Carlos star Edgar Ramirez was on the shortlist of possible replacements for Benicio Del Toro when the actor dropped out of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, but the role ultimately went to Benedict Cumberbatch. Now the much buzzed-about star has landed the lead in the next effort from Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly. Variety reports that Ramirez will star in Kelly’s Corpus Christi, a thriller set in 2014 that finds the actor playing an Iraqi war veteran with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The character forges a dangerous alliance with a wealthy industrialist in Texas. The film is said to be a departure for Kelly as it has a more traditional narrative than his past features.
Eli Roth and Robert Rodriguez are producing the pic, which will start shooting on location in Austin this July. Kelly followed-up the well received Donnie Darko with the confusing Southland Tales, which of course was followed by the disappointing sci-fi thriller The Box. While I’m dismayed that we haven’t seen anything from Kelly that matches up to the wonder and darkness of Darko, I’m intrigued to see him take on a more straightforward story. Ramirez is currently filming Kathryn Bigelow’s action drama Zero Dark Thirty which centers on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and he’ll next be seen in the sequel Wrath of the Titans as Ares.