Benicio Del Toro in talks to play Pablo Escobar

'Che' actor in final negotiations to star as the drug baron in 'Paradise Lost'

Benicio Del Toro is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to star as infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar in Paradise Lost.

The Che actor is the odds-on favourite to appear as the Columbian drug baron in the movie which is due to begin shooting in Panama in March 2013, according to Variety.

The film, written and directed by Life Of Pi screenwriter Andrea di Stefano, follows a young surfer named Nick who visits his brother in Columbia and falls in love with a beautiful local girl called Maria. Their romance seems idyllic until he meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar.

Describing Del Toro, Dimitri Rassam, whose company Chapter 2 will produce the film, said: “He is one of the rare actors with enough charisma and range to play such a multi-faceted character as Escobar, who could be wonderfully charming yet dangerous and menacing.”

Paradise Lost will not centre around the life of Pablo Escobar. Instead, the film will focus on the blossoming romance between Nick and Maria. Rassam added that the movie will be more like Kevin Macdonald’s Last King Of Scotland.

“It will have a narrative structure in the vein of The Last King of Scotland weaving Nick and Maria’s romance with Nick’s ambivalent and destructive relationship with Escobar,” Rassam explained.

The 11-week shoot begins in Panama in March 2013.