Death threats from Mexican gangs have reportedly persuaded the makers of Queen of the South, an adaptation of a popular pulp novel about murder and revenge among Latino mafiosos, to not only abandon shooting in Mexico but shut down altogether.
Queen of the South costars Josh Hartnett, Eva Mendes, Ben Kingsley.
The initial graph in Guy Adams‘ 3.29 story Independent story reports that the death threats led director Jonathan Jakubowicz and his producers to abandon plans to shoot in the Mexican coastal region of Sinaloa.
But a followup graph says “the plug has now been pulled on the project. Adams then posts a statement from Jakubowicz, to wit: “I’ve worked really hard to make this beautiful movie, but the safety of my family and my team comes first. Making this movie [would have] put us all at risk, not only in Mexico but in the U.S.”
Queen of the South costars/would have costarred Eva Mendes, Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley.
“Jakubowicz and his family apparently received threats while at home in Los Angeles,” the story says. “The shaken filmmaker this week warned colleagues to think twice before attempting to take on similar projects. “I beg those involved to be responsible and mindful of the dangerous territory the subject matter inevitably gets them into,” he said.
Adams writes that “the news will heighten fears that Hollywood production, which has become a growing contributor to the Mexican economy, may disappear from the country, amid the surge in violence which has killed nearly 7,000 people in the past year.
“Many other Hollywood producers, who may be tempted to shoot south of the border because of lower production costs and tax incentives, are also now starting to think twice. Security has been a growing problem since 2005, when Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas‘s Bordertown was forced to move production to New Mexico after its crew was followed and had their hotel rooms ransacked.
Queen of the South might (I say “might”) have been a good thing for Mendes — the part of Teresa Mendoza would basically be that of a female Tony Montana.
Publisher’s Weekly describes Arturo Perez-Reverte‘s Queen of the South novel as follows: “The gritty world of drug trafficking in Mexico, southern Spain and Morocco, offering a frightening, fascinating look at the international business of transporting cocaine and hashish as well as a portrait of a smart, fast, daring and lucky woman, Teresa Mendoza.
“As the novel opens, Teresa’s phone rings. She doesn’t have to answer it: the phone is a special one given to her by her boyfriend, drug runner and expert Cessna pilot G√ºero D√°vila. He has warned her that if a call ever came, it meant he was dead, and that she had to run for her own life. On the lam, Teresa leaves Mexico for Morocco, where she keeps a low profile transporting drug shipments with her new lover.
“But after a terrible accident and a brief stint in prison, Teresa’s on her own again. She manages to find her way, but Teresa is no mere survivor: gaining knowledge in every endeavor she becomes involved in and using her own head for numbers and brilliant intuition, she eventually winds up heading one of the biggest drug traffic rings in the Mediterranean.
“Spanning 12 years and introducing a host of intriguing, scary characters, from Teresa’s drug-addicted prison comrade to her former assassin turned bodyguard, the novel tells the gripping tale of ‘a woman thriving in a world of dangerous men.’”