By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian actor Wagner Moura will star as the infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in “Narcos,” the newest Netflix original series. Available on Netflix in all markets beginning August 28th, the highly-anticipated crime drama is directed by Brazilian José Padilha and retells real-life events involving Escobar, the notorious drug network, the Medellin Cartel, and their bloody clashes with law enforcement in the ’80s.
The premiere of “Narcos” took place on Thursday, August 20th in Rio de Janeiro at Lagoon and was followed by an afterparty held in the Lagoa venue, Miranda. Present during the red-carpet event were the stars of the series including Wagner Moura and Boyd Holbrook, Juan Pablo Raba, Joanna Christie, Stephanie Sigman, Ana de la Reguera, André Mattos, Maurice Compte, Paulina Garcia, and Manolo Cardona, among others.
While Moura has been an established and successful theater, television, and film actor within Brazil for almost two decades, he first began to receive international attention following the worldwide success of the 2007 Brazilian film, “Elite Squad.”
In the film, based on the book, “Elite da Tropa” by sociologist Luiz Eduardo Soares and former Rio police officers André Batista and Rodrigo Pimentel, Moura played the main character of Roberto Nascimento, captain of the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE).
BOPE is the special operations squad of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police and both the book and the film are semi-fictional retellings of the squad’s dealings, including bribery and shootouts, with Rio de Janeiro’s gangs and druglords in the city’s favelas during the 90s. Moura would go on to reprise the role in the 2010 sequel “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.”
Brazilan filmmaker, José Padilha, directed both “Elite Squad” and “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” and is the director of “Narcos.”
Following the “Elite Squad” films, Padilha went on to direct the 2014 reboot of “RoboCop,” starring Colin Farrell and Moura also strengthened his international recognition by playing Spider in the 2013 film “Elysium.”
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos reportedly praised the reunion of the pair for “Narcos,” stating; “José and Wagner together created one of the most sophisticated and chilling portraits of criminality and corruption ever in their ‘Elite Squad’ movies. Their version of the Escobar saga will be like nothing ever seen before.”