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Netflix to film true-life corruption drama in Brazil

Netflix will film on location in Brazil for a new drama based on the ongoing true-life political corruption scandals affecting the country.

Operation Car Wash – or Lava Jato in Portuguese – is, in real life, a long-running investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption involving Brazil’s top construction firms and the country’s state-run oil company. Dozens of top politicians have been implicated and arrested, and Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is currently facing impeachment.

Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha will create and direct the as-yet-untitled series based on Operation Car Wash. Padilha previously produced the Netflix drug drama Narcos, which filmed on location in Colombia to tell the story of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. He also directed the hugely successful crime film Elite Squad and its sequel (pictured), both of which filmed in Rio de Janeiro.

“This project will follow the judicial investigators in their journey to unveil the largest corruption scheme that Brazil has ever witnessed,” said Padilha. “It was fundamental for the series to be produced in an impartial way, and I have no doubt that Netflix is the best partner for the project.”

The Operation Car Wash series will be the second Netflix production to film in Brazil, following the eight-part post-apocalyptic drama 3%, which started shooting in Sao Paulo last month.

“This is a milestone for the Brazilian market,” said Tiago Mello, director of Boutique Filmes in Sao Paulo, when 3% was first announced. “With this series we have the opportunity to reach a global audience. We are proud to be part of this first for the industry.”

For more on filming in Brazil see our production guide.

Image: Sundance Institute