Javier Bardem to Star in Sony Pictures’ Film Adaptation of the Popular Children’s Book “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”

Javier Bardem is getting animated…

The 52-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor will star in Will Speck and Josh Gordon’s Lyle, Lyle Crocodile for Sony Pictures.

Javier Bardem

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar-winning songwriting team behind the music of La La Land and upcoming Dear Evan Hansen film, will reportedly write original songs for the film.

Speck and Gordon will direct with the script, based on the best-selling children’s book by Bernard Waber, being adapted by Will Davies.

Lyle Lyle Crocodile

First published in 1965, the venerable children’s tale centers on the title reptile, who lives in a house on East 88th Street in New York City. Lyle enjoys helping the Primm family with everyday chores, and playing with the neighborhood kids. He’s the happiest crocodile any home ever had…until one neighbor insists that Lyle belongs in a zoo. Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta, don’t like crocodiles, and everything Lyle does to win them over seems to go wrong. It will take all of Lyle’s charm—and courage—to reveal the hero, and friend, behind the big crocodile smile.

The film will debut on July 22, 2022.

For an actor known more for his adult roles like Biutiful and his Oscar-winning work in No Country For Old Menthe film marks his rare trek into the family-friendly genre.

But sources say Waber’s original story was very appealing to Bardem from the moment he was offered the part.

This isn’t his first dive into material meant for all ages. He’s previously played the villain in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and will play King Triton in Disney’s live action adaptation of its acclaimed animated film The Little Mermaid.

When it comes to adult roles, Bardem’s upcoming slate includes Legendary’s DuneFernando León de Aranoa’s The Good Boss (El Buen Patron) and Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardoswhere he plays Desi Arnaz, opposite Nicole Kidman’s Lucille Ball.

Amazon to Release Camila Cabello’s Musical Film “Cinderella” Across 240 Countries This Fall

It’s a clean sweep for Camila Cabello…

Amazon’s recent pickup of Sony Pictures’ musical film Cinderella will premiere on the streamer this fall in 240 countries.

Cash

The news of the likely landing spot for the filmcame as the streamer released the first looks at the Kay Cannon-directed film.

Sony previously decided to license worldwide (sans China) to Amazon instead of going with a summer theatrical release.

Camila Cabello

Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine and Pierce Brosnan also star in the film.

“Cinderella is a classic we all know and love, but this time with a modern unique twist and starring the sensational Camila Cabello and an all-star cast. Producer James Corden and the filmmaking team have taken this beloved fairytale and revamped it with a fresh, empowering perspective that will resonate with audiences and families around the world. We couldn’t be more excited for our global customers to sing and dance along to director Kay Cannon’s reimagination of this classic story,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios.

The film was also written by Cannon. Producers are Leo Pearlman, James Corden, Jonathan Kadin and Shannon McIntosh, and EPs are Louise Rosner and Josephine Rose.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Animated Musical Film “Vivo” Headed to Netflix

Lin-Manuel Miranda is getting animated once again…

Netflix has picked up the streaming rights to Vivo, an animated movie that boasts new music from the 41-year-old Broadway star, actor, lyricist/composer and Hamilton creator.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The family friendly film was initially scheduled to be released in theaters on June 4. But Sony Pictures, the studio that originally backed Vivo, has instead offloaded the project to Netflix. It’s unclear when it will debut on the streaming service.

Sony Pictures will retain all rights in China, along with home entertainment and linear television rights everywhere else, following periods of exclusivity on Netflix.

Netflix recently signed a lucrative deal with Sony, which gives the streamer exclusive U.S. rights to the studio’s theatrical releases in the first pay TV window.

In addition, Netflix has a first-look deal with Sony’s offerings. However, the pact doesn’t commence until 2022 so it doesn’t include the sale of Vivo.

Vivo was directed by The Croods filmmaker Kirk DeMicco and co-directed by Brandon Jeffords. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for Miranda’s In The Heights, has co-written the screenplay with DeMicco.

