Anya Taylor-Joy Among Cast for Illumination’s ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Animated Film

Anya Taylor-Joy is preparing for her next royal excursion…

Illumination and Nintendo have announced the powerhouse voice cast for their upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film, which includes the 25-year-old Argentine American actress.

Anya Taylor-Joy

Taylor-Joy, who earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in Queen’s Gambit, will star as Princess Peach in the film, which will hit cinemas on December 21, 2022.

Playing the fraternal, mushroom digesting plumbers and squashers of turtles are Chris Pratt as Mario and Charlie Day as Luigi.

Playing bad guy Bowser is Jack BlackKeegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.

“Each voice actor was cast for their ability to capture the unique spirit of their character,” reads the release.

The co-financed feature between Universal and Nintendo will be directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, who previously collaborated on the animated series Teen Titans Go! and the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

The film’s screenplay will be written by Matthew Fogel, whose credits include The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and the upcoming Illumination feature Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Future offshore release dates will be announced.

“Mario and Luigi are two of the most beloved heroes in all of popular culture, and we are honored to have the unique opportunity to work so closely with Shigeru Miyamoto and the widely imaginative team at Nintendo to bring these characters to life in an animated movie, unlike any film Illumination has made to date,” said Chris Meledandri who is also an outside director of Nintendo.

“We are collaborating with Chris and his experienced team to not just create a character licensed film, but a new piece of entertainment which brings Super Mario Bros. to life on the screen, and allows everyone to enjoy whether or not they know about the game. The production so far is constructive and going very well, and both parties are learning a lot from each other. We humbly ask that fans wait just a little longer for the premiere, and we hope they look forward to seeing the unique characters from Super Mario Bros. on the big screen,” said Miyamoto.

Super Mario Bros. is a huge franchise play for Universal and Illumination. Already, there’s a Super Mario Bros. land open at the Universal Japan theme park with others under construction at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando.

The movie has been a long awaited revival for fans. There was a live action movie in 1993 starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as baddie King Koopa. There was also in the late 1980s The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! animated series which starred Captain Lou Albano as the voice of Mario and Danny Wells as the voice of Luigi.

Mario Brothers was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi, Nintendo’s chief engineer in 1983. Super Mario Bros. the subseries, was launched in 1985. It is the best-selling video game franchise of all time, with more than 758.06 million copies of games sold, including 388.92 million for the Super Mario games alone.

Laz Alonso to Take Part in “The Boys” Panel as Part of Amazon’s First-Ever Amazon Virtual-Con

Laz Alonso is bringing his Boys over…

The 46-year-old Afro-Cuban American actor and his The Boys cast mates will take part in Amazon Prime Video’s first-ever Amazon Virtual-Con, which will include virtual experiences and activations that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. The Amazon Virtual-Con is part of Comic-Con@Home.

Laz Alonso

The virtual event will kick off on the San Diego Comic Con’s official YouTube channel and on the Amazon Virtual-Con portal starting at 12:00 pm PST on Thursday, July 23.

Alonso’s The Boys panel, moderated by Aisha Tyler, will take place onThursday, July 23at 3:00 pm PST, with participation by executive producer Eric Kripke, along with series stars Alonso, Karl UrbanJack QuaidAntony StarrErin Moriarty, Jessie T. UsherChace CrawfordTomer CaponKaren Fukuhara and Aya Cash

The virtual panel will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming second season of The Boys. Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will also make a special appearance. 

Based on The New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick RobertsonThe Boysis a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes – who are as popular as celebrities – abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. The even more intense, more insane Season Two finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought.

Other Amazon series joining this year’s virtual edition Comic-Con include Upload, Truth Seekers and UtopiaLike every Comic-Con, the panels will include cast, creators and crew of the series and will feature fan Q&As, behind-the-scene-stories, breaking news from the aforementioned series.

Virtual-Con will be available free of charge to all fans in front of the Prime Video paywall from July 23-26.

Here are the full details for the panels and Amazon Virtual-Con:

COMIC-CON@HOMEPANELS

Truth Seekers
Thursday, July 23 at 12:00 p.m. PST
A new original supernatural horror-comedy by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz), James Serafinowicz (Sick Note) and Nat Saunders (Sick Note). Join as they discuss the making of the hilarious eight-episode series about a team of part-time paranormal investigators, who team up to uncover and film ghost sightings across the UK, sharing their adventures on an online channel for all to see. Discussion and Q&A moderated by Empire Magazine’s Chris Hewitt.

