2011 who? We’ve already turned the page, baby, so to get ready for 2012, here are some of the best things on TV, the big screen and on the written page to look forward to.
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Ricky Martin in Evita
After a coming out-fueled comeback that reached its peak with a successful world tour that ended in November, 40-year-old Martin is not exactly resting on his laurels. Instead, he’s taken on a huge challenge: bringing the musical about the iconic Argentinian first lady back to Broadway for the first time since 1983. Great music and the chance to see the energetic boricua performer and talented singer sashay across the stage as everyman narrator Che, plus a co-star (Elena Roger) who won huge critical acclaim for playing the musical’s title role in London’s legendary West End, makes this a must-see.
Premieres: Previews in March, opens in April
A continuation of the iconic 80s show, this one centers on J.R. and Bobby Ewing’s sons, J.R. and Christopher and their quest for oil wealth. Can’t help but think that with a Texas setting and plenty of Tex-Mex stars available it’s weird that there are none in the cast, but hey, at least there is a Latino presence: Brazilian American Jordana Brewster, 31 (Fast Five), plays Elena, the daughter of a Ewing maid played by Cuban American actress Marlene Forte (House of Payne). Argentinian American Julie Gonzalo, 30 (Eli Stone) is set as Christopher Ewing’s fiancée.
Jennifer Lopez back on American Idol
After a successful comeback season last year, the show returns with Jennifer Lopez and that other lady back as judges. While the Nuyorican superstar’s unexpectedly sweet supportiveness of contestants is a plus, what every Latina will really be watching for are wardrobe, hair and makeup ideas gleaned from the 42-year-old Grand Diva herself. Let the wardrobe updates begin!
Premieres: Jan. 18 and 19
Gina Rodriguez in Filly Brown
A grand total of, like, two people have seen this movie, produced by Edward James Olmos’ sons and starring the actor, but it’s one of the most buzzed-about flicks slated for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. At the center of the chatter is part-Puerto Rican newcomer Gina Rodriguez, who plays a street-toughened rapper named Majo, whose struggling family includes an incarcerated mother, and who has a chance at stardom but may lose herself in the process. We predict Michelle Rodriguez-like breakout stardom.
Premieres: Jan. 20
Edgar Ramirez in Wrath of the Titans
The follow-up to the craptastic Clash of the Titans gets some serious acting firepower in the Venezuelan Bourne Ultimatum actor, who absolutely killed in the tour de force mini-series Carlos this year and will hopefully get even better roles after this popcorn-flick entrance into the mainstream hits. Ramirez, 35, plays Ares, the god of war and son of Zeus who allies himself with bad guys who unleash destructive Titans upon the earth.
Premieres: Mar. 30
Diego Boneta in Rock of Ages
If your only reference for the Mexican 21-year-old’s star quality and general hotness is his work on Pretty Little Liars and Mean Girls 2, that’s a good enough base going into 2012, where the Mexican actor and singer will get his breakthrough role. Boneta will co-star with Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige and others in Rock of Ages, an Adam Shankman film version of the Broadway musical, which has him taking on the role of an aspiring rocker and taking Hollywood by storm as the next Zac Efron or Channing Tatum.
Premieres: Jun. 1
Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin and Pitbull on Glee
About time Glee tapped Latin talent! At some point in 2012, we will see Cuban American music stars Estefan and Pitbull as Santana’s mom and big brother. With a family like that, how could she not be musical? We’ll also get another Latin treat in the form of Ricky Martin, possibly as the hottest Spanish teacher in the world.
Casa De Mi Padre
Will Ferrell speaking Spanish as a Mexican ranchero in a Spanish-language telenovela satire that co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, and whose trailer promises passion, sex, guns and slaps. Do you really need to know anything else to start ROFLYAO? Neither do we!
Premieres: March 16
The Watcher in the Shadows
Spanish master novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon, who wrote the haunting and cinematic novels The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, is back with another supernatural thriller/romance, this time between a girl who moves with her family to France, falls in love and encounters a nameless horror in the woods. Turn down the lights and get under the covers for this one.
Released: May 15
Jennifer Lopez as TV producer
Lopez is hellbent on extending her television producing empire and who are we to say no, especially when one of her projects would center around young Latinas? Her Nuyorican Productions, which already produces South Beach Tow (truTV), is busy penning deals for shows on several networks. Some of the shows in the works: Big Easy Justice, about a New Orleans bounty hunter (Spike TV) and most excitingly, an unnamed dramedy co-produced with Ugly Betty showrunner Silvio Horta about a group of Latina sisters whose love lives interconnect (Fox). Ready for that.
Javier Bardem in Skyfall
The chiseled Spanish Oscar winner, 42, returns as a bad guy, something he was clearly born to do (No Country for Old Men). So far, there is zero info on the villain’s name and modus operandi but we do know that the plot centers on a threat to M16 and Bond boss M, with Bond having to go all out to protect her.
Premieres: Nov. 9