John Leguizamo May Lead Brad Furman's 'Ballad Of Pablo Escobar'
Following the success of The Lincoln Lawyer, director Brad Furman was hoping to get a film off the ground following Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The project first surfaced in 2011, and the script from Matt Aldrich made the Black List in 2012 since it still hadn't gone in front of a camera. However, The Ballad of Pablo Escobar is still alive and kicking. While Oscar Isaac was supposed to take the lead as Escobar himself, the actor has since fallen away. Wagner Moura (Elite Squad, Elysium) was slated to take over, but now the role is going to someone else, and John Leguizamo is one of two actors in the running.
Latino Review confirmed that Isaac and Moura were no longer options, and then they noticed that Leguizamo has actually posted a couple Vine videos (here and here) showing him getting ready for make-up tests to potentially take the role. The actor also posted a low quality picture of him in the facial prosthetics right here. We're not sure who the other actor in the running might be, but Leguizamo confirmed it's between him and this unknown star. However, the Kick-Ass 2 co-star may have a leg up since he had a supporting role in The Lincoln Lawyer.
For years now, many projects following Escobar have been in the works. Antoine Fuqua was working on one called Escobar, and another calling Killing Pablo had names like Javier Bardem and Christian Bale circling the role in 2007. More recently, Benicio del Toro is playing Escobar in Paradise Lost, but that film is about a surfer (Josh Hutcherson) who visits his brother in Colombia and falls in love with a gorgeous local girl named Maria. But the couple's romance is disrupted when Nick discovers that Pablo Escobar is Maria's uncle. So it's not the saga of Escobar's venture as a drug lord.
The Ballad of Pablo Escobar would take place after Escobar's family is almost killed in a car bombing, forcing him to wage a war with a rival cartel and his own government in an effort to protect his loved ones. As of now Furman hopes to shoot his film in September, so casting should be finalized soon. Otherwise, Furman's film Runner Runner hits theaters October 4th.