Relativity Snatches Up Pablo Escobar Script, ‘Silver or Lead’

Piers Ashworth's screenplay follows the massive manhunt for the Colombian drug lord 

Relativity Media announced on Tuesday that it has picked up the rights to "Silver or Lead," a screenplay by Piers Ashworth, which tracks the manhunt for Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

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Enrique Urbizu is attached to direct the story of how General Hugo Martinez risked his life as the head of  the elite task force responsible for bringing the godfather of the Medellín cartel to justice for his crimes. The film's title is derived from the antagonist's famous phrase, "Plata o Plomo," meaning take his silver or take his lead.

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Relativity, which will produce in partnership with Atmosphere Entertainment MM, has already secured Martinez's life rights, as well as those of DEA agent Joe Toft, who was also involved in the pursuit, capture and death of Escobar in 1993.

Simon Strong's award-winning book “Whitewash: Pablo Escobar and the Cocaine Wars" was acquired by Relativity to provide the source material for Ashworth's script, which he developed from an original draft by Michael Kane.

Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and president Tucker Tooley will serve as producers on their project with Mark Canton, Donald Kushner and Leigh Ann Burton. Atmosphere’s David Hopwood will co-produce.

“Relativity is proud to attract such a dynamic team to help tell Pablo Escobar’s life story. We have been fans of Enrique’s award-winning work and Piers’ powerful script and are thrilled to have them on board," Tooley said in a statement. "This has been a long coveted project and we look forward to working with people who are as passionate about the story as Mark, Donald, and Leigh Ann.”

This is the second Escobar-related feature film of late to come to fruition. Benicio Del Toro is attached to play portray the infamous criminal in writer/director Andrea di Stefano's "Paradise Lost," which stars Josh Hutcherson as a young surfer who falls for Escobar's niece.