Utopia
Thursday, July 23 at 1:00 p.m. PST
A twisted, eight-episode thriller about a group of young comic fans who discover the conspiracy in a graphic novel is real, and embark on a high-stakes adventure to save humanity from the end of the world. Join writer and executive producer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and series stars John Cusack (High Fidelity), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Sasha Lane (American Honey), Ashleigh LaThrop (Fifty Shades Freed), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town), Desmin Borges (You’re The Worst), Javon “Wanna” Walton (Euphoria), and Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day) for a Q&A moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Christian Holub.

Upload
Thursday, July 23 at 2:00 p.m. PST
Join creator, executive producer and director Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) and stars Robbie Amell (Code 8), Andy Allo (Pitch Perfect 3), Kevin Bigley (Undone), Allegra Edwards (New Girl), and Zainab Johnson (American Koko) as they discuss how they brought this futuristic comedy to life, share behind-the-scenes details from Season One, and tease what fans can expect in Season Two. The panel will be moderated by Engadget’s Cherlynn Low. Upload Season One is a ten-episode, half-hour, sci-fi comedy that takes place in the near future, where people can be “Uploaded” into a virtual afterlife of their choice.

The Boys
Thursday, July 23 at 3:00 p.m. PST
Join executive producer Eric Kripke, along with series stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara and Aya Cash, with moderator Aisha Tyler, for a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming second season of The Boys. Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will also make a special appearance. Based on The New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boysis a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes – who are as popular as celebrities – abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. The even more intense, more insane Season Two finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought.

AMAZON VIRTUAL-CON PROGRAMMING

ComiXology’s Comic-Con@Home Panel, Plus Live Artist Drawing Sessions, Creator Interview Series, and Comic Book Movie Trivia NightSaturday, July 25 at 3:00pm PST (Comic-Con@Home panel)
Are you currently reading digital comics? Are you familiar with comiXology’s exclusive digital content program – comiXology Originals? Join comiXology’s Head of Content, Chip Mosher and a cast of beloved comic creators and rising-stars including, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jason Loo (Afterlift), artist Claudia Aguirre (Lost on Planet Earth), writer Curt Pires (YOUTH), along with some surprise guests, to get the scoop on the latest comiXology Originals series direct from the creators making them! They’ll intrigue you with behind-the-scenes stories about the process of bringing comics from concept to the page and what it’s like pushing the envelope with digital comics, and beyond.

For the superfan seeking even more comic book content, comiXology’s own Kiwi will host live drawing sessions on comiXology’s Twitch channel with some of the industry’s most renowned illustrators, including GLAAD Media Award-winning illustrator Tula Lotay and three-time New York Times best-selling British artist Jock. In addition to drawing sessions, Kiwi will also host an interview series with creators from comiXology’s Originals line of exclusive digital content, including Curt Pires & Dee Cunniffe (YOUTH) and the creators behind two yet to be announced original graphic novels. And if all that isn’t enough, comiXology and Eisner Award winner Chip Zdarsky will host Comic Book Movie Trivia Night on Friday, July 24 at 5:00p.m. PST on their Twitch channel.

For the schedule of live drawing sessions and creator interviews, please continue to check amazon.com/virtualcon for updates.

Morena Baccarin to Star in CBS All Access’ Second Season of “The Twilight Zone”

Morena Baccarinis in the Zone

The 40-year-old Brazilian actress has been cast in CBS All Access’ anthology series The Twilight Zone’s second season.

Morena Baccarin

Baccarin joins a cast that includes Billy PorterJenna ElfmanGillian Jacobsand Chris Meloni.

Style blogger Tavi Gevinson also appears with Colman DomingoEthan Embry, Tony HaleAbbie HernSophia Macy, Joel McHaleJimmi Simpson and Daniel Sunjata.

Separately, Jordan Peele, who executive produces and narrates the show, will write an episode for the second season. 

The Get Out writer and director will write the episode Downtime, which features Baccarin, Domingo and Hale.

The CBS All Access series is a modern reimagining of Rod Serling’s original, which aired from 1959-64 on CBS. The first season featured actors including Ike BarinholtzJohn ChoGinnifer GoodwinGreg KinnearKumail NanjianiChris O’DowdSeth RogenAdam Scott and Alison Tolman.

The drama is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Kinberg’s Genre Films

CBS All Access Orders Second Season of Zabryna Guevara’s “The Twilight Zone”

Zabryna Guevara is still zoning out…

CBS All Access has ordered a second season The Twilight Zone, itsanthology series starring the 47-year-old Afro-Latina American actress.

