Gigi Saul Guerrero to direct Jenni Rivera biopic
Gigi Saul Guerrero is set to direct “Jenni”, a film about the life of Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera.
The biopic, which is licensed by the late artist’s estate, will be produced by Los Angeles-based multimedia company Mucho Mas Media and De Line Pictures.
Developed by Guerrero and screenwriter Shane McKenzie, the film follows Rivera’s rise as a Spanish singer who successfully reached American and global audiences, as well as her work as a women’s rights activist. She died in a plane crash in 2012 at the age of 43.
Rivera’s variety of banda, mariachi, and norteño music has made her one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists of all time, with 15 gold and platinum records and prominent tours. She has produced several television series such as “Chiquis & Raq-C” and “I Love Jenni”, and in 2012 she was named one of the 25 most powerful women by People en Español. She has also created charities like the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation, which supports single mothers and children who are victims of domestic violence.
“Jenni” will premiere on TelevisaUnivision’s VIX+ premium streaming tier and in select theaters in the United States and Mexico. A release date has yet to be announced.
Saul Guerrero, Mexican filmmaker and actress, was nominated by Variety in 2019 as a Latinx talent to watch. Since then, she signed a first contract with Blumhouse Productions after the launch of her first film, “Culture Shock”. As an actress, she voiced characters in “Supernatural Academy” and “Angry Birds: Summer Madness.” Gurrero also created and directed the 2017 web horror series “La Quinceañera” and the short film “El Gigante,” and she co-founded the Latin genre-focused company LuchaGore Productions.
McKenzie, a frequent Saul Guerrero collaborator at LuchaGore Productions, wrote the screenplays for “El Gigante”, “La Quinceanera” and “Bingo Hell”. McKenzie is also a horror novelist whose credits include “Muerte Con Carne”, “Pus Junkies”, “Addicted to the Dead”, and “All You Can Eat”.
Donald De Line of De Line Pictures will serve as producer along with Javier Chapa, Phillip Braun and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media. Jenni Rivera Enterprises will executive produce.
“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 portraying this unique icon in a truly authentic way,” De Line said.
Chapa and Wise added, “Gigi’s unique vision and passion for Jenni’s story made him an easy choice to lead Jenni. As a rising Mexican filmmaker and artist, Gigi picks up, in many ways, on the coat that Jenni left us. We’re thrilled to have her join the team to bring the movie to Jenni’s amazing fans.
TelevisaUnivision executives promise the film will be a celebration of Rivera’s life.
“We are thrilled to work alongside Gigi, an incredibly talented and visionary Mexican artist, to tell the story of Jenni Rivera,” said Augusto Rovegno, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and SVOD Programming at TelevisaUnivision. “This original film will celebrate her life and share how she inspired women and younger generations in general to overcome obstacles and live their best lives.”
Saul Guerrero is represented by Verve, Carlos Bobadilla at Valor Entertainment and attorney Paul Miloknay. McKenzie is replaced by Verve and Susan Solomon-Shapiro at Circle of Confusion.