Fuqua Set to Helm One of Dueling Escobar Pics

The last time we had notable dueling story pics Oliver Stone was involved as well as he beat Baz Luhrmann to the punch with Alexander as Luhrmann was also planning on bringing a version of the Macedonian’s story to the big screen with Leo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman. Well, Stone is back at it, and this time he is in the producer’s chair along with J2 Pictures partners Justin Berfield and Jason Felts, and James Reach as Antoine Fuqua has been tapped to direct Escobar. The film serves as a dueling biopic on the notorious Colombian cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar, as Joe Carnahan is over at Yari Film Group prepping Killing Pablo starring Javier Bardem and Christian Bale. However, since Carnahan will be making White Jazz first it leaves the door open for Stone to win the race once again. Let’s hope it turns out better than Alexander did.

Fuqua’s film 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 is rewriting the current script under the supervision of Stone and Fuqua.

J2’s Berfield told Variety, “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 Gaviria was quoted saying, “My brother will be portrayed as a ruthless head of the Medellin cartel… This is just 10% of the story. The other 90% is the story others trying to portray him simply don’t have.”

This seems to be where the battle line has been drawn with the Escobar camp basically claiming Killing Pablo is not a “true” biopic on drug cartel leader, which is based on Mark Bowden’s book “Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw.”

Either way, I have no idea what to think. I would love to see a film from both guys, but I think they would be far too similar since both Fuqua and Carnahan are gritty directors and if the stories differ it will be odd, and if they are the same they will just play too much like each other. It’s a shame.

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