Miss Bala, the 2011 Gerardo Naranjo drama that debuted at Cannes and was Mexico’s entry for the 2012 foreign language Oscar, is getting an English-language remake. Before you scoff at an Americanized retelling of a Mexican modern classic (fair), the Sony film boasts a predominantly Latinx cast and crew and stars Jane the Virgin herself, Gina Rodriguez. For those not in the know: Miss Bala tells the story of a woman who witnesses a murder, is kidnapped and forced into a world of organized crime, smuggling money for a drug cartel in Tijuana. Apparently it’s asking too much to make a Mexican-American movie about anything other than drug cartels, but I digress.
Rodriguez spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the role, her pivot to action star and, of course, representation (emphasis my own):
I had been dying to do action for so long, and it’s very difficult because people of color don’t have as many opportunities. And that’s not even like a ‘Woe is me.’ That’s just a reality, and that’s okay. That has been a reality of mine for many, many, many years. [With Miss Bala], Sony made a big-budget action film with a 95 percent Latinx cast and 95 percent Latinx production crew. It’s revolutionary. It’s just really great to live in these spaces that for so long I didn’t have the opportunity to.”
95%! She continues:
“The opportunity to make this with my fellow Latinos and Latinas was next-level. I’m like, ‘They’re going to let us do this?! They’re going to let us be in front of and behind the camera and they’re going to give us money to make this?!’ This is inclusivity. This is what I’m talking about.”
Miss Bala hits theaters February 1, 2019.