With Steven Spielberg officially handing the Bradley Cooper-led drama American Sniper over to Clint Eastwood (for a shoot that begins on April 1st), the question remains what the director will helm next. There’s an unlikely chance he could return to the shelved Robopocalypse, or focus his time on DreamWorks’ remakes of Grapes of Wrath and Like Father, Like Son, or perhaps head to China for a Zhang Yimou collaboration. Today brings another possibility and one that would see him head back a few centuries.
According to Deadline, the director is eying the period epic Montezuma and is already courting Javier Bardem for the role of Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, who battles our titular character as Spain infiltrates Mexico. The original script dates back to nearly fifty years ago, when the legendary Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus, Roman Holiday) crafted a 205-page draft for Kirk Douglas and Martin Ritt.
A new draft is now being written by Steve Zaillian, who last worked with Spielberg on Schindler’s List and is recently behind another historical epic, Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Moses biopic Exodus. Zaillian is currently working to shift the focus from Montezuma to Cortez, as the two develop an initial relationship in 1519, leading up to a bloody conclusion. While everything is currently in its early stages, it’s a project with exciting possibilities — particularly Bardem, who seems well-suited for the role — so check back for details as they come in.
Would you like to see Spielberg direct Bardem for his next project?