The news comes just as the Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan romantic comedy, Father of the Bride, a project Perez spearheaded and produced at the studio, hits HBO Max on Thursday, June 16.
During his time at Warner Bros, Perez was involved with the development of Ready Player One, Dune and Doctor Sleep.
He came to Warners after a development executive stint at Lionsgate’s Pantelion where he worked on the Eugenio Derbez hit movie, Instructions Not Included, which wound up being Mexico’s highest grossing export of all-time with $100.5M WW, as well as Spare Parts and No Maches Frida. Perez initially cut his teeth in the industry reading scripts for producer Ben Odell (now Derbez’s production partner at 3Pas Studios) and working in the Miami William Morris offices.
Father of the Bride is a project close to Perez’s heart given his Cuban American Miami heritage. He came to the property while combing through the Warner library in a quest to develop revamped IP. The project’s momentum swelled after Perez discussed it at a Warner Bros. development exec retreat, with the studio’s President of Production Courtenay Valenti ultimately taking to Matt Lopez’s screenplay. The fresh angle in this Latino take of Father of the Bride: the bride’s parents played by Garcia and Estefan are on the verge of a divorce. Perez married the package with burgeoning Mexican filmmaker Gary Alazraki (2013’s We Are the Nobles).
While recent audiences are familiar with the Steve Martin-Diane Keaton-Martin Short 1991 Touchstone remake (a hit back then grossing over $89M and spawning a 1995 sequel), the film was originally an MGM title released in 1950, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor. Warners had inherited the title in their acquisition of the pre-May 1986 MGM library via their absorption of Turner Films in 1995. Disney had licensed the title during the ’90s and in recent years Father of the Bride‘s underlying rights reverted back to Warners.
Perez under his new deal is also shepherding the new Training Day prequel at the studio. That pic is set around the time of the L.A. Riots that followed after the infamous Rodney King verdict.
Valenti tells Deadline, “Warner Bros. is thrilled that Paul Perez will have a first look producing deal with the studio. Paul is a valued colleague who spent several years in development and production at WB. During that time he showed extraordinary creativity and strategic thinking looking to reinvent several classic library titles. One of those titles is Father of the Bride. We love Gaz Alazraki’s film of Father of the Bride and are very grateful to Paul for beginning the film process with his idea for how to reimagine this wonderful world.”
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