Jennifer Lawrence to Play Fidel Castro's Lover for Sony (Exclusive)

Jennifer Lawrence and Eric Warren Singer
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The Golden Globe winner is set to play Marita Lorenz in 'Marita,' a pitch by 'American Hustle' scribe Eric Warren Singer.

After starring in a film inspired by the life of Miracle Mop creator Joy Mangano, Jennifer Lawrence is ready to tackle another real-life woman.

The actress, who received her fourth Oscar nomination last week, is attached to portray Marita Lorenz in Marita, a hot pitch from Eric Warren Singer, co-writer of American Hustle.

Sony Pictures, moving aggressively, picked up the project from the Oscar-nominated scribe in a competitive situation. Matt Tolmach will produce the romantic spy drama with Lawrence and Scott Mednick. Andre Rouleau is also producing.

Marita centers on Lorenz and how she met and began an affair with Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1959 when she was 19 years old. After living with Castro for a spell, Lorenz left Cuba and joined anti-communists in the U.S., where she was recruited by the CIA for an assassination mission. In 1960, she returned to Cuba to carry out the mission but, according to lore, yielded to love.

(Lorenz had quite the life, by the way. She also had an affair with a Venezuelan dictator, claimed to have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and spied on diplomats for the FBI in the 1970s. She wrote two autobiographies and lives in Maryland.)

Singer spent months developing the project, working with Mednick and Rouleau, before bringing it to Lawrence, with whom he worked on Hustle, and taking it out to the town.

Sources say the true-life spy story attracted plenty of interest and bidding from other studios such as Fox 2000, Warner Bros., Paramount and Annapurna.

Sony is fired up about the project, hoping to find a director soon with the hopes of releasing a movie towards the end of 2017, depending on development goes.

Exec Ange Giannetti will oversee for the studio.

Cuba has been heating up as a story setting and possible shooting location since the embargoes were eased by President Barack Obama. As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, Fast & Furious 8 is hoping to film in the island nation. Additionally, Conan and House of Lies have both shot there recently.

Lawrence, repped by CAA, won a Golden Globe for her role as the housewife-turned-inventor in David O. Russell's Joy, along with receiving an Oscar nomination. The Hunger Games actress, who will next be seen in X-Men: Apocalypse, is attached to a slew of other projects. Lawrence is set to star in Darren Aronofsky’s untitled project for Paramount with Javier Bardem; she is planning to write and star in a project with her new BFF Amy Schumer; and she is attached to Steven Spielberg’s film It’s What I Do, the story of a female war photographer.

With the Marita pickup, Sony is back in business with Lawrence, who recently completed the studio's sci-fi love drama Passengers.

Along with writing American Hustle and Red Sparrow, Singer also wrote the script for 2009’s The International. He is repped by UTA and Mark Gochman.

Updated 7:50 PM Jan. 19, to reflect the correct title of the project.

 

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