U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone, a long-time fan of Hugo Chávez, plans to take the life of the late Venezuelan leader to the big screen.
"Oliver Stone is making a very beautiful film about our commander Hugo Chávez, which he will most probably finish in the coming months," current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Thursday.
Chávez died on March 5 after a long battle with cancer and before he could be sworn in for a third term.
Maduro, Chávez’s appointed successor, said he learned about Stone’s movie during his recent visit to Paris, the last leg of his first European tour as Venezuelan leader.
He said the filmmaker is planning to visit Venezuela soon for the premiere in the country of the TV documentary "The Untold History of the United States," or, in Maduro’s words, “the history of U.S. imperialism."
"We are very eager to have him come inaugurate this on the Venezuelan TV screen," Maduro added.
Stone, a three-time Oscar winner, visited Chávez in Caracas on several occasions. He interviewed him in 2009 for the documentary "Al Sur de la Frontera " (“South of the Border”), on which he expressed his disagreement over then-President George W . Bush’s hostility to the Venezuelan leader.
Through interviews with Chávez and then leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador, the film showed an extremely affable portrait of Chávez, interspersed with fragments of negative media coverage and critical comments by U.S. officials of that country.
Critics dismissed the film as prejudiced and one-sided, since Stone did not included any statements from opponents nor addressed the ruler's bitter relationship with the media.
Despite his strained relations with the United States, Chávez hosted many Hollywood celebrities, including actors Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Tim Robbins and Kevin Spacey, and often took pleasure in describing scenes of American films in his televised speeches.
Stone’s movies include "Platoon," "JFK," "Natural Born Killers" and "Nixon." He also directed "W." -- an unflattering portrait of former US president George W. Bush.