John Leguizamo has won one of the best roles of his career, he’ll portray the famous Colombian drug-lord Pablo Escobar in a new biopic. According to Deadline “Leguizamo got the job basically because he refused to take no for an answer.” Apparently the Colombian actor feels he was born to play the character.
The 49-year-old Carlito’s Way star, who was born in Bogota, Colombia, will be the main protagonist of the film titled “King of Cocaine,” which will be directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer’s). Furman wanted to work with Leguizamo since the beginning, but producers kept saying no to him.
Leguizamo then spent $ 15k of his own pocket “for a fat suit and prosthetic makeup that rendered him a dead ringer for Escobar at his prime,” in order to resemble the famous drug-lord for a screen test. The producers had been looking for Inside Llewyn Davi’s Oscar Isaac, but he dropped out.
Subsequently they began to take Leguizamo seriously, according to the (Deadline) report, “Furman fought for it and got the producer to submit it to Relativity execs, without disclosing the identity of the actor. It not only showed him portraying Escobar, it even had a split screen comparison to the actual drug kingpin.”
Pablo Escobar a notorious cocaine kingpin died on December 2, 1993 after Colombian authorities used radio triangulation technology from France to track him to a suburb in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city. During a firefight Escobar was shot and killed by officers from the Colombian national police.
“King of Cocaine” will start shooting in Colombia this January (2014) on a $25m budget.