Annie Gonzalez to Star as the Late Jenni Rivera in Family-Authorized Biopic “Jenni”

Annie Gonzalez will be portraying a late banda legend…

The Latina actress will star in an authorized biopic about the life of Jenni Rivera has been greenlit at ViX.

Annie GonzalezIn addition to starring, Gonzalez will also executive produce the film.

Filming of Jenni (wt) is underway in Bogota, Colombia, and will be completed in Los Angeles.

The project is set to premiere exclusively via ViX and in select movie theaters in the United States and Mexico later this year.

Jenni (wt) will follow Rivera’s journey from her humble beginnings in Long Beach, California, to her meteoric rise to the top of the charts, and her final days before her tragic and unexpected death. The film will also share a look at the struggles she endured in her personal life and how she became the artist fans all know and love today, and how she persevered and found strength from within.

The streamer notes, Jenni is a story of resilience and bravery that shows the building blocks of what made Jenni Rivera—also known affectionately as “La Diva De La Banda”— who she was and the remarkable legacy she left behind.

“My siblings and I are very excited about this biopic and we know our mother’s story will impact generations to come,” Jacqie Rivera, daughter of Jenni Rivera and CEO of Jenni Rivera Enterprises said in a statement. “It has been an uphill battle, but we are happy to see one of our mom’s dreams come to fruition. Although we still haven’t gotten used to seeing someone portray our mother, we have faith Annie will do a great job.”

As a multiple award-winning artist—including multiple Billboard Music Awards, 22 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 18 Lo Nuestro Awards, and four Latin Grammy nominations— Rivera is not only known as one of the best-selling Regional Mexican artists of all time but also for her role in disrupting cultural precedent by crossing into banda, a male-dominated music genre and eventually into pop music, where her presence posthumously continues to shine. Rivera died in a plane crash in 2012.

“I am beyond honored to portray the essence of this phenomenal survivor that is Jenni Rivera who despite adversity at every turn was never a victim and showed her daughters, her family, and her audience what grace, forgiveness, and true authenticity is— liberating us all,” Gonzalez shared. “Jenni’s messages of feminism, civil rights, and nonconformity within her music were well before her time and made space for all of us to feel empowered. With the support of the Rivera family, I cannot wait to help tell the beautiful story and the impactful legacy of what Jenni means to me personally and what it will mean to women and Latinas everywhere.”

Manuel Uriza will star opposite Gonzalez in the role of Pedro Rivera, Jenni’s father, and Regional Mexican entrepreneur. The cast also includes Cinthya Carmona (East Los High) as Jenni Rivera’s eldest daughter, Chiquis Rivera, Jero Medina (Narcos: Mexico) and Miguel Angel Garcia (The Long Game) who will dually portray Trino Marín, Rivera’s first husband and father of her three eldest children at later and earlier stages in his life, respectively.

Additionally, Gabriela Reynoso (Si Nos Dejan) will be portraying Jenni’s mother Rosa Saavedra, J.R. Villarreal (Ultra Violet) will play Juan “Cinco” Lopez, Jenni’s late second husband, and newcomer Tatiana Juarez will portray Rivera during her early years.

“ViX is thrilled to be the official home and distributor of this powerful story about Jenni Rivera. Our commitment to this project is paramount and, along with a fantastic production team and director, we know we will have a film that will captivate our audiences,” stated Augusto Rovegno, Senior Vice President of Content ViX at TelevisaUnivision.

Gigi Saul Guerrero (Culture Shock) directs from a screenplay by Shane McKenzie (Bingo Hell).

Gonzalez is gearing up to promote Flamin’ Hot, the Eva Longoria-directed Searchlight Pictures film about how Frito Lay janitor Ricardo Montañez climbs the ranks at work and creates the spicy Cheeto snack. Flamin’ Hot premieres at SXSW on March 11 followed by a wide release via Hulu in June. The Chicana actress portrays the character of Judy, Montañez’s wife, opposite Jesse Garcia.

She also recently starred in Illegally Brown alongside Jessica Marie Garcia from filmmaker, Gabby Revilla Lugo, which is currently playing on the film festival circuit. Additionally, Gonzalez can next be seen in the upcoming independent thriller Body Language and an untitled Ethan Coen project.

Gonzalez is best known for her portrayal of Lidia Solis in the Netflix comedy series Gentefied and her guest roles in Apple’s Mr. Corman, Starz’s Vida, NBC’s Good Girls, Showtime’s Shameless, and FX’s American Horror Story, among other credits.

