Mexican icon introduced to American auds in '80 Days'

A biopic on Mexican icon Cantinflas is underway with Argentine scribe/helmer Gabriela Tagliavini tapped to write the screenplay, based on a story by pic’s helmer Alejandro Gomez Monteverde (Bella).

Spanish thesp Oscar Jaenada, who stars in Warner Bros upcoming graphic novel adaptation “The Losers,” is being tapped to play the comedian/thesp, although he is not officially confirmed yet.

Former NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman is co producing pic along with Monteverde and Jay Weisleder.

“Cantinflas” will shoot in Mexico, mainly in Spanish. “We aim to release it in time to celebrate what would have been Cantinflas’ 100th birthday on August 12, 2011,” said Weisleder.

Cantinflas, who was introduced to American audiences in “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956), helped usher in the golden age of Mexican cinema in the ’40s and ’50s.

Monteverde and Weisleder secured the rights from the late actor’s son, Mario Moreno Ivanova, who will serve as an associate producer on the project.

Tagliavini helmed pics “A Woman every Man Wants” and “Ladies Night” (for Disney/Buena Vista). She also directed “30 days until I’m Famous” for VH1/Maverick which was executive produced by Madonna.

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