Esai Morales Starring in the Western Thriller “Cottonmouth”

Esai Morales has a serious case of cottonmouth

The 60-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star in the Western thriller Cottonmouth, which entered production last week in Oklahoma after receiving a SAG interim agreement.

Esai MoralesIn addition to Morales, who most recently appeared in Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, the cast also includes Martin SensmeierRon Perlman, Eric Nelsen, Jonathan Sadowski, Alyssa Wapanatâhk, James Landry Hébert and Kimberly Guerrero (The Glorias).

Brock Harris (Wild Game) is directing from a script he wrote alongside Jared Bonner.

Set in 1895, the film follows friends Ed and Frank (Sensmeier and Sadowski) who become brutal enemies in Oklahoma frontier territory when a rivalry develops over a woman (Wapanatâhk) who is set to inherit a prominent saloon. After a bounty hunter (Nelsen) makes Ed disappear to a tortuous prison run by a sinister warden (Perlman), he must learn the ways of an outlaw from a prison-mate (Morales) to escape and exact his revenge.

“Making a western in my home state is the ultimate blessing. With these legendary performers, we’re delivering a tall tale on sacred land,” said Harris. “Revenge is a dish best served with a smoking gun.”

Concourse and Rebullium recently teamed up on thriller Model House, which sold to Shout! Studios at TIFF and will see a rollout across multiple platforms, starting with a theatrical launch in early spring 2024.

Harris’ comedy film Dance Dads (2022) took home the audience award at the Austin Film Festival.

Esai Morales in Negotiations to Star in the Action Thriller “Shadow”

Esai Morales could be preparing for a little shadow play soon…

The 60-year-old Puerto Rican actor is in talks to star in the action thriller Shadow, which XYZ Films has boarded.

Esai MoralesXYZ acquired world sales — minus select territories — to the film, which is inspired by true events.

Colombian filmmaker Antonio Negret is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Daniel Negret.

The film will begin production in the fall in Colombia.

The plot follows a real-life Colombian police dog named Sombra, who, after piling up hundreds of arrests, became the cartel’s public number one enemy. As a result, a bounty is put on her head. After the cartel’s new leader sets a trap to abduct the dog, Sombra’s once reluctant handler must risk his life and career to save his partner.

The cast features Colombian actors Juan Pablo Raba and Natalia Reyes alongside Kate Del Castillo.

Previously sold territories include Latin America (CDC), Brazil (CDC), Mexico (CDC), Russia (Volga), Middle East (Selim), Korea (Noori), and Indonesia (PT Amero).

“After having spent a great deal of time in Colombia, I became incredibly passionate about and committed to telling important and inspiring stories from a regional perspective with local stars like Juan Pablo & Natalia,” said Sentient president Renee Tab. “I’m looking forward to once again teaming up with long-term collaborators Pierre Morel, and Antonio Negret (as well as his brother Daniel) to shape this true story into an action narrative inspired by a drug-sniffing German Shepherd named Sombra.”

Morales’ previous credits include La Bamba, American Family, Resurrection Boulevard, Ozark and Titans.

Negret is best known for his debut film Towards Darkness, starring America Ferrera, which premiered in competition at Tribeca. His follow-ups Seconds Apart, a supernatural horror/thriller, was released by Lionsgate, and thriller Transit starring Jim Caviezel, was released by Silver Pictures/Dark Castle.

Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires U.S. Rights to Esai Morales’ Romantic Drama “Art of Love”

Esai Morales’ latest Art is heading to U.S. theaters…

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Art of Love, the romantic drama starring the 59-year-old Puerto Rican actor.Esai Morales, Art of LoveFrom writer-director Betty Kaplan, the film also stars Kunjue Li.

Art of Love will be released in domestic theaters and on digital on July 22.

The film was originally titled Simone, which is the name of the 2013 Eduardo Lalo novel on which it is based.

Set in Puerto Rico, the plot centers on a mysterious, erotic and haunting love story of a writer-professor at a leading university and an aspiring student from the immigrant Chinese community.

Caterina Murino, Joanna Cassidy Braulio Castillo, Zoribel Fonalledas, Bruno Irizarry, Eli Cay, Mélanie Ramos and Aris Mejias also star in the film, which was released in Puerto Rico last fall.

