In January 1914, Pancho Villa became Hollywood's first Mexican superstar when he signed an exclusive contract with the Mutual Film Corporation. In return for $25,000, he agreed to keep other film companies from his battlefield, to fight in daylight whenever possible, and to reconstruct battles if the footage needed reshooting.
Pancho Villa's Division of the North conducted a raid on the small US border town of Columbus, New Mexico in March 1916. The raid escalated into a full scale battle between Villistas and the United States Army. Villa himself led the assault, only to be driven back into Mexico. The attack angered Americans and President Woodrow Wilson ordered the Pancho Villa Expedition in which the US Army invaded Mexico in an unsuccessful attempt to capture General Villa.