There are few criminals that have captivated Hollywood quite like Pablo Escobar. Those "Entourage" dudes had a whole arc about making a movie about the crime lord, while folks like Oliver Stone, Antoine Fuqua, Brad Furman and Joe Carnahan have all been attached/tried to mount features over the years (the latter told us he still wants to get "Killing Pablo" off the ground). But if this bit of news plays out, it looks like some European filmmakers will get the jump with a pretty envious actor in the lead. Though it should be noted — this is not a biopic, exactly.
Benicio Del Toro is in final negotiations to star in "Paradise Lost," with the project featuring a script by Andrea di Stefano (who you'll soon see briefly in "Life Of Pi"), who will be making his directorial debut. Curiously, the movie puts Escobar a bit in the background, centering on the romance between a surfer who visits his brother in Columbia, falls in love with a local girl only to discover — gasp! — her uncle is a drug lord. So if you wanted to see the half-story of Escobar with a romance up front, now's your chance….
We have to say, this set-up has muted our expectations a bit, though still — Del Toro as Escobar is undeniably promising. Production is slated to begin March so we'll see how this all turns out. [Variety]