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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the second season of Narcos.]
For anyone wondering what the real DEA agents behind Narcos think about their portrayal on the Netflix series, Steve Murphy sums it up.
"We don’t binge-watch TV, but we binge-watched season two," Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter about blowing through the second season of the cartel drama with his wife in two days. "That’s how much we enjoyed it."
Pena adds to THR, "The intrigue, the suspense — it's really well done. There's stuff in there that's never been told."
Murphy (played by Boyd Holbrook) and Pena (played by Pedro Pascal) are the two agents responsible for taking down Pablo Escobar. Their hunt for the notorious Medellin Cartel leader was told on the first two seasons of Narcos, where both agents serve as series consultants. The finale of the second season re-created the kingpin's final moments during a rooftop shootout in Medellin, Colombia. (Netflix confirmed the return of Pascal as Pena, while Holbrook's Murphy remains up in the air.)
After Escobar's death on Dec. 2, 1993, Murphy and Pena were approached to bring their story to Hollywood. "We tried to do something with a couple of people and they would come up with these wacko ideas about what they wanted to do," Murphy recalls. "We kept on getting disappointed and it wasn't worth the grief.”
So the pair blew off forthcoming offers, until they met with those who would become the creators of Narcos. "The only stipulation Javier and I have is: Whoever we do this with cannot in any way glorify Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel," Murphy recalls telling showrunner Eric Newman during a dinner in Washington, D.C. "We just hit it off. Eric has lived up to his word 100 percent."
Though Narcos is a dramatization, Newman told THR the series is 50-50 when it comes to fiction and nonfiction, and that they stick to the true chronology of events. "We told them how it actually happened," says Pena. "There’s some artistic licenses, but the timeline is accurate."
Here, Murphy and Pena take THR behind some of the biggest moments of the second season and delve further into a story that, despite its infamy, still had details that were only now brought to light.
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