Steven Soderbergh's Che Guevara Based Double Feature
by Alex Billington
October 31, 2006
I have a certain affinity for Steven Soderbergh after Traffic, Solaris, and Ocean's 11, however he's had some interesting flicks, like Bubble. But the latest news, as reported by Variety, is that he's taking on two back-to-back biopics about the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara. Apparently this has been a project for Soderbergh for quite some time, it's just taken a while to finally get going.
The films will star Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara with Javier Bardem, Franka Potente and Benjamin Bratt as well. The films are going to be filmed back-to-back and will begin production in Mexico and South America next May. The combined budget for both films is under $70 million, still a fairly reasonable amount allowing for hopefully substantially amazing films. Another great point is that these films will not overlap with the previous The Motorcycle Diaries, but rather continue on after that story. Variety describes the two films as the following:
First film, "The Argentine," begins as Che and a band of Cuban exiles (led by Fidel Castro) reach the Cuban shore from Mexico in 1956. Within two years, they mobilized popular support and an army and toppled the U.S.-friendly regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.
The second film, "Guerrilla," begins with Che's trip to New York, where he spoke at the United Nations in 1964 and was celebrated in society circles. Soderbergh has already shot that opening footage with Del Toro and Julia Ormond, who plays TV journo Lisa Howard. Journalist acted as an informal intermediary between the Kennedy White House and Cuba.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Soderbergh does with this and what he can create. Che Guevara will live on forever, so that's not where a problem may arise. Definitely will keep following this as it all develops!
Reader Feedback - 3 Comments
I THINK BENICIO NOT ONLY CARRIES WITH HIM A LOT OF ACTING SKILLS, BUT HE ALSO RESEMBLES EL CHE GUEVARA.
PRESENTAO on Mar 3, 2008
I am so glad these movies are being made...think del Toro is great casting.Also great they did'nt insult Che's memory by making it English.Cant wait to see it!!!!!!!!!
john on Mar 23, 2008
I read and then saw Viva Ché in the late 60's. I've read subsequent books about this iconoclastic revolutionary since then as well as sitting captivated throughout The Motorcycle Diaries. Like the world's greatest revolutionary who preceded him by some 2000 years, I have remained ardent followers of their lives - which they led by example. No-one said that Jesus The Christ was perfect nor did anyone say the Ché was. But, what came before them were oligarchs ... fascist rulers who continued their reign unchecked by the "world orders" of that time seems to be conveniently forgotten. I have seen many a man in his fifties or sixties wear the revolutionary beret - ala Ché ... although no-one embodies the appearance and ideal that I am able to translate and portray ... It is quite ironic - that almost fifty years since Ché made his mark on the revolutionary scene - hundreds of thousands of T-shirts bought - sought after and criticised by many - today we have this very articulate world leader in Barack Obama ... (iconalised on hundreds of thousands of T-shirts that are being snapped up - world-wide) who himself has the potential of revolutionising the whole world in the path of fostering compassion, understanding and respect - uplifting the impoverished of not only the USA - but the world in the name of humanitarian ideals ... Until one has seen how the poorest of the poor live in shacks - often made of cardboard - understood what it is like to yearn for but one warm meal a day ... or a week - however modest - then one can hardly begin to even grasp what some of the world's revolutionaries were/are fighting for. The hegemony of the magnanimous - omniscient West has never been an ideal that the impoverished of the world ever aspired to imitate ... albeit that it is upon the backs of the poor voiceless peasants that the ill-gotten wealth of the upper-classes came to be ...
owen greenland on Jan 1, 2009
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