Eva Longoria to Star in “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” a Film Adaptation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s YA Novel

Eva Longoria is revealing some universal Secrets

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress/producer will star in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a feature film adaptation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s YA novel.

Eva Longoria

Longoria will star opposite Eugenio DerbezMax Pelayo, Reese Gonzales, Veronica Falcón, Isabella Gomez, Luna Blaise and Kevin Alejandro in the film.

Aitch Alberto wrote the script and will make her directorial debut on the film, which is being financing and produced by Limelight alongside 3Pas Studios and Big Swing Productions, in association with Boies Schiller Entertainment. The film counts Derbez, Kyra Sedgwick and Lin-Manuel Miranda among its producers.

Aristotle and Dante, originally published in 2014, centers on the friendship between Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza (to be played by Pelayo) and Dante Quintana (Gonzales), two Mexican American boys on the cusp of manhood who form a life-changing bond after a chance meeting at an El Paso pool in the summer of 1987.

Alberto’s writing credits include the HBO Max drama series Duster from J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan. She also wrote for Apple TV+’s Little America.

“At its core, Ari and Dante tells a story of self-discovery and acceptance,” Alberto said. “My own journey helped me realize there is nothing more important than standing up and fully embracing who we are and being seen for it. I’m motivated to place a lens on male vulnerability that includes a more empathic and compassionate gaze that helps redefine masculinity specifically for the Latino/a/e/x community. To say this is a dream come true is an understatement.”

Derbez most recently played Bernardo in CODA and stars in 3Pas’ upcoming comedy Acapulco both for Apple TV+.

Longoria’s recent acting credits include the films Sylvie’s Love and The Boss Baby: Family Business and just wrapped her feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot for Searchlight.

Daniela Nieves to Star in Peacock’s YA Series “Vampire Academy”

Daniela Nieves is joining the Academy

The 24-year-old Venezuelan actress has been cast in Peacock’s Vampire Academy from Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre.

In addition to Nieves, who has appeared on the Nickelodeon series Every Witch Way and WITS Academy, the main cast for the YA drama based on Richelle Mead’s book series includes Sisi StringerKieron MooreAndré Dae KimJ. August Richards, Anita-Joy UwajehMia McKenna-BruceRhian BlundellJonetta Kaiser and Andrew Liner.

Written by MacIntyre, Vampire Academy is set in a world of privilege and glamour, where two young women’s friendship transcends their strikingly different classes as they prepare to complete their education and enter royal vampire society. This serialized and sexy drama combines the elegance of aristocratic romance and the supernatural thrills of the vampire genre.

Vampire Academy, co-showrun by Plec and MacIntyre, takes place in St. Vladmir’s Academy, which isn’t just any boarding school. It’s a hidden place where vampire royals are educated and half-human teens train to protect them from the savage “Strigoi” vampires who would like to see them destroyed.

Nieves joins as Lissa Dragomir, a Royal Moroi vampire. Growing up the younger sister to the heir apparent, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir is a carefree, kind-hearted, royal princess coasting through her studies and happily chasing fun. Lissa is uninterested in the political machinations of the Royal Court or the hypocrisy of Moroi royal society. But with a sudden death in her family, Lissa is thrust into a role she’s neither trained for nor is emotionally equipped to handle.

Bille Woodruff directs the pilot. Additional series directors are Plec, Luis Prieto, Jesse Warn, Erica Dunton and Geoff Shotz.

Vampire Academy is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Entertainment One to Develop Series Based on Adam Silvera’s YA Novel “They Both Die at the End”

It’s the beginning of the End for Adam Silvera.

Entertainment One has acquired the U.S. rights to the 40-year-old half Puerto Rican writer’s novel They Both Die at the End to develop for television.

Adam Silvera

Silvera’s novel currently ranks at No. 1 on the New York Times YA paperback bestsellers list three years after it was published.

Silvera is attached to pen the series adaptation. eOne will serve as the studio and distribute the project worldwide.

Published by HarperCollins in September 2017, They Both Die at the End was previously in development as a series at HBO with J.J. AbramsBad Robot and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly. eOne pursued the rights when they became available, landing in a competitive situation.

