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Cine Latino: Chilean Miners Movie Gets the Green Light, Will Ferrell Learns Spanish for ‘Casa de Mi Padre’ and Zoe Saldana Kills in ‘Colombiana,’ Her First Latina Role

Taking a look at some Latino movies in the works….

The remarkable rescue of 33 Chilean miners from the San Jose Mine last year captivated the world’s attention, and of course Hollywood is planning to take the heart-wrenching, death-defying story to the big screen. Academy Award-nominated producer Mike Medavoy (Black Swan, Shutter Island) and representatives of the 33 Chilean miners announced just a few days ago that they have entered into an agreement. Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries) is set to adapt. The film will recount the events surrounding the mine’s collapse and the subsequent rescue efforts, which culminated in the emotional retrieval of all 33 miners after being trapped for 69 days half a mile beneath the surface. Production is scheduled to start in 2012.

The all-Spanish-language comedy Casa de Mi Padre is an exaggerated take on those overly dramatic Spanish telenovas, starring Mexican hotties Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal alongside none other than Will Ferrell. Known for his chameleon-like abilities, Ferrell only had one month to learn Spanish for the 23-day shoot. His Funny or Die friend and former SNL writer, Matt Piedmont, directs.

The plot goes like this: Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, Armando’s younger brother Raul (Luna), shows up with his new fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). It seems that Raul’s success as an international businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts his father has incurred. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord, the mighty Onza (Bernal).

Known for her physical abilities, Zoe Saldana takes on another butt-kicking role in Colombiana. This will be Saldana’s first role as a Latina; she plays a young woman who, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. Engaging in vigilante murders, her only goal is to kill the mobster responsible for her parents’ death. The film was shot in Chicago, New Orleans, Mexico, Colombia and Paris.

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