By Bel Hernandez
USA Network’s TV pilot Queen of the South based on Arturo Perez-Reverte’s novel by the same name, begins production this January 16th in Mexico. The pilot order has been given to Fox Television Studios from a script written by Joshua John Allen, Jeremy Fox and Aaron Harvey.
Alice Braga (Elysium) has been cast as the title character of Teresa Mendoza, a beautiful young Mexican woman who goes into hiding when her drug dealer boyfriend is murdered. She ends up in Spain where she eventually takes up the trade and the need to avenge her lover’s murder. She ultimately returns to Mexico and becomes the leader of a cartel. Kate Del Castillo played Mendoza in Telemundo’s Telenovela La Reina del Sur, which in 2011 beat all English-language TV network shows in the ratings.
Hemky Madera (Weeds), Adolfo Alvarez (El Cocodrillo) and Justina Machado (The Purge: Anarchy) have also been cast.
In 2009 Perez-Reverte’s Queen of the South was about to be show as a feature film under the direction of Jonathan Jakubowicz (who most recently wrapped Hands of Stone which stars Edgar Ramirez & Robert De Niro). Attached to producer were Sandra Condito (Sequestro Express) and Elizabeth Avellan (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) when due to threats by the Mexican cartel the project fell apart. This time around there seems to me no such threats to contend with.
NBC Universal is the producing entity with other producing entities listed as Origen Producciones Cinematograficas S.A. Robert Ogden Barum (Lawless) along with Megan Ellison (American Hustle) are executive producing and producing respectively. Pancho Mansfield had also been previously announced as executive producer.
Queen of the South is slated to premiere in 2016 on the USA Network.