Rachel Zegler to Star as Snow White in Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation of the Classic Animated Film

Rachel Zegler’s royal coronation is around the corner…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress and singer will star as Snow White in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic film that started it all for the studio’s legendary slate of animated features.

Rachel Zegler,

Marc Webb will direct the film, with Marc Platt producing. Production is expected to begin in 2022.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” said Webb of the actress who will star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new retelling of West Side Story. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”

The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cartoon, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, was released in 1938.

It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature and became a massive success for the studio.

Insiders say the live-action film will expand upon the story and music from the original. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar– and Tony Award-winning duo behind La La LandThe Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the film.

The studio had been taking its time on the live-action adaptation because they wanted to get the music right, and insiders says higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with so far.

As for the casting process, Webb and studio execs had been meeting with talent for several months for the role of Snow White. Zegler’s auditions impressed everyone, insiders say, but another factor was footage from West Side Story that blew away the Disney studio brass who’ve seen it, and helped push the decision across the finish line.

The casting also marks a step in the right direction of Disney diversifying its Disney Princess characters, after tapping Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film.

Zegler was just 17 when she beat out more than 30,000 actresses for the lead role of Maria in West Side Story. The new adaptation will debut on December 10 and also stars Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno.

She’ll also star in her first big comic-book film, joining Zachary Levi in D.C.’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Rachel Zegler to Star in the “Shazam” Sequel, “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”

Rachel Zegler’s latest project is Gods will…

The 19-year-old Colombian American actress, who will soon star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story, has joined the cast of Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the sequel to New Line and DC Comics’ 2019 film Shazam! starring Zachary Levi as the kid-at-heart superhero who is bestowed with the powers of six gods.

Rachel Zegler

The sequel will hail from the same filmmaking team behind the first installment, with David F. Sandberg directing from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan.

It will continue the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “SHAZAM!” is struck by the Living Lightning of the gods and transformed into his adult superhero alter ego, Shazam.

Zegler will star opposite Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno when West Side Story is released in December.

Javier Muñoz to Perform at This Year’s Arthur Miller Foundation Honors Benefit for Public School Arts Education

Javier Muñoz is celebrating the arts in our schools…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican Broadway star, who performed in the Tony Award-winning musicals In The Heights and Hamilton, has joined the line-up of performers for the annual Arthur Miller Foundation Honors celebrating public school arts education.

Javier Muñoz in Hamilton

Muñoz will perform alongside his friend and castmate Mandy Gonzalez, the 42-year-old half-Mexican American Broadway star who has appeared in In The Heights, Wicked and Hamilton.

The third annual gala celebration is set to stream virtually on November 16, and will also include performances by husband-and-wife duos like Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr. and WaitressNicolette Robinson; and Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo and Bridges of Madison County‘s Steven Pasquale.

The evening will include a special appearance by Chiké Okonkwo and performances by New York City public school students impacted by the Miller program.

Additional performers and appearances to be announced at a later date.

Sasha HutchingsHamilton original cast member and Foundation Master Artist Council member, will host. She also co-produces along with Arthur Miller Foundation Executive Director Jaime Hastings. Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg are event co-chairs alongside Rebecca Miller, Sandi Farkas, Janine & Michael Smith.

The event is presented by Broadway.com and directed by Paul Wontorek. The Foundation will honor Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) with the Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award, and will recognize exceptional NYC public school theater teacher Lisanne Shaffer with the Arthur Miller Foundation Excellence in Arts Education Award.

The celebration will raise funds for the Foundation’s theater education programs.

AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Krysta Rodriguez to Take Part in Special “Smash” Virtual Cast Reunion to Benefit Actors Fund

Krysta Rodriguezis ready for a Smashing reunion…

The 35-year-old Latina actress/singer is expected to take part in a virtual Smash cast reunion.

Krysta Rodriguez,

Rodriguez, who portrayed Ana Vargas on NBC’s 2012-2013 musical series, will appear in the one-night-only Actors Fund benefit event alongside her Smashcastmates Jaime CeperoWill ChaseBrian d’Arcy JamesJack DavenportAnn HaradaJeremy JordanAndy MientusLeslie Odom Jr. and Wesley Taylor.

The show’s stars Debra MessingKatharine McPheeChristian BorleMegan Hilty and other cast members will virtually reunite on May 20 for a streaming of the 2015 Bombshell in Concert, with Renée Zellwegerintroducing the event and Julie Klausner hosting a live, virtual cast reunion.

