×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wagner Moura’s ‘Marighella’ Slated for Nov. 20 Release Amid Fears of Boycott

SANTIAGO, Chile – “Marighella,” Wagner Moura’s contentious directorial debut, is slated to bow in Brazil on Nov. 20 but Moura fears that its domestic release could be hampered by ongoing calls to boycott it by conservatives and the government of President Jair Bolsonaro who claims, among other things, that Brazil’s 21 years under military rule – between April 1964 and March 1985 – was not a dictatorship.

Budgeted at an estimated $4 million, a higher-than-average budget for Brazil, “Marighella” tracks the titular Carlos Marighella before he was gunned down by the military. Described as a Marxist politician, a writer and a revolutionary, he sought to end Brazil’s nefarious military dictatorship that began with a coup d’état in1964.

A scuttled domestic release is probably not an outcome Moura wants for his directorial debut. The actor-director-producer shot to fame with his lead roles in Jose Padilha’s “Elite Squad” films but his stardom rose to new heights with his three-season portrayal of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in “Narcos,” one of Netflix’s most popular show worldwide during its peak years.

In Chile’s capital of Santiago to open the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Festival (Sanfic), and celebrate the Latin American premiere of his political thriller, Moura reiterated that he was an actor first, and a director second. Asked whether he was ready to helm another film, he responded, “I’d have to be truly passionate about the subject matter.”

“I’ll never be a director for hire,” he pronounced although he admitted that he has found directing easier than acting. “I watched my actors suffer through these traumatic scenes and thought how great that it was not me there,” he told Variety.

Having worked with the likes of Padilha and the various directors of “Narcos” helped him prep for his film.

“To be completely honest, it was so organic; I knew exactly what I wanted to do, had so much trust in the people I had hired and had discussed it ad nauseum with them that by the time I was ready to shoot, it was so easy,” he said. He admits that the post-production part was a mystery to him. “I had no clue about the process but I discovered how I loved working with sound design,” he noted.

The film’s producer O2 Filmes, the production shingle of Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Fernando Meirelles (“City of God,” “The Constant Gardener”), gave him free rein to hire his cast and crew, he said. His DP, Adrian Tejido, who had worked with him on “Narcos” and the upcoming “Sergio,” among other projects, protected and supported him. “Imagine a DP who tells you he’s not putting the camera where you want it,” he mused.

“Marighella” is 2 hours 36 minutes long but it could have been four hours. Moura is hoping to fashion the used and unused footage to craft a mini-series for Globo TV, a principal investor in the film.

Moura will next be starring in Olivier Assayas’ Cuban spy drama, “The Wasp Network,” which bows at Venice.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras and Cast on Nationality, Identity, and Cinema

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Though he’s been based in Paris since 1955 and came up through the French film industry, director Costa-Gavras has never forgotten his roots. “Those who are born Greek,” said the Peloponnese-born filmmaker at a Saturday press conference,  “stay Greek all their lives.” The once-and-always Greek was not just in San Sebastian to [...]

  • Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Lopez. Lorene Scafaria,

    'Hustlers' Director Lorene Scafaria: 'We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie'

    The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes. When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had [...]

  • Jonathan Van NessLos Angeles Beautycon, Portrait

    Jonathan Van Ness Reveals HIV Diagnosis, Former Drug Addiction

    “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness is getting vulnerable in his new memoir “Over the Top.” In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older [...]

  • 4127_D022_00003_RC(l-r.) Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Dominating 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo' With $31 Million Opening

    “Downton Abbey” is heading for a positively brilliant opening weekend after scoring $13.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Friday. If estimates hold, the feature film version of the popular British television show should take home approximately $31 million come Sunday, marking the biggest opening ever for distributor Focus Features and beating previous record holder [...]

  • Gully Boy to represent India in

    'Gully Boy' to Represent India In Oscars Race

    The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category. The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content