Cattleya Producciones Acquires Rights to Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s Novel “The Italian” with Plans to Adapt as a Miniseries

It appears another of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novels is coming to life…

ITV Studios-owned Spanish drama house Cattleya Producciones has acquired the rights to the 70-year-old Spanish novelist and journalist’s bestselling novel El Italiano and will adapt it as a miniseries.

Arturo Pérez-ReverteInspired by real events, El Italiano is a story of love, spies and the sea set at the height of World War II in the Bay of Algeciras, where Italian combat divers are causing chaos among the Allied forces.

Arturo Díaz, Managing Director and Executive Producer of Cattleya Producciones, and Ricardo Tozzi, founder and President of Cattleya, are leafing the project.

Cattleya Producciones is searching for an international cast to bring El Italiano‘s Spanish, Italian and English characters to life.

Arturo Pérez-Reverte, El ItalianoScreenwriter Beto Marini, co-creator of Movistar+ series La Unidad and feature films such as Retribution and Extinction is adapting the story.

Pérez-Reverte was trained in underwater activities at Spain’s Centro de Buceo de la Armada (Navy Diving Center) in Cartagena in the late 1960s and part of El Italiano comes from a story told to him by his father when he was a child.

“I’m positive that this series from Cattleya, whose productions I have always admired for their quality, will be faithful to the story I wrote,” he said.

Pérez-Reverte’s previous work La Reina del Sur (2002), about a Mexican woman who becomes a leader of a drug trafficking cartel in the south of Spain, was adapted into a Spanish-language telenovela starring Kate del Castillo, and later an English-language series (Queen of the South) starring Alice Braga.

Santino Fontana to Star in Stage Adaptation of “The Pianist”

Santino Fontana has landed his next Broadway project…

The 40-year-old part-Spanish American actor will star in the stage adaptation of The Pianist, based on the Władysław Szpilman memoir that was the source of the Oscar-nominated 2002 film of the same name.

Santino FontanaThe project is being developed by director Emily Mann with an eye toward Broadway.

An industry reading is set for New York City this month with the Tony Award-winning Fontana in the lead role

The project was announced by producers Robin de Levita Productions, Gorgeous Entertainment, and Wolk Transfer Company.

Described as a play with music, The Pianist features an original score by Dutch concert pianist Iris Hond.

The invitation-only industry reading is set for June 23, with Fontana leading a company that includes Richard Topol, Georgia Warner, Claire Beckman, Arielle Goldman, Paul Spera, Addison Finley, Jordan Lage, Robert David Grant and Tina Benko.

The Pianist tells the true story of Szpilman, a survivor of Nazi-occupied Warsaw in World War II. The 2002 film adaptation of Szpilman’s 1946 memoir won Adrien Brody an Oscar for his portrayal of the composer, with Roman Polanski winning Best Director and Ronald Harwood Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Pianist tells a soaring tale of survival and triumph through music,” says producer Wolk. “It is a riveting story that is fiercely present tense — though it’s set in the past, it shows us that just like today, worlds are destroyed when we demonize each other. And it gives us hope by showing how human connections and the power of music can transcend hate and fear and heal our hearts.”

Producers say the production will feature the first-time theatrical use of “a richly immersive soundscape” enhanced by Atmos Dolby Surround Sound, that allows for surround sound effects, isolating particular parts of an audio track, to be placed in a particular area of a theater. The production team also includes scenic design by Beowulf Boritt and sound design by Mark Bennett.

Jayro Bustamante to Direct World War II Drama “Down Wind”

Jayro Bustamante is heading down wind

The 45-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter, whose most recent film La Llorona made the Oscar international film shortlist, is partnering with Panama’s award-winning Hypatia Films and Jonathan Keasey of Mind Riot Entertainment to make the World War II drama Down Wind.

Jayro BustamanteThe film marks a rare collaboration between two major Central American filmmakers and an American writer-producer.

Bustamante will direct based on a screenplay by Keasey, who has also boarded as a producer.

The drama’s lead production company, Hypatia Films, run by Pituka Ortega Heilbron and Marcela Heilbron, is an associate producer on Claire DenisCannes Film Festival competition contender The Stars at Noon, which was filmed in Panama and on which Hypatia provided production services.

Inspired by true events, Down Wind (a working title) is sourced from an article concerning incidents that transpired in the U.S. Southwest towards the end of World War II.

Ortega Heilbron who hopes to shoot the film on location in New Mexico and tap its robust incentives.

For Bustamante, for what would be his first film in English, albeit with some Spanish dialogue, the idea of making Down Wind immediately appealed to him.