Creative Engine and eOne already have a relationship with Silvera, whose first novel, More Happy Than Not, is currently in the works as a series at HBO Max, also eOne. Andrew Haigh is attached to direct.

they-both-die-at-the-end

They Both Die at the End is a devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. According to the book synopsis: “On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.”

The book made history as the first YA novel with queer Latinx characters to hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list.

The novel experienced a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic and hit No. 1 again last month after it became a fixture under the TikTok hashtag #BookTok, where users recommend books and record their reactions to emotional story developments.

It now ranks as the bestselling YA novel of 2021, and there has been a 900% increase in printings to meet demand. The novel also is a No. 1 National Indie bestseller, the No. 1 YA bestseller in the UK and Australia, and the top-selling YA title on the USA Today bestseller list.

Silvera has expressed interest in writing more books in the They Both Die at the End universe.

André Lamoglia Joins Cast of Netflix’s Recently Renewed Spanish Drama “Elite”

André Lamoglia is boarding a high-profile project…

The 23-year-old Brazilian actor has joined the cast of Netflix’s Spanish drama Elite, which has been renewed for a fifth season.

André Lamoglia

The YA boarding school series has also added Argentinian actress Valentina Zenere to its cast.

The renewal comes before Season 4 has even premiered on Netflix.

Elite, which was created and written by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona, is one of the streamer’s best performing Spanish originals, with Netflix noting in 2019 that it had been seen by more than 20 million households.

Described as “effervescent, uninhibited and sensual,” the soapy teen series follows the intrigue at Las Encinas, an exclusive boarding school in Spain. It is made by Zeta Audiovisual, which has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville.

Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Arón Piper, Omar Ayuso, Claudia Salas and Georgina Amorós will appear in Season 4, while new cast includes Andrés Velencoso, Manu Rios, Carla Díaz, Martina Cariddi, Pol Granch, and Diego Martín.

Sofia Carson to Star in the YA Romance “Purple Hearts”

Sofia Carson is in a purple haze…

The 27-year-old Colombian American actress & singer will star opposite Charles Melton in director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum’s YA romance Purple Hearts about two star-crossed lovers.

Sofia Carson

Adapted from Tess Wakefield’s novel by Tony Award-nominee Kyle Jarrow and Liz Garcia, Rosenbaum will direct the story of aspiring singer-songwriter Cassie and military man Luke, who in spite of their apparent differences, fall hopelessly in love.

Purple Hearts provides hope that two people with such differing world views, stuck in the same place, forced to fight the same fight, might be able to learn a little about each other’s beliefs, get over their own bullshit, start to understand each other and just maybe fall in love. It’s a very timely, emotional story – truly a romance for the ages,” says Rosenbaum.

Carson will also write and perform the film’s original soundtrack.

The film is produced by YA-book-to-screen specialists Alloy Entertainment, known for content including Everything, EverythingGossip GirlPretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries.

Principal photography is due to start in May 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Best known for her role as Evie in Disney’s Descendants franchise and Freeform series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Carson recently made her feature debut in Netflix movie Feel The Beat. Next up she will star alongside KJ Apa in pandemic thriller Songbird, produced by Michael Bay.

Ash Santos to Star in HBO Max’s YA Drama Pilot “Red Bird Lane”

Ash Santos is seeing red (birds)…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress has been cast in HBO Max’s YA drama pilot Red Bird Lane, a project hailing from John Wells Prods.

The project will be led by Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, with Kiersey ClemonsIsidora Goreshter, Danny Huston, Fiona Dourif, Dizzie Harris and Tara Lynne Barr also starring.

Red Bird Lane, written by Sara Gran and directed by David Slade, is a psychological thriller that follows eight strangers who arrive at an isolate house, all for different reasons. Upon their mysterious and coincidental arrival, the strangers realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them.

Sarandon plays Catherine, a welcoming and beautiful hostess with a devious secret.

Santos will play Kesha, a soft-spoken, elegant, and hard as nails character. She came to the house to save a life.

Santos’ previous credits include FX horror anthology series American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Relationship Status and Wrapped Up In Christmas.

