The Hollywood Reporter is, uh, reporting that the life story of civil-rights activist César Chavez has been optioned by the screenwriting team of Keir Pearson ("Hotel Rwanda") and Larry Meli (no credits listed on imdb). The pair has the backing of Gael García Bernal's Cananá Films and is unclear whether Gael will have a starring role in the as-yet-unwritten film.
I don't know what to make of this. Is it too much to ask for García Bernal and his team to hire Latino writers? Surely there are some good Latino writers out there. Maybe Pearson and Meli were in advanced negotiations and the only way to ensure that the film is made with at least some level of authenticity was for Cananá to come in at the last minute and offer backing. Who knows?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pearson is also writing a biopic about legendary Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente. Perhaps García Bernal got a hold of an early draft and deemed the writing good enough (i.e. true to Latino culture) to support the Chavez project. Again, who knows?
Since it seems like a done deal, I'll stop second-guessing the writers' ability for now. Pearson did get an Academy nomination for writing "Hotel Rwanda" so what do I know? For now, I'll busy myself with a less political query - who will play Chavez?
Here's my wish list. What are yours?
1. Octavio Gómez Berríos ("Choking Man")
2. Harold Torres ("Norteado"/"Northless")
3. Jacob Vargas ("Jarhead"/"Traffic")
Not that it matters since it will probably be someone bankable like Benicio del Toro. Maybe he's destined to play all of the Latin American icons of our time... Who knows?