Producer Moctesuma Esparza ("Ballad of Gregorio Cortez") has mixed feelings after interviewing some 200 actors for four starring Latino roles in "The Milagro Beanfield War," which Robert Redford plans to direct. The good news is that the project, based on a 1974 novel by John Nichols about a small New Mexico town's political battle for water rights, seems to finally be sprouting at Tri-Star Pictures.
"But it's also pretty sad, because I am looking at so many sample reels of actors who only have gang, prostitute or other roles that are so typical of Latino stereotyping," Esparza said. "That makes it difficult to gauge the range of these people."
After announcing open casting last month, Esparza received more than 2,000 submissions of photos and resumes for the parts--three male and one female. He's narrowed his choices to 60 and will send their tapes to Redford for review. David Ward is finishing the final rewrite. A shooting date hasn't been announced.