Gabriel Luna, Nicky Whelan & Neil Hopkins to Star in El Rey Network's 'Matador'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

March 5th, 2014

Gabriel Luna

via press release:

EL REY NETWORK CASTS GABRIEL LUNA AS LEAD IN KURTZMAN/ORCI ORIGINAL,
'MATADOR'

NICKY WHELAN AND NEIL HOPKINS ALSO SIGNED FOR NEW ACTION SERIES PREMIERING
THIS JULY ON ROBERT RODRIGUEZ'S NEW CABLE NETWORK

New Series is First Project Under Recently-Inked International Distribution
Deal
With Entertainment One

Pictured Above: Gabriel Luna, Nicky Whelan, Neil Hopkins

New York - March 5, 2014 --El Rey Network announced today that Gabriel Luna
(Dance with the One, Bernie) has been cast in the lead role in the network's
second scripted original, "Matador." Nicky Whelan (Hall Pass, Scrubs) and
Neil Hopkins (Lost, Detour) have also been cast in the series which starts
production later this month and is set for a July premiere on Robert
Rodriguez's new cable channel.

Created by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced in association with
K/O Paper Products, the coveted writing/producing team behind Sleepy Hollow,
Fringe, Star Trek and the Transformer franchise, "Matador" will feature
Gabriel Luna in the title role of Antonio "Matador" Bravo; Nicky Whelan as
the female lead Annie Mason, Tony "Matador's" analytical and beautiful
control agent who serves as the head of a very small and very secret
undercover unit of the United States Government;  and Neil Hopkins in the
role of Noah, Annie's  brilliant but Awkward partner.  El Rey Network
chairman and founder Robert Rodriguez is set to direct the first episode
which will be penned by showrunners, co-creators and executive producers Jay
Beattie and Dan Dworkin.

Gabriel Luna is an actor/producer known for his roles in Spring Eddy, Bernie
and Dance with the One.  His television credits include roles in NCIS: Los
Angeles, Touch and Prison Break.  He can next be seen in the independent
films Intramural and Gravy.

Nicky Whelan can currently be seen starring in the second season of
Crackle's Chosen opposite Milo Ventimigllia.  She stars in Left Behind
opposite Nicholas Cage, out September 2014 and will next be seen in the
Terrence Malick film Knight of Cups. Nicky recently wrapped a showy
supporting lead playing Nadia, "The Hottest Girl in the World," in The
Wedding Ringer opposite Kevin Hart, Vince Vaughn and Josh Gad, set for
release in 2015.  Nicky Whelan first garnered attention on the Australian
hit Neighbours and has since been a mainstay in American comedy, with stints
on Scrubs, Workaholics and as one of leads in the feature comedy Hall Pass,
playing the object of Owen Wilson's desire.

Best known for his recurring role as Liam, the junkie rockstar brother of
Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) on the fan favorite series Lost, Neil Hopkins
also appeared on the Emmy-nominated Big Love and the Lifetime series Witches
of East End. In addition, he was seen as a guest star on series including
Grimm, True Blood, and The Mentalist. Last year Neil received rave reviews
in for his work in the 2013 indie feature Detour, which he also co-produced.
He is also the co-creator of the comedy web series Neil & John (with
long-time collaborator John Forest), which they are currently developing
into a TV series.   Hopkins is represented by SDB Partners and The Coronel
Group.

Irreverent and action-packed, "Matador" chronicles the unlikely rise of
Antonio "Matador" Bravo, a popular soccer star, who comes to be known as
much for his playboy antics off the field as his dynamic moves on it. But
what his fans and family don't realize is that it's all a cover--in truth,
he is a skilled covert operative executing missions for a little known
branch of the CIA. "Matador" has the kind of fame and notoriety that affords
him access to powerful circles of corruption and villainy. But, in balancing
the dueling roles in which he's been cast, he will be forced to confront the
question of his true identity...and it is this mission which will prove to
be his most dangerous.

"Matador" is executive produced by co-creators and showrunners Jay Beattie
and Dan Dworkin, alongside executive producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
and Andrew Orci.  Also joining as executive producers are Heather Kadin of
K/O Paper Products; Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey
Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.

Entertainment One Television (eOne) exclusively represents worldwide
distribution rights (with the exception of U.S. broadcast network rights)
for El Rey Network's "Matador" and other original scripted series created
for the U.S based cable network, to be announced.

About El Rey Network:
El Rey Network is a new 24-hour English-language network founded by maverick
filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.  Curated by Rodriguez and his artistic
collective, the network will unite the most culturally diverse generation in
history through fearless, badass and original content that awakens the
renegade in everyone.  The network's action-packed content is anchored by
original signature dramas, feature films, grindhouse genre, cult classic
action and horror/sci-fi.  El Rey Network LLC (www.elreynetwork.com
<http://www.elreynetwork.com> ) is jointly owned by Robert Rodriguez and
FactoryMade Ventures with a minority stake held by Univision Communications
Inc.

About FactoryMade Ventures:
Founded by John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, FactoryMade develops, produces
and oversees media and entertainment franchises in partnership with leading
Hollywood talent and global brands and investors.  The company founded El
Rey Network and Tres Pistoleros Studios with renowned filmmaker Robert
Rodriguez and Univision Communications, Inc.  It also forged a joint venture
with leading Mexican wrestling league Lucha Libre AAA and four-time Emmy(r)
Award winner Mark Burnett and Hearst Corporation's One Three Media.  It
executive produces a slate of scripted and non-scripted television shows
including From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, the remake of the cult classic by
Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, and Matador, an original production with
Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman.  Previously, the team spearheaded the creation
of Hasbro's film business and television business with Transformers, G.I.
Joe, Hasbro Studios and the Hub Network with Discovery Communications, and
created retail's first digital gaming and commerce platform HSN Arcade.

About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE: ETO) is a leading international entertainment
company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of
film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends
around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Spain,
Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
and South Korea.  Through established Entertainment and Distribution
divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution,
television and music production, family programming and merchandising and
licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats
and includes more than 35,000 film and television titles, 2,800 hours of
television programming and 45,000 music tracks.  Through strong
relationships with broadcasters and content providers, eOne Television
International has successfully sold eOne's original and third-party
productions to over 500 broadcasters in 150 countries, including key US
networks and international pay TV channels.

 
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