With only a little over a month before filming was set to begin, Universal has killed off the Josh Brolin drama Cartel. Deadline reports that the studio was concerned about the budget, the script, and the complexities of shooting a drug-related drama on location in Mexico. No word if Brolin or anyone else was pay or play (meaning they get paid whether the film is made or not), but obviously the cost of pre-production is going to sting Universal.
Cartel was inspired by the 1993 Italian film La Scorta, and was about a father (Brolin) determined to protect his son at all costs after his wife is brutally murdered after mixing in the world of Mexican drug cartels. And the idea to shoot the movie around actual Mexican drug cartels who may not care for the way they’re depicted came from who now?
Hit the jump for a statement by Universal on the abrupt cancellation of the project.
Here’s what Universal had to say on shutting down Cartel:
“Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment ceased pre-production of Cartel today. As much as we had hoped to begin filming this spring in Mexico City, the studio and its producing partners did not feel it was creatively ready to move forward under the timetable and budget we had established. We thank all of the filmmakers, cast and crew for their work during pre-production.”