Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Starz‘s Miami-set period drama Magic City is beefing up the cast for Season 2 with major additions. I’ve learned that Sonny Corleone himself, veteran actor James Caan, is joining the series in a major recurring role, along with NYPD Blue alum Esai Morales.

Set in 1959 Miami shortly after the Cuban Revolution, Magic City tells the story of Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the owner of Miami’s glitzy Miramar Playa hotel, who is forced to make a deal with local mob boss Ben Diamond (Danny Huston). Caan will play Sy Berman, the head of the Chicago mob and Diamond’s boss. A father figure to Ben, Sy saw the potential in the young con and encouraged Ben’s criminal talents — creating “The Butcher.” Unbeknownst to Ben, Sy also has a secret connection to Ben’s wife Lily (Jessica Marais). Morales will play Carlos Ruiz, a former rebel who once fought beside Castro but now works to free Cuba from the man he once considered a brother.

Bringing in Caan to Magic City is fitting as the series is said to be inspired by The Godfather, which co-starred Caan in his signature, Oscar-nominated role as Sonny Corleone. On Magic City, Caan will be reunited with follow Godfather alum Alex Rocco, who recurs as Ike’s father Arthur. For CAA-repped Caan, this represents the biggest series commitment since his starring role on NBC’s Las Vegas. He will next be seen in Blood Ties. Morales, repped by Innovative Artists and KLWGN, recently recurred on Fairly Legal and Caprica.

Filming on Season 2 of Magic City starts this week in Miami for a 2013 premiere. Returning are creator/executive producer Mitch Glazer and cast members Morgan, Olga Kurylenko, Huston, Kelly Lynch, Steven Strait, Christian Cooke, Marais, Yul Vazquez, Dominik Garcia-Lorido and Elena Satine. Glazer, Geyer Kosinski and Fred Berner executive produce.

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