It’s been quite a year for movie musicals with the releases of projects like In the Heights, Dear Evan Hansen, Cinderella, Vivo, Encanto and the upcoming remake of West Side Story. Let’s not forget that all of them had Latine representation.
Pantelion Films is betting that the trend will continue, so they’ve decided to produce La Usurpadora, a bilingual musical based on a classic 1990’s telenovela of the same name. According to Variety, the studio is calling the film its “most ambitious undertaking to date.” It is currently in production in Mexico.
The original La Usurpadora TV show aired more than 100 episodes on Televisa from February to July 1998. It was so successful as a telenovela, it was exported to 125 other countries and dubbed into 25 different languages.
The Spanish-language series told the story of twin sisters, Paola and Paulina (both played by actress Gabriela Spanic), who were separated at birth. Once reunited, Paulina, who is poor and kindhearted, is blackmailed by the rich and evil Paola and forced to switch places with her, so Paola can go on a long vacation with her new lover.
In the new musical, Paola and Paulina are replaced with Valeria and Victoria. Both sisters will be portrayed by actress Isabella Castillo (Grachi).
The musical will be directed by Santiago Limón (Rebelde) who will collaborate with Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning music producer Sebastian Krys, choreographer Priscilla Hernández and producer Matt Walden. According to Variety, the soundtrack for the musical will incorporate 15 Latin music hits from the 1990s, including “La Vida Es un Carnaval,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” among others.
If you were a fan of the original telenovela, we’ll wait for you to compose yourself.