Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem couple up for Fernando León de Aranoa
by Alfonso Rivera
- The Spanish superstar couple are putting themselves in the hands of the director of A Perfect Day in Escobar, which tells the story of the rise of the legendary Columbian drug kingpin
After starring together in a number of productions including Jamón, jamón, directed by the late Bigas Luna, and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona [+see also:
film profile], and amid anticipation for the 2017 release of Asghar Farhadi latest film, Oscar-winning couple Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz (soon to appear in The Queen of Spain—read more here) are about to share a film set once again. This time, it’s for Escobar, an adaptation of the book Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar, by Colombian journalist Virginia Vallejo, which will be directed by Fernando León de Aranoa (Mondays in the Sun [+see also:
film profile]). Filming will begin in Colombia in the next couple of weeks.
The film will offer an inside look, not only at the political wheeling and dealing of the notorious drug trafficker, a criminal who came to be enormously wealthy, but also at his five-year love affair with Vallejo, a television presenter who was often on the receiving end of his mood swings and domineering personality. The film marks a return to fiction for León de Aranoa (who also wrote the screenplay for the film and who last year was selected for the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes with A Perfect Day [+see also:
interview: Fernando León de Aranoa
film profile]) following the release of his topical documentary Política: manual de instrucciones [+see also:
The director will have an impressive technical crew by his side, including director of photography Álex Catalán (Marshland [+see also:
interview: Alberto Rodríguez
film profile]), art director Alain Bainée (Snow White) and costume designer Loles García Galeán (Palm Trees in the Snow [+see also:
film profile]). Production services in Colombia will be provided by Dynamo, a company that has also worked on the hit TV series Narcos.
Escobar is being produced by Escobar Films (Spain) and B2Y (Bulgaria) and will be distributed internationally by Nu Image (USA). The film’s producer, Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga (known for Órbita 9, which was also filmed in Colombia—more here), describes Escobar as “the kind of film that every producer dreams of making: an original story, with a talented director and an incredibly charismatic cast. It’s a great project, and I think it’s going to make a great film.”
(Translated from Spanish)