Panama Papers Film in Works From John Wells, Netflix

Panama Papers - H 2016
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The film will be an adaptation of the recently released book by German investigative journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer.

Netflix is betting on the Panama Papers.

The platform has acquired the rights to Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money, the recently released book by German investigative journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. Netflix is teaming with John Wells Productions to adapt the title into a dramatic feature film.

The Panama Papers were the documents leaked by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that detailed how the wealthy and powerful of the world’s elite used the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca to escape scrutiny. Obermaier and Obermayer were the two reporters who worked through an anonymous source known as John Doe to crack open the data leak, with more than 400 journalists ultimately participating in this investigation.

Producers John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein and executive producer Zach Studin will also collaborate with Marina Walker, ICIJ deputy director, and Gerard Ryle, who leads the ICIJ’s headquarters staff in Washington, D.C., and oversaw the more than 400 journalists in 76 countries on the Panama Papers.

"We are confident that between the expert investigative work of Obermaier and Obermayer, the only journalists in touch directly with John Doe, the ICIJ, and the master storytelling of John Wells Productions, we will be able to deliver a gripping tale that will deliver the same type of impact as the Panama Papers when they were first revealed on the world’s front pages,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix. 

Added Rudnick Polstein, John Wells Productions president of features, “We could not be more excited to be working with Netflix on this project. They have an excellent track record of producing top-notch filmmaking, and together, we are very much looking forward to getting started on shedding light on one of the most compelling news stories in recent memory.”

The project is the second Panama Papers film in the works, as Steven Soderbergh is being eyed to helm an adaptation of Secrecy World, an upcoming book by investigative reporter Jake Bernstein. Soderbergh is producing with Lawrence Grey of Grey Matter Productions and Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content on the film, penned by his oft-collaborating screenwriter Scott Z. Burns.