Colombia-born actor John Leguizamo has been tapped to play one of his late countrymen, drug lord Pablo Escobar, in the film "King of Cocaine." 

Directed by Brad Furman (from "The Lincoln Lawyer"), the movie about the Medellin cartel boss will begin shooting in January in Colombia.

Benicio del Toro and Oscar Isaac had been mentioned as candidates to play Escobar, but Leguizamo, according to Deadline Hollywood, "got the job basically because he refused to take no for an answer."

Leguizamo was in Furman's first film, "The Take," and the director wanted him for the role, but the producers said no repeatedly, the Web site reported.

Undaunted, Leguizamo shelled out $15,000 on a fat suit and prosthetic makeup that made him look like Escobar's twin and Furman shot some footage.

The screen test eventually convinced executives at Relativity that Leguizamo was the man for the role, Deadline said. 

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