Two Rivers Media and Salon Pictures have aligned for Killing Escobar, a new theatrical documentary commissioned by BBC Scotland.
For the feature-length doc, the team secured exclusive access to the story of Peter McAleese, the Scottish mercenary and ex-SAS operative who was hired by a Colombian drug cartel to assassinate Pablo Escobar. Directed by David Whitney, it will receive its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival on March 7 and its U.K. TV premiere on the BBC Scotland channel later this year.
The project received major production investment from Abacus Media Rights, which holds international distribution rights, and The National Lottery through Screen Scotland.
Mick McAvoy, head of factual at Two Rivers Media, said: “At Two Rivers Media, we pride ourselves on bringing remarkable stories, told by the people who were at the center of the action, to the screen. This film tells the unlikely tale of how a man from the East End of Glasgow was asked to bring together a team of ex-special forces operatives to travel to the very heart of the criminal empire of the world’s most dangerous man in order to assassinate him. With no voiceover and by just using revealing interviews with Peter McAleese, some members of his team and even Escobar’s bodyguard, this film lets the people at the heart of the story give a unique and terrifying perspective into the murky world of mercenaries, cocaine wars and shows how violence can shape peoples’ lives. The Two Rivers’ team have an outstanding track record in human interest storytelling and we are extremely proud of what has been achieved with this film.”
Nick Taussig, founder and managing director of Salon Pictures, commented: “When David first brought this film to us, we were determined to make it, as, beyond the compelling narrative of a small band of mercenaries trying to take down Pablo Escobar, was the great human story of an old soldier’s final reckoning with himself. David had the track record and pedigree to take this story on, and what a creative tour de force it has turned out to be.”
David Whitney, director of Killing Escobar, added: “From the moment I first met Peter McAleese, I wanted to tell his story. I feel incredibly fortunate that he entrusted me to make the film. The wealth of personal video archive and level of access we were able to obtain is the stuff of dreams for any filmmaker. When my editor and I sat and watched the footage that the men had filmed of their mission we were amazed by the breadth and quality; it was a goldmine! It’s been a long, difficult journey to get Killing Escobar to the screen, but I hope audiences will be as thrilled by this incredible true story as I was.”