Film

Alfonso Gómez-Rejón’s Hulu Pilot Is a Superhero Origin Story Set in East LA

In case you’ve ever wondered how to go about securing yourself a sweet pilot deal with an upcoming streaming media empire, we now have a clear roadmap. First you have to start out as an assistant and casting consultant for Alejandro González Iñárritu, then you shift to directing a few dozen television shows and pick up a primetime Emmy nomination along the way. From there you direct a low-budget slasher flick before moving on to your second feature, which would have to set a record at Sundance for securing an eight-figure distribution deal and go on to win a handful of top prizes at the fest. Oh and if you happen to appear on the cover of Filmmaker Magazine afterward, all the better.

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, if in fact this seems like an entirely unreasonable path to creating your own television show, keep in mind that this is the CV of an actual mortal, and his name is Alfonso Gómez-Rejón. Naturally, since the Tejano director rocked the indie film scene with his above-mentioned second feature Me and Earl and The Dying Girl early last year, he has been something of a hot commodity in U.S. film and television circles and he seems to have parlayed that buzz into a pilot deal with Hulu.

Co-created with the team behind Blood and Oil, Hulu’s Citizen is being billed as a superhero origin story set in a “supernaturalized” East L.A. with elements of magical realism and gritty vigilantism. While the screenplay has yet to be written, Hulu has confirmed the casting of The Revenant’s Forrest Goodluck in the role of Guero, described as the charismatic and street-smart leader of a group called “Baby Narcos.” While Ismael Cruz Cordova, the Boricua actor best known for playing Mando on Sesame Street, just came on board as Chris Martinez, a cellphone salesman/drug dealer.

As of now, Hulu has only ordered the pilot, which means the project’s future is essentially in the hands of randomly-assigned focus groups. Either way, cheers to Hulu and Gómez-Rejón for not being afraid to get weird.

Forrest Goodluck in ‘The Revenant’