‘Max Steel’ Trailer is Here! New Release Date!

(Photo Credit: David Pascua)
It’s been almost 18 months since Dolphin and Open Road Films swam on into Wilmywood to begin production on Max Steel and we’ve been like, “Where is this movie?” Yes, we’ve been hearing nothing but crickets!  The movie stars Ben Winchell as Max McGrath along with Ana Villafañe, Andy Garcia and Maria Bello. But finally we have our selves a trailer!!!  It’s the Spanish trailer, but in English. If you remember, Mattel’s Max Steel franchise has a HUGE following especially in South America. So, I guess that makes sense. Anyone else SUPER pumped?! The new release date is Friday, October 21, 2016.

MAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: Production began April 29, 2015
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe, Andy Garcia, Maria Bello

16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

A Wilmywood Glance at Mattel’s Max Steel

(Image Credits: David Pascua)

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL – PARKING LOT – DAY

Sophia drives her blue, rag-top wagon through the packed lot as the sun barrels down.  Suddenly, Max races across her path on his bike.  She slams the brakes and watches him go flying through the bushes.  Sophia jumps out of her vehicle and runs to…

THE SIDE OF PARKING LOT

Sophia sees Max on the ground next to a tree.  She leans over him, her necklace dangling,  sparkling in the sunlight.

MAX’S POV –

Someone leans over him.  His vision blurred.

SOPHIA

“Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Are you okay?”

Still a daze, his eyes begin to focus.  It’s a girl.  A beautiful girl.

END SCENE

Ana Villafane is that beautiful girl starring as Sophia in the upcoming super-hero flick Max Steel.  But this isn’t your typical super-hero movie.  Our hero Max McGrath played by Ben Winchell isn’t coming from a dark past.  He doesn’t right wrongs based on vengeance.  He is unknowingly a superhero from birth and he is out to save his family rather than the world. Max Steel, has been an animated television series for some time now, however this will be the first time we see it come to life in live action on the big screen.

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The story revolves around 16 year old Max McGrath who discovers he has a strange electric energy that radiates from him whenever his emotions get the best of him and now it’s getting out of hand. He can’t control them.  This doesn’t help as he is trying to fit in at another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the beautiful and unconventional Sofia (Ana Villafane) and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Dr. Miles Edwards (Andy Garcia).  Perhaps Miles can tell him what his mother Molly (Maria Bello) is unwilling to talk about– what really happened in the accident that killed his dad. As if that is not enough to have on a teenager’s shoulders, Max is most startled by the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

MaxSteel050314_0076Producer Julia Pistor explains what made her choose Max Steel.

“I was drawn to the Max Steel story. I love super hero stories and I was really compelled by the story of Max and his father. He never knew his father and our film tells the origin of Max and how he connects with him. Not only does he (Max) learns that his father is an alien, but he really connects with him like a father and son. I’m drawn to stories that are family unification stories. I think that’s really important.”

MaxSteel050314_0235That she is.  Julia has a long history with family movies like The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web and Lemony Snicket to name a few.

Producer Bill Dowd of Dolphin Films is also a fan of super hero movies and he wanted to make sure when Max’s story was told, it would be a film that the whole family would enjoy.

“I’ve been long time friends with Bill, so I know that he’s looking to make films that are a little more character driven and inspirational.” Julia says. “We loved the idea of making a movie that was a little bit outside of the system and a little more homegrown.”

Max Steel also isn’t the typical $100+ million action flick, either.  There will be more of an organic feel to this one which is quite refreshing.  And smart. They have already done quite well gaining pre-sales all over Europe and Southeast Asia, so it seems it should eliminate any financial fear and could possibly pave the way for a Max Steel 2 and who knows perhaps a Max Steel 3. That’s my own personal take on it however, nothing in confirmed along those lines.  The feature is penned by super-hero writer Christopher Yost (Thor: The MaxSteel050314_0218Dark World), directed by Stewart Hendler (H+) and the cast is top-notch. The two leads, Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane are both extremely talented up and coming young actors.  Even though they just met earlier this year, they already have an amazing connection with each other and it shows on screen.

