Jacob Vargas to Appear on Disney+’s TV Series “National Treasure”

Jacob Vargas is treasuring his latest gig…

The 50-year-old Mexican-American actor and performer has landed a heavily recurring role in National Treasure, Disney Branded Television’s television series for Disney+ produced by ABC Signature.

Jacob VargasExecutive produced by the films’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, the project is an expansion of the National Treasure film franchise told from the point of view of young heroine Jess (Lisette Olivera), a DREAMer in search of answers about her family who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

The series, whose pilot episode is written by the Wibberleys and will be directed by Mira Nair, centers on Jess, a Latina whose brilliant and resourceful mind loves a good mystery, and she has a natural talent for solving puzzles. Over the course of the show, Jess will uncover her own buried history, as well as the truth about her parents and her connection to a long-lost treasure.

Vargas plays Rafael a rugged, treasure-obsessed, adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.

Vargas recently portrayed Tony Ochoa on Mr. Iglesias for Netflix. He also recurred on Mayans M.C. and appeared on Luke Cage and Sons of Anarchy.

On the film side, he most recently was seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi. His other film credits include Princess of the Row, The 33 and Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez.

Bella Thorne to Star in Steven Soderbergh & Eddie Alcazar’s Indie Film “Divinity”

It’s to Divinity and beyond for Bella Thorne

The 24-year-old half-Cuban American actress/singer has been cast in the indie film Divinity.Bella ThorneThorne is among the final cast members to be announced for the film, alongside Scott Bakula.

The project is the latest collaboration between Steven Soderbergh and Eddie Alcazar. Cypress Hills’ DJ Muggs will serve as musical composer.

Chris Santos, Danielia Maximillian, Lydia Bielen, and Emily Willis round out the cast.

Previously announced actors leading the project include Stephen Dorff, Jason Genao, Moises Arias, Karrueche Tran, and Mike O’Hearn.

Divinity follows otherworldly brothers (Genao & Arias) that are hellbent on stopping a mogul (Dorff) who is close to unraveling the secrets behind immortality.

The film includes elements of Alcazar’s “Metascope” technique which combines stop motion animation and live-action sequences. The technique was featured in his short film The Vandal, a collaboration with Darren Aronofsky, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021.

Divinity is targeting completion ahead of the film festival circuit.

Alcazar previously worked with his mentor Soderbergh on his feature debut Perfect, released in 2018, a sci-fi thriller starring Abbie Cornish, Rainey Qualley, Courtney Eaton, and Tao Okamoto.

Salma Hayek to Star Opposite Channing Tatum in Warner Bros. “Magic Mike’s The Last Dance”

Salma Hayek is preparing for a last dance…

The 55-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress will star opposite Channing Tatum in Warner Bros. Magic Mike’s The Last Dance.

Salma HayekHayek replaces Thandie Newton, who had to step away from the project for personal reasons.

“Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement.

The film is in production in London and will premiere on HBO Max. Plot details for the film are unknown at this time.

Steven Soderbergh, who directed the first Magic Mike film, returns to direct this film with Reid Carolyn writing the script. Gregory Jacobs, who directed the 2015 hit Magic Mike XXL, returns to produce along with Carolin, Nick Wechsler and Peter Kiernan.

The first two films combined to gross nearly $300 million worldwide, and in 2017, the franchise spawned the successful stage show Magic Mike Live.

Hayek was most recently seen in Marvel’s Eternals.

Adam Rodriguez to Serve as a Mentor & Executive-Producer on HBO Max’s “The Real Magic Mike!” Competition Series

Life is about to imitate art for Adam Rodriguez

The 46-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban-American actor and former Magic Mike star will be returning to the world of male strippers as he joinsThe Real Magic Mike! (working title), HBO Max’s upcoming unscripted competition series.

Adam Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who played Tito in the 2012 film and 2015 sequel, has joined the project as a mentor and executive producer.

The series, from the producers behind the Magic Mike franchise and live shows, begins production next month in Las Vegas and is set to debut on HBO Max later this year. Channing Tatum, who starred in the titular role in both Magic Mike films, and director Steven Soderbergh, are among the series’ executive producers.

The competition series will transform a group of men into real-life Magic Mikes. Ten men who have “lost their magic” will come together, baring their souls and more as they learn to perform routines with one being crowned the Real Magic Mike. The winner will pocket a cash prize and an opportunity to perform on the Magic Mike Live stage in Las Vegas.

The Real Magic Mike! (wt) is produced by Eureka Productions and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon.

