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Michael Pena to star in ‘Dora the Explorer’ live-action film

Aug. 22 (UPI) — Michael Pena has joined the cast of Paramount’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon cartoon Dora the Explorer.

Pena will be featured in the film as the father of Dora, set to be portrayed by Isabela Moner.

Pena and Moner will be joined by Eva Longoria as Dora’s mother along with Eugenio Derbez, Micke Moreno, Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, Adriana Barraza and Temuera Morrison.

The film, which has entered into production in Queensland, Australia, will follow Dora as she enters into high school after a life spent exploring jungles. She will then find herself leading a team of teenagers and her monkey Boots on an adventure to save her lost parents that also involves a mystery surrounding a lost Incan civilization.

Paramount recently released the first photo of Moner as Dora that features the actress wearing the character’s signature pink shirt and orange shorts.

Dora the Explorer, directed by James Bobin, is set to arrive in theaters on Aug. 2, 2019.

Pena was last seen in Marvel sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, Netflix film Extinction and is set to star in Netflix’s fourth season of Narcos.

‘Dora the Explorer’ Adds Eva Longoria as Dora’s Mom

Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018 by Chris Evangelista

The live-action Dora the Explorer movie, which remains a real thing that is actually happening, just added a new cast member. Eva Longoria will play Dora’s mother, Mrs. The Explorer (although technically speaking her character’s name is Elena).

In case you forgot, Paramount is producing a live-action Dora the Explorer movie, in which the character is now a teenager, played by Sicario: Day of the Soldado actress Isabela Moner. Whether or not this is a good idea remains to be seen, but for now, the film is moving ahead with James Bobin (The Muppets) at the helm.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals the Dora the Explorer cast has a new addition: Eva Longoria. Longoria will play Dora’s mother, Elena. The actress joins a cast that includes Eugenio Derbez (Overboard) as the film’s villain; Micke Moreno (Escobar: Paradise Lost), playing Dora’s cousin Diego; Nicholas Coombe ( Midnight Sun) portraying Randy, a fellow high schooler who develops a crush on Dora; Madeleine Madden (Picnic at Hanging Rock) as Sammy, the class president at Dora’s school; Temuera Morrison (Green Lantern) as a character named Powell; and Adriana Barraza (Babel) as Dora’s grandma, Abuelita Valerie.

Dora the Explorer began as an animated educational show on Nickelodeon, running from 2000 through 2014. Per Wikipedia, the series focused on”Dora, a seven-year-old Latina girl, with a love of embarking on quests related to an activity that she wants to partake of or a place that she wants to go to, accompanied by her talking purple backpack and anthropomorphic monkey companion named Boots. Each episode is based around a series of cyclical events that occur along the way during Dora’s travels, along with obstacles that she and Boots are forced to overcome or puzzles that they have to solve (with “assistance” from the viewing audience) relating to riddles, the Spanish language, or counting.”

That said, don’t expect the live-action movie to hew too close to its animated origins. It’s clear that Paramount is aiming for a slightly older audience here, as Dora grows up and heads to high school. Dora the Explorer is currently filming in Australia, and will arrive in theaters on August 2, 2019.

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents nothing could prepare Dora for the most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego, and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.

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Eva Longoria Joins Paramount’s ‘Dora The Explorer’

Eva Longoria has been cast in Paramount Players’ live-action feature of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, playing Elena, Dora’s mother.

The James Bobin-directed movie hits theaters on Aug. 2, 2019 and is already in production over in Australia with castmembers Isabela Moner (as Dora), Eugenio Derbez, Micke Moreno, Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, Adriana Barraza, and Temuera Morrison.

In the movie, the young explorer takes on high school, and with her new pack of friends as well as her sidekick the monkey Boots and her cousin Diego, leads them on a Goonies-esque quest to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.

Longoria recently starred in LD Entertainment’s Dog Days and Pantelion/MGM’s Overboard. The former Desperate Housewives star via her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, is executive producing the ABC drama series Grand Hotel scheduled for a midseason release as well as the recently announced series Ambassador which received a big put pilot commitment from ABC. She was also the EP on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and NBC comedy Telenovela in which she also starred.

