Amazon to make a Spielberg-produced series about Hernan Cortes, starring Javier Bardem

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If you want to make an epic miniseries, then you will find few mini-series that are more epic and ambitious as this planned new Amazon series about the life of Hernan Cortes. Cortes might not mean much to South Africa, but the man has a storied history with Mexico and the discovery of the “New World”. At the age of just 18, the future conquistador arrived in this new world following in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus.

It was his exploits later on in 1519 where Cortes embarked upon the expedition into the interior of Mexico for which he would later become infamous. Cortes would lead an army, partially made up of natives, into the kingdom of the Aztecs, ruled over by the famed Montezuma. What followed was a great conquest, or an act of genocide depending on your point of view. Either way, the Aztec empire disappeared from the face of the Earth, and Cortes achieved immortality.

This new mini-series, titled Cortes, will explore this vast and extensive story and according to Deadline will feature Javier Bardem as the titular character and will be produced by none other than Steven Spielberg. Spielberg wanted to tell the story as a movie, before realising that there is just too much story to tell and reworked it into a mini-series instead with the script written by Oscar winner Steven Zaillian.

Bardem spoke about getting to work with Steven Spielberg and Amazon on the story of Cortes:

It is a privilege to tell this epic story— one that is full of drama and conflict within this huge, historical spectacle where two distant civilizations clash at the height of their reign. The best and worst of human nature came to life in all its light and darkness. As an actor, there is no better challenge than to serve such a unique project that I have been passionate about for years, and I am thrilled to be working with this dream team of Steven Spielberg, Steven Zaillian and Amazon.

It’s an incredible partnership of talent for what is likely to be a massive production given the period of history and scale of the story. Expect detail costumes, massive sets, frantic action and hopefully some impeccable acting from Bardem. For Amazon it’s an opportunity to again try and establish their brand as a home for award-winning content. They’ve been able to achieve this for their movies, but been less successful on the series front. With a series like this, that could definitely change.

Cortes does not have a release date at present and there is likely a fair amount of pre-production to be done in the series. It’s also not likely to be a cheap series, but thankfully Spielberg and Amazon have enough money to make something like this possible.

Last Updated: March 27, 2018

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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