COLUMNS / LATIN FRONTIER

La Farándula
Production snags on ‘Gloria,’ ‘Castro’s Daughter’ gets cast, Esai Morales to play POTUS
Victor Barreiro
12/19/2013

Superstar Gloria Trevi, who has often been referred to as the “Mexican Madonna,” is once again making news. A film based on the life of the pop icon began shooting in Mexico City in November of last year. Unfortunately, production has hit a snag because lawyers on behalf of the singer have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the producers of the film, tentatively titled Gloria.

The biopic is a collaborative piece between Rio Negro in Mexico, Ocean Films Brasil and U.S.-based producers Barrie Osborne and Alan Curtiss. Several weeks before the shoot began, the songstress told a Mexican newspaper the film was unauthorized. The producers quickly responded that the script, written by award-winning Mexican playwright Sabina Berman, was based on extensive interviews with Gloria. They also mentioned to have a signed, notarized contract that gives them the authorization to make the film and use her music.

Last month Trevi’s lawyers released the following statement: “The project is being developed without script authorization on behalf of Gloria Trevi. In addition, the limited authorization that might have existed under contract has expired and it was not and will not be renewed by Gloria.”

The producers of the flick responded in a separate statement, “The contract is not subject to script authorization on behalf of Gloria Trevi; in fact she read the screenplay in 2010, was fully in agreement and even passed along some notes which have since been included.” The contract signed by the singer-songwriter is said to stipulate that the producers retained rights to her story until December 1, 2013. In accordance with the written document and to avoid having the rights revert to the singer, the shoot began on November 29, 2013.

It is unclear if the latest developments will affect the film, which is actively in production.

Directed by newcomer Christian Keller and starring Sofia Espinosa and Marco Perez, Gloria showcases the controversial singer’s ascent to stardom throughout the ’80s and ’90s as a teenaged pop star and later as a solo artist. The film also recounts her arrest in 2000 on charges of kidnapping and corruption of minors, her incarceration in Brazil and her release from jail in 2004, all while heavily featuring her music.

This movie has been a long time coming. Gloria Trevi’s epic rise and fall is the prefect candidate for a cinematic reenactment. In 2011, her husband, Armando Gomez, was kidnapped and subsequently released after a ransom was paid to his abductors. Just a few months ago, several suspects were detained in connection with the crime. One of the alleged captors is Trevi’s own godmother.

 

Wilmer Valderrama has been added to the cast of Castro’s Daughter, which is based on a book by Alina Fernandez, Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba. The film will be directed by Sarah Seigel-Magness.

Fernandez was just three years old when her father Fidel Castro took power in 1956. She finally fled Cuba in 1993 disguised as a Spanish tourist and would later write her memoir.

Catalina Sandino Moreno is slated to play the starring role; Valderrama (Handy Mandy, That ’70s Show), who was also recently added to the cast of Robert Rodriguez’ upcoming From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, will play Eduardo, a childhood friend of Fernandez who was persecuted under the Castro regime and was eventually exiled in the 1980s Mariel Boatlifts when Castro emptied his jails and allowed 125,000 refugees to flee to the U.S.  This is not the first time that Sandino and Valderrama work together, as they shared the silver screen in the 2006 indie film Fast Food Nation.

Castro’s Daughter was written by Bobby Moresco (Crash) and Nilo Cruz, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics. Mankind Entertainment’s John Martinez O’Felan and Joe Lamy, along with Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness of Smokewood Entertainment, are producing the movie.

Castro’s Daughter is currently set to begin shooting in late March in Puerto Rico. The production comes at a time of potentially warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba following a handshake between President Obama and Castro’s brother Raul at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.



Esai Morales as the President of the United States? Well, sort of. The veteran actor will soon be co-starring on HBO’s new pilot The Brink as Julian Navarro, POTUS.

Morales recently co-starred on Starz’s Magic City and recently wrapped a supporting role in the feature La Vida RobotHe is currently recurring on CBS’ Criminal Minds and now adds president of the Unites States to his long list of credits.  

The Brink will use dark comedy while navigating the political world, with Tim Robbins playing the U.S. Secretary of State, Walter Hollander; Jack Black as Alex Coppins, a Foreign Service officer; and Pablo Schreiber as ace Navy fighter pilot Zeke Callahan, all working for Julian Navarro, the Commander in Chief.  

The Brink will be directed by Jay Roach and written by Roberto Benabib and Kim Benabib. It will be executive produced by Jerry Weintraub.


 «  Return to previous page
 »  Send to a friend

Leave a comment:

  · Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.