Muéstrame tu mejor #hitmanschallenge baby! I’ll be watching…,” she captioned the choreographed clip with hair-flipping galore and a spin on the pop superstar’s leg kick that left Hayek and her crew on the floor.

Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Aniston applauded Hayek on Instagram, while Sabrina Carpenter commented, “omg queen.”

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the delayed sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard, follows bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) once again meeting up with assassin Darius Kincaid (Jackson) as they embark on a new adventure to save Darius’ wife, Sonia (Hayek), from new threats.

But before it hits theaters next Wednesday, June 16, see Hayek’s latest killer moves below.

Lionsgate Releases Trailer for Salma Hayek-Starrer “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”

Salma Hayek isn’t letting down her (body) guard

Lionsgate has released the trailer for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the action comedy starring the 54-year-old Mexican actress.

Salma Hayek

The film sees to return of Hayek, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, director Patrick Hugues and screenwriter Tom O’Conner for a second go-round after 2017’s successful The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Like others films delayed by the pandemic, it will now open in U.S. theaters on June 16.

The Lionsgate and Millennium Media sequel picks up after the events of the first movie and finds bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) trying to recover from those events and recharge — call it a psychological sabbatical. But he literally is pulled back into action by his old friend/foe Darius’ (Jackson) even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Hayek), who needs Bryce’s help saving her husband. They get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful madman (Antonio Banderas).

Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front, Gabriella Wright, Alice McMillan, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Tom Hopper, Blake Ritson and Richard E. Grant also star in the film, penned by O’Conner and Phillip Murphy & Brandon Murphy.

Melissa Villaseñor to Host This Year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony

Melissa Villaseñor has the spirit

The 33-year-old Mexican actress, stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member is set to host this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Melissa Villaseñor

The show will not be live from the Santa Monica Beach this year due to COVID-19.

Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member of NBC’s long-running SNL, cut her teeth on the stand-up circuit in Los Angeles, and was further propelled to stardom by being a semifinalist on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent before landing on the SNL cast.

She is famous for her impersonations of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

This year’s show will be airing on Thursday, April 22, on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm ET, breaking tradition as the Spirits typically take place on the Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s Oscars.

Said Blake Callaway, Executive Director, IFC and SundanceTV, “Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other. It will certainly be a departure from the past, but with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.”

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Villaseñor.

Outside of SNL, Villaseñor has provided voiceovers in films like Toy Story 4 and Ralph Breaks the InternetShe also was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; and in projects like Hubie Halloween, Barry and Crashing, among others.

She’s currently working on her first book, a creative self-help journal forthcoming from Chronicle Books.

She joins a roster of past Spirit Awards hosts that includes Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah, John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson and Kumail Nanjiani.

Jencarlos Canela to Star Opposite Kevin Hart in the Action Comedy “Man From Toronto”

Jencarlos Canela is the Man of the moment…

The 32-year-old Cuban American actor-singer will join the ensemble cast of the Sony Pictures’ action comedy Man From Toronto, starring Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson.

Jencarlos Canela

Kaley Cuoco and Melanie Liburd also star.

The film revolves around a case of mistaken identity after the world’s deadliest assassin, known as the “man from Toronto,” and a stranger, played by Hart, run into each other at an Airbnb. Chaos soon ensues as the assassin’s world comes crashing down on Hart.

Patrick Hughes, who directed Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson’s 2017 action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, is on board to helm.

Robbie Fox and Chris Bremner wrote the script from a story he conceived with Jason Blumenthal.

The film will open in theaters on September 17, 2021.

Canela most recently starred in Netflix’s The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia. His other credits include NBC’s comedy Telenovela, starring Eva Longoria, The Grand Hotel, also starring Longoria, and the live musical The Passion, which aired on FOX.

Chita Rivera Among the Stars Taking Part in Fundraising Concert for Joe Biden, “In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation”

Chita Rivera is Biden her time before the upcoming presidential election…

The 87-year-old half-Puerto Rican Broadway star will be among the stars of the Great White Way who’ll stage a fundraising concert for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, with plans to stream the event on October 21.

Chita Rivera

The event, which starts at 8:00 pm ET, is organized by the group Broadway for Biden and is called In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nationwith donations going to the Biden Victory Fund.

In addition to Rivera, the lineup of the concert includes Derrick Baskin, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Glenn Close, Chuck Cooper, Darren Criss, André De Shields, Renée Elise Goldsberry, John Goodman, Jayne Houdyshell, Jennifer Hudson, James Monroe Iglehart, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Lear, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Karen Olivo, Ashley Park, Steven Pasquale, Carrie Preston, Kelani Queypo, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Phillipa Soo, Ephraim Sykes, BD Wong, the Broadway Dreams Foundation Choir, and the casts of Six and KPOP.

