Barbie Star Lands Directorial Debut With YA Adaptation

This Barbie is a director! America Ferrera is making her directorial debut to bring a best-selling YA novel to life.

Adaptations Book Culture Book News Pop Culture
Book cover for "I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter" by Erika L. Sánchez against a movie poster background.

Actress America Ferrera is adding director to her long list of achievements with the adaptation of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez. Ferrera has been signed on as director to the adaptation since the project’s initial announcement in 2021, but the movie is officially back in business after a brief pause from complications.

Let’s look at everything we know about the movie so far.

From Page to Screen

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a 2017 YA novel about a young girl chasing her dreams as a writer while escaping her older sister’s shadow. Julie Reyes has big dreams of going off to college and becoming a writer. But perfect Mexican daughters don’t dream of going off to college. And they certainly don’t dream of living behind their Chicago home or their immigrant parents. But Julie is eager to leave behind her judging parents and the shadow of her dead sister Olga, which Julie has to live up to every day. As she attempts to put her family back together, Julie may find out that Olga isn’t as perfect as their parents made her out to be.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican American Daughter cover by Erika L. Sánchez, the back of a young woman's head with braided hair.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

When the project and Ferrera’s attachment first broke in 2021, Ferrera spoke about her excitement for the project:

The depth, wit and searing intelligence of [Sánchez’s] writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more. I am truly honored and humbled to direct Linda Yvette Chávez’s beautifully adapted screenplay. The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.

via Variety

When Deadline first reported the film, it was set to release on Netflix. Now the adaptation has moved to Amazon, which will release the film through MGM Studios’s Orion Pictures. The original producer, Anonymous Content, and the original screenwriter, Linda Yvette Chávez, are still attached to the project.

The cast of Superstore standing in a line.
IMAGE VIA NBC

Ferrera has dabbled in the other side of the camera before. She directed a few episodes of Superstore, in which she also starred. But the adaptation of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter marks her directional debut for a feature film.

As of this writing, there is no set release date for the movie.


Want to stay caught up on the latest bookish news? Click here!

Need a new read and don’t know where to start? Browse our Bookshop store to find out what to pick up next!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / ABIGAIL CASWELL