While there are plenty of Mexican drug cartels in the news these days, there won't be one in your local theater. Universal Pictures has ceased pre-production of the crime drama 'Cartel,' starring Josh Brolin, five weeks before production was set to begin in Mexico City, according to a report in Deadline.com.

The movie, directed by Asger Leth of 'Ghosts of Cite Soleil' fame, was to have featured Brolin as a DEA agent out to avenge the murder of his wife by members of a Mexican drug cartel. While there are plenty of Mexican drug cartels in the news these days, there won't be one in your local theater. Universal Pictures has ceased pre-production of the crime drama 'Cartel,' starring Josh Brolin, five weeks before production was set to begin in Mexico City, according to a report at Deadline.com.

The movie, directed by Asger Leth of 'Ghosts of Cite Soleil' fame, was to have featured Brolin as a DEA agent out to avenge the murder of his wife by members of a Mexican drug cartel.

The film, according to the Deadline.com report, was canned because of script and budget problems and the issue of shooting a drug-related drama in Mexico, which has been rife with drug violence as of late, especially in the northern part of the country.

"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,'' read a statement from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. "We thank all of the filmmakers, cast and crew for their work during pre-production.''

Brian Grazer was to have produced for Imagine Entertainment and Peter Craig had written the script.

Universal has taken a hit at the box office in recent weeks: Two high-concept releases, 'Green Zone' and 'Repo Men,' have not produced substantial returns.

As for Brolin, he's set to star in the DC Comics thriller 'Jonah Hex,' scheduled for a June 18 release from Warner Bros.
CATEGORIES Movies