Pablo Escobar was one of the most successful drug kingpins of all time if not the most successful. That doesn’t necessarily make him interesting, but people are going to keep trying to tell his story.
According to THR, the latest Escobar biopic, creatively titled Escobar, is set to star Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. The story will be based on Virginia Vallejo’s 2008 best-selling Spanish-language memoir Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar. Fernando Leon de Aranoa (A Perfect Day) will write and direct with filming expected to begin later this year. Although THR doesn’t specifically mention casting, I think it’s safe to assume that Bardem will play Escobar while Cruz will play Vallejo.
The lead actors have my interest, but again, there’s still the problem of Escobar as a character. What makes Escobar different than any other paranoid, manipulative drug lord? His most fascinating aspect is his relationship to the people, which is more of a social issue rather than one that emanates from his character. Perhaps de Aranoa will have more insight into the character than the most recent Escobar film, Escobar: Paradise Lost, although I admit that it relegated him to more of a supporting role.