John Leguizamo Lands Pablo Escobar Role

Reported by Deanna Lee.


Relativity Media has finally signed on to distribute The King of Cocaine.

John Leguizamo, most well-known from his roles in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet and voicing the iconic idiotic Sid from Ice Age, has signed on to play the King of Cocaine, aka Pablo Escobar. The Colombian born actor had been pushing for the role of the Colombian drug lord ever since director Brad Furman originally wanted him for the part. The director and actor had worked together on Furman’s first film, The Take.

Originally the role of Oscar Isaac, Leguizamo shows that if you want to get something done in Hollywood, do not take no for an answer and show them that you can do it. In order to seal the deal, John Leguizamo spent $15,000 of his own cash to buy a fat-suit and makeup that rendered him a dead ringer for Escobar. Leguizamo and Furman filmed a screen test and submitted it to Relativity Media producers without revealing the actor. They were so intrigued that once Furman revealed who it was, they changed their mind on Leguizamo and signed up for the movie. His passion and persistence for the role won through in the end. Although a dead ringer, Leguizamo doesn’t follow Escobar’s mantra of “you bribe someone here, you bribe someone there”.

Leguizamo has most recently been seen in the hit sequel Kick-Ass 2, while director Brad Furman has been busy directing the thriller Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake. Furman is the first director of many attempted Pablo Escobar biopics set to go forward.  This film could certainly be one to look forward to.

Source: Deadline

– D.L.