One man’s alien is another man’s celebrity crush.
“I remember the day, I saw the film three times in a row,” Bardem recalled to British Vogue, declaring his childhood crush was E.T. “I remember when I met Steven Spielberg. He’s such a wonderful man. What an artist.”
Bardem was slated to star in and produce Spielberg’s four-hour miniseries “Cortés y Moctezuma” for Amazon Prime Video. The long-awaited passion project came to an end after the streaming service pulled the plug in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Deadline.
Bardem was set to play conqueror Hernan Cortés, who led an expedition to the heart of King Montezuma II’s (Tenoch Huerta) Aztec empire.
The Amazon Studios/Amblin Partners project, described as the largest Spanish-language production of all time, was two weeks into filming in Mexico when it was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Deadline reported in 2020.
“Cortés y Moctezuma” was written by “Schindler’s List” Oscar winner Steve Zaillian, and co-starred Yoshira Escárrega. Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna also executive produced.
“In the current climate, there is unfortunately no way to remount the production in the near future to achieve the scale and scope that was intended and that the series deserves,” Amazon and Amblin said in a statement to Deadline at the time. “We have nothing but admiration and respect for Javier, Tenoch, Yoshira, Gael, Diego, Steve Zaillian, and the entire cast and crew of the series and hope we can work together again in the future.”
Spielberg’s Amblin originated the film in 2014 as a feature, with Spielberg tentatively directly. There has been no update yet on the state of “Cortés y Moctezuma.”
“I can’t wait to work with Josh [Brolin],” Bardem said of his co-star. “I can’t wait to work with Denis [Villaneuve], he’s a master, so enthusiastic when shooting, like a little kid making a dream of his.”
Turns out, childhood dreams do come true, if you trade one extraterrestrial for another!