The animated musical adventure follows a unique kinkajou (a.k.a. a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively Havana square with his beloved owner Andrés. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), inviting her old partner to her farewell concert in Miami with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to the distant shores of Miami, Vivo will need to accept the help of Gabi (newcomer Ynairaly Simo) — an energetic teen who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum. The voice cast also includes Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer.

“Bringing Vivo to life has been an incredible artistic journey. I couldn’t ask for better creative partners than Kirk, Quiara, Alex and the entire team at Sony Animation,” Miranda said. “I’m so excited Vivo will have a home at Netflix, where kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the film’s songs and adventures again and again.”

Vivo isn’t the first movie musical from Miranda that skipped theaters in favor of streaming. The live-recorded version of Hamilton was supposed to play on the big screen, but instead debuted on Disney+ last July.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Fred Armisen’s “The Mitchells vs. The Machines”

Fred Armisen is ready for a “robot apocalypse”…

Netflix has released the new trailer for The Mitchells vs. The Machines, featuring the 54-year-old half-Venezuelan American actor/comedian.

Fred Armisen

The animated film centers on a quirky, dysfunctional but loving clan’s together time that becomes a battle to save the planet. And if these folks are the last hope for humankind, well maybe the inanimates have the upper metal hand.

When Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to meet “her people” at college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Maya Rudolph voices the mom, and Michael Rianda is the kid brother.

Directed by Mike Rianda from a script he wrote with Jeff Rowe, the film’s voice cast includes Eric Andre, Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Charlyne Yi, Blake Griffin, Conan O’Brien, Sasheer Zamata, Elle Mills, Alex Hirsch, Jay Pharoah, Doug the Pug and Olivia Colman as Pal.

Sony Pictures sold worldwide rights to the animated feature to Netflix in January, after it had bounced around the release calendar during the pandemic.

 

Netflix will debut it as a streaming-only film on April 30.

Camila Cabello Teams Up with Movement Voter Fund to Launch the Healing Justice Project, Offering Mental Health Support to Frontline Activists

Camila Cabello is spreading healing justice to frontline activists

The 23-year-old Mexican & Cuban singer is partnering with Movement Voter Fund, a charitable nonprofit that connects donors to grassroots organizations, to launch the Healing Justice Project, which will focus on giving frontline activists access to mental health support.

Camila Cabello

Cabello, who will star in Sony’s upcoming Cinderella, donated the seed money for the project and has matched all the funds raised for it to date. The first grant round totals nearly $250,000, and Cabello also has pledged to continue to donate and raise funds for future grant rounds.

The initial cohort of 10 organizations will receive grants to cover six months’ worth of mental healthcare for their activist workers. Each nonprofit has the discretion to spend the money on resources that address its individual needs and are “culturally competent,” meaning that providers are knowledgeable about the anti-racist framework to understand racial trauma. (A May 2018 American Psychological Association report revealed that just 5 percent of active psychologists are Hispanic and 4 percent are Black.)

The Healing Justice Project was inspired in part by conversations Cabello has had with California surgeon general Nadine Burke Harris about the toll of “toxic stress” (prolonged activation of the body’s stress response systems), and with such activists as Latinx Racial Equity Project founder Ana Perez and Jerry Tello, founder of the racial equity group National Compadres Network, about racial reconciliation. Cabello has been interested in both subjects ever since social media posts of hers from 2012 and 2013 featuring racist memes and racial slurs resurfaced in December 2019; the singer said she was “deeply sorry and ashamed” for her use of “horrible and hurtful language” and pledged to use her platform “to speak out about injustice and inequality.”

Cabello reflected further on what she’s learned in a conversation with Tello this week for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years, and especially this past year home during the pandemic, in constant reflection, learning and exploring the ways I have contributed to systems and beliefs that actively oppress others,” Cabello tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve realized there’s so much more I can and must do to support others who are doing the work to heal our communities…. Grassroots organizers are faced with the exhaustion, emotional burden and trauma that comes with fighting against inequitable systems. Our hope is to offer access to the necessary support they may need as they continue their critical work advocating for social justice.”

