Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Netflix to make film on Panama Papers

Narada Desk | July 27, 2016 7:16 pm Print
The streaming major's film is the second to be announced on the "biggest leak in the history of data journalism"


Netflix has announced plans to make a film on Panama Papers.

The feature will be based on ‘The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money’. Even though the streaming major has said that the movie will be produced by John Wells and Claire Redneck Polstein, it has not named the director or the cast.

Wells has directed films like August: Osage County (2014) “Burnt” (2015).

Netflix has acquired the rights of the book written by Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. The two German journalists who worked for Munich based newspaper ‘Suddeutsche Zeitung’ were the only people who had access to the anonymous source who facilitated the biggest leak in the history of journalism.


The book is based on how the duo after being faced with a mounting cache of data, cobbled together an international network of  400 journalists in 80 countries to unravel the biggest story of recent times.

The book published last month is also an account of how the team makes sense of some 11.5 million documents to find out how the world’s super rich and the powerful use offshore law firms to pickle away their wealth.

Earlier this month, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh announced plans to make a film about Panama Papers based on the book ‘Secrecy World’ being written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jake Bernstein. The book, slated to be published in the latter half of 2017 had triggered an intense bidding for the screen rights.

However Netflix Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos was sure that the work of Obermaier and Obermayer would have the same kind of impact, when the story was first revealed by 107 media organisations in April.

“This is probably the most important political story of recent times so I imagine there will be many different stories and angles to come from it. We think ours will be the definitive take,” Netflix Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos told the Guardian.

The leaked files from Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca identified associates or kin of several presidents, prime ministers and political leaders including Vladimir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, actors Jackie Chan and Emma Watson were among those named in the Panama Papers.

Iceland’s prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson had to demit office in April, soon after the documents were published.