Jeffrey-Dean-Morgan-joins-Jonás-Cuaróns-DesiertoRiding high on co-writing last year’s hugely acclaimed Gravity, currently a massive contender in the midst of the awards season, Jonás Cuarón is just a few weeks away from starting production on his sophomore feature in the director’s chair, Desierto.

Cuarón made his directorial debut back in 2007 with romantic-drama Year of the Nail, and will be moving into thriller territory this time around for his second film.

THR reports that Cuarón has now found his villain for the project, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan signing on to star opposite Gael García Bernal.

The film is centred on a group of illegal immigrants, one of which is played by Bernal, who try to cross the US border but run afoul of a man (Morgan) who has taken up border patrol duties in his own racist hands.

Cuarón will be directing from a script he co-wrote with Mateo Garcia, with the director producing alongside his father and Gravity collaborator Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón, and Alex Garcia, with Bernal executive producing.

Best known for his work on Grey’s Anatomy and his role as Edward Blake / The Comedian in Watchmen, Morgan has more recently been seen in Starz’s short-lived series, Magic City, which was cancelled after two seasons in the summer last year.

He’s set to be seen later this year alongside Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, and Anthony Hopkins in Afonso Poyart’s mystery/thriller, Solace, as well as Kristian Levring’s Western drama, The Salvation, alongside Eva Green and Mads Mikkelsen.

Shooting for Desierto will begin in Baja, California next month, and with the likes of Bernal and Morgan taking two of the leading roles, it’s definitely shaping up nicely.