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Disney Recasts: J.R. Villarreal Co-Stars In ‘Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion’

Blue Demon Jr. is replaced on wrestling film after a domestic-violence scandal.

The upcoming luchador superhero series from Disney has a new title and actor. J.R. Villarreal has been cast as co-lead after the studio dropping the previous star.

Villareal (“Akeela and the Bee”) will play Cruz De La Vega, a luchador wrestling coach with the secret superhero identity of Black Scorpion in Disney Channel’s new live-action comedy series “Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion.”

The other name in the title refers to Violet Rodriguez, a teenager chosen by a magical luchador mask to be a superhero, just like her uncle De La Vega. Scarlett Estevez (“Bunk’d”) plays Rodriguez/Ultra Violet.

De La Vega replaces Blue Demon Jr., a famous Mexican wrestler.

While Disney did not explain the change, media outlets have reported the ousted luchador was accused of domestic violence just months after being cast in the superhero role early in the year.


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Blue Demon Jr.’s wife, Mónica Carrillo, publicly accused the wrestler of spousal abuse over two decades of marriage. Carrillo filed a complaint with authorities and has said she received death threats after going public with her story.

The “luchador enmascarado” also got involved in politics after being cast in “Ultra Violet & Blue Demon Jr.,” the show’s original name. He was running for a mayoral seat in one of Mexico City’s 16 municipalities.

Demon, Jr. was also dropped as an executive producer.

Villarreal, a Texas-born actor, is best known for his role as Javier Mendez in the 2006 family/school drama “Akeelah and the Bee,” starring KeKe Palmer and Angela Bassett. He was later featured in the Millennium Films action-drama “Bobby Z,” along with Paul Walker and Laurence Fishburne.

His credits also include the indie drama “Magic City Memoirs,” executive produced by Academy Award-nominated actor Andy Garcia, and Paramount’s comedy “Ghost Team One.”

The ‘Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion” comedy stars J.R. Villarreal and Scarlett Estevez. (Disney/Brian Roedel)

Villarreal has made guest appearances on FX’s “The Bridge,” Fox’s “House M.D.,” Lifetime’s “Strong Medicine” and CBS’ “Ghost Whisperer” as well as “Cold Case,” “Without a Trace” and “CSI: Miami.”

“Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion” also stars Marianna Burelli (“Paramédicos”) as Violet’s mother, Nina; Juan Alfonso (“American Princess”) as Violet’s father, Juan Carlos; Brandon Rossel (“Fast Layne”) as Violet’s brother, Santiago; Zelia Ankrum (“Les Moore”) as Violet’s best friend, Maya Miller-Martinez; and Bryan Blanco (“Screwball”) as Violet’s classmate, Luis León.

The series names two new executive producers, Eric Garcia and Leo Chu, who serve as showrunners. Joe Nussbaum is also executing producing, in addition to previously confirmed Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit, a pair that collaborated in “Pokémon Detective Pikachu.

J.R. Villarreal Cast in Disney’s ‘Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion’ was first published in LatinHeat Entertainment.

Edited by Gabriela Alejandra Olmos and Fern Siegel

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