“I think [Season 4] is going to be one of the most talked about seasons,” Leyva told HuffPo. “There’s a lot more conflict, there’s division amongst the groups more than ever. This is the season of the rise of the Latinas and there’s a lot of conflict within that.”
Finally, Litchfield’s Latina residents are standing up for themselves, and we’re here for it.
Streaming services like Netflix have become our go-to place for fresh media. So, whenever we hear of a new project coming from the streaming service, we’re all in. Last November, Netflix announced a huge 6 project animated deal that will bring even more cartoon goodness to our screens. One, in particular, has us especially excited because it comes from animator and director Jorge Gutierrez. You might remember him from Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” and the gorgeously animated “The Book of Life.”
Now, we’re seeing the first looks of Gutierrez’s new Netflix project, “Maya and the Three.”
Twitter / @mexopolis
Described as a Mesoamerican fantasy epic, the director sat down with VARIETY to share the origins of the project and the journey to get it made. Gutierrez was approached by Netflix with an alluring challenge: share his dream project with executives; the one he didn’t believe anyone would ever allow him to make. It only took him one pitch to win the streaming giant over and “Maya” was greenlit for production.
“So I sat down on Jan. 25th of  and that was the first time I ever pitched ‘Maya,’” he shared with VARIETY. “No art, no writing, just an idea. And here I am 11 months later, knee-deep in production.”
It was Gutierrez’s goal to portray a “bad-ass female Mesoamerican hero” in a fantasy world of his own creation.
Twitter / @zette16
“I started seeing a lot of things I didn’t like as far as not having any lead females, especially in Mesoamerican mythology,” he explained. “So I said I want to have a hero who is a half-god half-human warrior princess.”
In the Netflix series, a demigod warrior princess named Maya embarks on a quest to recruit three legendary fighters. With their help, she hopes to save the worlds of god and man from destruction. The intention was to show Maya as a strong female lead and, to do so, Gutierrez pulled from his real-life heroes. The director credits his sister, mother and his wife, Sandra Equihua for inspiring the mythical heroine. Equihua is also a talented animator and acts as a character designer for the female characters in her husband’s work.
With his female lead in place, Gutierrez focused on the mystical world that “Maya” would be set in.
Twitter / @mexopolis
The setting for the Netflix limited series has been growing in Gutierrez’s mind since he was a boy growing up in Mexico City. He would wander the halls of the Museum of Natural History and makeup stories about what he saw. These stories would later help to mold the setting. Even now, the director has fun teasing his Twitter followers with hints about what the new series could look like. However, it’s the architecture from his boyhood explorations, Gutierrez’s fondness for skulls and the pantheon of Mesoamerican gods that have helped to create Maya’s world.
Due to the mystical quest and the fantasy setting of “Maya and the Three,” Gutierrez has taken to calling the series the Mexican “Lord of the Rings.” Still, it’s a fantasy first and foremost. The director wants everyone to understand that “Maya” is inspired by Mesoamerican culture but is not meant to be an accurate representation.
“I tell everybody that while it’s inspired by Mesoamerica, this will be as accurate (to that world) as ‘Rocky’ was to boxing,” Gutierrez shared with VARIETY. “It’s all fantasy and I’m having a blast playing with the history.”
The series will feature a number of talented Latinx writers, producers and voice actors to bring Maya to life.
Instagram / @thraxisjr
Silvia Olivas from “Elena of Avalor” is acting as a co-writer and co-producer for “Maya and the Three.” From Disney’s “Moana,” Jeff Ranjo is the head of story. Paul Sullivan, who worked with Gutierrez on “The Book of Life,” is the production designer.
Despite these important hires, animators were in short supply so the producer had to get creative.
“Especially in L.A., we are all fighting for basically the same people, so now we’re looking outside. Before we announced Maya, I would go online and look for artists who were already inspired by Mesoamerica and say to them ‘You already love this stuff, we love it too! Come to our team.’”
