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‘Narcos’ Director José Padilha Reteams with Netflix

Yet-to-be-titled Brazilian corruption investigation drama shoots later this year

Jose Padilha, Netflix
Photo: Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock

MADRID – “Narcos” director José Padilha will reteam with I.S. streaming ginat Netflix on a yet-to-be-titled Brazilian Netflix original series, charting the Lava Jato (Car Wash) criminal corruption probe which has rocked Brazil’s political elite to its core.

Gaining in large topicality, news of the series broke as Brazil’s congress voted Sunday night to initiate impeachment proceedings against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff for essentially cooking the books.

Padilha, whose “Narcos” rates as one of Netflix’s most popular series ever, will create and direct the series from screenplays by Elena Soares (“Xingu,” “House of Sand”).

Filming on the title will begin later this year. Netflix will make it available to subscribers on a global basis in 2017.

Series charts the judicial corruption probe which has led to the arrest from 2014 of over 100 politicians – including senators – construction magnates, senior public officials and top brass at Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras. They are charged with alleged involvement in a massive and extended kick-back scheme where companies would accept bribes to overcharge Petrobras for contracts.

News of the series comes just one month after former Brazilian president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva was called in for questioning for his alleged connection to the scandal. Rousseff was not indicted. But the fact she served as Petrobras chairwoman during the time of the alleged backhanders has done nothing in Brazil to shore up her plunging political star.

“It was fundamental for the series to be produced in an impartial way, and I have no doubt that Netflix is the best partner for the project,” Padilha said in a statement.

“Netflix recognizes José Padilha’s talent in turning fat-moving evens into compelling narratives and he is well-placed to document this important time in Brazilian history,” added Erik Barmack, Netflix VP, international original content.

Padilha’s series follows up “3%,” a post-apocalyptic thriller helmed by Cesar Charlone, who won a 2003 Academy Award nomination for his cinematography on “City of God.” Netflix has so far produced two series in Latin America: Gaz Alazraki’s Mexican soccer club comedy “Club de Cuervos,” whose second season is now in preparation, and “Narcos,” in Colombia. Netflix announced last September its first animated Netflix original series with Latin America, “Las Leyendas,” produced by Mexico’s Anima Estudios. It also reconfirmed to Variety in March that it would Netflix original series “Ingobernable,” starring del Castillo as Mexico’s first lady, will start production this year,

Netflix is in an “expansive phase” of international original series production, Barmack said at last month’s Rio Content Market.  It aims to fire up not only the number of countries where it produces original series orders, but also the umber of original productions it produces out of countries.