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Live-Action “Dora the Explorer” Film Begins Production

First Look at Isabela Moner as Dora in the film DORA THE EXPLORER by Paramount Players. Photo Credit: Vince Valitutti © 2018 Paramount Players, a Division of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


Dora The Explorer is in theatres August 2, 2019.


This First Live-Action Adaptation of the Nickelodeon Franchise Stars Isabela

Moner and Eugenio Derbez with Muppets Director James Bobin at the Helm

Gold Coast, Australia — Paramount Players announced today that the motion picture adaptation of Nickelodeon’s Peabody Award-winning children’s animated series, Dora the Explorer, began principal photography on location in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, on Monday, August 6, 2018. The production, being directed by 11-time Emmy and four-time BAFTA nominee James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, “Flight of the Conchords”) marks the lovable Latina character’s big screen debut (and first live-action adaptation on any platform) after fourteen seasons (2000-2014) and 172 episodes on Viacom’s enduring children’s cable network. The film is a Paramount Players and Nickelodeon production in association with Walden Media. The film is being supported by the Queensland Government via Screenland Queensland. Paramount will release the film on August 2, 2019.

Dora the Explorer stars Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Instant Family) in the film’s title role. Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents nothing could prepare Dora for the most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego, and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.

Seventeen-year-old actress Moner is joined in the film by one of Mexico’s biggest stars, Eugenio Derbez (Overboard, Instructions Not Included, How to Be A Latin Lover), who plays Alejandro, a mysterious jungle inhabitant who tries to protect the teenagers from the marauders. The film also features big screen newcomer Micke Moreno (Escobar: Paradise Lost), in the role of cousin Diego; Nicholas Coombe (“Spy Kids: Mission Control,” Midnight Sun) as Randy, a fellow high schooler who develops an immediate crush on Dora; Madeleine Madden (Picnic at Hanging Rock,” “Tidelands”) as the school’s snooty class president, Sammy; and Academy Award® nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel, Amores Perros, Thor, The 33) as Dora’s grandma, Abuelita Valerie. Temuera Morrison (Green Lantern, Moana) will play the role of Powell. Additional key casting announcements are forthcoming.

The film is produced by Christopher Robin producer Kristin Burr, who is joined by longtime Bobin associate, executive producer John G. Scotti (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Alice Through the Looking Glass) as well as executive producers Julia Pistor (The Spiderwick Chronicles, A Series of Unfortunate Events) and Eugenio Derbez.

Bobin has assembled a talented team behind the camera that also includes reunions with Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Alice Through the Looking Glass) and costume designer Rahel Afiley (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, “Flight of the Conchords”). The pair will be joined by six-time Goya Award winning (and BAFTA nominated) cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, A.S.C. (Secretos del corazón, The Others, Blue Jasmine, Thor: Ragnarok), film editor Mark Everson (Paddington, Paddington 2) and BAFTA-nominated VFX supervisor Andy Brown (Black Panther, House of Flying Daggers, Moulin Rouge!)

Dora the Explorer will film entirely in Australia’s Gold Coast, in the state on the continent’s east coast south of Brisbane. Village Roadshow Studios, where the production will headquarter, has been host to several major Hollywood movies in the last few years, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Shallows, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and, most recently, DC’s Aquaman. In addition to designer Hennah’s stage builds, the production will utilize Queensland’s diverse landscape, notably tropical forests near Tamborine Mountain and Tallebudgera, to portray Dora’s jungle habitat.

Paramount Pictures is a subsidiary of Viacom. Nickelodeon is part of the Viacom Media Network, also a division of Viacom.

Isabela Moner Talks Sicario 2 and Taking on Dora the Explorer [EXCLUSIVE]

  • Julian Roman
  • — June 29th, 2018
  • in Interviews
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Isabela Moner is on the verge of mega stardom. The sixteen-year-old actress and singer already has an impressive career. She’s grown up acting on Nickelodeon, performed on Broadway, and done big-budget action in Transformers: The Last Knight. Nothing you’ve seen from her previously will prepare you for Sicario: Day of the Soldado, an absolute gut punch.

The sequel brings back Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. After a horrifying terrorist attack, the US government decides to wipe out the Mexican drug cartels. The plan, pit them against each other and let the bullets fly. Isabela Moner co-stars as Isabella Reyes, the daughter of a drug kingpin. The black operation to kidnap her and frame a rival does not go as planned. Isabella becomes a pawn in a bloody game. She’s brutalized as the narco war explodes.

