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Emilia Perez - What We Know So Far

Change can be liberating, but it can also come with unexpected results. The film "Emilia Perez" tells a captivating story from the viewpoint of its title character; once a cartel leader, her sex change has provided freedom yet there is one thing she wouldn't replace — her children. She undertakes a special reunion that could pose problems for all of them.

Its presence in the international market represents another step in growing trans portrayals across various genres (via Collider). Additionally, the project looks to a trans actress for the lead character; Karla Sofia Gascón stars as the criminal turned conflicted parent. Her presence represents yet another trans performer given the chance to shine in an all-important role.

She is joined by a duo of internationally known actresses — Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldaña. The project was paused due to cast member scheduling conflicts, but it's now on track to begin filming in the spring of 2023 in Europe (via Variety).

What is the release date of Emilia Perez?

There is no announced release date for "Emilia Perez" as of January 2023. With filming set to begin in the second quarter of 2023, there is a possibility that it could reach theaters around year's end. A more likely scenario puts it in 2024 — especially around select international festivals.

One of those festivals in contention is Cannes; the event, one of the most talked about film festivals in the world, has already offered a warm welcome to director Jacques Audiard. His works have graced several additions to the festival; a talked-about offering, "Rust and Bone," showed off the talents of award-winning actress Marion Cotillard (via Festival Des Cannes). The festival's 2022 edition once again provided a home for the director, debuting his recent effort "Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades)" It was met with praise, and viewers pointed to it being a change from Audiard's bleaker style (via The New York Times). This may prove to be a gateway into the music and comedy of "Emilia Perez."

Who stars in Emilia Perez?

Karla Sofia Gascón stars as the criminal who finds a way back to her children. For the actress, this project represents more than just another comedic role; she began transitioning in 2016 and has been open about the process. Art almost imitated life as she faced private turmoil in addition to transphobic sentiments. Her marriage was one of the aspects directly affected by this moment. "Little by little we have been understanding each other, adapting and we are almost better than before, now it is an even closer role in many things," she said of the relationship (via Yahoo! Noticias).

Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldaña have also been added to the cast in unspecified roles. Gomez comes off her starring role in the mystery comedy "Only Murders in the Building." The Hulu original series received Emmy nominations — with Gomez nominated as series producer. "Only Murders in the Building" puts the young actress in the company of established industry veterans Steve Martin and Martin Short. Season 3 will also give her a chance to act alongside Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Her "Emilia Perez" co-star Saldaña arrives as "Avatar 2: The Way of Water" continues to dominate early 2023 box office results (via Variety). The actress showed her devotion to the project and its director, James Cameron, during the film's recent press tour. "He could have said 60 movies, and I would've been like, "Done. Where's the pen in the paper and I'll sign right here. Done," she told The Wrap. Saldaña is also set to wrap up the "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy and return as Gamora in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" in May 2023.

What is the plot of Emilia Perez?

Jacques Audiard is keeping much of the story's details secret at this time, what is known gives a clear picture of the basics surrounding this narrative. A criminal — who has been described as similar to El Chapo — seeks a way out of his troubles; his solution presents a serious and life-changing decision. After a decade has passed, the decision to embrace the sex change leaves this parent missing her offspring. Her plan to impersonate their aunt creates conflicts for everyone involved.

The project may be a familiar one to international audiences; some have compared its basic plot points to the '90s hit "Mrs. Doubtfire." Starring Robin Williams, the film sees a down-on-his-luck actor impersonate a woman and work as a nanny to get close to his estranged family. While they both share a comedic tone and impersonation elements, there appears to be little otherwise connecting them (via Deadline).

Who is directing Emilia Perez?

Behind the scenes. "Emilia Perez" boasts a critically-acclaimed filmmaker; Jacques Audiard gained attention from international audiences with the drama "A Prophet," which follows a man's journey through prison and the depths of despair it induces. "A Prophet" went on to receive an Academy Award nomination as France's entry for Best Foreign Language Film. But unlike his previous work, this upcoming film is billed as a musical comedy. The musical aspect may be in doubt thanks to comments last year from the director himself.

Audiard seems to be in a period of reinvention that started with "Paris, 13th District." While that film didn't have a musical aspect, its approach to the cinematography and narrative did have an almost rhythmic quality. "Emilia Perez" was originally envisioned as an opera but he was swayed against this decision by a musician friend of his. Facing the prospect of composing an hour and a half worth of music proved to be too daunting. "He said, 'You don't really want to do that,'" he told IndieWire.