Esai Morales to Star in Sci-Fi Thriller “Persephone”

Esai Morales is heading out of this world…

The 59-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star opposite Ming-Na Wen and Brianna Hildebrand in the long-gestating sci-fi thriller Persephone, hailing from director Jeffrey Morris.

Esai MoralesMorris’ first feature follows refugees from a dying earth, who are traveling aboard an enormous space vessel called Odyssey. Their destination is Proxima b—a planet orbiting the nearest star. When a crew is dispatched to repair a shield designed to protect their colony from deadly solar flares, a computer malfunction causes them to crash-land on the alien planet. The crew then discover that they may not be the only life on this hostile world. A mystery unfolds that may not only derail their mission, but also prevent the colonists from ever setting foot on the planet.

Morris penned the script, also co-authoring a companion novel with New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson.

He will also produce via his FutureDude Entertainment, alongside Anne Marie Gillen, Jorge Heredia and the duo of Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky.

Cassian Elwes will executive produce, with Anderson serving as co-executive producer, and Jasmin Espada as co-producer.

Highland Film Group is handling international rights, and will launch sales at the upcoming Cannes Marché du Film.

“I’m tremendously honored and excited to be working with this amazing cast and crew to enact a singular vision of the future,” said Morris. “Through our collaboration, the goal is to create a sense of realism and exploration that is far beyond the typical sci-fi space adventure.”

“We were immediately captivated by the ambition and integrity of Jeffrey’s vision,” said Fleming and Ordesky in a joint statement. “The world building is so rigorously researched and richly imagined, it feels like stepping into a real future. And the struggle for co-existence that animates Persephone could not be more vital or timely.”

“From my very first conversation with writer/director Jeffrey Morris, I knew we had a connection. He had already written an excellent, gritty Sci-Fi script, and our brainstorming brought it even more to life,” added Anderson. “Persephone is filled with incredible ideas, and I love being a part of it.”

Morales will soon be seen in the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission Impossible franchise, as well as Paul Schrader’s thriller Master Gardener.

He’s previously appeared in films like SuperFlyGun Hill Road and Fast Food Nation, among many others. His television projects include How to Get Away with MurderTitansOzarkFrom Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, The BrinkMagic City and Jericho.

Esai Morales to Star in Paul Schrader’s Film “Master Gardener”

Esai Morales is taking up gardening

The 59-year-old old Puerto Rican actor will star in Paul Schrader’s film Master Gardener.

Esai MoralesLed by Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, the film is now shooting in Louisiana.

In addition to Morales, recently added cast members include Quintessa Swindell, who will play Maya, the wayward and troubled great-niece of Mrs Haverhill (Weaver), who is taken on as a new apprentice by the titular gardener Narvel Roth (Edgerton).

Morales will play Roth’s Witness Protection Officer.

Amanda Crittenden of KOJO Studios and Scott LaStaiti are producing together with David Gonzales, Schrader’s manager. Luisa Law, KOJO Studios’ Linda Ujuk and Dale Roberts are executive producers.

Morales previous credits include La Bamba, American Family, Resurrection Blvd., NYPD Blue and Ozark.

Jimmy Smits Taking Part in PBS’ Virtual “National Memorial Day Concert”

Jimmy Smits is honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces in a special way…

The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor will be taking part in the National Memorial Day Concert.

Jimmy Smits

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s show will be a virtual concert. But creators hope it takes on a special resonance.

“These important rituals and holidays have a whole meaning for all of this time too,” said executive producer Michael Colbert. “We are certainly completely focused on what Memorial Day is, but I feel like at this time it is touching so many of us today.”

The National Memorial Day Concert willair on PBS on Sunday at 8:00 pm ET. The 90-minute show honors members of the military and veterans with performances and personal stories, it’s is a 31-year tradition.

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are returning to host the event, with a line up that includes former Secretary of State Colin PowellCynthia ErivoRenée FlemingTrace Adkins, CeCe WinansKelli O’HaraMary McCormack, Christopher Jackson and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly, as well as General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The broadcast will also feature performances from previous concerts, including those by Sam ElliottLaurence Fishburne and Esai Morales.

Colbert believes that the concert, which has honored sacrifices made in wars of the past, sends an important message for what the country is going through today. The event also will spotlight those who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, including first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, truck drivers and postal workers.

