Antoine Fuqua will direct Escobar, a biopic about the notorious Colombian cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar. Oliver Stone will produce with J2 Pictures partners Justin Berfield and Jason Felts, and James Reach.
Fuqua, Stone and J2 are up against Killing Pablo, an adaptation of the Mark Bowden book about the hunt for Escobar that Joe Carnahan will direct. Bob Yari is financing that project, with Javier Bardem and Christian Bale attached to star.
Escobar is based on “Mi Hermano Pablo,” a book written by Roberto Escobar Gaviria, who served as his brother’s accountant and confidant and whose company, STL Holdings, committed the life and literary rights of the Escobar family.
David McKenna (Blow, American History X) is working on a rewrite under the supervision of Stone and Fuqua.
Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2008 in Colombia and Puerto Rico.
“My brother will be portrayed as a ruthless head of the Medellin cartel,” Escobar Gaviria said in a statement. “This is just 10% of the story. The other 90% is the story others trying to portray him simply don’t have.”
Stone said: “This is a great project about a fascinating man who took on the system. I think I have to thank ‘Scarface,’ and maybe even Ari Gold.”