Diego Luna to Direct Michael Pena in Cesar Chavez Biopic

America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson to co-star.

Actor-director Diego Luna has cast ‘Crash’ star Michael Peña in ‘Chavez,’ his biopic of 1960s and ’70s civil-rights activist and labour organizer Cesar E. Chavez.

Variety adds that America Ferrera (‘Ugly Betty’) is attached in the role of Chavez’s wife, Helen, while Rosario Dawson (‘Trance’) will play Dolores Huerta, his right-hand aide.

Scripted by Keir Pearson (‘Hotel Rwanda’), the film depicts Chavez organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.

“This man inspired an entire community to see themselves as deserving of basic rights and to rise up against injustice,” said Luna. “The film will send the message that change is in our hands — Chavez did something everyone thought impossible with a fearless grace that magnetized an entire country.”

Production is scheduled for an April start in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Luna will produce alongside Gael Garcia Bernal via their Mexico-based Canana Films.