Derbez is one of Mexico’s biggest stars. His credits include the worldwide hit “Instructions Not Included,” which took in nearly $100 million worldwide when it opened in 2013. Derbez starred opposite Anna Faris earlier this year in “Overboard,” which has earned over $90 million worldwide, and also appeared in “How to Be a Latin Lover” and “Miracles From Heaven,” another Sony release.
The film will be produced by Patrick Aiello, who came up with the story idea. He then brought the project to Columbia Pictures President Sanford Panitch, who in turn approached Derbez to star.
“I’ve known Eugenio for many years,” said Panitch in a statement. “He is a marvel, a wonderful person, a gifted comedian, and a genuine movie star. We are looking forward to collaborating with him on this project for him to star.”
Aiello’s last film, “Risen,” a hit faith-based film, was also for Sony. At Columbia, which is a division of Sony, Panitch has advocated for furthering diversity of in terms of the stories the studio tells and the filmmakers and talent it supports. The company is leaning into the Hispanic market, in part because it is a moviegoing audience that tends to over-index. In addition to “The Three Tenors,” Sony recently made “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and is backing “Miss Bala,” an action film with Gina Rodriguez. Its upcoming animated film, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” centers on Miles Morales, a superhero with an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother.
Derbez’s upcoming films include “Dora the Explorer,” “Angry Birds 2,” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” He is represented by UTA. Aiello is represented by WME.