In addition to amplifying each of the 10 grant recipients through virtual engagements and on her social media accounts over the next few months, Cabello also will work to raise general awareness among the public about the psychological and emotional burnout that activists face, and to normalize mental healing and wellness practices. Prolonged exposure to racial and social injustice has been linked to higher incidences of poor mental health among affected demographics. Last summer a U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed spikes in anxiety and depression among Black and Asian Americans in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and COVID-19-related hate crimes, and a 2018 New York Times story detailed the traumatic burden shouldered by Black Lives Matter activists, two of whom lost their lives by suicide and one by heart attack.

“In the past year, a global pandemic, an overt rise in white nationalist attacks and a deeply fractious presidential election have placed challenges on organizers and activists in ways that will be felt for the long haul,” says MVF senior director Syd Yang. “Unfortunately, they often don’t get adequate support. Our partnership with Camila Cabello on the Healing Justice Project will help fill that gap and allow us to expand our support of BIPOC organizers and raise awareness about the care that is needed to drive sustainable and just social change.”

Cabello worked with MVF to identify the Healing Justice Project’s 10 recipient groups, chosen in part because they are located in regions that have recently been at the epicenters of major racial, social or electoral justice activism, and therefore have elevated levels of exhaustion, trauma and need for mental restoration. They are:

Black Leaders Organizing Communities: BLOC coordinates and harnesses the power of collective political action to represent the needs, concerns and values of local Black communities and businesses in Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin. “We simply cannot do community engagement and organizing without being mindful of our own traumas and having conversations that allow us to center our wellness,” says BLOC founder and executive director Angela Lang. “We have to take care of ourselves before we can empower anyone else.”

Faith for Justice: The St. Louis-based coalition of Christian activists, who believe that the Bible calls Christians to serve and empower the poor and challenge oppressive systems, supports Black-led organizations and liberation campaigns and helps connect churches to them.

Freedom, Inc.: Based in Madison, the self-described Black and Southeast Asian (Hmong Americans are the largest Asian ethnic group in Wisconsin) nonprofit provides direct services, leadership development and community organizing to achieve social justice among low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County.

Living United for Change in Arizona: LUCHA has worked to improve life for working families through everything from immigration services to policy change, such as its successful 2016 campaign to pass Proposition 206, which provided up to five days of paid sick leave for all employees and raised the minimum wage to $12 in 2020. “This work is difficult and often carries a heavy emotional weight,” says LUCHA co-executive director Alejandra Gomez. “It is so important that we have the practices and resources available to sustain ourselves so we can continue fighting for a better future.”

Sony Pictures Pushes Release Date of Jared Leto’s Marvel Film “Morbius” to October

Jared Leto’s marvel-ous film is moving to the fall…

Sony Pictures’ Morbiusstarring the 49-year-old actor and singer, has been moved back by seven months, from March 19 to October 8.

Jared Leto, Morbius

With COVID-19 cases raging as we await a calmer administration to set foot in Washington and deal with the nation’s health crisis, many are expecting this year’s first quarter theatrical releases to move.

Morbius moves to a release date currently occupied by United Artists Releasing’s animated sequel The Addams Family 2.

This is a major Marvel movie for Sony, and the studio is protecting it rather than sending the film to PVOD.

In Morbius, Biochemist Michael Morbius (Leto) tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead.

Daniel Espinosa directs off a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Buck Sharpless.

Ana de Armas to Star Opposite Ryan Gosling & Chris Evans in Netflix’s “The Gray Man”

It’s a case of gray matters for Ana de Armas.

The 32-year-old Cuban-Spanish actress will star opposite Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in Joe and Anthony Russo’s big-budget action thriller The Gray Man for Netflix.

