Playwright and screenwriter Tanya Saracho brought us the beloved though short-lived queer Latinx series, Vida, and now she’s bringing her work to the big screen with Mala Hierba in collaboration with production company, Anonymous Content. The Mexican-American storyteller will make her directorial debut with the film adaptation of her 2014 play off-Broadway play of the same name that opened at Second Stage Uptown in New York City. The news comes just weeks after Saracho launched the Ojalá Ignition Lab, in conjunction with her production company of the same name, to provide mentoring for Latinx writers. The film’s producers include former Vida EP Stephanie Langhoff, and Christine Davila, head of development and production at Saracho’s Ojala Productions, Deadline reported.
“Absolutely elated that I get to direct my first feature (based on one of my plays!) for the brilliant folxs at @anoncontent (mil gracias @dawnolmstead !!) with my sisters, producers @slanghoff & @chicanafromchicago,” she wrote on Instagram sharing the announcement.
“The play unravels the coiffured life of a Lone Star state trophy wife who begins to see the cracks in her life of wealth and privilege as her first and perhaps true love reappears. The possibility of a renewed life together for the two women forces the Liliana character to make a searing decision about what she wants and who she is,” Deadline reported.
The film is still in the works so no word yet on the cast or release date but we can be sure it’ll have a strong lineup of Latinx stars in the same vein as Vida. The groundbreaking STARZ series featured an all-Latinx ensemble cast and an all-Latinx writer’s room along with several POC in production as well. The series was also praised for its queer Latinx representation, Saracho also identifies as queer, and won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Mala Hierba will also feature a queer love story and the original stage play starred Marta Milans, Sandra Marquez, Ana Nogueira, and Roberta Colindrez.
Saracho is one of the most prominent Latinx creatives working in TV with the goal of amplifying Latinx stories so no doubt she’s approaching film with that same mission.
“Either the dominant culture is telling our stories and they tell two-dimensional stories about us or, we feel, sometimes, the need to squeaky-clean us or make us heroes,” Saracho told Indiewire. “But I feel like when you complicate, it’s more realistic. From go, I knew these girls were not going to be squeaky clean or perfect or even good. But real. The power to put that on television. We are the thing we are portraying.”