Jonas Cuárón, who co-wrote the award-winning Gravity with his father Alfonso Cuárón, has been tapped to direct an untitled Netflix feature film about the chupacabra, a legendary creature in Latin and South America folklore that is known for drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats (the word “chupacabra” literally means “goat-sucker”). Chris Columbus will be producing what appears to be a family film about the paranormal creature.
Deadline reports that Gravity co-writer and Desierto director Jonas Cuárón is set to direct an untitled chupacabra film for Netflix, with Chris Columbus’ 26th Street Pictures producing. Cuárón is penning the most recent draft of the script based on the original script by Marcus Rinehart, Sean Kennedy Moore, and Joe Barnathan.
According to Deadline, the still-untitled film “follows a teenager, who while visiting his family in Mexico, gains an unlikely companion when he discovers a young chupacabra hiding in his grandpa’s shed. In order to save the mythical creature, Alex and his cousins must embark on the adventure of a lifetime.”
Despite the fearsome lore surrounding the creature of the chupacabra, which is often spoken about in the same whispered tones as the boogeyman, this Netflix feature film sounds more akin to a family adventure film, which makes sense with Columbus’ production banner backing it. The chupacabra is an urban legend whose origins started in Latin America, with stories of the vampire-like creature spreading to Mexico and the rest of the world. Often described as a strange hybrid between a dog and a vampire bat, attacks from a chupacabra were first reported in the ’90s in Puerto Rico, with more reports of strange animal deaths spreading to the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Brazil, United States, and Mexico.
The film could be a great vehicle for Cuárón, who has directed two Mexican films in addition to his co-writing credit for Gravity. The filmmaker is still not as well known in the states as his Oscar-winning father, and directing a Netflix family film could boost his profile. Cuarón caught his big break when he helped co-write Gravity with his father, Alfonso. When that film become a massive hit, it open the doors for Jonas to try his hand at directing as well. His directing debut was the STX thriller Desierto starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Columbus is joined by his 26th Street Pictures partners Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe as producers. Brendan Bellomo is executive producing. The film is under 26th Street’s first-look deal with Netflix that was signed in 2018, a deal which has spawned films like the Kurt Russell-starring The Christmas Chronicles and its upcoming sequel directed by Columbus.
(Header image courtesy of a Spanish TurboTax commercial.)
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