British actor Clive Owen is also being considered to star in the Sony Pictures film. With a $10 million plus budget, this is Colombian production company RCN’s most ambitious film to date.
Ever since details of the operation came to light, the story has been of great interest to American film producers. And who could blame them? It is the stuff of blockbusters and big bucks.
Colombian military succeeded in placing a mole within FARC leadership a year before the rescue, and spent four months planning their movements, planting motion sensors and video cameras around the rebels’ camp. Military intelligence fooled FARC leadership into moving the hostages to a more accessible location. Undercover soldiers took acting lessons to be more convincing in their roles as guerrillas, journalists, and members of a fictitious non-government organization
that was to supposedly fly the captives to a camp to meet the rebels’ leader. Instead, fifteen hostages were airlifted out of the camp in helicopters piloted by Colombian government agents wearing Che Guevara tshirts – a nice touch. One of the hostages was Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian presidential candidate.
Operation Check Mate (‘Jaque’ is Spanish for the chess term ‘check’) will be shot in English, focusing on the soldiers that made the rescue possible.
Despite not being filmed in Spanish, the director of RCN Cine, Julian Giraldo, has said that he wants the film to have a distinctly Latin feel, to be reflected through the music and supporting actors. Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez will also star.