Variety has learned that Longoria, who has two other films lined up as director at Searchlight and Universal, is also producing the project with her partner Ben Spector at their banner UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Greg Silverman and Jon Berg are also producing for Stampede Ventures, with JP Sarni as associate producer.
“Telenovela” creators Christine Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein wrote the script from an original idea. Longoria, who just signed with WME, will pull double duty in front of and behind the camera.
While Longoria shot to fame on ABC’s primetime hit “Desperate Housewives,” the multi-hyphenate has a deep resume as producer and director in the TV space, with credits on the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Versus,” as well as episodes of “Black-ish,” “The Mick,” “Telenovela” and “Devious Maids.”
In a competitive situation with A-list auteurs last year, Longoria won the directors chair for “Flamin’ Hot,” an empowering biopic about the janitor who transformed the Cheetos brand by introducing a spicy version of the snack at its corporate owner. She is also on deck to direct a reimagined version of “9 to 5” at Universal, titled “24/7.”
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Pietrosh and Goldstein’s credits also include “Cougar Town” and “My Name Is Earl.” Stampede next has “Pink Skies Ahead” from Kelly Oxford, which will have its world premiere at AFI Fest 2020. Their family co-viewing special, “Mo Willems and the Storytime All-Stars Present: Don’t Let The Pigeon Do Storytime!,” premiered on HBO Max on September 17th. They also have the feature “Son Of A Bitch” at HBO Max and an adaption of “Bitcoin Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich. The company also recently inked an international first look deal with CBS Studios International.
Longoria is represented by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Pietrosh and Goldstein are repped by ICM and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.