“We just felt that, to have that focus on what we have already gone through, will bring a real connection to people to what is going on today, to show that we are going to get through this,” he said.

Also woven throughout the show will be messages from entertainers and other artists directed at members of the military, veterans and front-line workers. The list includes Chris EvansGeorge Clooney, Gwyneth PaltrowJulianne MooreJimmy KimmelMark Wahlberg and Smits. 

The National Memorial Day Concert also will air on the American Forces Network, and will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, as well as PBS.org. It also will be available on demand.

Here’s the list of performers with taped messages: Anthony RamosBlair UnderwoodBrian TeeChely WrightChris EvansCourteney CoxDenis LearyDule HillGeorge ClooneyGraham GreeneGwyneth PaltrowJaina Lee OrtizJennifer GarnerJimmy KimmelJimmy SmitsJon HammJulianne MooreLindsey VonnLisa KudrowMarcia Gay HardenMark WahlbergMilo VentimiglioNoah WylieRita MorenoS. Epatha MerkersonSteven WeberSugar Ray LeonardVanessa Williams.

Also participating in new and some past selected performances are members from the U.S. Army Herald TrumpetsThe U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, the Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

Esai Morales to Star as the Villain in “Mission: Impossible 7”

Esai Morales has found a new mission…The 57-year-old Puerto Rican actor has joined the cast of Mission: Impossible 7, replacing Nicholas Hoult s the film’s villain.

The Paramount and Skydance co-production was close to starting production in Italy, when the world shut down due to COVID-19 and that included the Christopher McQuarrie-directed film, which will see Tom Cruise reprise his Ethan Hunt spy character. 

Esai Morales

The delay put Hoult in conflict with another commitment.

Mission: Impossible 7 is expected to start production in late summer or early fall. 

The film was scheduled for release on July 23, 2021 but has been moved to November 19, 2021 to account for the delay. 

The entire franchise through six movies has amassed over $3.57 billion for Paramount.

Morales, who rose to acclaim as Bob Morales in La Bamba, most recently completed a stint on How To Get Away With Murder

His other credits include television roles on Magic CityChicago P.D. and NCIS: Los Angeles, and film roles in Gun Hill RoadFast Food Nation and Spare Parts.

Cinema Libre Studio Acquires North American Rights to Esai Morales’ Indie Drama “Imprisoned”

Esai Moralesis facing (im)prison(ed)time this September…

Cinema Libre Studio has acquired the North American distribution rights to Imprisoned, the indie drama starring 56-year-old Puerto Rican actor.

Esai Morales

Morales stars alongside Laurence FishburneJuana AcostaJuan Pablo Raba and Edward James Olmosin the Paul Kampf-directed film.

Imprisoned was filmed entirely in Puerto Rico in 2017, and was among the last productions to shoot before Hurricane Mariahit and devastated the island. 

Cinema Libre will now return the film there for its world premiere on September 10, followed by a 15-theater rollout on the island September 12. 

The film will be released in select cities in the U.S. beginning September 13.

“It was important for us to hold theImprisonedpremiere in Puerto Rico, as the film has a powerful Latin cast including Juan Pablo Raba, Juana Acosta, Jon Huertas, Esai Morales and Edward James Olmos,” Kampf said. “Imprisoned was the last project filmed on the island before hurricane Maria hit in 2017 and we are proud to support and celebrate the revival of this special location.”

In the thriller, Raba plays Dylan Burke, who attempts to move on from his former life as a criminal with his true love Maria (Acosta). He soon realizes his past will continue to haunt him when he learns the new local prison warden, Daniel Calvin (Fishburne), has not forgiven him for a previously committed crime. Calvin frames him for a murder he didn’t commit, landing him back in jail. When the prison erupts into a riot, they are forced to make a choice between righteousness and revenge.

Equitas Entertainment Partnersproduced the film, and as part of their social impact aims included more than 30 formerly incarcerated and a dozen currently incarcerated men as part of the production. Eight of the current inmates will receive a pass to leave the jail and attend the premiere.

Equitas and Caribbean Cinemasare handling the Puerto Rico rollout.

Esai Morales to Star in DC’s “Titans” Series

Esai Morales has landed a Titan-ic role…

The 56-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast in the series Titans.

Esai Morales

He’ll portray Deathstroke, the fan-favorite assassin and archenemy of Teen Titans leader Dick Grayson.