Isabela Moner spends the entire film in physical and emotional distress. She’s forced into uncompromising situations to survive. The actress delivers the most powerful performance among the celebrated cast. It’s ugly, and difficult to watch, but a truthful adaptation of a savage conflict.

Moner describes the working environment, and what her co-stars did to put her at ease. They treated her like an adult, with respect. Moner had particular high praise for their Italian director, Stefano Sollima. He wasn’t afraid to tell her if something sucked. His method is proven. Moner is simply amazing in Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

Her next film is the live action version of Dora the Explorer. Moner will become the face of the beloved, globally famous character. Moner embraces the role as a proud Latina. She describes the script as Jumanji-like in its approach. Playing Dora is a far cry from a terrified cocaine scion. Moner has no worries about losing her privacy with such a high profile film. She’s looking for versatility in her career.

Please see below our complete interview with Isabela Moner. She’ll be a household name after Dora, but struts her stuff solidly in Sicario 2. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of J-Lo and Beyonce, acting and pursuing music. Moner never fails to root for her hometown. She’s a Cleveland girl, and proud of it.

How are the Sicario 2 interviews going?

Isabela Moner: I’ve just started my day, so I don’t know.

Sorry, I guess us press guys are pretty annoying?

Isabela Moner: Well, it’s really awesome when there are some new questions. I look forward to hearing questions I’ve never been asked before.

I’ll try my best to be interesting. First, congratulations on a great performance. Have you seen the completed film?

Isabela Moner: Thank you, I have seen the film, I think this is my fourth time seeing it. Wait, I think I’ve seen it three times actually? (laughs)

I walked in expecting the film to be gritty and hardcore, but it went way beyond. What was your first reaction to Sicario 2?

Isabela Moner: At first I was like, what the hell is going on? You really have to pay attention. I only understood it when I saw it a second time, even though I read the script. They changed it a lot. There’s a couple things, if you miss it, then you won’t understand the next part of the movie. I really did enjoy it. It turned out the way I wanted it to. The first time I saw it was without a soundtrack. But once you add that classic. GRRRRRR. it makes it so awesome. (laughs)

What was so different in the final cut? What was changed from the script and filming?

Isabela Moner: They cut a lot of parts of the movie. It almost seems like little holes, but that’s the point. Pardon my French, but that’s the shit show it’s meant to be. It really is. The Americans are trying to start this mock war with this entirely different government. It’s other people’s territory. It goes to show that nothing turns out the way you want it to. There’s something to be said about the incomplete storyline. It ends up falling apart. There’s a huge moral dilemma. Do we kill this little girl? Who the hell is going to do it? This is just a job? It’s quite interesting.

I agree, it shows how nefarious countries can be. Let’s table the politics for a second and address your performance. You have quite a bit of experience for someone so young. But this film is so violent and emotional compared to your previous work. How did you get into character? You’re running, screaming, basically getting your butt kicked the entire time?

Isabela Moner: I really don’t know, maybe it was just pent up teenage angst. I don’t know, to be honest. It helps to do a lot of research. It helps being around Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. They pushed me to be my best. They were so supportive, the coolest people ever. I knew I had to give it my all. I really appreciated Stefano [Sollima]. He treated me the same as the adult male actors. He didn’t give me any special treatment. I mean, he always asked if I was okay. He believed in me, more than I did sometimes; especially when he wanted me to improv. It was great. He was so straight up. That one sucked, please do it again. I was like, okay. He’s so Italian. It’s just the way he communicates. There’s never ever any undertones. He’s just straight forward.

Was there ever a day you were star struck? Did you ever pinch yourself to be working with such acclaimed actors?

Isabela Moner: Well, it was like, here are these forty year old men. I have no idea what we’re going to talk about. At first it was boring. They didn’t know what to say to me, or who the hell I was. Are we allowed to curse? They were very confused. It wasn’t until we were deep in process, and they started talking about Josh’s mom, Barbra [Streisand], a legend. They were so casual. It wasn’t until that moment that I knew I was in the presence of really cool people. It was neat. They were kind of goofy. Benicio is nothing like he seems.

What was the best and worst day working on Sicario 2?

