(left to right) Tonatiuh, Jennifer Lopez, Diego Luna | Photo Credits: Getty Images

Pardon us for employing one of the most over-used phrases on the internet, but: We are so back.

Today, Deadline broke the news that the upcoming big-screen adaptation of the hit musical Kiss Of The Spider Woman has secured its two leads, and we could not be more excited.

Starring alongside the previously announced Jennifer “Jenny From The Block” Lopez will be perennial internet crush Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También, the Star Wars series Andor) and rising queer star Tonatiuh (Vida, Netflix‘s upcoming thriller Carry On).

If you’re not already familiar with Kiss Of The Spider Woman, it’s a story set against the backdrop of Argentina’s “Guerra Sucia” (which translates to Dirty War), when the country’s military dictatorship often took violent actions against dissidents and anyone suspected of being opposition to their strict, far-right rule.

In prison, we meet Molina (Tonatiuh), a queer department store window dresser sentenced for allegedly corrupting a minor. One day, they’re forced to share a cell with Marxist revolutionary Valentin (Luna), and though the pair come from different worlds, they build a unique bond—largely thanks to Molina’s imaginative stories of a silver-screen diva (Lopez) and her fantastical movie roles.

Kiss Of The Spider Woman was originally a 1976 novel by Argentine writer Manuel Puig, and was later adapted into a feature film of the same name directed by Héctor Babenco, which was nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay at the ’86 Oscars, with a Best Actor win for William Hurt as Molina.

Though the film has received its fair share of criticisms over the years, it’s also recognized as one of the first queer-focused films to be embraced by the Academy Awards.

In the ’90s, the story became a hit Broadway musical starring the late Chita Rivera, written by Terrence McNally with music and lyrics by famed duo Kander & Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret). It won the 1993 Tony Award for Best Musical, continuing Kiss Of The Spider Woman‘s run of award-winning acclaim.

And while “book to movie to musical to movie-musical” might seem like an odd trajectory, it’s a path that’s had some success of late—look no further than the most recent Mean Girls and The Color Purple. Trend alert!

The project was first announced last December with Bill Condon attached as writer and director. The out gay filmmaker previously won an Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his James Whale biopic Gods And Monsters, was nominated for his Chicago script, and has helmed a number of great movies of his own, from Kinsey to Dreamgirls.

Condon sure knows his way around a musical—and queer-inclusive stories.

And we can’t wait to see what Lopez can do with the titular role, also known as the vampy screen diva Aurora who, through Molina’s extravagant stories, gets to play both high-powered fashion editor and fearsome femme fatale.

But it’s today’s announcement that firmly places Kiss Of The Spider Woman atop our most anticipated list. Luna is an incredible actor, and has been a screen crush of ours since we first saw him kissing Gael García Bernal in Y Tu Mamá También. This is the kind of complex role we always love to see him sink his teeth into.

And Tonatiuh (who uses he/they pronouns) is more of a star on-the-rise, but it’s no less exciting to see them in the central role of Molina. The Los Angeles-born Latine actor is perhaps best known for playing the queer character Marcos on the Starz dramedy Vida (though you might also recognize them from a hilarious Michael Henry video or two).

Speaking with The Advocate in 2020, Tonatiuh opened up about playing a character who blurs gender lines on Vida—and we hope they bring more of this energy to Kiss Of The Spider Woman!:

“Being gay, being queer is not homogenous. There’s not one way of doing it,” they shared at the time. “You can be a femme person with facial hair. There are no rules or regulations as to how you can express yourself.”

Scroll down below for a few of our favorite shots from Tonatiuh’s Instagram, and stay tuned for more updates about Kiss Of The Spider Woman, which can’t come soon enough!

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