The Titans, the first original programming franchise for the DC Universe subscription steaming site, launched in September and finished its first season in December. The weekly show follows the superhero squad that’s led by Batman’s former sidekick, Robin, aka Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), and includes the hot-tempered alien princess Starfire (Anna Diop), the mysterious empath Raven (Teagan Croft), and the green-skinned shape-shifter Beast Boy (Ryan Potter).

That Titans line-up of characters was introduced with much fanfare in the pages of DC Comicsback in 1980. The team, created by Marv Wolfmanand George Perez, didn’t have to wait long to find their signature antagonist: Deathstroke the Terminatorwas introduced in issue No. 2 of The New Teen Titans in December 1980.

The character bio from the show’s producers: “Slade Wilson is known for being DC’s deadliest assassin. While serving his country, Slade became an elite soldier before government testing enhanced his physiology to near superhuman levels, putting him on a path of darkness and revenge. To his family, Slade is a father and husband, but to the rest of the world, he is feared by many as the infamous Deathstroke; selling his services to the highest bidder as the ruthless assassin that never gives up and never misses.”

The character is well known to fans of the popular Teen Titans animated series from Cartoon Network as well as the show’s 2018 tie-in feature film Teen Titans Go! to the MoviesDeathstrokehas also been portrayed by Manu Bennett in 36 episodes of The CWseries Arrow while Joe Manganiello (True Blood) appeared as the assassin in the 2017 feature film Justice League but only with an uncredited cameo.

The DC Comics character represents an interesting footnote in Marvel Comicshistory. The character Deadpool, portrayed by Ryan Reynoldsin the popular R-rated Foxfilm franchise, was created by Fabian Niciezaand Rob Liefeldin 1990 as a thinly disguised version of the DC villain. Not only do the characters share similar costumes, Deadpool’s alias is Wade Wilson, which in fact rhymes with Slade Wilson.

Adding a bit more confusion, both Deadpool and Deathstroke have similar attributes to Deadshot, a DC Comics villain introduced in the 1970s and portrayed by Will Smithon the big screen in Suicide Squad in 2016.

Morales, rose to acclaim in his feature film breakthrough role as Bob Morales in Taylor Hackford’s La Bamba, the landmark 1985 biopic about Ritchie Valens.

Morales’ feature film credits include Bad BoysMi FamiliaFast Food NationThe LineThe Disappearance of Garcia Lorcaand Gun Hill Road, a film he executive produced and starred in. Gun Hill Road was a grand Jury Nominee at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2011. Most recently he starred in Sony’s Superfly and the indie film The Wall of Mexico.

Morales’ recent television credits include Ozark (Netflix), Mozart In The Jungle (Amazon Prime), Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), and Chicago PD (NBC). Morales also had notable credits over the years on shows such as NYPD Blue (ABC), Miami Vice (NBC), Fame (NBC) Law and Order: SVU (NBC), Caprica (Syfy), and Criminal Minds (CBS).

Esai Morales Lands Recurring Role on CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles”

Esai Morales is getting deputized

The 55-year-old Puerto Rican actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming tenth season of CBSNCIS: Los Angeles.

Esai Morales

Morales will play Deputy Director Gaines. Smart, authoritative, polished and trustworthy, Gaines accompanies a special prosecutor from the Department of Defense who is investigating the NCIS office and its employees. He is there to protect his people and advise them on how to navigate the prosecutor’s interviews. The character will be introduced in a late October episode.

“Following the rescue mission in Mexico from last season’s finale and this season’s premiere, our NCIS: Los Angelesteam will face challenging repercussions but they will have a new ally in the Deputy Director,” said executive producer R. Scott Gemmill. “We are thrilled that the talented Esai Morales has signed on to this recurring role.”

Starring Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa, Renée Felice Smith and Nia Long, NCIS: Los Angelesis produced by CBS Television Studios and executive produced by Gemmill, John P. Kousakis and Frank Military.

Morales, who rose to acclaim in the 1987 biopic La Bamba,was most recently seen in a major arc on Netflix’s Ozark and as a recurring on Nat Geo’s MarsOn the big screen, Morales’ credits include Sony Pictures’ Superfly.

Season 10 of NCIS: Los Angelespremieres Sunday, September 30 at 9 PM on CBS.