Demian Bichir to Star in Eva Longoria’s ABC Drama Pilot ‘Grand Hotel’

Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir has been cast as the male lead in ABC’s “Grand Hotel” drama pilot, Variety has learned.

The project is described as a soapy drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel. It will center around the family who owns the business, the staff who run it, and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior. It is based on the Spanish series “Gran Hotel.”

In his first broadcast TV role, Bichir will play Gonzalo Cardenas, described as the handsome and charismatic owner of the Grand Riviera Hotel. Gonzalo’s super-power is his charm. He is one of those people who can talk to anyone and make them feel like fast friends. Gonzalo has built himself up from nothing, and will do anything to keep what he has. He will star opposite Roselyn Sanchez, who will play Gonzalo’s wife Gigi.

“There was no one else I could envision in the role of Gonzalo,” said executive producer Eva Longoria. “I’ve done two movies with Demián and he acts with a quiet force that conveys the strength this character needs. I am so excited to be assembling this all-star cast that reflects the world in which we live.”

Bichir, who fielded multiple offers this pilot season, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2011 drama “A Better Life.” He recently starred in Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.” His other film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s “Che,” Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” and Corin Hardy’s “The Nun,” the last of which recently wrapped production. On the television side, he has previously starred in the FX series “The Bridge” and in Showtime’s “Weeds.”

He is repped by CAA.

Brian Tanen will write and executive produce “Grand Hotel.” Longoria and Ben Spector will executive produce via their UnbeliEVAble banner. Ramon Campos and Teresa Fernandez-Valdes, who both wrote for and executive produced the Spanish series, will also executive produce via Beta Films. Ken Olin will direct the pilot. ABC Studios will produce. ABC and UnbeliEVAble had previously tried developing the show last year.

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