A fictionalized rendering of Leguizamo's one-man show Ghetto Klown, the film is scheduled to open toward the end of 2013.
"Fugly!" casts Leguizamo as Jesse Sanchez, "a Latino comic who has a near-death experience that forces him to revisit his personal and professional highs and lows," according to press notes. "Told in a style that befits the envelope-pushing Jesse—and Leguizamo — the film blends past, present, fantasy, and reality to tell of one man's hilarious quest for fame, fortune, and fulfillment."
About the film Leguizamo said in a statement, "I'm very honored to be working with 108 Media's honcho Mark Urman, who I have always looked up to in the independent scene. This is my first foray into screenwriting and in trying to up-end a format by making an ‘anti-romantic comedy.’ We went very sexual, very aggressive, and exposed some of my life through the character of Jesse. 'Fugly' was a term we used and invented in New York when I was a kid for anything truly abhorrent. It was used on me many a time in my hood. This time I'm appropriating it. This is my revenge through art!"
Ghetto Klown, the solo show conceived by and starring Emmy Award winner Leguizamo, played its final performance at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre July 10, 2011, following 25 previews and 95 regular performances. The show, according to press notes, took audiences "from [Leguizamo's] adolescent memories in Queens to the early days of his acting career during the outrageous '80s avant-garde theatre scene, and on to the sets of major motion pictures and his roles opposite some of Hollywood's biggest stars."