Gigi Saul Guerrero to Direct Biopic About the Late Jenni Rivera

Gigi Saul Guerrero is bringing a Mexican American icon’s life story to the big screen…

The 32-year-old Mexican Canadian filmmaker and actress will direct “Jenni,” a film about the life of the late Jenni Rivera.

Gigi Saul Guerrero The biopic, which is authorized by the late artist’s estate, will be produced by Los Angeles-based multimedia company Mucho Mas Media and De Line Pictures.

Developed by Guerrero and screenwriter Shane McKenzie, the movie follows Rivera’s rise as a Spanish singer who successfully crossed over to U.S. and global audiences, as well as her work as a women’s rights activist. She died in a plane crash in 2012 at age 43.

Rivera’s variety of banda, mariachi and norteño music made her one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists ever, with 15 gold and platinum records and top-drawing tours.

She produced multiple television series like “Chiquis & Raq-C” and “I Love Jenni,” and in 2012 she was named one of the top 25 most powerful women by People en Español. She also established charities like the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation, which supports single mothers and children who have been victims of domestic abuse.

Jenni will premiere on TelevisaUnivision’s premium streaming tier VIX+ and in select theaters throughout the U.S. and Mexico. A release date has not been announced yet.

Saul Guerrero was named by Variety in 2019 as a Latinx talent to watch. Since then, she signed a first-look deal with Blumhouse Productions after the debut of her first movie, Culture Shock.

On the acting front, she has voiced characters in “Supernatural Academy” and “Angry Birds: Summer Madness.”

Gurrero also created and directed the 2017 web horror series La Quinceañera and short film El Gigante, and she co-founded the Latin genre-focused company LuchaGore Productions.

McKenzie, a frequent collaborator of Saul Guerrero’s at LuchaGore Productions, wrote the screenplays for “El Gigante,” “La Quinceanera” and “Bingo Hell.”

Jenni Rivera Enterprises will executive produce.

“Gigi is so confident in her voice and storytelling and has an innate understanding of Jenni’s life.

Rivera Biopic & Television Projects in the Works

Jenni Rivera’s legacy lives on…

Television projects and a biopic based on the life of the late Mexican-American singer, known as la Diva de la Banda, are currently in the works, her estate has announced.

Jenni Rivera

The projects are in early development and details will be announced later, but they include a music-based television series focused on the lives and stories of the Rivera family as a musical dynasty.

Rivera was one of the most successful regional Mexican musical artists of all time, selling more than 20 million records during her 20-year career.

She died in a 2012 plane crash in northern Mexico, in the midst of filming the third season of mun2 docu-reality series I Love Jenni, in which she starred. She also had just closed a deal to topline her own sitcom for ABC, Jenni.

Rivera’s estate includes several businesses, as well as a foundation named for the late singer that helps women and children facing abuse, and other charity endeavors.

Rivera’s English-Language Pop Album to Be Released

La Diva de la Banda’s crossover dreams are still alive despite her untimely passing…

Jenni Rivera‘s family members say they plan to release the late singer’s English-language pop album, which was recorded in 2004, according to MTV Tr3s.


The songs were submitted to her label and held for unknown releases, according to sources.

Rivera’s record sales have significantly increased since her tragic death last month in a plane crash in Mexico. Rivera’s albums sold 10 times more than the week before she passed away (a total of 64,000 albums sold in the United States alone), according to The New York Times.

In addition, her latest album La Misma Gran Señora, which was released only two days after her passing, debuted at No. 1 with 27,000 – the best sales week of the year for any Latin album – on the Billboard Latin Albums chart.

Her English album was one of many crossover projects Riverai had planned. Besides her portrayal of an incarcerated mother fighting to rebuild her relationship with her daughter in Filly Brown, she also planned on starring and producing in an ABC sitcom loosely based on her life.

Since her death, her sister Rosie Rivera has been left in charge of Jenni Enterprises, including ongoing business deals and album sales. Although a release date hasn’t been announced  yet, Rivera’s English-language pop album is expected to come out later this year.

Rivera’s Sales Increase by 1,014% on Billboard’s Latin Albums Chart

La Diva de la Banda may have had her celestial graduation this week, but Jenni Rivera‘s presence is still being felt on Billboard’s music charts this week.

With the most recent Nielsen SoundScan tracking week ending on Sunday, December 16, the new Billboard charts reflect the first full week since her passing in a plane crash on Sunday, December 9.

