American actor Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy” will take on the lead role of “American Drug Lord,” a film based on the life of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a Mexican- American drug lord caught by Mexican law enforcement authorities in 2010, and extradited to the U.S. in 2015.
Valdez Villarreal is a Texas native who went on to become the only U.S. citizen to ever capture a high-ranking leadership position in the Mexican drug cartel. He was often known as “La Barbie” because his light skin, blue eyes and blond hair brought to mind a Barbie doll.
Hunnam will play the drug lord, who was arrested in 2010 and extradited to the United States after the escape of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in the picture from Legendary Studios.
The studio acquired rights to the 2011 Rolling Stone article “American Drug Lord,” which chronicled Valdez Villareal’s life and arrest, and have set “American Sniper” scribe Jason Hall to write the script, according to new website Deadline.
Edgar Valdez was a high school football player in his Texas hometown of Laredo, and he is known as the only U.S. citizen to rise to the level of cartel leader in Mexico.
From his base in Acapulco, Guerrero, Valdez, who brought the nickname “La Barbie” that was given him by his high school football coach, made $130 million in one year moving drugs from Colombia.
He became increasingly feared and allegedly ratcheted up the violence that involved filming the brutal executions of rivals and posting them on the Internet. As the drug riches escalated along with the violence, the rival cartels turned on one another, with the help of crooked cops. Valdez’s life became a struggle to stay alive.
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