Honduran American actress, producer, and director America Ferrera is showing no signs of stopping in this new year. After starring as Gloria in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie in 2023, she recently was nominated for her first-ever Academy Award for the supporting role. Her next project will be her much-anticipated directorial debut I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a film adaptation of the best-selling 2017 young adult novel by Erika L. Sánchez. After announcing her intention to direct in 2021, the film is once again moving forward and is currently in development at Amazon MGM Studios’ Orion Pictures after being previously attached to Netflix. Chicana screenwriter Linda Yvette Chávez (Flamin’ Hot, Gentefied) will write the screenplay and Sánchez is set to serve as an executive producer on the project, according to Deadline.
“We’re back in business baby! And so excited to be in our partnership with @orionpictures !” Ferrera said in an Instagram post sharing the news. “Today happens to be my first day working in person with @lindayvettechavez in over 2 years and the vibes are high!”
Originally published in 2017, the novel follows 15-year-old Julia Reyes, whose “perfect” sister Olga died tragically, leaving Julia to be the daughter that her traditional Mexican immigrant parents now pin all their hopes on. Having always been the opposite of her successful sister in many ways, Julia feels like nothing but a disappointment in the midst of coping with her own grief. In the wake of her sister’s death, Julia slowly begins to realize that her sister isn’t the person she or her parents thought she was. As she sets out to try and uncover the truth about Julia, she also gains a profound understanding of her family and herself. The book was named a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature and the winner of the 2018 Tomás Rivera Award.
“In a conversation with Erika Sanchez who wrote I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter that I am directing, we talked about how our families, teachers, everyone around thought our different dreams and ambitions were just being delusional,” Ferrera previously told Latinx Spaces. “Nobody looked at me and thought you’re going to have a long, fruitful career. But it was with a little delusion and a lot of naiveté that I set out and try to accomplish my dreams.”
Sánchez, who released Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir in 2022, has been vocal about sharing her support for the film including the latest news. In an Instagram post announcing the news, Sánchez said, “I’ve been waiting to tell you that I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER the movie is still happening!!!!! We had some detours and I’m so grateful to finally dig in. Our studio is now @mgmstudios and I will be Executive Producer!!! 🤯😎😝 Thank you to my team and to my ancestors! @americaferrera Greta Talia Fuentes @lindayvettechavez are so incredible. I get to work on this dream with fellow Latinas and that feels historic to me. Thank you for the support.”
The project will be the first creative reunion for Ferrera and Chávez since collaborating on Netflix’s Gentefied, which Chávez co-created, Ferrera directed several episodes of, and the pair executive produced. No casting announcements or release date for the upcoming film have been shared yet but we’re already looking forward to seeing this powerful, much-anticipated project come to life.