The Yari Film Group has given the green light to develop Killing Pablo, about the late Pablo Escobar, with Javier Bardem and Christian Bale in the lead roles.

According to Variety, the project, based on Mark Bowden's novel "Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw," has been in development for nearly five years.

Bardem is slated to play Escobar, while Bale is in talks to play Major Steve Jacoby, the Delta Force commander who led the hunt for Escobar. Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces) is attached to direct.

Escobar's rise as a leader of the drug cartel in Medellin, Colombia, began in the 1970s. After years of terrorizing police and political leaders, Escobar was targeted in 1992 by a coalition of Colombian police and military, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the CIA; he was killed the following year.