Two actors on the Netflix series The Chosen One were killed and six other cast and crew members were injured on Thursday after a van they were riding in crashed on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
The crash did not happen on set, rather it occurred while the crew was in transit from Santa Rosalía to the local airport, Netflix told the New York Times. According to local media, the vehicle flipped after running off the desert road near Mulege, southeast of Santa Rosalia on the Gulf of California coast.
Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar died in the crash, the Baja California Department of Culture announced Friday, the Associated Press reports.
Those who were injured in the crash, including two cast members and four crew members, were in stable condition as of Sunday.
Redrum, the production company behind the television series, has temporarily halted production, Netfliix told the Times.
The Chosen One is about a 12-year-old boy who learns he is the returned Jesus Christ, destined to save humankind, as described by Netflix. The show is based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and Peter Gross. Millar said on Twitter in late April that production had launched in Mexico.
In a statement released Friday via Facebook, Baja California state government confirmed that the two actors killed were Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar, who is also known by the stage name Paco Mufote.
“Our condolences to his family, friends and the Baja California arts community. May they rest in peace,” the government said.
Faisal Lutchmedial, a Toronto-based screenwriter who worked with González Aguilar in the 2021 short film Beneath Us, wrote on Twitter, “Paco was kind, caring, and sensitive, and this came out in his work.”
Lutchmedial added, “He was so well loved in the community and that was immediately clear for me as an outsider. I am so very sorry for his loved ones and all that were touched by his spirit. RiP my friend.”
González Aguilar, who was described as a “chameleon” who “could play any role,” is survived by his parents, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Cruz, an actor who also directed plays, leaves behind two children, Marina, 14, and Daniel, 26.
“For people who knew Ray, the first thing that comes to mind is that he was a family man who profoundly loved his children and his parents,” Fernando Bonilla, a close friend and actor in Mexico city, told the newspaper. “They were his priority.”
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing film, television, and radio employees, said it has been in contact with Netflix and Mexico’s actors union.
“We are investigating the circumstances with local production,” the union said. “On set safety is always our top priority. We will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that our members and others are safe in their workplace.”
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