Coke lord triggers battling biopics

Antoine Fuqua and Joe Carnahan are both aiming to shoot Pablo Escobar...

When biopics battle… we win. Or something. Anyway, the threat of one movie losing massive amounts of cash has never stopped filmmakers throwing film about the same subject against each other. We've had volcanoes, asteroids and the highest concept of all - Truman Capote.

The latest duelling project race is all about Colombian cocaine drug lord Pablo Escobar, with Oliver Stone producing an Antoine Fuqua-directed pic called Escobar.

It'll match up against Killing Pablo, adapted from Mark Bowden's book and set to be directed by Joe Carnahan. While Fuqua's version is likely to be shot first, Carnahan already has Javier Bardem and Christian Bale locked in to star. One slight problem? Carnahan has to shoot crime drama White Jazz first.

Fuqua's film is based on Mi Hermano Pablo, by Roberto Escobar Gaviria, who worked with his brother, serving as account and confidant who owns the rights to the Escobar family story. Blow scripter David McKenna is hard at work rewriting the script. "Joe Carnahan's notion of us poaching his territory and rushing for a pre-strike start is false. We've been working with Robert and a half-dozen consultants for a year and a half to tell an accurate story," Escobar producer Justin Berfield gassed to Variety.

"Escobar was Robin Hood, a saint to some, and the devil to others," Fuqua told the trade mag. "He's a fascinating study in contrasts... He came from the wrong side of the tracks with nothing, but when he died was worth $3 billion... He was one of the most successful criminals we've ever seen and that's why I find him such a compelling subject for a movie." Obviously so compelling that two films want to cover his life...

Source: Variety