Zabryna Guevara

The CBS All Access series is a modern reimagining of Rod Serling’s original, which aired from 1959-64 on CBS and became a worldwide phenomenon, using socially conscious storytelling to explore the human condition and culture of the times.

Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg’s reimagining of The Twilight Zone is off to an amazing start on CBS All Access, driving the most viewers on its premiere day for an original series to date,” said Julie McNamara, EVP Original Content at CBS All Access. “Jordan, Simon, the creative team and cast have done a phenomenal job translating the series’ legacy of socially conscious storytelling for modern-day audiences. They are master storytellers, and we look forward to bringing fans further into The Twilight Zone with a second season.”

CBS announced in 2017 that it would revive The Twilight Zone for streaming service CBS All Access with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films.

The anthology series features Peele as host and narrator with cast members including Guevara, Ike BarinholtzZazie BeetzJohn ChoLucinda DryzekTaissa FarmigaJames FrainBetty GabrielGinnifer GoodwinPercy Hynes-WhiteGreg KinnearLuke KirbySanaa Lathan, Kumail NanjianiChris O’DowdSeth RogenAdam ScottRhea SeehornAlison Tolman,Jacob TremblayJefferson WhiteJonathan WhitesellJessica WilliamsDeWanda Wise and Steven Yeun.

The first season of The Twilight Zone is airing on-demand at CBS All Access. The series’ first five episodes are available with new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays.

The Twilight Zone is produced by CBS Television Studiosin association with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Kinberg’s Genre Films. Peele and Kinberg serve as executive producers.

Guevara’s previous television credits include appearances in New AmsterdamThe Handmaid’s TaleGothamand Chicago Med.

Laz Alonso to Star in Amazon’s Drama Series “The Boys”

Laz Alonso is just one of The Boys

The 43-year-old Afro-Cuban American actor has landed a role in Amazon’s straight-to-series drama The Boys.

Laz Alonso

The project comes from from Supernatural creator and Timeless co-creator Eric KripkePreacher‘s Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen and Sony Pictures Television.

Written by Kripke based on the comic book by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson and directed by Goldberg & Rogen, The Boys is set in a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame. It revolves around a group of vigilantes known informally as “the boys,” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.

Alonso will play Mother’s Milk. Second in command of the Boys, he’s a great detective, highly intelligent and observant and an intuitive investigator.

Alonso, whose television series credits include NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura IDeception, as well as A&E’s Breakout Kings, appeared in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit and will next be seen opposite Paula Patton and Omar Epps in the Lionsgate feature Traffik.

Trejo to Participate in This Year’s Red Nose Day Special on NBC

It’s a Rudolph-like moment for Danny Trejo

The 72-year-old Mexican American actor, best known for portraying villains and anti-heroes, has signed on for NBC’s Red Nose Day Special.

Danny Trejo

The fundraiser, which aims to help lift kids out of poverty, will be broadcast live on May 26 from 9:00 – 11:oo pm ET on NBC.

The special, hosted by Craig Ferguson, features comedy, musical performances and short films that shed light on children in need here at home and around the world.

Also scheduled to make an appearance on the special are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tony Hale, Iwan Rheon, Sterling K. Brown, Yvette Nicole Brown, Margot Robbie, Jane Lynch, Connie Britton, Jay Pharaoh, Mayim BialikEllen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Key & Peele, Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Ellie Kemper, along with Kristen Bell, Emma Watson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Rose Byrne, Blake Griffin, Emma Thompson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Steve Buscemi, Adam Devine and Ron Funches. Additional talent will be announced at a later date.

Created by Oscar nominee and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis, the idea of Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and awareness of poverty to save and change millions of lives.

Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion globally in the last 25 years, and in the UK has become a cultural phenomenon where people across the country come together to have fun, raise money and change lives.

Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015, and raised more than $23 million, with the money now at work in all 50 states and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.

Netflix Gives Gomez’s “13 Reasons Why” a Straight-to-Series Order

Selena Gomez is going behind the scenes for her next project…

Netflix has given Anonymous Content and Paramount Television’s 13 Reasons Why, executive produced by the 23-year-old half-Mexican American actress/singer, a straight-to-series order.

Selena Gomez

The show, based on the New York Times bestselling Young Adult (YA) book by Jay Asher, was created by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey, who also wrote the pilot.

13 Reasons Why is the second Netflix straight to order series for Anonymous Content. The first is the Plan B collaboration The OA, which goes into production next quarter.

Gomez recently wrapped four films: In Dubious Battle, directed by James FrancoThe Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, alongside Paul RuddThe Big Short, starring Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale; and Seth Rogen’s Neighbors 2.

