April 12, 2002
J.Lo's Big Screen Career Flourishes
STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN
The unstoppable Jennifer Lopez has signed a three-year feature film development and production deal with Columbia Pictures, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The singer-actress, 31, has already starred in that studio's 2001 romantic comedy 'The Wedding Planner' and the thriller 'Enough,' which is slated to open May 24. She calls her company Nuyorica Productions, and so far its only credit is last fall's NBC special, 'Jennifer Lopez in Concert,' for which the star served as executive producer. This newly announced deal marks the first time Lopez has ventured into producing feature films, says the Reporter, which also notes that Lopez and Columbia have a long history together -- at least long in terms as history tends to be in Hollywood. (Japan's Sony Corporation owns Columbia as well as Lopez's record label, Epic.) She made her first feature film, 1995's 'Money Train,' for the studio, then went on to star in Columbia's 1997 'Anaconda' and that same year's 'U-Turn,' which was distributed by Columbia. Her next two projects, 'Gigli' (with Ben Affleck) and 'The Chambermaid' (a Cinderella-like comedy in which she will costar with Ralph Fiennes), are also set to be released by Columbia. 'You don't have to look any further than our upcoming release slate to see the confidence that we have in Jennifer as an actress,' Columbia Pictures chairman Amy Pascal is quoted as saying in the Reporter. 'She has wonderful creative instincts and enormous talent. This deal redefines our commitment to her and it broadens her entrepreneurial scope as a producer and our business partner.'
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