Theatre News

Kiss of the Spider Woman film adaptation in the works, with Jennifer Lopez attached

Bill Condon is set to direct the movie musical

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez, © dvsross, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez is attached to star as Aurora in an upcoming film adaptation of the 1992 West End musical Kiss of the Spider Woman.

The movie is set to be written and directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), based on the book by Terrence McNally (which was in turn adapted from the novel by Manuel Puig. The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) and features such standards as “Dressing Them Up”, “She’s a Woman” and the titular number.

Kiss of the Spider Woman is set in 1981 in an Argentinian jail, where a gay hairdresser named Luis Molina is serving an eight-year sentence for allegedly corrupting a minor. He forms an unlikely bond with his cellmate – a Marxist named Valentin Arregui Paz – and creates fantasies in his own mind about a classic silver screen siren named Aurora to escape the horrors of prison.

Following workshops and initial productions at the State University of New York and in Toronto from 1990, the musical would stage its West End premiere at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1992 ahead of a Broadway debut in 1993. The latter would go on to win a total of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The film adaptation is currently searching to cast the role of Molina and rehearsals are scheduled to begin in February ahead of filming in New Jersey from April next year.

Condon’s previous film credits include the likes of Chicago (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), Beauty and the Beast (2017) and The Greatest Showman (2017), while Lopez has starred in such movies as Selena (1997), Maid in Manhattan (2002) and Hustlers (2019).  This project, however, marks Lopez’s first role in a fully-fledged movie musical.

Kiss of the Spider Woman is produced by Barry Josephson, Tom Kirdahy, Greg Yolen and Matt Geller, with Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina serving as executive producers on behalf of Nuyorican Productions.

Puig’s novel was previously adapted into a 1985 feature film, which saw William Hurt win an Oscar for his portrayal of Molina.

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