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Jennifer Lopez to Star in 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' Musical Film Directed by Bill Condon

Jennifer Lopez

NEW YORK - AUGUST 20, 2018: Jennifer Lopez attends the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018, in New York. - Image (JStone / Shutterstock.com)

Jennifer Lopez is set to star in a feature adaptation of the 1993 Broadway musical "Kiss of the Spider Woman." The film, to be directed by "Dreamgirls" filmmaker Bill Condon, is based on the novel by Manuel Puig and the musical book by Terrence McNally. The story is set in an Argentinian prison in 1981, where Lopez will play Aurora, a fantasy figure imagined by Luis Molina, a gay hairdresser serving a sentence for allegedly corrupting a minor. The musical is known for its compelling narrative and complex characters, blending reality with fantasy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jennifer Lopez will star in the musical film "Kiss of the Spider Woman."
  • Directed by Bill Condon, known for "Dreamgirls" and "Beauty and the Beast."
  • The story is set in an Argentinian prison in 1981.
  • Lopez's character, Aurora, is a fantasy figure in the mind of a fellow prisoner.
  • The film is independently financed and currently casting for the role of Molina.
  • Rehearsals to start in February, with filming in April in New Jersey.

A Blend of Fantasy and Reality

The musical revolves around the character of Luis Molina, who, to escape the horrors of imprisonment, imagines movies starring Aurora as a classic silver screen diva. This includes her role as the spider woman, who kills with a kiss. The narrative takes a turn when Molina's cellmate, a Marxist named Valentin Arregui Paz, arrives, leading to an unlikely bond between the two.

Casting and Production Details

The production team is currently searching for an unknown actor to play Molina. The character is described as an openly queer and effeminate gay man, possibly on the non-binary/trans femme spectrum. The film is set to begin rehearsals in February, with filming scheduled for April in New Jersey.

Previous Adaptations and Accolades

"Kiss of the Spider Woman" has seen previous successful adaptations, including the 1993 musical and a 1985 feature film directed by Héctor Babenco. The musical won seven Tony Awards, including for best musical, and William Hurt won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Molina in the 1985 film.

Bill Condon's Musical Expertise

Bill Condon, the director, is renowned for his work in movie musicals. His credits include writing the screenplay for 2002's "Chicago," directing 2006's "Dreamgirls," 2017's "Beauty and the Beast," and co-writing the screenplay for 2017's "The Greatest Showman." He also directed both parts of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" and the 2019 thriller "The Good Liar."

Jennifer Lopez's First Full-Fledged Musical Role

Despite a successful career in both music and film, this project marks Jennifer Lopez's first role in a full-fledged musical. Lopez, known for her portrayal of the late Tejano star Selena in 1997's "Selena," is also set to release her ninth studio album, "This Is Me… Now," early next year.

Production Team

The film is being produced by Barry Josephson, Tom Kirdahy, Greg Yolen, and Matt Geller. Lopez, along with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina, are executive producing on behalf of Nuyorican Productions.

Conclusion

"Kiss of the Spider Woman" promises to be a captivating musical film, blending a strong narrative with powerful performances. With Jennifer Lopez in a leading role and Bill Condon's direction, the film is poised to be a significant addition to the musical genre.

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