Eugenio Derbez has landed a miracle role…
The 53-year-old Mexican actor and director has joined the cast of Sony Pictures’ Miracles From Heaven, which will be released via TriStar Pictures.
The film, starring Jennifer Garner, Martin Hendersen and Queen Latifah, will be directed by fellow Mexico compatriot Patricia Riggen.
Written by Randy Brown, adapting Cristy Beam’s same-titled book, the faith-based Miracles From Heaven centers on a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder who is miraculously cured after suffering a terrible accident.
Derbez will play an eminent but simpatico U.S.-based Mexican gastroenterologist-pediatrician, who plays games with his child patients to lighten their experience of hospital treatment.
Derbez’s character is inspired by Boston Children’s Hospital specialist Dr. Samuel Nurko, he said.
Derbez joins the Miracles From Heaven Atlanta shoot next week.
Miracles From Heaven reunites Riggen and Derbez, who co-starred in Riggen’s 2008 U.S. breakthrough Under the Same Moon, which grossed $12.6 million for the Weinstein Company.
This is a relatively rare drama outing for Derbez, who has carved out a career in comedy, breaking through with comedy-drama Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in North America, with a $44.5 million box office trawl. It went on to become the biggest Mexican hit ever in Mexico, punching $46.1 million.
Derbez is currently advancing on three projects at his production label 3pas Studios, which has a first-look deal with Pantelion Films, the Lionsgate–Televisa joint U.S. distribution venture.
“The projects have a lot to do with my personality,” Derbez said.
Derbez is set to direct and star in a remake of Argentine hit Chinese Take-Out, a cross-the-cultural-tracks buddy movie about a cantankerous Argentine hardware store owner and an adrift Chinese immigrant. Derbez regular co-scribe Eduardo Cisneros is writing the screenplay. The Argentine would become an American.
3pas Studios is also developing an English-language remake of 2006 French comedy Le Valet. Derbez’s next actor-director gig looks like one of these two projects. “Le Valet” is also at screenplay stage.
A third 3pas Studios project is an Untitled Latin Lover Project, from an original screenplay by Chris Spain and Jon Zack, about an aging Latin lover suddenly thrown out by his wife and forced to get a real job.
Derbez runs 3pas Studios with former Pantelion Films production chief Ben Odell.