It was the 50th Anniversary of the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) five day event from July 18 - 22, 2019 where fans, collectors, binge watchers, smarks, Bible thumpers, consumers and Hollywood professionals convene every year for the sights and sounds of nerdtastic nerdom.
With the announcement of Marvel's Shang-Chi set to make his live-action debut in the upcoming film "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the news has been celebrated in many nerdoms everywhere -- especially Asian Americans who has read his journey since 1973 as well to new fans when he appeared in Greg Pak's "War Of The Realms" comic book event. Shortly after that, he joined the New Agents of Atlas in 2019. The team made up of Asian and Asian American superheroes including Marvel's first Filipina superhero, Wave.
More on her later.
Southeast Asians including Filipino Americans have announced feature film projects before and during SDCC.
Filipinos are going where no Filipino as gone before. On Saturday, July 20 inside the always packed Hall H, the Star Trek Panel covered both CBS' "Star Trek: Discovery" (2017-present) where CHARLES COLLYER is the Lead VFX Artist. He is nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in the Season 2 Finale episode, 'Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2'.
And of, course the already announced Sir Patrick Stewart's return as Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: Picard" (2020) with ISA BRIONES (last seen in FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story") in a recurring role as Dahj.
Joining her on the panel were the rest of the cast of "Star Trek: Picard" including Brent Spiner who starred as Lt. Cmdr. Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987-1994) and its subsequent motion pictures, Jonathan Del Arco who guest starred as Hugh, formerly Third of Five, a former Borg drone who was rescued by Picard and rejoined the Borg Collective to influence them a sense of individuality and self in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and Jeri Ryan who starred as Seven of Nine, also a former Borg drone who joined the crew of the Federation vessel, USS Voyager lost in the Gamma Quadrant in "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001) to regain her human existence. Watch the new trailer below.
Also announced during their Comic Con panel, CBS All Access revealed the "Star Trek: Lower Decks" cast and first look images from the animated sci-fi series. EUGENE CORDERO ("Tacoma FD," "Kong: Skull Island") will be voicing 'Ensign Rutherford.' It takes place after "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), the feature film that starred the bridge crew of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" with Patrick Stewart. It was the tenth film in the Star Trek motion picture series, as well as the fourth and final film to star the cast of TNG. "Star Trek: Lower Decks" will begin streaming at CBS All Access in 2020.
The recently retired WWE professional wrestler DAVE BAUTISTA is best known as Drax in Marvel's two "Guardians Of The Galaxy" (2014 and 2017) movies as well as appearing in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) and "Avengers: Endgame" (2019). He was not at SDCC this year as he was on-location acting in Zack Snyder's "Army Of The Dead" for Netflix. The zombie action picture is set amid an outbreak in Las Vegas where a man assembles a group of mercenaries to gamble their lives and pull off the greatest heist ever.
Meanwhile, director James Gunn announced there will be a "Guardians Of The Galaxy, Volume 3," but he is currently finishing up the DC Comics property, "The Suicide Squad" for a 2021 theatrical release. That is the sequel to 2016's "Suicide Squad" that starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and she will be returning in the sequel along with part-time WWE professional wrestler John Cena.
ELLA JAY BASCO is currently filming as Cassandra Cain (a.k.a. the fourth Batgirl) in the upcoming "Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)" directed by Cathy Yan and starring Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn from 2016's "Suicide Squad." Set to be released by Warner Brothers Studios on February 7, 2020, the film also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. A far cry from the first Batgirl who is Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon on the 1966 television movie and its episodic TV series "Batman" (1966-1968) played by the late Yvonne Craig and, in the Joel Schumaker film, "Batman & Robin" (1997) played by Alicia Silverstone. In DC Comics lore, Basco's Batgirl is Cassandra Cain, the daughter of assassins David Cain and Sandra Wu-Cain (best known as Lady Shiva).
Deprived of speech and human contact during her childhood as conditioning, Cassandra Cain becomes the world's greatest assassin and later as bodyguard for Ra's Al Ghul. After saving Commissioner Gordon's life, she is given the Batgirl costume with the approval from both Batman and Barbara Gordon, now Oracle who becomes her ward. Academy Award nominated cinematographer MATTHEW LIBATIQUE, ASC ("Venom," "A Star Is Born") along with stunt and fight coordinators JONATHAN EUSEBIO and JON VALERA ("Black Panther," "John Wick") are the other Filipinos working on the film.
