JoAnna Garcia Swisher Launches Production Banner THP Entertainment

JoAnna Garcia Swisher is hoping to bring more joy to the world…

The 44-year-old half-Cuban and part-Spanish American actress, producer, television host and entrepreneur is expanding her lifestyle platform The Happy Place with the launch of her production banner THP Entertainment, which she will co-run alongside longtime business partner and co-founder, Kate Gordon.

Joanna Garcia SwisherGarcia Swisher is known for her roles on Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and Reba McEntire’s eponymous comedy series for the CW. Gordon is an entrepreneur with extensive experience in talent management, sports/media production, digital content creation and e-commerce product development.

Garcia Swisher and Gordon launched The Happy Place as a lifestyle digital and social media platform that celebrates the spaces, places and moments that bring joy and a sense of community to all visitors.

The site has reached close to a million subscribers and their social media accounts have reached over 4.8M in the last month alone, according to THP. The production banner is an expansion of the site’s book club THP Reads that will focus on bringing select stories to life through TV and film.

First up on the scripted slate is THP Reads March 2022 pick, Ladies of the House, produced with Black Label Media. The romantic drama will re-team Garcia Swisher with Sheryl J. Anderson, the creator/showrunner of Sweet Magnolias. Based on the novel by Lauren Edmonson, the series follows the wife and adult daughters of a Senator as they navigate the treacherous balance of personal and public lives after the Senator dies in compromising circumstances.

“The Happy Place is a destination where you come to be inspired and to feel connected through our mutual life experiences. We are constantly in awe of this inclusive community that embraces our desire to celebrate life’s moments, both big and small.” Garcia Swisher and Gordon said in a joint statement to Deadline. “THP Reads has become something that we enjoy together, month after month. It felt like a natural extension to bring this collective excitement surrounding books we read to life on screen in a way we can all be proud of and excited about.”

Swisher currently stars in Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias as ‘Maddie Townsend.’ The show is in production on its fourth season, and she will also return as the host of The Ultimatum: Queer Love. In film, she most recently starred in Vince Vaughn’s Christmas with the Campbells.

Aubrey Plaza to Star in Legendary’s Live-Action & Animated Film “Animal Friends”

 Aubrey Plaza is makin’ time for her (animal) friends

The 38-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress has joined the all-star cast of Legendary’s forthcoming film Animal Friends.

Aubrey PlazaCombining live-action and animated characters, the project hails from writing duo Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider.

In addition to Plaza, the film will also star Ryan ReynoldsJason Momoa and Vince Vaughn.

Plot details for the project, described as an R-rated road trip adventure, are being kept under wraps. Emmy-winning director Peter Atencio is at the helm.

The idea for the film came from a general meeting between Burrows & Mider and Patrick Gooing, an executive at Reynolds’ production company, Maximum Effort. Producing alongside Legendary are Maximum Effort and Namit Malhotra’s Prime Focus Studios. Visual effects and animation will be provided by leading visual entertainment services company, DNEG.

Plaza is coming off one of the strongest years of her career, having generated major heat with her starring turn alongside Will Sharpe, Meghann Fahy and Theo James in the second season of Mike White’s HBO smash The White Lotus, for which she was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination. The SAG Award winner also recently notched Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations for her lead turn in John Patton Ford’s acclaimed indie crime thriller, Emily the Criminal, which she produced under her Evil Hag Productions banner.

She recently wrapped production on Francis Ford Coppola’s sci-fi epic Megalopolis and is currently shooting a role in Disney+’s Marvel series Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

John Ortiz to Star in Netflix’s Limited Series “The Madness”

John Ortiz is embracing the madness

The 54-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast opposite Colman Domingo in Netflix’s limited series The Madness.

John OrtizThe conspiracy thriller hails from Chernin Entertainment via its first-look deal with Netflix, creator and co-showrunner Stephen Belber  and co-showrunner VJ Boyd.

In The Madness, media pundit Muncie Daniels (Domingo) must fight for his innocence and his life after he stumbles upon a murder deep in the Poconos woods. As the walls close in, Muncie strives to reconnect with his estranged family – and his lost ideals – in order to survive.

Ortiz plays Franco Quinones, a longtime FBI field agent with strong convictions and a relentless approach to his work.

Clément Virgo will direct and executive produce the first two and final two episodes. Quyen Tran and Jessica Lowrey will each direct two middle episodes.

