Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales, Veronica Falcón, Isabella Gomez, Luna Blaise and Kevin Alejandro have been set to star in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a feature film adaptation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s YA novel. Aitch Alberto wrote the script and will make her directorial debut on the pic, which is being financing and produced by Limelight alongside 3Pas Studios and Big Swing Productions, in association with Boies Schiller Entertainment. The film counts Derbez, Kyra Sedgwick and Lin-Manuel Miranda among its producers.
Aristotle and Dante, originally published in 2014, centers on the friendship between Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza (to be played by Pelayo) and Dante Quintana (Gonzales), two Mexican American boys on the cusp of manhood who form a life-changing bond after a chance meeting at an El Paso pool in the summer of 1987.
Alberto’s writing credits include the HBO Max drama series Duster from J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan. She also wrote for Apple TV+’s Little America.
“At its core, Ari and Dante tells a story of self-discovery and acceptance,” Alberto said. “My own journey helped me realize there is nothing more important than standing up and fully embracing who we are and being seen for it. I’m motivated to place a lens on male vulnerability that includes a more empathic and compassionate gaze that helps redefine masculinity specifically for the Latino/a/e/x community. To say this is a dream come true is an understatement.”
Valerie Stadler, Sedgwick, Ben Odell, Derbez, Miranda and 5000 Broadway Productions, and Limelight’s Dylan Sellers and Chris Parker are producing Aristotle and Dante. David Boies and Zack Schiller are executive producing; CJ Barbato is co-producing.
Limelight, Boies Schiller and 3Pas previously collaborated on the upcoming Spanish-language comedy Cuando Sea Joven, a remake of the Korean pic Ms. Granny.
Derbez most recently played Bernardo in CODA and stars in 3Pas’ upcoming comedy Acapulco both for Apple TV+. He is repped by UTA. Longoria, whose recent acting credits include the films Sylvie’s Love and The Boss Baby: Family Business and just wrapped her feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot for Searchlight, is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Austen.
Pelayo is represented by DDO Artists Agency and The Tory Christopher Group. Alberto is repped by Verve, Redefine and attorney Mark Temple. Gonzales is with Artists & Representatives and MC Talent Management, and Falcón is with APA and The Lasher Group. Gomez is repped by Gersh and Royle Dice, and Blaise by Coast to Coast Talent Group, CAA, Scope Entertainment and Schreck Rose. Alejandro is with Gersh and Main Title Entertainment.
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