Sofia Vergara Lending Voice to Illumination’s Animated Film “Despicable Me 4”

It’s a despicable time for Sofia Vergara.

The 51-year-old Colombian actress is starring in Illumination’s Despicable Me 4, the first Despicable Me film in seven years that sees Gru, the supervillain-turned-Anti-Villain League-agent, return with his Minions.

Sofia VergaraFollowing the 2022 summer blockbuster of Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gruwhich earned almost $1 billion worldwide, the animated franchise now begins a new chapter as Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and their girls —Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Madison Polan)—welcome a new member to the Gru family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad.

Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (Vergara), and the family is forced to go on the run.

The film features new characters voiced by Joey King, Stephen Colbert and Chloe Fineman.

Pierre Coffin returns as the iconic voice of the Minions and Steve Coogan returns as Silas Ramsbottom.

Despicable Me 4 is directed by a co-creator of the Minions, Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets), and is produced by Illumination’s founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Brett Hoffman (executive producer, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Minions: The Rise of Gru).

The film is co-directed by Patrick Delage, and the screenplay is by Mike White and the veteran writer of every Despicable Me film, Ken Daurio.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Sofia Vergara’s Drama Series “Griselda”

Sofia Vergara is bringing the drama…

Netflix has released the official trailer for Griselda, starring the 51-year-old Colombian actress and television personality. The series will premiere on January 25th.

Sofia Vergara, GriseldaIn the series about Narco queenpin, the titular Griselda Blanco, Vergara flexes her dramatic skills.

From creators Eric Newman, Doug Miro, Ingrid Escajeda and Carlo Bernard, the six-episode series chronicles the life of Colombian-born Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. In 1970s-80s Miami, Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family, leading her to become widely known as “the Godmother.”

Alberto Guerra (Dario Sepúlveda), Christian Tappan (Arturo Mesa), Martín Rodríguez (Rivi Ayala), Juliana Aidén Martinez (June Hawkins), Vanessa Ferlito (Carmen Gutiérrez) also star.

Sofia Vergara, GriseldaGuest stars include Fredy Yate (Chucho Castro), Paulina Dávila (Isabel), José Zúñiga (Amilcar), Camilo Jiménez Varón (Rafa Salazar), Julieth Restrepo (Marta Ochoa), Gabriel Sloyer (Raul Diaz), Diego Trujillo (German Panesso) and Alberto Amann (Alberto Bravo).

New images from the series also reveal Carolina Giraldo, who is better known as Urban Latino superstar Karol G, in the role of Griselda’s friend Carla.

Andrés Baiz directs all episodes of Griselda. Escajeda and Miro serve as co-showrunners. Narcos and Narcos: Mexico showrunner and directing team Newman and Baiz executive produce, along with Miro, Escajeda, Carlo Bernard. Vergara and Luis Balaguer with Latin World Entertainment also executive produce.

Manolo Gonzalez Vergara to Host Roku Competitive Cooking Show “Celebrity Family Cook Off”

Manolo Gonzalez Vergara is heading to the kitchen…

Roku has ordered a celebrity cooking show Celebrity Family Cook Off, which will be hosted by the 31-year-old Colombian actor and executive produced by his mother Sofia Vergara.

Manolo Gonzalez Vergara & Sofia VergaraThe streamer has greenlit the new series, which will see famous families face off in the name of charity.

In each episode, a food-loving celebrity and a family member compete against another celebrity family duo in a two-round battle, dinner followed by dessert. Each round of the competition will feature a culinary challenge inspired by a hit movie or television series. The winning celeb-family duo will receive a cash prize to donate to a charity of their choice.

Gonzalez Vergara will be joined by judges Kalen Allen and Fariyal Abdullahi.

The six-episode series is produced by Butternut, the Wheelhouse company run by former Food Network boss Courtney White and Latin World Entertainment, the company founded by Luis Balaguer and Vergara.

It is Roku’s latest food show after The Great American Baking Show, Morimoto’s Sushi Master, Martha Cooks and Emeril Tailgates.

Brian Tannenbaum, Head of Originals, Roku Media, said, “It’s incredible to have the opportunity to collaborate with Sofia Vergara and Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, alongside the production teams at Butternut and Latin World Entertainment, to serve up Celebrity Family Cook Off, a new Roku Original series that will dish out food, family and competitive spirit in the name of charity.”