“My career has always been tied to themes of discrimination against indigenous people,” said Bustamante, who’s in post on his fourth film and prepping his fifth.

Lisa Vidal to Star in the Crime-Action Heist Feature “Shelter”

Lisa Vidal is sheltering…

The 56-year-old Puerto Rican actress will star in the crime-action heist feature Shelter.

Lisa Vidal

Vidal joins a cast that includes Cam Gigandet, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Carlos Miranda and Hollywood newcomer Sasha Merci.

In pre-production, filming is scheduled to start shortly in Los Angeles on the movie about the head of a secret organization who assembles a crew to steal back artwork from a neo-Nazi billionaire oligarch who plundered it during World War II.

Produced by Jolene Rodriguez of Broken English productions and financed by Ruben IslasGrandave Capital, the film is an original screenplay by Michael Corcoran, directed by Anthony Nardolillo.

“I’m thrilled to work with such a talented group. I’ve followed many of their careers and to make a movie with them is such a privilege. Shelter is a great example of taking any script and making it inclusive. It takes effort but it’s possible and it matters,” said Rodriguez.

Vidal has starred on ABC’s The Baker and The BeautyBET TV series Being Mary Jane and Grey’s Anatomy.

Ortiz will star in her fifth season of Shondaland’s ABC series Station 19 after a successful run in Fox’s Rosewood and a consequent role in Shooter.

Miranda will join the cast of ABC’s Station 19 as a series regular in the coming season and has had recurring roles in Amazon Original series Bosch and Comedy Central’s Ana as well as being a series regular in Starz series Vida.

Merci recently starred in the HBO feature film De Lo Mio.

Rafael Nadal to Lead Spanish Team at Next Month’s ATP Cup

Rafael Nadal is headed back to the court next month…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis star is set to return for the ATP Cup, the season-opening men’s team tennis event, starting February 1, but the United States will be missing because of a change in format that has halved the field.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, last year’s runner-up, will be joined in the tournament by last year’s ATP Cup champion Novak Djokovic. His Spanish team includes Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Pablo Carreno Busta.

Diego Schwartzman, Guido Pella, Horacio Zeballos and Maximo Gonzalez will represent Argentina in this year’s tournament, while Alex de Minaur will play for Australia and Steven Diez will represent Canada.

The inaugural event last year featured 24 teams and was played in three Australian cities, with Djokovic’s Serbia team beating Nadal and Spain in the final at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

The February 1-5 second edition will involve 12 teams and be played entirely at Melbourne Park amid COVID-19 restrictions, along with WTA and ATP tournaments, in the week leading into the Australian Open.

The draw will be held on January 20, with teams divided into four groups. The winner of each round-robin group will advance to the semifinals.

Qualification for the ATP Cup was based on the ranking of each country’s top player, with Australia included on a wild-card entry. Other competing countries include Austria, Russia, Greece, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Japan, France and Canada.

All players arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open will be required to quarantine for 14 days before the delayed start of the season’s first major. The Australian Open is usually staged in the last two weeks of January, but it has been pushed back to February 8-21 because of travel and other restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualifying for the men’s singles draw will take place in Doha, Qatar, and for the women’s in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, both running January 10-13.

As with other sports, the international tennis calendar was disrupted in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, including the postponement of the French Open‘s start from May to September, and the cancellation of Wimbledon for the first time since World War II.

HBO Max Launches 60 Episodes of Lynda Carter’s Original “Wonder Woman” Series

Lynda Carter is spinning her way onto the Max

The original Wonder Woman television series, starring the 69-year-old half-Mexican American actress/singer, has launched on HBO Max – just days before the latest Gal Gadot-fronted feature film drops on the streamer.

Lynda Carter x Wonder Woman

The WarnerMedia-owned platform launched 60 episodes of the 1970s series on Wednesday December 23. It features The New Original Wonder Woman television movie pilot that aired in November 1975 before the series started properly in April 1976.

It starred Carter, who also stars in The CW’s Supergirl and has a small cameo in the upcoming WW84 film, as the Amazonian princess, initially rescuing fallen American pilot Major Steve Trevor, played by Lyle Waggoner.

The pilot and the 13-episode first season aired on ABC, while Seasons 2 and 3 moved to CBS. The first season was set in the 1940s during World War II, while Seasons 2 and 3 are set in the 1970s and known as The New Adventures of Wonder Woman with a new cast apart from Carter and Waggoner.

