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‘I’m working – I’m very fortunate’: TV, film projects continue for Eric Edelstein, Andrew DeCesare

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 8, 2021

Film and TV productions are shut down due to California mandates. It remains to be seen how that will impact TV and film releases. However, the show will go on. A number of notable TV and film projects will hit screens. A couple of Los Angelenos with Spokane roots aren’t letting the coronavirus get in the way of productivity.

Gonzaga alumnus Eric Edelstein is less than thrilled to leave the audio production facility in his home. Edelstein continues to focus on voice work, including “Baby Shark,” and a forthcoming Disney gig that has yet to be announced.

However, when the former play-by-play announcer of the Zags men’s basketball team was offered a part in “Creepshow,” he immediately accepted even though it meant flying to Atlanta.

“I was not crazy about boarding a plane and flying to a state that doesn’t take the coronavirus as serious as it should,” Edelstein said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “I picked up an N95 mask with charcoal filters and never took it off for a second on the flight, and all was fine.

“I’m so excited about my work in ‘Creepshow.’ I never get to play a part like this. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

“Creepshow” is slated to air during the spring. “It’s going to be fun to watch,” Edelstein said. “I love the director, Joe Lynch. He saw me as Griz in ‘We Bare Bears.’ Check out the effects. Greg Nicotero, who is the special-effects guy, is a legend. Greg’s work on ‘The Walking Dead’ (as special makeup effects supervisor and director) is as good as it gets.

“I couldn’t be more excited about ‘Creepshow.’ ” Well, that might not be accurate judging by how effusive Edelstein is about a gig that has yet to be leaked.

“I can’t believe it, but I’m a recurring character on a Disney cartoon,” Edelstein said. “It hasn’t been announced yet.

“I get to play an honest-to-goodness Disney character! I’m thrilled. The great thing is that I can do voices right here at home. I’m working. I’m very fortunate.”

Andrew DeCesare

The same can be said for filmmaker and Cheney native Andrew DeCesare, who is about to work in the stunts department on director Michael Bay’s remake of the Danish film “Ambulance,” about two brothers who steal an ambulance.

“I love Michael – he is a challenge to work with, but the best of the best always are,” DeCesare said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “He constantly challenges and pushes everyone to be at their best constantly. It really sets the bar high for the film but also for yourself. By the end of the project, you walk away a better film professional.

“I love the idea of taking a project that exists and adding a new take on it. ‘Ambulance’ is a film that is funny and well done for its time. With Bay at the head, it will get that action, edge-of-your-seat film while also delivering a fun story for the audience.”

There are more projects DeCesare worked on last year that will see the light of day in 2021. After focusing on writing for most of the summer and fall, DeCesare provided additional photography on the film “Morbius” and worked on the second unit for Marvel’s “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

Each has a tentative release date, the former in April and the latter during the summer. Other projects that DeCesare has been working on with his business partners at 5150 Action Productions might see the light of day this year, as well.

“We have three features and one TV show that are prep, budgeted, scheduled and ready to go,” he said. “We are working on attaching actors and funding to get the green light from a distribution company. Fingers crossed things in L.A. start to move back to normal soon.”

Due to the mandate in Los Angeles, DeCesare couldn’t return home to visit his parents and friends. “I did not return for the holiday,” DeCesare said. “Sadly with COVID spreading down here at rapid speed, I felt it was my duty to society to remain in Los Angeles.”

A number of films and shows produced before the pandemic will finally be released. There is an inspiring high school wrestling film shot in the Inland Northwest. It’s not a remake of the underrated “Vision Quest,” which was shot in Spokane a generation ago.

“The Last Champion,” filmed in Moscow, Pullman, Colton and Garfield in 2017, is available on Amazon Prime. The film stars Cole Hauser (“Good Will Hunting,” “Yellowstone”) as a former high school wrestler who had a chance to make the Olympic team. However, his dream was dashed by a poor decision, and he becomes the high school’s wrestling coach.

There are a number of other TV shows and films to look forward to this year. “The Many Saints of Newark,” a “Sopranos” prequel, will finally hit screens. The long-awaited David Chase film, first slated to hit screens in September, has considerable buzz and will finally drop in March.

Another highly anticipated March release is “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to “Coming to America.” Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles. Murphy once again plays four characters.

Season 3 of the surprisingly entertaining “Cobra Kai” is on Netflix. The show flips the hit film, “The Karate Kid,” which was a smash a generation ago. Bully Johnny is now down on his luck, and the nice guy who finished first, Daniel, is on top of the world – for now.

“Mr. Mayor,” which debuted Thursday, looks like another sitcom winner for Ted Danson, who stars, and for Tina Fey, who created the show. Danson plays a wealthy man who runs and wins the L.A. mayoral election.

Ed Condran can be reached at (509) 459-5440 or at edc@spokesman.com.

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