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Pedro Almodovar’s 1988 black comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is getting the TV treatment.
Sources say Apple has optioned the rights to develop a TV series based on the feature that secured the writer-director his first Oscar nomination (for foreign-language film). Jane the Virgin grad Gina Rodriguez will star in the potential series as Pepa, who was originally portrayed by Carmen Maura in the feature about the romantic mishaps of voice actors who dub foreign films. Sources say the Apple TV project will feature a mixture of English and Spanish.
Almodovar will exec produce Women on the Verge via his El Deseo banner. Rodriguez, in addition to starring, exec produces alongside her I Can and I Will Productions partner Molly Breeskin. 3Pas Studios’ Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odell will also exec produce, while Sonia Gambaro will co-produce for the shingle. The series is produced by Lionsgate Television, where Derbez is based with an overall deal. Noelle Valdivia (Masters of Sex, Mozart in the Jungle, Smash) is attached to pen the script and serve as showrunner should Women on the Verge move beyond the development stages.
Originally titled Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, the film helped Almodovar achieve international breakout status after its debut at the 45th Venice International Film Festival. It went on to earn Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations as well as five Goya Awards — the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars — including for best film and actress (for Maura). Almodovar wrote and directed the film, which starred Maura, Antonio Banderas and Julieta Serrano.
Should Women on the Verge move ahead at Apple, it would mark Almodovar’s first scripted TV foray after a career that has seen the writer-director earn seven Oscar nominations and wins for foreign-language film (All About My Mother) and original screenplay (Talk to Her). He’s also readying a docuseries, Not a Bride, with his frequent collaborator Penélope Cruz for Paramount+. Parallel Mothers, starring Cruz, earned a standing ovation following its debut in September at the Venice Film Festival. The movie is currently making the awards rounds.
The news of Women on the Verge arrives as Almodovar is readying his first English-language feature, A Manual for Cleaning Women, which is in the early stages of development and has Cate Blanchett attached to star and produce. He’s repped by CAA.
Rodriguez, who broke out with The CW’s Jane the Virgin, exec produced former Disney+ series Diary of a Future President and Netflix’s animated Carmen Sandiego series (on which she also voiced the lead). She’s with WME and Jackoway Austen.
Derbez, who reunites with Apple after his role in the streamer’s feature CODA, also counts Overboard and How to Be a Latin Lover among his credits. He’s with UTA and Behr Abramson.
Apple, as it is prone to do with development, declined to comment.
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