It's been a while since we've heard anything about what Steven Spielberg's next movie will be, which is sort of strange considering how many movies he's managed to direct over the past few years. Well, it looks like a new project has caught his eye and could be his potential follow-up to 2012's Oscar-winning "Lincoln": an almost 50-year old script by blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo called "Montezuma," about the clash between Montezuma and Cortez during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Foundation for the National Archives
And guess who wants to play the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, according to the report on Deadline? That's right, the scariest man to ever rock a bowl cut: Javier Bardem.
The project is based on a screenplay that Trumbo completed in 1965. The original version of the script, which clocked in at a whopping 205-pages and is currently being revised by "Schindler's List" screenwriter Steve Zaillian, was scheduled to be directed by Martin Ritt and star Kirk Douglas, Trumbo's longtime friend and collaborator.
Trumbo is famous in Hollywood lore for being part of the Hollywood Ten, a group of powerful creatives who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Cold War, a fruitless campaign to root out subversive Communists. After spending almost a year in jail, Trumbo was blacklisted and didn't work until Douglas hired him to script Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" in 1960. The pair also attempted an adaptation of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" after Douglas played the lead role on Broadway.
The script for "Montezuma" takes place from Cortez's point of view, and has long been considered one of the great unmade films in Hollywood history. So for Spielberg to consider resurrecting it... it's a pretty big deal. Only Spielberg could get this kind of massive, blood production off the ground anyway. And just thinking about what he could do with a story so steeped in betrayal and bloodshed, well, it could be pretty spectacular.
It's also worth noting that Spielberg has a history of bringing to life forgotten or abandoned projects, considering that he directed a version of "A.I." that his good friend Stanley Kubrick struggled for years on and is currently plotting an HBO miniseries adaptation of another disused Kubrick project, a biographical work on the life of Napoleon, possibly helmed by "Great Gatsby" filmmaker Baz Luhrmann).