Benicio Del Toro Starring in Cuban-American Crime Saga ‘The Corporation’ For Leonardo DiCaprio
Benicio Del Toro has been enjoying something of a hot streak since his standout performance in the nerve-fraying Drug War thriller Sicario back in the fall. Though it’s not as if he’s just gotten his big break; the actor earned his first Academy Award in 2000, for covering similar ground as a casualty of the Drug War in Traffic. But with his star-turn in Sicario, scheduled upcoming gigs in Star Wars Episode 8 and Terrence Malick’s Weightless (you know, the one Malick’s been shooting at the last four Austin City Limits festivals), and an enticing new job announced today, everything’s coming up Benicio.
Today, Variety announced that Paramount and producer Leonardo DiCaprio have teamed for The Corporation, a new crime vehicle with Del Toro attached to star. Based on T.J. English’s upcoming nonfiction book The Corporation: an Epic Story of the Cuban-American Underworld with a script from Vinyl writer David Matthews, the film will focus on Jose Miguel Battle Sr., the gangster known on los calles as “El Padrino.” Even as international criminals go, his was a pretty extraordinary story: he came up as a key operative for former dictator Fulgencio Batista, acting as a liaison between Batista’s camp and the gang-owned casinos. El Padrino fled to the United States upon Castro’s rise to power in 1959, and it was there that he’d fall in with the CIA, who shared his contempt for the Communist forces. He ended up in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, but landed on his feet and began his own criminal empire of numbers racketeering, money-laundering, and eventually murder. El Padrino’s “corporation” would continue their mission to depose Castro for years while continuing to grow as an illicit enterprise.
This role lands squarely in Del Toro’s wheelhouse, and with the right director to corral this sweeping narrative spanning nations and decades, it could also be a major Oscar contender.