Netflix acquires exclusive rights to feature film on the Panama Papers

Based on the tell-all book by Obermaier and Obermayer, Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money, will be adapted in to a feature-length film. Key members from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Gerard Ryle and Marina Walker, are also on board with the project as collaborators. The film will be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

“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”, said Rudnick Polstein (John Wells Productions President of Features).

The German investigative journalists, Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer uncovered the Panama Papers earlier this year. It is the story of thousands of secret bank accounts and an incredible accumulation of wealth by a long list of rich and powerful people that was hiding from governments to avoid taxes, game the system and evade the law.

Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer commented, “It all started with a ‘ping’, when John Doe contacted us. That relationship and the work that came out of it grew to become the biggest data leak in history, and by far the biggest collaboration of journalists. The world has ever seen; with over 400 journalists ultimately participating in this investigation. We are proud that our newspaper was the starting point for this story which grew to be something monumental.”

Obermaier and Obermayer worked through ‘John Doe’, an anonymous source to reveal how the wealthy hid billions of dollars in offshore accounts through a small law firm in Panama. The work of these journalists, in collaboration with the ICIJ, set of a global debate on how easy it is to become wealthy, triggered judicial investigations and the resignation of heads of state.

“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).

No dates or official title has been announced for Panama Papers, but stay tuned to The Iris for further news on the film.


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