Liesl Tommy, director of the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (with Hudson in the lead role), will direct the show. Tommy is the executive producer along with Julie Boardman, Nolan Doran, Halle Morse, and Jennifer Mudge.

The concert will stream on YouTube via news publisher NowThis, on Facebook via Broadway for Biden and NowThis, and on Broadway Unlocked.

In a statement, Tommy said, “It is a tremendous honor to direct this incredible collective of performers and artists, who are coming together to amplify the promise of Broadway and a nation that are future-looking, accessible, and deeply inclusive.”

The evening will include original material, stagings of musical numbers that have never been seen, and previews of productions bound for Broadway. Among those contributing are Chad Beguelin, Tony Kushner, Lynn Nottage, Robert O’Hara, Stacey Rose, Aurin Squire, DeLanna Studi, Paula Vogel and John Waters.

Christopher Gattelli, Lorin Latarro, Ray Mercer, and Abbey O’Brien will provide original choreography, with music direction by Jason Michael Webb. Chris Boardman and Charlie Rosen will provide orchestrations. Sean McLaughlin will serve as director of photography and Grady Bowman will be associate choreographer.

The event is in the vein of a fundraiser in 2012 for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, called Barack on Broadway, that was produced by Margo Lion and others.

Javier Bardem to Present at This Year’s Oscars

Javier Bardemhas a date with Oscar…

The 49-year-old Spanish actor has been added to the list of presenters for the 91st Oscars show later this month.

Javier Bardem

Bardem, won the Academy Awardfor Best Supporting Actorfor his role as the psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in the 2007 Coen Brothersfilm No Country for Old Men, joins a roster of new additions that includes Angela BassettChadwick BosemanEmilia ClarkeLaura DernSamuel L. JacksonStephan JamesKeegan-Michael KeyKiKi LayneJames McAvoyMelissa McCarthyJason Momoa and Sarah Paulson.

They join previously announced AwkwafinaDaniel Craig,Chris EvansTina FeyAllison Janney,Brie LarsonJennifer LopezFrances McDormandGary OldmanAmy PoehlerSam RockwellMaya Rudolph,Amandla StenbergCharlize TheronTessa Thompson and Constance Wuat the show, set for February 24 live on ABC.

The presenters have added interest in a year in which the Oscars is going host-less, with Academy president John Bailey saying as late a week ago the show remained “in flux.”

“The array of talent anchoring the show this year has brought some of the most indelible moments in recent cinematic memory to audiences around the world,” said producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer and director Glenn Weisson Monday in the announcement. “They join together to reconnect us with the nominees, their tremendous movies, and outstanding performances.”

Bardem to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Academy Awards

Javier Bardem has a date with Oscar

The 47-year-old Spanish actor, who won an Academy Award for his role in No Country for Old Men, will serve as a presenter at the 89th Academy Awards on February 26.

Javier Bardem

In addition to Bardem, the latest list of presenters includes

Amy Adams, Riz Ahmed, John Cho, Dwayne Johnson, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Emma Stone and Charlize Theron, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Previously announced presenters include Halle Berry, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon and Hailee Steinfeld. 

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the ceremony live.

Sigman to Star in CBS’ “S.W.A.T.” Pilot, Based on the 2011 Crime Drama

Stephanie Sigman is about to get tactical…

The Mexican-American actress, who rose to acclaim in the 2011 crime drama film Miss Bala, will star in CBS’ S.W.A.T. reboot.

Stephanie Sigman

Sigman is the first cast member to sign onto the reboot, which is based on the movie of the same name.

The pilot follows a locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly-trained unit that’s the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles. Sources say CBS is nearing a deal with an actor for the lead lieutenant role.

Sigman will play Jessica, who’s described as ambitious and fastidious, and has earned her high rank at S.W.A.T. headquarters.

The “S.W.A.T.” pilot was written by Aaron Thomas and will be directed by Justin Lin.

Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios are behind the hourlong drama.

The series is based on the 2003 film, which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jeremy Renner. That movie was based on the 1970s series, produced by Aaron Spelling, which ran for two seasons on ABC.

“S.W.A.T.” is the latest project for Sigman, who’s been in high demand ever since her scene-stealing role in the 2015 Daniel Craig movie Spectre. She also starred in the first season of Netflix’s Narcos, and appeared in a few episodes of ABC’s anthology series American Crime from John Ridley. This is the second consecutive pilot season that Sigman has been cast in a lead role, following Ridley’s ABC detective drama, Presence, which ultimately was not greenlit to series.

Up next for the actress is the sequel to the hit horror movie Annabelle 2.