Calle 13’s Residente is working on a film with an Academy Award winner. Yesterday (Feb. 8), the Puerto Rican rapper announced that he’s co-writing the movie Porto Rico with Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) writer Alexander Dinelaris.
Back in October 2020, Residente signed a multi-year joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment. In a partnership with 1868 Studios, he revealed that he would create, produce, and globally distribute original content projects across multiple formats, including film and television. Residente also made a commitment to tell Latine stories and partner with Latine writers, directors, actors, music artists, and visual artists to bring these projects to life.
Porto Rico will be Residente’s first movie under the venture with Sony and 1868 Studios. And he is co-writing the project with Dinelaris, who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Birdman in 2015. Residente was introduced to the writer by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
“It has been amazing to work with Alex,” said Residente in a statement. “It took me a while to find a great writer because I was looking for someone who not only is talented but also connects with the subject matter. I found both in Alex, an amazing writer who is highly skilled at dialogues as was evident in Birdman.”
Porto Rico is a historical drama that will be based on the life story of Puerto Rican revolutionary, José Maldonado Román. In the late 19th century. Román, who was also known as Águila Blanca, led a revolt against colonialism in Puerto Rico. His push to have the island recognized as an independent country included his gang of ex-convicts. Dinelaris, who is a Nuyorican, identifies with the Boricua story they’re going to tell.
“When [Residente] sent me a treatment of his idea for Porto Rico, I was immediately hooked,” Dinelaris said. “My grandmother was from Ponce but I never got to meet my family there. I’ve always felt a connection to Puerto Rico, it’s where I often go to get away and where I wrote Birdman and Still Life. I relish the opportunity to explore its history, my history.”
There’s no word yet on when to expect Porto Rico. Other films Residente has worked on include a self-titled documentary in 2017 and the documentary Rubén Blades Is Not My Name about the Panamanian salsero icon.