After working with Benicio Del Toro on Escobar: Paradise Lost, up-and-coming actor Micke Moreno has been cast as Diego in Paramount Players’ live-action Dora the Explorer movie, Collider has exclusively learned. Additionally, Oscar-nominated actress Adriana Barraza has been cast as Dora’s grandmother, Abuela Valerie.
Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) will star as the titular teen, who heads out on an adventure with her best friend, Boots the monkey, and her cousin Diego. Mexican superstar Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included) will play a roguish explorer named Alejandro Gutierrez.
James Bobin (The Muppets) is directing from a script by Nick Stoller and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, and Walden Media is co-financing and co-producing the project with Paramount, which is slated to release the film on Aug. 2, 2019. The film will face stiff box office competition on that date, as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham‘s Fast and Furious spinoff will hit theaters that day along with Fox’s New Mutants and an untitled event film from Warner Bros., though Dora obviously appeals to a much younger audience.
Dora the Explorer is based on the popular Nickelodeon children’s show, and Paramount Players has a mandate to leverage Viacom-owned properties for the big screen treatment. The studio is also developing a feature adaptation of the beloved Nick series Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The character of Diego is an important one within the Dora the Explorer universe, having received his own animated TV spinoff Go, Diego, Go! on Nickelodeon. The part is a big break for Moreno, who was born in Colombia and grew up traveling with his parents in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He got his start on TV series such as El Capo and Alias El Mexicano, both of which were produced and distributed by FOX Latin America. Moreno is also a talented singer and musician (piano, guitar and ukulele) who has participated in The X Factor and La Banda. He played Martin in Escobar: Paradise Lost, which also co-starred Josh Hutcherson and Brady Corbet. Moreno is represented by TOR Entertainment and Talent on the Road Management.
Barraza earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her supporting role in 2006’s Babel, and she was most recently seen in Guillermo del Toro‘s FX series The Strain. Her feature credits include Thor, Cake, The 33 and Amores Perros. She’s repped by Innovative Artists and DePaz Management.