Following the success of Netflix’s Who Killed Sara?, which the streamer has reported as its most-watched foreign language series at 55-million subscribers, Cavalry Media has signed the Mexican director and screenwriter, the show’s director.
Ruiz, who is based in Mexico City, Mexico, began his career directing music videos, before quickly becoming one of the most prolific filmmakers in his field.
Ruiz directed six episodes of Who Killed Sara?, including the pilot and the finale.
The series stars Manolo Cardona as Alex Guzman, a man hell-bent on getting revenge on the Lazcano family and finding out who killed his sister Sara after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The series launched on March 24 and Netflix revealed viewership figures as part of its first quarter financial results on April 20.
Ruiz will be the showrunner, as well as direct multiple episodes of season 2, which hit Netflix on May 16. Other episodic directing credits include Claro Video’s La Negociadora and Televisa’s La Piloto.
Eugenio Derbez has found the Apple(TV) of his eye…
AppleTV+ has given a series order to Acapulco, a Spanish and English-language half-hour comedy executive produced and starring the 59-year-old Mexican actor, comedian and filmmaker.
The project is inspired by Derbez’s hit 2017 feature comedy How to Be A Latin Lover.
Acapulco hails from Lionsgate Television, studio-based The Tannenbaum Company, as well as Derbez and Benjamin Odell’s 3Pas Studios.
Created by Austin Winsberg, Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman, Acapulcocenters on a young Mexican man, who’s dream comes true when he gets the job of a lifetime at the hottest resort in Acapulco. But he soon realizes the job is far more complicated than he ever imagined as all of his beliefs and morals start to be questioned. The show takes place in 1984 with Derbez narrating and playing the present-day version of the main character.
InHow to Be a Latin Lover,produced by 3Pas Studios and distributed by Pantelion Films, Lionsgate’s venture with Televisa, an out-of-shape former gigolo (Derbez) is left to fend for himself after the rich older woman he’d married 25 years ago dumps him for a younger man.
Gaz Alazraki will direct and executive produce the pilot.
Derbez’s feature film Instructions Not Included, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in, became the most successful Spanish language film in the U.S. and worldwide, grossing more than $100 million worldwide. Cisneros served as an associate producer on the movie.
The 61-year-old Mexican-American businessman and executive chairman of United Airlines has been named as an independent director on Univision’s board of directors.
Prior to his role at United Airlines, Munoz served on the board of parent company United Continental Holdings (UCH) and held multiple executive positions at CSX Corporation and AT&T.
Univision, the Hispanic media giant whose takeover by private equity investors led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis will soon close, has also named SoftBank Group COO Marcelo Claure; Estée Lauder Companies SVP of public affairs María Cristina “MC” González Noguera; and veteran Walmart exec Gisel Ruiz to the board.
It’s understood that Univision will name at least four more members to the board when the pending takeover by new majority investors is complete. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.
ForgeLight, a firm run by Davis, and Searchlight Capital Partners are buying majority control of Univision from a collection of other private equity investors. Mexico-based production power Televisa is keeping its 36% stake.
Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group acquired the company for $13.7 billion in 2007, beating out a rival bid from Televisa. The current transaction, which is expected to close at the end of the year, is expected to value the company at less than $10 billion.
Davis exited Viacom when it merged with CBS last December, emerging soon thereafter as the leader of the Univision bid. The deal, announced last February, was initially expected to close over the summer.
Univision has been run since 2018 by CEO Vince Sadusky. The local television and Hispanic media veteran replaced predecessor Randy Falco after the longtime former NBC exec made a series of out-of-the-box investments in English-language websites and ill-fated cable network venture Fusion. Sadusky has implemented a “back-to-basics,” Spanish-language refocus in an effort to help the flagship broadcast network regain ground it had lost to U.S. rival Telemundo in some pockets of the schedule.
The 30-year-old Mexican actress/singer has signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME) for representation in all areas.
González rose to acclaim after her roles in El Rey’s series From Dusk till Dawn, in which she collaborated with Robert Rodriguez. She further increased her star power in the United States after appearing in Edgar Wright’s 2017 summer blockbuster Baby Driveras Darling, the heist girlfriend to Jon Hamm’s Buddy, in the $227M grossing movie.
González has scored roles in notable movies, including Nyssiana in the Rodriguez-directed 20th Century Fox sci-fi movie Alita: Battle Angel($404.8M WW), Madame M opposite Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in Hobbs & Shaw($759M WW), and the upcoming Legendary/Warner Bros. sequel Godzilla vs. Kongdue out on May 21, 2021.
She most recently starred in Sony Pictures’ Bloodshotopposite Vin Diesel and Guy Pearce, which earned her an Imagen Award nomination for Best Actress in a Feature Film.
González will next be seen opposite Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage in I Care A Lot, which will premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.
The Mexico City native studied at the American School Foundation, the Edron Academy, M&M Studio and Televisa’s Centro de Educación Artística.’
Her breakthrough came in the teenage telenovelaLola: Érase una vezin 2007. González also starred in numerous additional series in Mexico. She signed with Universal Music, and recorded five albums.
Her other feature credits include Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen, and voiceover credits in DreamWorks’ The Croods and 20th Century Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunksand Horton Hears A Who!
Rivera studied screenwriting at the UCLA Extension Writers Program and wrote her first feature Cilantro y Perejil, which went on to win three Ariel Awards— Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscars— for Best Original Screenplay, Best Story and Best Original Song. Cilantro y Perejil made history in the Mexican film industry as the first Mexican title to be screened at commercial movie theaters throughout the country.
