Eva Mendes to star in Jakubowicz's 'South'

Eva Mendes, Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley will topline helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz’s “Queen of the South” (La reina del sur), an adaptation of the bestseller by Spanish author-journo Arturo Perez Reverte.

Elizabeth Avellan and Sandra Condito will produce pic while Winchester Capital, Spain’s Origen and Plural Entertainment will serve as executive producers.

Avellan, Condito and Jakubowicz are working under their new banner, Tres Malandros.

Jakubowicz, an L.A.-based Venezuelan filmmaker penned the screenplay with Albert Torres.

Story tracks a Mexican woman who escapes to Spain after her drug-runner boyfriend is murdered. Teresa becomes the reigning drug smuggler in Spain, bent on avenging her lover.

The female-driven actioner is set to shoot in Mexico and Spain starting September, according to Condito.

Jean-Luc De Fanti will exec produce with Plural’s Daniel Cebrian, Origen’s Antonio Cardenal and L.A.-based producer Sergio Aguero.

Jere Hausfater’s Essential Entertainment is handling international sales and will take the pic to the Cannes market this month.

Pic was originally set at Warner Independent where it went into turnaround.

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