20th Century Pilot ‘Deli Boys’ Wraps in Chicago This Week; ‘Ms. Maisel’ Star Leads Cast

Chicago is heading into November strong, with a flurry of new production in town. 20th Century Studios is currently filming its latest pilot, Deli Boys. SCREEN announced earlier this fall that the pilot shoot dates are October 26th through November 5th. Here are the latest updates on the project…

Deli Boys centers on the story of two brothers carrying on the legacy of “Baba,” their deceased but ever-present father.

Cast Announced for Deli Boys

The cast for the Deli Boys pilot will be led by Asif Ali, Saagar Shaikh, and Alfie Fuller, according to Deadline. Actor and comedian Asif Ali (Don’t Worry Darling, Wandavision) will play Mir Dar, a hardworking son whose eager to impress his father, Baba — a scrappy immigrant who arrived in the U.S. broke and built an empire from scratch. Ms. Marvel actor Saagar Shaikh will play Mir’s brother Raj, who’s a pot-smoking and entitled playboy who lives the high life on his father’s millions.

Best known for her work in the critically acclaimed The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, Alfie Fuller has also been cast to play Prairie, Raj’s shaman, an “Afro-futurist” hipster who lives with him and various other hangers-on in stoner heaven luxury.

Asif Ali, Alfie Fuller, Saagar Shaikh lead the cast of Deli Boys. Photo Credits: Deli Cruz/Justine Castle

Nisha Ganatra Leads Behind the Camera

The pilot was written by Abdullah Saeed and will be directed and executive produced by Nisha Ganatra. Besides Saeed, other EPs are Jenni Konner, Vali Chandrasekaran and Nora Silver.

Ganatra was awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for film craft. She directed the Sundance hit film Late Night starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling and most recently, Welcome to Chippendales for Hulu.

Here is a look at the trailer for Late Night

The Bear, Chicago P.D. Veterans Join the Pilot

The Director of Photography for Deli Boys is Chicago cinematographer and DePaul grad Andrew Wehde. Wehde most recently filmed the FX series The Bear and will be back in February for Season Two. In the meantime, Wehde will lens the Deli Boys pilot this month.

Here is a recent chat with Wehde on his approach behind the camera with the DePaul Society of Cinematographers…

Wehde is also renowned for his work as cinematographer of the festival darling and critics’ pick Either Grade, directed by Bo Burnham…

Also leading the Deli Boys project from the Chicago television ranks is Rosemary Orlando, who will be serving as Production Coordinator. Orlando was on Chicago P.D. as Co-Production Coordinator for 32 episodes and her credits include Leverage and the dearly departed FOX series The Mob Doctor.

#OneChicago Veteran Heads the Production Team

SCREEN can also confirm Bob Rolsky, former Unit Production Manager for NBC series Chicago P.D., is leading this pilot as UPM. Rolsky served as UPM for a whopping 80 episodes of the beloved #OneChicago series.

There are more updates ahead for Deli Boys as the pilot heads into post-production next week. A decision on the pilot is expected in early 2023. If picked up, the series will air on Hulu, according to Deadline.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for the latest in Chicago and Illinois television production. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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