Latinx Representation in 2018: A List of Upcoming Movies

Being a woman of color in a fandom can be tough. There aren’t always characters that look like you and fandom gatekeepers are abundant, especially on a platform like Twitter. Looking through my timeline, there are posts highlighting people of color and women in the upcoming 2018 films. But I noticed something, Latinx representation and specifically Latina representation wasn’t highlighted as much as others. So, I decided to highlight some of the blockbusters/large release movies coming out in 2018 that will be featuring Latinx talent as a lead character or a member of the ensemble cast. You can check out my twitter thread on it here (which includes more niche movies).

Updated on March 3, 2018 — will continue to update as release dates become available

12 Strong

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Mexican-American actor, Michael Peña (Cesar Chavez, The Martian) will be starring as Sgt First Class Sam Diller in 12 Strong. Based on a true story 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban. this movie comes out on January 19th nationwide with select screenings already happening. 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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The long awaited third installment of the Maze Runner series, is an adaption of the young adult series of the same name. With a diverse cast since the first movie Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Insurgent) is reprising her role as Brenda, a lead character. The synopisis for this is short: “Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the ‘Flare'”. And I can’t wait to see Salazar helping him along the way again. This movie drops January 26th.

Annihilation

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Although this movie adaptation of a Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy faces justifiable criticism for whitewashing the lead role, it’s main cast includes 3 Latinx actors: Guatemalan-Cuban actor, Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, Ex Machina), Puerto Rican actress, Gina Rodriguez (Jane, the Virgin), and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok).  After a group of soldiers who enter an environmental disaster zone and only one comes back out alive, though he is grievously injured. In an attempt to save his life, his wife Lena, a biologist, volunteers for a second expedition into the zone to figure out what happened to him. Isaac is playing The Biologist’s Husband, Rodriguez is playing Anya Thorensen, and Thompson will be playing The Surveyor. This Science Fiction film will be released February 23rd.

A Wrinkle in Time
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The long awaited adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time directed by Ava DuVernay is being celebrated for it’s diversity both behind the camera and on screen.  However one role I haven’t seen highlighted is that of Red, who we assume is The Man with the Red Eyes from the book. Played by Michael Peña, this character is essential to the story-telling of the novel and I can’t wait to see how Ava brought the world of Camazotz to life and how Peña acts in a sinister role. The story follows Meg Murray after three peculiar beings send  her brother, and her friend to space in order to find her missing scientist father. The movie comes out nationwide on March 9th.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

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Picking up after Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, this sequel hosts a diverse cast including  actress Adria Arjona (Emerald City) as Jules Reyes. The specifics of her role aren’t known but I’m hoping I see a Latina in a Jeager. The movie will follow Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, and his reunion with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat. This movie drops March 23rd.

Avengers: Infinity War

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One of the most anticipated movies of the coming year, Infinity War will have Domincan-Puerto Rican actress, Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek) reprising her role as Gamora and fighting along the rest of the film’s ensemble cast. Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok) is rumored to reprising her role as The Valkyrie. In Infinity War, the Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. Movie releases on April 27th.

Untitled Deadpool Sequel (Deadpool 2)

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In the sequel to 2016’s extremely successful Deadpool, Brazilian-American actress, Morena Baccarin (FireflyGotham) will be reprising her role as Vanessa. the current synopsis from Twentieth Century Fox reads: After surviving a near fatal knee boarding accident , a disfigured guidance counselor (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Poughkeepsie’s most celebrated French Bulldog breeder while also learning to cope with an open relationship. Searching to regain his passion for life, as well as a new stuffed unicorn, Wade must battle ninjas, tight assed metal men, and babysit a group stereotypical side characters as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and creative outlets for his very open-minded sex life. He manages to find a new lust for being a do-gooder, a sparkly Hello Kitty backpack, all while earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best 4th Wall Breaking Superhero. The movie drops May 18th.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Mexican-American actress, Daniella Pineda (The Originals, The Detour) will be starring in the sequel to Jurassic World and a conintuation of the Jurassic Park franchise in one of the new lead roles. A name hasn’t been released yet but with the first trailer out, we’re sure to hear more. It is her first role with a major studio production. The film synopsis is: When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. It’s set to drop June 22nd.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

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Completing the MCU’s movies slated for 2018, Michael Peña reprises his role as one of the three Latino characters in the MCU: Luis. Although this character was problematic in Ant-Man, the character of Luis by the end of the movie seemed almost beyond the stereotypes he was grounded in, in the opening scene.   I’m hoping that in this sequel we see Luis shine brighter and become an essential character to Scott and Hope’s story. this installment focuses on Scott Lang as he balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past. The movie is set ot be released on July 6th.