It comes as Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins based on a script she wrote with Geoff Johns and David Callaham, launches on HBO Max in the U.S. on December 25 (at noon ET).

https://twitter.com/RealLyndaCarter/status/1341779691938734080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1341779691938734080%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdeadline.com%2F2020%2F12%2Flynda-carter-wonder-woman-hbo-max-wonder-woman-1984-1234661007%2F

Noah Centineo to Star Opposite Dwayne Johnson in New Line/DC’s “Black Adam”

Noah Centineo is splitting atoms…

The 24-year-old part-Puerto Rican actor and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before star has joined New Line/DC’s Dwayne Johnson film Black Adam

Noah Centineo

Centineo will play Atom Smasher, a character who can control his molecular structure with the ability to manipulate his size, strength and durability. 

Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Johnson in Disney’s Jungle Cruise is directing from a script by Adam Sztykiel.

Black Adam, which is set to shoot in Georgia during early 2021, will be part of the first-ever DC FanDome event on August 22.

Centineo will next appear in the World War II drama The Diary and To All the Boys 3

Centineo is also a founder of Favored Nations, a non-profit organization committed to social change.

Bleecker Street Acquires Distribution Rights to Noomi Rapace’s Revenge Thriller “The Secrets We Keep”

Noomi Rapace’s secretis coming out…

Bleecker Streethas acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Secrets We Keep, the period revenge thriller directed by Yuval Adler that stars the 40-year-old half-Spanish actress, Joel Kinnamanand Chris Messina

Noomi Rapace

Rapace stars as Maja, a woman rebuilding her life along with her husband, Lewis (Messina), in America after World War II.  One day she encounters an eerily familiar figure (Kinnaman) from her past life – but is he really the man she thinks he is? Convinced he is, Maja takes things into her own hands and kidnaps him, setting in motion a series of memories and events that will change her whole perception of the truth. 

Amy Seimetz also stars. Ryan Covington penned the script.

 “Yuval’s film is propelled by exciting performances from Noomi, Joel and Chris in this chilling post-WWII thriller,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street. “We look forward to bringing the film to audiences nationwide.”The film hails from AGC Studiosin partnership with Ingenious Mediaand Fibonacci Films. No release plan was revealed.

Priscilla Delgado to Star in Amazon’s “A League of Their Own” Pilot

Priscilla Delgado is in a league of her own

The 17-year-old Puerto Rican actress has been cast in Amazon’s hourlong pilot A League of Their Own, an adaptation of Penny Marshall’s 1992 feature film of the same name, from writers/executive producers Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham and Sony Pictures Television.

Delgado joins a cast that includes Kelly McCormack, with D’Arcy Carden and Jacobson, who are finalizing their acting deals, and Gbemisola Ikumelo, who is set.

Like the movie, A League of Their Own the series is about a women’s professional baseball league during World War II.

Delgado plays Izzy, an optimistic and fun girl who’s probably the youngest player to try out for the Rockford Peaches. The brave teenager left Cuba and landed in the Midwest just to play the game.

Delgado previously appeared in Pedro Almodovar’s JulietaAbracadabra and The Evil That Men Do

Lionsgate to Develop R.J. Palacio’s Graphic Novel “White Bird: A Wonder Story” Into a Feature Film

R.J. Palacio will see her latest project on the big screen.

Lionsgate is set to develop the 56-year-old Colombian American writer and New York Times best selling author’s graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story into a feature.

RJ Palacio,

White Bird, which hit bookstores this week via Alfred A. Knopf,inhabits the same universe as Palicio’s acclaimed work Wonder, which centered on young Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences, and his transition to a mainstream elementary school.

The Wonderfeature was a critical and commercial success, starring Julia RobertsOwen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay.

Wonderproducers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films, as well as Palacio, will once again produce the adaptation.

White Birdfollows a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Recounted by Grandmere to her grandson, Julian, a character already known to those familiar with Wonder, Grandmere’s story about her childhood—her fairy-tale life before the war, how everything abruptly changed when the Nazi’s occupied France, and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned becomes her savior and best friend — is transformational for Julian. It is his evolution, as well as Grandmere’s extraordinary story, that helps White Bird movingly demonstrate the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives.

James Myers will oversee the project on behalf of Lionsgate.

Wonder, which was released in 2017, grossed over $305 million worldwide, while the novel, released in 2012, spent seven years on the New York Times bestseller list. Recently, Lionsgate, Broadway producer Jill Furman, and Palacio announced that the title is being developed into a stage musical.

Palacio’s books have sold more than 15 million copies with editions published in 53 languages.