Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former model, actor, director, and creator of the news conservative Conflix Studios Antonio Sabato, Jr. to the newsmakers line.
During the first hour, Sabato talked about what drove him to start his new movie studio Conflix Studios, directing his upcoming film Trail Blazers, and what it was like being blacklisted from Hollywood. He added that over 25,000 actors, make up artists, stunt coordinators, and the like have already inquired about working with the new conservative movie maker which has headquartered itself in Tampa, Florida.
Leahy: We are joined on the line by actor and producer Antonio Sabato, Jr. Antonio, welcome to the Tennessee Star Report.
Sabato: Hey, good morning guys. How are ya’ll doing in this beautiful weather we’re having?
Leahy: Yes, it is cold and icy and snowy. Now you were first noticed by performing as an actor on General Hospital. You have a very long and extensive acting career. But in 2016 you endorsed Donald Trump and you’ve been apparently blacklisted in Hollywood. Is that true?
Sabato: Yeah. Well, I endorsed our country, our flag, and our military. And when you do that and you’re conservative in Hollywood you are tossed on the sidelines. So what we did is I created my own studio which is Conflix Studios and we’re making our own movies. I’m actually right now in Oklahoma about below zero right now filming God’s Not Dead, We the People. It’s a feature film and the fourth installment of God’s Not Dead for Pure Flix and it comes out this year.
And after that, we’ll be in pre-production with Trail Blazers, which is a western action-adventure that I’m directing and producing with ConFlix Studios. My studio again, and we’ll be shooting that this summer probably in South Dakota or Texas. We’re not quite sure. But it’s an exciting time. When people put you on the sidelines sometimes and things go the wrong way you build up and God gives you a different side of life and you pick yourself and you go forward. And that’s what we’re going.
Leahy: So you ran for congress in California in 2018. You finished in second in the jungle primary there and then you lost by a little over 20 points in the general election. That’s a pretty good showing actually for a conservative in California. But now you’re a refugee from California. Is that right?
Sabato: Well, I would have won that but they used the Dominion thing. They illegally get votes and stuff. I actually would have won my seat in District 26 of Ventura County if everything was legal and done fairly. But the other side doesn’t play those rules. And we’ve seen in the last election and that’s the way it went. But I’m glad it went that way because otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing movies and television shows like I’m doing right now and created a conservative studio for a lot of patriots around our country. I mean we have almost 25,000 people that are wanting to come and work with us.
Leahy: Oh, wow. That’s great.
Sabato: It’s incredible.
Leahy: This is like a big challenge. How do you finance Conflix Studios? That seems to be a big challenge. How do you do that?
Sabato: You know God doesn’t play around. And last year he came to me and he gave me the vision to open up something to write the screenplay and to help a lot of folks. A lot of actors were blacklisted like me and that’s what we did. And we put in an amazing studio. I mean this is not a production company, this is a full functioning studio. And a lot of people want to do a lot of production companies right now and help, and be on the conservative side. But we’re going a lot bigger.
We’re opening up a studio in Florida right now in Tarpon Springs, right outside of Tampa where I live. We’re going to have sound stages. And everything starts to Trail Blazers this the summer. And especially this week we have about 30 different and investors who are looking at and actually coming more today tomorrow want to produce this thing with us.
And everybody’s coming on board. It’s quite amazing what God put into me and it’s bigger than life. This is an arc. This is a vehicle that’s going to allow people in the future families and American folks to keep doing stuff that we love. To keep promoting movies about the military. Movies about our cops. Movies about our flag. Movies about God. And so much more. So that’s what we’re doing.
Leahy: Movies that Hollywood used to make back in the Frank Capra days in the 40s 50s.
Sabato: Exactly. This is an old fashioned studio. This is for the people by the people. We have so many screenplays and people coming to us from makeup artists to stunt coordinators. You name it. Everybody from this industry. And they want to work with us because they’re just fed up and they want to go to work and make movies and make their families proud. And that’s what Conflix Studios is all about.
Leahy: I love that idea. By the way. I don’t have you seen Nashville is becoming a sort of a hub for conservative media. And Ben Shaprio’s company The Daily Wire now is in the entertainment business. And you see the actress who was fired by Disney because she put up, you know, one little Tweet up that they didn’t like.
Sabato: Gina Carano. There’s a part in the movie Trail Blazers and she’s actually reading it right now and I hope that in the next few days she tells me she wants to be in it. because I really want her to be in it. I’ve been working on this for a year. So I’m glad to Shapiro wants to follow us. And we probably are going to be co-producing something together. We’re the only studio around. Shapiro is a production company and he wants to make movies. I understand that. But I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m associated with a lot of people. So we’ll be working together.