Marianly Tejada to Star in YA Mystery Drama Pilot “One of Us is Lying”

Marianly Tejada won’t be Lying low for long…

The Dominican-American actress has been cast in One of Us is Lying, the YA mystery drama pilot fo PeacockNBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service.

Marianly Tejada

In addition to Tejada, the ensemble cast includes Cooper van Grootel, Annalisa Cochrane, newcomer Chibuikem Uche, Jessica McLeod, Barrett Carnahan and Puerto Rican/Spanish actress Melissa Collazo. 

The project hails from NBCU’s UCP and John Sacchi’s 5 More Minutes Productions banner.

Written by Erica Saleh and based on Karen M. McManus’ bestselling novel, One of Us is Lying is the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Tejada will play Brownyn. Top of her class, Bronwyn is so focused on the future she rarely thinks about the present. Most classmates admire her more than they like her, and a few rivals wonder how far she’d go to get ahead.

van Grootel will portray Nate, the school’s most notorious drug dealer, a delinquent who lives alone with his alcoholic father. But that’s not the only reason he’s the police’s prime suspect.

Cochrane will play Addy. Addy makes high school look easy, but you don’t become the school’s most popular cheerleader without hiding secrets. If people really knew her, she fears, her whole world might fall apart.

Uche will portray Cooper. A dominant high school baseball pitcher, scouted by the major leagues, Cooper is on the verge of signing a life-changing professional deal – unless something (or someone) gets in his way.

McLeod is Janae. A punk outsider who hates her fake classmates, Janae is left angry and alone when her only friend is murdered. Rather than simply grieve his death, she promises to honor his bitter legacy.

Carnahan will play Jake, the captain of the football team and the boyfriend of Addy (Cochrane). Jake seems to have it all, but it’s never enough.

Collazo will portray Maeve, Bronwyn’s little sister, who developed a tough demeanor while losing years to a childhood fight with Leukemia. In remission now, she’s hungry to make up for lost time.

Jennifer Morrisonwill direct the pilot and also executive produce.

Tejada’s television credits include recurring roles on Orange Is The New Black and The Purge

Collazo recently recurred in Swamp Thing and plays the lead role in the upcoming feature film Lena and Snowball. 

One of Us is Lying is one of three pilot orders from Peacock, joining Punky Brewster, also from UCP, and Straight Talk.

Georgie Flores to Star in the Pageant Musical-Comedy “Dumplin”

Georgie Flores is getting Dump(lin)ed

The Mexican American actress has joined the cast of the Anne Fletcher-helmed pageant musical comedy film Dumplin.

 Georgie Flores

Kristin Hahn wrote the screenplay, which based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 YA novel of the same title. It follows Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), nicknamed Dumplin, a confident, plus-sized teen who, to spite her beauty pageant queen mom (Jennifer Aniston), enlists in a local pageant. What starts as an impulsive one-day protest snowballs as Will inadvertently becomes the inspiration for a ragtag group of teenage outcasts joining the pageant.

Liv and Maddie alum Dove Cameron, Luke Benward, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Maddie Baillio, Odeya Rush and Ginger Minj (RuPaul’s Drag Race) also star.

Flores most recently starred opposite Bella Thorne in Famous in Love.

Thorne to Star Opposite Patrick Schwarzenegger in the YA Film “Midnight Sun”

Bella Thorne is ready to ride off into the Sun(set)

The 17-year-old half-Cuban American actress-singer will star opposite Patrick Schwarzenegger in Midnight Sun, a Young Adult (YA) love story.

Bella Thorne

Based on a 2006 Japanese film, Midnight Sun centers on Katie (Thorne), a 17-year-old sheltered since childhood and confined to her house during the day by a rare disease that makes even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. Fate intervenes when she meets Charlie (Schwarzenegger) and they embark on a summer romance.

Scott Speer (Step Up: Revolution) is set to direct the film from a script by Eric Kirsten, with a September shooting start planned.

Thorne, a former Disney Channel star, recently signed on to the AwesomenessTV movie Shovel Buddies and is attached to the ABC Family drama project Famous In Love from Pretty Little Liars exec producer/showrunner I. Marlene King.

She’ll next appear on television on MTV’s new series Scream.