Antonio Sabato Jr. was one of the few American actors who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election and soon found he was virtually blacklisted in Hollywood.
His agents and manager deserted him and work dried up so after a 30-year-career he decided to move to Florida and get a job in construction.
Now he plans a comeback, producing, co-writing, directing and starring in Trail Blazers, a Western about a band of brothers who were once outlaws and decide to turn their back on their old ways to fulfill their father’s dying wish.
Safe Harbour and Secret City star Robert Rabiah, who has been a mate of Sabato since they worked in Crawford Productions’ Queensland-shot series Tribe in 1999, will play Gabriel, his younger brother.
The brothers take refuge near a small town in Utah and quickly lock horns with the local Sheriff and his deputies.
Robert Wagner (Austin Powers, Dragon: The Bruce Lee story, The Towering Inferno) will play the father.
The other brothers will be played by Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda), Ronn Moss (The Bold and the Beautiful, The Bay), Scott Baio (Happy Days, Arrested Development), Lorenzo Lamas (Grease, Falcon Crest), Michael Dudikoff (Cobra, American Ninja) and Kaya Jones (The Devil’s Dozen).
Cast as their adversaries are Kristy Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, SEAL Team, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Dean Cain (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), UFC star Tito Ortizo and Costas Mandylor (Saw, Virtuosity).
Rabiah tells IF the plan is to begin principal photography in Arizona in late October, pending the end of travel restrictions. It’s being funded by angel investors with hopes of studio funding further down the track.
Robert Rabiah in ‘Safe Harbour.’
“It will be great to get back to work and some form of normality,” says Rabiah, who has completed the first season of The ShowBiz Podcast with Robert Rabiah and Joey Coley-Sowry, interviewing such guests as director Michael Rymer, producer Stephen Corvini, and actress Nicole Chamoun.
“COVID-19 has really battered our industry and many industries all over the world, so there is no work at the moment except the work one can safely generate on one’s own.
“I’m looking forward to working on Trail Blazers in late October, dusting off the acting cobwebs once the restrictions of this pandemic have been eased, and catching up with my old mate Antonio.”
Sabato has worked with many of his Trail Blazers co-stars. Among his dozens of credits are The Big Hit, Melrose Place, The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, NCIS, Scrubs and Ugly Betty
“I was the first celebrity to come out and talk about the president, and he had my vote from day one,” Sabato told Variety in March.
“I was blacklisted. I literally had to move, find a new job to survive and take care of my kids. It’s been terrible. It’s mind-blowing. It’s a disgrace.
“It’s tough, because if you’re in that environment in Hollywood and you have something to say that they don’t like, they’re going to let you know.”