Jennifer Lopez is attached to star in “Dreamgirls” and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” filmmaker Bill Condon’s new film adaptation of the 1993 Broadway musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman”.
The story unfolds in an Argentinian prison in 1981 where Luis Molina, an effeminate gay hairdresser, is serving an eight-year sentence for allegedly corrupting a minor.
To escape the horrors of his imprisonment, Molina imagines movies starring a fantasy woman named Aurora (Lopez) – a classic silver screen diva. One of her fictional roles is that of the spider woman, who kills her prey with a kiss.
Molina’s life is soon upended when a Marxist, Valentin Arregui Paz, is brought into his cell, and the two form an unlikely bond. The property started out as a 1976 novel by Argentine writer Manuel Puig.
That novel was translated into the award-winning 1985 film by Héctor Babenco which won William Hurt the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Molina, whilst Arregui was a breakout role for Raul Julia. Sonia Braga played the Spider Woman and film scored nominations for Best Picture, direction and screenplay.
Set to be independently financed, the new take will be based on the 1993 stage musical which boasts music by the legendary John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”) and musical book by Terrence McNally. That musical swept the Tonys with seven awards including Best Musical.
An unknown is reportedly being sought to play Molina and the role “presents as an openly queer and effeminate gay man, but may be on the non-binary/trans femme spectrum.” Rehearsals would start in February with a plan to begin filming in April in New Jersey.
Condon has experience adapting Kander & Ebb’s works, he wrote the screenplay for 2002’s “Chicago” film adaptation which won Best Picture.