Diego Luna has quite the full dance card of projects over the next few years and on deck for the actor is Disney Plus’ “Rogue One” prequel series. Fans can expect plenty of enthusiasm from Luna’s performance as Cassian Andor, who is at the show’s center.
“I can’t wait to go back to that universe,” Luna told Variety at a special screening of “Narcos: Mexico” Season 2 at the Netflix Home Theater in Hollywood on Thursday night. “I had so much fun. I really like ‘Rogue One,’ so it’s nice to go back to that universe.”
When asked what he’d like to see creatively from his character in the “Rogue One” prequel — which is set to air in 2021 — Luna quipped, “That’s another story. I have to finish this [‘Narcos: Mexico’] to start that one.”
The “Rogue One” series, which also reunites Luna with film co-star Alan Tudyk as droid K-2SO, will follow several other Disney Plus “Star Wars” shows, including last fall’s hit “The Mandalorian” (Season 2 debuts October 2020) and the seventh and final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which begins airing on Feb. 21. Another “Star Wars” series, focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi, is retooling scripts.
Earlier this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the “Star Wars” franchise will become more TV-focused in the next few years, after its latest film installments, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” underperformed compared to their predecessors.
In addition to the “Rogue One” series and the second season of “Narcos: Mexico,” Luna has a limited series project coming for Amazon Studios with “Y Tu Mama Tambien” co-star Gael Garcia Bernal, in a first-look agreement with their production company La Corriente del Golfo.
Announced last month, Luna and Bernal’s limited series, “Untitled Cortes and Moctezuma,” will tell the story of Aztec ruler Moctezuma II and Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, two figures central to the 16th century’s Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire.
“It’s a story that I can’t believe is not out there,” Luna said of the project, noting that he will be producing and not appearing in the show. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure it’s done in the right way. It’s a beautiful team. Everyone there is people I admire, and I love collaborating with. So, I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Luna is telling another true-life tale with “Narcos: Mexico,” which will detail the increasing threat to the drug empire built by Luna’s character, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, with its second season.
“We’re going to explore the fall of Félix Gallardo,” Luna said. “He gets rid of his family and his friends in the first season and does many mistakes that now he is going to have to deal with, that. It is an interesting time because the story is getting really close to what we’re living today. I like that the series talks about the complexity of a situation that is not about one character. It’s not about the good and the bad. It’s about all the grays in between.”
Leave it to the makers of “Narcos: Mexico” to do their homework – even when it meant attending the 2018-19 trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is one of the characters central to the show, for murder, weapons charges, money laundering and other felonies.
“I went to his trial. It was kind of spectacular,” showrunner Eric Newman told Variety. “He is a controversial figure, in more ways than one.”
Guzman was sentenced last July to life in prison plus 30 years at Colorado’s super-max facility ADX Florence and the forfeiture of more than $12 billion, after being found guilty last February. After sitting in the courtroom audience, Newman offered an alternate explanation for Chapo’s long criminal history.
“There are a lot of people who believe that he isn’t actually the guy,” Newman said. “The guy is a guy named Ismael Zambada, who is his partner, but in reality, he’s the guy who’s been making the majority of the decisions for the Sinaloa Cartel for a long time. Chapo as a character — phenomenally acted by Alejandro Edda — is a funny but also incredibly dangerous guy. We remind people that, yes, Chapo is this larger-than-life bandit, but he’s also a killer. To be able to tell a story that people think they know from a different vantage point was one of the great things about the show.”
“Narcos: Mexico” co-creator and executive producer Doug Miro told Variety that he wanted to attend Chapo’s trial but was unable to make it.
“I didn’t get a chance to. I would have liked to,” Miro said. “We talked a lot about it because it was going on when we were making the season. We have one episode that I was very involved in where Chapo plays very strongly, in particular the beginnings of him desiring to be boss, where that comes from, emotionally, and how he started to build his own idea of what a boss could be and also some of his tactics, which are famous. It was fun to do that at the beginning of Chapo’s story, at the same time as we were watching, in real time, the end of his story.”
Asked if the show’s creators will attempt to talk with Chapo, Miro told Variety, “No, no. It’s not something we usually do. It’s really hard to reach out. … I don’t think he knew what he was getting into when he was going to that prison or how hard it was going to be once he was here.”
Other cast members attending Thursday’s event included Scoot McNairy, Teresa Ruiz, Jesse Garcia, Alejandra Guilmant, Sosie Bacon, Andres Londono, Alex Patrick Knight, Miguel Rodarte, Matt Biedel, Alberto Zeni and Fernanda Urrejola.
Season 2 of “Narcos: Mexico” premieres on Netflix Feb. 13.