Steven Soderbergh’s two Che Guevara films (The Argentine and Guerilla or, collectively and unofficially, Che) continue to make the festival rounds. They’ve just run as part of the New York Film Festival, where Soderbergh took part in a post-show Q&A. (Actually, the Q&A might have been on its own, as at least one NYFF screening is yet to come.) The Playlist was there, and so got to hear the director talk up a potential third film about the famous figure. This isn’t the first time he’s mentioned a third movie; he first broached the subject during Cannes.
“Even though we’ve made two parts we still haven’t shown everything. There’s actually another movie, I think, to be made about what happens between these two parts but we didn’t have enough money.”
And with Che not likely to make a boatload of cash, money remains the rub. At the NYFF Q&A Soderbergh joked that he’d make the third film if the other two made $100m, which is staggeringly unlikely.
“We (writer Peter Buchman and I) talked about [the third film]. The story of Che in the Congo was absolutely fascinating. We actually sort of sketched an idea for a small film, that would take place in the Congo and Prague, where he went after fighting in the Congo to sort of lick his wounds and write a very self-critical book on what happened [there].”
“The [real] answer is that we didn’t have enough money to do that. Also, it’s a fascinating chapter, but it didn’t really fall into the bookend idea we ended up with.”
Head over to The Playlist to read more about how the films developed from one idea meant only to be Guerilla, and how Soderbergh & Co. realized they needed to tell a lot more of the story to have any of it make sense.
When all this is said and done I’d love to see a book about the film(s) emerge from Soderbergh’s camp; not even having seen the current films yet, I get the feeling that this is a master class in working within economics and film technique to adapt history to the screen.