Production is paused on the Netflix series ‘The Chosen One’ as colleagues mourn two actors killed in a van crash who worked tirelessly to promote the performing arts in Mexico.
The Baja California Department of Culture Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar died in the crash, which also inured six other cast or crew members, Thursday near Mulege on the Baja California Sur peninsula. Details about the injured victims’ conditions were not available Monday.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed production has been paused.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took the lives of Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González,” the spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News. “Our thoughts are with their loved ones and with those injured during this unfortunate accident.”
The van flipped after running off the road in a desert area. The crew had apparently been working in the nearby Santa Rosalia area at the time.
Details about what caused the crash were not immediately available.
The two actors killed in the crash were vital in Tijuana’s entertainment community and passionately promoted the performing arts in their home country of Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reported. In two Facebook posts, the Baja California Department of Culture expressed condolences.
Garduño was born in Mexico City. He helped with theater productions in Tijuana for years, a close friend told the Times, adding that he directed plays that took on topics like migration. His goal was to see the arts scene prosper outside Mexico City.
“Mexico City is a center point for politics and culture, and with theater you see that at an extreme,” friend Fernando Bonilla told the Times. “Ray was very focused on trying to transform that situation.”
González was described by a friend who spoke with the Times as a talented musician who eventually made the transition to acting. Known professionally as Paco Mufote, he portrayed a musician in the 2022 film “Contratiempo.”
Indie filmmaker José Paredes described him to the Times as a chameleon who could play any role.
The production company behind “The Chosen One” called the crash a tragic accident that happened on the way to an airport.
“All of us on the production of The Chosen One are shocked by the tragic accident that occurred last Thursday, while on transit from Santa Rosalía, Baja California, to the local airport,” said a spokesperson for production company Redrum. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González and are closely supporting all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.
“Redrum has been cooperating with local authorities and initial reports and accounts from witnesses indicate that all safety protocols were in place and this was an unfortunate accident.”
Netflix describes The Chosen One this way: “A 12-year-old boy learns he’s the returned Jesus Christ, destined to save humankind. Based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and Peter Gross.”
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Source: NBC Los Angeles