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Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez will star in and produce a film based on the 'Toxicomanía' podcast. Photo: Getty Images.
Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez will star in and produce a film based on the 'Toxicomanía' podcast. Photo: Getty Images.

A podcast about drugs jumps from Spotify to theaters

Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez will produce and star in a film based on his famous podcast, 'Toxicomanía.'

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“Did you know that drugs were already legal in Mexico? Toxicomania: The Mexican Experiment portrays the unusual story about the legalization of drugs in 1940 and the brilliant Mexican scientist, Dr. Leopoldo Salazar Viniegra,” reads the synopsis of Toxicomanía.

The narrative fiction podcast recounts real events about the struggle to legalize drugs in Mexico in the 1940s. It focuses, especially, on the story of psychiatrist Leopoldo Salazar Viniegra who played an important role in the approach to drug use in that Latin American country.

At the time, Salazar Viniegra's idea was considered preposterous by the international medical community and also earned him the rejection of medical students. However, the psychiatrist decided to raise his theory to the Mexican political class and presented his studies to then-president of Mexico, Lázaro Cárdenas.

Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez plays the role of Salazar Viniegra in the podcast, and is also a co-executive producer. Aída López and Rainn Wilson are also part of the cast.

“The series is based on the personal files of Dr. Leopoldo Salazar and La Castañeda, which was a psychiatric hospital where he worked and where he also lived with his family. We managed to obtain many documents such as his personal notes, and newspaper reports he wrote in that time which give an idea about his sense of humor. I had to connect the pieces of the puzzle and use my imagination,” Méndez said in an interview. 

In 2021, Toxicomanía became one of the most popular podcasts in Spanish in Mexico and the United States, reaching the first and second positions on Spotify, respectively.

From podcast to film

Due to its success, the podcast will now become a feature film. 

The movie will be produced by Cine Vaquero and Paramount+ Latin America.

The script will be written by David Gaitán, and Sebastián Hofmann is the director. 

Who is Luis Gerardo Mendez?

Throughout his acting career, the Mexican actor has participated in productions such as Narcos, Club de Cuervos, Mystery on Board, and Nosotros los nobles.

This year, he's working on the Paramount+ thriller, The Sent Ones, and a comedy series called The Resort for Peacock.

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