By Mack Chico
Several Latinos, including some working behind the scenes, are the creative forces behind this year’s summer movie fare. From blockbusters to indie flicks, we give you the rundown on who to watch and whose work to look for this summer.
Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza (2006’s “Babel”) plays Shaun San Dena, a medium trying to help a young woman exorcise a demon, in the Sam Raimi-directed horror thriller “Drag Me to Hell.” Opens May 29.
Oscar Nuñez goes from “The Office” to the big screen comedy “The Proposal,” opposite Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. He plays Ramone, who befriends Bullock’s book editor character as she prepares a quickie wedding to stay in the country. June 19.
Cameron Diaz plays Sara Fitzgerald, the mother of a critically-ill child, in the Nick Cassavetes-directed drama “My Sister’s Keeper,” opposite Jason Patric and Oscar-nominee Abigail Breslin. June 26.
Natalia Tena returns as Nymphadora Tonks in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the latest installment of the highly successful movie franchise based on the J.K. Rowling books. July 15.
‘High School Musical’ alum Vanessa Hudgens plays a musician competing in a battle of the bands contest in the musical comedy “Bandslam.” Aug. 14.
Alexis Bledel leaves the ‘Sisterhood’ to play a recent college graduate forced to move back home in the comedy “Post Grad.” Aug. 14.
Behind the scenes
Mexican-born filmmaker Roberto Orci teams with his longtime writing partner Alex Kurtzman – they’ve been friends since childhood – for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” the sequel to the duo’s 2006 film “Transformers.” Kurtzman and Orci, who’s also executive producer of “The Proposal,” are the writing team behind the summer movie season’s biggest hit, “Star Trek.” June 24.
San Antonio’s native son Robert Rodriguez (“Grindhouse”) takes on four duties in his upcoming “Shorts.” He’s the film’s director, producer, editor and writer. Rodriguez has described “Shorts,” as a “ ‘Pulp Fiction’ for kids,” referring to its overlapping storylines, not its violence. Aug. 7.
Brazilian-born animator Guilherme Jacinto, who was part of the team that created the Oscar-winning “Wall-E,” works his magic in “Up.” The animated film from Disney Pixar features the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and John Ratzenberger. May 29.
Oscar winner Penélope Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) provides the voice of Juarez in “G-Force,” an animated film about government-trained secret agent guinea pigs. July 24.
John Leguizamo returns as the voice of Sid in “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” It’s the third installment in the animated film series that follows the adventures of a group of pre-historic animals. July 1.