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Oscar Isaac Drops Out Of 'The Ballad Of Pablo Escobar', But John Leguizamo Might Replace Him

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist August 12, 2013 at 11:05AM

One thing we're really excited to see over the next year or so is the blooming of Oscar Isaac into a full-blown movie star. The actor's been stealing the show for a few years now in films like "Body Of Lies," "Robin Hood," "Drive" and "The Bourne Legacy," but looks ready to move to the next stage up; he's tipped for awards for his lead role in the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (read our review from Cannes here), and he's got a number of other lead roles on the way, including "Therese," "The Two Faces Of January" and "Ex Machina."
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Oscar Isaac John Leguizamo

One thing we're really excited to see over the next year or so is the blooming of Oscar Isaac into a full-blown movie star. The actor's been stealing the show for a few years now in films like "Body Of Lies," "Robin Hood," "Drive" and "The Bourne Legacy," but looks ready to move to the next stage up; he's tipped for awards for his lead role in the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (read our review from Cannes here), and he's got a number of other lead roles on the way, including "Therese," "The Two Faces Of January" and "Ex Machina."

In fact, Isaac's busy enough that he's been forced to drop a project he had on his slate. Back in May, Isaac was announced as playing legendary drug dealer Pablo Escobar in a then-untitled project written by Black List veteran Matt Aldrich, set to be directed by "The Lincoln Lawyer" helmer Brad Furman. The good news, via Latino Review, is that the film is still ticking forward, now titled "The Ballad Of Pablo Escobar," and planning to shoot next month in Colombia. The bad is that Isaac is out of the project for unknown reasons.

Furman & co haven't been hanging around when it comes to finding a replacement, though. Apparently, "Elysium" star Wagner Moura was at one point lined up to take over, but he's no longer in the running. Now, according to the site, John Leguizamo is one of two names in contention to the part, with the actor (who appears in "Kick Ass 2" this week) even posting evidence of a prosthetic-aided screen test on his Twitter account.

It's a little surprising that Leguizamo is considered a name big enough to carry financing for something like this, but maybe there are some bigger co-stars lined up for the project. Whether Leguizamo or the other party get it, it's in something of a race: Benicio Del Toro is playing Escobar in the upcoming "Paradise Lost," while Netflix are developing a TV series about the dealer with "Elite Squad" director Jose Padilha, and Antoine Fuqua has a project brewing too. But with "The Ballad Of Pablo Escobar" planning to shoot in September, we'll likely hear about casting on this one sooner rather than later.


This article is related to: Oscar Isaac, John Leguizamo


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