Lastly, California's award-winning science fiction, fantasy, horror author and writer ALYSSA WONG (whose mother is Filipina) will co-write along with Greg Pak, the origin story of Marvel Comics' first Filipina superhero of Cebu, Philippines named Wave (aka Pearl Pangan). The news was announced at Racebending's Super Asian America Panel on the last day (Sunday, July 21) of SDCC. Her stories have won the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award. And, she was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Shirley Jackson Awards. Wave made her debut in the comic book, "War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1" and subsequent issues afterwards.
If Shang-Chi is Marvel Studios' first Asian American comic book superhero to be seen in a live Phase 4 action movie for generations to come, then it should be a no brainer for a live action movie of the New Agents of Atlas with Wave.
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations were announced early Tuesday morning, July 16th. A handful of Filipino American creative artists will be representing us on one of television's biggest nights!
This coming 2019-2020 new television season will present the fourth and final season of NBC's "The Good Place" starring Manny Jacinto. The TV series is one of the Emmy nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Another show nominated in the same category is HBO's "Barry" where Rodney To guest starred on a few episodes last season. Both actors were previous special guest panelists for Edwin A. Santos' annual Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel.
Charles Collyer is the Lead VFX Artist for CBS' franchise science fiction series, "Star Trek Discovery." It was nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in the Season 2 Finale episode, 'Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2.'
Based on the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning original On Broadway musical play by Jonathan Larson, the televised event, "RENT: Live!" starring Vanessa Hudgens received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Variety Special. "RENT" is about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.
Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Animated Program is the episode, "Reunited" from the Cartoon Network animated series, "Steven Universe" with lead characters voiced by Deedee Magno, Jennifer Paz, Shelby Rabara and Charlyne Yi.
Choreographer Melvin 'TimTim' Rogador received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming for FOX's "World Of Dance."
And, the fourth and final season of "Crazy Ex-Girfriend" received two Emmy nominations including Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for "I Have To Get To Out / Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal" written by Rachel Bloom, Adam Schlesinger and Jack Dolgen.
Tess Paras who recurred as 'Jayma Chan' on the show is featured in the video with Bloom while Vincent Rodriguez III who starred as Bloom's on again/off again boyfriend, 'Josh Chan' on the show is featured in the live stage version, of which, you can watch both below.
Both Tess Paras and Vincent Rodriguez III were previous special guest panelists for Edwin A. Santos' annual Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel.
The 2019 Emmy Awards will air live on FOX Sunday, September 22 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) revealed their 2019 Class of 842 new members from different countries, And, eight of them are of Filipino descent.
AMPAS announced that half of the members invited to join the Academy are women. AMPAS also disclosed that twenty-nine percent of the new invitees are people of color. If they accept their invites, AMPAS will have double the percentage of non-white people in their ranks in four years.
In 2015, people of color accounted for only eight percent of the total body of the organization. In 2019, it stands at sixteen percent.
The eight invitees include...
LISA VALENCIA-SVENSSON -
Producer of the documentary, CALL HER GANDA (2018).
Screenwriter, Filmmaker & Producer of the documentary, SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN (2016).
Screenwriter & Filmmaker of the 2018 short film, ONE SMALL STEP, and Animator for the feature films ZOOTOPIA (2016), BIG HERO 6 (2014) and RIO (2011).
Filmmaker & Producer of BUNSO: THE YOUNGEST (2005), MULA PABRIKA HANGGANG FUKUOKA (1999) and MINSAN LANG SILA BATA (1996)
Filmmaker of the documentary, CALL HER GANDA (2018).
Screenwriter, Filmmaker & Animator of the short film, WEEKENDS (2018), and Animator for COCO (2017), FINDING DORY (2016) and RIO (2011).
Animator, Screenwriter & Actress for the feature films RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018), ZOOTOPIA (2016), BIG HERO 6 (2014) and WRECK IT RALPH (2012).
Actress, THE GOOD DOCTOR (2017-present), THE JOY LUCK CLUB (1993) and THE KARATE KID, PART II (1986).
After all the invitations are accepted, AMPAS will host a mixer later this year.
