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‘Narcos’ Showrunners Talk Drama’s Future Without Pablo Escobar

Narcos Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Season two of “Narcos” will be the last featuring drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, played by Wagner Moura. But the series’ producers contend that it won’t be the last for the show.

“The show is not about Pablo Escobar,” executive producer Jose Padilha said at the Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday. “The show is about cocaine. It’s about drug dealers that sell cocaine. The show is still going to be the show it is.”

Moura revealed to Netflix talk-show host Chelsea Handler in June that “Narcos” season two would cover a period of time leading up to Escobar’s death. In real life, Escobar died in 1993 in Medellín, Colombia.

“This is definitely the last season for me,” Moura said at TCA Wednesday. Explaining the difference between seasons one and two, he added, “The first season is an epic in that it covers 15 years of the drug trade. The second season is less epic, more dramatic. It covers one year, 18 months, so it focuses more on the characters … it’s more character driven, more dramatic.”

Season two of “Narcos” is set to premiere Sept. 2. Producers fended off questions about where exactly the focus would be for an Escobar-free season three.

“We’re not really at liberty to say what next season is yet, but we have a joke that we plan on stopping when cocaine stops,” executive producer Eric Newman said. As season two closes, he added, “There are other drug dealers that are forming alliances against Pablo, so there are multiple stories that we could tackle if we want to.”

Padilha explained that the evolution of the Colombian drug trade saw post-Escobar drug lords shift from selling directly to the United States to selling to Mexican middlemen, who then moved product to the U.S. — and had to deal with U.S. law enforcement.

“What happens with the violence? It goes to Mexico,” Padilha said. “I don’t want to tell you what the next season is, but …”