Esai Morales In Talks To Star In Action-Thriller ‘Shadow’ Opposite Juan Pablo Raba & Natalia Reyes; XYZ Films Launching For Cannes

EXCLUSIVE: Actor Esai Morales is in negotiations to star in the action thriller Shadow, which XYZ Films has boarded and will introduce to buyers this week in Cannes.

XYZ acquired world sales — minus select territories — to the pic, which is inspired by true events. Colombian filmmaker Antonio Negret (Overdrive) is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Daniel Negret.

The film will begin production in the fall in Colombia. Plot follows a real-life Colombian police dog named Sombra (Spanish for “Shadow”) who, after piling up hundreds of arrests, became the cartel’s public number one enemy. As a result, a bounty is put on her head. After the cartel’s new leader sets a trap to abduct the dog, Sombra’s once reluctant handler must risk his life and career to save his partner.

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Cast features Colombian actors Juan Pablo Raba (Peppermint) and Natalia Reyes (Terminator: Dark Fate) alongside Kate Del Castillo (Bad Boys for Life). Renee Tab from Sentient Entertainment, Pierre Morel (Taken), Christopher Tuffin, and Jaime Hernandez (Sound of Freedom) will produce. Andy Schefter, Michael and Jeeny Miller, and Frank Kostenko will executive produce. The Sentient team is currently in post-production on Canary Black, starring Kate Beckinsale and Rupert Friend.

Previously sold territories include Latin America (CDC), Brazil (CDC), Mexico (CDC), Russia (Volga), Middle East (Selim), Korea (Noori), and Indonesia (PT Amero).

“After having spent a great deal of time in Colombia, I became incredibly passionate about and committed to telling important and inspiring stories from a regional perspective with local stars like Juan Pablo & Natalia,” said Sentient president Renee Tab. “I’m looking forward to once again teaming up with long-term collaborators Pierre Morel, and Antonio Negret (as well as his brother Daniel) to shape this true story into an action narrative inspired by a drug-sniffing German Shepherd named Sombra.”

Negret is best known for his debut film Towards Darkness, starring America Ferrera, which premiered in competition at Tribeca. His follow-ups Seconds Apart, a supernatural horror/thriller, was released by Lionsgate, and thriller Transit starring Jim Caviezel, was released by Silver Pictures/Dark Castle.

Raba is repped by The Gersh Agency and Jill Littman at Impression Entertainment. Reyes is repped by CAA and Jill Littman at Impression Entertainment. Morales is represented by Innovative Artists, Link Entertainment, Vault Entertainment and Feig Feinkel. Del Castillo is repped by Buchwald, Sweeney Entertainment and attorney J.R McGinnis. Negret is repped by Paradigm, Sentient Entertainment and attorney Eric Feig at Feig Finkel LLP.

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