“Ben and I actually met for the first time at the chemistry read. I guess we had chemistry, because here we are!” laughs Ana Villafane. “He is great. There is no wall that needed to break down. He is authentic and hasn’t been tainted. There was no facade or pretending to be ‘cool.’ He was himself from the beginning and we hit it off right away.”

andy_garciaBen Winchell mirrors those exact thoughts about Ana.  She too is the real deal.  The couple will be playing along side two of the most talented and prolific actors we know today.  Andy Garcia being one of them .

“Andy is perfect,” says Julia, “because he can play the warmest, most handsome father figure character, but as we all know from Ocean’s Eleven and The Godfather, he can play a cold and ruthless character. There are not a lot of actors with that range. We (the creative team) are huge Andy Garcia fans. We are excited to get him.”

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Maria Bello is another. Her range is just as exceptional. From comedy to drama, she can do whatever comes her way.  This time, she plays off her motherly instincts as Max’s mom, Molly.

The film is being shot in Wilmington, NC which is a perfect fit as a location for their needs for such an organic, homegrown feature.

“We were planning production and all producers are drawn to places with tax incentives. We were going on a scout. We were going to go all over: Africa, Canada, Louisiana and Wilmington. Wilmington is the first place we went to on our scout. We got off the plane and went to the (Ideal) cement plant, we looked at houses for Max and we called LA and said, ‘We’re shooting it here.’ We didn’t evaluate any other place. Of course the tax incentives are fantastic! It’s so gorgeous here. The weather and the people are great. The locations are so diverse. The crew is so strong and experienced and so kind. It was just done.”

IdealCementThe Ideal Cement plant (also called the Roanoke Cement plant) has been transformed into Max Steel Headquarters and they expect a 17 day shoot for this location.  If you follow director Stewart Hendler (@stewarthendler) on Twitter, you have already seen what an incredible job the construction crew and set designers have done.  The plant closed many years ago, but it continues to be a favorite and prime location for many feature films and television shows including Iron Man 3Revolution, Under the Dome, as well as The Crow and even Super Mario Bros.

“My husband and I call each other nicknames from Mario Bros., Julia laughs.  “When I heard that Mario Bros was shot there, I thought, ‘This is fantastic!’ I tease him and call him Goomba. I feel like we should come here for our anniversary!”

Other locations include Hoggard High School, Downtown Wilmington and some private houses in Wilmington as well.

MaxSteel050314_0328Ana is definitely glad they chose Wilmington as the location and she actually fell in love with the town and she didn’t even know it. “I’ve seen Natalie Martinez’s (Under The Dome/ Secrets and Lies) photos on social media and she is paddle boarding and going to great little cafe’s. I figured she was sharing vacation photos from Puerto Rico or something. I get here and realize she was in Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach!”  There is so much space and it’s all lush and green. There is a very laid back feeling, but between the beach and the downtown nightlife it’s not boring. I’m really excited to explore.”

Expect to see Mattel’s first super hero flick in theaters in January, 2015.

Maria Bello added to cast of Max Steel

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Mattel and Dolphin has brought in one of my favorite actresses! Maria Bello!  This talented lady has over 35 feature film credits under her belt and she is now adding Max Steel to her roster! Maria will be playing Max’s mom, Molly.

Maria arrived in Wilmywood and got right to work last week.  She is best known for her roles as “Sally” in the Adam Sandler films Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2 and the sassy bar owner, “Lil” in Coyote Ugly.

She also played “Lucy Robbins” on the series Touch.  Welcome to Wilmywood, Maria!

ABOUT:

MAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: In Production
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe, Andy Garcia, Billy Slaughter, Maria Bello
CREW RESUMES TO:  maxsteelresumes@gmail.com

16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

Andy Garcia joins Max Steel cast

andy_garciaAndy Garcia is back in Wilmywood! ( He was here in 2013 for Christmas In Conway.) He has signed on to play the role of “Miles” who is a friend of Max’s mother “Molly.”  Currently, Andy can be heard and not seen in the animated picture, Rio 2 as the voice of “Eduardo.” Rumor has it that Mr. Garcia has had some Wilmywood ties in the past couple of months. The Emmy award nominated actor was one of the leading men in the running for the lead role in the recently wrapped pilot, Field of Play. (We know it as REDZONE).

