Gael Garcia Bernal to Star as Saul Armendariz, aka the Liberace of Lucha Libre, in the Biopic “Cassandro”

Gael García Bernal is hitting the ring to play a Lucha Libre legend.

The 41-year-old Mexican actor/filmmaker will star in Cassandroan independent feature from Oscar winning and two-time Emmy nominee filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.

Gael García Bernal

Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.

Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.

Ultimately, Armendáriz would take the new ring name of Cassandro, from a Tijuana brothel keeper Cassandra whom he appreciated.

In January 1991, after bad press that he was going to wrestle El Hijo del Santo in the UWA World Welterweight Championship, Armendáriz reportedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a razor blade, but was saved.

The title match occurred a week later and Armendáriz credits it as the match that earned him the lucha libre community’s acceptance.

While Cassandro failed to win the UWA World Welterweight Championship from El Hijo del Santo, he managed to win his first title, the UWA World Lightweight Championship in October 1992, by defeating Lasser, becoming the first exótico in history to hold a championship in UWA.

Bernal, who will star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new secret movie from Universal, will shoot that movie first before stepping into the ring for Cassandro, which is eyeing a November start in Mexico.

Cassandro will rep the feature narrative directorial debut for Williams, who took home the Oscar for his short docu Music by Prudence in 2010, and recently was nominated at the Emmys a second time, this time in Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special category for the HBO doc The Apollo. That movie, which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, follows the historic and famed Harlem NYC venue and its legacy.

“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspirational stories about outsiders and uplift the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen. The true story of Cassandro, Saúl Armendáriz, was one I knew I wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to being able to bring Saúl’s story to a wide audience,” said Williams.

Williams wrote Cassandro with Emmy-winner David Teague and Julián Herbert (Satelite).

Bernal is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and winner for the Amazon series Mozart in the JungleHe was part of the SAG ensemble nominated cast of Paramount’s Babeland a BAFTA nominee for Focus Features’ 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries

The filmmakers are reportedly in talks with Amazon to acquire Cassandro once complete, but that deal is contingent on several factors before it’s a negative pick-up.

Julian Silva to Appear on Season 4 of NBC’s “This Is Us”

Julian Silva is no longer a stranger

NBC has revealed several brand new cast members for This Is Us Season 4—including the Latino actor—seen in a new promo trailer for the special extended premiere episode entitled “Strangers”.

Julian Silva

In addition to Silva, other newcomers include Asante BlackkMarsha Stephanie BlakeM. Night Shyamalan,Bahara GolestaniTimothy OmundsonAuden ThorntonNick Wechslerand Omar Epps.

The details of their roles aren’t yet known, but it appears that Blake may be playing Blackk’s mother—in the clip we see her kiss his cheek—while Epps may be his father, since we see the pair working together as car mechanics.

Jennifer Morrison’s major recurring role was already made official in July, and while its significance remains under wraps, the trailer gives us a few more breadcrumbs. She’s shown in a modern-day military uniform seated at a desk with a framed photo of a father who could be Kevin (Justin Hartley), with a young son. And of course, we already know from the Season 3 finale flash forward that Kevin will have a son.

The trailer opens with Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) in a car. Following her first Emmy nomination for this role in July, Moore told Deadline of the Season 4 beginning: “Myself and Milo, we’re picking up where we left off after that fateful road trip out to California. We just arrived back in Pittsburgh and we’re trying to figure out how we move forward with our relationship and meet each other’s respective families.”

In the trailer, a young Rebecca tells Jack: “It’s actually kind of terrifying how a single cross with one person who you’ve never met can change everything.” It’s not clear to whom this foreboding speech refers, but as the clip flicks through the faces of the new cast members, in classic This Is Us style, Rebecca’s musing is likely to be the thread that draw together a series of different stories and timelines.

We see Griffin Dunne, who has previously played the older version of Nicky, while Ron Cephas Jonesis also set to resume the role of William, Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown)’s ill-fated father—a turn that won Jones his third Emmy nom this year (he won in 2018).

The clip also provides glimpses of other previous cast members, confirmed by NBC as returning this season. There’s Cosby Show veteran Phylicia Rashad as Carol, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson)’s mother, Tim Jo as Randall’s campaign manager Jae-won Yoo, Elizabeth Perkins as Janet Malone, the racist mother of Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and Caitlin Thompson will resume her role of Madison, Kate (Chrissy Metz)’s friend.

This Is Us Season 4 will premiere on September 24 on NBC.