Latin Hollywood Report: Casting Special

1. Latin Hollywood - Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes

In the Can: The sexy siren comes into her own next year with a series of high-profile roles. After a kick-start with The Spirit, which opens Christmas Day this year, Eva will appear as a prostitute opposite Nicholas Cage's crooked cop in Bad Lieutenant: Port Call of New Orleans, directed by German legend Werner Herzog, and as a contestant on a deadly gameshow in Live!, which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Coming Soon: Eva's got her plate full with Trouble Man, a comedy co-starring Chris Tucker, in which she plays a woman who's had nothing but bad luck with men (that'll take some serious acting chops from our girl), and Queen of the South, Eva's pet project with Robert Rodriguez's ex-wife Elizabeth Avellan, about the girlfriend of a murdered Mexican drug lord who flees to Spain and sets up her own operation. Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley have also signed on.

2. Latin Hollywood - Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

In the Can: After several years of personal hiatus, Jennifer is back in front of the lens with The Governess, about a thief who goes undercover as a wealthy widower's nanny.

Coming Soon: Jennifer will soon team up with Rachel Getting Married producer Mark Platt and Bounce director Don Roos for Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, playing a lawyer who has a complex relationship with her stepson.

3. Latin Hollywood - Benicio Del Toro

Benicio del Toro

In the Can:
It's the role he was born to play—Che. In the eponymously titled epic, directed by Stephen Soderbergh, we'll get four full hours of Benicio, surrounded by the best-looking supporting cast of Latin men in movie history. We can't say much for the film's reviews (early buzz isn't great), but the man-candy is undeniable. Che comes out in January.

Coming Soon: Expect Benicio to rock some serious facial hair for The Wolf Man, in which he plays an American who's bitten and cursed by a werewolf when he travels to his ancestral homeland. Let's just hope clean-shaven (and hot) Benicio gets equal screen time as his hairy alterego. The Wolf Man opens April 3.

4. Latin Hollywood - Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem

In the Can: After back-to-back hits with No Country for Old Men and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Javier Bardem really does seem to be taking some time off in 2009. He dropped out of Nine, Rob Marshall's musical co-starring his girlfriend Penelope Cruz, citing a crazy work schedule, but we don't see anything on the dockets for Javier except...

Coming Soon:...Fools Rush In, a drama about the experiences of an aid worker in Sarajevo co-starring Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson. Cameras don't roll on this one until later in 2009. What's Javi going to do with all his time off? We have some ideas to keep him occupied...

5. Latin Hollywood - Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

In the Can:
Unlike her man, Penelope Cruz isn't taking a breath after her lauded performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She's wrapping up Broken Embraces, another collabo with Pedro Almodovar which comes out in March, and lending her voice to G-Force, an animated feature about guinea pigs, and then putting on her tap shoes for director Rob Marshall in Nine, a musical like Chicago which demands weeks of rehearsals for its all-star cast.

Coming Soon: After fall in rainy London, Penelope will return to Spain with Chocolat director Lasse Hallstrom for Rain in Spain, a drama about local Spanish villagers who work with the US Army to recover a crashed B-52 bomber. Then she'll spend some time behind the camera as the producer of Haunted Heart, the first major feature by Spanish director Fernando Trueba.

6. Latin Hollywood - Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz

In the Can: After a decidedly "blah" year (her comedy What Happens in Vegas didn't exactly break records), Cameron is kicking off 2009 with some gutsy and high-profile projects. The first is My Sister's Keeper, a family drama by The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes and co-starring Alex Baldwin and Abigail Breslin. Next up is The Box, follow-up to cult classic Donnie Darko. Just in case neither of those bring in the gold at the box office, Cameron's still got Shrek Goes Fourth to fall back on.

Coming Soon: Finally, a collaboration with her BFF Drew Barrymore! We've waited years since Charlie's Angels to see these blonde bombshells reunite on-screen, and if Old Acquaintence—about a pair of rivaling novelists—takes off, we wn't have to wait much longer.

7. Latin Hollywood - Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

In the Can:
Salma Hayek's return to the big screen won't be of the glamorous sort. Rather, she'll come back as bearded lady Madame Truska in Cirque du Freak, about a young boy who joins the circus. Hopefully Salma's working on some hot red carpet looks to make up for the sideshow act she plays on the big screen.

Coming Soon: We'll get a glimpse of Salmita's lighter side in La Banda, about a wealthy housewife who resorts to becoming a wedding singer when her husband leaves her, as well as the darker one in Keep Coming Back, in which she plays an alcoholic stripper who is the object of a young man's obsession.

8. Latin Hollywood - Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas

In the Can: Call it a comeback! After years of only hearing his voice in the Shrek series, we'll finally get a good look at Antonio Banderas' well-preserved mug in this year's The Other Man, and next years' Thick as Thieves (a heist movie opposite Morgan Freeman), Sin City 2, and, for good measure, Shrek Goes Fourth.

Coming Soon:
Looks like Antonio has a certifiable career revival ahead of him. Other projects in development include Lovers, Liars and Thieves, in which he co-stars with Dustin Hoffman as a thief attempting to steal the Mona Lisa, Fellini Black & White, in which he plays the legendary director, and Conquistador, putting him back in full period regalia as Hernan Cortes, conqueror of the Aztecs.