“La Reina del Sur” star Kate del Castillo is set to play the lead in “A Beautiful Lie,” a modern take in Spanish on Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.”
Del Castillo will also executive produce the series out of her Cholawood Productions label, along with two other forces on the upscale Spanish-language TV scene, premium U.S. Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya and Endemol Shine Boomdog, a division of Banijay Americas.
The six-part series co-production, based on the 2015 adaptation from Banijay-owned Endemol Shine Australia, will represent a modern retelling of Tolstoy’s celebrated novel, his first real novel by his own estimation and reckoned by many to be one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.
“A Beautiful Lie” is announced as an event series – a status that is almost inevitable in any major fiction starring Del Castillo and backed by companies of the ambition of ESB and Pantaya.
“Elite” episode writer Almudena Ocaña and Aurora Graciá Tortosa, a scribe on Netflix’s “Valeria,” are attached to the series.
Del Castillo will star as Anna Montes de Oca, a gold medal-winning Olympic diver and Mexican national hero. When Ana falls in love with a young musician, she goes on a journey of self-discovery — one that society unfortunately doesn’t embrace.
“A Beautiful Lie” is early fruit of an overall production deal between Cholawood Productions and Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog. Carmen Cervantes and Jessica Maldonado, Cholawood co-founders with del Castillo, will also serve as executive producers. Cholawood will co-produce the series, which is scheduled to go into production early next year in Mexico.
Del Castillo called the reinterpretation of the classic “a passion project” and “a huge responsibility.” “We plan to do it justice,” she said.
“We’re re-telling a story with strong female characters where infidelity is a major element. We will also address various mental health issues, including postpartum depression, and the sometimes-disastrous impact social media can have on people’s lives, especially public figures.”
“It’s a modern twist from a female perspective,” she added, saying she was excited to team with Endemol Shine Boomdog and Pantaya, “with whom I have been wanting to work with since their impressive launch.”
“Adapting ‘A Beautiful Lie’ for Mexico, itself a brilliant modernization of ‘Anna Karenina,’ has proven a formidable challenge, and we are proud of the premium and elegant series we will be producing together,” said Mario Almeida, Pantaya head of content, describing Ocaña and Tortosa as an “incredible writing duo.”
Jerry Rodriguez, head of scripted at Endemol Shine Boomdog, added: “We are confident that this will become a brand-defining series, showcasing some of the best onscreen and behind-the-camera talent in the industry.”
Del Castillo starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys for Life.”
She is currently filming the much awaited third season of La Reina del Sur” and recently wrapped Telemundo series “Armas de Mujer,” a potential highlight on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
Del Castillo’s one-woman Off Broadway show, The Way She Spoke, made her the first Latina actress to earn nominations in The Drama Desk for Outstanding Solo Performance, The Drama League for Distinguished Performance and the coveted Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Show.
A philanthropist and outspoken global activist, del Castillo was appointed Ambassador for the Mexican Commission on Human Rights to combat human trafficking in 2009.
Endemol Shine Boomdog scripted series productions take in “Súbete a Mi Moto” (Amazon Prime), “Nicky Jam: El Ganador” (Netflix), International Emmy-winner “El Vato” (NBC’s Universo) and upcoming comedy “Todo por Lucy” (Amazon Prime).
Del Castillo is repped by Sweeney Entertainment and attorney J.R. McGinnis. Cholawood is repped by attorney Walter Mosley.