EXCLUSIVE: Gaumont International Television and Netflix may soon be re-teaming for a drama series about notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. GIT is producing one of Netflix’s first original series, Eli Roth’s monster thriller Hemlock Grove, which premieres April 19. Now the U.S.-based production arm of European feature studio Gaumont has teamed with another feature director, Brazilian-born Jose Padilha, for Narcos. The series will chronicle the life and death of Escobar, the ruthless boss of the Medellin Cartel and a known terrorist who was also a congressman, a family man and revered by the poor as a new Robin Hood. Padilha, on whose idea the project is based, is slated to oversee and direct the 13-episode first season, which is eying a 2014 debut on Netflix. Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard (Sorcerer’s Apprentice) are writing. Eric Newman (Children Of Men) will executive produce.
Padilha, whose gritty Elite Squad thrillers were big box office hits in Brazil, is making his Hollywood directing debut with Sony/MGM’s upcoming RoboCop reboot. Newman has worked with both GIT and Padilha and likely helped get them together — he serves as executive producer on Hemlock Grove and producer on RoboCop. In addition to the Famke Janssen-starring Hemlock Grove, which is wrapping production, GIT also is finishing filming drama series Hannibal for NBC and is working on its Barbarella series, which is already garnering strong interest from U.S. networks.
Netflix is in the midst of a major expansion into original series with House Of Cards, which just launched, and the upcoming Hemlock Grove, Ricky Gervais’ Derek and a new season of Arrested Development.