“We’re so excited to be partnering with Roku to bring you a fun, new cooking competition! Working as a family is great and doing it in the spirit of giving back is even better,” said Manolo Gonzalez Vergara.

Courtney White added, “This show perfectly blends Sofia and Manolo’s infectious love for family with their shared passion for food. We think this series will be an absolute delight for viewers and a great addition to Roku’s endless entertainment offerings. Our team at Butternut is excited to be part of the fun.”

Julieth Restrepo to Star as Colombian Women’s Rights Pioneer & Politician Esmeralda Arboleda

Julieth Restrepo is taking on the old boy network

The 35-year-old Colombian actress and Loving Pablo star will portray Colombian politician and women’s rights pioneer Esmeralda Arboleda in the Spanish-language feature Estimados Señores.

Julieth RestrepoArboleda, was a Colombian politician and the first woman elected to the Senate of Colombia, serving from 1958-1961. A leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the country, she played an intrinsic role in achieving universal voting rights for women in the 1950s.

The new film will chart how Arboleda managed to convince 70 of the most powerful men in Colombia to approve the vote for women, despite the powerful influence of the country’s religious right.

Restrepo, also known for her work in the Amazon and AGC series Noticia de un Secuestro with Juan Pablo Raba and Netflix miniseries Griselda with Sofia Vergara, is due to star with Elkin Diaz and Claudio Cataño in the film.

Agora Films and El Circo Film are producing. Actress, producer and writer Patricia Castañeda will make her feature directorial debut based on her script.

Featured in the Ventana Sur works in progress market of 2020, the project is now lining up to shoot next month in Bogota.

Director Castañeda says the project has particular resonance right now given that Colombia earlier this year voted to decriminalize abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, marking a major victory for reproductive rights in the country. This follows a string of similar victories in other Latin American countries.

The CW Orders Six Additional Scripts of Robert Rodriguez’s Zorro Reboot Project with a Female Lead

Robert Rodriguez’s Zorro television project with a female lead is one step closer to becoming reality.

The CW has ordered an additional six scripts for the long-gestating Zorro reboot from the 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker/writer, bringing the script total to 7.

Robert RodriguezIn addition to Rodriguez, the CW’s gender-swapped reimagining of the classic masked vigilante character also hails from writer-director Rebecca Rodriguez, Sean Tretta (Mayans M.C.), Ben Silverman and Howard T. OwensPropagate and CBS Studios.

The CW has not specified what the next step would be for Zorro if the network brass are happy with the new scripts, but a straight-to-series order is likely.

This is a variation of the straight-to-series model, which the network has employed with a different degree of success over the past two years.

The CW’s Zorro is a new incarnation of the project, which was in development at NBC during the 2020-21 cycle, with Tretta as a new addition to the brother-and-sister writing team of Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez.

Co-penned by the trio and to be directed by Rebecca Rodriguez, in Zorro, a young Latinx woman seeking vengeance for her father’s murder joins a secret society and adopts the outlaw persona of Zorro. The story by Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez was already in place when Tretta, who has an overall deal at CBS Studios, came on board earlier this cycle to write the script.

Tretta, who also will serve as showrunner, and Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez will executive produce with Silverman, Owens and Rodney Ferrell for Propagate.

Propagate originally set out to develop a Zorro TV series with a female lead in 2019 as one of the company’s first projects under its first-look deal with CBS Studios. The idea’s first incarnation, written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., was set up at NBC, as was the 2020-21 version with Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez, which also had Sofia Vergara attached as an executive producer. She is no longer involved in the project.

Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct The Mask of Zorro and cast Antonio Banderas as the title role before leaving the feature project.

In TV, he currently serves as an executive producer-director on Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett. He previously developed and executive produced the series adaptation of his movie From Dusk Till Dawn for his television network El Rey and also executive produced the Spy Kids animated series offshoot for Netflix. He recently directed an episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Rebecca Rodriguez’s recent directing credits include episodes of HBO Max’s Doom PatrolNBC’s Debris, TNT’s Snowpiercer and Showtime’s The Chi.

Juliana Aidén Martinez to Star Opposite Sofia Vergara in Netflix’s Limited Series “Griselda”

Juliana Aidén Martinez is joining the cartel…

The Colombian actress has joined the cast of Netflix’s Griselda, its upcoming limited series about real-life drug queenpin Griselda Blanco starring Sofia Vergara.