Ortiz starred as Joe Sandoval in drama series Promised Land, which aired for one season on ABC. On the film side, he recently wrapped filming The Mothership opposite Halle Berry.

He’s currently filming a key recurring role in Apple’s Bad Monkey opposite Vince Vaughn.

John Ortiz to Appear on Apple TV+’s Drama Series “Bad Monkey”

John Ortiz will be monkeying around soon…

The 54-year-old Puerto Rican actor has landed a key recurring role opposite Vince Vaughn in the Apple TV+ drama series Bad Monkey.

John OrtizOrtiz replaces Arturo Luis Soria, who had been originally cast in the role.

Written and executive produced by Bill Lawrence, the series is based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel.

Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.

Ortiz will play Rogelio, a good Key West police detective who comes to his best friend and ex-partner, Andrew Yancy, with a life-changing assignment. It further complicates things that Rogelio’s husband is also Yancy’s attorney.

The cast also includes Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Meredith Hagner, Rob Delaney, Natalie Martinez, L. Scott Caldwell, Ronald Peet, Charlotte Lawrence and Alex Moffat.

Lawrence executive-produces through his Doozer Productions alongside Matt Tarses and Doozer’s Jeff Ingold. Marcos Siega directs the first episode and serves as executive producer. Doozer’s Liza Katzer serves as co-executive producer. Warner Bros Television is the studio.

Ortiz most recently starred as Joe Sandoval in drama series Promised Land, which aired for one season on ABC.

On the film side, he most recently wrapped filming The Mothership opposite Halle Berry. He also can be seen in the feature film The Fallout, which premiered at SXSW. He also starred on the series Messiah opposite Monaghan and in the feature Horse Girl with Allison Brie.

Natalie Martinez to Star Opposite Vince Vaughn in Apple TV+ Drama Series “Bad Monkey”

Natalie Martinez is monkeying around…

The 37-year-old Cuban-American actress has been cast as a series regular opposite Vince Vaughn in the Apple TV+ drama series Bad Monkey.

Natalie MartinezThe news comes only days after Martinez became available following the cancellation of NBC’s Ordinary Joe.

Martinez replaces Ana Villafañe, who had originally been cast in the role.

The series, written and executive produced by Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence, based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel of the same name.

Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a onetime detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.

Martinez plays Rosa, a Miami medical examiner who is starting to realize she may not be cut out for her job, so is happy to ditch work and help Yancy try to figure out the story of the severed arm he brings into her lab.

In addition to Vaughn, Martinez joins Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Meredith Hagner, Rob Delaney and Arturo Luis Soria in the cast. Alex Moffat guest stars.

Lawrence executive produces through his Doozer Productions alongside Matt Tarses and Doozer’s Jeff Ingold. Marcos Siega directs the first episode and serves as executive producer. Doozer’s Liza Katzer serves as co-executive producer. Warner Bros Television is the studio.

Martinez starred as Amy Kindelán opposite James Wolk in Ordinary Joe. She previously starred in the series KingdomThe Crossing, Under the Dome and Secrets and Lies.

Ana Villafañe to Star in Apple’s Drama “Bad Monkey”

Ana Villafañe isn’t afraid to monkey around…

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has joined the cast of Apple’s drama Bad Monkey, written and executive produced Bill Lawrence.

Ana Villafañe

Villafañe, best known for her portrayal of Latina icon Gloria Estefan in the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, joins an ensemble cast that Rob Delaney, newcomer Ahmed Elhaj and Arturo Luis Soria as series regulars, joining Vince Vaughn, who also serves as executive producer, Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith and Meredith Hagner.

Based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel, Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.

Villafañe plays Rosa, a Miami medical examiner who is starting to realize she may not be cut out for her job, so is happy to ditch work and help Yancy try to figure out the story of the severed arm he brings into her lab.

Soria portrays Rogelio, a good Key West police detective who comes to his best friend and ex-partner, Andrew Yancy, with a life-changing assignment. It further complicates things that Rogelio’s husband is also Yancy’s attorney.

Villafañe was most recently seen in a recurring role on the final season of Younger. Her other previous credits include a heavily recurring role on NBC’s New Amsterdam. She was most recently seen in a starring role in the Broadway production of Chicago.

Soria’s guest star/recurring roles include Insatiable and The Blacklist.

Daniel Dominguez Co-Writing the Snoop Dogg-Voiced Animated Series “Oakland”

Daniel Dominguez has another reason to get animated

The Latino writer and producer is co-writing the adult animated comedy series Oaklandia, featuring Snoop Dogg in the voice cast, for Amazon. Chris “Comedian CP” Powell is co-writing the series.

