Gael García Bernal to Star in Jonás Cuarón’s Immigration Series for Showtime

Lead Photo: Jonas Cuaron and Gael Garcia Bernal attend screening of 'Desierto' on October 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Jonas Cuaron and Gael Garcia Bernal attend screening of 'Desierto' on October 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
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With his new film Museo looking at Mexico’s colonial history and recently joining the Penélope Cruz spy drama Wasp Network, Gael Garcia Bernal is a busy man only getting busier. It’s being reported that the Mexican actor is teaming up to star and executive produce with past collaborator Jonás Cuarón on an untitled immigration drama for the Showtime network.

The story will follow an undocumented Mexican immigrant named Marco, played by Bernal, who impersonates an immigration officer to save his wife who has been detained by ICE. The series is being described as an “emotional thriller” involving Marco’s double life and how it affects himself and his family. Showtime has committed to producing a pilot episode which, if strong enough, could be greenlit for a full series.

The drama is inspired by Ecuadorian DREAMer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio‘s memoir, Undocumented America. Villavicencio came to prominence after being the first undocumented student admitted to Harvard’s undergraduate and Yale’s Ph.D. program.

Though the show could still be canceled outright it sound fascinating. It would mark Bernal’s return to a television platform after the conclusion of his Golden Globe-winning series Mozart in the Jungle. It also marks the second collaboration between Bernal and Jonás Cuarón. The two worked together on the 2015 film Desierto about a group of immigrants facing attacks from a vigilante while trying to cross the border. The two are also working on a new take on the Zorro character, known only as Z.

Right now numerous networks are talking about making narratives about undocumented immigrants, though several of them are still in the development phase. Hopefully, the strength of Bernal and Cuarón’s names, coupled with Villavicencio’s work will get this greenlit and released to the masses.