A long-gestating biopic about Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera has finally found its director. Gigi Saul Guerrero, who has been developing the pic with screenwriter Shane McKenzie, has now also signed on to helm the film, which is authorized by the late artist’s estate. Variety broke the news.
As the source details, “the movie follows Rivera’s rise as a Spanish singer who successfully crossed over to U.S. and global audiences, as well as her work as a women’s rights activist.” Rivera began her recording career in 1992 and went on to become one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists ever, who also produced multiple TV series such as “Chiquis & Raq-C” and “I Love Jenni” before her tragic, untimely death in a plane crash in 2012, aged 43.
Said producer Donald De Line, “Gigi is so confident in her voice and storytelling and has an innate understanding of Jenni’s life. She will honor Jenni’s legacy by presenting a portrait of this unique icon in a truly authentic way.”
“Gigi’s unique vision and passion for Jenni’s story made her an easy choice to direct,” added Javier Chapa and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media, also on board to produce. “As a Mexican filmmaker and artist on the rise, Gigi is, in many ways, picking up the mantle which Jenni left to us. We are excited she will be joining the team to bring the film to Jenni’s amazing fans.” Jenni Rivera Enterprises, which is headed by the singer’s sister, Rosie Rivera, will exec produce.
The film is planned for release via TelevisaUnivision’s premium streaming tier VIX+ and to screen in select theaters throughout the U.S. and Mexico. “This original film will celebrate [Rivera’s] life and share how she inspired women and young generations in general to overcome obstacles and live their best lives,” said TelevisaUnivision’s Augusto Rovegno, senior VP of acquisitions and SVOD programming.
Saul Guerrero made her feature length directorial debut with “Culture Shock,” an episode of Blumhouse Television’s Hulu series “Into the Dark,” followed up by sophomore feature “Bingo Hell.” She has also directed episodes of horror series “La Quinceañera” and “The Purge.” The filmmaker and actress was named by Variety in 2019 as a Latinx talent to watch.