EXCLUSIVE: Esai Morales is set to co-star in The Brink, HBO’s pilot directed by Jay Roach from a script by Roberto Benabib and Kim Benabib and exec produced by Jerry Weintraub. The Brink is an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Tim Robbins); Alex Coppins (Jack Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Callahan (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. Morales will play Julian Navarro, the President of the United States. While the U.S. is yet to elect a Hispanic president, that has been a popular trend on TV that has included Jimmy Smits’ Matt Santos on The West Wing and Blair Underwood’s Elias Martinez on The Event. Morales, who co-starred on Starz’s Magic City, recently wrapped a supporting role in the feature La Vida Robot and is recurring on the CBS’ Criminal Minds. He is with Innovative Artists and KLWGN.
Deadline will make editorial space available so the SAG-AFTRA and WGA candidates for top offices can campaign here. Please send editors@deadline your materials. Esai Morales is running for SAG-AFTRA’s first sole National President and has sent the following video and message:
A Message From Esai Morales
Hollywood Local Membership1st Campaign Email
“I served on the National Board along side Esai and I know him to be a caring and dedicated person. I believe the SAG-AFTRA membership will be well served with Esai as our National President. I also know that Jane is a strong leader, with a solid business sense. With her National Board and committee experience, Jane is an excellent choice for SAG-AFTRA Secretary/Treasurer. Please support both Esai and Jane.” – ED HARRIS
“SAG-AFTRA can no longer function with a deficit. Fresh and business savvy ideas are needed to help bring SAG-AFTRA back into the black. I have those ideas.” – JANE AUSTIN
Each day, members are growing frustrated with the current state of affairs at SAG-AFTRA. The union is in a crisis and I believe I have the knowledge, experience and faith to help put SAG-AFTRA back on the right track.
1. Are you fed up with waiting up to 100 days to receive a residual check?
2. Are you puzzled by the fact our union has been operating with a multi-million dollar deficit since 2010?
3. Do stunt performers and background actors deserve their own SAG-AFTRA departments?
4. Are you wondering why, with the increasing amount of low budget films being produced, our pay-rate has remained flat?
5. Are you still having a tough time qualifying for health insurance?
6. If you do background work, are you suspicious and frustrated with the questionable behavior of some call-in services?
7. Do you believe there should be a dedicated seat for Background Performers on SAG-AFTRA’s National Board?
If you answered “YES” to any one of these questions, you are not alone.
Here are OUR answers:
1. Immediately hire part-time employees in the residual department to expedite the processing and mailing of checks to members within 30 days. And at the same, time we’ll investigate looking into long-term solutions.
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.
TV MOVIE NEWS: Lifetime Greenlights Kidnapping Saga With Teri Polo & Esai Morales, TNT’s ‘Innocent’ Casts Bill Pullman
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has greenlighted We Have Your Husband, an original movie starring Teri Polo and Esai Morales based on the true story of American Jayne Valseca (Polo) and her fight to free her husband Eduardo (Morales) who spent 7 and a half months at the hands of brutal kidnappers in Mexico. Eduardo, a Mexican businessman, was kidnapped at gunpoint close to the ranch where he lived with his wife Jayne and their kids, launching a race for Jayne to raise ransom money while Eduardo clings to life as he is starved, tortured and shot several times. We Have Your Husband, based on the book of the same name by Jayne Valseca and Mark Ebner, is produced by Johnson Production Group and SC Pictures and executive produced by Tim Johnson and Jean Abounader. Eric Bross will direct from a script by JB White. Polo, repped by Gersh and manager Bob McGowan, just wrapped the feature Beyond and co-stars on the upcoming ABC comedy series Man Up. Morales, repped by Innovative and Brillstein, recently starred on Caprica.
Tom Everett Scott has landed the male lead opposite Jenna Elfman in ABC’s comedy pilot Bad Mom. The project, from writer-actress Sharon Horgan, centers on Julia Lacey (Elfman), a working mom struggling to juggle her job and raising her kids who is thrown a curveball when her mother tells her she’ll no longer be available for regular babysitting. Scott, repped by Paradigm and john Carrabino, will play Julia’s husband, who is working for a very demanding new boss and is often forced to work overtime.
Esai Morales has joined the cast of Ron Moore’s NBC drama pilot 17th Precinct. Set in a city ruled by magic, it revolves around the workings of the 17th, headed by Detective Chief Inspector Wilder Blanks (Eamonn Walker). Morales, repped Innovative and Brillstein, will play his second in command, Lt. Liam Butterfield.
Kevin Rahm and Chad Coleman (The Green Hornet) have been added to the Fox comedy pilot I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The multicamera project centers on two divorced mothers, Nikki (Katie Finneran) and Annie (Jaime Pressly), who must raise daughters who are exactly like the girls who picked on them in high school. Rahm, repped by Gersh and Forward, will play a potential love interest for Annie. Coleman, repped by TalentWorks and Vanguard, will play Nikki’s ex-husband. Also cast in the pilot in a guest-starring role is Rosa Blasi. She is with Bresler Kelly and …
EXCLUSIVE: The 2011 Sundance Film Festival deals keep coming. Upstart distributor Motion Film Group has paid low seven-figures for worldwide sales and distribution rights to Gun Hill Road, the Rashaad Ernesto Green-directed drama which premiered Monday in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Motion Film Group is backed by financier Fotis Georgiadis. The plan is for a summer theatrical release and to sell offshore rights at Cannes.
The coming of age drama is set in the Bronx and stars Esai Morales, Judy Reyes and Isiah Whitlock. Morales plays a macho ex-con who returns to the Bronx after his latest prison stretch. He discovers the world has knew has turned upside down while he was gone. His wife (Reyes) tries to hide an emotional affair, and his teen son is exploring a sexual transformation beyond his father’s grasp. It’s time for the ex-con to take some responsibility and become a parent. Georgiadis was principal financier behind past indie acquisitions Hounddog, and Twelve. He formed Motion Film Group to take a more active hand in distribution. “We have learned a lot over the past three years, and have developed a core team that we can work with under our own distribution label,” Georgiadis said in a statement. “We’re very excited to add this impressive film to our 2011 theatrical roster.” Ronna Wallace of Eastgate Pictures LLC along with Andre Des Rochers, negotiated the deal …
Syfy is closing the gap between the two parts of Caprica’s first season, shifting the return of the Battlestar Galactica prequel to October 5 when it will air behind new episodes of Stargate Universe. Originally, part 2 of Caprica‘s freshman season was supposed to launch in January, exactly a year after the series’ premiere. “Though we initially announced the January return of Caprica, we still had hopes of finding a way to get the series back on the air sooner,” said Syfy EVP Mark Stern. “We’ve been able to successfully re-work our schedule, and are thrilled to bring the show back during what is traditionally Syfy’s most-watched time of the year.”
There is still no decision on a second season renewal for the series starring Eric Stoltz, Paula Malcomson, Esai Morales and Polly Walker, with a reduced Season 2 order a possibility. While promoting Season 1.5 at Comic-Con, Caprica executive producer David Eick expressed confidence that the series, which has developed following but has been a modest ratings performer, will return for a second season. With Caprica moving to October, the third season of Sanctuary will now launch in its former timeslot on Friday, October 15.