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EXCLUSIVE: The colorful life of Ecuador’s former President León Febres-Cordero is being adapted for a feature biopic by his grandson, producer James Leon of 8th Gear Entertainment.
Ted Field (Jumanji, Chronicles of Riddick franchises) will produce the film alongside Leon, with writer-director Fernando Guzzoni (Blanquita) signed on to pen the screenplay. President Febres-Cordero’s daughter, Maria Liliana Febres – Cordero, will serve as Executive Producer.
The Spanish-language movie will be shot entirely in Ecuador, with principal photography slated to begin in spring 2024. We understand the film will follow a similar narrative to historical biopics like Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour and Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech by telling the story of a political figure through the effect their decisions have on themselves and their family. Liliana, one of Febres-Cordero’s daughters, will feature at the center of the story and voice the contents of her father’s diaries in the movie.
Acclaimed by some and criticized by others, Febres-Cordero was one of the most recognized Latin American political figures of the 80s. He was President from 1984 to 1988, during which he was known to openly carry a pistol. During his time in office, Febres-Cordero took a hard stance against corruption and organized crime in Ecuador. He made international headlines in 1987 when he was kidnapped by Ecuadorean air force commandos during an official visit to an air base. Confounding political norms, Febres-Cordero, a right-leaning figure and close friend of Ronald Reagan, was the first President of a non-communist or socialist country to visit Fidel Castro’s Cuba following the revolution.
“Our goal of this film is to inspire Latin people as many Latin countries are dealing with difficult times whether it be in relation to their politics, narcospolitics, or corruption,” Leon said. “We intend for this story to inspire young generations to make the right choices for a better future.”
Guzzoni is a Chilean film filmmaker best known for his feature Blanquita, co-produced by Netflix, which premiered in the official competition of the Venice Film Festival. Guzzoni also wrote and directed Jesús, which played Toronto and was in the Official Competition at San Sebastián.
In addition to the biopic on his grandfather, James Leon’s 8th Gear slate includes the animated feature Lonesome George and the FIA ABB Formula E racing thriller Breakneck. The project is a franchise starter billed as similar to Fast & Furious, with full FIA ABB Formula E backing and participation.