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Netflix and ‘Chosen One’ Producer Issue Statements on Deadly Accident

Netflix and Redrum, producers of The Chosen One, released statements about a traffic accident in Baja California that killed two of their cast members on Thursday. Two other cast members and four crew members were injured but remain stable and have gone home to recuperate.

Netflix said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that claimed the lives of Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and those affected by this unfortunate accident.”

Redrum agreed: “All of us working on The Chosen One are shocked by the tragic accident that happened last Thursday while we were driving from Santa Rosalia, Baja California, to the local airport. We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González and we actively support all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Redrum is cooperating with local authorities and initial reports and witness statements indicate that all safety protocols were followed and this was an accident.”

Garduño and González played supporting roles in the series. Production has been halted but is expected to resume following an ongoing investigation and the end of the mourning period, sources close to the production said. Diversity reached out to the families for their statements.

Both actors, who are in their 40s, worked on the horror film Here Comes the Devil for Salto de Fe Films and Morbido Films. Its director, Adrian Garcia Bogliano, said: “Me and my producing partner at Salto de Fe Films, Andrea Quiroz, are heartbroken to learn of the untimely deaths of Ray Garduño and Paco Mufote. “We have fond memories of working with them, they were great professionals, incredibly talented and loved by the filmmakers and cultural community of Baja California. They will be missed.”

Mufote, better known to friends and family as Paco, was active in both theater and film, both of which he studied. His acting credits include Sleep Dealer (2006), Norteado (2008), Yan She: El Hombre que Espera (2010) and Here Comes the Devil (2012).

He has worked on various stage productions such as Cristo Light, Primero de Octubre and Oedipo Guey. He also starred in Chantal Gresse’s Lʻarpenteur, which was staged in Tijuana, Mexico and Rennes, France, and was featured in the National Geographic documentary series Locked Abroad.

Gardugno was known in Bach as a director as well as an actor and cultural manager with over fifteen years of experience in the field.

As a director, he has staged more than 10 performances, including “Kikiricheskaya”, “Sacrifice”, “Without Touch”, “Papa Esta in Atlantis” and “Dios es Ibiko”. Some of them have been presented at festivals and theatrical performances in Mexico, Latin America and Spain.

He was the founder and general coordinator of Theater Week for Children, one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind in Mexico. As an actor, Garduno has participated in more than 20 performances, films and TV series.

He is considered one of the most important and respected creators and promoters of modern theater for children and young people.

The Chosen One is an adaptation of the American Jesus comic book series about a 12-year-old boy who, after a bizarre accident, discovers that he is the reincarnation of Jesus and is destined to save humanity.

Variety spoke to the driver, who is familiar with the road where the accident occurred and has worked on other shoots in Baja. He noted that long, grueling hours for drivers are the norm for most Mexican industries, he dared to say. The crash happened on “the most dangerous stretch of road between Loreto and Mugele, full of curves and potholes,” he said. “There are a lot of accidents there,” he added. Logistics is a problem: the nearest airport, Loreto, is about four hours away from the filming location.

“We have lost two very loved people, we are all hurt,” said one of the actors, who requested anonymity. He said the set was a hybrid of union and non-union actors. “This is a very good project, it’s a pity that it was spoiled by people writing as if they know what really happened.”

The wake was held on Sunday evening (June 19) in Tijuana, where both actors are from.

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