It’s official: Pablo Escobar’s spirit has come back to earth to possess Hollywood studio execs and force them to make movies about his life. At least that’s the most convincing explanation for the unending litany of Escobar-related film and television endeavors – some good, others not so much – that have descended upon American visual culture over the last few years.
And last week, just as Narcos was premiering to critical acclaim on Netflix, media sources confirmed that the latest victim of Escobar’s post-mortem PR campaign is diminutive Scientology-enthusiast Tom Cruise. That’s right, Tom Cruise currently finds himself in Escobar’s hometown of Medellín meeting with the mayor, visiting the army, and experiencing all the fine dining Colombia’s second largest city has to offer: all things that Pablo Escobar presumably did, too.
This is because Mr. Cruise is currently filming a movie entitled Mena in which he stars as American pilot Barry Seal, who worked directly with Mr. Escobar before getting tapped as a CIA informant. Judging by helmer Doug Liman’s official statement, this may not be just another run-of-the-mill crime thriller: the director behind Swingers and the Bourne franchise suggested his treatment of Seal’s escapades will include healthy doses of comedy and satire to balance out the suspense, even if some of the behind-the-scenes drama may be even juicier than the film itself.
Despite a heavy security presence, the set was breached by an undercover reporter, Jean Lemus Díaz. The dedicated photog attempted to get exclusive images of the shoot for his employer, Colombian TV channel RCN, by posing as an actor. In a scene with several extras playing soldiers, a security guard noticed that one guy’s uniform was a little different than everyone else’s. Once it was discovered that Lemus Diaz had a bunch of cameras on him, he was promptly arrested.
In the meantime, Cruise has set up shop in Medellín for the near future, and apparently gave the mayor a free consultation on turning Medellín into a go-to Hollywood filming destination. We’re sure his sage advice was much appreciated, but with numerous government-backed incentives enticing American film and television crews over the last few years, it seems the Colombian Film Commission is already a few steps ahead of the wee man.
Now somebody get an espiritista up in here to send Escobar’s ghost back to where he came from.