Juliana Aidén Martinez

Aidén Martinez is among 12 newly added cast members, including Alberto Guerra, Diego Trujillo, Paulina Davila, Gabriel Sloyer, Maximiliano Hernández and Julieth Restrepo.

Netflix also released a first look photo of Vergara as the lead character.

Sofia Vergara, Griselda Blanco, Griselda

The six-episode series chronicles the life of Colombian-born Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. A devoted mother, Blanco’s lethal blend of charm and unsuspecting savagery helped her expertly navigate between family and business leading her to become widely known as the “Black Widow.”

Here’s a full list of the cast and the characters they’ll play:

Alberto Guerra (Narcos: Mexico) as “Dario”
Vanessa Ferlito as “Isabel”
Alberto Ammann (Narcos) as “Alberto Bravo”
Christian Tappan (The Great Heist) as “Arturo”
Diego Trujillo (Metastasis) as “German Panesso”
Paulina Davila (Luis Miguel) as “Carmen”
Gabriel Sloyer (Narcos) as “Diaz”
Juliana Aidén Martinez as “June”
Martin Rodriguez (Detrás de la verdad) as “Rivi”
José Zúñiga (American Crime StoryVersace) as “Amilcar”
Maximiliano Hernández (The AvengersThe Americans) as “Papo Mejia”
Julieth Restrepo as “Marta Ochoa”

Blanco burst onto the pop culture scene after her exploits were highlighted in the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys and its sequel two years later from Billy Corben.

She was portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Lifetime biopic Cocaine Godmother in 2018.

The series was developed by executive producers Vergara and Luis Balaguer for Latin World EntertainmentGriselda is the latest project for Eric Newman under his overall deal with Netflix.

Ingrid Escajeda will serve as co-showrunner, as well as write, and executive produce alongside Doug Miro (Narcos). Newman will also EP alongside his Narcos creative team, Andrés Baiz, and Carlo Bernard—though Griselda is unrelated to Netflix’s drug thriller franchise.

Baiz will direct all six episodes.

Alex Rivera to Write & Direct “Zorro 2.0,” A Reimagining of the Iconic Character

Alex Rivera is ridin’ high…

The 48-year-old Peruvian American filmmaker, a recipient of a 2021 MacArthur Genius grant, will write and direct Zorro 2.0 for Sobini Films.

Alex Rivera

The film reimagines the iconic character as Oscar de la Vega, a young, undocumented hacker known as ‘z0rr0.’ While fighting back against a secret government unit that attacked his mother, he discovers a high-tech conspiracy that threatens not only his family but the world.

“I’ve always been interested in films that address real-world issues through genre,” Rivera said in a statement to Deadline. “This project is an opportunity to connect Zorro—the original masked avenger—to today’s border wars, a conflict in which immigrant families are pitted against regimes of hi-tech surveillance and government control. ‘Zorro 2.0’ will be visually elevated, socially grounded, sci-fi cinema, and I’m thrilled to be working with Sobini to get this vision on the screen.”

Sobini Films’ Mark Amin, Cami Winikoff and Tyler Boehm will produce. John Gertz of Zorro Productions International and Michael Helfant of Amasia Entertainment will serve as executive producers.

Zorro is a fictional character created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 widely recognized by his all-black costume featuring a sombrero, cape and mask. He’s been portrayed multiple times on the big and small screen by actors including Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power and Frank Langella.

Antonio Banderas most recently played the mysterious vigilante in 1998’s The Mask of Zorro and its 2005 sequel The Legend of Zorro.

A Zorro drama series with a female lead was being developed at NBC from Robert Rodriguez and Sofia Vergara last December.

Rivera made his feature film debut with 2008’s cyberpunk thriller Sleep Dealer set at the U.S.-Mexico border. He followed that with the doc/scripted hybrid The Infiltrators that tells a true story about an immigrant detention center. A scripted series based on the film is being adapted for the small screen by Blumhouse Television.

Sofia Vergara to Portray Drug Queenpin Griselda Blanco in New Netflix Series “Griselda”

Sofia Vergara is dealing her way to the small screen…

The 49-year-old Colombian-American actress, television producer, presenter and model is set to portray notorious drug queenpin Griselda Blanco in a new Netflix limited series.

