Steven Soderbergh is set to direct two biopics based on the later years of Che Guevara.
Benicio Del Toro will play Guevara, with Javier Bardem, Franka Potente and Benjamin Bratt in talks for other key roles, says Variety. The first film, The Argentine, begins as Che and a band of Cuban exiles (led by Fidel Castro) reach the Cuban shore from Mexico in 1956. Within two years, they mobilized popular support and an army and toppled the U.S.-friendly regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. The second film, Guerrilla, begins with Che's trip to New York, where he spoke at the United Nations in 1964 and was celebrated in society circles.
Soderbergh will shoot both films back to back, and has already shot opening footage with Del Toro and Julia Ormond, who plays TV journolist Lisa Howard, the intermediary between the Kennedy White House and Cuba.
Both scripts were written by Peter Buchman; Del Toro has been working with a translator to put the dialogue into Spanish. Production on both films begins next May in Mexico and other South American cities.