Jenni Rivera

On the Top Latin Albums chart, the late Mexican American banda singer holds the first three spots, with her new hits compilation La Misma Gran Señora debuting at No. 1 with 27,000 — the best sales week of the year for any Latin album. It surpasses the 23,000 racked by the bow of Prince Royce‘s Phase II in April. It’s also Rivera’s best sales frame for an album, beating the 16,000 racked up by Jenni in its debut week in 2008.

At Nos. 2 and 3 on the Latin Albums chart this week, Rivera’s two 2011 releases Joyas Prestadas: Pop and Joyas Prestadas: Banda sell 14,000 (up 532%) and 13,000 (up 578%), respectively. The albums were Nos. 2 and 4 last week.

La Misma Gran Señora is Rivera’s second No. 1 on the Latin Albums chart, following Jenni.

Rivera is only the third act to control the entire top three on the Latin Albums chart since it became a weekly, SoundScan-driven tally in 1993. She joins two other leading ladies, who also achieved the feat only in death: Celia Cruz and Selena. The last time it happened was on the Latin Albums chart dated August  23, 2003, when Cruz’s Regalo Del Alma, Exitos Eternos and Hits Mix were Nos. 1-3, respectively, following her death on July 16. Cruz controlled the top three in two separate weeks, while Selena did it in five frames in April and May of 1995.

On the Billboard 200 this week, La Misma Gran Señora bows at No. 38 — Rivera’s second-highest charting set. Only Jenni went higher, when it launched at No. 31.

Rivera’s overall catalog of albums sold 64,000 last week — up 1,014% from 6,000 the week previous.

Rivera Feared Dead in Mexico Plane Crash

The wreckage of the small plane believed to be carrying Banda and ranchera diva Jenni Rivera has been found in northern Mexico with no apparent survivors, according to authorities.

Transportation and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said that “everything points toward” it being the U.S.-registered Learjet 25 carrying the 43-year-old Mexican-American singer and six other people from Monterrey en route to Toluca, Mexico.

Jenni Rivera

The plane had gone missing after takeoff early Sunday. The plane left Monterrey at about 3:30 am after Rivera performed a concert there and aviation authorities lost contact with the craft about 10 minutes later. It had been scheduled to arrive outside Mexico City, in Toluca, about an hour later.

“There is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human” in the wreckage,” Ruiz Esparza told Televisa.

Authorities had not confirmed that Rivera was among the dead.

Jorge Domene, spokesman for Nuevo Leon’s government, said also aboard the plane were her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew.

Rivera, born and raised in Long Beach, California, is one of the biggest stars of grupero music, which is influenced by the norteno, cumbia and ranchera styles.

Know as la “Diva de la Banda,” Rivera was beloved by fans on both sides of the border for such songs as “De contrabando and “La Gran Señora.”

She recently won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Banda Album of the Year for Joyas prestadas: Banda.

The successful singer, businesswoman and actress appeared in the indie film Filly Brown, as the title character’s incarcerated mother, and was the star of the mun2 reality show I Love Jenni. And ABC Studios had just announced plans this week to put in development Jenni, a multi-camera family comedy starring Rivera.

Rivera had given a concert before thousands of fans in Monterrey on Saturday night. After the concert she gave a press conference during which she spoke of her emotional state following her recent divorce from former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who played for teams including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other woman,” Rivera said Saturday night. “The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up.”

The mother of five children and grandmother of two had announced in October that she was divorcing Loaiza after two years of marriage. It was her third marriage. Rivera is the sister of Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera.

Rivera Headlining ABC’s “Jenni” Comedy Project…

She’s already a mega superstar on mun2… And now Jenni Rivera’s ready to shine on ABC.

The network has put in development Jenni, a multi-camera family comedy starring the 43-year-old Mexican-American singersongwriter.

Jenni Rivera

The project hails from leading Broadway producer Robert L. Boyett – marking his return to television, where he was one of the top comedy series producers in the 1980s and 1990s — and Designing Women’s Robert Horn.

Boyett and Horn will write the project, which stars Rivera as a strong, middle-class, single Latina working to raise a family using unique parenting skills, while struggling to run a family business and navigate her extended, co-dependent relatives — all while fighting the cultural perception that she needs a man to do it.

Boyett and Horn will executive produce, with Rivera and her manager Pete Salgado serving as producers for ABC Studios.

Rivera has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. She’s also the star mun2′s docu-reality series I Love Jenni, now filming its third season.

In addition, Rivera made her big screen acting debut in the critically acclaimed Filly Brown.