A few months ago I read Peter Buchman‘s two Che Guevara scripts, The Argentine and Guerilla, that Steven Soderbegh will begin turning into moving images starting on 7.25 in Spain. I’m bringing it up because Catalina Sandino Moreno has joined the cast of both films. Emiliano de Pablos‘ Variety story doesn’t say which character she’ll be playing, but pretty much everyone on the Che side of the battle in Guerilla winds up dead.
Obviously political and terse and rugged, Buchman’s scripts are about how living outside the law and fighting a violent revolution feels and smells and chafes on a verite, chapter-by-chapter basis. They’re about sweat and guns and hunger and toughing it out…friendships, betrayals, exhaustion, shoot-outs and trudging through the jungle with a bad case of asthma. What it was, how it happened…the straight dope and no overt “drama.”
If Soderbergh does right by what’s on the page, The Argentine and Guerilla (which Focus Features will open within weeks of each other in 2008) will have, at the very least, a Traffic-like impact. The films will almost certainly be Oscar contenders, and you have to figure that del Toro, playing a complex, conflicted hero who ends up dead (i.e. executed in a rural schoolhouse by a drunken Bolivian soldier), will be up for Best Actor. The Guevara role is too well written (nothing but choice, down- to-it dialogue from start to finish) and del Toro is too talented an actor — it can’t not happen.