Wouldn’t it would be great if we could finally move on from the idea that South America is just a big pile of cocaine governed by violent drug cartels? Wouldn’t is also be nice to see Luis Guzmán directed by Elite Squad’s José Padilha in a Netflix series? Well this is our dilemma, folks, because Netflix has finally announced a date for the release of its upcoming action series Narcos, and the lineup is a spectacular showcase of Latino and Latin American talent. From Padilha and Guzmán to Brazil’s Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, plus Mexican Bond girl Stephanie Sigman, Ana de la Reguera, and Chileno Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones. Dayum. Not even in our wildest dream casting could we have imagined such deep dugout of Hispanic superstars.
But, here’s where you start shaking your head in disappointment: rather than showing off the bottomless reservoir of talent Narco’s creators have brought together for the show, the teaser literally just shows South America as a big pile of cocaine. Doh.
Even so, with Padilha’s rigorously sociological vision of the interplay of crime, social exclusion, and government repression laid out in the Elite Squad films, we can probably expect Narcos to offer up some pretty intelligent and endlessly entertaining TV watching. Plus, if we’re going to keep making films and TV shows about South American drug lords, the least we can do is let South Americans tell that story, amirite?
According to the show’s synopsis, Narcos follows the story of real-life drug kingpins in the late 80s and the conflicting sectors of society that worked to bring them down. In addition to Moura as Pablo Escobar, the show’s leads will be rounded out by Pedro Pascal and Boyd Hollbrook (Gone Girl) in the roles of DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Peña.
All 10 episodes of Narcos will be available on Netflix starting August 28. And hey, maybe if this goes over well Netflix will consider producing a show about Colombian gaiteros, or salsa dancers, or novelists, or painters, or llaneros, or the 99.999999% of Colombians who aren’t narcotraficantes. Just maybe.