This article was corrected on September 25, 2003.
HOLLYWOOD — There’s room enough for two Alexander the Greats, but can Hollywood accommodate a trio of Che Guevaras?
Not only are Universal and DreamWorks facing down Intermedia and Warner Bros. over Alexander the Great, but three filmmakers are embracing the legend of Cuban rebel Ernesto Che Guevara.
There’s Walter Salles‘ Spanish-language “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which is based on Guevara’s journals as a med student and stars Gael Garcia Bernal.
And there’s Laura Bickford and Steven Soderbergh‘s “Che,” with Benicio Del Toro in the title role (with the remote possibility of Terence Malick behind the camera).
Last but not least, Bernardo Bertolucci (who once wanted to adapt “Motorcycle Diaries”) has told his ICM reps he’s still interested in pursuing a pic on Che.
It’s possible all three of the Che projects could happen. After all, Alex the Great already has Hollywood seeing double.
Oliver Stone will begin production Sept. 22 in Morocco on “Alexander” for Intermedia and Warners for a fall 2004 release. Although that puts Stone’s movie (which stars Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins) in the lead, Baz Luhrmann tells Variety that he remains wholly committed to directing “Alexander the Great” for Universal and DreamWorks.
Luhrmann’s now casting the pic, an effort that will include a search for a youngster to play the Macedonia king as a child. Luhrmann last week was in Montreal, visiting the pic’s star Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of “The Aviator.”
Luhrmann tells Variety: “The boy actor must not only physically look like Leonardo and be gifted as an actor, but he must particularly have an equestrian talent like the boy in ‘The Black Stallion.’ ”
On the Guevara front, “Motorcycle Diaries” wrapped in January and will likely bow on the 2004 fest circuit.
As for “Che,” Malick’s attachment is the latest signpost in Bickford and Del Toro’s five-year struggle to bring the story of the man behind the revolutionary to life.
(If Malick does helm the pic, he brings a certain firsthand experience: When the Bolivian army murdered Guevara in 1967, Malick was in the country to write a piece on Guevara’s guerillas for The New Yorker.)