Al Pacino made the jump from Corleone-family crime boss in the Godfather to ruthless Latin-American drug-cartel kingpin in Scarface. Now the original "Don Corleone"--Marlon Brando--is making a similar transition.

The 73-year-old coronary time bomb has convinced Nobel-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez (known to countrymen as "Gabby") to let him play the central character--an aging Latin-American dictator--in a film version of the author's 1975 book, Autumn of the Patriarch, according to Semana, Colombia's top news weekly. This will be his final film role, Brando vows.

At a recent meeting in Paris, Garcia Marquez agreed to the movie on two conditions: He wants to choose the film location and the director. A formal movie agreement was worked out last week.

The novelist was reportedly very pleased with the script, but Semana didn't report who wrote it. A call to Brando's agency Friday didn't reveal any further details--in fact, they say they're not even aware of the film deal.

The thick thespian is currently filming the Fargo-esque dark comedy, Free Money, a Canadian picture also starring Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland and Alicia Silverstone. That film title is appropriate for Brando, whose effort-to-wage ratio was very much in the black for recent films such as The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Word in the village is that Autumn of the Patriarch will be shot the same way Colombian coffee luminary Juan Valdez picks beans--one scene at a time.

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