Isabela Moner: The worst day, I was really sick, and it had been building up for quite a bit. One day it got really bad. We were in the middle of nowhere. I had to go to the emergency room. Nasty talk, but there was a build up of fluid in my lungs.


Isabela Moner: Yeah, it was getting really intense. They had me come back, just to see what I could do. But we’re in the middle of nowhere, so you can’t move easily. I get back to set. There’s fluid in my lungs. I can’t breathe through my mouth. Basically, they’re starting to roll, I’m supposed to act like I’ve been kidnapped. All of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe, and I’m like trying to communicate with my mom. She brought me an inhaler. I really couldn’t tell anyone either, because I couldn’t vocalize very well. That was my worst day on set.

Wow, that sounds pretty bad. How about the best day?

Isabela Moner: The best. the most fun day, well, there are two things I’ve always wanted to do in a film. The first is beat someone up. Then shoot an alien blaster. So I got to beat someone up. (laughs) In Mexico, in the schoolyard, it was fun getting to choreograph that fight sequence. I remember they had the fake blood packets in her mouth. So when I “punch” her, she bites down and the blood comes out. I just thought that was so cool.

Let’s talk about your career up to this point. You’ve done a lot of Nickelodeon, you’ve made a Transformers film, you’ve been on Broadway, you have experience. What did you learn from Sicario 2?

Isabela Moner: You have to put so much more acting and character in the unspoken lines. There’s all this internal dialogue. I wish there was a script of all the dialogue inside, between the lines. There’s so much to be said. I learned to work a lot more with my eyes.

Now lets discuss your future. You’ve been cast as Dora the Explorer. That’s correct?

Isabela Moner: Yes, versatility is important. For Dora, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I wanted to go on a serious path. Then I read the script. It’s really funny and action-packed. It’s almost like a Jumanji type movie. I figure that I’m going to do what the hell I want. Give it my best, I think it’s really important not to be pinned as a certain type of actress.

Dora is a Latina icon. You’re famous now, but are you ready for the level of fame that Dora will bring? Are you worried about not being able to walk down a street?

Isabela Moner: No, no, that would be horrible. I guess I didn’t think about that. But I think we need more Latina heroines in this industry. Marvel hasn’t done it yet.

Good point, well said.

Isabela Moner: Yeah, there really isn’t any Latina or even Asian people represented. Hopefully we get there. I believe we’re on a good path, overall, with representation. I hope that it becomes the norm. And it’s not, oh here Latino community, we’re doing you a favor so you’ll pay us more money.

Sicario 2 is such a dark film. I assume Dora will be the definition of family friendly. Do you think it may detract from getting edgier roles?

Isabela Moner: In general, it’s all acting. If people follow my career, they’ll see there’s variety. Hopefully my performance in this movie is good enough to sell that. I try to put myself in different situations, but I’m not really worried about that. I do have a music career as well. That’s picking up. I’m really not worried about my image overall. I want versatility, like J-Lo, or Beyonce. She can do a movie one minute, then sell an album the next. That’s the dream.

Let’s step away from career and talk about your personal life. You’re obviously very busy. What do you do to relax, decompress?

Isabela Moner: I like to watch The Office, over and over and over again. It’s great, one of the best shows in the history of television. But also, I like to read. I honestly don’t like to socialize, because my job is to socialize.

What have you read recently that you really liked?

Isabela Moner: Currently, I’m on “Less than Zero” by Brett Easton Ellis. Then I have “Like Water for Chocolate” next.

Wow, I’m impressed, both are tremendous books. Our time is running out, but I have to ask you, you’re a Cleveland girl. Do you follow Cleveland sports?

Isabela Moner: Yes, I am actually really depressed right now. It’s fine. I’ll follow LeBron [James] wherever he goes. I’m glad that he’s brought us to the finals so many times.

As a Cavs fan, what would you say to LeBron to keep him in Cleveland?

Isabela Moner: I love the note he wrote when he returned to the Cavs. I respect the city that brought me up. I hope to raise it too. I hope he sticks to his words, because I want to do the same thing. I’m tired of flying to LA and New York. I want to be home and do what I love.

Isabela Moner Talks Sicario 2 and Taking on Dora the Explorer [EXCLUSIVE]

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