Amazon Studios has ordered a pilot for the drama series Once Upon a Time in Aztlan from STXtelevision, starring and executive produced by the 60-year-old Mexican American actor/comedian via his Travieso Productions banner.
Written by Javier Rodriguez, the one-hour drama revolves around a Chicano family in the deep suburbs of Los Angeles as they come to terms with the falsehoods of the American Dream, and their ability to defy expectations.
Rodriguez executive produces with photographer/director Estevan Oriol, LA-based artist Mister Cartoon, and Michael Connolly who put the Latinx package together under his STXtelevision-based Mad Hatter Entertainment banner. Matthew Carnahan joined the package in the writers room and serves as EP.
Ricardo de Montreuil is directing the pilot and will executive produce along with Oriol and Cartoon’s longtime collaborators Mark Suroff and Marco Valadez, who produced the hit documentaryLA Originals, which Oriol directed. Oriol’s work has been showcased in The Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, The Petersen Automotive Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Los Angeles’ and New York’s Art in the Streets exhibit, among others.
The project includes the participation of famed photographer Estevan Oriol and iconic Los Angeles-based artist Mister Cartoon aka Mark Machado.
Michael Connolly, under his Mad Hatter Entertainment banner, brought the elements together.
Lopez is in final talks to star and executive produce the project through his Travieso Productions, with Javier Rodriguez writing the pilot. Oriol and Cartoon will executive-produce.
“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Cartoon, Estevan, Jada and Michael for this series and developing a show with STXtv,” Lopez said. “Cartoon and Estevan are the DaVincis of our community; they have been the street chroniclers of our uniquely Chicano story … our American story. I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the team to expand their canvas to capture the diverse stories and people that make our culture and community so amazing, colorful and vibrant.”
This authentic L.A.-based series examines a family coming to terms with the falsehoods of the American Dream and their ability to defy expectations.
“I want to create a vision of Los Angeles inspired by my tattoos and murals that enriches and showcases the culture, opening it up to new audiences,” Cartoon said. “Putting together the dream team of Latino street culture and a collection of creative minds headed up by George Lopez, who is born and raised in L.A. and is an icon of our community. George’s experience and sense of humor acts as a foundation for this team.”
Oriol and Cartoon’s longtime collaborators Mark Suroff and Marco Valadez, who produced LA Originals, also will serve as executive producers with Connolly.
“I’m looking forward to developing this with Cartoon, George, Jada and Michael,” said Oriol. “STXtv truly gets what it takes to develop a real show that can only be made in LA. This is the dream team. Period. It doesn’t get more authentic than this and I’m proud and privileged to be invited on this ride.”
He previously starred in Lopez for TV Land and Saint George for FX. And he had a talk show that ran from 2009-11. While his hit comedy George Lopez, whichended in 2007, ran on ABC, STXtv will zero in on buyers in the cable and streaming markets.
Cartoon is L.A.’s legendary tattoo artist, designer and cultural icon whose stylish and influential global work has been featured on countless celebrities including Kobe Bryant, Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Lewis Hamilton, Snoop Dogg and many others. Cartoon also designed the logos for Cypress Hill and Eminem’s Shady Records, and his résumé includes cutting-edge designs for Nike, the LA Clippers and T-Mobile and others.
Oriol is an internationally celebrated photographer, director and urban lifestyle entrepreneur. Beginning as a tour manager for Cypress Hill and House of Pain, he developed a passion for photography as he documented life on the road to become hip-hop’s best-known chronicler; his work has been showcased in bestselling books, select galleries, and institutions, including the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives,Mesa Contemporary Art Center, Petersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ and New York’s Art in the Streets exhibit. He has photographed Eminem, Kim Kardashian, Cypress Hill, Dennis Hopper, Blink-182, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Danny Trejo, among many others. He most recently executive produced the film Lowridersand directed the hit Netflix documentary L.A. Originals.
L.A. Originalswas critically acclaimed and extremely successful, introducing new fans to the world to Oriol and Cartoon.
The 52-year-old Mexican American actor/comedian will star opposite Marisa Tomei in La Vida Robot, the true story adapted from a WIRED article about four undocumented Mexican-American teenagers who form a robotics team in Phoenix. They go up against the best from M.I.T. in the national robotics championship with an entry made from $800 and used car parts.
Lionsgate and Televisa’s Pantelion will co-produce the film with Lopez’s Travieso Productions.
In addition to Lopez and Tomei, the film stars Breaking Bad’s Steven Michael Quezada and Big Time Rush’s Carlos Pena Jr.
La Vida Robot is currently filming on location in New Mexico under helmer Sean McNamara.