Sofia VergaraThe six-episode series Griselda chronicles the real-life of Griselda Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. A devoted mother, Blanco’s lethal blend of charm and unsuspecting savagery helped her expertly navigate between family and business leading her to become widely known as the “Black Widow”.

The series comes from writer Ingrid Escajeda, who is showrunner, writer, and executive producer, as well as Eric Newman, Doug Miro, Andrés Baiz, and Carlo Bernard— the creative team behind Narcos – but it is unrelated to Netflix’s drug thriller franchise.

Vergara will also serve as executive producer of the project with Luis Balaguer for Latin World Entertainment. Colombian native Baiz will direct all episodes.

“Griselda Blanco was a larger-than-life character whose ruthless but ingenious tactics allowed her to rule a billion dollar empire years before many of the most notorious male kingpins we know so much about,” Vergara said. “We are thrilled to have found the perfect partners in Eric, Andrés and Netflix to help us bring this story of her life to the screen.”

Newman added, “Griselda Blanco has long been a passion project for Sofia and we are grateful that she and her partners at LatinWe have chosen us to help her tell that story. Sofia is a brilliant talent and her passion combined with a fantastic story from Doug and Ingrid, and the amazing Andrés Baiz at the directing helm, means we have a very exciting series to share with audiences.”

Peter Friedlander, VP, UCAN scripted series at Netflix, said, “Eric Newman has deftly brought to life among the most dynamic characters and stories on screen today. We’re excited to continue on this creative path with him and for this collaboration with Sofia Vergara — a force in entertainment and a world-beloved talent. With an incredible team at the helm — we can’t wait for the world to see how Ingrid Escajeda, Doug Miro, and Andrés Baiz take on the twists and turns of Griselda Blanco’s epic story.”

Blanco burst onto the pop culture scene after her exploits were highlighted in the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys and its sequel two years later from Billy Corben. She was portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Lifetime biopic Cocaine Godmother in 2018.

Jennifer Lopez announced she’d portray Blanco in the film The Godmother, a project she is rumored to also direct.

Sofia Vergara to Co-Host This Year’s “Stand Up to Cancer” Special

Sofia Vergara is taking a stand

The 49-year-old Colombian actress and former Modern Family star will serve as a co-host for this year’s the seventh biennial televised fundraising special Stand Up To Cancer.

Sofia Vergara

Vergara will co-host the event alongside Anthony Anderson, Ken Jeong & Tran Ho.

Set to air Saturday, August 21 at 8:00 pm ET, this year’s Stand Up To Cancer event will be broadcast from Los Angeles and air simultaneously on more than 60 participating media platforms across the United States and Canada.

The telecast will also be available to stream live and on-demand on several streaming platforms.

The event, co-executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, will see performances by Common, Brittany Howard and more artists that will be announced at a later date.

Stand Up To Cancer seeks to raise funds to support research and new treatments of cancer, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected nearly every aspect of cancer care and research.

The live-event is produced by Done + Dusted and Stand Up To Cancer’s production team.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Artists Offering Civic Lessons in Netflix’s Animated Series “We the People”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is giving a civics lesson…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and playwright, the mastermind behind the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton, lends his voice to the new animated Netflix series We the People.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Created by Chris Nee and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, the 10-part series provides a range of civics lessons through three-minute music videos on topics that include the Bill of Rights, immigration and the courts.

In addition to Miranda, the series also features award-winning artists H.E.R., Brandi CarlisleBebe Rexha and others.

Miranda took on the topic of “The Three Branches of Government” episode, writing and performing the song “Checks and Balances,” alongside Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Daveed Diggs, Brittany Howard and Robert Lopez.

With its light hip-hop bear, the catchy number explains the checks and balances of the United States government.

Meanwhile, Jorge R. Gutierrez directs the immigration-themed episode, which features the track “American Citizen,” performed by Bebe Rexha.

The 46-year-old Mexican animator, painter, writer, voice actor, and production designer helms Rexha’s pop message that lets everyone know from the second they are born, they are an “American Citizen.”

The episode is full of visual treats showing how the country is one built from a nation of immigrants, as animated versions of Sofia Vergara, Steven Chen, Anousheh Ansari and Padma Lakshmi are all featured to illustrate the point.

We the People premiered on Sunday, July 4 on Netflix.