By Sahil Patel
Netflix has ordered a new drama series from Gamount International Television based on the life of the notorious Colombian drug lord and politician Pablo Escobar.
“Narcos” will star Brazilian A-lister Wagner Moura (“Elysium”) and will be directed by Jose Padilha (“Robocop”). According to Netflix, it will be an all-new take on the story of the Medellin Cartel, once the most powerful and violent drug-trafficking organization, and the inspiration for many real-life and fake (remember “Entourage”?) film and television projects.
The show will reunite Moura and Padilha, who together created “Elite Squad,” a blockbuster Brazilian cop film that won the Golden Bear prize at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. Both men are executive producing alongside Eric Newman (“Children of Men”), Chris Brancato (“Hannibal”), and the team of Doug Miro and Carlos Bernard (“Sorcerer’s Apprentice”).
Netflix has greenlit a 10-episode first season, which will soon begin filming in Colombia. The premiere is targeted for early 2015, in all territories Netflix is available in.
“Jose and Wagner together created one of the most sophisticated and chilling portraits of criminality and official corruption ever in their ‘Elite Squad’ movies,” said Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos in a statement. “Their version of the Escobar saga will be like nothing ever seen before.”
“Our idea is to tell the true story of how cocaine became such a huge problem in the US and Europe — and how it all started here in Medellin,” added Padilha.
This is the second show from Gaumont to be picked up by Netflix as an original series. The first, “Hemlock Grove,” was created by horror filmmaker Eli Roth, and is currently in production on a second season. Gamount also produces “Hannibal” for NBC in the US.