Rights to tell the story of Rivera’s life were secured from Jenni Rivera Enterprises by Javier Chapa and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media and by Donald De Line. Both companies will produce the film, with a script to be written by Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got To Do With It).
Conversations with Jenni Rivera Enterprises, which is led by her sister Rosie Rivera, have been going since the middle of last year, Chapa tells Billboard.
“There’s no better time to tell the story,” Chapa added, noting not only the current popularity of music-driven films and biopics, but also Hollywood’s new awareness of the importance of the Latin market.
“The film will not only celebrate Jenni’s life but also how much she inspired people and kids from all walks of life. It’s a true underdog story. And the way Jenni stood up to abuse; [it will] try to shine a light on that as well. There’s so many different facets that can be dramatized,” added Chapa.
The film, he noted, will be mostly in English — with Spanish used when necessary — and will be aimed at a broad audience.
“My sister dreamt of a biopic of her life for many years, we are thrilled it will come to fruition,” said Rosie Rivera, Jenni’s sister, and the person who now leads Jenni Rivera Enterprises. “It’s taken time to get here because we had to trust Jenni’s story in the right hands – and we are confident that we made the best partnership with Mucho Mas Media and this creative team.”
Talks of the possibility of a Jenni Rivera biopic have been going on almost since Rivera, a charismatic, chart-topping regional Mexican star, died in 2012 in a plane crash at age 43. At the time of her death, she was on the verge of mainstream celebrity status, following a successful reality show on cable network Mun2 and a newly-signed deal to star on a TV series on a major English-language television network. Already a fascinating personality who generated nonstop media coverage, Rivera’s star has continued to shine even seven years after her death.
Previously unreleased music has seen the light of day, her posthumous memoir was a national bestseller, and aside from the two television series based on her life, Emilio Estefan recently announced he would also produce a documentary with previously unseen footage. Most recently, her family announced a tour in honor of her legacy.
“Jenni’s story is one that deserves to be told and will resonate not only with those who continue to call themselves fans, but with those who are passionate about stories that address the struggles and triumphs of women — across cultures — who are pursuing their best lives,” said De Line in a statement.
The project was negotiated between Anjelica Cohn on behalf of Jenni Rivera Enterprises, her family and the producers. Lanier is represented by Bob Hohman of The Gersh Agency.