Director Alejandra Márquez Abella‘s biopic for Prime Video, A Million Miles Away, starring Narcos: Mexico‘s Michael Peña, has started production in Mexico City. This inspiring tale is an adaptation of American engineer and former astronaut José Moreno Hernández‘s autobiography that chronicles the journey of a young boy’s dreams to the stars. Prime Video recently announced that the film’s cast is stacking up, with stars Rosa Salazar, Peña‘s Narcos co-stars Bobby Soto and Julio Cesar Cedillo, Veronica Falcón, Sarayu Blue and Eric Johnson boarding the project.
The screenplay for A Million Miles Away, co-written by filmmaker Abella with Bettina Gilois (Bessie) and Hernàn Jiménez, is based on the true story of former astronaut Hernández, who grew up working his migrant family’s farms at a very young age, traveling between 9 months in California and 3 months in Michoacán. In his autobiography, Reaching for the Stars, Hernández explains that in the very early hours of the morning he would head out with his family at the age of six to work the harvest, only to be swayed by the lure of the stars, far from the city lights.
Following the epochal moon-landing in 1969 (and watching episodes of Star Trek, naturally), he knew that the sky proved no limitation to what he was destined to do in life. Defying insurmountable odds, and with the unwavering support of his family, Hernández persevered through 11 rejections from NASA to become the first migrant farmworker to go to space.
Peña is set to star, and is known for his roles in Netflix‘s Narcos: Mexico, and by Marvel fans as Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) best friend and loudmouthed ally Luis in Ant-Man. Other credits include David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, Oscar-winning Crash and 12 Strong with Chris Hemsworth. Peña is joined by his Narcos co-stars Soto and Cedillo (Sicario); Salazar who plays Brenda in The Maze Runner saga, and stars as the titular character in Robert Rodriguez‘s Alita: Battle Angel; Falcón, who’s featured in Netflix‘s Ozark and Queen of the South; Blue (I Feel Bad) and Fifty Shades Darker‘s Johnson. Additionally, Jordan Dean, Ashley Ciarra, Michelle Krusiec, Emma Fassler, Michael Adler, Carols Sanchez and Isaac Arellanes round out the cast.
A Million Miles Away marks Abella‘s debut English-language film following her tense drama Semana Santa and her award-winning sophomore feature-length film The Good Girls, which takes place during Mexico’s 1982 economic crisis. Abella is no stranger to overcoming obstacles when the odds are stacked against you, giving her insight to Hernández’s own story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director “spearheaded Mexico’s Ya Es Hora movement,” to condemn gender violence, comparable to the U.S’s #MeToo movement. The film is being produced by Select Films‘ Campbell McInnes and Mark Ciardi, and is executive produced by Kyle Convissar and Benito Martinez.
As of right now, A Million Miles Away has no set release date.