William Levy to Star in Pantaya’s Dramatic Thriller “Montecristo”

William Levy is ready to thrill…

The 41-year-old Cuban actor and former telenovela star will be leading the cast of the newly announced dramatic thriller Montecristo, from Pantaya and Secuoya Studios.

William Levy

Levy’s new series is set in Havana, Madrid, and Miami.

Based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, the series tells the story of Alejandro Montecristo (Levy), an enigmatic figure who bursts into the public eye and raises concerns amongst the world’s elite because of the mysterious origins of his fortune.

He’s the founder and CEO of a new technology company that has incited the envy and interest of many, among those is Fernando Alvarez Mondego – a businessman connected to the Spanish aristocracy who wants to acquire the Montecristo startup. What Fernando doesn’t know is that Montecristo is someone he knew decades ago and the reason for his emergence is fueled purely by revenge.

“I’ve been drawn to the story of The Count of Montecristo since my youth,” Levy tells Deadline in an exclusive statement. “He’s a mysterious figure driven in his pursuit of justice and vengeance, which are powerful themes that resonate universally. I am so thrilled to be partnering with Secuoya Studios and Pantaya to bring this story to life in a way that has never been seen before.”

“Montecristo is our newest modernized premium classic series,” adds Mario Almeida, Head of Content for Pantaya. “This story of vengeance and passion has unforgettable characters at its core, and the new take on this timeless story is brilliantly conceived. We feel there is no better partnership to serve revenge coldly.”

Levy began his career in the Spanish-language market where he quickly rose to become to one of the most sought out talents where he remains today. He expanded his reach with U.S. audiences in the 2000s with roles in Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms ClubGirls Trip opposite Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; and most notably on the small screen as a regular in Lee Daniels’ Star.

“We are extremely proud in our multiple project slate with Pantaya and William, they both are an integral part of our expansion plan in the Americas and the world,” said David Martinez, head of fiction, and Sergio Pizzolante, head of the U.S. and Latin America from Secuoya Studios, respectively.

The television adaptation is written by Lidia Fraga and Jacobo Díaz and will be directed by Alberto Ruiz-Rojo. The series is produced by David Martinez and executive produced by Secuoya Studios and Sergio Pizzolante. Levy and his producing partner Jeff Goldberg will also serve as executive producers.

The series will premiere on Pantaya in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Kid Cudi Releases New Ariana Grande Collaboration “Just Look Up”

Things are looking up for Kid Cudi

The 37-year-old half-Mexican American singer, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, has officially released his new collaboration with Ariana Grande, “Just Look Up.”

Kid Cudi x Ariana GrandeThe new song appears on the soundtrack to the Adam McKay-directed film Don’t Look Up, which stars both Grande and Cudi and begins streaming on Netflix on December 10.

Don’t Look Up also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, and others.

The soundtrack is out December 10.

Don’t Look Up is the next chapter in both Grande and Cudi’s film careers.

Grande was recently cast in the upcoming film adaptation of Wicked.

A new documentary about Cudi arrived last month.

Grande and Cudi also last released albums in 2020: Positions and Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, respectively.

José Andrés Takes Part in Prince Harry & Meghan’s Spotify Holiday Special

José Andrés has joined the royal court…

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, are kicking off their multi-year audio partnership with Spotify with a holiday special featuring a royal court’s worth of A-list guests, including the 51-year-old Spanish chef.

The stand-alone special promises “a collection of personal anecdotes and inspirational stories from a variety guests around the world … plus a surprise or two,” according to a press release.

In addition to José Andrés, billed guests include Stacey Abrams, Christina Adane, Brené Brown, Rachel Cargle, Deepak Chopra, James Corden, Matt Haig, Sir Elton John, Hussain Manawer, Naomi Osaka, Tyler Perry, and George the Poet.

Following the pattern set by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground, the royal couple’s exclusive podcast partnership with Spotify, which starts in 2021, became known earlier this month. It followed the announcement of a Netflix deal earlier in the year. Archewell Audio is their production banner and teamed with Spotify-owned Gimlet Media to produce the special.

“We thought, what if we can bring together some people that inspire us – people that we admire…  and get their thoughts on what they learned from 2020,” the Duchess says in setting up the special.

Bidding good riddance to 2020, Prince Harry adds, “As we all know, it’s been a YEAR. And we really want to honor the compassion and kindness that has helped so many people get through it.”

The Duke and Duchess also single out a song that they say offers inspiration for listeners heading into 2021. “’This Little Light of Mine’ played at the very end of our wedding… while we were walking down the steps of the church,” Markle says. “It was the music that we wanted playing when we started our lives together. Because as we all know, ‘darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that…’” Replies Prince Harry, “The message of this song is one we hold so dearly. It’s about using the power we each have within us to make this world a better place.”

