Martin Scorsese will direct and executive produce Cortés, a new series on HBO. It’s about the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés (1485-1547) who brought down the Aztec empire. The relatively few reliable sources regarding the life of Cortés has led to a dispute regarding his personality. Some say he was vicious and ruthless, others say he was noble and honorable. Rumor has it Benecio Del Toro is interested in the lead role. Other big roles to fill include Malinche (aka Doña Marina), the Mayan girl who helped Cortes, and Montezuma, the Aztec leader Cortes befriended and then put in chains.
Chris Gerolmo is writing the script. He wrote Mississippi Burning, the 1988 film starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. The film has been criticized by some for its fictionalization of history. In Time magazine, author Jack E. White referred to the film as a “cinematic lynching of the truth.” Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum in the Chicago Reader wrote it “has little to do with history, sociology, or even common sense.” Wondering what kind of research he’s doing for Cortes.