Benicio del Toro to star The Corporation
Benicio del Toro is to star in 'The Corporation' which will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions and Paramount.
The 48-year-old actor has joined the cast of the real life crime saga which is set on Cuban and America soil and will play the role of Jose Miguel Battle, Sr. who founded and led the organised crime group that shared its name with the movie's title, otherwise known as the 'Cuban Mafia'.
Battle - who was known as 'El Padrino' or 'The Godfather' - ran Cuba in all but name and had close ties with the leader Fulgencio Batista, sharing profits from his casinos with the corrupt politician.
But he was forced to flee the country when Fidel Castro came into power in 1959 and took asylum in the United States, where he was trained by the CIA to go back and invade his country.
The attempt eventually took place with other trained Cuban refugees and is known as the ill-fated Bay of Pigs Invasion.
The group failed to topple Castro's communist government but the former gangster continued to dream of overcoming his enemy and winning back his country.
After failing his mission, Battle settled in Union City, New Jersey, and began to build his crime empire, at one stage earning up to $45 million a year in the 1970s from The Corporation's activities.
He died in August 2007 in prison.
Battle's story has been retold in T.J. English's upcoming book, 'The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuba American Underworld,' and DiCaprio's company has bought the rights to adapt it for the big screen.
Appian Way recently produced 'The Revenant' in which the actor and filmmaker starred and the movie earned him his first ever Oscar for Best Actor for the role of frontiersman Hugh Glass.
Benicio will be busy this year filming 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' directed by Rian Johnson.