Last month on Saturday, June 29, the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Hollywood (FACCHO) hosted Edwin A. Santos' 6th Annual Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel held at the Secret Rose Theatre in the NoHo Arts District, north of the City of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. #FilipinoHollywoodActorsPanel
Created in 1998 and produced by Santos starting in 2015, his previous special guest panelists were Vincent Rodriguez III ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Insatiable"), Manny Jacinto ("The Good Place," "Top Gun: Maverick"), Nico Santos ("Crazy Rich Asians," "Superstore"), Ginger Gonzaga ("Ted;" "Togetherness," "Mixology," "Kidding"), Angela Relucio ("Code Black," "Six"), Reggie Lee ("All Rise," "Grimm," "The Fast & The Furious,"), Aina Dumlao ("MacGyver," "Ballers"), Tess Paras ("Just Add Magic," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Grimm"), Bernardo Bernardo ("City After Dark," Invisible"), Ruben Maria Soriquez ("Dolce Amore," "Of Sinners and Saints"), Eugene Cordero ("Tacoma FD," "Kong: Skull Island"), Jon Jon Briones ("The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story") and Ellen D. Williams ("Baskets," "How I Met Your Mother") as well as casting directors, talent agents and talent managers; all who represent the craft and business of acting across the board while shining a spotlight towards Filipino American actors.
This year's actors panel discussion, Q&A and networking featured 2019's Special Guest Panelists Rodney To ("Barry," "Parks & Recreation," etc.), Jason Rogel ("Rim Of The World," "This Is Us," etc.), Joy Regullano ("Crazy Ex-Girfriend," "Supernatural," etc.) and JB Tadena ("SEAL Team," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," etc.) with our FACCHO Board of Director in Public Relations, Annie Nepumeceno as this year's host and moderator.
The event is devoted specifically towards Filipino American actors in addition to providing useful information to aspiring actors overall. Since the 2010 Census, there are four million Filipinos in the United States. The second largest ethnic group. However, Filipinos are under-represented in film and television today. Representation matters. And, media should reflect society. Why is this not the case?
The panelists engaged on such topics as how they got started in the business, the craft of acting, Filipino representation in Hollywood, improv, self-producing, just to name a few. More informational and personal exchanges took place during the audience Q&A and afterwards, the one-on-one networking that closed out the two hour productive event.
Many in the audience were appreciative of the program and were interested in joining FACCHO. One audience member offered to our panelists complimentary service to create new websites for them, Another audience member, a former actress who was shy on how to network was introduced to Joy Regullano thanks to FACCHO Secretary
Our four Special Guest Panelists also shared their sentiments on social media about this year's Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel.
"What a blast it was to share this event with this great group of artists! Thank you Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Hollywood for having me!" said Rodney To. "SO happy to share this experience with you all!"
"Thank you for having me!!!!" added Jason Rogel.
"This was a lot of fun. Met lots of cool people and was seriously honored to sit up there with that talent, Rodney, Jason and Joy. Thanks FACCHO." said JB Tadena.
"Pleasure is all mine!!!" said Joy Regullano.
Thank you to FACCHO Board of Director/CEO Angelo Varsobia and Premier Property Preservation (PPP) for being the event's Sponsor. The Los Angeles based general contracting company, PPP offers low costs projections and top quality materials for foreclosure clean up, debris removal, deferred recurring maintenance, repairs, restoration, building structures from ground zero and remodeling homes. For info about PPP, click here: https://www.pppreserves.com
Thank you to Rick Shaw, the manager of the Secret Rose Theatre, a community-minded theater offering an intimate sixty-seat space for local productions and other events. A staple since the late 1990s in the NoHo Arts District, the area also includes the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (that operates the annual Emmy Awards for television excellence), the Art Institute of California, Laemmle NoHo Cinemas as well as art galleries, hip pubs, restaurants, dance studios, gyms, coffee houses, cafes, boutiques and other live theaters. For more info about the Secret Rose Theatre, click here: http://www.secretrose.com/ .
Thank you to the following for their donations to FACCHO's gift bags given to our Special Guest Panelists: Davis Osmena and Mike Borjas of Papo Js, Demenev Quirino of Pinoy Rising and Fiona Hilario of Lay Bare Waxing Salon courtesy of Paul Mirador of the Coffee Corner Show.
Thank you to Annie Nepomuceno (Host & Moderator), Craig Wilson (Talent Handler), Tiffany Porter (Sign-In), Katherine Bercasio (Poster & Program Design), Paul Mirador (Set Design and Gift Bags) and Ren Arrieta of ReAL Images (Photography) for their volunteerism and service.
And, tremendous thanks to our Special Industry Guest Panelists - Rodney To, Jason Rogel, Joy Regullano and JB Tadena - for taking the time to be part of the 6th Annual Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel for Actors & Networking Event. To keep-up-to-date with them, please follow them on their social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Until next June of 2020 for the 7th Annual Filipino Hollywood Actors Panel.
Edwin Santos began blogging in 1995 when he was hired as Editor for the award-winning fansite, The Towne Cryer News on Renée Zellweger. He wrote about the entertainment business and film reviews of Zellweger's films until 2000.