Singer and actress Selena Gomez is bringing back the 80s by way of a John Hughes classic to our TV screens with a Latin twist! The 29-year-old made major moves in the music industry last year with the release of her first Spanish-language album Revelación. She won a Latin Grammy for one of the album’s singles “De Una Vez” and was nominated for her first-ever Grammy. She closed out the year by announcing her collaboration with Univision to produce Mi Vecino, El Cartel (‘The Cartel Among Us’), a Spanish-language true-crime docuseries about the murder of drug cartel lawyer Juan Guerrero Chapa. Now Gomez is teaming up with screenwriter Tanya Saracho (Vida) and Gabriele Revilla Lugo (Whiplash, 13 Reasons Why) to develop 15 Candles, a Latinx comedy series loosely based on Hughes’s beloved 1984 film Sixteen Candles, Deadline reported.
“So this is what @gabbyrlugo & I’ve been cooking up with @selenagomez for @ucp & @peacocktv !!” Saracho said in an Instagram post announcing the news. “I mean, there’s still a lot of cooking left to do but at least we can shout it from the rooftops now!”
Hughes, who wrote and directed the film, is also known for hits that have become cinematically synonymous with the 80s/early 90s including The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), and Home Alone (1990). Sixteen Candles follows Molly Ringwald’s character Sam after she wakes up on the morning of her 16th birthday and realizes that her whole family has forgotten her special day during the preparations for her older sister’s wedding.
With the Gomez-Saracho-Lugo team at the helm, 15 Candles takes the original concept and gives it a special Latinx spin. The comedy TV series will be released in half-hour episodes and follow “four young Latinas starting high school as they overcome their feelings of invisibility while exploring what it means to leave childhood behind through the lens of the traditional female coming-of-age rite: the quinceañera,” according to Deadline.
Saracho and Lugo are set to write and executive produce, and Gomez will also executive produce. Saracho is known for creating and executive producing the Starz drama series Vida, following two Mexican-American sisters from Los Angeles dealing with trauma, sexual identity, and gentrification. Though the critically acclaimed series was cut short following its cancellation after three seasons, it made an impact and put a well-earned spotlight on Saracho as a powerful Latina storyteller in Hollywood.
She co-founded the Untitled Latinx Project, whose mission is to increase Latinx representation in media through content developed by Latinxs. She’s also heads Ojalá Productions which launched Ojalá Ignition Lab in the summer of 2021 to providing mentoring for Latinx writers. Lugo is a formerly undocumented TV writer, director and producer who is already collaborating with Saracho on a think tank for her TV series Brujas. This is yet another producing venture for Gomez who is already producing Mi Vecino, El Cartel for Univision and Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building which she also stars in alongside Martin Short and Steve Martin.
The series will air on Peacock and no release date has been announced.