Most recently, she reprised her role as Mavis in Sony PicturesHotel Transylvania 2, which opened to record-breaking box office.

She is not starring in 13 Reasons Why.

As a recording artist, Gomez has sold more than 22 million singles worldwide, and her new album Revival debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. She will embark on a global tour next year.

Lopez to Appear as the First Guest on “The Meredith Vieira Show”

Jennifer Lopez is about to be Meredith Vieira’s first….

An exclusive interview with the45-year-old Puerto Rican singer, actress and American Idol judge will be featured on the first edition of The Meredith Vieira Show when it premieres on Monday, September 8 in national syndication.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez will talk “openly and candidly,” according to an announcement Wednesday, about her family, life and relationships.

Later, Vieira will speak with actor Seth Rogen and his actress wife Lauren Miller. They will talk about why Alzheimer’s awareness is a cause that is important to them.

On that Tuesday, British singer and former Spice Girls member Mel B, a judge on America’s Got Talent, will also be on the show “to dish on the other AGT judges,” according to the announcement. Vieira will also ask her how fearless Scary Spice is in a game called “What Scares Scary Spice?”

Later in the week, Vieira will be joined by actress Jessica Alba, who will talk about how her daughters were the driving force in building her business empire.

In the second half of her first week, Vieira also helps three brides-to-be who complain their father “is the worst dad on the dance floor.” Vieira enlists an expert to teach him how to dance in time for the weddings.

The new one-hour weekday show hosted by Vieira is being produced and syndicated by NBC Universal. Anchored on the NBC stations in the biggest U.S. cities, it is the highest profile new syndicated talk show of the fall season.

Leto Wins Best On-Screen Transformation at the MTV Movie Awards

Jared Leto is the ultimate transformer

The 42-year-old part-Spanish actor/singer took home the prize for Best On-Screen Transformation at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, which were handed out Sunday at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Jared Leto

Leto won the award for his gender-bending performance in Dallas Buyers Club, a role for which he also earned an Oscar earlier this year.

“The Academy is really prestigious but this is unique because everybody has the right to vote and you get people from all over the world that chime in and say whatever you want to say so it means a lot,” said Leto backstage of his win. “It’s nice to be able to get up on stage and to thank people directly.”

Earlier this year, Leto offered insight into his critically-acclaimed role in “Making Rayon Real,” a featurette about the character Rayon, a male-to-female transgender character addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS.

But Leto wasn’t the only Latino to win an award…

Howie Dorough and his Backstreet Boys band mates, as well as Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson, won the Best Musical Moment for their performance in This is the End. 

In the scene, the 40-year-old half-Puerto Rican boy-bander and his Backstreet Boys reunite in heaven to perform “Everybody” with signature boy band moves and flair for this unforgettable apocalyptic ending.

Conan O’Brien hosted the event, which aired live on MTV.

Here’s the complete this of winners, as voted by fans:

MOVIE OF THE YEAR
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

BEST FIGHT
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
 Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

BEST KISS
Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter – We’re the Millers

BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
Zac Efron – That Awkward Moment

BEST VILLAIN
Mila Kunis  – Oz The Great and Powerful

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club  

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Will Poulter – We’re the Millers

BEST SCARED-AS-S**T PERFORMANCE
Brad Pitt – World War Z

BEST ON-SCREEN DUO
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker – Fast & Furious 6

#WTF MOMENT
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio’s iconic portrayal of excessive Wall Street player Jordan Belfort takes a turn for the insane when he takes his Lamborghini for a spin.

BEST MUSICAL MOMENT
Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson –This is the End
Spoiler alert! Backstreet Boys reunite in heaven to perform “Everybody” with signature boy band moves and flair for this unforgettable apocalyptic ending

BEST CAMEO PERFORMANCE
Rihanna – This is the End

BEST HERO
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent –Man of Steel

Hayek to Lend Her Voice to Seth Rogen’s R-Rated Animated Film “Sausage Party”

Salma Hayek’s next project may be animated, but it might not be family friendly…

The 47-year-old Mexican actress will lend her voice to the raunchy animated tale of a sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence.

Salma Hayek

The Oscar-nominated actress will play Teresa the Taco in Sausage Party, the R-rated animated film written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir.

Hayek joins a voice cast that includes Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Edward Norton and David Krumholtz.

After falling out of a shopping cart, the hero sausage and his new friends embark on a journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the Fourth of July sale.

Sony Pictures is planning to distribute the film worldwide with a 2015 release date in the plans.

Hayek most recently appeared in Grown Ups 2 and Here Comes The Boom. She next stars in How To Make Love Like An Englishman and Everly.