In addition to his role as Tito in both Magic Mike feature films, Rodriguez starred as Eric Delko in CSI: Miami and as Luke Alvez in Criminal Minds.

His other recent television credits include Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Jane the Virgin and Empire, among others.

Rita Moreno Among the “Cast” for This Year’s Academy Awards Show

Rita Moreno has a special date with Oscar…

The producers of this year’s 93rd annual Academy Awards have cast an ensemble of 15 stars to handle all the presenting duties, including the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, one of the few artists to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, is part of a “cast” that includes last year’s Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern.

It’s part of the producers’ pledge to do the entire broadcast as if it were a movie itself.

Last year’s Best Director winner, Bong Joon Ho, who made four trips to the stage for Parasite, is also part of this ensemble, presumably to present Best Director.

Other names announced — in alphabetical order — are Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya.

“In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” said producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh. “There’s so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.”

This idea of having a set group of presenters rotating in and out of the show is not new. When producer Gower Champion reimagined the 1969 Oscar show, he created what they called “Friends of Oscar,” with 10 stars exclusively serving as presenters (and no host). The format was then repeated successfully the next year, and has been tweaked occasionally over the decades — including for the innovative 2009 show produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, which used combinations of five past winners each to present the acting awards.

Additional talent joining the April 25 live broadcast on ABC will be announced later.

Jacob Vargas to Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Next Film “KIMI”

Jacob Vargas has lined up his next big role…

The 49-year-old Mexican actor has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the New Line Max Original feature KIMIwith Zoë Kravitz on board to star.

Jacob Vargas

Byron Bowers and Jaime Camil are also on board.

The film will premiere exclusively on HBO Max. David Koepp penned the script and will produce with Michael Polaire.

Plot details are being kept under wraps.

The film would mark the second collaboration between Warner Bros Pictures Group, HBO Max and Soderbergh since the recent restructuring of the studio, and the third between Soderbergh and HBO Max. It follows No Sudden Move, the upcoming starry Max Original ensemble crime thriller from Warner Bros. Pictures that features Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Amy Seimetz, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Bill Duke, Frankie Shaw and Julia Fox.

Soderbergh’s most recent pic, Let Them All Talk, with Meryl Streep, premiered on HBO Max in December.

Vargas and Soderbergh’s partnership goes all the way back to Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning drug trafficking film Trafficwhere Vargas played del Toro’s partner Manolo. Vargas would later appear in Soderbergh’s HBO series Mosaic

He currently stars in the Netflix series Mr. Iglesias and was previously on the series Luke Cage and Sons of Anarchy. Recent film credits include Mark Carlson’s Princess of the Row opposite Martin Sheen and Ana OrtizThe 33 as Edison “Elvis” Peña, one of the 33 Chilean miners that was trapped for 69 days, and Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez as Richard Chavez opposite Michael Peña.

 

Jaime Camil to Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Next Film “KIMI” for HBO Max

Jaime Camil has landed his next role…

The 47-year-old Mexican actor/singer and Jane The Virgin scene-stealer has been cast in Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the New Line Max Original feature KIMI, with Zoë Kravitz on board to star. Byron Bowers is also on board.

Jaime Camil

The film will premiere exclusively on HBO Max. David Koepp penned the script and will produce along with Michael Polaire.

Plot details are being kept under wraps.

Camil can next be seen starring opposite Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Jane Krakowski, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming, Ariana DeBose and Kristen Chenoweth in the upcoming Apple+ musical comedy series Schmigadoon! from executive producer Lorne Michaels. He previously starred as fan and critic favorite in the Golden Globe-nominated and AFI Award-winning series Jane the Virgin. Most recently he starred in and executive produced the CBS comedy series Broke, becoming the first Latino lead in a comedy series for CBS since Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy.

Camil is also teaming up with Jane the Virgin show creator Jennie Synder Urman and writer/comedian Al Magrigal to develop the single-camera comedy series Guerrillas through ABC, which he’ll co-executive produce and star in.

Benicio del Toro to Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Crime Thriller “No Sudden Move”

Benicio del Toro is making no sudden moves

The 53-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actor has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh’s latest film No Sudden Move (f.k.a Kill Switch).

Benicio del Toro

The crime thriller, which is being produced under Soderbergh’s recently formed overall deal with HBO Max, has commenced production

In addition to del Toro, the All-Star ensemble cast includes Don Cheadle, David Harbour, Amy SeimetzJon HammRay Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Bill Duke, Frankie Shaw and Julia Fox.

