Fresh off the success of his series Narcos, producer and director Jose Padilha is setting his sights on another real-life scandal. His next streaming project will be an ongoing series based on Operation Car Wash (or Operação Lava Jato), a continuing investigation into corruption at the highest levels of the Brazilian government.
Streaming giant Netflix, clearly pleased with Narcos, has already backed the currently untitled show. Padilha’s vision for the project will apparently have it cover the various facets of the scandal, including its background and the upcoming trials of top politicians and corporate figures.
Due to the journalistic requirements of the ongoing series, Padilha sought out Netflix as a relatively unbiased source of funding:
“This project will follow the judicial investigators in their journey to unveil the largest corruption scheme that Brazil has ever witnessed. 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,” Padilha says.
For those who don’t know, Operation Car Wash delves into the social repercussions of the bribery and corruption allegations of Brazil’s largest oil company, the state-ran Petrobras. Company executives, political party members, cabinet members and even the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, have been implicated and detained in the scandal. Current President Dilma Rousseff is also undergoing impeachment proceedings due to her connections to the oil company. Although she hasn’t been implicated in the proceedings just yet, the resulting scandal has split a country still reeling from a devastating recession and other far-too-recent governmental misdeeds.
A native Brazilian, Padilha is no stranger to covering corruption and political intrigue in his home country. His first film was a documentary called Bus 174, which delved into racism and crime in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, his first major hit, Elite Squad explored police brutality and gang affiliation in the country.
Netflix hasn’t shied away from scathing documentaries that criticize corruption and upheaval, either. The streaming service has funded such controversial fare as the Making a Murderer series and the Egyptian Uprising documentary, The Square.
Aside from the untitled series, Padilha has a lot of other politically-charged irons in the fire, too. His next feature film is Entebbe, which explores a 1976 hijacking that further frayed Palestinian-Israeli relations. He’s also developing a 10-episode series for Showtime about prison gangs titled The Brand. And, of course, he’ll stay plenty busy executive producing and directing the next season of his acclaimed Pablo Escobar drama Narcos.
It’s still early days on the Operation Car Wash series, but Padilha and Netflix seem like the perfect team to shine a light on the story behind it and we can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for us.