Nominated three times for the Best Director Oscar (for The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), Russell has never directed a music film, though he does have experience with biopics, having directed Jennifer Lawrence in 2015’s Joy, about the inventor of the Miracle Mop. His last film, 2022’s Amsterdam, was a critical and box-office disappointment, grossing just over $30 million worldwide on a reported $80 million budget.
Gomez’s involvement in the film was first reported on Jan. 9, after she teased the casting by posting a picture of Ronstadt’s autobiography Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir to her Instagram page.
The film will be co-produced by Ronstadt's manager John Boylan and James Keach. No other casting decisions have been announced at this time.
An eleven-time Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ronstadt was also the subject of a 2019 documentary based on her memoirs called Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. Before she retired from music in 2011 after being diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, she charted 21 singles in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100,
In addition to bearing a certain resemblance to the younger Ronstadt, Gomez and the singer both have Mexican heritage. In 2019, Ronstadt visited the country to work with students at Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy. The trip was filmed for the 2020 documentary Linda and the Mockingbirds, which was directed by Keach.
After maintaining dual careers as both an actress and a pop singer for years, Gomez recently announced an intention to step back from music, saying: "I wanted to be an actress, I never really intended on being a singer full-time but apparently that hobby turned into something else. I don’t think I’m the best singer but I do know how to tell stories and I love being able to make songs.”
Having made her name as an actress in Disney series The Wizards of Waverly Place, Gomez was most recently seen in the third season of Only Murders in the Building, in which she co-stars with Steve Martin and Martin Short.
Russell has had a volatile career since emerging as an indie darling in the 1990s with films Spanking the Monkey and Flirting With Disaster. While he's directed several critically-acclaimed, award-winning films, he has also attracted substantial attention for his history of alleged conflicts and abrasive behavior on sets. While filming Three Kings in 1998, Russell and star George Clooney reportedly nearly came to blows, and an outtake from the production of 2004's I Heart Huckabees in which Russell screams profanities at actress Lily Tomlin went viral in the mid-2000s. Amy Adams, who starred in Russell's American Hustle, later told British GQ she did not plan to work with the director again, saying: "He was hard on me, that's for sure. It was a lot. ... I was really just devastated on set."