EXCLUSIVE: Wilmer Valderrama and his WV Entertainment have acquired film and TV rights to Patriots from the Barrio, Dave Gutierrez’s 2014 book that delves into the history of a segregated U.S. Army combat unit comprised entirely of Mexican Americans from South Texas that was part of the first division to set foot in Europe in World War II.
Gutierrez’s book came about while he was researching a relative, Ramon G. Gutierrez, who during the war was captured and escaped twice, both times able to make it back across Allied lines. He later received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, and the Soviet Union gave him the Order of the Patriotic War. His Company E in the 36th Division fought in Italy at San Pietro in the Liri Valley, and in 1944 was nearly wiped out in the Battle of Ripaldo River, one of the U.S. Army’s biggest losses of WWII.
“During Hispanic Heritage Month, this story is especially timely, and I’m honored as a proud Latin American to amplify the courage and contributions of these incredible men,” Valderrama said.
Valderrama, who joined as a regular on CBS’ NCIS last year, also has the animated film Charming coming next year on which his WV Entertainment serves as a producer.
He is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment.