Set up at 3Pas Studios, the Santa Monica-based company Derbez runs with producer partner Benjamin Odell, “Latin Lover” will shoot from around March 2016. Parts of the film will be in Spanish.
A high concept comedy, “Latin Lover” turns on an ageing Mexican Romeo (Derbez), for whom women are objects, who is suddenly thrown out by his rich lady and forced out into the real world. “Latin Lover” is a homage to the ‘60s Mexican movies starring Mauricio Garces, about a handsome Lothario, an elegant George Clooney-ish figure in his movies, who thinks nobody is good enough for him, said Derbez. “Latin Lover’s” protagonist “has the same attitude, but is older, out of shape, has no money and ends up living in squalor,” Odell added.
Actor-director Ken Marino, who co-produced, directed and starred in the Emmy-nominated “Burning Love,” a “The Bachelor” spoof, will direct. “Because a lot of my role is in English and it’s the lead, we decided I shouldn’t direct,” Derbez told Variety at Los Cabos Festival,
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Screenplay is by Chris Spain and Jon Zack. Derbez and Odell will produce. Movie will shoot in Mexico and Vancouver. Under a first-look deal with 3Pas Studios, Pantelion, a Lionsgate/Televisa joint venture, will finance and also distribute in the U.S.. Televisa-owned Videocine will release “How To Be a Latin Lover” in Mexico.
Written, directed by and starring Derbez, “Instructions Not Included” was the first-ever big U.S.-Mexico crossover, breaking all-time records as the highest grossing Spanish-language movie ever in North America, punching $44.5 million in the U.S., and as the Mexican industry’s biggest hit ever in Mexico in B.O. gross, taking a home-turf $46.1 million.
We were considering five and six projects at the same time. After ‘Instructions,’ I wanted to change speed and go back to my pure comedy roots, not do another dramedy and we realized this was the funniest of all the projects,” said Derbez.
“It’s high concept and crazy comedy.” That said, “Latin Lover” will have “a lot of heart” and be “fully grounded” in the character of its protagonist, he added. “Comedies need to have a heart, core, and be about something,” he insisted.
Derbez will be given love handles and a gut to play the lead, “to suggest he is completely out of shape and has never worked a hard day in his life since he was 22,” said Odell.
“Latin Lover” offers four choice roles, one the protagonist’s best friend, an American gigolo. There are three older women who are the Lothario’s targets. “There are so many fantastic actresses in their seventies, eighties and nineties,” Odell added
In addition to other projects, 3pas is in development on a remake of 2006 French comedy, “The Valet,” which grossed $29.4 million worldwide, and a bilingual version of Sebastian Borenztein’s Argentine hit “Un Cuento Chino.”
“Un Cuento Chino” will be set in Los Angeles with Derbez to helm and play the lead. Eduardo Cisneros, a scribe on many of Derbez’s TV shows in Mexico, and co-scribe of “Instructions Not Included,” is penning the script.