Gutierrez used Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr to find animators that could do justice to the project. This modern-day recruiting system allowed Gutierrez and his team to find fresh artists with untapped talent to animate “Maya.” The results promise to be unique and beautiful.
The series is still a long ways away; it won’t debut on Netflix until its 2021 worldwide release. While it’s a long wait, the director promises fans that it is well worth it.
“Please have patience,” he told fans through his VARIETY interview. “This is gonna take a while, but we hope it’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. We are so giddy every day and still can’t believe this is happening.”
Probably one of the worst feelings in the world is sitting down for a good night of Netflix and chill, with or without company, and realizing you have no idea what to watch. You start scrolling, and all you can seem to find on the menu is stuff that you don’t wanna watch. It’s agonizing. Well, it’s time to get excited, babes, because there’s a new show gracing your screens that you definitely don’t wanna miss: Seis Manos.
Okay, you’ve got me interested. But what’s this Seis Manos about?
Set in the 1970s, this animated television series takes place in the fictional Mexican town of San Simon, and follows the story of three orphans who seek to get revenge for the death of their mentor. Each orphan was trained in a different tradition of Chinese martial arts, and use their fighting skills to exact their own form of justice. Before you ask – yes, the show’s creators have done their research, so the fighting styles depicted in Seis Manos are legit. Just … don’t go trying them at home.
The show, which features quite a bit of violence, follows in the grindhouse tradition.
While our heroes are facing their own set of trials and tribulations, the San Simon police and the DEA are working in the background, trying to take down a formidable drug lord in the area. Naturally, both the authorities and the Seis Manos find themselves on the same trail. From there – well, you’ll just have to watch the show to find out what happens! A warning, though: it is pretty violent, since Seis Manos follows in the grindhouse tradition.
We know you’re dying to tell us about the geeky, behind-the-scenes, stuff.
The cool thing about Seis Manos is the fact that, while Netflix has been growing its collection of Japanese anime over the past little while, it’s yet to really delve into other animation. Seis Manos is part of filling that gap – and it’s doing so while shining a spotlight on the creative talents of people of color. The show, which has been developed in partnership with Viz Media, is being produced entirely in-house by Austin-based Powerhouse Animation Studios.
And best of all, we don’t have to wait much longer for the show’s debut!
Even though production for the show has been in the works for a while, Seis Manos was only officially confirmed in May 2018, after Powerhouse saw success with their adaptation of Castlevania for Netflix. However, we’ll be seeing Seis Manos on our screens real soon: its release is marked for fall 2019. And we only have three weeks left of summer!
In short: hell yes! Mike Colter, the deep-voiced heartthrob behind Marvel’s Luke Cage, is set to play DEA agent Brister alongside Angelica Vale, who voices the local cop Garcia. While there are three central protagonists in the orphaned martial artist practitioners, only two are voiced. According to the footage promoting Seis Manos, Silencio, the orphan who specializes in the “white eyebrow” style, doesn’t speak. And so, Aislinn Derbez voices Isabella, an orphan who specializes in the Saholin hung ga style, while Jonny Cruz provides the talent for Jesus, the orphan known for his drunken boxing fighting style.
Yup, our beloved Danny Trejo is playing the ultimate villain – El Balde.
Our fave Danny Trejo was brought on board to be the voice behind the bad guy, the violent drug lord El Balde. You’d know him best for his roles in Spy Kids, as Machete, and as the drug lord Tortuga, in Breaking Bad. While he’s obviously drawing from his ability to play menacing villains and antiheroes for Seis Manos, it’s gonna be hard for Trejo to keep up the tough act after he literally saved a baby from a car crash only a few days ago.
In summary: consider your viewing for fall sorted, babes. At least for one binge-session, that is. If you’re keen on finding out more about Seis Manos, have a watch of the trailer here. Or, if you’ve already seen the trailer already, let us know your thoughts about Seis Manos on our Facebook page – you can find us through the icon at the top of the page
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