'Narcos' Star Wagner Moura to Play Famed UN Diplomat in Netflix Biopic

Victor Affaro; Getty Images (2)
Wagner Moura, Ana de Armas and Will Dalton

Moura will play Brazil-born diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello in Greg Barker's narrative directing debut.

Narcos star Wagner Moura is set to play Brazil-born United Nations diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello in a biopic for Netflix.

During his diplomatic career, Vieira de Mello drew as many accolades as scorn. Accused of being a “crisis junkie,” Vieira de Mello relished hot spots and war zones where he used his charm, good looks and negotiating skills to save lives.

He was killed in a hotel bombing in Iraq in 2003, along with other members of his staff, in an attack orchestrated by al-Qaida. The movie’s story is set hours after the attack at Baghdad's Canal Hotel. As the world watches the efforts to save Vieira de Mello’s life, the diplomat, buried under the rubble, is forced to confront the dubious choices he has made during his personal life and career as the UN’s go-to man.

Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Garret Dillahunt (Fear the Walking Dead), Will Dalton (Loving), Clemens Schick (Casino Royale), and Tony and BAFTA awards winner and Emmy Award nominee Brían F. O’Byrne (Little Boy Blue) are also set for the movie. The film is the narrative debut for Greg Barker, the documentary filmmaker behind Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden and The Final Year.

Craig Borten, who earned an Academy Award nomination for penning Dallas Buyers Club, wrote the script that adapts the biography Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World, by Samantha Power, the former United States Ambassador to the United Stations.

Brent Travers of Black Rabbit Media and Daniel Dreifuss of Anima Pictures are producing with Moura, who will produce via his banner, Itapoan.

The movie is due to begin production in August, with a release eyed for 2019.

Barker is familiar with Vieira de Mello as he previously directed a documentary about the man, 2009’s Sergio. The movie was nominated for an Emmy and won an award at the Sundance Film Festival. He is repped by Gersh.

De Armas, who was seen in Blade Runner 2049, recently wrapped Danny Boyle’s untitled musical drama. She is repped by CAA, Impression Entertainment and Grubman Shire.

Moura is one of Brazil’s biggest actors who has starred in that country’s hit crime movies, Elite Squad and Elite Squad: Enemy Within. Recently, he drew praise for his portrayal of drug lord Pablo Escobar in Narcos, Netflix’s acclaimed crime drama. He is repped by UTA, Ascend Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.