Oz Rodriguez’s ‘Miguel Wants to Fight’ is a comedy coming-of-age film on Hulu, centering around the titular central character and his complicated relationship with fighting. As a teenager, Miguel is surrounded by friends and peers who always get into stupid, inconsequential fights. Regardless of the same, he has never gotten into a fight himself. However, once his parents reveal that the family has to move cities, Miguel deals with the drastic change by deciding to get into an actual fight before he leaves town. Helped by his best friends Cass, Srini, and David, he tries to fight someone and has a startlingly hard time doing so.
The film features genuine, heartfelt friendships at its center and delves into the complexities of being a teenage Latino boy. Although the story ventures into fantastical comedy through absurd, referential dream sequences, the narrative maintains a sense of realism through compelling and authentic characters and storylines. Due to the same, viewers must be wondering whether ‘Miguel Wants to Fight’ has any roots in real life. If so, here is everything we know about the same!
Is Miguel Wants to Fight a True Story?
No, ‘Miguel Wants to Fight’ is not based on a true story. The film is a fictional story written by Jason Concepcion and Shea Serrano with Oz Rodriguez, best known for his 2020 comedy horror film ‘Vampires vs. the Bronx,’ as the director. His inclusion into the project was a swift and easy decision considering he agreed to direct the film the same day he got the script. Being a self-proclaimed fan of action movies, this film, which pays homage to several classics, got Rodriguez invested in the story from the get-go.
Additionally, Rodriguez’s own experiences helped him connect to Miguel as an action-loving yet pacifist teenager. The same helped the Emmy-winning director recognize the potential within the story and its social significance. Even though the film does not feature any characters or events based on reality, the overall theme of self-discovery and violence as intertwined things for a teenage boy reflects the lived experiences of many individuals.
While creating a socially relevant world within his fictional story, Rodriguez was intentional about carefully crafting an entertaining tale that would ensure a good time for the viewers. Yet, at the same time, he also wanted his film to be a relatable story that teenagers, especially Latino boys, could turn to and find an authentic representation of themselves in.
The director discussed the ultimate message he hoped to send out with his film in an interview with The Knockturnal and said, “[But] I think if kids can relate to the character and just, in the end, take away that A, it’s ok to be yourself, especially if that person is someone who doesn’t want to get into a fight and just how special it is to be surrounded with a good group of friends who will stand up for you if you want to fight or not want to fight.”
Thematic resonance aside, the film also shares many visual familiarities with old action movies to honor them and showcase their significance in Miguel’s life. For once, there is a noticeable relation between ‘Miguel Wants to Fight’ and the 1979 film ‘Game of Death’ starring Bruce Lee. Rodriguez reportedly took some inspiration from Lee’s action movies for this film, and the martial arts legend’s influence on the story is apparent from the classic yellow jumpsuit to the movie posters.
Similarly, the film references the 1999 film ‘Matrix,’ particularly the dojo scene between Keanu Reeves’ Neo and Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus. Besides that, anime fans will also catch a could-be nod to the infamous ‘One Punch Man‘ series. In that regard, ‘Miguel Wants to Fight’ utilizes several renowned media to evoke a sense of familiarity within the audience and convey the significance of fighting in Miguel’s life. The same, paired with the narrative’s strong connections to the mundane reality of life, infuses the fictional film with several realistic elements.
Read More: Where Was Miguel Wants to Fight Filmed?