ABOUT :

MAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: Production begins April 29th
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe
CREW RESUMES TO:  maxsteelresumes@gmail.com

16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

MAX STEEL CASTING CALL: Expert Mountain Biker Photo Double for Ben Winchell (Auditions today/tomorrow)

BenWinchellWe are in search of a specialty PHOTO DOUBLE. If you look similar to Ben Winchell and are an EXPERT MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDER, please email your photo/contact info/bike riding experience.  Contact Marty Siu Casting to me A.S.A.P. at: maxsteelextras@gmail.com with the heading BIKE RIDING PHOTO DOUBLE. The photo double rate is $150/10, and there will be a bump for bike riding. Must be available to audition with your bike tonight or tomorrow, and will work 2 days in our show, during the month of May.

For more casting for Max Steel, visit Mary Siu’s Casting Facebook Page

MAX STEEL Names Extras Casting Director

MartySiu

I am proud to announce that our fabulous, hard working Marty Siu officially has the power to cast where no extras casting director has cast before.  MAX STEEL has got their gal!  Marty has been excited about this project ever since she heard about it months ago.  She is currently casting the NBC (for CBS) pilot RED ZONE.  The timing works out perfectly for her as she won’t even have a day off.  She will be joining the Dolphin/Mattel team on the tail end of RED ZONE’s wrap up.  Before that she was the extras casting director for SPONGEBOB 2 that was shot in Savannah, GA last year.

“I am a geek for cartoon and comic book movies, from Spongebob to Max Steel.  This is a great year for films in the Southeast, ” said Marty.

Marty has asked for all interested in being an extra on the feature film (if you haven’t already) to please register on her web site: Marty Siu Casting.  Home-schooled kids and teens, you are encouraged to register.

Also, be sure to check Marty’s casting facebook page for more details later today or tomorrow. And of course to give her some MAD LOVE!

Max-SteelMAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: Production begins April 22nd
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe
CREW RESUMES TO:  maxsteelresumes@gmail.com
PRINCIPAL CASTING NC: Feldstein Paris Casting (AGENTS ONLY – ACTORS DO NOT CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY)

ABOUT MAX STEELE: 16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 03/07/2014 Under the Dome, Max Steel, Secrets & Lies, MTV and More

We made it to Friday Folks!  Sing it with me!  I’m never gonna look back.  Woah, never gonna give it up. No, please don’t wake me now. Oo-o-o-o-o-o. This is gonna be the best day of my life!  Thank you American Authors!  Okay, let’s do this!

secretsLiesSecrets & Lies stays tucked away in the Futch Creek area for one more day, then they finally move from the Porter’s Neck location on Monday and heads to the YMCA (Did you sing it in your head, too?).  A little pool time for the day.  And please let me point out, they have about 100 crew members (Film=Jobs) and they are renting a local location (Revenue for a great non-profit). Thank you ABC!

under-the-dome-cbsThe Under the Dome folks head to Currie today, but we will see them back in the Brooklyn Arts District this coming Monday.  Again, 100 crew members (Film=Jobs), Private lot rentals, Base Camp location rental, and off duty police officers hired for traffic control (supplemental income). $$$ Thank you CBS!

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From Marty Siu Casting: UNTITLED NIKKI TOSCANO PROJECT: Still looking for a few more “sideline football players”. Please see post below for details. ALSO: We’re now accepting submissions for extras to portray ASSISTANT COACHES, TEAM TRAINERS, and REFEREES during our football scenes on March 13 & 14th. These will be night shoots and I need folks with knowledge of the game. Please submit your photo, email, ph#, height,weight, & clothing sizes to: theredzoneextras@gmail.com with the proper heading for your submission.

