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Netflix to make Panama Papers movie. The Panama Papers have certainly sparked the imagination of writers and movie makers. Recently the British newspaper, The Guardian wrote that Netflix, the streaming giant turned original content studio, is to make a film based on the Mossack & Fonseca scandal, based on a book written by two German journalists.
The company has acquired exclusive rights to” “The Panama Papers”: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money”, the recently published book by Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. The pair, who works for Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung, a subscription daily newspaper, were the only journalists to have direct access to the anonymous source who leaked the 11.5m documents from the Panama-based company Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s biggest offshore law firms.
The documents revealed how many of the super-rich have created offshore bank accounts to avoid taxation. Although having accounts abroad is not illegal, it raised questions about how these people, some of them politicians, manage to get such significant amounts of money. Obermaier and Obermayer gave the papers to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists – including those from the BBC and The Guardian, who analyzed the data and reported its evidence.
Such access to the central duo is what Netflix hopes will give their film the edge over other projects on the subject in the pipeline, including an adaptation by Steven Soderbergh of “Secrecy World”, the book by investigative reporter, Jake Bernstein, one of the consortium.
“This is probably the most important political story of recent times,” Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos told The Guardian, “so I imagine there will be many different stories and angles to come from it. We think ours will be the definitive take.”
As well as a four-film deal with Adam Sandler, Netflix’s nascent movie studio is building a slate of prestige titles which, it hopes, will follow in the footsteps of Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation” – starring Idris Elba as an African warlord – in earning the company credibility and the film-makers awards recognition.
“People want very smart storytelling in this complicated world. We’ve become so accustomed to just breezing past headlines that I think people really appreciate having the opportunity to dig a little deeper,” said Sarandos. “The goal at Netflix is for your project to be in the zeitgeist; the icing on the cake is if you motivate change”.
No director, writer or cast have yet been revealed, but Netflix’s” “Panama Papers” film will be overseen by John Wells Productions, the production vehicle of writer, producer and director John Wells. Last year Wells directed “Burnt”, starring Bradley Cooper as a volatile chef; other recent films include “Beach Boys” , “Biopic Love & Mercy” and “August: Osage County”, based on Tracy Letts’s play.