He’s been saying for ages that he’ll make a Che Guevara biopic. And, in a surprising move, Steven Soderbergh has announced that, now he’s finally getting around to it, he’s actually making two films about the Latin American revolutionary.
Benicio Del Toro is already signed on to play Che, while Javier Bardem, Franka Potente and Benjamin Bratt are close to taking on parts.
Soderbergh will shoot the two movies – The Argentine and Guerrilla – back to back around South America, and using mostly Spanish dialogue and working with a combined budget of less than $70 million.
The Argentine sees Che and a group of Cuban exiles – led by Fidel Castro - arrive at Cuba from Mexico in 1956. It takes them just two years to gather massive support and an army powerful enough to collapse the US-friendly dictatorship that had been in place. Guerrilla takes over in 1964, when Guevara travelled to New York to speak at the United Nations.
Despite being busy with Ocean’s 13, Soderbergh has already shot the opening footage for Guerrilla, with Julia Ormond playing TV reporter Lisa Howard, who helped the revolutionary get his chance to speak. Oh, and if he wasn’t already taking on enough work, the filmmaker has also been shooting a documentary about Guevara while he’s been doing his research.