Daniel Dominguez

The animated series is set in Oakland, California. Produced by Amazon Studios, while Snoop Dogg and his manager and business partner Ted Chung executive produce alongside Vince Vaughn, Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsley for Wild West Picture Show Productions and Dominguez and Powell.

Dominquez is the head writer and executive producer for season two of HBO Max’s Michael B. Jordan animated series Gen:Lock.

He has written for television in the live-action, animated, adult and kid space since 2011. His credits include SpongeBob SquarePants, Big Hero 6: The Series and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants.

“The Craft: Legacy” Star Zoey Luna to Take Part in Blumhouse’s Virtual “BlumFest”

Life is Blum a dream for Zoey Luna

The 19-year-old Latina transgender actress will be taking part in Blumhouse’s first-ever BlumFest, a virtual event featuring panels of talent from the studio’s upcoming movies, both big screen and PVOD, and more.

Zoey Luna

The virtual event will take place Thursday, October 29 at 10:00 am PT on Blumhouse’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

“This year has sidelined a lot for all of us, but Halloween is a treasured season at Blumhouse, so we conceived BlumFest to celebrate with our fans via a virtual event that will feature exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage on an upcoming release or two,” said Jason Blum, Blumhouse’s CEO and founder.

Panels featured include:

Welcome to the Blumhouse – Join Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios and Blum for a lively convo about the collaboration between Amazon and Blumhouse on the recently launched movies The Lie, Nocturne, Evil Eye and Black Box. Mamoudou Athie from the film Black Box will join the duo along with surprise guests. The four films are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

The Craft: Legacy – Writer-director Zoe Lister Jones and the film’s stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Luna will chat about the cult hit reboot. The movie will debut Wednesday on PVOD and electronic sell-through domestic, with a big-screen release abroad.

Freaky – Writer-director Chris Landon, stars Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, and Blum will chat about the body-swap horror comedy which hits theaters November 13 and select offshore markets via Universal.

Halloween Kills – Filmmaker David Gordon Green and the horror franchise’s scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, producer Malek Akkad from Trancas Films and Miramax producer Bill Block and Blum will converse about the October 2021 release.

The Good Lord BirdEthan Hawke, EP, writer and star of the Showtime series and Blum, who’ve worked together over several projects, will discuss their most recent collaboration.

William Levy Lands Series Regular Role on Fox’s Music Drama Series “Star”

William Levy’s star is on the rise…

The 37-year-old Cuban actor is joining the cast of Fox’s music drama series Star as a new series regular for the upcoming third season.

William Levy

Levy will play Mateo Ferrera, a driven media mogul who can charm the devil into church. He is rich, successful, smooth as silk and married to his equal, Nina Ferrera, played by Camila Banus. Mateo makes and breaks his own rules as he sprints toward success. The first generation son of immigrant parents, he is determined to make his mark and build his legacy by any means necessary.

Co-created by Lee Daniels and Tom DonaghyStar follows three talented singers – running from their pasts and desperate for a new start – with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cutthroat music business.

The large ensemble cast includes Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Jude Demorest, Ryan DestinyBrittany O’Grady, Amiyah Scott, Quincy Brown, Miss LawrenceMichael Michele, Stephen Dorff and Luke James.

Telenovela star Levy’s Spanish-language Triunfo Del Amor was the most watched scripted series on American television. On the film side, Levy appeared in Lionsgate’s Addicted, Universal’s Term Life alongside Vince Vaughn, and most recently, Universal’s blockbuster Girls Trip.

Guillen Starring in the Teen Comedy “Status Update”

Harvey Guillen is preparing for a status update

The Latino actor is starring in Scott Speer’s teen comedy Status Update, which is currently in production in Vancouver.

Harvey Guillen

The film, written by 17 Again scribe Jason Filardi, is billed as Big for the millennial generation and follows a high school kid, Kyle (Ross Lynch), who after being uprooted by the separation of his parents (Rob Riggle and Wendi McLendon-Covey) meets a foulmouthed mystical bearded guy (Josh Ostrovsky) who gives him a magical app that causes his social media updates to come true. As Kyle elevates to hero status at his new high school, his newfound powers abruptly backfire, sending him crashing back to earth.

Guillen is best known for his role in 2013’s The Internship, where he starred alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. He also starred opposite Victoria Justice in the MTV series Eye Candy.