The drug war is about to get a sci-fi remake. Think Transformers meets Traffic meets Terminator. Now think Machete. Now think Machete plus 25 pounds.
The movie Juarez 2045 which is trying to raise $150,000 for special effects via Kickstarter, promises to deliver a futuristic take on the illegal flow of U.S. firearms to Mexico, which is empowering drug cartels and fueling violence south of the border.
Director Chris Le has launched a trailer for his Juarez 2045 film project starring Mexican-American actor Danny Trejo in the role of Angel Malvado, a narco who uses pirated technology built by a U.S. robotics and weaponry company to take control of his country’s border states. Now it’s up to a U.S. Marine unit to bring down Malvado and his army of robotic sicarios.
“I started out watching all these cartel documentaries and heard stories of how narcos kidnapped scientists to build submarines and establish their own cellular networks,” filmmaker Chris Le told Fusion. That was his inspiration for the film.
Le, who got immersed in Latino culture helping his father shoot quinciañera videos in Utah, said he’s trying to show just how far he thinks cartels could take the drug war.
“It seems real possible that only a couple decades down the road, with the war on drugs still growing, they would buy this type of technology,” he says. “Guns are nothing compared to technology. Cartels are already using cybertechnology.”
To craft the film’s look, Le studied Mexico's Santa Muerte cult extensively.
“One of my assistants actually practices Santa Muerte and we really got into it up to the point where we wouldn’t use certain type of art in the film because it could bring bad luck,” the director says.
Le also studied "El Chapo" Guzman and other real-life drug lords, but claims Danny Trejo’s character is nothing like them. “He’s always coked up and is not that smart,” he says of his protagonist.
The filmmaker says Juarez 2045 does not intend to glorify the drug war.
Le’s project comes at a time where the movie industry once again seems fixated on narco violence. Both independent and Hollywood filmmakers are exploring drug-war drama.
Netflix is set to release an original series titled Narcos, based on the life and times of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his infamous Medellin Cartel. And in September acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario will be released starring Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin.