Fox’s New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Remake Could Be the Latino ‘Empire’

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It may have been written by an Englishman, but few stories are more Latino than Romeo and Juliet. Passion, impossible love, stifling family ties, bloody feuds; it’s basically the source material for every telenovela since the dawn of broadcast television. So if you’re an American TV exec looking for the next primetime Latino goldmine, it’s not a bad book to turn to — and that’s precisely what the folks at Fox have done.

In their search for a new Latino-themed drama to fill out their docket, Rupert Murdoch’s network brainchild has taken on a project from writer and Executive Producer Eduardo Cisneros, who is perhaps best known for his writing and production work on Eugenio Derbez’s box-office phenomenon Instructions Not Included. Created with partner Jason Shuman, the untitled show has been described as a modern day twist on Romeo and Juliet set against the backdrop of Latino wealth in L.A.’s music and radio industry.

So, it’s a Latino Empire? Based on the short description the parallels are undeniable, but who knows where Cisneros and Shuman will take it. What’s for sure is that the show still has a long way to go before it lands a weekly primetime slot, but it certainly has found a winning formula. Whether or not it goes the distance, Fox’s interest is further testament to the fact that we Latinos have finally found a place in the hearts and minds (or maybe just the pocketbooks) of American media execs.

Fingers crossed that John Leguizamo reprises his role as Tybalt Capulet from the 1996 movie version.