New Pablo Escobar Feature Takes Flight With 'Lincoln Lawyer' Director (Exclusive)

Brad Furman, left, and Matt Aldrich

"This is the Latino 'Godfather'," producer Scott Steindorff tells THR.

A new take on notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar is on its way to the big screen.

Brad Furman, who directed the spring hit The Lincoln Lawyer, is in negotiations to direct the untitled feature, while Matt Aldrich, who made a big splash in May when his spec Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses sold to Warner Bros., is writing the script.

Scott Steindorff, most recently a producer on The Lincoln Lawyer, is producing via his Stone Village Pictures.

The life of Escobar, the charismatic and murderous Colombian blood lord, has long captivated Hollywood. In recent years there were two competing projects: Escobar, which Oliver Stone was developing, and Killing Pablo, based on a Mark Bowden book, with Joe Carnahan attached to direct. Both movies have since been put on hold.

Steindorff says the project will be a cross between The Godfather and a war movie, capturing the complexity of the man while showing the violent lifestyle.

"This is the Latino Godfather,” says Steindorff, who has produced several movies in South America, including Love in the Time of Cholera and Turistas. “We’re showing the story of his family, the structure of his enterprise, his rise—the man had the largest criminal organization in the world. In the end, it was a war between Colombia and one man.”

“It’s been an elusive journey to bring his story to the screen but the key is to not look at the hoopla around him but focus on the man,” says Furman. “He was intriguing in many ways. It’s a dark story but it’s also a human interest story. I'm most excited about working with the talented Vincent Chase!”

Furman is joking in that last line, a reference to HBO’s Entourage, where Adrian Grenier’s character made an Escobar movie called Medellin. That storyline highlighted both Hollywood’s interest in the controversial figure and the not-so-easy journey to make a movie about him.

Aldrich, repped by CAA and manager Jewerl Ross, sold Father Daughter Time to Warners for $500,000 against $800,000 and with Matt Damon attached to star. His deal to write the Escobar project could net him into the seven figures. He is additionally repped by Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman.

"Not only am I excited to write what could be an epic story, a chance to work again with Brad Furman who has long been a champion of mine and a friend, is too good to pass up,” Aldrich says.

Furman is repped by CAA, Atlas Entertainment, and Jackoway Tyerman.

Stone Village’s Dylan Russell and Scott LaStaiti will executive produce the as-yet-untitled Escobar project.


Twitter: @Borys_Kit