Spielberg will serve as executive producer on the four-part drama, which was written for TV by Steve Zaillian, the writer on his 1993 Oscar-winning Holocaust film Schindler’s List.
No Country for Old Men actor Javier Bardem will star and executive produce.
Cortes will tell the story of the Spanish adventurer who led an expedition which brought about the fall of the Aztec empire in the 1500s and changed the course of history.
“It is a privilege to tell this epic story— one that is full of drama and conflict within this huge, historical spectacle where two distant civilizations clash at the height of their reign,” Bardem said.
He continued: “The best and worst of human nature came to life in all its light and darkness. As an actor, there is no better challenge than to serve such a unique project that I have been passionate about for years, and I am thrilled to be working with this dream team of Steven Spielberg, Steven Zaillian and Amazon.”
The series is based on a 1960s screenplay from blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (portrayed by Bryan Cranston in the 2016 film Trumbo).
Spielberg is showing no signs of slowing down after over 44 years in the industry. Later this month he will follow up last year’s Oscar-nominated drama The Post with gaming epic Ready Player One, which is expected to give Black Panther and Pacific Rim: Uprising run for their money at the box office.