In a bit of casting that’s either predictable or absolutely perfect, Javier Bardem has joined the upcoming Pablo Escobar biopic alongside his wife Penelope Cruz.
Entitled simply Escobar, the film will be based on the 2008 best-selling Spanish-language memoir “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar” by Virginia Vallejo and follow his rise to becoming one of the most powerful and notorious drug lords in history.
The adaptation will be written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa, who previously made the comedy dramas Familia, Mondays in the Sun and the upcoming Benicio Del Toro/Olga Kurylenko drama A Perfect Day. Further to their recent announcement about the Valerian graphic novel adaptation, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp will finance, produce and distribute the film.
It’s hardly the first time Escobar’s rise to power has been portrayed on the big-screen, with, for example, last year’s Escobar: Paradise Lost starring Benicio del Toro in the title role and there’s an in-development project entitled El Patron, to star John Leguizamo, that found its screenplay on the lauded Hollywood Blacklist of best un-produced scripts; last we heard that one was shooting in Puerto Rico.
Bardem seems the perfect choice to play the title role, however, an actor able to charm with his commanding presence and make sure you’re always paying attention to whatever he’s saying. And having his wife Cruz as his co-star guarantees some great chemistry on-screen.
Escobar is expected to shoot later this year.