EXCLUSIVE: Muck Media announced today it is adapting bestselling Mexican memoir El Fixer for the big screen, the company’s first foray into narrative-scripted content.
Journalist Miguel Ángel Vega’s book chronicles “his journey from aspiring filmmaker to guiding foreign journalists working for some of the world’s most recognizable media brands into the darkest corners of the drug war over the last decade.” It’s an inherently risky business, because outsiders in need of a fixer want to “go where the action is,” not necessarily understanding the mortal danger they face.
As a description of the book put it, “Many North American, German, English, and French journalists are interested in covering the ups and downs of organized crime in Mexico, but the first problem is how to establish contact with drug bosses, huachicoleros, kidnappers, with some leader or another of organized crime. There’s no easy way to do this, so in Mexico, and all over the world, there are a select group of people who move on the razor’s edge in criminal networks without being criminals themselves: they are journalists, photographers, reporters known as a Fixer.”
Mariana van Zeller, Muck Media partner and host of National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller, will serve as executive producer on the film, along with Ángel Vega and Muck Media partner and Emmy Award-winning director Darren Foster.
“Fixers are the unsung heroes of the news gathering and documentary business. Most reporters know they’d be lost, or even dead, when operating abroad without the local producers they hire,” van Zeller said in a statement. “Miguel’s beautiful memoir is part thriller, part dark comedy and pulls back the curtain to reveal in harrowing and at times hilarious detail what it takes to get the story in one of most dangerous beats on the planet.”
Foster noted, “Every anecdote in Miguel’s heart-pounding memoir could be a film in and of itself. As our company branches into scripted content, these are the bold and original stories we want to tell. It’s about journalism, the media and our fascination with crime. All in a way we’ve never seen before — through the eyes of ‘El Fixer.’”
Muck Media’s previous work has come in the nonfiction space. Its credits include acclaimed documentaries American Pain (CNN Films/HBOMax), Mucho Mucho Amor (Netflix), and the award-winning documentary Science Fair (Disney+). Earlier this year, Muck Media premiered the series Menudo: Forever Young (HBOMax), and Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller was picked up for a fourth season by NatGeo. Muck Media’s animated short documentary The Originals, directed by Cristina Costantini (a Muck Media partner) and Alfie Koetter, is an Oscar contender this year.
The El Fixer project is being represented by CAA. No start date for production or target release date has been announced.