Oliver Stone is one for one in the biopic duel, though he might call Alexander a pyrrhic victory. He’s stepping up to the line again, this time as producer of an alternate flick
about Pablo Escobar. His film, Escobar, will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, based on the
book Mi Hermano Pablo written by Escobar’s brother Roberto Escobar Gaviria, who acted as the coke trafficker’s accountant.
Stone, with partners Jason Felts and Justin Berfield (who sure has grown up a little since being the big brother on Malcolm In The Middle) claims to have funding fully secured with production ready to go in the first quarter of ’08. There’s a script in place as well, though it’s being worked over by David McKenna — think he can get the job done in the next twenty-five days?
Meanwhile, Joe Carnahan is still working over White Jazz. He’s still got eyes on his own film about Escobar, the adaptation of Killing Pablo that has spent more time in the womb than all of Nathan Arizona’s kids put together.
Seeing Fuqua’s name on the bottom line of Stone’s pic doesn’t do much for me, even though this
material is an obvious callback to Training Day, the only Fuqua movie I’d ever have the urge to watch again. Carnahan’s track record is still in
dispute as well – though I haven’t seen Smokin’ Aces and have a very soft spot for Narc – but for no real good reason I’ve got more faith in Carnahan when it comes to this equation. The time he’s put into both White Jazz and Killing Pablo suggests to me that he’s the one with a specific point of view to add to the story.
Not that such a thing is what everyone wants. Berfield claims that his crew have been working with consultants for over a year to mobilize their version of Escobar’s history, and that Gaviria was one of the hired informational guns. He’s got his own perspective on the story, as Variety quotes: "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." Whether he’s talking about the Stone/Fuqua version or the Carnahan isn’t clear.
We’ll see if any of this matters when the WGA gets their pickets out at the end of the month.