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Ray Mendoza & Alex Garland’s ‘Warfare’ Feature Casts ‘Reservation Dogs’ Star D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai

EXCLUSIVE: D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Reservation Dogs) has landed a leading role in the previously Untitled War Movie now known as Warfare from Ray Mendoza and Alex Garland for A24.

Woon-A-Tai will portray Ray Mendoza, sources close to production tell Deadline. Mendoza joined the Navy in 1997 and served for over 16 years as a Member of Seal Team 5 and a Land Warfare Training Detachment and BUD/s instructor. He was awarded a Silver Star “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Lead Communicator, Naval Special Warfare Task Unit-Ramadi, in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on November 19, 2006,” according to Military Times. He co-founded War Office Producers alongside retired Army Ranger Jariko Denman.

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Warfare is the second collaboration for Garland and Mendoza, who served as the military supervisor for Garland’s latest film Civil War set for release on April 12. The pair wrote and will co-direct the film. Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA and Peter Rice will produce. A24 will handle the global release of the film.

As Deadline previously announced exclusively, Charles Melton is also part of the cast.

Woon-A-Tai is a 22-year-old Oji-Cree First Nations actor who just wrapped work on FX’s Reservation Dogs from creator Sterlin Harjo following the show’s conclusion in September. His breakout role as Bear Smallhill earned him two Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

Woon-A-Tai’s other projects include Fitting In, a coming-of-age “traumedy” in which he stars alongside Emily Hampshire and Maddie Ziegler, as well as the indie thriller Only the Good Survive, written and directed by Dutch Southern. Both films premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. He also starred in Hell of A Summer, alongside Finn Wolfhard and Fred Hechinger, which premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Additionally, D’Pharaoh played a role in the digital series Normal Ain’t Normal, a dramatic, darkly comedic scripted series that explores the strange and surprising possibilities of post-pandemic life.

Among his other film roles, Woon-A-Tai appeared in Beans, an official TIFF 2020 selection and winner of Best Motion Picture at the Canadian Screen Awards. In this film, he portrayed a character with a darker side, adding depth to the story of a young girl coming of age during the Oka crisis in Canada, a historic land dispute between the Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, which lasted 78 days in 1990.

He is repped by Gersh, David Dean Management and Characters Talent Agency (Canada).

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