Michael Mando is back on the set of King Ivory…
After being forced to halt production with the launch of the SAG-AFTRA strike, the crime drama King Ivory, starring the 42-year-old Latino-Canadian actor, has returned to filming in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Previously unannounced actors who have been able to return to set, pursuant to the agreement, include James Badge Dale, Ben Foster, Mando (Better Call Saul), Rory Cochrane, Ritchie Coster, George Carroll, Sam Quartin, Graham Greene and Melissa Leo.
While production on the majority of studio projects has been shuttered, amidst a dual strike by SAG-AFTRA and the WGA, the actors guild is offering interim agreements to the projects of “truly independent producers,” with no affiliation to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the understanding being that these producers will be bound retroactively to contract terms secured once the SAG-AFTRA strike resolves.
Based on extensive research involving Oklahoma law enforcement and active gang members, King Ivory offers a never-before-seen, authentic look inside the underworld of fentanyl trafficking from gangs inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester a.k.a. “Big Mac.” With potency 100 times that of heroin and nearly undetectable at the border, the drug nicknamed King Ivory has flooded the market, triggering a tidal wave of overdoses, crime and addiction. The film chronicles the efforts of a joint local, state and federal task force, led by Layne West (Dale), Ty (Carroll) and Beatty (Cochrane), to prevent the trafficking of the Irish Mob’s George “Smiley” Greene (Foster), his mother Ginger (Leo) and uncle Mickey (Coster), in partnership with the Indian Brotherhood’s Holt (Greene) and the New Generation Mexican cartel’s Ramón (Mando).
Newly minted PGA member Jeremy M. Rosen is producing the film under his Roxwell Films banner, alongside Nicole Flores.
“John and I feel strongly that King Ivory is our best and most timely script and cast to date,” said Rosen in a statement to Deadline. “Fentanyl has proven to be perhaps the most fatal pandemic in modern history, claiming countless lives, including our late friend and Body Brokers lead actor, Michael Kenneth Williams. King Ivory is a proudly independent production. We are grateful to SAG-AFTRA for making the Interim Agreement available to us amidst this climate of important change.”
Best known for his role as Nacho Varga on Better Call Saul, Mando has also been seen in films like The Hummingbird Project and Spider-Man: Homecoming.