The concert of the show-within-the-show about the life of Marilyn Monroewas taped at Broadway’s Minskoff Theateron June 8, 2015, an event that remains one of the most successful fundraisers ever for The Actors FundBombshell– the creation of which formed the plot of Smash– features a score by Marc Shaimanand Scott Wittman, who also served as executive producers of Smash.

Rodriguez and her cast members will appear in a livestream reunion during the intermission. 

The concert and reunion will stream on Wednesday, May 20, at 8:00 pm ET on people.com, PeopleTV, and People social platforms.

Tony Awardwinner and Actors Fund chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell said, “Bombshell in Concertwill be a wonderful evening to share this benefit night with fans far and wide, and will raise much-needed funds to help The Actors Fund continue to help everyone in need in our entertainment community across the country.”

In the past seven weeks, The Actors Fund has distributed $10.1 million in emergency financial assistance to 8,558 people in need due to the current COVID-19pandemic, or more than five times the funds normally provided in a year.

Smashwas based on an original idea by Steven Spielberg, who was also executive producer of the series, and created by Theresa Rebeck.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Take Part in Stephen Sondheim Virtual Birthday Concert

Lin-Manuel Miranda is celebrating a living musical theater legend.

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer and playwright, widely known for creating and starring in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, has signed on to appear on Sunday’s Stephen Sondheim virtual birthday concert.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda, who starred in Mary Poppins Returns, joins a roster of new additions that includes Jake GyllenhaalLinda LavinLaura BenantiNeil Patrick Harrisand Ben Plattfor the all-star benefit for Artists Striving To End Poverty.

Previously announced stars participating in the concert include Annaleigh AshfordMelissa ErricoBeanie FeldsteinJosh GrobanJudy KuhnRandy Rainbow and Lea Solanga

Special appearances will be made by Victor GarberJoanna GleasonNathan Lane and Steven Spielberg.

They’ll all join the previously announced Meryl StreepBernadette PetersPatti LuPone and Audra McDonald, among many others, in the special virtual concert to celebrate Sondheim’s 90th birthday.

Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, hosted by Raúl Esparza, is set for this Sunday, April 26, the 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company.

The concert kicks off at 8:00 pm ET, and will be available for free at Broadway.comand the Broadway.com YouTubechannel.

Other artists performing songs from the Sondheim catalog will include Mandy Patinkin, Christine BaranskiDonna MurphyKristin ChenowethSutton FosterBrian Stokes MitchellKelli O’HaraAaron TveitMaria Friedman, Iain ArmitageKatrina LenkMichael CerverisBrandon UranowitzStephen SchwartzElizabeth StanleyChip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage CompanyAnn HaradaAustin KuKelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma.

Esparza starred as Bobby in the 2006 Tony Award-winning revival of Companyand in the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along in 2002, as well as the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle and in last year’s Road Show.

“The world is in a hard place,” Esparza said in a statement, “and we are all searching for something great. Well, Stephen Sondheim is greatness personified.”

Mary-Mitchell Campbell will be the music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director.

The online event will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), the organization conceived by Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth through art.

David Alvarez to Star in Showtime’s Drama Series “Rust”

David Alvarez is ready for showtime

The 25-year-old Cuban-Canadian actor/dancer is set to star in Showtime’s drama series Rust. 

David Alvarez

Alvarez will star oppositeMaura Tierney, Jeff DanielsBill CampAlex Neustaedterand newcomer Julia Mayorga in the series. 

Based on Philipp Meyer’s debut novel American Rust, the Showtime adaptation is described as a compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Daniels) in a Rust Belttown in southwest Pennsylvania. When the woman he truly loves (Tierney) sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what he’s willing to do to protect him.

Tierney’s Grace Poe is a woman from a devastated Pennsylvania steel town trying to organize a union among co-workers at her dress factory, while her son Billy (Neustaedter) is accused of murder.

Camp will play Henry English, a disabled former steel worker and widower who has placed the entire burden of his care on his son, Isaac (Alvarez). When Isaac runs away, Henry is forced to call his daughter Lee (Mayorga) back from her new life in New York City and finally reckon with the reality of his wife’s death.

Alvarez’s Isaac English is a recent high school graduate who abandons both his ailing father and his troubled friend to hitchhike cross-country. He’ll have to weigh the value of self-discovery against that of personal loyalty.

