Actor Gael Garcia Bernal is preparing to don drag and step into the ring to play gay wrestler Cassandro in a new biopic.
The movie will chronicle the life of Texas-born Saul Armendariz, who quit school at 15 to pursue his dream of competing in Mexico’s professional wrestling circuit, known as Lucha Libre, in which fighters famously wear colorful masks.
He initially began brawling as Mister Romano, before deciding to become an “exotico” – a male wrestler who dresses in drag – performing as Baby Sharon, and then establishing himself as Cassandro.
He made history in 1992 by becoming the first exotico to win a World Lightweight Championship title in the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA), shortly after surviving a suicide attempt.
Cassandro would later snag the World Welterweight Champion title of the National Wrestling Alliance.
Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams will direct Cassandro from a script he co-wrote.
“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspirational stories about outsiders and uplift the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen,” Williams shares in a statement to Deadline.com.
“The true story of Cassandro, Saul Armendariz, was one I knew I wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to being able to bring Saul’s story to a wide audience.”
Production is slated to begin in Mexico in November (2020).