Edgar Ramirez to Play Pablo Escobar in Two Films?!
A sleeper of a bad-ass, Edgar Ramirez (seen above), is in the news today with word coming (via CHUD) that director Smokin' Joe Carnahan is eying the Venezuelan actor to play the notorious drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar, in Carnahan's 2009 biopic, Killing Pablo. There's only one problem with this. Ramirez is reportedly slated to play the same character in Antoine Fuqua's competing film, Escobar, for which Oliver Stone is executive producing. What gives? Word came down a few weeks ago that despite rumoring to the contrary, Javier Bardem would not headline Carnahan's film, so it's been know that the director was looking for another lead. We've also known that Carnahan has zero love for Fuqua and Stone's parallel production. So has Carnahan spirited Ramirez away from the competing film and on to his own?
CHUD received a message directly from Carnahan talking about Ramirez's potential involvement. "I spent the last week in Colombia with Edgar Ramirez talking Pablo and he has every intention of portraying Escobar and I couldn't be more fired up by the prospect. He's coming at it with boundless enthusiasm, conviction to the role and and the understanding that he's going to have to pack on anywhere from 35 to 40lbs." I guess that message didn't include a big "f*ck you" to Fuqua and lots of gloating that Carnahan stole his front runner? Perhaps I missed news where Ramirez was up for grabs? Carnahan please chime in!
Whatever the back story, I'm definitely more excited about Carnahan's project. Whereas Fuqua's Escobar will focus on the relationship between Pablo and his brother Roberto - Carnahan describes it as a "wholly fictionalized Butch and Sundance angle" - Charnahan's Killing Pablo will center on the Columbian gangster and the battles he waged with various parties that eventually brought him to his assassination. One of those warring factions was the US. In the film, a Delta Force commander that leads the special forces team will will be played by none other than Christian Bale. I think it's time Fuqua folds.
As for Ramirez, I've been a follower of his ever since seeing him as the long-haired bounty hunter in Domino. The guy's got a menace about him that is quite unique. If you're curious, Domino is worth the watch. He had (what I think) was a pretty small role in Vantage Point, as well; but I wouldn't really want anyone to suffer through that. If you want to wait, Ramirez is set to appear in Steven Soderbergh's epic Che double feature. We'll continue to bring you details as I imagine this casting confusion over the two competing films will be sorted out soon enough. Ramirez isn't 100% locked on either, so who knows what will happen. What do you think of this situation and Ramirez as Pablo Escobar?