From Oscar Isaac’s Comic Book to Linedy Genao As Cinderella, Here Are 5 Latino Led Projects You Should Know About
A startling new statistic estimates that Latino representation in the media industry has only risen by 1% between 2010 and 2019, bringing the number from 11% to 12%, reports CNN. Even more concerning is the fact that Latinos comprise just 4% of the industry’s management despite being 18% of the workforce and 19% of the population.
However, Latinos are still making a splash on the screen, the stage, and the page. Now more than ever, Latino actors are getting a chance to star in big-budget production like the new “Star Wars” series “Andor” starring Diego Luna or Xochitl Gomez in “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.”
While it is important to demand more representation not only in front of the camera but behind it, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate some Latino-led projects that are in the works or making their way to audiences in the near future, organized by their release dates.
Oscar Isaac Just Released His New Comic Book, “Head Wounds: Sparrow” (October 18, 2022)
Okay so yes, Oscar Isaac’s new comic book was already released two days ago, but it’s already one of the most talked-about new comics of the year. The acclaimed actor, who just starred in Marvel’s “Moon Knight” television show, is clearly still interested in the comic book arena.
Isaac developed the story with writers Jason Spire, Robert Johnson, John Alvey, and Brian Buccellato with art from Christian Word. The actor released the graphic novel through his own production company, Mad Gene Media, which he owns with his wife, a filmmaker named Elvira Lind.
The story follows a detective who literally sustains the injuries of people he was unable to save, leading him down a path of vengeance as he tries to right the wrongs of his past. The book has already been getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and it seems like people already want more from this uniquely talented creative team.
Linedy Genao Stars as Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway Adaptation (March 23, 2023)
Rachel Zegler is not the only Latina playing a Disney princess in the near future (but we’ll get to that later). Dominican actress Linedy Genao is currently preparing to debut as Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway adaptation of the classic story.
This newest iteration, called “Bad Cinderella,” is going to be a contemporary take on the classic story, and is being marketed as an “unconventional” approach that has Cinderella causing quite a bit of trouble for the residents of Belleville. The story was written by Oscar-winner Emerald Fennell, with lyrics by David Zippel and direction from Laurence Connor.
In a recent press conference, Genao said, “It is the honor of my life to be able to represent the Latino community, the Dominicans. I never had the experience of seeing myself represented on television. I am very grateful for this opportunity, especially from a musical theater god.”
Pedro Pascal Stars in HBO’s “The Last of Us” Adaptation (2023)
HBO’s highly-anticipated adaptation of the critically acclaimed video game “The Last of Us” is already one of the most talked about shows of 2023 and it hasn’t even come out yet, nor do we have an official release date. For those who are unfamiliar with the games, “The Last of Us” is set in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland where horrifying and savage creatures known as Runners, Clickers, Bloaters, and Shamblers have taken over the planet.
In the midst of all this chaos, a lone wolf named Joel is tasked with bringing a young woman named Ellie to a hospital run by a group of freedom fighters called the Fireflies. Ellie has already been bitten by one of the zombies but never turned, and her immunity to the virus makes her humanity’s only hope in a hopeless world.
The original game is one of the most critically acclaimed video games of the last decade, with fans gearing up to play a new, remastered version of the original in anticipation of the new series. Although HBO hasn’t released too much footage, the brief trailer we did get promises an adaptation that is not only faithful to the original but beautifully made, somber, and completely engaging.
Rachel Zegler Stars as Snow White in Disney’s Latest Live-Action Update (2024)
Following her unforgettable debut in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake, Rachel Zegler is already set to headline another major new reboot, this time as Disney’s live-action Snow White. The upcoming movie will be helmed by “(500) Days of Summer” director Marc Webb from a screenplay by Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson.
There’s not too much information about the new movie other than the casting of Zegler as Snow White and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. Zegler has already acknowledged the backlash surrounding her playing Snow White as a latina, saying, “The conversation can turn really nasty, really fast when you’re talking about representation because it’s such a multidimensional conversation.”
There’s also no word on who will be cast as the Seven Dwarfs, but considering the talent involved — Gerwig is currently writing and directing the “Barbie” movie while Wilson is most known for her R-rated dramas on romantic and sexual relationships — there’s a fair chance this might rank as one of the better live-action updates in recent memory.
Selena Gomez is Leading the Upcoming Reboot of “Working Girl” (TBD)
Last but not least is “Only Murders in the Building” star Selena Gomez, who will be headlining the new “Working Girl” reboot, which is currently in development with 20th Century Studios. The new project will also be written by a Latina, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” writer Ilana Peña.
Although the new project was announced recently, Sigourney Weaver, who starred in the 1988 original alongside Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith, has already given it her blessing, especially in light of movies like “Bombshell” and shows like “The Morning Show,” which interrogate the social norms of women in the workplace. When asked about her opinion on the 21st-century update, Weaver said:
“Go for it. I think it’s a great instinct to want to do that again. It’s a kind of eternal story, you know. But seen in the new light, it’s especially interesting to think of Katharine double-crossing her assistant in today’s world. It would be worse, wouldn’t it? It would really suck. So I don’t know, I’m really excited to see it.”
Honorable Mention: Half the Cast of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11, 2022)
No list of Latinos in media would be complete without a mention of the upcoming “Black Panther” sequel, which stars Tenoch Huerta as the leader of an underwater society of warriors based on Aztec and Mayan iconography. In addition to Huerta, some of the franchise’s newest villains, the Atlanteans, will be played by Mabel Cadena, María Mercedes Coroy, and Juan Carlos Cantu.
Huerta, who doesn’t mince words when it comes to speaking out about issues facing Latinos today, talked about inclusion at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, saying, “I wouldn’t be here without inclusion. A lot of kids out there in their hoods are looking at us, dreaming to be here, and they’re gonna make it! They’re gonna make it.”
In another interview, Huerta praised Marvel for their approach to the characters, and said, “It’s inspired by Mesoamerican culture, and the people who were involved as advisors are academics — Mexicans of the region, Latin Americans, they call themselves Latinoamericanistas. They made it possible. And the company, the production — totally open, eager, respectful, smart, sensitive. That is representation, that’s how things should be done — with this commitment, with this humility, which is incredible.”
Latinos are making their way to the forefront of entertainment, among many other industries, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.