We’re used to Javier Bardem (Mother!) taking center stage in movies, so we were intrigued to hear about his latest project — a four-part miniseries for Amazon called Cortés.
It may not be a film but its Hollywood credentials are there, with Steven Spielberg producing and a script penned by Steven Zaillian, the writer behind the Oscar-winning 1993 Holocaust drama Schindler’s List.
According to Deadline, the screenplay is even based on one written in the 1960s by legendary blacklisted Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo, who was recently played by Bryan Cranston in the 2016 film Trumbo.
Nor is Javier’s character a hero, necessarily. He’ll play controversial 16th century conquistador Hernán Cortés, whose expedition to the Americas in 1519 led to large portions of Mexico becoming part of the Spanish Empire, but also the destruction of Aztec civilization.
“It is a privilege to tell this epic story,” Javier was quoted as saying, “one that is full of drama and conflict within this huge, historical spectacle where two distant civilizations clash at the height of their reign.”
He continued: “The best and worst of human nature came to life in all its light and darkness. As an actor, there is no better challenge than to serve such a unique project that I have been passionate about for years, and I am thrilled to be working with this dream team of Steven Spielberg, Steven Zaillian and Amazon.”
It’s not the first time Javier has played a controversial historical figure. Last year, he took on the role of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, starring opposite real-life wife Penélope Cruz, in Loving Pablo, and in 2000 he played Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls.
There’s no word yet on when Cortés will air, but we think it’s likely to be 2019.
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