New Feature Documentary on Pablo Escobar Focuses on Scottish Mercenary Hired to Kill Drug Lord (EXCLUSIVE)
A new documentary has secured exclusive access to the story of Peter McAleese, the Scottish mercenary and ex-SAS agent hired by a Colombian drug cartel to assassinate drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Produced by Two Rivers Media and Salon Pictures of Glasgow, the producer of the David Bowie film "Stardust", "Killing Escobar", is told in McAleese's own words and contains never-before-seen footage of his 1989 Colombian mission. how McAleese's violent upbringing in Glasgow, his SAS training and his experience as a mercenary in Africa led him to undertake the daring - and seemingly suicidal - mission.
More from the diversity
ITV Studios is selling "Schitt's Creek" far after Emmy Sweep - Global Bulletin
Hulu, Discovery Nab 'Killer in Plain Sight', 'High Maintenance' from Canada's hectic films (EXCLUSIVE)
ATF Bulletin: Abacus Media Rights assesses physical sales across Asia
Commissioned by BBC Scotland, the film is supported by young distributor Abacus Media Rights, who has international distribution rights, and The National Lottery through Screen Scotland. Directed by award-winning filmmaker David Whitney, the film will be shown at the Glasgow Film Festival on March 7th and will air on BBC Scotland later that year.
Mick McAvoy, Clerk at Two Rivers Media said: “At Two Rivers Media we pride ourselves on bringing remarkable stories to the big screen, told by the people who were the focus of the action. This film tells the unlikely story of how a man from the East End of Glasgow was asked to bring together a team of ex-special forces to travel to the heart of the criminal realm of the world's most dangerous man to assassinate him. ”
McAvoy notes that the film does not use voice-over and relies on intimate interviews with McAleese, members of his team, and Escobar's bodyguards. The 90-minute film also includes an archive of McAleese's life as well as interviews with other key contributors to the story, such as: fellow mercenary Dave Tomkins; DEA officers Javier Pena and Steve Murphy (the subjects of Netflix's hit series "Narcos"); and McAleese's Cali Cartel liaison officer Jorge Salcedo, whose experience in Colombia also inspired the Netflix series.
Nick Taussig, Founder and General Manager of Salon Pictures, added, “When [Director David Whitney] first brought this movie to us, we were determined to go beyond the compelling narrative of a small group of mercenaries trying to knocking him down Pablo Escobar was the great human story of an old soldier's final settlement with himself. David had the track record and pedigree to pick up on that story, and what a creative tour de force it turned out to be. "
Whitney highlights an "abundance" of personal video archives and a high level of access that "has been a filmmaker's dream".
“When my editor and I sat and saw the footage the men had made of their mission, we were amazed at the breadth and quality. It was a gold mine! "Whitney said." It has been a long, difficult journey getting 'Killing Escobar' on screen, but I hope the audience will be as excited about this incredible true story as I am. "
Tony Nellany commissioned the film for BBC Scotland. The cameraman is Julian Schwanitz, the production manager Lucy Austen; Head of Legal is Ross Cowan; and location AP is Kelly Machin. Executive producers include Alan Clements and Mick McAvoy for Two Rivers Media - for whom the film is the outfit's first theatrical foray - and Nick Taussig for Salon Pictures. "Killing Escobar" is distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights.
Best of variety
Everything comes to Netflix in January 2021
Pet Announcements: Hollywood Brings Home Dogs, Cats, and More
The Force is strong in these 'Star Wars' gifts
Sign up for the Variety newsletter. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news.
In this article
Betty White marks 99th birthday Sunday; up late as she wants
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire faces ‘uphill battle’ to play vs. Browns
Ashley Graham bares (nearly) all in body-positive new post: 'I love me, not every day, but most'
Mass. Mom Inspired by Infant's Health Crisis Creates Special Onesie for Tiny NICU Patients
‘Bridgerton': Here Are All the Modern Songs That Get Classical Covers
Ugg Boots and Slippers Are Majorly Discounted at This Under-the-Radar Sale — but Only for the Next 72 Hours