After playing one tragic outlaw across multiple years on FX’s recently concluded Sons of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam is taking on another anti-hero role. The actor just signed on to star in a drama that Legendary is adapting from the 2011 Rolling Stone article “An American Drug Lord in Acapulco.” Legendary is moving quickly ahead with the project and has already set American Sniper scribe Jason Hall to pen the script.
Whether the pic will directly adapt the story of the article remains to be seen, but Rolling Stone’s piece, by Vanessa Grigoriadis and Mary Cuddehe, centered on the life of Edgar Valdez, a high school football player from Texas who went on to become a cartel leader in Mexico, the only U.S. citizen to accomplish such a feat.
Operating out of Acapulco, Valdez, known as La Barbie after a nickname given to him by his high school football coach, made $130 million in one year moving drugs from Colombia. As time went on, he became increasingly feared and allegedly upped the levels of violence involved in his business, including filming the brutal executions of rivals and posting them online. With profits rising alongside the violence, the rival cartels turned on one another, with the help of crooked cops, turning Valdez’s life into a struggle to stay alive.
It certainly sounds like a fascinating character to build a film around, and it will be great to watch an actor of Hunnam’s caliber bring such a complex figure to life in American Drug Lord.
No other cast members have been announced just yet, but we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.