Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) has been tapped as the lead in the Fox drama pilot Gang Related, from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV. Written by feature scribe Chris Morgan and directed by Allen Hughes, Gang Related centers on Ryan Lopez (Rodriguez), a gang member sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department who rises through its ranks but must balance his obligations to his crime family with an increasing sense of loyalty to his new “family” — the SFPD’s Gang Task Force. Morgan and showrunner Scott Rosenbaum exec produce the pilot with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. I hear Rodriguez has been the top choice for the role since the project’s inception and was originally approached by the studio in December, long before Gang Related got a green light. He came on board after the pilot’s schedule could be synched up with that of the DreamWorks movie Need For Speed, in which Rodriguez stars. Additionally, Rodriguez, repped by UTA and The Collective, has  been writing his own screenplay with Rosie Perez, Only For My Son, which Rodriguez also plans to direct and produce with her. Rodriguez’s series credits include HBO’s The Wire and ABC’s Charlie’s Angels.

Another Latino actor, John Ortiz (HBO’s Luck), has been cast opposite Greg Kinnear in the Fox comedic drama pilot Rake. Based on the Australian series, Rake, from the original series’ creator Peter Duncan, Peter Tolan and Sony TV, follows the chaotic and comedic life of criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Kinnear), brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter. Ortiz will play Ben, Keegan’s friend from law school. They are yin and yang and they know it. Ben is conservative, not flashy, an extremely decent family man who recognizes that Keegan is the performer of the two. Together they make quite a team, in and out of court. Gersh-repped Ortiz recently appeared Oscar Best Picture nominee Silver Linings Playbook.