Barrera will portray the titular character in the reimagining of the classic Georges Bizet production, based on the novella of the same name by Prosper Merimee, about a Spanish gypsy who seduces a soldier.
"'Carmen' is the opera of my childhood," Millepied shares in a statement to Variety. "Growing up, it was an ever-present part of my musical beginnings. It has inspired me greatly as an artist."
"For many years, I have been passionate about creating a film musical, and 'Carmen' presents an incredibly exciting opportunity for exploring dance and music onscreen."
He has recruited Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz to pen the script, while "Moonlight"'s Nicholas Britell will write the score and work with singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas to create a number of original songs for the movie.
Production is set to begin in Los Angeles in October.
The famed opera has been adapted for the screen on multiple occasions, including by directors like Francesco Rosi, who cast Julia Migenes and Placido Domingo in his 1984 film, and Carlos Saura, who turned it into a flamenco-based dance picture in 1983.
It also inspired the Broadway musical "Carmen Jones", which was later turned into a movie by Otto Preminger, and even Beyonce Knowles starred in a modern version for MTV, titled, "Carmen: A Hip Hopera", back in 2001.