Her writing credits include more than 15 feature films. In 2005, Rivera received the Motion Picture Association Award for Best Hispanic Screenplay for her screenplay Enemigos Íntimos.
In addition, she worked as head writer for the serial telenovela Lucho en Familia and worked on Amor Cautivo. She headed the children’s television development team at Channel 11, Latin America’s largest public television network. While there, she created and served as head writer for Bizbirije and El Divan de Valentina.She has also served as an International Emmy AwardsJuror for Dramatic Series and TV movies.
Zuleyka Rivera is ready for music’s biggest night…
The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Miss Universe will perform at this year’s Grammy Awards, which will take place on Sunday, January 28.
Rivera is featured in the music video for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s global smash, “Despacito.”
After completing her commitment as Miss Universe, Rivera studied acting in New York. Eventually, she snagged parts on a whole slew of Televisa soap operas in Mexico, including playing the part of the main villain in 2014’s Cosita Linda. Currently, she’sbased in Miami where she’s a special guest/host on Latin shows such as Telemundo’sUn Nuevo Diaand Univision’s Despierta America.
Rivera joins a roster of performers that includes Alessia Cara, Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Childish Gambino, Daddy Yankee, DJ Khaled with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, Luis Fonsi, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and more.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 pm EST.
He’s known as El Sol de México, but Luis Miguel’s light could soon shine beyond the Mexican border.
MGM is developing a television series based on the life of the 46-year-old Mexican superstar, an icon in Latin America.
The project hails from a Spanish-language joint production venture MGM set with Mexican entrepreneurs Miguel Aleman and Antonio Cue.
Aleman and Cue’s Gato Grande Productions aims to develop content for the worldwide market. Expanding into Spanish-language production has been a goal of Mark Burnett, president of MGM Television and Digital.
“We see the value of premium content for the Spanish-speaking market throughout the world, and we look forward to many additional projects across all platforms that we can now develop with Antonio, Miguel and Gato Grande. This is only the beginning,” Burnett said.
A native of Puerto Rico, Miguel got his start in music as a teenager in the early 1980s, winning a Grammy in 1985 at the age of 14 for his duet with Sheena Easton, “Me Gustas Tal Como Eres.” He has collected another four Grammys to date and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
“It has taken me a long time to want to tell my story and I have been looking for the right team to tell it the way it should be told,” Miguel said.
Aleman is a radio and TV entrepreneur and former Televisa executive. Cue is the grandson of a founder of the Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo and is a former owner of the Major League Soccer team Chivas USA.
“Antonio and I have been looking to get into the content business for some time and after forming a deep personal relationship with Mark, we knew that the timing and opportunity were just right.” said Aleman. “To be able to launch our company Gato Grande with the story of Luis Miguel, one of the most important, legendary talents in music, is very exciting,” added Cue.
Carla Gonzalez Vargas, an author and filmmaker who helmed the 2015 documentary Alivio, will oversee the Miguel series in her role as Gato Grande’s head of development.
Lionsgate/Pantelion Films’ Spanish-language film No Manches Frida, starring the 41-year-old Mexican actor, had a solid start over the Labor Day weekend.
The comedy opened in 362 locations grossing $3.65 million Friday to Sunday.
The comedy, from Lionsgate and Televisa’s Pantelion Films label, grossed $3.65 million in 362 locations from Friday to Sunday, with an estimated $4.65 million for the entire Labor Day weekend.
Starring Chaparro, Martha Higareda and Mónica Dionne had a three-day per theater average of $10,083, the highest of any film in national release and second-highest for the weekend overall.
It’s Pantelion’s second most successful opening weekend ever, behind only Instructions Not Included, which grossed over $7.84 million in its debut weekend in late August 2013 in 348 theaters ($22,547 average), going on to cume over $44.4M.
No Manches Frida outgrossed the label’s 2015 Labor Day weekend release Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos, which bowed in 395 locations, taking over $3.42 million ($8,670 PTA). It went on to cume over $9 million.
“Labor Day weekend has historically been very positive for us,” said Pantelion’s Paul Presburger Sunday morning. “We’ve been at the marketing of the movie for over a month using social media as well as Spanish-language television and radio…We knew we had something strong that would resonate with audiences.”
Pantelion’s Edward Allen, who helped spearhead the project, noted that the film has generated social media attention among younger English-speaking audiences in the run-up to this weekend.
“It’s resonating with fans that may not typically go to our movies,” said Allen.
No Manches Frida is a re-make of 2013 German film Fack ju Göhte. It’s the story of Zequi, a recently released bank robber who goes to recover stolen money buried by his ditzy accomplice before going to jail. They return to the site only to find that Frida Kahlo High has built a gymnasium over the loot. To get the money, he poses as a substitute teacher for a school that can’t seem to keep any teachers around. He meets the sweet and earnest Lucy, as well as an unruly classroom. Lucy and her fellow teachers have no control over the students, and Zequi comes in ready to lay down the law- but he quickly finds out that life on the inside may have been easier to deal with than a school full of wild and rebellious teenagers.
The film will open in Mexico in two weeks.
Added Presburger: “We’ll be supporting the movie this week with additional media, while talent will be down in Mexico to support the movie there.” No Manches Frida will expand next week, but specifics will be decided after the holiday weekend.