Neustaedter’s Billy Poe is a former high school football star who turned down a scholarship to stay in town. When he’s accused of the murder of an ex-cop, he must weigh his personal loyalties with the value of his own life.

Mayorga’s Lee English is a young woman, who upon graduating from Columbia Law School, is pulled back to her hometown as her brother runs away, and her father’s condition deteriorates.

Rust is executive produced by Dan Futterman, who is writing multiple scripts, Michael De Luca, Daniels and Elisa Ellisfor Platform One Media.

Alvarez received a Tony Awardfor his performance in Billy Elliot. A military veteran, he most recently wrapped production playing Bernardo in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

Paramount/Skydance Moves Up Release Date for Monica Barbaro’s “Top Gun: Maverick”

Monica Barbaro has been cleared for takeoff earlier than expected…

Paramount/Skydance’s long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick, starring the 29-year-old part-Mexican American actress, will fly into theaters on Wednesday, June 24 instead of Friday, June 26. 

Monica Barbaro,

That’s standard for Paramount to take a big summer event tentpole out on a Wednesday, ala their Transformers movies and even Tom Cruise’s Steven Spielberg-directed 2005 hit War of the Worlds

Joseph Kosinskidirects the Top Gunsequeloff a script by Ehren KrugerEric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie.

Barbaro stars as ‘Phoenix,’the sole female pilot in the action drama film that sees Tom Cruise return to his iconic role as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Colman Domingo Signs First-Look Deal with AMC Studios

It’s a new deal for Colman Domingo

The 50-year-old Guatemalan American actor, playwright and television/stage director has signed a first-look deal with AMC Studios, the studio behind Domingo’s zombie drama series Fear the Walking Dead.

Colman Domingo,

Domingo made his debut as Victor Strand in a two-episode guest arc during the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff from The Walking Dead.

He was made a series regular at the start of Season 2. He made his directorial debut on the show and has directed two episodes to date.

“From the moment AMC viewers first saw Colman Domingo as the mysterious and dynamic Victor Strand in season one of Fear The Walking Dead,they haven’t been able to look away, and neither have we,” said Sarah Barnett, President of AMC Networks Entertainment Group & AMC Studios. “He has become a core character of the series and, as anyone who knows him knows, his talents go far beyond that one character in that one show. He is a writer, producer and performer who can move effortlessly between film, television and the stage and we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with this extraordinary talent and individual through this first-look deal with AMC Studios.”

Domingo is currently in production on the upcoming sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead and stars in A24’s Zolawhich premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He’s also had a recurring role on HBO’s Euphoria and will be seen in Jordan Peele’s spiritual sequel to the 1992 gothic horror film CandyMan, as well as opposite Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film adaption of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,produced by Denzel Washington.

Domingo, 20-year veteran theater director, co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and for the Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole  musical.

At AMC, he developed a series based on his play Dottwo years ago.

Domingo’s film acting credits also include Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could TalkSelma, Lee Daniels’ The Butler,  Steven Spielberg’s LincolnFirst Matchand Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. AnaRed Hook Summerand Passing Strange

Josh Andrés Rivera to Star in HBO Max’s Coming-of-Age Drama Pilot “Vegas High”

Josh Andrés Rivera is on a High

The Latino actor has been cast as a lead in Vegas HighHBO Max’s coming-of-age period drama pilot from writer Sarah-Raquel Jimenez, director Gillian Robespierre and Michael Showalter’s Semi-Formal Prods

Josh Andrés Rivera

Written by Jimenez and directed by Robespierre, Vegas Highis inspired by Jimenez’s own experience. It’s a 1990s-set coming-of-age story about Laura, a girl who’s caught between two worlds: the fast-paced lifestyle of Las Vegas and her strong Mormon faith and community.

Rivera is playing Josh, Laura’s reckless and charismatic brother who lives unapologetically. Inappropriate but hilarious, troubled but never a brute, Josh is mysteriously complicated with an “it” factor no one can quite explain.

The role of Laura has not been cast yet.

Jimenez and Robespierre executive produce alongside Showalter and Jordana Mollick for Semi-Formal Productions and Michael Lewen.

Shortly after graduating from college, Rivera joined the Hamilton Angelica Tour as a principal standby. He then landed the role of Chino in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story film.