Universal Pictures has pulled the plug on Cartel, five weeks before filming was scheduled to start in New Mexico. Deadline New York says that “there were concerns about the budget and the complexities of shooting a drug-related drama on location in Mexico.”
The studio released this statement:
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.
The drama was to be directed by Asger Leth from a script by Peter Craig. The mission movie would follow Ed Marker (Brolin) as he journeys to protect his son after his wife is brutally murdered in the gritty world of Mexican cartels. Brian Grazer was producing for Imagine.