New Netflix series to center on billion-dollar Brazil corruption scandal

netflix narcos director padilha brazil corruption doc series jos
Carmem Levy / Wikimedia Commons
Netflix is working on another international original series, this one based on the current corruption investigation in Brazil, and set to be created and directed by Narcos director and producer Jose Padilha.

The show, which has not yet been titled, will debut on the streaming service some time in 2017. It will be based on the recent money laundering investigation in Brazil, known as Operation Car Wash (or Lava Jato in Portuguese). The Federal Police of Brazil allege that, in addition to several money laundering schemes involving high-profile persons and businesses, executives in oil company Petrobras accepted bribes in exchange for rewarding construction contracts at inflated prices. Reports suggest that the alleged money laundering scheme, which has been under investigation since March 2014, may involve billions of dollars.

Most recently, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was detained and questioned in relation to the investigation. His house was also raided. Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of Odebrecht, was sentenced to 19 years in prison last month. Other politicians and Petrobas executives have been arrested, while still others are under investigation.

“This project will follow the judicial investigators in their journey to unveil the largest corruption scheme that Brazil has ever witnessed,” explains Padilha. “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.”

In addition to Narcos, Padilha is best known for directing the successful Brazilian films Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, as well as the Robocop reboot in 2014.

Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Original Content at Netflix, lauds Padilha’s talent in “turning fast-moving current events into compelling narratives.”

“He is well placed,” adds Barmack, “to document this important time in Brazilian history.”

The series will be the second Netflix original series produced in Brazil: Sci-fi thriller 3% is set to premiere later this year.

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