Diego Luna is directing and Hotel Rwanda scribe Keir Pearson wrote the script for Chavez, starring Michael Pena as the famed labor organizer. Participant Media has landed all North American rights to the project, which focuses on Chavez organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to aid more than 50,000 farm workers in California. Luna’s Canana Films is producing the biopic, currently filming in Sonora, Mexico, and co-starring America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley, Michael Cudlitz and Gabriel Mann. Canana principals Pablo Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal (who has a cameo role in the film) and Luna are producing with John Malkovich (who stars as Bogdanovich, one of Chavez’s key adversaries), Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith of Mr. Mudd, Pearson and Larry Meli. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King are executive producing. Jonathan King and COO Jeff Ivers negotiated the rights deal for Participant, and Robert and Matt Wallerstein of Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman negotiated on behalf of Canana.
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