Leahy: So here’s the thing come on up to Nashville when it’s not sleety and come on up here. We’ll introduce you to everybody here. It’s the center for conservative media these days and everybody’s moving here. And I know you’re already set up in Florida and that’s a great place too. Maybe set up a satellite office here in Nashville. How about that?
Sabato: Yeah. I mean, I love Nashville. My publisher is out there. We were just there talking with a bunch of people. There’s a lot of sound stages and a lot of good stuff that we could be doing. We will be working all over the place. Nashville will definitely be one of them. I love that city. I’ve shot several movies there. I love that place.
Leahy: Well, here’s the thing. We’re going to have a party for all the conservatives that are coming here and Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire and all the guys from The Federalist that have moved here. Rogers Simon. Roger Simon was a screenwriter in Hollywood. He was nominated for an Academy Award and he was blacklisted in Hollywood and moved to Nashville two years ago. He writes for The Epoch Times right now. So he’s here as well. And I’m sure he’d love to meet you. And if you have any need for help, he probably would want to help you out. Tell us about your movie Trailblazers. What’s who’s cast in it? What’s it going to be like?
Sabato: Trail Blazers, we have everybody from Robert Davi to Deana Martin, she’s Dean Martin’s daughter. We have Lorenzo Lamas and Scott Baio and the list goes on and on. And Kaia Jones is in it, which is one of my producers and my partner in Trailblazers and Conflix. This an action-adventure set in a western town back in the day. It’s a western but it’s God versus evil and it’s never been done before. The protagonist is God. This is a family of warriors fighting the forces of evil in a western town directed by me.
And it’s going to be amazing to portray these characters that are just bigger than life. They all have biblical names. This is an R-rated spiritual film and so much more. With love and family values and just the patriots that were fighting for something that’s bigger than them. And it’s a Trilogy. This is the first out of three. And God wants us to really step out and do something that has never been done before. And that’s what I’m going to be doing.
Leahy: I saw reports that perhaps Dean Cain has been signed to do this?
Sabato: Dean Cain is in it too and Kevin Sorbo has signed on. Like I said the list goes on and we can 29 cast members in the film. And there are a lot more people that want to come on board. So it’s going to be an even bigger cast. Like I said South Dakota looks like a good place and Texas looks like another place that we might be shooting at so. We are in pre-production. Deep in the pre-production right now. I have my crew.
Everybody’s coming onboard that God wants to be part of this. And it’s exciting. It’s exciting. I thought it was one movie right now, but now we have a studio and we have a lot of films and documentaries and animation and it’s really something quite amazing. And the country’s behind this. As I said, they’ve been wanting this for a long time and we’re the ones doing it. And God gave me the chance to do this. And I hope it’s something big. We are just so thrilled and blessed to be in this position.
Leahy: So you’re going to start shooting the movie the Trail Blazers. Sometime in the summer?
Sabato: We’re looking at June or July. As I said, there are so many cast members and they have their thing and they have obligations, and whatever. Governor Huckabee too. He’s a friend. I was there in Nashville doing a show. Maybe he’ll be in it too.
Leahy: (Laughs) What role will he do?
Sabato: I’ll write a role for anybody.
Leahy: Well if your writing roles, I’m available. You need an old Irish Michael Patrick Leahy. Grizzled Irish guy? (Chuckles)
Sabato: You’re going to be fighting a lot. There are fighting and shooting and stuff. It’s a very physical movie. I mean sure. If you don’t want to be in this one or you can’t, there are two more after it. There are plenty of roles.
Leahy: So tell us a little bit also about this blacklisting that’s going on in Hollywood. It seems to me from what you’re writing that there are a lot of conservative actors and actresses that aren’t getting roles. Now is that the case?
Sabato: Yes. They control the casting directors. They control Disney and the movie studios like that. They control the lives of a lot of people if you disagree with them. and and and how he was a beautiful place but is also full of a lot of darkness. We’re talking about pedophiles. We’re talking about people who have taken advantage of the system for such a long time with money and power and greed. And so they control everything.
They don’t care about movies making money. They are just making sure that they have the future of everybody involved and that’s not right. This is America is a free country. This is a God-loving country. So my studio is going to fight for that. and we’re fighting already. And they’re scared of us. They’ve been trying to shut down our website. That’s a good sign because the devil is alive.
Leahy: Can you stick with us through the break Antonio? I know you’re out there in Oklahoma. Can you stick through the break because I want to follow up on that if you got a minute?
Sabato: No problem.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Anthony Sabado Jr” and “Trail Blazers” by Conflix Studios.