The Hunger Games and Terrence Malick‘s new film have solidified Wes Bentley‘s comeback trail, but Variety says he has yet another promising effort in the waits. (And I don’t mean Catching Fire, though that should do him a lot of good, too.) It would happen to be Chavez, the Michael Peña-led, Diego Luna–directed biopic of labor rights activist Cesar Chavez, which also stars Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera; shooting on the film began this week.
Written by Luna and Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda), it focuses on the period in which Chavez led “the largest nonviolent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.” He’s one of several new faces in the project’s fray; Jacob Vargas (Jarhead, Traffic), Mark Moses (Mad Men‘s Duck Phillips), Michael Cudlitz (Southland), and Yancey Arias (Legion, Live Free or Die Hard) are also taking supporting parts. Bentley will play Jerry Cohen, a “fearless attorney” who worked to ensure rights for Chavez’s United Farm Workers, helping pass “many important constitutional decisions” of the era.
Vargas has been confirmed for Richard Chavez, his older brother and fellow activist; Moses‘ role is that of Fred Ross, a mentor to Chavez and crusader to bridge gaps between white and minority workers; Cudlitz will be seen as a biased sheriff; and Arias landed Gilbert Padilla, co-founder and former secretary-treasurer of the Workers Union.
All in all, a good assembly of actors — especially Moses, who’s done some killer work on Mad Men — and, through sheer force of talent, they could all bring something to the table, helping set Chavez apart from your run-of-the-mill period-era biopic.
Is this a strong group of acting talent, and do they increase your hopes for Chavez?
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