The Nun

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The Nun continues to build out the Jame Wan horror universe begun by The Conjuring, like Annabelle  it will build out the wan-verse by giving some background on side-scares set up in on-screen lives of the Warrens. It stars Mexican actor and 2018 Oscar nominee, Demián Bichir, in the lead role of Father Burke. In traditional form within the genre, Burke is a priest tasked with investigating the suicide of a nun which leads him to confronting the demon Valak. Releases July 13th.

Overboard

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A remake of the GoldieHawn/Kurt Russell 80s comedy, Overboard stars Eugenio Derbaz (How to be a Latin Lover, Instructions not Included) as a spoiled yacht owner who is thrown overboard and becomes the target of revenge from his mistreated employee – Kate, played by Anna Farris. The cast also contains Evan Longoria (Desperate Houswives) who has been publishing guest essays and speaking out for Latinx representation in the media and the public sphere. Along with them, Josh Segarra (Adrian Chase on Arrow), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth), and Omar Chaparro (How to be a Latin Lover) are also a part of the cast. Releases April 20th.

Sorry to Bother You

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Sorry to Bother You is the directorial debut for Boots Riley (who also wrote it). I’ts comedy-fantasy-sci-fi film set in an alternate present-day version of Oakland. Black telemarketer Cassius Green -played by Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Selma) – discovers a magical key to success and is propelled into a macabre universe. I haven’t read reviews circulating right now because I’m too excited for this movie staring Tessa Thompson (Selma, Westworld) along side Steven Yeun (Mayhem, The Walking Dead). If you wanna check one out for more info, check here. Releases in select cities July 6th, everywhere July 27th.

Scarface (2018)
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We don’t know a lot about this movies except that is a remake of the iconic Scarface, written by the Coen Brothers and will star Diego Luna (Rogue One, Narcos), easily one of the most famous Mexican actors right now, as the protagonist and Cuban refugee Tony Montana. Shrouded in a lot of myster, the movie releases August 10th.

Alpha

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Set 20,000 years in the past during the last Ice Age, Alpha follows what may be the first bond between humans and canines, which is, of course, why I want to see it. Next to our main character Keda we have Nu and the Shaman played by Chilean actress Lenor Varela (Blade II, Odd Thomas) and Mercedes de la Zerda (War for the Planet of the Apes, John Tucker Must Die) respectively. Releases September 14th.

Widows

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Steve McQueen’s Widows stars Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast & The Furious franchise)  along side Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder, Fences), Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple on Broadway), and Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Cloverfield Paradox) as the eponymous widows. It is a thriller that follows the women through the heist that got their husbands killed previously. Not to bring up the other all-woman heist movie slated for release this year but I am infinitely more excited for this one. Releases November 16th.

Creed II

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Panamanian-Mexican-American actress, Tessa Thompson (Dear White People, Thor: Ragnarok) is reprising her role as Bianca as the sequel to Ryan Coogler’s Creed (2015). This installment will focus on Adonis Creed’s journey, played by Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Fruitville Station), as he continues to be trained by Rocky Balboa and is the newly crowned light-heavyweight champion. All leading to a face off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. Releases November 21st.

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This adaptation of the Japanese Manga/Anime is brought to life by well known Mexican American director Robert Rodriguez. In true Rodriguez fashion, he has taken the world of Alita set in a long destroyed United States and focused on bringing Latinx talent to the screen. Rosa Salazar is playing the protagonist Alita, with Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil and Fast & Furious franchises) and Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) playing Gelda and Nyssiana respectively. this movie is an action-packed story of one young woman’s journey to discover the truth of who she is and her fight to change the world. It releases December 21st.

Mary Poppins Returns

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Puerto Rican play-wright, actor, writer, singer, producer, and composer Lin Manuel Miranda solidified his name in musicals with Hamilton  and In the Heights. Having worked in the music department of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Moana, Miranda is set to make his big screen debut with Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns as male-lead Jack. The synopsis according to Disney: In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Releases on Christmas day, December 25th.

All-in-all, 2018 is set to be a great year for the Latinx communities. Representation of Latinx actors on the big screen is growing and we are present in some of the most anticipated movies of the year. I have only included movies with release dates and that are set for a major release or from a large studio. Every synopsis was taken from imdb.com.

Did leave off movies you’re waiting for? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

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Author: Kate Sanchez

As the in-resident scholar, most of my blogs will discuss heavier issues: representation, gender, race, etc. I believe that pop culture teaches us things and I look forward to letting you know what see when I watch movies, read comics, play games, and binge watch 26 episodes in one sitting. But don't worry some posts about my feels and I won't always talk about the heavy things (just a lot of the time).

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