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Panama Papers Movie in the Works. The “Panama Papers” scandal caused ripples all over the world. Politicians, movie stars, sportsmen and millionaires were affected by it. One dire repercussion was that the country was put back on the grey list of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the Isthmus is better known than ever and will be in the spotlight again when a movie about the “Mossack & Fonseca” affair is made.
Recently, Adam Epstein from the digital newspaper SBS, revealed that the U.S. director, Steven Soderbergh, will produce, and possibly direct, a film based on the “Panama Papers”. The adaptation will draw from an upcoming book, “Secrecy World”, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Jake Bernstein, who was among the consortium of investigative journalists who revealed over 11 million records detailing how some of the world’s richest and most powerful people hide their money using tax havens.
Soderbergh won the Palme d’Or for his indie drama “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” (1989) and became a worldwide commercial success, making the then-26-year-old Soderbergh the youngest director to win the festival’s top award.
He is best known for directing critically acclaimed commercial Hollywood films like the crime comedy “Out of Sight” (1998), the biographical film “Erin Brockovich” (2000), the crime drama film “Traffic” (2000) (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director), the 2001 remake of the comedy heist film “Ocean’s 11” and its two sequels – known collectively as the “Ocean’s Trilogy”, the medical thriller “Contagion” (2011) and the comedy-drama “Magic Mike” (2012).
While there’s no doubt it was massive global news, the Panama Papers—essentially a gigantic accounting story—might seem like a strange topic for a film. But it follows in the footsteps of recent films like The Big Short and Moneyball that took complicated, dense subjects and turned them into entertaining Hollywood productions.
More than that, though, Soderbergh’s Panama Papers adaptation is the latest in a growing slate of Hollywood films based on major real-life events that get made very shortly after those events occur.
In the past, these films wouldn’t be made until society had processed and reflected upon the events, and the history books were already written. As important a story as the Panama Papers investigation is, it remains to be seen whether today’s audiences will find it interesting as a movie, but that’s apparently a gamble Hollywood is willing to take. Soderbergh is as innovative a filmmaker as there is, and together with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns—with whom he worked on the globe-spanning (and thankfully fictional) epidemic thriller “Contagion”—he could adapt the still-unfolding story into a captivating film.