Jennifer Lopez will star in the movie adaptation of Kander and Ebb’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, Variety has reported, in the role played by Chita Rivera on Broadway. The movie is to be written and directed by Dreamgirls director Bill Condon.
Lopez will play Aurora, a glamorous Rita Hayworth-style actress who occupies the fantasies of Luis Molina, a gay hairdresser serving an eight-year sentence in an Argentine prison. It will be Lopez’s first leading role in a musical.
According to the Variety report, the movie is currently searching for an unknown for the role of Molina. Rehearsals are expected to start in February with a plan to begin filming in April in New Jersey.
The 1993 musical, with a book by Terrence McNally and directed by Hal Prince, won seven Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical and awards for its three leading players Rivera, Brent Carver and Anthony Crivello.
In 2021, Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions announced a partnership with Skydance and Concord Theatricals to develop musical projects for television and film. Lopez was expected to star in one of the projects, which would draw from Concord’s library of licensed shows. “Musicals were a part of the tapestry of my childhood,” Lopez told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “We’re so excited to begin our association with Skydance and Concord in reinterpreting some of the most classic musicals and bringing them to life in new ways for a new generation.”
Condon knows a thing or two about bringing musicals to the big screen. He wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation of Chicago, wrote and directed the movie adaptation of Dreamgirls, directed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake and co-wrote the screenplay for The Greatest Showman. In 2014, his revised version of the 1997 stage musical Side Show played briefly on Broadway.