Magazine article Screen International

What Next for 'Narcos' after the Death of Pablo Escobar?

Magazine article Screen International

What Next for 'Narcos' after the Death of Pablo Escobar?

Article excerpt

Narcos showrunner Eric Newman reflects on series three of the drugs drama.

Crime drama Narcos has been a passionate endeavour for showrunner Eric Newman and so, as the launch of the third season approaches, he can be forgiven for feeling a little wistful. “This is the end of three years in Colombia and I’m sort of nostalgic,” he sighs down the phone from the country, where he is speaking to Screen International during a break in filming.

The season keeps the action firmly rooted in Colombia, the South American country that gave rise to the drug lord Pablo Escobar. But Escobar himself is no more, killed off in the season two climax that paves the way for a new focus: the Cali Cartel, which played a part in his downfall. Newman says he will miss the character of Escobar, the poor boy who used his entrepreneurial gifts to become one of the most powerful and feared men on the continent, and who flooded the US with smuggled cocaine.

“Part of it is my love for Wagner [Moura, the Brazilian actor who played Escobar] and how much I will miss him,” he says. “We felt we had told his story. He was an innovator, a pioneer in the game. And the world is better off without him.”

Escobar was different things to different people. Reviled by law enforcement in Colombia and the US, and feared by every­one in the drug trade, he was revered locally as a Robin Hood figure who helped the common man. He has been hard to depict on the big screen, and Newman - a film producer whose extensive credits include Children Of Men, the RoboCop reboot directed by Narcos pilot director Jose Padilha and Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Bright - realised episodic television was the perfect vehicle for his story.

Yet this roadblock actually resulted in one of the production’s biggest strengths, according to Newman: “It required a certain fluidity, but we built an amazing locations department. …

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