Last year we heard that Ron Howard was going to tackle the story of Cortez and the conquest of the Aztecs in The Serpent and the Eagle, to be written by Brian Helgeland. I don’t know if that’s still happening, but if it is, we have a Dueling Cortez Movie Race on our hands – Antonio Banderas will be starring as the murderous Spaniard in Conquistador, the most expensive Spanish language movie ever made. Maybe I can use this opportunity to get my epic Dan Cortez biopic in the right hands in Hollywood.
Nicholas Kazan, son of Elia, has written the script and Brazilian director Andrucha Waddington will be helming the $40+ million picture. Conquistador will shoot in Spain and Mexico beginning this September, so Opie still has time to get in the race.
The film will focus on Cortez’ internal and external struggles as he and his group of thugs wipe out an entire culture. I’m sort of a believer in situational ethics, and of judging people by the standards of their times, but I still have difficulty stomaching any sort of hero worship of this guy, even of the flawed variety.
Taking the lead from another man of European ancestry who has invaded Mexico lately, parts of the film will be shot in Mayan and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.