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Benicio Del Toro Transforms Into Infamous Drug Lord

Jul 16, 2014 | Updated Jul 16, 2014

No one escapes from Benicio del Toro, especially when he transforms into Pablo Escobar.

A first look at the Puerto Rican actor in his ruthless role surfaced on Wednesday. The star plays the infamous drug lord in the romance thriller “Paradise Lost,” which also happens to feature an absolutely terrified Josh Hutcherson.

“The Hunger Games” star may have faced two televised death matches in the adventure franchise, but he never looked as petrified as he does in the upcoming film. Hutcherson plays Nick, a young surfer who falls in love with Escobar’s niece Maria, played by Spanish actress Claudia Traisac, while visiting his brother in Colombia.

Italian actor Andrea Di Stefano (“Life of Pi”) penned the screenplay and will make his directorial debut with “Paradise Lost.” The film will also be produced by Dimitri Rassam.

Variety reported that Del Toro had finalized negotiations regarding the role as the Colombian kingpin in November 2012. By March, the film was set to begin filming in Panama.

"[Del Toro is] one of the rare actors with enough charisma and range to play such a multi-faceted character as Escobar, who could be wonderfully charming yet dangerous and menacing," Rassam told Variety in 2012.

At the time, the French producer clarified that the movie was not intended as a biopic of Escobar, but rather a romance thriller surrounding Nick and Maria with a simultaneous plot line following the escalating relationship between Nick and Escobar.

The indie film will premiere in Spain on October 15 and in France November 5, according to IMBd.com.

“Paradise Lost” is one of the many projects surrounding the life of the infamous Pablo Escobar, whose Medellín Cartel terrorized Colombia for over two decades until he was killed in a manhunt in 1993.

In recent years, Escobar has been revitalized by a TV series, collectable sticker books, and even a clothing line created by his son.

Take a look at the trailer above and a peek at the set of "Paradise Lost," in French.

H/T Variety Latino

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