Javier Bardem drops out of 'Killing Pablo'
Entourage‘s faux Pablo Escobar biopic — which ran into plenty of trouble last season — isn’t the only victim of Hollywood’s labyrinthine development process. Two competing (and actual) projects about the Colombian drug lord have been trying to get off the ground since last year, and they’ve both hit plenty of roadblocks. Director Joe Carnahan’s Killing Pablo was slated to feature Javier Bardem in the leading role (opposite Christian Bale) but last week the actor told EW that he’s no longer attached to the project. “Joe has great material and it’s going to be spectacular, be we just couldn’t find a time when we could both work.” Meanwhile, director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and producer Oliver Stone will have to wait a little longer to make Escobar, which has been delayed because of last winter’s writers’ strike, directing commitments for Fuqua and Stone, and a current financial dispute with sales partner Essential Entertainment. Now things have gotten knottier: According to Killing Pablo producer, and financier, Bob Yari, negotiations have begun with Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum) to replace Bardem, and Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) is done scouting locales in Colombia and Mexico with an eye on an October start date. “We’ve been scrambling,” says Yari. “We looked at a lot of actors. We will be very happy if we can get Edgar.” Oddly enough, the Internet once hummed with news that Ramirez was also on the short list for the competing Escobar, though producer Jason Felts says that’s not true. In any case, Yari and Carnahan’s strategic poach could prove to be the winning move. And if that falls through too? Hey, maybe Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier is free! (Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)