Written by Ed Solomon, the film is set in 1955 Detroit and centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

“The last time I shot a movie in Detroit with a great script and a great cast things worked out really well, so I’m very excited behind my mask right now,” said Soderbergh.

“It’s a pleasure to begin production on another project with Steven Soderbergh, Casey Silver and Ed Solomon,” remarked Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max. “We have an incredible partner in Warner Bros. Pictures and an extraordinarily talented cast – we couldn’t be happier to bring No Sudden Move to HBO Max.”

Guillermo del Toro Taking Part in Tribeca Enterprises & YouTube’s ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’

Guillermo del Toro is taking his talk global…

The 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist will take part in Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

The fest will stream exclusively on YouTubefor free and feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 of the most renowned festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The 10-day fest kicked off on Friday, May 29 and will not only provide entertainment but also offer relief to the COVID-19 pandemic via supporting organizations.

The truly global event will feature programming from different cultures all over the world, with films representing more than 35 countries and include 23 narrative and 8 documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with 4 festival exclusives and 5 VR programming pieces. 

The fest will include 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and 5 international online premieres. Each selection was handpicked to give shine and highlight each participating festival.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

The fest will include the world premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, which spotlights the titular legendary street photographer featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J

Eeb Allay Ooo! will make its online debut and introduce a whole new audience to New Delhi’s professional “monkey repellers”. The satirical film won Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award

The iconic Joan Chen will present the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary about legendary, trailblazing Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

There will also be a lineup of specially-curated talks from past festivals as well as new discussions. Talks will feature del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

In addition to features, audiences will be able to access over 50 narrative and documentary shorts such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online (wt), which was created exclusively for the fest by director Koji Fukada. The fest will also include the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary short Motorcycle Drive By, as well as shorts from Dreamworks Animation, BilbyMarooned and Bird Karma.

360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as titles featuring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. On top of the film goodness, Questlove from the legendary Roots crew will perform a DJ set for your listening and dancing pleasure.

On the episodic side, We Are One will host the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-fronted neo-noir psychological TV thriller as well as the two-part docuseries She Could Be Next which chronicles the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and  Rashida Tlaib.

In addition to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca, participating festival also include Annecy International Animation Film FestivalBFI London Film FestivalGuadalajara International Film Festival,International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film FestivalMumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival,Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film FestivalSan Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film FestivalSydney Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

The fest will provide COVID-19 relief through donations to the World Health Organization( WHO), UNICEFUNHCRSave the Children, Doctors Without BordersLeket IsraelGO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate via a link on every film page.

Click herefor the full festival schedule.

Netflix to Finance & Release Antonio Banderas-Starrer “The Laundromat” About the Panama Papers Scandal

It’s Laundry day for Antonio Banderas

Netflix has committed to finance and release The Laundromat, the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama about the Panama Papers scandal starring the 58-year-old Spanish actor.

Antonio Banderas

Banderas is part of a stellar cast that includes David Schwimmer, Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep. Other cast circling include Will Forte and Riley Keough.

The film has a script by Scott Z. Burns, based on the Jake Bernstein book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.

Schwimmer will play Matthew Quirk, an attorney who speaks on behalf of one of the insurance companies after twenty elderly passengers die on a boating excursion. The boating company learned its insurance isn’t the large company it thought it was, but merely just a P.O. box in Nevis. Quirk would eventually kill himself after seeing no way out of the liability situation, but the incident triggers lawyers, government officials, and more to track down these shell companies. Those investigations lead to the laundering geniuses at the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, who created hundreds of thousands of ‘companies’ to help the wealthy avoid paying taxes. Reams of documents were leaked from Mossack Fonseca in April by an anonymous whistleblower that bared embarrassing details on investments and money trails from politicians the world over, meant to evade taxes.

The scandal drew in several world leaders, including former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Iceland Prime Minister Sigmunder Gunnlaugsson, the latter of whom resigned on April 5, 2016, after it was revealed he and his wife set up an offshore shell company in 2007 in the British Virgin Islands; he then sold his half of the company to his wife for $1 on the last day of 2009 to shield them from a new law that would have required him to declare his ownership as a conflict of interest. Among the swarms of famous people named in the leaked documents was current President of the United States Donald Trump— already embattled over charges his empire was built by avoiding taxes — and director Pedro Almodovar, Jackie Chan and Emma Watson.

Bernstein was part of a team of journalists who formed the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to break the Panama Papers story. The leak of data — 11 million records revealed — was the largest in corporate and government history.