Jason Mott

And a lil FYI, the folk who run UTD Radio, have a new channel Resurrection Revealed. They have an interview with the series creator for ABC’s Resurrection Aaron Zelman on today’s podcast episode.  This is the show that is based on the book by our Bolten, North Carolina writer Jason Mott (pictured)!  The ABC show premieres THIS Sunday!  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW NOW

Paul Hannah

Remember when we talked about this last week?  Overflow Entertainment is taking The Sin Seer to two states.  North Carolina and Louisiana. The story involves Rose Ricard who has been given a very special gift by God — the ability to see the sin a person carries in their soul.  Producing is Angela White.  Paul Hannah (pictured) is the writer/director.   The production is for BET. Production starts at the end of April.

Congrats to Vanessa Neimeyer as she will be doing some casting on The Sin Seer AND there are A LOT of speaking roles for this flick!  So get ready for some local hires actors!   Check her latest status update on her NCasting FB page!  She’s got all the deets: the character breakdowns and specific instructions.

MAXSTEEL_CASTEarlier in the week I told you Max Steel has indeed opened offices.  Interviews are getting set up and they plan on shooting at the end of the month.  Max Steel stars Ben Winchell as Max and Anna Villafane as Sydney Gardner.  Production for this Mattel live-action feature film begins at the end of the month!  More casting news to come soon!

MTV-Movie-Awards

The 23rd MTV Movie Awards Nominees have been released and NC Film is lookin’ good!  We are in nine categories!  SEE THE NC FILM NOMINEES NOW
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Finally, please help me in welcoming April Vickery on board here as a contributor for The Wilmywood Daily.  She has already completed her first assignment.  I think she has a great voice in her narrative and we are so excited to have her on board!  Congrats April!  We already LOVE you! READ HER POST NOW

filmjobsLOOKING FOR THOSE FILM=JOB STICKERS? Sunrise Broadcasting has a few.  Feel free to stop by and grab you one while they last at 25 N. Kerr Ave. (near the intersection of Market and Kerr across from the new Walgreens). Offices are open from 8:30am-5:30pm M-F.  Please one sticker per person please.  They will run out fast!  Thanks!

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That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow morning (unless something breaks) and every weekday morning we do “What’s Up in Wilmywood” at 7:30am & 8:30am LIVE on Sunny 104.5.  Got Scoop?  Email me: sheila_brothers@yahoo.com.  Or message me on Wilmywood’s FB  or on Twitter You can also just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!

CREW CALL: MAX STEEL NOW ACCEPTING RESUMES

Max-SteelCrew Call:  Regardless of delays and no office officially open yet, Max Steel is now accepting crew resumes. Send your resumes to maxsteelresumes@gmail.com with your position in the subject line.

If you remember Max Steel was supposed to shoot in both Connecticut and North Carolina.  Interestingly enough, the latest post about Max Steel did not include Connecticut in locations.  Might not mean a damn thing, but we should make a note.

PROD CO: Dolphin Entertainment, Open Road Films,Mattel
PRODUCER: Bill O’Dowd, Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe

ABOUT MAX STEELE: 16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 02/06/2014 – GOOD LAWD! Max Steel, Secrets Lies, Under the Dome, Steven Fiore and more!

Wow!  Such an amazing week for BREAKING casting news. Yep, last week was the quiet before the storm.  I have blogged all damn day and night monitoring all the media outlets and doing some major snooping around with my own sources.  So, basically, I haven’t slept in days!  I have GOT to hire some staff!  Okay, so, let’s review what we have so far and put it together in one blog. Damn, I need a nap!

SecretsLies_CastABC’s SECRETS AND LIES  – Ryan Phillippe signed the dotted line yesterday and now he is a done deal.  Just after that announcement came one that made us go Hmmmm.  Natalie Martinez is playing leap frog with the networks. Martinez will play the character Jess, the child’s devastated mother.  Secrets & Lies centers on a house painter and family man (Phillippe) who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy when he finds the body while out on a morning run. He must find the real murderer to clear his name and save his marriage, his reputation and any chance of having a normal family life again. If you remember EP Neal Baer said earlier last month, that two of our favorite characters on Under the Dome won’t live to see episode two. Now with that being said, if Natalie is joining the cast of ABC’s Secrets & Lies, could “Linda” be the one of the two that won’t live to see another episode?? Hmmmmm….  WAITING ON CASTING CHOICES FOR  16-year-old Natalie, 12-year-old Abby, Ben’s wife, Christy.

