According to this morning's Hollywood Reporter, Antonio Banderas will soon be kicking Aztec ass in Conquistador. The movie, directed by Andrucha Waddington, will following Banderas' Hernan Cortes (who I know you all remember, like I do, in a really vague way from middle school history class) as the Spaniard leaves Cuba for Mexico in 1518, and quickly captures Montezuma (and marries his daughter, even though he left left a wife back in Cuba), and claims Mexico for the Spanish crown. Whew. Based on a quick visit to Wikipedia, it appears that Cortes was busy enough for about 10 movies -- it's just too bad this one starts with the invasion of Mexico, and has to leave out fun stuff like the injury the 17-year-old Cortes suffered "while hurriedly escaping from the bedroom of a married woman," and the syphilis he picked up just a few months later, shortly after his arrival in the New World.

Conquistador was written by Nicholas Kazan which, since he also penned the wonderful Reversal of Fortune, is promising news. (Kazan also wrote Dream Lover and Bicentennial Man, but we won't talk about that.) What will be interesting, of course, is how the film portrays Cortes. By most accounts, he was a strong leader who treated the native people he encountered surprisingly well -- so will this be a typically Hollywood 'Great Man' version of history or, perhaps, something more nuanced? He is after all, suspected of killing his non-Montezuma-spawned wife.
categories Movies, Cinematical