“The Hunger Games” thesp Wes Bentley, “Southland” star Michael Cudlitz, Jacob Vargas (“Traffic”), Yancey Arias (“Legion”) and Mark Moses (AMC’s “The Killing”) have joined the cast of Diego Luna’s indie drama “Chavez,” which stars Michael Pena as famed labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez.
America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson co-star as Chavez’s wife and top aide, respectively.
Keir Pearson’s script depicts Chavez organizing 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.
Bentley will play Jerry Cohen, the fearless attorney who became the backbone of the United Farm Workers’ legal efforts. His work resulted in many important constitutional decisions that continue to protect farm workers to this day.
Cudlitz will play a sheriff who lets his personal opinions cloud his judgment when dealing with the farm workers and their various nonviolent strikes and marches. Vargas will play Cesar’s older brother Richard Chavez, who leaves his job as a carpenter to assist Cesar’s effort to organize California farm workers. Arias will play Gilbert Padilla, who helped build the United Farm Workers Union, serving as secretary-treasurer for years. Moses will play Fred Ross, a seasoned organizer who trained Cesar Chavez into the iconic activist he later became and worked tirelessly to create unity among whites and minorities.
Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz will produce through Canana Films along with John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith of Mr. Mudd. Pearson and Larry Meli will also serve as producers.
“Chavez” started shooting earlier this week in Sonora, Mexico.
Bentley is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Cudlitz is repped by APA, Gold Coast Management and attorney Mitch Smelkinson. Arias is repped by Global Artists Agency and Luber Roklin Entertainment. Innovative Artists reps Vargas and Moses, who are respectively managed by Anonymous Content and the Coronel Group.