UTD_CASTCBS’S UNDER THE DOME SEASON 2 – The 18-year-old newbie actress Grace Victoria Cox  will recur as the mysterious and beautiful Melanie, who catches the eye of Joe (Colin Ford). Eddie Cahill CSI: New York has been cast as Big Jim’s brother in law, Sam, who is the “crazy drunk” who lives in the woods!   Also, Karla Crome (Misfits) joins the enclosed gang!  Crome will play Rebecca, the beautiful school teacher who we’ve been talking about.

MAXSTEEL_CASTMATTEL’S MAX STEEL – Open Road will release domestically in 2015. Atlanta boy, Ben Winchell will take on the lead role of Max McGrath.  He’s best known for his roles in Lifetime’s Pregnancy Pact, as well as Dixon in season 3 of A.N.T. Farm (Disney) and Eric in season 2 of Necessary Roughness (TNT). Ana Villafane will play Max’s love interest, Sydney Gardner.  She’s an up-and-coming Latina actress and singer from Miami, Florida.  Villafane is best known for her starring role in Anchor Bay’s 2012 release Hiding playing a protected witness relocated from New York City to Montana.  Also, in this flick was Jeremy Sumpter who we just had here working on The Squeeze.

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Hunter

CREW MEMBERS: Hunter Ingram from the Star News is writing an article about Wilmington crew members who produce our fabulous TV shows and films. Those people who work project to project. He wants to know what you do in their off time, how many months a year do you have to work, how you choose projects, etc.. With the incentive talk only getting louder, he figured this could be a nice feature to work on.  So, if you are interested in being part of this article, you can email hunter.ingram@starnewsonline.com or call Hunter at 910-343-2327.

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STEVENUniversal Publishing Artist Steven Fiore will be appearing live at Post 1200’s Giant Culture this Friday evening. It all begins at 7pm.  This will be an “Austin City Limits” style setting. On the east coast from Los Angeles to work with Art Garfunkel – Steven will captivate the audience the same way he has caught the attention of artists like Kate Vogel, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss and Jason Castro. Regional favorite Howie Day has also used Steven’s music. 5$ seats will sell fast! Buy online with no fees!  BRING YOUR OWN BEER OR WINE & PAY A CORKING FEE!

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That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow morning (unless something breaks) and every weekday morning we do “What’s Up in Wilmywood” at 7:30am & 8:30am LIVE on Sunny 104.5.  Got Scoop?  Email me: sheila_brothers@yahoo.com.  Or message me on Wilmywood’s FB  or on Twitter You can also just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!

Dolphin Films Unveils Lead Cast for Max Steel

This morning, at the European Film Market/Berlin Fest, Dolphin Films announced that Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane have landed the lead roles s of Max McGrath and Sydney Gardner in our soon to be Wilmywood shot Max Steel, the highly anticipated, live-action franchise feature film based on Mattel’s popular superhero animated series.

BenWinchellAtlanta boy, Ben Winchell will take on the lead role of Max McGrath.  He’s best known for his roles in Lifetime’s Pregnancy Pact, as well as Dixon in season 3 of “A.N.T. Farm” (Disney) and Eric in season 2 of Necessary Roughness (TNT).

AnaVillifaneAna Villafane will play Max’s love interest, Sydney Gardner.  She’s an up-and-coming Latina actress and singer from Miami, Florida.  Villafane is best known for her starring role in Anchor Bay’s 2012 release Hiding playing a protected witness relocated from New York City to Montana.  Also, in this flick was Jeremy Sumpter who we just had here working on The Squeeze.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce audiences worldwide to Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane,” said Bill O’Dowd, CEO Dolphin Entertainment.  “The Max Steel franchise fan base is extremely passionate about the lead characters of Max and Sydney, and we knew we needed to get the casting just right.  Ben and Ana are extremely talented young actors, and we’re confident fans will fall in love with each of them the minute they hit the big screen.”

Additional casting announcements will be made this month.