Michelle Nuñez to Star in BET+’s Drama Series “Tyler Perry’s Ruthless”

Michelle Nuñez is ruthless

The Afro-Latina actress has been cast as a series regular of BET+’s drama series Tyler Perry’s Ruthless.

Michelle Nuñez

Nuñez is among a list of new cast members that includes Stevie Baggs, Jr.Colin McCallaSamantha L. Thomas, Alise Willis, and Jael Pettigrew.

Three episodes will exclusively premiere on November 26 on the streaming platform with new episodes launching every Thursday.

As the season continues, many of the faithful followers have begun to uncover the evil that exists beneath the surface of the Rakudushis movement. Armed with this knowledge, Ruth and several new fearful cult members try to take control of their individual destinies. The attempts will prove to be almost impossible for anyone who does not have allies they think they can trust. Viewers will see more sex, lies, and murder in this cult that is living up to its fate. Being aware of false prophets has never reigned more true.

The six new cast members join Ruthless stars Melissa L. Williams, Matt Cedeño, Lenny D. Thomas, Yvonne Senat Jones, Baadja-Lyne Odums, Jaime Callica, Nirine S. Brown, Blue Kimble, Stephanie Charles, Hervé Clermont, Anthony Bless, and Bobbi Baker.

The series is executive produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry.

Nuñez will portray Zane, who wants to leave the cult but is much more fearful and tentative than her friend Paula.

 

Demi Lovato to Host This Year’s People’s Choice Awards

Demi Lovato is the People’s host…

The 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress is set to host the 2020 E!’s People’s Choice Awards, which will air on November 15 live from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.

Demi Lovato

The news was revealed Tuesday during a Twitter conversation between the Grammy-nominated singer and the cable network.

Lovato, who has won five People’s Choice Awards in 12 nominations, has had a busy 2020, with performances at the Grammys and the Super Bowl (where she sang the national anthem) and the release of singles “Anyone,” “I Love You” and “I’m Ready,” the latter in a duet with Sam Smith.

Recent singles include “OK No to Be OK” with Marshmello and “Commander in Chief.” On screen, her recent credits including a role on the final season of NBC’s Will & Grace and in Netflix’s Eurovision.

She now will emcee a hybrid People’s Choice ceremony that will present awards in 44 categories across entertainment and pop culture.

Tyler Perry and Jennifer Lopez will receive special honors during the ceremony, which will air from 9:00 -11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Christina Milian Joins Cast of Sony Crackle’s Drama Series “The Oath”

Christina Milian is taking The Oath

The 36-year-old Cuban-American singer, songwriter and actresshas been cast as a series regular on the sophomore season of The Oath, Sony Crackle’s gritty drama from executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Christina Milian

Zulay Henao will recur during Season 2, which has begun production in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Created by Joe Halpin, The Oathexplores a world of gangs made up of those sworn to protect and defend and sheds light on corrupt and secret societies that are nearly impossible to join. Only a select few make the cut — but once inside, members will do what they must to protect each other from enemies on the outside and from within their own ranks.

Season 2, which was ordered in April, finds the Ravens trying to free themselves from their debt to the cartel. The season will examine themes of family and redemption, giving the characters a chance to reclaim their lives as their own, pushing them to find a new path and attempting to conquer their inner demons – all while trying to protect their own lives in the process.

Milian will play Christine Parks, a second-generation Raven — her father was one of the gang’s founders — and partner of Kraley (Andrew Howard). She grew up admiring her dad and wants to follow in his footsteps.

Milian’s previous credits include Grandfathered and East Los High.

Henao will recur as Carmen Velasquez, the older sister of Ricardo and daughter of Ignacio who, after living most of her life surrounded by violence, is trying to move the family toward a legitimate business.

Henao was a regular on OWN’s Tyler Perrydrama If Loving You Is Wrong.

Cast members also returning for Season 2 include Howard, Law, Ryan Kwanten— who’s also a producer — Cory Hardict, J.J. Soria, Elisabeth Röhm, Michael Malarkey, Isaac Keys, Kim Delaney, LaToya Tonodeo and Braulio Castillo.

First Trailer Released for Gina Rodriguez’s Animated Holiday Film “The Star”

Gina Rodriguez’s star is rising this holiday season…

The first trailer has been released for the 32-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane the Virgin star’s The Star, an animated holiday film in which the animals run the village.

