Tonatiuh, Diego Luna Board Jennifer Lopez-Led Kiss of the Spider Woman Movie Musical | Playbill

Film & TV News Tonatiuh, Diego Luna Board Jennifer Lopez-Led Kiss of the Spider Woman Movie Musical

Dreamgirls and Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon will direct the Kander and Ebb musical on screen.

Tonatiuh and Diego Luna

The upcoming screen version of John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Terrence McNally's 1992 musical Kiss of the Spider Woman has found its inmates: Tonatiuh (VidaCarry On) and Diego Luna (Andor). According to a report in Deadline, Luna will play activist Valentin Arregui opposite Tonatiuh as queer window dresser Luis Molina. They join the previously announced Jennifer Lopez, starring in the title role.

Bill Condon (DreamgirlsBeauty and the Beast) is writing and directing, with Artists Equity recently joining the project as the main studio and producer of the feature. Barry Josephson, Tom Kirdahy, and Greg Yolen are producing with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Artists Equity. Michael Joe, Danie Bernfeld, and Kevin Halloran are executive producing for Artists Equity along with Condon for 1000 Eyes, Lopez and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas for Nuyorican Productions, and D. Matt Geller for Josephson Entertainment. Luna, Pamela Thur, Sam Weisman, Daniel Weisman, and Margaux Weisman are also executive producing.

Based on Manuel Puig's 1976 novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman centers on a pair of cell mates in an Argentine prison. Valentin is a political revolutionary while Molina is a gay window dresser who takes care of him by telling him the stories of his favorite films, many of which star his favorite movie star of all, Aurora. But the one story he fears telling is Aurora's greatest role: The Spider Woman.

The novel was adapted by Puig himself as a 1983 stage play, and as an Academy Award-winning film in 1985 starring Broadway favorite Raúl Juliá. John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Terrence McNally's stage musical version expanded the story somewhat, making Aurora a character who appears in a number of fantasy sequences. Chita Rivera created the role and won a Tony Award for her performance, later succeeded by Vanessa Williams in her Broadway debut.

The musical has been rumored to be making a return for some time in some form. A reading was held in 2015 with Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming, and Steven Pasquale. More recently, Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center was poised to stage a new revival as part of its Broadway Center Stage season, but it was ultimately pulled and replaced with the staging of Spamalot that subsequently transferred to Broadway. At the time, Kennedy Center representatives cited casting complications due to plans for a Broadway revival. A Broadway return for the work has yet to materialize.

The film will be Lopez's long-awaited musical theatre debut. She was previously set to star in a live TV production of Bye Bye Birdie for NBC, though that was ultimately thwarted due to scheduling conflicts. As early as 2016, she was eager to have a musical written for her by Hamilton writer Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lopez also has a development deal with Concord, whose Concord Theatricals controls licensing rights for Kiss of the Spider Woman. It's unclear if the upcoming film is a part of that partnership. One of Lopez's first feature films is 1997's Selena, which while not expressly a musical, featured the singer-songwriter singing as late Mexican pop star Selena Quintanilla.

Look Back at Kiss of the Spider Woman on Broadway

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