Over the past few years, we’ve seen several filmmakers try their hand at a Pablo Escobar biopic, with not much success. Neither Oliver Stone’s Escobar nor Jor Carnahan’s Killing Pablo managed to get off the ground, and the Brad Furman effort announced in 2011 doesn’t seem to have gotten very far either. But it looks like the Colombian cocaine kingpin will be making it to the silver screen in the near future — and portrayed by the talented Benicio del Toro, no less.

The Oscar-winning actor is nearing a deal to play Escobar in Paradise Lost, a romantic thriller that will be the directorial debut of Italian actor-turned-filmmaker Andrea Di Stefano (Life of Pi, Nine). However, Di Stefano’s movie isn’t a biopic per se. Instead, it’s a romantic thriller about a young couple with a destructive connection to Escobar. Read on after the jump.

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In July, Oliver Stone is going back to his lurid daylight noir style (think U-Turn) with his adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel Savages. The film features Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a couple of pot growers whose business ends up in the crosshairs of a more powerful Mexican drug lord (Salma Hayek). Her henchman (Benicio Del Toro) kidnaps the guys’ shared girlfriend (Blake Lively), which leads to a pretty intense confrontation.

After the break, we’ve got an exclusive behind the scenes video showing the setup and filming of one of the movie’s action setpieces. We’ve also dropped in some of the other videos from the film that have hit in the past couple days. Read More »

LOL: TMZ Has No Idea Who Terrence Malick Is

One classic ‘either or’ question is: would you rather have fortune, or fame? I always go for fortune, because for the most part it looks like fame really sucks. There is real power in being able to do the stuff you want to do, but still walk down the street in total anonymity.

Terrence Malick, director of films such as The Tree of Life and Days of Heaven, has always sought that sort of lifestyle — he could have given J.D. Salinger lessons in avoiding the press — and now we know he has truly achieved it. Because when he and Benecio Del Toro were out walking, TMZ caught up to them, and the tape of the encounter proves that the crew had no idea they had stumbled into a stupendously rare interview with one of the most reclusive talents of the past fifty years. Check it out below. Read More »

With the Cannes Film Festival only a few days away, get ready to hear about film packages that are up for grabs at the festival. Filmmakers come to the festival with some actors, a script and try and get money to make a movie. Many don’t happen, many do, and here’s an example of one that will likely see the light of day. It’s called Agent: Century 21 (yes, as in the real estate company) and will star Cameron Diaz as a divorced real estate agent who gets kidnapped and sent on a mission by a Mexican drug lord, played by Benicio Del Toro. It’ll be directed by first timer Adam Hashemi and was written by Greg Brooker (Stuart Little). Read more after the jump. Read More »

Yesterday we saw the first bit of footage from Oliver Stone‘s new film Savages, in which the girlfriend (Blake Lively)of two pot growers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, the better to get said growers to work for the bigger outfit.

The film features the sort of cast you’d expect to see Stone pull together: in addition to the leads there are Benicio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Demian Bichir, Salma Hayek, Joel David Moore and Emile Hirsch, and it is shot in a style reminiscent of a few of his lurid ’90s entries such as U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. (Speaking of ’90s films, is Salma Hayek cosplaying as Thurman’s Pulp Fiction character Mia Wallace?)

Now we’ve got the full trailer, which sets up the story, offers a little bit of sex and violence, and shoves a knife through John Travolta. Check it out below. Read More »

Think back to the Oliver Stone films of the 1990s. Not so much JFK and Nixon; more like U-Turn, Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday. Those films had a stylized, hyper-saturated color palette that clearly gave Tony Scott some ideas. For instance, on U-Turn, Stone’s cinematographer Robert Richardson shot on reversal film stock — which becomes a transparent positive when developed, rather than a traditional negative — and then cross-processed it as negative film, increasing contrast and color saturation. Tony Scott and Daniel Mindel used the same technique for Domino almost a decade later.

Point is, Stone seems to have gone back to that exaggerated look for his new film Savages, which adapts Don Winslow‘s novel about two small-time pot dealers (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) whose mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped in an attempt to strong-arm them into working with a Mexican drug cartel, which counts Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro amongst its members. John Travolta is also in the film; Stone borrowed him from Tony Scott.

If you saw the first poster for the film when Pete ran it in Page 2 yesterday you’ll know something about the look Stone is going for. But now there is a brief montage of footage showing off that stylish, colorful look the director first relied on almost 20 years ago. I have to say, I like it quite a bit. Read More »

We’ve occasionally followed the development of 7 Days in Havana, an anthology film in which seven directors each chronicle one day in Havana, Cuba. The attraction is the set of directors, which includes Benicio Del Toro, making only his second time in the director’s chair (with Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games in his cast) and Argentine firebrand Gaspar Noe, who last made Enter the Void and is generally associated with French cinema thanks to his films Irreversible and I Stand Alone.

We know that Noe’s movies are often quite visually distinctive, so here’s your test for the day: can you watch the trailer below and guess right off which footage comes from Noe? (Answer: probably not.) Read More »

Good news for those eager to find out exactly why Benicio del Toro is picking on Blake Lively in that first image from Savages: Universal has just shifted the opening date for Oliver Stone‘s latest from September 28 to July 6. Savages is the only film currently scheduled to go up against Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which hits three days before on Tuesday, July 3. It’s a bold move on the studio’s part, but it may also be a smart one — Savages could be ideal counter-programming to the comedies, actioners, and superhero flicks due out around the same time this summer.

Based on a book by Don Winslow, Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a pair of small-time pot dealers who get roped into working for a Mexican cartel that kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Lively). The impressive cast also includes Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, and Emile Hirsch.

After the jump, new release dates for Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve, Drafthouse Films’ The FP, and lesser known Oscar nominees Bullhead (also from Drafthouse Films) and Chico & Rita.

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