Gina Rodriguez

Steven Yuen stars as Bo, a donkey who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind. When finally he summons the courage to break free, his adventure leads him to make friends with a flockless sheep (Aidy Bryant) and ambitious dove (Keegan-Michael Key). Little do they know, but they and a group of eccentric camels and stable animals are about to become unlikely heroes in the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Directed by Timothy Reckart from Carlos Kotkin’s script, the toon features a diverse, big-name voice cast that also includes Zachary Levi as Joseph and, Rodriguez as Mary.

Gina Rodriguez's Mary in The Star

Christopher Plummer plays the villainous King Herod. The animal characters include Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Anthony Anderson, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias.

Meanwhile Tyler Perry, Tracy Morgan and Oprah Winfrey voice the trio of wise-cracking camels.

The film from Sony Pictures Animation and Affirm Films in association with Walden Media features a new title song by Mariah Carey, and the trailer sports a contemporary take on Stevie Wonder’s yuletide classic “That’s What Christmas Means to Me.”

Columbia Pictures will release The Star on November 10.

Rodriguez Joins Voice Cast of Sony Pictures Animation’s “The Star”

Gina Rodriguez is wishing on a Star

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican actress has joined the A-list voice cast of Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star.

Gina Rodriguez

The story follows a small but brave donkey named Bo (Steven Yeun) who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. As the logline states: “One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.”

In addition to Yeun and Rodriguez, the Golden Globe-winning star of the CW’s Jane the Virgin who will voice Mary in the film, the star-studded voice cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Tracy MoranKris Kristofferson, Kristin ChenowethKelly ClarksonGabriel Iglesias, Ving Rhames and Christopher Plummer who will voice King Herod.

Directed by Oscar-nominated writer-director Timothy Reckart, the family-friendly film will be released wide on November 10.

The screenplay was written by Carlos Kotkin from a story by Kotkin and Simon Moore.

TLC to Debut Ochoa’s Series “Tyler Perry’s Too Close To Home” in August

Christian Ochoa is coming Home this August…

TLC has set August 22 for the premiere of its first scripted series, Tyler Perry’s Too Close To Home, featuring the Cuban-American actor in a recurring role.

Christian Ochoa

Too Close to Home tells the story of a young woman from a modest upbringing who discovers she may have a bright future in Washington D.C.’s fast-paced political scene. When Anna (Danielle Savre) leaves her trailer park home in Alabama in a cloud of dust, she cuts all ties with her family and buries every element of her checkered past. Her friends in Washington think she comes from a wealthy family and know nothing of her real upbringing. Suddenly, the real Anna is exposed when she causes a major political scandal and makes national headlines for her part in an affair with one of the nation’s most powerful players. With nowhere to turn, she’s forced to find sanctuary in the only place she has left – home.

In addition to Ochoa and Savre, the cast includes Brock O’Hurn, Kelly Sullivan, Brad Benedict and Brooke Anne Smith, Alpha Trivette, Trisha Rae Stahl, Robert Craighead, Annie Thrash, Curran Walters, Ashley Love-Mills, Nick Ballard, Charles Justo and Justin Gabriel.

Heather Locklear and Matt Battaglia join the cast as guest stars.

The eight-part drama will kick off with a two-hour premiere at 9:00 pm ET on Monday, August 22.

Ochoa’s other credits include appearances on Burn Notice and Scorpion.

Trailer Released for Thorne’s Latest Film “Boo! A Madea Halloween”

Bella Thorne is Mad(ea) about Halloween

The official trailer has been released for Tyler Perry’s latest Madea installment, Boo! A Madea Halloween, which stars the 18-year-old half-Cuban American actress/singer.

Bella Thorne

What started as a joke in Chris Rock‘s Top Five prompted Perry to launch the latest installment in the Madea franchise (also the original title Rock created as a spoof).

During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Perry told host Jimmy Fallon that Lionsgate called him because they loved the idea.

“Dude, it’s a joke in Chris’ movie!” Perry said. “But then I came up with the concept, and it’s pretty damn funny.”

As per usual with Perry’s movies, he wrote, directed, produced and stars in Boo! 

The trailer opens with what appears to be a customary horror film, until Madea steps in and punches a clown. It’s Halloween, and she’s eager to make some money — even if it means keeping her eye on a group of rebellious teens (Thorne, Diamond White) who want nothing more than to hit the party around the corner.

The girls won’t be Madea’s only challenge, though. Throughout the trailer, she encounters ghosts, zombies and killers, among others.

“You see white people?” Joe whispers, prompting screams from the entire room.

Jimmy Tatro and Cassi Davis round out the film’s cast.

Boo! A Madea Halloween hits theatres this October.