George Clooney and Chris Pine leave the big screen adaptation of White Jazz, so what is writer/director Joe Carnahan to do?
Kill Pablo instead?
That is an option that Smokin’ Joe is currently considering. Caranaha’s Pablo Escobar biopic, titled Killing Pablo, was finally greenlit earlier this month, after years of development. Carnahan originally planned to shoot the film with Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) attached to star, after White Jazz wrapped this Summer.
“White Jazz is something, that as much as it kills me to say this, can wait,” wrote Carnahan on his online blog. What can’t is PABLO since another version of that story (albeit inferior) is being prepped right now.”
“The only downside would be Bardem, who just committed to a film and therefore wouldn’t be available for KP. There is, however another suggestion that’s just as thrilling and somebody who had already expressed an earlier interest in this script. If he were to agree to play Pablo, I might have to pull up stakes and go make that film, toot sweet. I don’t want to get beat to the punch on something that I put that much time and effort into. I didn’t slave over the NARC script like I did over KILLING PABLO. It’s a high class problem I’ve got but it’s still a f*cking problem.”
“Anybody familiar with the state of screenplays in town will tell you, WJ is one of the best out there. That much I know. What makes that advantageous, is if this ridiculous writer’s strike does in fact drop, we can press on making that movie, sans rewrite.”
“The KP situation would also allow me to go absolutely nuts with the casting. That script has got no shortage of fans and the great thing is, a lot of those roles you can board (schedule) in and out so I can load some badass cameos in that film.”
Carnahan insists that there are “pros and there’s cons but no scale to tip” the scale. The biggest factor in this pre-strike world, seems to be time.
“I don’t want to lose out to this other flick and when I say ‘lose out’ I mean foreign buyers will basically snap up the first PABLO project that gets going, regardless of script or talent, etc. It’s commerce and if you’re the first one in, that’s all that counts.”
My pick is White Jazz. I’ve been waiting for years for a good Pablo Escobar film, but Jazz seems like it could be the more solid film. Plus, the conceptual photos that Carnahan has released online has gotten me very excited for Jazz. It seems that Carnahan has this film very thought out, and now is the time to strike.
Chris Pine has dropped out of playing Junior Stemmons in Joe Carnahan’s White Jazz, which means he’s 100% confirmed to play Kirk in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. I know, I know, we already had a Carnahan story earlier today, but this is some breaking news as Pine was undecided when the news broke a couple days back that he was Abrams final choice for the role of Kirk.
“I’ve been talking to him this past week and knew how tough the decision had to be for him,” Caranahan wrote on his blog. “I don’t envy ever being in that spot but I gave him my full support, even if it meant he didn’t do JAZZ. I get it. You don’t get opportunities like that often and I told him as long as he could control as much of that process as possible and not get sucked into doing lesser sequels as a result of taking this gig, then good luck and God bless.”
Carnahan has promised a role to Pine in Killing Pablo, his Pablo Escobar biopic which is set to go into production June 2008. I still don’t think that Pine can fill Shatner’s shoes, but I sure hope that Abrams knows what he’s doing. Because I, like most everyone else who cares about this franchise is starting to get a bit nervous about these casting decisions.
All this talk of a potential strike has got me thinking: Will the strike actually happen? All my friends who are currently working at Hollywood studios believe it will and have told me that the studios are preparing like it’s the end of the world. Instead of preparing for the worst, why aren’t the studios trying to make good and keep the unions happy?
I haven’t been able to get any of my director friends to comment on the strike on the record, so I found Smokin Aces writer/director Joe Carnahan’s comments refreshingly honest. Carnahan begins a 50 day production on White Jazz soon, and he plans to follow that up with Killing Pablo in June 2008 (after post production). He thinks that is possible “providing the actors don’t strike…”
“…and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think the WGA is going to go out in another two weeks and it’s gonna be so ugly and potentially protracted that it’s gong to scare off SAG and the DGA and they’re going to come to an agreement before the June 30th drop dead date. I really think this is where it’s headed.
I’ve talked to friends of mine, writers and directors and agents and everybodyÂ has this bunker mentality…this strike is happening and people are going to be destroyed overnight. Careers are going to be crushed and an industry torpedoed. The respective parties as so far apart right now, the notion that in two weeks, there will be this miraculous stick save and all will be resolved, is insane…”
You can always count on Joe for his candid thoughts.
The Yari Film Group is fast-tracking Killing Pablo with Christian Bale (Batman Begins) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) set to star. The Pablo Escobar bio-pic has been in development for nearly five years, and was originally set-up at Paramount. Joe Carnahan (Smoking Aces) is still attached to direct. Bardem is slated to play Escobar, while Bale is in talks to play Major Steve Jacoby, the Delta Force commander who led the hunt for Escobar. Everyone agrees that Bardem is incredible in the new Cohen Brother’s movie.
The Escobar story has also influenced countless movie and video game storylines. I’m guessing that the Entourage storyline which involved a Escobar biopic might have been responsible for the renewed interest. Medellin, the fake movie within the show, was greeted by horrible reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in the season finale storyline. Let’s hope that Carnahan’s version will be better received.
Based on Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden’s book, “Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw” is a tour de force of investigative journalism-this is the story of the violent rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the head of the Colombian Medellin cocaine cartel. Escobar’s criminal empire held a nation of thirty million hostage in a reign of terror that would only end with his death. In an intense, up-close account, award-winning journalist Mark Bowden exposes details never before revealed about the U.S.-led covert sixteen-month manhunt. With unprecedented access to important players-including Colombian president César Gaviria and the incorruptible head of the special police unit that pursued Escobar, Colonel Hugo Martinez-as well as top-secret documents and transcripts of Escobar’s intercepted phone conversations, Bowden has produced a gripping narrative that is a stark portrayal of rough justice in the real world.
The Los Angeles Times called the book: “The story of how the U.S. Army Intelligence and Delta Force commandos helped Colombian police track down and kill Pablo Escobar is a compelling, almost Shakespearean tale.”
Yari told Variety that the film could begin shooting as early as June 2008, if SAG doesn’t go on strike (June 30 is the deadline). If a SAG strike does happen, the production will be delayed until after the work stoppage.