Ana de Armas

The Russos have been developing the project for awhile at Sony Pictures, and when the package went back on the market over the summer, Netflix was quick to acquire it and set Gosling and Evans to star. The film will be the biggest-budget film in Netflix’s history on the feature side.

The Russos penned the script with a recent polish by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

The Gray Man is the debut novel by Mark Greaney, published in 2009 by Jove Books. It also is the first novel to feature the Gray Man, freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry.

The action thriller will follow Gentry (Gosling) as he’s hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort at the CIA. The film is based on the first installment of the best-selling Gray Man book series.

de Armas has been on a roll as of late, going back to her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the murder mystery Knives Out. She also recently was seen in the Netflix pic SergioThe Informer and The Night Clerk. With the Covid-19 pandemic delaying several films, her 2021 is expected to be equally busy as she can be seen in the next James Bond film No Time to Die and the New Regency thriller Deep Water opposite Ben Affleck. She is also set to star in Blonde, where she portrays Norma Jean.

Oscar Isaac Attached to Star in Sony Pictures’ Film Adaptation of Konami’s “Metal Gear Solid” Video Game

Oscar Isaac has landed a solid role…

Sony Pictures’ long-awaited Metal Gear Solid adaptation looks to have gained some major momentum as the 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor has been attached to play Solid Snake in the film.

Oscar Isaac

The film is currently in development at Sony with Jordan Vogt-Roberts on board to direct.

The film is based on the Metal Gear Solid video game created by Hideo Kojima and published by Konami. The script is written by Derek Connolly. Avi Arad is producing. Peter Kang is the executive overseeing for the studio.

The game was first launched on PlayStation in 1998 and follows Snake, a soldier who infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to neutralize the terrorist threat from Foxhound, a renegade special forces unit. The game has received acclaimed on many fronts, but its storytelling that has a cinematic feel always made it seem like a movie adaptation was inevitable.

Given Isaac’s extremely busy schedule, a production start date is still unknown, but his involvement makes the property a high priority for the studio going forward. As for Isaac, Metal Gear Solid could give him another major franchise, having already starred in the most recent Star Wars franchise.

Even as the industry slowly gets back into production due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Isaac has been busy setting his future slate in recent months. He is set to star in HBO’s Scenes From a Marriage opposite Jessica Chastain, followed by playing the title role in Marvel’s Moon Knight for Disney+.

Isaac will next be seen in the much-anticipated reboot of Dune and Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. He’s also set to star in and produce the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s Ex Machina comic retitled The Great Machine and star in Barry Levinson’s Francis and The Godfather, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.

Eva Longoria to Star Opposite Ice Cube in Untitled Sci-Fi Film for Universal

Eva Longoria is breaking the Ice

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress, producer and director will star opposite Ice Cube in an untitled grounded sci-fi movie, with Patrick Aiello and Timur Bekmambetov producing. Rich Lee will direct from a script by Kenneth Golde.

Eva Longoria

Plot details are vague other then it being described as a grounded sci-fi film in the vein of District 9 already that touches on themes of privacy versus surveillance. Universal has greenlighted the film and has fast tracked it by having it go into production this month.

Universal landed the package last month and what really sealed the deal was the technology that Bekmambetov has been fine-tuning ever since signing his five-picture deal with the studio. The idea behind this format that was part of the presentation is a production that had the look of commercial event film but at the budget of a contained thriller. This new technology will allow for a fully remote production with all actors and crew working from their individual separate locations. So basically if Cube or Longoria wanted his part of the shoot to be done from his home, it could be done without a problem and with crew working from somewhere else.

The shoot would be a first of its kind at this scope and is not only done at a lower budget but also provides the safe working environment every studio is trying to achieve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Longoria, who recently signed with WME, was most recently seen Dora and the Lost City of the Gold and Slyvie’s Love. She also set to star in Flamin’ Hot for Searchlight, the recently announced Spa Day for Sony and 24/7 for Universal, which she will also direct.

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.