The Director of ‘Narcos’ Takes on Brazil’s Corruption Scandal in New Series for Netflix

Read more

As Brazil’s political establishment teeters on the verge of collapse, it seems filmmaker Jose Padilha has found inspiration for his next incisive sociological drama in the morass of corruption and intrigue surrounding Petrobras’ so-called “Lava Jato” (Car Wash) scandal. The director of Netflix’s critically acclaimed original series Narcos will apparently spend this year juggling the production of Narcos second season, with a Brazilian-produced series inspired by Operation Car Wash and written by screenwriter Elena Soares.

For those unfamiliar, the Lava Jato investigation uncovered millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks surrounding contracts with Brazil’s massive state oil conglomerate, and has implicated high ranking politicians from across the political spectrum. Padilha’s own predilection for intricate plots involving political power, corruption, and moral ambiguity seems to be tailor made for the subject matter, while Netflix is a logical home for the series in light of Brazil’s otherwise highly politicized media landscape.

The as-of-yet-untitled series is slated to begin shooting later this year, which may very well coincide with a senate investigation that could lead to the ouster of current president Dilma Rousseff. Amidst the confusion, manipulation, and mixed emotions that have surrounded Lava Jato and its aftermath, one can only hope Padilha’s cool head and commanding style will give the people of Brazil some much needed perspective.

The series will be Netflix’s second original production out of Brazil, following the sci-fi thriller 3%, which will premiere later this year.