Which one of the following actresses would you like to see playing a badass drug kingpin: Jennifer Lopez, Eva Mendes or Penélope Cruz? I ask this question because those are the three names currently circling the lead role in Queen of the South. Warner Independent has just nabbed Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express) to helm the film, which revolves around a "Mexican woman who escaped Spain after her drug mule boyfriend is killed, then becomes a drug kingpin and seeks revenge for her boyfriend's murder." Based on Arturo Perez-Reverte's novel, they're calling this one a female version of Scarface -- which automatically piques my interest -- and appears to be one of the more sought-after female roles out there right now.
If you want my opinion, I'd have to say J-Lo is the frontrunner here. Cruz is too cute and fragile, and Mendes hasn't shown me enough range to take on a role like this -- whereas Lopez is a pretty decent actress when she's given the right material. I know folks love to bash Lopez, but I thoroughly enjoyed her in Out of Sight, really liked her in the soon-to-be-released Bordertown (check out my Berlinale review of that film here), and heard lots of good things about her performance in the upcoming El Cantante. But as a woman with a huge fanbase (who also has a music career to worry about), is "drug kingpin" dangerous territory from a PR standpoint? Would you J-Lo fans like to see her in a role like this? And if not, who would you choose to play the female Scarface? Perhaps we should just dress Pacino in drag, a la Travolta in Hairspray -- whaddya think?