‘The Umbrella Academy’ Star David Castañeda Circling Lead Role In Chalino Sanchez Biopic – The Dish

EXCLUSIVE: For at least the last three years, Latino Hollywood has been abuzz about a Chalino Sanchez biopic that has been in the works though nothing solid emerged — until now.

The new indie film Chalino will tell the story of Rosalino Sánchez Félix, better known as Chalino and “El Rey del Corrido,” an antihero who achieved superstardom and attained legendary status for his contributions to the popularity of the Regional music subgenre Narcocorridos.

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For the lead role, David Castañeda (The Umbrella Academy, Ballerina) was the standout among thousands of Latinos who auditioned for the role, sources tell Deadline. He has been circling the role for months with talks currently heating up, we hear. However, no deal has been signed. Production is said to be targeting the start of production for later this year.

The indie project was born at the 2020 Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, where writer Jesus Celaya earned the Latinx Fellowship for his script. Celaya penned the feature from Storyboard and will direct it. The film is set to feature Chalino’s music throughout including many of his hits.

Chalino was born in Sinaloa where he grew up surrounded by the violence prominent in the Mexican state. He moved to Los Angeles where he unintentionally found a new career in music. Although Chalino wasn’t known for his skills as a singer, he found popularity among the everyday man for speaking truth to power via his lyrics. Violence followed him into his adult years, and he was known for carrying a gun for protection while navigating SoCal’s criminal underbelly.

While he did find success as an artist, he had also made enemies. During a return to his native Sinaloa for a performance, he was murdered in cold blood in 1992 at the age of 31. Although allegations have been made against everyone from the cartel to the Mexican government for his killing, no one has ever been convicted of the crime.

Castañeda’s roles have unintentionally prepared him to play such a character. His film credits include David Ayer’s The Tax Collector (2020), the Ben Hernandez Bray-directed El Chicano (2018) and Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) written by Taylor Sheridan.

Additionally, the rising star — born in Los Angeles and raised in Sinaloa — is best known for his portrayal of Diego Hargreeves in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which will air its fourth and final season in August. Additional TV credits include roles in Most Dangerous Games, based on the Richard Connell short story of the same name; and most recently in an episode of Peacock’s hit series Poker Face, created by Rian Johnson and starring Natasha Lyonne.

Up next, Castañeda will appear in the Ana de Armas-led film Ballerina directed by Len Wiseman. The female-driven John Wick spinoff for Lionsgate will premiere in 2025. Additionally, he recently filmed a role in the Scott Free feature Trap House, opposite Dave Bautista and Bobby Cannavale.

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