The Border: E.J. Bonilla will play the lead role in the Cartel Trilogy at FX

“The Border,” premised on Don Winslow’s Cartel Trilogy, has been commanded by FX, with E.J. Bonilla leading the cast

A dramatic pilot based on three of the best-selling works of Don Winslow has been approved by the Disney-owned cable network FX. Shane Salerno is the author of The Border, which takes its subject from Daniel Zelman’s third instalment in his trilogy on Winslow’s cartel. It will look at the drug war on the US-Mexico frontier through the eyes of numerous individuals on both sides of the issue.

The Border
Nina Duncan/Michael Shelford/Sally Flegg/Courtesy/Jackson Davis

Art Keller, a Mexican-American DEA agent, will be portrayed by E.J. Bonilla. Sean Callan would be played by Frank Blake, Miguel Angel Barrera by Luis Bordonada, Nora Hayden by Annie Shapero, and Adan Barrera by Sebastián Buitrón.

Nina Duncan

The Border will be executively produced by Zelman, Winslow, Salerno, Diego Gutierrez, Bustamante, and Scott Free under the direction of Ridley Scott. Producer Anabel Hernández would perform as a consultant.

Anabel Hernández

The anime monster-hunter satire The Trenches from Drew Goddard, The Bends by Paul Attanasio, and the dramatic The Answers, as well as several other prototypes, are currently in development at FX.


The Border is a grand narrative that exposes the grim realities of America’s 50-year war against drugs. Through the interconnected stories of characters on both ends of the Mexican-American border, The Border debunks the common myths about the drug war.

The Border
Nina Duncan/Michael Shelford/Sally Flegg/Courtesy/Jackson Davis

These characters include a compulsively Mexican-American DEA agent, a youthful boxing promoter who usurps a drug business, a jaded teen who becomes powerful in the world of high-class escorts, and an Irish child from the roads of Hell’s Kitchen. As these individuals are drawn increasingly farther into the drug war and confronted with the boundaries of their morality, viewers join them on a raw, brutal trip through time.

The pilot, which is being made by FX Productions, will begin filming in Mexico in 2023.