Schwentke Helming The Americano

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New Line Cinema has optioned the Aran Shetterly book “The Americano: Fighting for Freedom in Castro’s Cuba, an Untold Story.” Robert Schwentke is attached to direct the film centering on William Morgan, an American who became a key figure in the Cuban revolution in the late 1950s but was executed after crossing Fidel Castro.

The script will be written by Mark Bailey. Ed Saxon will produce through his ESP banner. Schwentke is prepping The Time Traveler’s Wife for New Line, with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams starring, and Bailey just wrote The Zenith Man for New Line. He’ll be executive producer on “Americano.”

Morgan, a high school dropout who was rumored to have been a gangster and a CIA operative, headed to Cuba in the 1950s, and rose to command the legendary Cuban fighting column known as the Tigers of the Jungle. Blond, and wielding a gold-plated pistol, he stood out among rebels. Morgan eventually became caught up among the conflicting agendas of guerrilla leader Castro, U.S. mobsters and the FBI; when he turned against Castro after the Cuban leader embraced communism, Morgan was executed in 1961.