Drug Cartels Halt Production of Hollywood Film

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Eva Mendes-not wanted in Sinaloa

The ever-expanding violence of the drug trade in Mexico is now impacting Hollywood. Production of the film Queen of the South was called off last week after numerous death threats were levied at the director, Jonathan Jakubowicz. Starring Eva Mendes, Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley, the movie was set to begin filming in Sinaloa on Mexico’s northern coast, but now will relocate to Spain. Based on the international best-selling novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Queen tells the story of a Mexican drug moll who escapes to North Africa and then to Spain and becomes a major cocaine smuggler. The decision comes just as Telemundo plans to make a telenovela based on Queen of the South. Jakubowicz’s take on the Spanish-language TV network’s effort to make Queen was essentially “good luck.”

The news is just the latest to endanger film production in Mexico, which is a major contributor to the local economy. In 2005, the Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas-led Bordertown was forced to move production to New Mexico after its crew was followed and had their hotel rooms ransacked.  And in 2008, a member of the cast of the Paramount film El Traspatio (The Backyard) reportedly received a death threat accompanied by a dead lamb.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Mexico's Drug Gangs Drive Film Crew Out of Town (by Guy Adams, The Independent)
Mexican Drug War Hits Hollywood (by Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety)


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